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Topic # 185824 7-Dec-2015 09:36
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I've been having ongoing issues with my Spark ADSL2 connection for quite a few weeks now, and I'm hoping the knowledgable minds here may be able to help me out with a good course of action to move forward with.

The problem is that my ADSL modem (Draytek Vigor 120) will often disconnect, and will take a long time to re-establish WAN connectivity (usually quite a few hours). Restarting the modem does not fix this, and all I can do is simply wait. Here is a sample from the modem's log (as seen via my router's admin UI; I can't seem to find the corresponding log in the modem itself)


Dec  7 06:01:09 pppd[459]: Serial link appears to be disconnected.
Dec  7 06:01:11 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
Dec  7 06:01:15 pppd[459]: Connection terminated.
Dec  7 06:01:15 pppd[459]: Modem hangup
Dec  7 06:01:26 pppd[459]: Connected to 00:50:7f:f2:e5:fe via interface eth0
Dec  7 06:01:26 pppd[459]: Connect: ppp0 <--> eth0
Dec  7 06:01:56 pppd[459]: LCP: timeout sending Config-Requests
Dec  7 06:01:56 pppd[459]: Connection terminated.
Dec  7 06:01:56 pppd[459]: Modem hangup
Dec  7 06:02:06 pppd[459]: Connected to 00:50:7f:f2:e5:fe via interface eth0
Dec  7 06:02:06 pppd[459]: Connect: ppp0 <--> eth0
Dec  7 06:02:36 pppd[459]: LCP: timeout sending Config-Requests
Dec  7 06:02:36 pppd[459]: Connection terminated.
Dec  7 06:02:36 pppd[459]: Modem hangup
Dec  7 06:02:46 pppd[459]: Connected to 00:50:7f:f2:e5:fe via interface eth0
Dec  7 06:02:46 pppd[459]: Connect: ppp0 <--> eth0
Dec  7 06:03:16 pppd[459]: LCP: timeout sending Config-Requests
Dec  7 06:03:16 pppd[459]: Connection terminated.
Dec  7 06:03:16 pppd[459]: Modem hangup  


The problem has changed a little over the last week. When it first occurred, we would experience significant degradation in performance when the connection restored. We usually get around 10-13Mb/s, but this would degrade to between 0.1-1Mb/s. When this happened, it would take a few hours for normal speeds to return.

But now we seem to be getting modem disconnects every night at various times (earliest has been 10:15PM, but often in the early morning hours), with connectivity resuming usually some time between 8AM-9AM. But now when connectivity returns, we have no degradation of speed. So that's progress, I guess. This has happened for the last 5 nights in a row so far. We don't seem to have this happening during the day.

When this first happened I got in contact with Spark, and they sent out some new line filters, which I installed. When this had no noticeable effect, they arranged for a Chorus technician to come out. When he came out, he found there was a problem with a connection of one of the external wires nearby (under a cover next to our neighbours property), and he said he had reseated it. He said he also went down to the Exchange and reset our port. When he left, our connection was up and performing at it's normal speed (it was down prior to him arriving). This was about 4 weeks ago.

As a next step I am thinking of replacing the modem with a Vigor DV130, to see if that helps us at all. Do you think this would be a worthwhile next step to take? And is this a decent enough modem to use? It will be paired with an Asus AC1900 router.

And yes, I know I probably need to get Spark involved again. But I'm wondering if it could be as simple as a modem that has served its time, and now needs to be retired. I actually tried call them that during our morning outage on Friday, but had to wait for a callback. When this happened 2 hours after my initial call, the automated system put me on hold again, and unfortunately I had to give up after a few minutes of this due to work commitments. And by the time I got the automated callback, normal transmission had resumed, so I was a little less motivated to stay on the line. 

Here are the connection stats from my modem from when it is performing normally (12 Mb/s)

   

And here are the connection stats from my modem after an earlier disconnect, but with connection restored with vastly degraded performance (1 Mb/s)  

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  Reply # 1441801 7-Dec-2015 09:36
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Hello... Our robot found some keywords in your post, so here is an automated reply with some important things to note regarding broadband speeds.

