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Author Topic: Need advice, possible fault  (Read 3211 times)

Ixel

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Need advice, possible fault
« on: June 21, 2018, 12:49:52 PM »

Hi all,
Hope everyone's well. I need some advice from some of the experts here if I may.

Basically I've noticed a problem with one of my phone lines. I'm going to plug in an analogue phone to be sure but every time I answer a call or make a call my FTTC connection drops briefly and re-syncs (while the call is ongoing). I've done a PSTN line test on CIX's control panel and it's coming back as no fault found. I have the option of running the test automatically every 4 hours for up to 24 hours should I wish, in case it's intermittent. Now, I realise that answering and making phone calls shouldn't cause a brief disconnection, so I'm wondering what it could be that might not be registering as a fault on the line test? So far I've changed the wire connecting the phone to the master socket. The master socket is an NTE5c MK4 with no extension wiring at all.

Any ideas, comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you require a hlog/qln then I will temporarily return to using a HG612/ZyXeL VMG1312-B10A, as I'm currently using a DrayTek 2860Vac on the line which may have an issue of some type and prefer Infineon/Lantiq over the Broadcom chipset.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that when I initially picked up the phone (DECT) I heard a bit of noise that gradually disappeared. I'm going to test it on the analogue phone shortly to be sure it's not something to do with the DECT phone. Shouldn't be however, they are Gigaset if anyone's wondering.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 12:56:32 PM by Ixel »
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Ixel

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 01:15:06 PM »

I've done a quiet line test with the analogue phone and sadly I can't hear any noise. Surely my Gigaset phones aren't causing it (perhaps they've developed a fault?). I'll try again with the Gigaset phones in a few moments, unless the fault is intermittent and for now it's cleared up. The FTTC connection didn't lose sync this time either.

EDIT: Did another test with the Gigaset phones and the noise returned as well as taking the broadband connection out for a moment. Interesting. I'll give it 30-45 minutes before I try again with the analogue phone, as I don't want to risk DLM banding me due to too many re-syncs in a short time.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 01:21:42 PM by Ixel »
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boozy

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 01:28:56 PM »

Assuming your Gigaset set is similar to mine -put it on speaker and put the back of the phone to your ear.  You’ll hear even tiny noises - make sure it’s away before the quiet line test announcement, as you’ll get deafened.
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Ixel

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 02:06:36 PM »

Assuming your Gigaset set is similar to mine -put it on speaker and put the back of the phone to your ear.  You’ll hear even tiny noises - make sure it’s away before the quiet line test announcement, as you’ll get deafened.

Possibly, I have the N300A. I did do a test on the speakerphone at one point and still heard what I believe to be noise.

I've tested a few times with the analogue phone and no loss of broadband or noise on the line, so it's looking more likely there's a problem with my Gigaset's N300A base. I've had it for quite a few years so perhaps it's time to buy a new product :D.

EDIT: Final update to say that the line appears to be behaving fine with the analogue phone, so I'll buy a new DECT phone. At least it appears to be nothing serious, I'd rather it be a fault that I can identify with something such as my Gigaset N300A base station instead of it being an intermittent line fault. Perhaps that storm some weeks ago did something to the base station, or maybe it's simply a bit of wear and tear showing.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 04:41:15 PM by Ixel »
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 05:28:42 PM »

Personally I’d be reluctant to blame the DECT phone as the filter within the NTE would, if it were perfect, render the DSL side immune from phone faults, especially if the phone is basically working and not totally kaput.   Filters are not perfect of course so it still might be the phone, just on balance of probability, I’d want pretty compelling evidence before splashing out on a new DECT phone.

With the analogue phone, have you tried an incoming call, leaving it ringing for a while, to see if that might have detrimental effect?

Another point, DECT phones often have rather noisy PSU bricks.   I assume the wiring to the modem is well away from the phone’s power unit?

You can’t really rely on noise symptoms from a digital phone as it might be internally generated, but even so, noise that starts of loud and then fades, might be more suggestive of a line fault.
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burakkucat

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 08:44:03 PM »

I will echo 7LM's reply and add that, quite often, the drop-out and re-synchronise of an xDSL service is found to be a joint that is showing HR or semi-conductive tendencies. However, in your case, I don't think that is what you are experiencing due to the absence of the fault when the analogue telephone is in use.

