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Author Topic: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues  (Read 23243 times)

JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2016, 03:36:37 PM »

OK, I've tried a few times to get the HG612 to work as a router but no success.  I'm using the modded firmware from here, with the webgui, and looking at the log it seems that it's successfully syncing to DSL, at the expected speeds and all the figures seem with the expected range, but PPP is failing to establish.  It keeps trying, but never seems able to connect, or stay connected.

It looks like I'll have to revert to using it in bridged mode only and add a dedicated router where the switch is located.  It's a bit of a pain, but will, most probably, give me a better overall solution. 

Thanks again for the advice.
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Dray

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2016, 04:09:18 PM »

Did you try LLC instead of VCMUX ?
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JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2016, 04:52:45 PM »

No, I didn't, but thanks for the suggestion.  Sorry for sounding a bit dim, but what's the difference?

Out of interest, here's a screenshot showing (I think) that the modem has correctly synced to the DSL signal, using the exact settings in the guide linked to earlier:


That seems to show the same sort of "in theory" speeds that I get from the other modem.  In practice, I am lucky to get better than 3 Mb DL, hence the desire to switch to FTTC as soon as I can.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 05:16:58 PM by JSHarris »
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Dray

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2016, 04:56:28 PM »

Sorry, I don't know. I just have a vague recollection that it worked for me.

It looks like max sync on g.dmt, so I don't know why you're not seeing 8mbps downloads
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JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2016, 05:16:13 PM »

Sorry, I don't know. I just have a vague recollection that it worked for me.

It looks like max sync on g.dmt, so I don't know why you're not seeing 8mbps downloads

I love the honest answer - has to be worth a try!

I've always had this issue with speed, ever since the line was installed.  As it's a new self-built house, I made sure that I had the best wire I could get for the bits under my control, as I knew the routing of the copper to the exchange was very indirect (we're about 1.5km from the exchange, but the wire's just over 3km, as measured by the Openreach guys reflection meter).  I offered to dig a long trench and lay ducting and cable across our land, in return for Openreach "gifting" me the underground cable and ducting, plus a couple of cast iron boxes, hockey sticks etc.  They had a condemned pole at the corner of our land, with around four connections coming from it, plus I was having a new electricity pole put in at the diagonally opposite corner, to replace another old pole that had both an electric cable and a phone cable.

I wasn't charged anything by Openreach, but did lay the new 8 pair jelly cable very carefully, well away from nearby power cables and deeper than it needed to be.  I also ran another length of 8 pair underground cable from the wall inside where the NTE5 Mk3 is fitted now to their termination box on the nearest pole.  All this was intended to make sure that "my" bit of copper was as good as I could get it.  For the same reason, I have a Cat 6 termination right next to the NTE5 Mk3 box (I "won" that VDSL ready  box from Openreach because I'd done most of their work for them for the new install!).

The speed goes up and down like a yo-yo, and is very unstable.  If I do a speed test I'll see an initial spike for a few seconds at around 8 Mb, which then drops to near zero, then picks up again to a fairly steady 3 to 4 Mb, often with drop outs to zero.  Up speed is rarely over 300kb, ever.  The impact this has is that streaming services rarely work.  Even streamed audio from iPlayer buffers and stutters, and the same goes for trying to watch YouTube videos - the only way I can watch them is to start them, pause the video, wait ten or fifteen minutes and then play it from the buffer.

My suspicion is that there is some fairly hard shaping going on that restricts the speed, as it seems that the line, long as it is, is capable of around 7 or 8 Mb.  As we have around 20Mb DL at our old house with ADSL (on an unbundled exchange that's 80m from the house), when I'm over here at the new house it seems like the internet has ground to a halt.  We can't get a mobile signal, either, so 3g is out. Having FTTC supplied via BDUK will be a godsend, as the new cabinet is around 700 to 800m away (wire distance), so we should get around 27 to 28Mb DL with luck.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 05:20:01 PM by JSHarris »
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Weaver

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2016, 05:22:14 PM »

The difference between LLC and VC-MUX concerns the format of the data the DSL modems send over the line - see RFC 2684 for details. The two possible data formats are incompatible. In my experience, if you are using PPPoEoA then RFC 2684 VC-MUX never works, for some unknown reason, not if you're talking to BT DSLAMs anyway. In that case you would have to use RFC 2684 / LLC if you need to speak PPPoEoA. If this is what you're doing then that would explain why things don't work, although the reason for the DSLAM’s lack of support for this optional standard is a mystery.

