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Treadmill interferes with DSL modem

by KahawaSukari / March 7, 2010 7:20 AM PST

I recently discovered that it has been my treadmill that has been causing my modem to go bezerk and lose internet connection. Same treadmill was causing static on phone. Bypassing ground (third prong) connection on t'mill fixed that, but DSL interference continues.
Any ideas on how to fix. In UK someone suggests a Tacima Line Conditioner/Filter. What about a USA 110/120 v product?

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Are these devices on the same circuit?
by Steven Haninger / March 7, 2010 8:31 AM PST

I have to think the treadmill motor/speed control might be kicking heavy amounts of induction current or back EMF into your local AC lines. It might help to move something to an outlet that's on a different xformer phase but can't say for sure. If you can't do that, I'd think the simplest solution might be a conditioner such as is commonly sold for some AV applications. APC (American Power Conversion) makes such and Tripplite is another common name in the US that offers a variety of power stabilization products. I'm also thinking it wasn't good to defeat the ground on the treadmill. You could possibly add a couple of filter capacitors. I can't come up with proper values but you'd need one from both the hot and neutral sides going to ground. A google search for controlling back EMF and DC motor induction for ideas more expert than mine.

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by KahawaSukari / March 7, 2010 10:54 PM PST

I will try powering one of the pieces via extension cord from the other side of the house, or the porch. Those should be different circuits. Still, I think all the power is common and if the interference is transmitted through the lines, it will be throughout. I'll check. I don't know beans about capacitors and such!

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If treadmill is the only problem, then...
by ahtoi / March 8, 2010 3:17 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks

I would think there is an easy fix. Don't exercise and surf the net at the same time, hehe. Just want to say that the treadmill may not be the ONLY causes. DSL..I been there.

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That's a tough problem
by Steven Haninger / March 8, 2010 6:14 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks

You'd need an O-scope and line monitor to see the effects of the treadmill on your AC and work out a solution. As for just moving to another outlet, you may have to try more than one because you actually have two taps from the transformer coming into your house and you'd have to try the other tap. The neutral would be common to both so you can't do much with that. Filter capacitors, certain types of diodes, etc. can shunt or block transients but that's not for most do-it-your-selfers. Good luck.

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by KahawaSukari / March 8, 2010 7:21 AM PST
In reply to: That's a tough problem

The treadmill maker is going to send me an AC line noise filter, free of charge, shipping paid. 'Sounds to me like they know that there is a problem, although, they said that their equipment complies with this and that. It should prevent interference with AM radio (guess I can't workout and listen to radio in the evenings). We'll see if it solves the DSL problem. Should have the filter in about a week.

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(NT) Sounds like a plan. Thanks for letting us know
by Steven Haninger / March 8, 2010 8:31 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks
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Filtration problem
by CatboatMonte / December 29, 2012 6:18 AM PST

I have the same problem: Schwinn treadmill and AT&T Netgear B90 DSL modem. When the treadmill runs, access to the Internet stops. Turn off the treadmill, and connectivity resumes. It is plain that the treadmill causes interference.

Using an extension cord, I plugged the treadmill into an outlet 40 feet away (different circuit). This worked, but I don't want to use an extension cord nor move the treadmill.

Finally, my wife tried the DSL filter dongle from our original (now broken) 2WIRE modem. This is the part that connects between the DSL modem and the wall phone jack. It worked. Apparently, the Pace American filters supplied with the AT&T Netgear modems are simply junk.


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Treadmill Disconnecting DSL, Additional Symptoms
by rwadecole / September 28, 2013 8:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Filtration problem

Hi Folks,
I also have this very strange problem where a treadmill on the opposite side of the house, about 60 feet away in another room, knocks out my Netgear N300 ADSL2+ DSL (only temporarily) when the treadmill motor/belt is turned on. Wifi connections from devices to the router stay connected. It's the actual DSL that is disrupted, because the internet light turns red. After the treadmill runs for about a minute, the internet light turns green again and connectivity is restored.

Here is what I have done to try and fix the problem:
1. Wrapped the power cords to the modem-router and the treadmill with RF chokes.
2. Modem-router is on a battery backup unit.
3. Wired a new totally separate, isolated CAT5 connection from the telco box outside the house, around the house to my office.
4. I even tried unplugging the modem/router from the wall so it was running purely from the battery backup unit.

But starting the treadmill still temporarily knocked out the DSL!

I can't think of what else to try! All I can imagine now, is that the treadmill is leaking some kind of radiation into the environment when it starts up which gets into the modem circuitry... but as I mentioned, they are at least 60 feet apart!

Another odd symptom is that if you start the treadmill, run for a while, turn it completely off, and then turn it back on while it is "warmed up", it doesn't knock out DSL.

Any ideas? Any similar observations?


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Just an idea,
by Oldartq / September 29, 2013 6:19 AM PDT

The treadmill start up could cause excessive noise or...maybe big line voltage drop. line voltage regulator probably isn't cheap (I am guessing). I gave up my DSL when I can't find out why the thing turns off between 8-11 pm. I was lucky to have cable service in my area.

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Thanks for the idea...
by rwadecole / September 29, 2013 8:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Just an idea,

All ideas are appreciated! The problem isn't line voltage drop though, because during some of my experiments I was running the dsl router purely from the battery backup unit, with the unit unplugged from the wall. Interestingly, I read another thread about putting an AM radio tuned to 1400Mhz near the suspected source of the interference, and indeed, there was a noticeable change in the static feedback at the moment the treadmill started.

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Just an idea.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 29, 2013 8:49 AM PDT

Just in case it is line interference, if you have more than a few calls to their support ask them to try what the industry calls a "homerun" to the DSL model. My neighbor after months of trouble had a tech that was a little better and that's what they did.

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RE Just an idea...
by rwadecole / September 29, 2013 10:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Just an idea.

Thanks Mr. Proffitt... that's exactly what I did -- I ran a new dedicated line straight from the NID to my DSL jack. To my understanding, that's the definition of a Home Run in the context of DSL. Unfortunately, that didn't help. But thanks anyway!

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That's easy to tell if you got it right.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 29, 2013 3:47 PM PDT
In reply to: RE Just an idea...

With the homerun you don't need any DSL filters.

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Treadmill/dsl problem fixed
by chewoper / September 4, 2015 2:47 PM PDT

I found I had the same problem with my treadmill interfering with my dsl but I plugged my treadmill into another plug in that was on another breaker and everything is working fine now.

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