[for reference purposes]
The way I would check is to disconnect the lead-in from the NTE5, connect a TDR directly across the pair and display the resulting trace. Having a FTTC service, I would only be able to "see" as far as the low-pass filter in the "fibre" cabinet. Then from another telephone instigate a call to the number associated with the circuit being examined. If any of the (inevitable) blips present on the TDR trace "jumps around" or changes appearance in synchronism with the standard ringing current then that will most likely be the troublesome joint.
[/for reference purposes]
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Ixel

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2018, 12:41:22 AM »

Hi all,
Just to offer an update and reply.

Personally I’d be reluctant to blame the DECT phone as the filter within the NTE would, if it were perfect, render the DSL side immune from phone faults, especially if the phone is basically working and not totally kaput.   Filters are not perfect of course so it still might be the phone, just on balance of probability, I’d want pretty compelling evidence before splashing out on a new DECT phone.

With the analogue phone, have you tried an incoming call, leaving it ringing for a while, to see if that might have detrimental effect?

Another point, DECT phones often have rather noisy PSU bricks.   I assume the wiring to the modem is well away from the phone’s power unit?

You can’t really rely on noise symptoms from a digital phone as it might be internally generated, but even so, noise that starts of loud and then fades, might be more suggestive of a line fault.

Yes I have tried what you suggested. I've tested the analogue phone for both incoming and outgoing calls this afternoon and this evening until the new phones/base arrived and I've had no further issues. I also tried double and triple filtering the Gigaset base when it was plugged in and that made no difference to the problem I was experiencing unfortunately. The wiring for the modems are well away from the DECT base and power cable.

I will echo 7LM's reply and add that, quite often, the drop-out and re-synchronise of an xDSL service is found to be a joint that is showing HR or semi-conductive tendencies. However, in your case, I don't think that is what you are experiencing due to the absence of the fault when the analogue telephone is in use.

[for reference purposes]
The way I would check is to disconnect the lead-in from the NTE5, connect a TDR directly across the pair and display the resulting trace. Having a FTTC service, I would only be able to "see" as far as the low-pass filter in the "fibre" cabinet. Then from another telephone instigate a call to the number associated with the circuit being examined. If any of the (inevitable) blips present on the TDR trace "jumps around" or changes appearance in synchronism with the standard ringing current then that will most likely be the troublesome joint.
[/for reference purposes]

I agree, at first I thought it might be a HR problem but given the analogue phone apparently behaved flawlessly I guess it wasn't. Since using the analogue phone and now a new base station and set of phones this evening which arrived I've not had further issues. It does really look like something was up with my Gigaset base station sadly, but I've had the N300A for quite a number of years so I've had a long run out of it. I will see if the problem occurs again and post here if it does, but hopefully it won't. I'm still attempting to get what appears to be some kind of bug/glitch sorted out on the 2862 with DrayTek (the interface freezes after a few days of apparently fetching DSL stats via my WIP program, while the 2860 is perfectly stable).
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Ixel

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 10:07:57 AM »

Another update, the problem has returned. Others in the house are reporting to me that sometimes they can hear some noise on the phone call (a bit of hissing or clicking). I've tried changing the filter so far, and of course the phone cable was changed when buying the new handsets and base station since it came with a new cable. Often when I make or receive a call it seems cause VDSL2 to lose sync. I've also tried double filtering.

The line is currently interleaved on both downstream and upstream presumably due to multiple re-syncs the other day (even though it was well under the believed limit of 20 per day, as well the ES being well under 2880, for DLM's 'speed' policy). Every so often I also notice blips in the attainable rate on upstream and downstream. For example, in one 15 minute sample the upstream attainable rate might be around 12 megabits, in the next 15 minute sample it might be around 10 megabits, then in the next 15 minute sample and many samples following that it'll stay around 13 megabits for a while. The phone calls can sometimes cause a small spike of ES/SES, even though I'm currently INP 4/3 and delay 8/8 a phone call a family member made this morning caused a re-sync as well as 12 ES and 6 SES on the downstream.

I've done a 'noisy' line test via CIX's control panel (who I have line rental with) and a minute or so later it results in 'Line test OK. Dial tone OK' from Openreach. I have the option of running this test automatically every 4 hours for 24 hours, so I may try that at some point. In the meantime I'm going to swap back to the analogue phone in a moment and switch the DrayTek 2860 with either the ZyXeL or HG612 so I can use DSLstats to fetch more stats such as Hlog and QLN and post those here.

(Watch this space)

Any suggestions in the meantime are welcome.
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Weaver

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 10:32:04 AM »

Did you say who your ISP is?

