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301 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 94112 6-Dec-2011 11:02
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Hey guys,

So I've had a long-standing issue since moving into the house my wife and I purchased in March. Basically, we've had no end of troubles with disconnections (And for a short while, packet loss).
To give you an example, between 5PM and 10:30PM the internet will usually disconnect for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. It reconnects very very briefly during that time, usually multiple times, but drops almost instantly.

We've had our home fully rewired with CAT6 from the demarc to a single port in the patch-panel. From there it goes straight into a single splitter (Because of the disconnections I can't use VoIP) and then into the router.

We were with a smaller ISP for a while who was wholesaling Odyssey, then we switched right at the time we were about to be cabinetized (We're 400m from it) to Slingshot. Immediately there was issues with my Draytek DV120, which apparently is due to an incompatibility with the ikanos line cards in the DSLAM. Swapping to my trusty old AM300 (I run in Halfbridge, or PPPoA -> PPPoE Passthru) and all packet loss disappeared. However the disconnections continued.

I've tried 6 different routers now I believe, and the home wiring has been redone (Just the one single cable from the demarc to the router) and the issue still persists.

We got the TDR involved, but they gave up, they didn't know half of the stuff I was talking about as soon as I mention anything basically other than "billing". We've had a grand whopping total of 29 Chorus visits so far, and still no dice.

Now, Slingshot are trying to fob me off again, but I fail to see what swapping to another ISP will do, presuming they're going to be using the same Telecom kit in the cabinet. I'm presuming it's not Slingshot coz it also happened with my old ISP.

Initially I was only syncing at 9mbps when they popped me on the cabinet. So they changed me to a long-range profile and turned off interleaving, now I get 11mbps. I shouldn't have to be on a long-range profile, I'm 400m away... The disconnections would occur up to 50x a day for a while, but now they've pissed around with things, and so it sometimes happens 20x a day, others it only happens 3-4x, so they're saying that falls within the "acceptable limit of 10x a day".

If anybody has any ideas or suggestions, I'm more than happy to try them, or post more information, or whatever... I'd just like my internet to work without daily disconnections :-( A speed increase would be nice, I know I ought to be getting around 20mbps due to my distance, but I just want a solid connection first...

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  Reply # 554378 6-Dec-2011 11:13
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Can you post your line stats including attenuation?

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  Reply # 554380 6-Dec-2011 11:20
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For the Draytek Vigor 120 refer to comments here regarding the power adapater and firmware:
http://nicegear.co.nz/routers/draytek-vigor-120-adsl2-modemrouter-with-bridge/

Basically check that the power adapater is 9V 1A rather than 500mA, also updated firmware fixes the issues with the newer Telecom linecards.

Draytek make 10 versions of the firmware optimized for different vendors ISAM's/linecards but the latest standard one seems fine.
http://www.draytek.com.au/downloads.php?type=Vigor120 


For your DSL issues, I would get an experienced independent trademan to take a look at the wiring at your place, in case Chorus have missed something and for sure rule out our housing wiring as the issue. 

Where are you located, there are some very knowledgeable GZ members.. eg For Wellington: Cyril7 comes to mind, for Auckland: Coffeebaron 

I would also look at power issues, have you tried a basic APC or Eaton UPS to power the modem?


Once you've ruled out the internal house wiring, it's really the ISP's job to take it to the next level with Chorus... eg: changing the line card you are terminated on, replacing the phone line from the street to your house, repairing the phone line from the street to the cabinet.

ISP's like Snap, Telecom or Xnet may provide better customer service in this area than Slingshot or your previous ISP.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 554393 6-Dec-2011 11:48
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Awesome, thanks guys.

Yeah basically my attenuation is higher than it *ought* to be, around 14 I believe? SNR is excellent. I'll try and remote home and take a screenshot, but the firewall here at work is pretty restrictive.

I tried every single firmware on the Draytek site (Do you have any idea how long that takes! :p ) but that was possibly before the latest "update" which is labelled 13th August. I might have been *just* before it... I'll give that a try with the latest tonight, just-in-case, but I'm not *too* worried about the Draytek for now because I've got the AM300 instead (As well as several others) which does Halfbridging.

