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New Barricade router
Viking Ed Dec-07-01 03:57 PM
So my 7004ABR router arrived yesterday (thanks, F'dEx, for leaving it two doors down where they're on vacation, and not leaving a note on my door to let me know or anything!) and I got everything connected and configured per the manual. Problem: I can't connect to the internet.

The router goes into the same NIC that the cable modem used to go to, and I had it clone the MAC address. I'm using straight-thru cables to connect the cable modem to the router to the PC. At one time, we actually managed to get the router's internet status to be "Connected," but even then I couldn't get to any web pages or e-mail. So the tech had me reset the router, after which the status switched back to "Disconnected," and adamantly refused to change again.

If I remove the Cat5 cable from the router and plug it into the cable modem, then reboot my PC, I can send and receive e-mail and surf.

The tech had me reconfigure the Barricade as fixed-IP, using the addresses from winipcfg, but I still couldn't connect. The WAN activity light is on, and I double checked all the connections to make sure they were solid.

I have been using Zone Alarm when connected directly to the cable modem. I was fairly certain I had disabled it when running through the router, but just in case, I reconfigured it to always allow traffic from AT&T's gateway,per the tech's suggestion, but that didn't help either.

Any thoughts on what could be going wrong? Should I just call AT&T and tell them I need to register a new MAC address or something? (There's another hour and a half waiting on hold!)

Thanks for any help...

1. RE: New Barricade router
lbyard Dec-07-01 06:24 PM
In response to message 0
I would completely uninstall Zone Alarm. You don’t need it if you are behind a Barricade barricade. Set the PC TCP/IP properties to obtain an IP address automatically from the Barricaded. Start, Run, enter winipcfg and verify that you can release and renew the PC IP address from the Barricade. I would then browse to and unclone the Barricade MAC address and set the router to obtain it's IP from the MODEM/ISP. Try power-cycling the MODEM five or more times. Wait for the MODEM to just settle-out between cycles. That should cause it to marry itself to the new MAC address. The process seems to be more an art than a science. In the Barricade Status display watch the IP address as you release and renew it from the MODEM. It should first pick-up a local IP (192…) from the MODEM and then pick-up another IP from the ISP’s DHCP server for use on the Internet. Larry

2. RE: New Barricade router
Viking Ed Dec-10-01 02:35 PM
In response to message 1
You're never gonna believe this. I spent 3-4 hours with SMC tech support (at least one of which was on hold) Thursday night, and made no progress at all, so they escalated the issue and told me to expect a callback the following night.

Tech calls, asks how long I left the cable modem off between tries the previous night. 30 seconds, like the tech said. So he tells me to leave it off for 15 minutes this time; he'll call me back.

He calls back, we try a few things, no luck. So then he gets this epiphany, and asks if I have a switch or a hub I could slip between the modem and the router. So I cable my modem to the uplink port of the switch, and the switch to the uplink port of the router, and the router to the NIC in my PC. Success! I plug a second PC into the router, and it too can see the 'net.

However, I advise the tech, I'm not at all satisfied with the "solution" of using my expensive 8-port switch upstream of the router. In so doing, I've lost 67% of my capacity. He assures me that SMC will be releasing a firmware patch for this problem in the near future, after which I can return my switch to the downstream side of things. If they don't, I'm going to be asking for a free two-port hub to take its place.

Seems the cable modem runs at 10Mbps, and while the switch portion of the router is autosensing 10/100, apparently the uplink port is expecting to see strictly 100Mbps, so it couldn't sense the cable modem in there.

3. RE: New Barricade router
lbyard Dec-10-01 06:14 PM
In response to message 2
? Most cable MODEMS run at 10 MHz (10BASET) and the WAN port on the broadband routers I’ve seen are also 10 MHz. My MODEM is that way and it works with the SMC7004BR and SMC7008BR routers. Larry

4. RE: New Barricade router
Viking Ed Dec-10-01 06:29 PM
In response to message 3
It doesn't make sense to me either. The switch certainly recognizes the modem signal as 10BaseT--the "100" LED is unlit--and you wouldn't think it does anything to the signal between receiving it on the Uplink port and blasting it back out the port to the router, but the fact remains that with the switch between the modem and the router, I get connectivity; with the modem connected directly to the router, I don't.