 



 

If you are posting regarding DSL speeds please check that

 



 

- you have reset your modem and router

 


 

- your PC (or other PCs in your LAN) is not downloading large files when you are testing

 

- you are not being throttled by your ISP due to going over the monthly cap

 


 

- your tests are always done on an ethernet connection to the router - do not use wireless for testing

 


 

- you read this topic and follow the instructions there.

 



 

Make sure you provide information for other users to help you. If you have not already done it, please EDIT your post and add this now:

 



 

- Your ISP and plan

 


 

- Type of connection (ADSL, ADSL2, VDSL)

 


 

- Your modem DSL stats (do not worry about posting Speedtest, we need sync rate, attenuation and noise margin)

 


 

- Your general location (or street)

 


 

- If you are rural or urban

 


 

- If you know your connection is to an exchange, cabinet or conklin

 


 

- If your connection is to a ULL or wholesale service

 


 

- If you have done an isolation test as per the link above

 



 

Most of the problems with speed are likely to be related to internal wiring issues. Read this discussion to find out more about this. Your ISP is not intentionally slowing you down today (unless you are on a managed plan). Also if this is the school holidays it's likely you will notice slower than usual speed due to more users online.

 



 

A master splitter is required for VDSL2 and in most cases will improve speeds on DSL connections. Regular disconnections can be a monitored alarm or a set top box trying to connect. If there's an alarm connected to your line even if you don't have an alarm contract it may still try to connect so it's worth checking.

 



 

I recommend you read these two blog posts:

 



 

- Is your premises phone wiring impacting your broadband performance? (very technical)

 


 

- Are you receiving a substandard ULL ADSL2+ connection from your ISP?




I am the Geekzone Robot and I am here to help. I am from the Internet. I do not interact. Do not expect other replies from me.



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  Reply # 1441824 7-Dec-2015 09:53
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Why no IP and GW IP? Are you operating in PPPoE passthrough mode?

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1441825 7-Dec-2015 09:54
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yitz: Why no IP and GW IP? Are you operating in PPPoE passthrough mode?


Yes

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  Reply # 1441863 7-Dec-2015 10:40
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If you haven't already done so, I would try an isolation test i.e. unplugging all other phones, fax machines, Sky boxes etc. connected to the line.

I would also give the DV130 a try.



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  Reply # 1441878 7-Dec-2015 11:00
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yitz: If you haven't already done so, I would try an isolation test i.e. unplugging all other phones, fax machines, Sky boxes etc. connected to the line.


Not done an isolation test yet, but that makes sense. We only have two phone lines (plus the one that Sky is plugged into). The ADSL connection can only be obtained via one of those. Does this mean that we probably have a master filter installed? I tried to ask the Spark rep about this, and he said:-


Regarding the master splitter - the best way to be sure of this is to plug into another jackpoint. If you find that only the one jackpoint in the house will work for broadband, then you likely have a splitter installed! If that's the case, you won't need the individual filters; but if the issue continued in that scenario (i.e. with the lower speeds or drops) then the splitter itself could be at fault (which we'd get a tech out to sort)


So perhaps I should be more onto getting them to send someone around again. Perhaps I do have a master filter, but it's feeling a bit poorly.

I would also give the DV130 a try.


Yeah, that still seems like a reasonable course of action to me. But it may also be $200 I don't need to spend, or which may not necessarily fix the issue. That's why I thought I'd check here first before ordering.

Slightly related: Based on the modem sync stats I posted above, does it look like I may be in a position to switch to VDSL? Its something I'm considering doing mid next year (we need to move out of our house shortly for a few months). But it's my understanding that VDSL can be less forgiving if you have a less than ideal connection to the Exchange.

EDIT: OK, we may have two phone lines, but only one is in use. Where I thought the other one was being used, we have a cordless handset not plugged into it. That means I only need to unplug the Sky from the phone line to complete that isolation test. :-)

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  Reply # 1441945 7-Dec-2015 12:23
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Do you have access to another modem/router (like the one that maybe came with your sign up to Telecom/Spark?) that you can put in there to rule out the Draytek playing up?