I had thought the same thing about the power to the router, so I got an APC UPS from PBTech and all my switching equipment now runs off it. It made no difference unfortunately.

I've had around a dozen Chorus techs (No exaggeration either) inspect my wiring, as well as having it redone by an independent electrician shortly after we moved in, in order to rule out any issues. I've got two friends who are electricians, the second was *amazed* by how tidy a job the first one did. Chorus have ripped the wires out of the demarc / patch panel a few times to test things since, so I'm presuming they've rewired it correctly (It hasn't made any difference either way) when they're done.

I'm in Te Atatu Peninsula in Auckland :)

Unfortunately the email from the TDR a month ago said "We don't know what to do, so we're giving you an escape clause where you can go running and not pay anything". Todays email from Slingshot says:
Based on the above report, Slingshot sees 3 next steps available to you:
1.Chorus can install a dedicated ADSL splitter and jack point at your premises which would be at a cost of $175, this should eliminate any issues caused by internal wiring however even if installed and symptoms persist Slingshot would not enter into further troubleshooting or diagnosis.
2.You can accept the current level of performance and Slingshot will close this matter with no further investigation.
3.You can choose to go to another broadband provider and we will not require you to pay the outstanding amount on your Slingshot account or hold you to any minimum contract term.

However 1) isnt relevant coz I've only got the one jackpoint and a proper filter on it already
2) Isn't acceptable, the internet isn't usable in the evenings, so we just queue up downloads
3) Unsure if this will actually accomplish anything, considering it's most probably a Chorus / Telecom issue, not an ISP issue, and I'll just end up on the same wire / cabinet etc.

Appreciate the replies, thanks again, I'll get the DSL line stats shortly.

Cheers 

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  Reply # 554395 6-Dec-2011 11:53
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If you're on Slingshot LLU hardware then changing ISP may work around the issue. Unfortunately I don't know an easy way to tell whether you're running on Slingshot or Telecom Wholesale.

I've heard of issues where your connection "skips" the cabinet (midspan injection) but I don't know enough about it to say whether or not that's happening in your case. Do you know how far from the exchange (not cabinet) you are?



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  Reply # 554396 6-Dec-2011 11:56
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Cabinet is at 120 Matipo Road in Te Atatu. This cabinet *only* services Taioma and Taipari, nothing else. I'm < 400m from the cabinet.

Asked Chorus and Slingshot, they've both said that I'm on Telecom Wholesale, though they're not "100% confirming or denying it", it's kind of "off the record", dunno why...

I was syncing around 1.1mbps prior, the Te Atatu Exchange is 410 Old Te Atatu Road. Previously I was living on Noall Street and getting around 4.5mbps, even though the distance travelled to the exchange is still roughly the same (Though obviously the cable doesn't run directly).

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  Reply # 554399 6-Dec-2011 12:00
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ChillingSilence: 

3.You can choose to go to another broadband provider and we will not require you to pay the outstanding amount on your Slingshot account or hold you to any minimum contract term.

...

3) Unsure if this will actually accomplish anything, considering it's most probably a Chorus / Telecom issue, not an ISP issue, and I'll just end up on the same wire / cabinet etc.



Maybe other ISP reps can comment but you have a relationship with the ISP who have a relationship with Telecom Wholesale / Chorus.

I think the ISP needs to take this to the next level with Chorus, look at replacing the external physical phone line from street to house etc.

If Slingshot won't push for this I would find another ISP who will.



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  Reply # 554401 6-Dec-2011 12:13
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OK thanks for that. I wasn't sure about the process for getting that kind of thing done, or even IF they do it (Or do they kind of just say "Tough luck, you're on old cable"). Chorus are largely unwilling to do things because it's not *every* day that it disconnects more than 10x, and Slingshot are just dragging their heels because they can. I signed up with Slingshot *right* before everybody else started announcing larger plans (I go through ~100GB a month), so an alternative could be an idea, though I'd like to stick it out with Slingshot I guess if I'm within my rights to be requesting that sort of thing with full line replacement. Just don't want to have to start from scratch with another ISP...

Managed to RDP home from my Cellphone and get a screeny of my line-rates:
 

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  Reply # 554418 6-Dec-2011 12:49
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Ummmm, I have often found that when you get good attenuation (12dB is good approx 0.9km) but very high noise margin (backing up the low attenuation) but poor sync rate its often a result of a line tap. Is it possible that somewhere in the street distribution there is a line stub tap thats causing this.

