Kitz Forum

Broadband Related => ADSL Issues => Topic started by: jch on August 24, 2015, 10:00:20 AM

Title: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 24, 2015, 10:00:20 AM
Should an unlocked HG612 with SP08 work reliably with ADSL2+? Is it necessary to tweak the DSL config settings? I've disabled btagent.

I'm seeing unreliable network connectivity with my PlusNet ADSL2+ connection. The symptoms are that network traffic stops for a few seconds, sometimes more. For longer periods where network traffic stops, PPP LCP timeouts occur and the modem drops the connection. A ping to the ISP's gateway shows ping times steady until packets get dropped (attached).

I borrowed a Billion 7800 to compare. This works fine. But I notice that the DSL link syncs at a lower speed with the Billion. I compared the xdslcmd outputs (attached). I tried forcing the HG612 SNR to the same value reported by the Billion but link problems still remain.

Just wondering if others use HG612 successfully with ADSL2. Anyone have suggestions for things to try?
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Weaver on August 24, 2015, 10:08:58 AM
Apologies for being a bit slow, you're using the HG612 as a modem (only)? Or as a modem-router?
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 24, 2015, 10:17:27 AM
As a modem only. The modem does PPP. Its firewall is disabled but it does NAT. I use a directly connected router/firewall.
Ping from the modem to the ISP's gateway shows the same random packet loss.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: konrado5 on August 24, 2015, 11:25:45 AM
Could you attach Hlog and QLN from DSLStats?
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: GigabitEthernet on August 24, 2015, 11:55:33 AM
Does it just drop out randomly or does it happen at certain times of day?
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 24, 2015, 12:16:39 PM
Could you attach Hlog and QLN from DSLStats?
Hi, outputs of xdslcmd for the above are attached.
Thanks!
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 24, 2015, 12:18:26 PM
Does it just drop out randomly or does it happen at certain times of day?
Hi, it seems very random. Sometimes the link can be stable for several hours. At other times, it fails within 15 minutes.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 25, 2015, 08:49:54 AM
Does it just drop out randomly or does it happen at certain times of day?
Hi, it seems very random. Sometimes the link can be stable for several hours. At other times, it fails within 15 minutes.
A bit more info. Attached is the HG612 debug log. It shows how often the link fails and how long it takes to reestablish if I leave the modem alone.
This morning, the downstream SNR is 10.9db and the link rate is much lower than previously. Yesterday, the SNR was around 3.4, which is much different than the 7db that the Billion syncs at and the link rate was above 16Kbps. Today it's this:
Quote
Max:   Upstream rate = 1084 Kbps, Downstream rate = 19424 Kbps
Bearer:   0, Upstream rate = 1068 Kbps, Downstream rate = 9722 Kbps
It'll be interesting to see if the link will now be more stable. I'm surprised at the big dip in data rate though.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 26, 2015, 07:55:38 AM
Just a quick update in case others find this thread in the future.

At the lower sync speeds, the network stability issues continued. In desperation, I switched the modem to bridged mode, using an external PPPoE client to connect with the ISP. This was stable! It's been up all evening and overnight with no drops and everyone in the house is happy again.

Perhaps the HG612 can't cope with something in my network when the HG612 does PPP or NAT which results in DSL losing sync. It's hard to know as the syslog doesn't say much, even when configured at debug loglevel.

Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Weaver on August 26, 2015, 09:22:14 AM
So these devices are crap routers, but good modems. Fair?

This would only be the same as the DLink DSL-320B according to RevK of Andrews and Arnold's reports from their internal testing, which is why they only sell them locked down into modem-only ('bridged') mode.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 28, 2015, 09:13:29 AM
So these devices are crap routers, but good modems. Fair?
It seems so. The hardware is quite capable (a typical Broadcom SoC with internal GigE switch). From my experience though, its PPP and/or NAT seem to cause problems.
Since changing my setup to use the modem in a bridged mode, I've had no sync drops whatsoever.
I was hoping to use the unlocked firmware to avoid using PPPoE for the interface between the router (Ubiquiti Edgerouter) and the modem. I've abandoned that plan now. Still, the unlocked firmware lets me turn off the damned LEDs in the modem now the link is stable.  :)
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Weaver on August 28, 2015, 09:22:10 AM
Maybe the huge ourchase by the likes of BT Openreach meant that the optional router functions in the software load never got the usual barrage of user testing, so that's why it might be that only modem-only mode works.