When I commented on that to the tech, he said something along the lines of "other companies might try to cut their costs or increase their margins, but we try to squeeze as much speed as possible out of our firmware, and mumble-mumble-mumble.

I don't know. He said a firmware patch would address the problem, and to keep an eye on the website for when it becomes available.

Thanks for the help.

5. RE: New Barricade router
Viking Ed Apr-30-02 11:34 AM
In response to message 4
Back in December, my Barricade would only connect to the 'Net if I put my switch between the cable modem and the router. Which was a rather expensive workaround, and I told the tech at the time that I was not going to be happy long-term about that "fix." He assured me a subsequent firmware upgrade would fix the unit completely.

A couple months ago, I sent e-mail to them asking. if you're not going to fix my router, could you send me a switch to put between the modem and the router, so I can get my own switch back into commission. They utterly ignored that correspondence.

Last night, I downloaded the latest firmware patch and installed it. Still no joy. So I called 'em. Spent an hour on hold. Described the situation to the tech. He reviewed my case history, and said something along the lines of having had a bad run of components or something (maybe the janitorial crew using the chip-curing ovens to cook pizza), and that if I'd call customer service during the day and give them my case number, they'd ship me a replacement unit.

I called this morning, and the customer service specialist took my information, and arranged to send out a new unit, and as long as I return the bad one within 30 days, it costs me nothing.

Won't know for three or four days whether the new unit works as intended, but I've got a good feeling about it. And other than the terrible hold times, I've got to say that SMC gives good technical and customer service. And for that matter, an hour on hold isn't at all unusual for any of the tech companies I've had to deal with. Sad, but true.

6. RE: New Barricade router
lbyard Apr-30-02 12:47 PM
In response to message 5
I don't believe they make the chips.

It's always a balancing act. If there isn't enough margin in a product, there is no money to pay people to answer the phone, let alone do roadwork. People want to save money up-front and forget about quality and that support costs money. That is why my local computer shop/business with a staff of nine people and a million a year in sales in 1991 no longer exists as it once did (http://duxcw.com/about/aboutdux.htm). Our margin on a new computer back then was 45% and our prices were much lower than the big players. Then people started buying Packard Bells, etc. (packaged for idiots with lots of software on cheap, non-standard hardware) from Circuit City, etc. Now they have a lot of problems finding anyone who can fix a Packard Bell or get parts for them and no one answers the phone. Now that they are more savvy and have “learned their lesson,” they are now buying Dells (which are now non-standard), Gateways, etc. via the Internet… Yup! Save now, pay later. You get what you pay for. Larry

7. RE: New Barricade router
Viking Ed May-20-02 12:23 PM
In response to message 6
The replacement router works like a charm. I have the Cat5 from the Cable Modem going into the WAN port on the router, a patch cable from the router to my 8-port switch, two workstations on the switch, and one one the router, and all three get along just fine in multi-user activities.

Configuring the print server port in a WinXP environment was an experience I'd gladly pay money to erase from my memory, but even that is working correctly now.

SMC even shipped me an account number to use for the return of the defective unit, so it winds up being a $0 out-of-pocket solution, which is as it should be, but not necessarily how it might have been.

You're absolutely right about the service/price balancing act, Larry. Wish it weren't so, but if the buyer wants a lower price, he's going to have to pay for it somewhere. I guess I'd rather have the lower up-front price, figuring that most of the time I'm not going to have problems, and even if I do, I can usually figure them out myself, or with sites like this. The small number of times I have to contact a vendor, it's irritating to spend an hour waiting for a pick-up, but I'm still probably ahead in the long run.

8. RE: New Barricade router
lbyard May-20-02 01:28 PM
In response to message 7
http://duxcw.com/dcforum/jar.htm. Larry

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