Sunday, January 22, 2012

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Comcast Xfinity Internet and Arris TM722G Voice Modem DOCSIS 3.0 Self Install Unboxing

Below is my unboxing experience with the new Comcast Arris TM722G EMTA Internet Voice Modem. The Modem is DOCSIS 3.0 and supports Comcast's Triple Play service (TV, Internet and Voice). I'm not a big fan of paying a $7 per month rental fee in my area, so I purchased a modem from the Best Buy in Crystal Lake, Illinois for $149. I paid for the modem at Best Buy. It took the representative a couple minutes to set things up so I could check out at Best Buy.

Once at home the unboxing began.

Pretty box on the outside with all kinds of Comcast Xfinity branding.

List of the minimum requirements to install. You do need to have a working triple play service setup or an appointment to have the voice installed, if you don't already. It took the technician quite awhile to set up my voice lines (trips to the various phone and cable boxes) and verify it was working correctly.

Back of the Arris Touchstone TM722 Comcast modem box.

Open box with the modem underneath.

All the contents of the box, TM722G/CT DOCSIS 3.0 Internet and Voice Modem, Instruction packet (very thick), Li-Ion Battery, assorted cables, and power cord. Yeah -no extra power brick.

Modem itself was just packaged in an anti static back. It is surprisingly light without the battery. The unit has rubber feet so it can be set flat or vertical. The dimensions of the box are 2" by 9" by 7-1/2" deep (allow more depth for cables and power out the back).

Here's a view of the connections out the back of the Arris TM722G modem. Note there are connections for two analog phone lines, a reset button (there is a sticker over the phone lines and reset button), cable connection, power cord, and push button to get to the battery on the bottom of the eMTA DOCSIS 3.0 modem.

Backup battery in the package. This is the battery that keeps your phone up during a short power outage. Since it's Li-Ion I would expect it to have a good lifetime. The Comcast technician said he's not had to replace one yet.

The shape of the battery is a very proprietary design. It is made to just fit in the compartment of the Arris modem. It's approximately 1-1/2" wide by 3/4" thick, by 7" long. It also doesn't weigh a lot. Not compared to the lead acid batteries in my UPS's.

The battery model number is listed as BPB044S and Product ID 718005. 8.4 VDC with a life of 4400 mAh. Charging current is listed as 0.115 Amps. Seems like a pretty decent backup. The installer said the backup was in the neighborhood of 8 hours. My networking equipment is on battery backup anyway, so in combination I should get long life.

Here you can see the proprietary battery connectors.

Here you can see the loop of yellow tape that allows you pull out the battery if you needed to replace it.

Little warning message not to remove the battery. Use the reset button (located by the cables in the back) if you want to power cycle it.

Above are the coaxial cable bundles that are included wit the package. They were quite generous with the 20 foot cable. For my installation I didn't need any of this, since I was replacing an installed Comcast TM402P Arris DOCSIS 2.0 modem.

General wiring instruction for the Digital Voice modem.

Wall Mounting template instructions. The Arris Touchstone TM722 has slots to wall mount the modem. This sheet has a template to put in screws so you can wall mount it. The screws were not included.

The installation of the modem was pretty simple. I called the Comcast number for activation of the new modem.

  1. I gave them the MAC address of this modem.
  2. The had me switch the cable and power from the old TM402P leased modem to the new modem (AC cords are the same).
  3. Then switch the coaxial cable. At that point the person on the phone could "see" my modem. He started pushing a configuration to it.
  4. After that started I switched the ethernet and voice over to the new modem. I chose to unplug my network ad have one laptop on the ethernet line for simplicity.
  5. He activated the internet portion and my laptop connected just fine.
  6. Last step was to verify that I got dial tone on the phone. Then Comcast placed a call to my voice line. 
Pretty simple and painless. The total call took about 20 minutes to switch from the leased modem to my modem. Hope this gives you an idea what the Self install process for moving from a leased triple play modem to an owned one can be like. I'd expect this modem to last at least 6 years like my old Motorola SB5100. PS - you can buy it on eBay now if you like.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2007 Dodge Durango Fuel Spilling Problem Solved

It been almost 1 year since I first posted my You Tube video of my 2007 Durango spilling fuel all over the ground. Since then it and several forum posts have gotten a lot of attention from legal folks and the NTSB.