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  Reply # 1441948 7-Dec-2015 12:33
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dclegg: [snip]
Regarding the master splitter - the best way to be sure of this is to plug into another jackpoint. If you find that only the one jackpoint in the house will work for broadband, then you likely have a splitter installed! If that's the case, you won't need the individual filters; but if the issue continued in that scenario (i.e. with the lower speeds or drops) then the splitter itself could be at fault (which we'd get a tech out to sort)

So perhaps I should be more onto getting them to send someone around again. Perhaps I do have a master filter, but it's feeling a bit poorly.


If the modem only works in one outlet, then you almost certainly have a master splitter - a very good thing.

The widely varying downstream sync rate suggests a physical line issue - while this is frequently a Chorus thing, it's not unheard of for a modem to be faulty, or even the master splitter to have failed (uncommon, but possible).

Next step I would suggest is another modem - I wouldn't rush out and buy a new one just for testing though - where abouts are you, someone may be able to lend you one for a few days for testing...



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  Reply # 1441963 7-Dec-2015 12:49
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trig42: Do you have access to another modem/router (like the one that maybe came with your sign up to Telecom/Spark?) that you can put in there to rule out the Draytek playing up?


Yeah, that thought did cross my mind. I've got an old Netgear modem/router which I've been considering using to test this. It's currently being used elsewhere as a 4 port switch, but I can probably repurpose the Airport Extreme to do that instead (my place is where old tech comes to die, much to my wife's dismay :-)).




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  Reply # 1441971 7-Dec-2015 12:54
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RunningMan:
The widely varying downstream sync rate suggests a physical line issue - while this is frequently a Chorus thing, it's not unheard of for a modem to be faulty, or even the master splitter to have failed (uncommon, but possible).


Yeah, my concern is that it may be an external issue. But I'm hoping it's an internal one, and therefore will be easier to resolve.

I think I need to get off my butt and rejig my current technology stack, so I can reuse my old modem/router. Provided I can configure it to only serve as the ADSL modem; it was replaced because it couldn't handle the wifi load we were asking of it.

That's why I was pondering just upgrading the Draytek we currently use. Even if it wasn't the cause, we'd have a modem that would be ready for a planned move to VDSL next year (Fibre is still around 3 years away according to the latest Chorus estimates).



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  Reply # 1442547 8-Dec-2015 11:05
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After sacrificing a virgin, two goats, and a fluffy pink teddy bear (don't ask), I've finally got my old NetGear DGN3500 acting as my ADSL modem for now. Lets see if we get our nightly outage (which lasted for around 11 hours this time).

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  Reply # 1442791 8-Dec-2015 14:35
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We wait with baited breath. Oh the tension!!

Anyway, good luck.



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  Reply # 1442797 8-Dec-2015 14:40
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linw: We wait with baited breath. Oh the tension!!

Anyway, good luck.


Thanks.

I also posted on a community FB page. There seems to be a few other Spark customers in my region that started experiencing nightly outages around the same time mine started. So if the modem disconnects overnight, I'll escalate with Spark. If it doesn't, I'll purchase the new Draytek.



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  Reply # 1443083 8-Dec-2015 20:27
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Had my first modem disconnect with my new setup. However, unlike the overnight outages, this fits my earlier symptoms. Connectivity resumed after a few minutes, but at a vastly degraded rate. Here are the modem stats after this outage:-



Am I right in interpreting this to be probably more likely caused by issues upstream from my modem?

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  Reply # 1443089 8-Dec-2015 20:32
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dclegg: 

Am I right in interpreting this to be probably more likely caused by issues upstream from my modem?


As long as you've ruled out your house internal wiring, almost 100% certain.



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  Reply # 1443095 8-Dec-2015 20:39
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RunningMan:

As long as you've ruled out your house internal wiring, almost 100% certain.


I guess that's where it gets tricky. How exactly do I do that? Or is that something that only a Chorus tech can do?

The house is approximately 13 years old, so I wouldn't have thought the wiring would be that dodgy. It also only has ADSL available at one of its phone inputs, which I've been told is a reasonably good sign I probably have a Master Splitter installed. But once again, these are all assumptions and guesses.

<sigh> I guess I have to get onto Spark tomorrow. 

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