A&A reported bugs in these devices even when in use in modem mode, in that they used to corrupt packets under certain circumstances.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on August 28, 2015, 09:57:33 AM
I'm surprised others haven't reported similar issues with these devices here though - unlocked firmware for hg612 has been around for a while. I probably have the usual mix of phones, tablets, media players, TVs and PCs in the home network. Most are Linux / Android so perhaps that is unusual.

Maybe those who are using unlocked firmware on hg612 are doing so only for access to the DSL stats and DSL tuning params and use the modem in its dumb bridge mode.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Weaver on August 28, 2015, 10:34:33 AM
Maybe those who are using unlocked firmware on hg612 are doing so only for access to the DSL stats and DSL tuning params and use the modem in its dumb bridge mode.

It seems that's true amongst kitizens?
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: roseway on August 28, 2015, 11:05:29 AM
When I was on ADSL I used an HG612 as a full modem/router, and it was completely satisfactory. I wasn't the only one - there is even a wiki article about it: http://wiki.kitz.co.uk/index.php/Huawei_HG612 (written before the days of locked firmware).
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on September 01, 2015, 11:49:24 AM
When I was on ADSL I used an HG612 as a full modem/router, and it was completely satisfactory. I wasn't the only one - there is even a wiki article about it: http://wiki.kitz.co.uk/index.php/Huawei_HG612 (written before the days of locked firmware).
That was the impression I had when I was searching for possible causes of the problem.
I've had no sync drops since my previous post. For whatever reason, dumb bridge mode solves the network stability issues here. I wish I knew why. Oh well.
I love that icon in your sig btw. :-)
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: burakkucat on September 01, 2015, 06:10:19 PM
It would be interesting and useful, for others, if you would document the precise configuration options you now have set, please.  :)

If I have read things correctly you have an xDSL service operating in G.Dmt/ADSL2/ADSL2+ mode and have configured the HG612 to act as a pure bridge, with the PPPoE session initiated & maintained by a separate router.  :-\
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: kitzuser87430 on September 01, 2015, 06:42:39 PM
Quote
if you would document the precise configuration options you now have

Please also post the firmware you are using and your connection mode.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on September 21, 2015, 05:16:59 PM
Quote
if you would document the precise configuration options you now have

Please also post the firmware you are using and your connection mode.
Sorry for replying late - I've been away on holiday.

The firmware info is
Hardware version   VER.B
Software version   V100R001C01B030SP08
Firmware version   A2pv6C038m.d24j
Batch number   BC1P6.030.A2pv6C038m.d24j

My config is summarised in below.

Modem connects directly to Edgerouter.

Edgerouter has 3 eth ports:-
eth0 - connects to HG612 eth0
eth1 - connects to my office LAN. Subnet 192.168.1.0/24
eth2 - connects directly to an Asus RT-AC66U wireless router. Subnet 192.168.2.0/24

With the modem in Bridged mode, Edgerouter uses PPPoE to connect to the ISP through the modem. This IP is the default route of the network.
Edgerouter is the DHCP server and assigns IPs for systems connected to its eth1 and eth2. Also does NAT and firewall.
The Asus wifi router is configured as an Access Point (bridge) only. Its DHCP, NAT and firewall are disabled.
All ethernet links are CAT-5e. I don't have any adapters for using the house wiring etc for some wired links.
The office LAN has several unmanaged GigE switches.

When I was using routed mode in the hg612, the Edgerouter was configured with no NAT and its default route was the modem's IP (192.168.0.1). The modem's DMZ was set to the IP address of the router's eth0 (192.168.0.254) and the modem's NAT was enabled.

I attach the hg612 config files for the bridged and routed hg612 configs, with passwords mangled.

I've seen no further link sync failures since switching to dumb bridged mode in the modem.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: burakkucat on September 21, 2015, 06:15:15 PM
Sorry for replying late - I've been away on holiday.