Note: PPPoEoA is sometimes simply described as "PPPoE", which is very ambiguous, as there are two things we could be referring to, the protocol used over the link between router and modem, and the protocol used on the DSL line. The term PPPoEoA refers to the DSL line. The two can be different in this respect - for example the Draytek Vigor modems use PPPoE on the link between the router and modem, but not on the DSL line when speaking ADSL, rather they run PPPoA [RFC2364] over the ADSL link.

I run PPPoEoA / RFC 2684 / LLC on my ADSL2 line using my DLink DSL-320B-Z1 modems, which is the worst choice as far as effiency goes. (Using a Draytek modem which speaks PPPoA / VC-Mux would be the most efficient choice.) Sometimes you don't have a choice though.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 05:30:37 PM by Weaver »
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JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2016, 06:41:51 PM »

Thanks very much for that info, it may well explain why some people have reported the HG612 working as a router and others that it doesn't.  I shall have another play around tomorrow afternoon and see if I can set it to LLC.  I'm certainly using the PPPoE (really PPPoEoA) setting, so if that doesn't work with VC-MUX on some equipment than that could explain things.

I'll also take a look at the settings in the TP Link ADSL modem/router than does work, as that could give an added clue as to the cause of the problem.

In the meantime, I've ordered a dedicated router anyway, so no matter what I can get the system to work as soon as we get the FTTC connection.
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JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2016, 04:09:40 PM »

I tried changing the settings on the HG612 - no joy I'm afraid.  It seems that it just doesn't want to work as a router on my ADSL  connection, for some reason.  I'll try it again as a router when we get FTTC in a few weeks, maybe it just has a problem with the ADSL connection.

One odd thing I did discover today, which has me a bit puzzled, is that during all the changing of wires, plugging various things in and out, I discovered that my gigabit switch is the primary cause of my very  slow ADSL!  I have no idea why, and I only found this out accidentally.  I was getting fed up with re-making connections on the patch panel, so decided to just hook my PC directly to the modem/router cable. 

The PC seemed a bit faster, so I ran a speed test, and got around 7.7Mb DL and 770kb UL, close to what the modem number suggest.  I stuck the switch back in and got 3.3 Mb DL and about 360kb UL.  I'm not sure why this should be, as there were no other active devices connected to the switch.  All the LAN cables were plugged in, but the only two that were active were the incoming signal from the router and the outgoing one to the PC, everything else was powered off, or in some cases disconnected.

I always thought that switches had very little impact on speeds, as long as there wasn't masses of contending traffic, but it seems that in my case the switch slows things right down for some reason.  I shall have to investigate further!
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roseway

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2016, 04:35:34 PM »

I don't recommend that you use the HG612 as a modem/router for VDSL2. I expect it will work, but it doesn't have the processing power to do a good job. In bridge mode with a separate router it's excellent, and that's very much the recommended way to use it.
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  Eric

JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2016, 06:21:10 PM »

Thanks again for that.  To be honest, I'm fed up with faffing around with the thing, and ordered a separate router yesterday, anyway.  I was jsut being stubborn and trying to see if it could work as a modem and router, but shall now give up on that idea!

On the positive side, I thoroughly tested the PoE system today, and with the HG612 wall mounted a few inches above both the NTE5 Mk3 box and the ethernet socket the installation is very neat.  I made up short ethernet/POE and modem cables, so cable lengths are both tidy and short.

