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Author Topic: Fourth line  (Read 532 times)

Weaver

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Fourth line
« on: June 17, 2018, 01:49:51 AM »

With any luck I should be getting a fourth DSL line from AA / BTW. I have not heard confirmation of an installation date yet, but I asked for the 20th or 21st preferably pm. Does BTOR do am or pm preferences?

The reasons are: Firstly, I want to try and improve upstream to ~1.5 Mbps maybe from ~1.1 Mbps for Facetime. Upstream has taken a bit of a hit when I changed modem model recently. Secondly, it will make things a bit better for Janet when she is trying to work when I am watching streaming TV.

I had a real struggle with the ordering system and got the order wrong. I asked sales to simply do it for me, but they just refused. Couldnít be bothered or a policy thing. Not good at all. So now I have to try to get them to correct the order, which would not have been needed if they had just done it all for me in the first place.

Also I don't like the fact that the ordering system doesn't really seem to quite understand the process of adding another line. What is the point of asking for the address all over again? You should be able to say at the start that you are an existing customer and that it is an additional line that is to be part of an existing bonded group. Even if it is to be an independent line you ought to be able to lick an existing known site or a new site if you are an existing customer so save all of that typing. It screwed up and refused to accept my wifeís mobile phone number as a valid phone number. It tried to validate username plus password before I had even had the chance to enter a password, so surprise a null password is not valid! It doesn't seem to work with Safariís auto-fill either. The whole username + password entry thing is a bit strange anyway in web design terms because there is no enter submit or go-for-it button, it just validates fields when it feels like it and I think you have to hit the enter key in a field to proceed. Even though I though I had already told it I was adding a line, later on it came up with a pick-list with two bewildering options Ďnew loginí whatever that means or Ďmove line/service something <postcode>í I forget. Anyway not having a clue what they mean I just picked one option at random. I could then see that I had screwed the order up because it came back with an email containing new invalid PPPoE login runes cwcc@a.1 plus a new password and that is no good because it clashes with one of my existing PPPoE links. Also I think it has charged me for two more usage units, because it does not seem to understand that if it is an additional line then you do not need any more units. So I also have no idea what was included in the price quoted, + two more usage units or not?

All a bit of a nightmare.

Sales need to help customers out. Especially disabled ones.

The ordering system needs usability testing, it needs to be made rock solid, and made to handle this particular use-case properly. It also to remember existing usersí details such as addresses so that they can be recalled.

I have lost RevK's email address otherwise I would cc it to him.
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burakkucat

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 05:34:35 PM »

Further black marks (and a another black look) for A&A.

Unfortunately all the software they use is of their own making. And, therefore, is perfect. Any problem experienced by a user of that software is of that user's making. Etc.  :-X
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Weaver

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 05:41:28 PM »

@Burakkucat I have to tell it like it is, the good and the bad. I still think they are a fantastic outfit. There is precious little chance of getting some faceless corporates to change things when a user is not happy about something. But at least with AA you can actually talk to real people, with names.

I complained before about problems with the UI relating to the process of logging in and they fixed those problems a while back. But it seems there are other issues that need to be attended to and I wonder if it is validating the username+password pair too soon, before you have even finished entering the complete pair of fields. Not sure. Anyway, it is good that they do fix bugs.

For some reason my line cwcc@a.4, which is a pair alone in its drop cable, is the slowest of the three in downstream sync. Not much in it but it just makes no sense at all.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 05:50:28 PM by Weaver »
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Weaver

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 07:43:19 AM »

I got a very helpful email from Ben at AA who sorted my order out.
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burakkucat

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2018, 04:59:51 PM »

I got a very helpful email from Ben at AA who sorted my order out.

That is good to know.  :thumbs:

Once the order is fulfilled you will then have both pairs, of both aerial drop-cables, carrying a service. So that will mean four ZyXEL VMG1312-B10As, with four switch-mode PSUs requiring four mains sockets. What I cannot yet fathom is how the four separate Ethernet frames streams, from the four VMG1312-B10As, will be connected to, and handled by, your FB2700.
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Weaver

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 05:39:27 PM »

The new pppoe link will be named cwcc@a.2 because for some reason there always was hole there - perhaps something to do with a 3G link that died or was cancelled later leaving a hole.

No wonder you cannot fathom how it will work.

I have no free ethernet ports on the Firebrick router. Four ethernet ports in total, one going to the LAN, main switch, and the remaining each going to one modem each and it is already full.

So the standard recipe for people who have more WAN links is to use multiplexing.

AA has delivered a small ZyXEL GS-1900 gigabit switch with 8 ethernet ports on it which speaks VLANs ie 802.1q tagging. Also does the Firebrick. also the small switch sits between the group of modems and the Brick. It has one ethernet cable going into it from each modem and one ethernet cable (I could have more) going to the Firebrick. It will be configured by me to remap ethernet ports to 802.1q-tagged packets going to the port connected to the Firebrick. The Firebrick will be reconfigured so that each PPPoE object will now be port 2 VLAN 101, port 2 VLAN 102, port 2 VLAN 103 and port 2 VLAN 104 or some such. The Firebrick just recognises the 802.1q tags on incoming packets and directs them to the correct link object and for outgoing traffic adds the appropriate 802.1q tag to a packet when it goes out and the switch does the muxing / demuxing.

I could alternatively use more ethernet cables between small switch and Firebrick, say two cables with only two VLANs per cable. In my case, the data rate is so incredibly slow though anyway at a mere 2.5 MBps per link, so 10Mbps in total and hardly comes even close to challenging 100MBps ports.