After years of filling issues with the NTSB and following threads on the problem, it seems that Dodge has finally decided there is an issue. Just today on one of the many forum threads Dodge noted there is a TSB on the subject covering many more vehicles than the original one that just covered the 2005 models.

I followed this forum post for a long time

We'll be at the Dodge dealer on Monday seeing if we can get it in to be fixed at no charge to us. It will be nice to not have to fill the tank slowly or short filling it by 2-3 gallons. It also seems like a simpler fix than replacing the entire fuel tank on the Durango which was almost >$1,000.

Here are the details on the TSB that were posted on numerous forum post on the subject:
Posted by: DodgeCares
On: 01-20-2012 08:16 AM
There is a new TSB on this issue which involves an unlimited time and mileage warranty extension on the fuel filler tube due to a bad check valve. I am posting the TSB now. Anyone who owns one of the affected vehicles and is on file with Chrysler as the current owner will be getting something in the mail indicating the extended warranty on this part. It will also have instructions on where to send for reimbursement if you have already paid to have this part fixed. If there are any questions regarding this issue I would recommend a call to the Chrysler Assistance Center at the numbers listed below.
800-992-1997 U.S.
800-465-2001 Canada
*NUMBER: 14-001-12
GROUP: Fuel System
DATE: January 20, 2012*
Fuel Spit Back During Refueling Due To Faulty Inlet Check Valve X39 (Unlimited Time And
Mileage Warranty Extension)
This bulletin involves replacing the fuel filler tube if the condition occurs.
2006 - 2008 (HB) Durango
2007 - 2008 (HG) Aspen
NOTE: This Extended Warranty Bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with a naturally
aspirated gasoline engines.
Some customers may experience a fuel spit back condition during a refueling event.
If the customer experiences the symptom/condition, proceed to the repair procedure.
Qty. Part No. Description
AR (1) CNNZX390AA Tube, Fuel Filler
(4) 6500911 Rivet, Splash Shield Attaching
NUMBER: 14-001-12
GROUP: Fuel System
DATE: January 20, 2012
Reimbursable within the provisions of the warranty.
NOTE: Vehicles included in this Service Bulletin have a lifetime coverage - Unlimited
Time and Mileage warranty for this repair. See Warranty Bulletins; U.S.
D-12-07, Canada SAB 2012-03, International ID-12-02 or Mexico BG-01-12 for
details associated with the extended warranty.
UPDATE 3/10/2011:
My local Dodge dealer did the replacement that was suggested in the TSB. They had our 2007 Durango for the day. We have since filled it up with gasoline 3 times and no more spilling gas on the ground. It's great that Dodge finally issued the TSB on this and the dealers seem to be doing a good job of making the fix.

Call me a happy Dodge owner at this point.

Installing Pan 0.135 Newsreader in on Kubuntu 11.10

I really enjoy using a simple Newsreader on my KDE version of Ubuntu. It's a simple newsreader that feels a lot like Forte's Agent newsreader on windows.

After a recent upgrade to 11.10, I started getting double images of inline images. This is the opposite of a problem before where mulipart images wouldn't appear at all. The version of PAN in Ubuntu repositories is quite old, so I needed to install it myself. I adapted the post by Scot Kuma for my needs. I got an error about missing hotkeys.h when I tried to compile it using his instructions verbatim. As suggested in this pan mailing list post for KDE I could just install the program from their source. Hopefully this will help you get your version of pan updated.