For anyone, like me, who's never made up cables like this before, I can say that it's really pretty straightforward and not that expensive.  I bought a multi purpose crimp tool for £4.99, that came complete with ten RJ45 plugs and a cable stripping tool, and spent another £1.99 on ten RJ11 plugs, so with some spare lengths of Cat 6 cable from wiring the house, plus a couple of DC power connectors, I managed to make up some nice and short custom leads that even my wife thinks look tidy.  Not having a power adapter plugged in near the modem helps the tidy look, too, and means there's another free socket in the utility room, where this stuff sits.  It's now all powered from the battery-backed supply in my study, next to the patch panel, so when I finally get it all sorted I'm hopeful that we'll have a robust solution.

I'm still puzzled by the speed degradation from the gigabit switch, though.  They are cheap enough that I think I'll buy another, better, one in case the one I have has an internal fault.
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Weaver

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2016, 09:01:27 AM »

The speed difference with the switch thing is just way, way wrong. It really shouldn't be happening. Is it possible that you have some faulty cables?

One thing that many switches and NICs do is auto MDI/MDI-X cable detection. This is about detecting which type of Ethernet cable wiring you are using, straight-through or ‘crossover’ wiring. This could make a difference with faulty cables.
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JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2016, 09:27:39 AM »

Thanks for the tip about the cables, it's much appreciated.  All the in-house cable is Cat 6, fitted and terminated by me, and tested with a home-made pair of test boxes (just a box that squirts 10 KHz square wave down every pair that I plug in at one end and another box that checks that the 10kHz square wave is coming out the other end, and lights an LED for each pair).  According to that all the fixed wiring is OK, and as a secondary test, as soon as we had ADSL connected I patched the TP Link Modem/router to each house outlet in turn and plugged a laptop in to see if I had a good connection or not.  I'm confident from this that the fixed wiring is all good, but I didn't ever test all the patch leads, I just used the same two leads at each end when I was testing.

The patch cables could be a problem, though.  I bought a batch of ready-made different coloured ones and have never tested them, as such, I just assumed that they would all be OK.  I have a couple of back-to-back RJ45 socket adapters somewhere, so I'll try the cables with the tester (I was a bit short-sighted in only fitting flying leads with plugs on the test boxes).  The test box injector sequences the 10 KHz injection signals to each pair in turn, so that the pairs can be identified at the far end by watching the LED sequence, and if the cables are wired as 568B end to end (which they should be) then that will show as each LED in sequence lights.  If I have any cables that are 568A one end and 568B the other, then that should show as an out of sequence display from the crossed pairs.

I did have a problem with one or two RJ45 plugs on the couple of home made leads I've made for PoE injection, in that they had small plastic burrs at the end of the connector slot.  Almost impossible to see, but enough to hold the socket spring wire terminal away from the contact when plugged in.  Easy to fix by just running a small watch makers screwdriver down the narrow connection slot and flipping the tiny bit of plastic out of the way, but very hard to detect visually, or by probing the contacts with a meter.
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JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2016, 07:10:53 PM »

Just to finish this off, I can confirm that the cables were all fine and the problem was as suggested by roseway; the HG612 just seems to struggle when used as a modem and router.  Reconfiguring the HG612 to be a modem, in bridge mode only, with a separate router doing the PPPoE etc, fixed everything. 

I did find one problem with the HG612, and that was that the tactile switch that operates the reset button turned out to be pretty dodgy.  I took the thing apart and found that the only way to reliably reset the modem was to directly short the switch pins.  It's not a mechanical issue with the plastic strip that actuates the button, but an intermittent fault within the tactile button itself.  Not a problem normally, but it could be a cause for some of the intermittent faults reported with this unit.  It would be easy enough to change the button for a decent one, but given that it's used so infrequently, it's probably not worth the bother.

What did turn out to be an easy modification, while I had the case apart, was to add the PoE connectivity inside the box, with some wire links to the power supply connector.  This makes for a very neat wall mounted installation, as the ethernet cable from the  patch panel, where it connects to the router, carries both the data signals on two pairs, plus the 12V power supply over the two spare pairs.