No need to apologise, it is that time of the year for a late holiday bargain.

Quote
I've seen no further link sync failures since switching to dumb bridged mode in the modem.

That is what I was hoping you would say . . . The HG612 is well "tried and tested" in that mode.

Thank you for the details of your hardware interconnections and the two HG612 configuration files.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: tickmike on September 22, 2015, 02:54:33 PM
Not sure if many people will understand your txt docs (which you should delete you ip address ) Is it possible you could do some screen shots of the sets of config pages on the HG612 like Mr cat did in the WiKi, I'm sure it would help the newbie's.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: mrpops2ko on September 30, 2015, 08:12:02 AM
Since i've had a massive cockup with BT (they have moved me from fibre of which I was on for 8 months, over to ADSL without my consent and i've now got to wait 2 weeks before they fix it). I set up the HG612 for PPPOE because I like line stats and wanted to keep using it. I'll throw some screenshots of my settings incase anybody else might find them useful.

I basically use the HG612 as a modem and my router does the PPPOE stuff.

Sorry about the big images but i'm lazy. If someone wants to resize them feel free!
(https://forum.kitz.co.uk/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2Fk7PA9lf.png&hash=ec7ac0e7ae56155e301cd159a0f3aaca)
(https://forum.kitz.co.uk/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FspdBhpK.png&hash=0a262b53faf21717acae7a4d1f774751)
(https://forum.kitz.co.uk/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2Ftc0HT1B.png&hash=6fad5664ac38d8539c92a24bd4177dcf)
That is all you need on the modem side of things and then just do your PPPOE on router.

(https://forum.kitz.co.uk/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FYjiqpR2.png&hash=323417fe1ba71c12ed834842f7c12d0a)
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on September 30, 2015, 12:15:58 PM
I realised I'd forgotten to post my screenshots which were requested by tickmike.
My config is similar to mrpops2ko's, except that I use VCMUX instead of LLCMUX and I've disabled the TR069 interface in case BT sends a firmware update.
All features in the Advanced tab are disabled: NAT, firewall, QOS etc.
Screenshots attached.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: tickmike on October 01, 2015, 02:21:16 PM
Those screen shots will be helpful by others.  :)
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: burakkucat on October 01, 2015, 04:34:13 PM
Those screen shots will be helpful by others.  :)

Indeed, they will. I have (as a result of prompting) given this thread "sticky status".  :)
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris on October 26, 2016, 10:12:06 AM
Many thanks for this thread, as I'm trying to do pretty much exactly this (use an unlocked HG612 as a temporary ADSL modem/router), but failing!

Currently I have a very slow ADSL connection (1.5km from the exchange, no LLU).  It's a new house, so I flood wired it with Cat 6 and because the walls are all covered with foil backed plasterboard wifi really doesn't work outside any room with a WAP in.  When I had the line installed I blagged an NTE5 Mk3 VDSL box from the Openreach guy, knowing that sooner or later we were going to get FTTC under BDUK.  So, as a temporary measure I bought a TP Link ADSL modem/router and fitted it on the wall 6 inches from the NTE5, with it plugged into a Cat 6 port with a very short  CAT 6/PoE adapter (so the modem router is powered from the house main patch panel, where PoE power injectors are fitted).

The Cat 6 runs to the patch panel and thence to a 12 port Gb switch that distributes data around the house.  This all works very well, although I struggle to get more than about 3Mb DL and 300kb upload, because of the length of wire to the exchange (there's actually about 3km of copper covering that 1.5km distance - rural area and the cables are far from direct!).

We're about to get FTTC, and I've confirmed that I can get it, probably at around 27 Mb DL.  In preparation, I purchased an HG612, thinking I could unlock it, run it as a modem/router in ADSL mode for now, then switch it to VDSL mode when we get FTTC.

Yesterday I unlocked and fitted the HG612, set it as I thought it needed to be set to work for ADSL and as a router, and I can't get it to work.  It seems to lock to the DSL signal OK, but the diagnostic message reports DSL connected but unable to get an IP from PPPoE.

I'm a raw beginner at this, really, and probably know just enough to be dangerous, but that message suggests to me that the modem has connected OK (I entered the right username and password when configuring it) but that the router part may not be working.

