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Author Topic: Modem suggestions for stats and logs  (Read 414 times)

kingstonweary

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Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« on: February 27, 2019, 11:17:40 PM »

I have an ECI B-FOCuS V-2FUb/r Rev.B VDSL modem that was supplied by BT in Dec 2014.

From what I can tell, it's connected to an ECI cabinet (apparently https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm?xid=403679&postcodeloc=20041&cabinet=P31, 1,051m from my postcode - Broadband availability screenshot attached)

I'm quite content with the speed and stability, but I would like to get stats and logs about what it's up to.

I've been reading around this site (for a while), which has answered a lot of questions, but I have a couple still unanswered, especially around "up to date" information as a lot of the pages here are a few years old and it's clear there are ongoing developments so the situation is changing all the time. Feel free to point me at existing pages if the answer is there, I just haven't found it yet.

I'd be quite happy to open up the ECI case, solder up a serial interface, flash new firmware etc. I'd just rather not do it on the only VDSL modem I own! So, as they can be picked up relatively cheaply, I was going to buy another one.

But then I wondered if a Huawei HG612 might be better? (easier to "open up"?, more "off the shelf" software for it - but then I'm quite happy to roll my own linux based monitoring/recording system too).

It sounds as though I don't need to worry about matching the modem to the cabinet (https://kitz.co.uk/routers/openreach-modems.htm) any more?

But, can I just swap modems over willy-nilly? Does the other end care what modem is attached? Does it screw up the DLM? Do I need to do anything in particular when swaping between the modems?

But then, is there a better alternative these days? Other recent topics here say that the ZyXEL VMG1312-B10A or VMG8324-B10A are the "best" devices these days.

I'd be quite content to stick with a separate modem and router (Currently use an Asus RT-AC56U with Merlin firmware). These ZyXEL are significantly more expensive than a used ECI or Huawei modem. Are they worth it?

Starting with a clean sheet, what's going to be easiest/most capable hardware/software combination to go for? Alternatively, if inexpensive, used modems need a bit of know-how to get the best out of them, any pointers would be gratefully received  :)

Thanks!  ;)
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vultura

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2019, 12:04:12 AM »

HG612 are reasonably easy to pickup without spending too much cash and can be reflashed with firmware to get access to telnet and then monitored with HG612_stats app.

The Zyxel units can be monitored with DSLstats and seem to give a little more info than the HG612, that is my personal experience anyway.  Might just be I didn't have HG612_stats setup perfectly.

Zyxel VMG8924-B10A although a router can be configured quite simply to act as a modem, but will still give the stats if you need them and your Asus could be left as is.  I have seen them sell on eBay for around 30.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ZyXEL-VMG8924-B10A-Dual-Band-Wireless-AC-N-VDSL2-VoIP-Combo-Router/163563263832?hash=item2615215758

No the other end doesn't care what is connected, just be aware that if you encounter issues Plusnet will want you to install a Plusnet Hub One for testing purposes and they can detect if it isn't.

Many here would advise you to drop the connection from Asus control panel before swapping over and perhaps leave it for 30 mins before powering up again.  Some also avoid dropping the connection more than once per day to avoid DLM thinking there is an issue and trying to stabilise the line by dropping speed.
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burakkucat

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2019, 01:00:00 AM »

HG612 are reasonably easy to pickup without spending too much cash and can be reflashed with firmware to get access to telnet and then monitored with HG612_stats app.

Or DSLstats.  :)
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kingstonweary

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2019, 08:23:23 AM »

Thanks. In that case I'll investigate the ZyXEL devices more. I hadn't got past a quick Google that had thrown up prices of 100+ new and 60-70+ used.

Yes, I'd hang onto the supplied ECI modem for troubleshooting, when necessary (which was another reason I'm wary of flashing that one).

Thanks for the hints about disconnecting/swapping/dropping the connection.

I'm more inclined towards DSLstats, rather than HG612_stats, as I'd prefer to run something long term for logging on one of the 24/7 Linux boxes, rather than Windows (although realise I can probably have both?).
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ktz392837

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 08:26:18 AM »

I did just what you were thinking years ago and bought a 2nd ECI modem and opened it to get stats. I also got a 612 and a B10A.  I would think the ECI and 612 would be much cheaper now also not sure on the correct B10A though.

I posted a comparison between all three years ago.  As I have said before after using the B10A since you would have to pry my VMG8324 B10A from me as it is great for me on my ECI cabinet line.

Every line is different and even though the consensus is the Zyxel 8324 B10A type devices are usually the best for  speed & line stability some users have not found this for their specific lines.

I have NEVER had Plusnet tell me to put a Plusnet modem on the line when reporting a fault so unless things have changed recently not sure on this.

Edit1: for the 612 and B10A I would use dslstats for the ECI modem I only used the web interface/telnet directly

Edit2: https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php?topic=19220.0
The Zyxel was slower but stability of the line (less errors and chance of being banded) and can use dslstats far outweighs the slight loss of sync speed
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 08:40:11 AM by ktz392837 »
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kingstonweary

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 08:50:27 AM »

Thanks, that's a really useful comparison.

I've just downloaded some ZxYEL docs - WOW  :o User guides of 300+/400+ pages! ... and firmware updates less than 2 months old! They've gotta be worth buying  :)
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ktz392837

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2019, 09:14:05 AM »

I decided to give the 8324 B10A a try from suggestions on this forum.  I have never read the manual it just works great for me your mileage may vary.

Do not expect miracles though.  For example if you get another croastalker on your line it is not going to get your speed back.
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tubaman

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2019, 09:34:42 AM »

I'll vouch for a Zyxel unit too. I use a VMG8924-B10A and always come back to that despite having tried very many others. It's stable, has lots on config options and just works really - don't know what else to say.

As a side note you may wish to check your cabinet location again as if you are getting nearly 80/20 speeds then your cabinet must be a lot closer than 1051m away.
 :)
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BT FTTC 80/20 Huawei Cab - Zyxel VMG8924-B10A

kingstonweary

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2019, 10:06:31 AM »

Yea, I was doubtful about that too. Curiously, P3 (https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm?xid=403679&postcodeloc=20041&cabinet=P3) is also listed as being 1051m from SO15 5WA. I can believe P31 is 1Km away, but P3 is much closer than that. I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually connected to P3, despite what the BT broadband checker says.
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j0hn

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2019, 11:39:03 AM »

The 1051m is the estimated distance from your property to the exchange.
Codelook only lists distance to the exchange which is pretty meaningless for FTTC.
Cabinet locations are also estimated and often incorrect.

You're best using something like Google Maps to estimate your distance from property to cabinet.

Some ISP's will be happy to run a GEA test on your line which gives an estimated line length.
Plusnet are very accommodating with running GEA tests.
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kingstonweary

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2019, 12:27:22 PM »

Aha, that would explain it! Just goes to show how poor my estimation of distance is!

Straight line distance on Google maps to P31 is 280m and to P3 is 130m. (Distance to the exchange is 1070m!)
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vultura

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Re: Modem suggestions for stats and logs
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2019, 01:12:43 PM »

I have NEVER had Plusnet tell me to put a Plusnet modem on the line when reporting a fault so unless things have changed recently not sure on this.

I mentioned that from personal experience.  I have been suffering lower than estimated speed for some time and was using a HG612.  Plusnet sent me a Hub One and without me updating the support ticket to say I had connected it for testing they knew already.  Bearing in mind I had manually configured it and disabled TR 069.

Or DSLstats.  :)

I guess DSLstats was not around when I started logging with my HG612 in maybe 2013 or so.  Something new I have learnt.
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