2
\$\begingroup\$

Modern electronics are incredibly reliable, however, I have had about 5 ethernet routers experience hardware failure on one or more ports on my home network. Is this unusual, and if it is, what precautions can I take to avoid it. If it is "common", is there a component in the system that is prone to failure?

\$\endgroup\$

3 Answers 3

2
\$\begingroup\$

In my experience for something like that its generally solder joints coming loose/cracking, often times in consumer gear its a result of thermal stress. Consumer gear isn't usually tested nearly as rigorously as "business" or industrial equipment when it comes to dealing with environmental variations.

They can be hard to find, you usually need to check them carefully like with a magnifying glass or similar equipment.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...or solder them correctly to begin with \$\endgroup\$
    – Joel B
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 13:04
1
\$\begingroup\$

I agree with Brian on this one. I have just recently had to modify a design to replace a particularly static sensitive Ethernet PHY IC from Davicom. This part failed constantly and the only thing we could pin it down to was static.

The new design moved to a National Semi part which incorporated static protection in the IC plus we added an ethernet specific tranzorb style device right at the jack input. This drove the cost up by more than $15USD so it's easy to believe that inexpensive routers / switches deliberately leave these components out.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ Static? Given that all ethernet wiring is feed through a transformer to begin with, which is presumably (sans PoE) properly grounded at center tap of secondary winding.. I wonder how it ever got to your PHY.. \$\endgroup\$
    – qdot
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 6:57
0
\$\begingroup\$

Static electricity is a killer of ethernet ports too. I've not yet managed to ever kill a port, but have replaced NICs and routers for other people that grab the cable by the very end, get a "poke" from it, and then it doesn't work... If the cable is plugged in on either end, make sure you always hold it on the cable behind the connector. Don't grab the connector itself, the conducting surfaces aren't very deep, doesn't take much static to jump the gap.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.