I'm guessing that the screenshots above (in the post by jch on September 30 2015) are for the configuration as just a modem, rather than as a modem/router.

FWIW, my current ISP is the PhoneCoop, but I'm not sure who they are buying from.  The username includes "btbroadbandcomplete.com", so they may be buying from BT Wholesale.  They cannot provide an FTTC service, so I'm going to have to switch to another ISP to get that in the next few months.

What I'd like to do is get the HG612 set up as a modem/router now, so the switch to FTTC is (hopefully) relatively painless, with no hardware changes needed.  I'd be very grateful indeed if anyone could shed some light on what settings are needed to get the router part working and allow the existing network to internet gain access via this modem.

Jeremy
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: roseway on October 26, 2016, 10:41:28 AM
I used to use an HG612 as a modem/router before I got VDSL2. I followed the instructions here (written by burakkucat): http://wiki.kitz.co.uk/index.php/Huawei_HG612
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris on October 26, 2016, 10:46:55 AM
Thanks a lot, those are the instructions I followed yesterday, but I'll double-check and see if I made an error somewhere in the settings.  There are so many settings in the HG612, most of which I have no clue about, that it's possible that I accidentally set something inccorectly.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on October 26, 2016, 11:16:16 AM
I'm guessing that the screenshots above (in the post by jch on September 30 2015) are for the configuration as just a modem, rather than as a modem/router.
That's correct.

FWIW, my current ISP is the PhoneCoop, but I'm not sure who they are buying from.  The username includes "btbroadbandcomplete.com", so they may be buying from BT Wholesale.  They cannot provide an FTTC service, so I'm going to have to switch to another ISP to get that in the next few months.

What I'd like to do is get the HG612 set up as a modem/router now, so the switch to FTTC is (hopefully) relatively painless, with no hardware changes needed.  I'd be very grateful indeed if anyone could shed some light on what settings are needed to get the router part working and allow the existing network to internet gain access via this modem.
I mentioned in my original post that I'd tried to do the same, trying to use the HG612 for PPP. The PPP connection would either fail to establish or would drop after a short while. Another post in this thread suggested the HG612 might not be well tested for use in Router Mode (BT always use it in Bridged Mode) and so I gave up and used Bridged Mode with an external router doing PPPoE. I'm still using that config a year or later and it's been very stable. That said, some have used PPP Router Mode in HG612 with no problems. Maybe it depends on the ISP or the equipment terminating the DSL line. Or maybe I was just unlucky. I use PlusNet.

I suggest re-check your Router Mode settings, enable debug logs and possibly post them here if you still can't get the HG612 PPP to work. If all else fails, you might need to use an external router with the HG612 in Bridged Mode or a different modem. FWIW, the external router I chose was a Ubiquiti Edgerouter ER-Lite, which not only does PPPoE to the ISP via the HG612 modem, it is also the home network's DHCP server and firewall. I think there are newer models now and they're not expensive. Their gear has some nice packet queue features too which help with slow upstream speeds. (If a large upload is in progress trying to use all upstream bandwidth, it doesn't swamp other connections also trying to use the link, causing timeouts etc). My wireless AP runs in Bridge Mode too (its own firewall/DHCP server is disabled) since everything is handled by the ER-Lite. Whatever router you choose, make sure it has GigE eth ports since the rest of your network is GigE and I assume your 12-port GigE switch is unmanaged.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris on October 26, 2016, 12:52:52 PM
Thanks very much indeed for all that detail, it's very much appreciated.  I've just been through every setting on the HG612 and it is now setup exactly as in the guide linked to in the post by roseway.  I'm off to the new house in the next hour or so to try it out and see if it now works.

If it still doesn't work well as a router, then I think I'll follow your advice and fit a dedicated router next to the switch and just use the HG612 as a modem, as BT use it.  It's a shame to add another box, though, especially as this whole lot runs from a battery pack, so that the whole system (including a small Linux home server) stays powered up over power cuts (we get a fair few of those, and it's annoying when the internet and VOIP phones stop working!).