AA have a standard config recipe for the switch. But they refused to configure it for me, for some reason, which is not good. Odd, because they configure modems, WAPs and routers.

--

I got an email saying something about BT mentioning delays and have had no installation date. Perhaps this means that BT are going to get nasty like before, many years ago, when I tried to order two lines at the same time and they quoted me thousands of pounds. I though this time they might be actually helpful, and might want to make a sale, because no additional drop cable is needed, all I need is an NTE5 as I already have a free pair in my existing second drop cable.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what the typical delays are, or even O(t_delay) in big-O notation?

This is related to what I was asking about before - what happens with all the new house building in the village, EO lines all >7300m long (because mine is the shortest)? BT will run out of pairs in the bundle at some point and if I am not the straw that breaks the camelís back but rather some new house down the hill, then BT will have to do something about it. Perhaps I need to strategically wait until just after some new neighbour has out in their request and BT has been compelled to do something. I wonder if they might give up the madness of 7+ km long EO lines and rather than running an additional bundle or a second one (what do they do) perhaps the might out one or even two FTTC cabs in the village? Is there any chance at all of that? (Because I believe BT has implemented FTTC along the main road in Breacais, Harrapul, Broadford and way way all the way up for six miles or so along the main road stretching north from Broadford.)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 06:03:47 PM by Weaver »
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Weaver

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burakkucat

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 06:12:18 PM »

. . . the standard recipe for people who have more WAN links is to use multiplexing.

AA has delivered a small ZyXEL gigabit switch with 8 ethernet ports on it which speaks VLANs ie 802.1q tagging. Also does the Firebrick. also the small switch sits between the group of modems and the Brick. It has one ethernet cable going into it from each modem and one ethernet cable (I could have more) going to the Firebrick. It will be configured by me to remap ethernet ports to 802.1q-tagged packets going to the port connected to the Firebrick. The Firebrick will be reconfigured so that each PPPoE object will now be port 2 VLAN 101, port 2 VLAN 102, port 2 VLAN 103 and port 2 VLAN 104 or some such. The Firebrick just recognises the 802.1q tags on incoming packets and directs them to the correct link object and for outgoing traffic adds the appropriate 802.1q tag to a packet when it goes out and the switch does the muxing / demuxing.

Ah, now I see. Yes, that makes sense.

Just one suggestion about your naming of the VLANs . . . It might be worthwhile avoiding a number sequence that would incorporate 101, as that is the numerical tag used by Openreach for their G.993.2 (VDSL2 / FTTC) services. Not that there would be any problem with you using that number but I can see the potential for confusion when discussing support with some remote entity.
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burakkucat

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 06:13:17 PM »

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Weaver

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2018, 06:24:18 PM »

Indeed. I use VLANs currently over the WAN link, as you know. If there is no reason not to I will use VLAN 1 for the first link and so on upwards. It will be whatever AA put in their standard ZyXEL config file anyway, so that they understand what is what.
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Weaver

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2018, 06:33:39 PM »

I thought that now I would have to rewrite the tool that I wrote, an iPad Workflow program, that generates snippets of XML for Firebrick config specifying the XML PPPoE elements with the right upstream rate limiter settings per line in each one. But it turns out that no real rewrite is needed. It just takes a piece of text that is a snippet of XML exactly as would go in the config file but with placeholders left marked in it where the speed values will go so no program changes are needed. There will simply be a new piece of text containing XML with attributes specifying the 802.1q VLAN tag values for each PPPoE link, and thatís it.
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Weaver

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2018, 10:57:49 PM »

One good thing is that there is one more piece of hardware now between the outside world and the expensive Firebrick so hopefully the Brick is less likely to get fried by lightning strikes or GPR/EPR slow cooking.

I may just have to replace a switch and some modems instead.
--

A crazy thought came to me, I wonder if I could just power all of these modems off one much more butch high quality DC 12V supply if someone could make up a 4-1 connector lead for me. Might neaten things up a bit. Donít know if it would help performance. Would introduce a single point of failure which is very bad though.
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burakkucat

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2018, 11:53:15 PM »

One good thing is that there is one more piece of hardware now between the outside world and the expensive Firebrick so hopefully the Brick is less likely to get fried by lightning strikes . . .

If you had a managed switch with one SFP optical interface and an FB2900, they could be connected together via the optical link.

Quote
A crazy thought came to me, I wonder if I could just power all of these modems off one much more butch high quality DC 12V supply if someone could make up a 4-1 connector lead for me. Might neaten things up a bit. Donít know if it would help performance. Would introduce a single point of failure which is very bad though.

I had a similar thought based on a bank of 12V DC SLA batteries that was floated across, and trickle-charged by, a mains powered unit. In my plan, the four modems and the managed switch would be powered the above.
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johnson

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 12:40:02 AM »

I had a similar thought based on a bank of 12V DC SLA batteries that was floated across, and trickle-charged by, a mains powered unit. In my plan, the four modems and the managed switch would be powered the above.

I ran a modem for a time from a 12V SLA car battery... wasnt the most convenient but was great for finding external noise sources, just flip the main breaker and there goes any possible sources from your house.

4 x 1312s is what? 48W? A really nice regulated 12V supply of that spec could be fabracobled together, lot of hassle compared to wall warts on a filtered gang plank though.
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johnson

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Re: Fourth line
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 01:08:18 AM »

Also how does the money spread out for 4 lines. I guess the 3rd was the kicker in terms of cost as pretty much everyone has 2 pairs of copper coming in on the drop cable. Just interested in how you get the next couple, do openreach have spares at nearby junctions? Cant imagine they ran new cable for the whole 7km.
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