I f you don't have pan installed. Install it. This will created all the icons in the appropriate menus in kubuntu.
sudo apt-get install pan
Download the source tarball from the pan website. I just used my browser and saved it to my Documents directory.
Move the file to where you want to decompress and compile it. This location was suggested in an Ubuntu article about installing your own software.
sudo mv ~/Documents/pan-0.135.tar.gz /usr/local/src/
Change to the directory where you want to decompress it your download:
cd /usr/local/src/
Decompress it:
sudo tar -xzvf /usr/local/src/pan-0.135.tar.gz
Move to the new directory created:
cd /usr/local/src/pan-0.135/
Run the configure script:
sudo ./configure
Compile the application (pan in this case):
sudo make
Find where your current version of pan is located:
which pan
Mine was located in /usr/bin/pan

Move you old version to a new name just in case you mess something up and want to revert back to the installed version (now called pan_OLD).
sudo mv /usr/bin/pan /usr/bin/pan_OLD
Copy the newly compiled binary to your /usr/bin directory:
sudo cp /usr/local/src/pan-0.135/pan/gui/pan /usr/bin/pan
Now fire pan up and happy newsgroup reading with the current version with no duplicate images.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tracing Arpwatch "sent bad addr len" MAC address on My Local Network

For a few months I arpwatch has been reporting that "some device" on my home network is sending out packets that aren't properly formed. Unfortunately, the email that I get sent (via logcheck) only sends me the mac address that's sending the bad packets. I did some checking around the internet and wasn't sure what I should do with that information - do I have a NIC going bad, bad cable, etc? My network is becoming a complicated systems of >40 devices running a variety of operating systems.

I like using the linux utility arpwatch on my network, since combined with linux logcheck, it let's me know via email when any new DHCP device is added to my network. Seems like a great way to monitor if that crazy neighbor is snooping around at my wireless network. Even though they are pretty protected -separate network segment (courtesy of Smoothwall).

Anyway the email that I was getting two or three times a day looked like this:

This email is sent by logcheck. If you no longer wish to receive
such mails, you can either deinstall the logcheck package or modify
its configuration file (/etc/logcheck/logcheck.conf).

System Events
Jan  9 19:18:42 AMD-ubuntu arpwatch: 00:10:0d:17:80:z9 sent bad addr len (hard 0, prot 4)

Armed with only the MAC address of the offending device how do I identify the device name?
Here's are 2 quick steps to help you figure out where (or what) device on your network is causing issues:

1) First I looked at the device that hands out DHCP addresses on my network.
I use Smoothwall 3.0 as my firewall. It also hands out DHCP addresses on my network (your network is likely different). On smoothwall and many other linux DHCP servers the DHCP lease information is stored in a dhcpd.leases file. Although there are a few homebrew mods for smoothwall that show the DHCP lease table contents in the Smoothwall GUI. I have not needed or installed one and there were several to choose from. Seemed like too much trouble for just for this issue. I SSH'd into my smoothwall firewall and read the contents of the DHCPD leases file.
cat /usr/etc/dhcpd.leases
This file contained the MAC address and IP addresses of all the DHCP devices on my network (34 of them -wow). I found the offending MAC address in the list:

lease {
  starts 6 2012/01/14 14:26:23;
  ends 6 2012/01/28 14:26:23;
  binding state active;
  next binding state free;
  hardware ethernet 00:10:0d:17:80:z9;
  uid "\001\000\031\235\027\220\311";

Unfortunately, the device with the MAC address above didn't have a hostname in that file (some devices did) and I didn't recognize anything about the IP address. So what is it?

2) Next linux utility I used was nmap.
Nmap is another great Linux utility to report all kinds of wonderful things about an IP address. Note if you don't execute nmap as root you don't get the same information returned. In my case it was missing the most important piece of information - device name.
sudo nmap
Starting Nmap 5.21 ( ) at 2012-01-14 09:30 CST
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.013s latency).
Not shown: 999 closed ports
111/tcp open  rpcbind
MAC Address: 00:10:0d:17:80:z9 (Vizio)

The key to my puzzle was the last bit of information after the MAC address- Vizio.

Turns out the device on my network the the "bad addr len" issue is a Vizio TV set. We have a Vizio TV (Vizio model M221NV Part 10212090022) with internet capabilities that obviously has some issues -or the wireless router it's connecting to has some issues. Now I'll just need to figure out if it's something I want to fix or ignore. At least I know it's not something critical on my home network.

The great news is that open source once again gives me the small tools to troubleshoot what's going on on my home network.