If your modem supports DMT tools then a line tap issue will be quite plain, worth a try. If a tap exisits I would have thought one of the 29odd Chorus techs would have noticed that, so I may be quite wrong.

Cyril

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  Reply # 554429 6-Dec-2011 12:59

Can't you just disable the home network, and initially set it up, so you have just got a single phone line and dsl connection point/modem with no connection to the netwrk, just to test that it isn't a problem with the ISP. That will then tell you if it is a problem with your home network or the ISP. When you are involving your home network, the ISP is then dealing with a foreign environment which they don't have any control over.

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  Reply # 554434 6-Dec-2011 13:04
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Hi robby, I think from whats being described that has been acheived, ie the inbound line termiates on a single jack on the patch panel, a filter is connected to that to pull off a voice line and tests have been done with that bypassed, so in my view thats as clean as it needs to be.

Cheers
Cyril



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  Reply # 554443 6-Dec-2011 13:30
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Nailed it in one Cyril! That's my exact setup. I've only got a landline coz its so unreliable otherwise I'd go naked (Wife still needs to call her family on occasion), but regardless I've still tested with and without the filter. Nobody knows our home number so couldn't have called it.

I've done *so* many isolation tests. Even hooked the router direct into the demarc for 48 hours. Issue still persists.

Unfortunately I've never heard of a line tap before and I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for, but I'm happy to try anything.. I've got no idea if the DV120 or AM300 support DMT Tools, I've found some website I presume is what we're talking about but it's German? http://dmt.mhilfe.de/ ? 

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  Reply # 554454 6-Dec-2011 13:57
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ChillingSilence:

Unfortunately I've never heard of a line tap before and I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for




If I've got this right...

In my example, pair 156 will appear on both Frame two and Frame three.  What you need is a pair that only appears on frame 3.  So you need a pair from 176 on that only appears on frame 3.

You also need to consider that your pair is joined at ~8 points along the way from the exchange to your house.  So Chorus need to test everyone of those legs properly to ensure that there isn't a fault there.

This may mean just repatching your line from frame to frame of doing a full end to end visual inspection.

This is my basic understanding anyway and I'm not a line guy so let's hear some other views.






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  Reply # 554457 6-Dec-2011 14:03
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Hi, Dons example is a little over complicated, but to put it simply the line from the dslam port out to your place does not stop at your place but continues on up the road to some unknown distance, this is normally not a continuation to frames but pillars. Ideally (and normally) the line stops at your pillar and connects to your leadin, sometimes either by accident or in the old days for convenience the line may also continue on up the road to remain accessible at further pillars. This practice is no longer acceptable as it stuffs DSL.

Again, my proposition that this line tap exists is simply thinking aloud, it may be something totally unrelated, as I say if so many techs have looked at it and had access to the street feeders then one would have assumed if a line tap existed and visible they would have spent some effort to remove it.

Cyril



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  Reply # 554479 6-Dec-2011 14:44
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It's worth investigating, and I'm happy to go down that route if it's something that I can detect or even physically look for myself. It took them about 18 visits before any of them even noticed that there was an issue with an open circuit, and the consolidation unit at the end of the driveway had been hit by a car and knocked over and wiring was exposed etc... That was *after* I rang Telecom Line Faults myself (This was prior to switching to Slingshot) and got them to do tests on my *line*, ignoring everything DSL related, and they were able to see "Oh you've got an issue here, we'll send a line tech out", and so presuming because of the different things they put on the fault ticket, the tech that came out was looking for different things and so actually found a fault. Wow that was a long-winded sentence.

So yeah, if you're happy to give me a bit of a shove in the right direction, I would be most grateful and more than happy to look in to that. As it stands right now I don't think Slingshot are going to do anything for the time being. I basically replied to them this morning (Prior to starting this thread) and said I wasn't happy with them just giving up, and listed a few more things that could be done. Might as well do all I can from my side, coz it takes a truckload longer to get Slingshot / Telecom to do anything ;)



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 554480 6-Dec-2011 14:45
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And thanks Don for that example, I *think* that clears things up :)

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