[sf-lug] Problems with a Comcast modem; no IP address given

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Sun Jun 1 07:58:12 PDT 2008


With the telephone support of two of the more able members of this LUG, I
spent about 8 hours yesterday attempting to hook up a low-income family with
a Hardy machine on Comcast service.  The problem is the Arris TM502G cable
modem.  The modem will not hand out an IP address.  I am going to try this
workaround today, but I am not optimistic about it working:


The Hardy install is able to see the Arris modem over Firefox and by pinging  When I enter that number into Firefox, Firefox displays the
Arris status page (although there are no pages for changing settings on the
modem, which might be a "feature" [bug] of the modem that caused Comcast to
choose that modem, since it is not easy to modify by the end user.  The
status page reveals details as to when the modem has been rebooted, etc., so
it is clear that this information is live and real, and not generic.  Also I
am able to ping the modem at  Further, Comcast says that they
are able to see the modem, and Comcast reps have been able to reboot the
modem remotely upon my request.

We tried various methods to get an IP address, including dhclient, hard
rebooting the modem, remote rebooting the modem, etc.

So it is clear that

1)  Hardy can see the modem, hence the ethernet cable is good, and the NIC
is good.  This box was also successfully updated via the Hardy repositories
when it was being configured, and so the NIC is good.

2)  The Coax cable is known good, since the Comcast reps were able to reboot
the machine remotely.

What I am requesting:

1)  Does anyone here have an old router that they would be willing to give
to this family?  The father has said that he would like to have another box
for his son to beat on, as his 12 year-old son likes computers and is
considering a career in computers.  How nice it would be to expose this kid
to Linux, rather than have the family dependent on Windows.  So we will need
to provide this family with a hub or switch or router anyway, and if someone
has a router, that might help

2)  Has anyone succeeded in getting an Arris TM502G modem working with Hardy
or Gutsy or any other Linux distro?

3)  If someone has some long cat 5 ethernet cable to donate that would be a

thx for considering my request.

Christian Einfeldt,
Producer, The Digital Tipping Point
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