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Old 8th May, 2004, 05:50 PM
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Broadband Modems And Heat

i answered a thread earlier, where a guy had his modem on top of his pc...and if you've ever felt a modem, you know that they are always hot. placeing a 60c modem on top of your case is going to lead to problems, no matter what way you look @ it. So i advised him to remove the modem from it's current location. i actually think i told him 2 or 3 times. lol.
so i got a pm asking the reason for the heat....so here's how i responded....anybody got anything else to add?

i'll start a thread, and we'll let everybody answer...but the best way for me to explain....think about a 500w home theater stereo..on for about 15 minutes....touch it and it will be warm....leave it on for longer, and it will get hotter. why? the conversion of the 120v into 500w of sound. you almost always create heat when changing energy from one form to another(this is basic stuff of course)...soooo...you plug in your modem....even if it has a "on/off" switch..it's still on. There is not one single broadband modem that actually turns off..those switches merely disable the ports...and not all even do that. With that in mind, your modem is constantly on, converting the analogue broadband signal into a real digital signal that your pc will understand.....constant conversion of energy leads to heat....yadda yadda. As an ISP, heat doesn't matter to me. Actually, it ensures that in 5 years, when I want to upgrade my servers to a newer modem and headend combination(how the internet is actually encoded; your modem talks to a headend in the network building of the same manufacture) i can do so without having to worry about forcing a new modem on all my customers...the heat should have killed it by then anyway.(JUST AN EXAMPLEthe heat should not hurt the modem really..think your cpu runs @ 60c by amd specs and will always be able to cook an egg, if it were not for the heatsink in the way. your modem's case is it's heatsink, more often than not.) now we could get into the planned obselescence of products so that new technology will actually make it into people homes........
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Old 15th May, 2004, 04:09 PM
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I was going to post on my experience with this but never got around too it. So I guess I'll take the opportunity now.

Back when I first got my wireless network going I was having trouble connecting to the web and surfing every now and then. I couldn't really figure it out. The signal strengths were great and I has checked for viruses and spyware and didn't find a thing wrong.

Well I walked over to my router to reset it (basically unplug it) As you can see in the BEFORE pic (first pic) I use to have the modem sitting on top of the router. (this is a BIG NO NO) I moved the modem and just so happend to touch of the top of the router and MAN that sucker was pretty hot. So I got to thinking maybe this is the root cause to my problems.

So I reset them both and moved the modem so it was sitting next too the router instead of on top of it, and wala!!! No more connection problems.

Remember folks, HEAT KILLS!!!!
Rob
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Old 15th May, 2004, 07:00 PM
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EW! I thought posting pornographic pictures, even if it is hardware, was prohibited here! You can't show them doing that....
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Old 16th May, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
you plug in your modem....even if it has a "on/off" switch..it's still on. There is not one single broadband modem that actually turns off..those switches merely disable the ports...and not all even do that.
With that in mind, your modem is constantly on, converting the analogue broadband signal into a real digital signal that your pc will understand.....constant conversion of energy leads to heat....yadda yadda. As an ISP, heat doesn't matter to me. Actually, it ensures that in 5 years, when I want to upgrade my servers to a newer modem and headend combination(how the internet is actually encoded; your modem talks to a headend in the network building of the same manufacture) i can do so without having to worry about forcing a new modem on all my customers...the heat should have killed it by then anyway.
You and I seem to end up disagreeing quite often! I'm going to disagree simply because both broadband adaptors I have do indeed turn the power off when you turn off the switch. On one, the switch cuts the AC supply to the internal PSU. The other has an external PSU, but the power switch cuts the power from the socket to the system.

As far as DSL goes, things are a little different to cable (which is what you appear to be describing). As an ISP, I wouldn't really care what brand/chipset the device at the customer end is, as long as it can talk the relevent DSL standards (such as T1.413, G.DMT, G.Lite etc), and handle the authentication mechanism. For example, I know that my DSL provider uses at least three different manufacturers of DSLAM.

As far as conversion of energy goes, taking an electrical signal (analog) and converting it to another electrical signal (digital) isn't really conversion of energy. They're both electrical, and physics doesn't care if it's digital or analog, they're both subject to the same laws.

What does happen, is that the modem has a bunch of processing happening inside. That's typically a DSP and a CPU. The act of processing generates heat, in the same way that the CPU in a PC generates heat. So, even if your modem isn't connected to a valid signal, it'll generate heat as a side effect of processing.
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Old 16th May, 2004, 05:30 PM
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Ummmm what Aedan said, but still.................. don't stack them!!!
Rob
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Old 16th May, 2004, 06:01 PM
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ummm actually not all physics apply the same to both...sorta

in DSL the signal is digital over analog wires, operating at a high frequency. In analog wire the wire is subject to noise. All digital wires, or fiber optics are not suseptable to noise. I suppose that isn't really because it is digital or analog, but the material thought...but back to the heat topic, more heat is bad, give them room to breathe...
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Old 16th May, 2004, 06:37 PM
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Whether the encoding of the information on the line is digital or analog is irrelevant. To send an electrical signal over a physical wire involves analog, hence the considerations are all analog. You get into things like wave propogation delay, harmonic frequencies, signal overshoot and undershoot, slew rate, etc. It's an analog world. The thing that makes digital preferable to analog in most situations is that digital only has two signal states, where analog has an infinite number. This means that your SNR is generally better for digital signals at the same frequency. Unfortunately, you can't send as much data in digital format as you can in analog format, all other factors (such as signaling frequency) being equal.
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Old 16th May, 2004, 07:00 PM
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As Gizmo points out, digital has the advantage that you know the signal should have been originally a 1 or a 0. If the value is closer to a 1 than a 0 when you receive it, you could take a guess that the original transmitted value was probably a 1. As you build up more complex encoding systems, you can start to guess based on history or error correction.

Fibre doesn't suffer from electrical noise, but does suffer from other forms of noise and interference. Things are never as simple as they should be!
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Old 16th May, 2004, 07:03 PM
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Yeah but, you still shouldn't stack them!!!
Rob

(ok I'll drop it now! )
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Old 16th May, 2004, 10:22 PM
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You shouldn't put them in the sunlight, either. Or on top of your heater vent. Or inside an oven. Or........
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Old 17th May, 2004, 01:26 AM
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um... aedan.. all you really said was a technical version of what i said...yet again..um.. 120v(power outlet) converted to cpu instructions create heat. whatever
i have yet to find a modem that i could not remotely turn on on a cable system. there is no standby in a cable modem...they only disable the ports.
there are 4 basic types of cable modems.
router,switch, or hub based, as well as straight-line...
all of this structure is based on offering usb/ethernet connectivity to clients; something has to manage the swithcing between the 2 ports.
i am sorry aedan, if my explanations are not technical enough for you, but after years of offering tech support, i always offer a simple-to-understand explanation...which only hints @ the real truth. when someone asks for more ifno, i might want be inclined to let my fingers walk.
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