You're right, the switch is an unmanaged Gig E one; I've tried to "future proof" the house fixed wiring as far as possible, by running loads of Cat 6 everywhere, including spare runs that are coiled up behind walls where I think I might, possibly, need a connection in future.  So far the strategy of hard wiring most things, and only having WAPs where we actually need to use portable devices, seems to work well, particularly as the WAPs can be turned off when not in use, to save a bit of power, without impacting on anything else.

Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Dray on October 26, 2016, 04:09:18 PM
Did you try LLC instead of VCMUX ?
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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:
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/6/5521/30545433706_a78ff3b8d3_b.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Dray 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
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Weaver 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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!
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: roseway 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Weaver 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris 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

Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: Dray on October 31, 2016, 06:06:25 PM
Did you disable QOS on the HG612 GUI? That often improves upstream bandwidth.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: ejs on October 31, 2016, 06:43:42 PM
Wait a minute, the ADSL line stats from the HG612 indicated you were connecting at the maximum possible 8128k / 448k on 20CN ADSL1. So improvements to things like the DSL cable shouldn't have made any difference, unless you think the slow throughput speeds are related to the amount of CRC errors, but you could check for things like that in the telnet stats from the HG612, or use a program such as DSLstats.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris on October 31, 2016, 07:13:08 PM
Yes, I did disable QoS.  The odd disparity between the ADSL line stats and the speeds reported by online speed checkers (and the speeds we seem to get in practice, judging from the buffering that goes on with things like YouTube video and iPlayer) remains a mystery.

I'm new to getting stats from the system, and have only just started at looking how to do it properly, so, in a few days time, perhaps, I should have a better ideas as to what is going on.

The most noticeable change I noticed after doing all the work today is that the characteristic of all the download tests I tried had changed, markedly.  Previously, I used to get a short period during the test at around 7 to 8 Mb, then a dip to zero, followed by a variable 2 to 3 Mb for the rest of the DL test.  Today, every test I tried showed a steady figure of around 4Mb, peaking to 5Mb, with none of the drop outs that I've always seen before.

Whether these drop outs were caused by either of the two modem/routers I had been using (for the past year I've been using a TP-Link TD-8817, but switched to the PhoneCoop provided Technicolor TG582N last week, to see if that made an improvement) I don't know.  I do know that the HG612 wouldn't work as a modem and router, no matter what I tried, but seems very solid when used as just a modem.

Hopefully I'll have some time to gather some stats properly before we get switched to VDSL on the 14th November, as I'm curious as to why there should be such a disparity between the reported line stats and reality.  I'm also curious as to why the consistent initially fairly fast (close to the max the line would support) speed would drop right off after a short time when I was using either of the other two modem/routers.

Jeremy
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: jch on October 31, 2016, 09:27:14 PM
Quote
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!
Just a thought about the speed degradation when your GigE switch is in the network.

The HG612 has only a 100MBps ethernet port. When you connect that to your PC, the PC's ethernet port works out that it is connected to a 100MBps peer so sets its local interface up accordingly.

When you connect the HG612 to a GigE switch and the PC to the switch, you'll probably have a 1Gbps eth link from PC to switch and a 100Mbps link from switch to HG612. When you run a performance test, the PC will fire data at the switch at 1Gbps rate but the switch is only able to forward it to the HG612 at 100Mbps. Even if the switch has some packet buffering (many don't) a performance test will quickly exhaust it and cause data loss in the switch.

Some switches and some ethernet hardware in PCs can do ethernet flow control which might help in some cases (both ethernet hardware interfaces must support it and agree to use it when each ethernet link is established). Even if your switch and PC use ethernet flow control, I think you'd still see suboptimal performance results.

To test this, you might try to force the PC's eth port to 100Mbps when connecting it to your switch to do the performance test.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: JSHarris on October 31, 2016, 09:56:54 PM
That's an excellent point, as the tests I ran today had the HG612 as a modem connected to a router, and then one of the router ports connected to the test PC (which in reality is my Linux home server at the moment).  The switch wasn't in the test circuit, it was hooked up to another port on the router to feed the other stuff in the house.
Title: Re: unlocked hg612 with ADSL2+ - network stability issues
Post by: tickmike on April 23, 2018, 08:13:04 PM
You have a PM.  :)