View Full Version : phone interference problem

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04-28-2012, 02:29 PM
Okay, so this is a strange problem that I've not been able to figure out. Maybe someone here will have some helpful ideas. I noticed over the past couple of months that sometimes my cordless phone reception would break up. I could still hear the person I was talking to, but they couldn't hear me. I thought it was the phone, so I got a new cordless phone, but it has the same problem. It does not seem to happen if it is plugged into the outlet in my bedroom, and I'm talking in the bedroom, but if I am out in the kitchen, dining room, or living room, it does. These rooms are all on the same floor, pretty close together. If I plug in a regular corded phone to the kitchen phone jack it works fine.

I have an Apple Airport for my wireless router, and it's about 6 years old, maybe 7. It, too, has been having some issues lately. Periodically it drops the wireless connection to my devices. So my iPhone and my iPad and my laptop won't connect to the airport but all the devices can see that the airport is there. If I restart the airport, everything is fine. I've tested whether the phone problem still exists with the airport unplugged, and it does.

The other thing is that, in the past few months, 2 or 3 times I've come home and had no phone line. I have comcast for phone, cable TV, and internet. When the phone line has gone out, I've still had TV and internet. Resetting the modem fixes that problem.

I don't have any new appliances. I did get a new stove and a new fridge, but both before the problems started happening. The comcast modem and airport are both in the kitchen, and that's where I also had the cordless phone plugged in at first.

Any ideas? I am thinking about moving the modem to my office anyway, because that will give me more counter space, but I have to get comcast to come and do that since the modem is hard-wired into the phone line because of my alarm system. I keep thinking that it's the comcast modem that's causing the problems, but there's no way to test that because if I unplug it, I have no phone service. :rolleyes: I was also thinking I may get a new airport, but the problem with the phone still exists if I unplug the airport. So, it doesn't totally make sense to me.

04-28-2012, 04:15 PM
FWIW, my wireless home phone came with instructions not to set the base stations near where computers were plugged in to avoid interference. We tried anyway, and learned that the phone service was really bad in the room with the computer equipment. What worked was putting the wireless elsewhere, and using an old fashioned wired phone in that room. Cell phones weren't bothered at all either way.

04-28-2012, 04:37 PM
But there's no computer plugged in there, just the modem. And it's been like that for about two years. Worked fine until a few months ago.

04-28-2012, 05:01 PM
Maybe it's time for a new modem.

04-28-2012, 05:34 PM
You may need a new modem. We have Optimum for TV, phone, internet. The phones and internet are on one modem, the Tv is separate. That is why your phones and internet will go out, while your TV stays on. Before you replace your router, check to see if your modem is dropping the signal, which would then cause the Airport to lose connection. I have been having the same problem. But, when my internet or phones drop the lights on my modem are flashing, indicating it is a modem/signal problem - not the Airport. Your provider should replace the modem for free. And they should come to your house to make sure all of the outside connections are okay. Weather/animals can erode parts of the wires/cables, causing service issues.

04-29-2012, 12:56 AM
Are there other networks near you? Aometimes a stronger network can wipe out the signal for the weaker one. Check for electrical load problems, too. Fluctuations in current can mess up electronics or cause them to fail prematurely.

04-29-2012, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check the lights on the modem next time the airport wireless connection fails. But I haven't lost the internet connection, as far as I can tell. It's just that none of my wireless devices can connect to the airport, though they see it's there.

There don't appear to be any networks any stronger than mine nearby. It's very puzzling.

04-29-2012, 01:24 AM
Yes, we had outside wires that were chewed, the tech was convinced by squirrels.

04-29-2012, 03:21 AM
I would say to call comcast and follow what they suggest and let them know that it works just fine when a phone is plugged into the wall jack. You may need a "Supervisor", but hopefully not.
I personally stuck with the regular phone company in part for reasons such as this, but if you don't double check they too may put you on a program that sounds cheaper, but only has a certain # of hours for backup when there is a power outage. I made sure I was not on that one and a few extra dollars is ok for me since I worry about emergencies and whatnot when we get lengthy power outages.

04-29-2012, 02:26 PM
^^ That is one big reason why I don't like the bundled phone/cable/internet package. When we had regular Verizon, phone only service, we did not lose our phones in a power outage. Now, because it all goes through the modem, we lose our phones immediately. When we had the snow storm in October, we lost power for a week. No house phones, and the only way to charge the cell phones was in the car or go somewhere where we could find power and they would let you use an outlet.

04-29-2012, 03:14 PM
Re the phone interference - I had the same problem and ended up having to get a new cordless phone that used a different frequency. Do a search on "AirPort cordless phone frequency" and you'll turn up enough info to set you in the right direction. I ended up getting a Uniden 5.8 GHz and most of the problems were resolved.

04-29-2012, 03:32 PM
I'm not understanding what the Airport has to do with the phone. With my modem, the phone is plugged into the modem. The airport is too, but it doesn't effect the phone, just the computer. If the phone is going out, it has to be a problem with the modem, cable, or service. We just had to have the cable fixed, animals had chewed through a portion.

04-29-2012, 04:13 PM
My response was to sk8pics' post, not a comment on whatever issue you might have had. The AirPort and most cordless phones broadcast on the same frequency, and as a result, either can cause the other to drop out. Search as suggested if you're interested in more info.

04-29-2012, 07:18 PM
^^ Ah, didn't know that. Thanks. It still might be best for her to have the cable company check out their equipment before she invests in a new phone.

04-29-2012, 08:47 PM
Yes, I went through the whole frequency thing 5 years ago, when the cordless phone I had then was on the same frequency as the airport. So, that's not it this time.

I don't know that the airport periodically dropping the wireless is related to the cordless phone interference problem, nor do I know if the few times I lost my phone connection are related to either the airport or cordless phone interference. It's just odd that they are all happening in a several month period of time, after being okay for a couple of years.

I am going to contact Comcast since I want to get the modem moved anyway, and maybe that will solve the problem.

Thanks for all the suggestions.