In my case it means I have a single power supply box (battery backed) that can power all the ethernet connected "small" devices, like the modem, router, switch, WAPs etc.  A useful side effect is that this reduces the overall power consumption slightly, but the main benefits are getting rid of all the plug-in power supply units, plus having a system that still works during a power cut.
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JSHarris

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2016, 06:02:57 PM »

I did some more tweaking today, and can report that seemingly small changes (in fact changes that I wouldn't have thought would have made a jot of difference) can improve things, if, like us, you're lumbered with pretty slow ADSL.

I swapped out the old Netgear wireless router I was using temporarily (it was donkey's years old, dating back from when we had a Virgin cable service at our old house, which itself was truly awful).  A newer D-Link one is now running things and although the speed didn't change at all, the D-Link does authenticate when you power things on a great deal faster than the Netgear; I've no idea why.

The surprising speed increase came from following a tip on the "Mr Telephone" YouTube channel.  His advice to swap out the ADSL RJ11 cable for a cable made up from Cat5e or Cat6, with an RJ45 on one end and an RJ11 on the other seems to have given me the best part of another 1Mb DL.  Before trying it I'd have said it was snake oil, but I can say for sure that making up a custom cable like this does seem to make a difference. 

The new cable is only around 300mm long, and has an RJ45 on the end that plugs into the NTE5 Mk3 (although these take an RJ11 normaly, they actually have an RJ45 under the sliding lid).  It's a bit of a fiddle getting Cat5e cable into an RJ11, but a bit of perseverance paid off.

So, the system now has an NTE5 Mk3 connected directly to the "jelly" underground incoming cable, with a Cat5e socket fitted in the wall immediately above, that runs through to the "computer room" (my study!).  Above that I have a new, unlocked, HG612, running in bridge mode only, as a modem.  That's powered over the ethernet cable, from a 12V battery-backed supply in the "computer room"  The patch cable from the Cat5e socket to the modem is only about 150mm long, so with no power supply wires or plug-in supply it looks nice and neat, and doesn't use up a wall socket.

The D-Link router does the PPPoE authentication and then connects to the home server a wireless access point and a 12 port unmanaged gigabit switch.  The switch handles all the connections to the rest of the house, via a patch panel on the wall.

All the low voltage devices (HG612 modem, D-Link router, 12 port switch and wireless access point (there are two in the house at the moment, to get good enough coverage) are powered by a home-made low voltage supply using PoE.  That power supply is battery-backed and can deliver both 12V and 5V from high efficiency switch mode regulators, and can charge the battery at standby rate.

I've found that just using the spare pairs in the ethernet cable works very well for the low current all these devices use, so I just inject either 5V or 12V into the appropriate lead, using the doubled up brown/white-brown for the negative supply and the doubled up green/white-green for the positive supply (all cables are wired to 586B).  To save modifying units internally for PoE using this non-standard method, I just made special patch leads for them with a power lead and connector spliced in.  It looks neat enough, at least SWMBO thinks so (but I suspect she just like not having wall sockets taken up with plug-in power supplies!).#

I have a date for getting FTTC now, 14th November, and have left the HG612 set in "all" mode, so all I should need to do to switch over is change the username and password in the router, I think.

Plusnet are indicating that we should get around 27Mb DL when we get VDSL, which will be a terrific improvement on the just under 4Mb we're seeing now on ADSL, after several days of mods and tweaking.  It'll be interesting to see how fast the service we actually get will be; I think I've done all I reasonably can to make "my" end optimal.

One final thing, the HG612 and D-Link combination seems very much more stable than either the TG582 modem/router that the PhoneCoop supplied, or the TP-Link 8817 that I was using before.  Both of those used to drop the speed randomly, very often, the HG612 seems to be rock-solid all the time. 

Thanks again for all the advice.

Jeremy

« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 06:05:50 PM by JSHarris »
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Dray

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Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2016, 06:06:25 PM »

Did you disable QOS on the HG612 GUI? That often improves upstream bandwidth.
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