I would assume that you can report this as a PSTN fault, no? Because noise can be heard during phone calls. That is probably the good way to go.

How far have you got with it - reported it to your phone line service provider yet?
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Ixel

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 10:36:59 AM »

I haven't reported it yet because it warns me that I could be charged since no fault has been found when running the line test. My ISP is Andrews and Arnold while the line rental is with CIX (also known as ICUK). The noise isn't always there either which would make it harder for me to report it unfortunately, sods law the engineer turns up when the line is temporarily behaving.
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ktz392837

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 11:01:18 AM »

Ensure you have a corded phone connected to test socket.  Use mobile phone to record noise and clicks - note date/time.  Have this setup when engineer visits.

Report fault making sure you say it is intermittent but you have recording of what it sounds like.  I would argue that should be enough to cover you.  By its nature it should be understood an intermittent fault is just that.

I did above with my fault several months ago but luckily when the engineer phoned me to say he was on his way the line went bat crp crazy so he had first hand knowledge of the problem :)

Bumpy ride as numerous issues found by several engineer follow ups but end result a very decent uplift in speeds.

Perhaps an engineer could give feedback on when you visit premises and decide to make a charge?

At end of day it is a gamble though as my provider gave me the same you will be charged speech.  I made it clear I was not happy with the speech, I have a fault and the rep tried to calm me down.  Just be prepared to fight the charge if one is applied.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 11:04:36 AM by ktz392837 »
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Ixel

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2018, 11:28:52 AM »

I see, well I'll try my corded phone directly into the test socket later today (don't want to further upset DLM potentially :P) and see what result I get and record any noise if I hear it.

In the meantime I've connected the ZyXeL VMG1312-B10A and have DSLstatsw monitoring it. Maybe something will show up when I get another loss of sync due to a phone call either being made or received :). I've got the Hlog, QLN and bitloading/SNR graphs but I believe I can't see anything odd on the Hlog. QLN has some spikes but that's just crosstalk I guess, otherwise it looks reasonable I believe.

https://imgur.com/a/a669ftK
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Weaver

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2018, 12:26:03 PM »

Doh. I forgot you were an AA customer. Have you run the usual clueless.aa.net.uk tests: “copper line test" and so forth ? What are the other ones that are relevant here  - “KBD Diagnostics” and “Run PSTN Test”.

Might as well get AA in on the job then because they will take you seriously, of course, and will actually get things rolling. I don’t think there is any need to be concerned about PSTN vs DSL fault given that it is AA. And after all, we know that a line fault is a line fault - it was just some stuff and nonsense made up to try and make the whole split of POTS vs DSL providers thing make some kind of sense.
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Ixel

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2018, 01:20:46 PM »

Doh. I forgot you were an AA customer. Have you run the usual clueless.aa.net.uk tests: “copper line test" and so forth ? What are the other ones that are relevant here  - “KBD Diagnostics” and “Run PSTN Test”.

Might as well get AA in on the job then because they will take you seriously, of course, and will actually get things rolling. I don’t think there is any need to be concerned about PSTN vs DSL fault given that it is AA. And after all, we know that a line fault is a line fault - it was just some stuff and nonsense made up to try and make the whole split of POTS vs DSL providers thing make some kind of sense.

Haha yeah, but unfortunately the line rental isn't with AAISP for the troublesome line so I can't run a PSTN test from AAISP's control panel. I ran a test from CIX's control panel though, who I have the line rental with, and it came back as no fault found. I have the option of running an intermittent test every 4 hours automatically for 24 hours which I may well try. I've got the corded phone plugged in at the moment just to try and identify any unusual noise and then record it to help prove there's a problem if an engineer needs to come out with 'no fault found' on the standard line test. On AAISP's control panel I can 'issue service test'. I guess worst case I could contact AAISP about what is happening and see what they advise next.

I've done 'issue service test'.

Code: [Select]
Test ... Test Description = GEA service test completed and no fault found .
Diagnostic Code = GTC_FTTC_SERVICE_0000, Sync Status = In Sync, NTE Power Status = PowerOn
Down Sync = 57Mbps, Up Sync = 13Mbps
REIN = Not Detected, Bridge Tap = Not Detected
Test Outcome = Pass, Main Fault Location = OK
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Weaver

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Re: Need advice, possible fault
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2018, 04:51:32 PM »

I didn't realise that the appearance of clueless is different if your line rental payments are to someone other than AA. Makes sense of course, if any of this ever does. (In fact, no, it all descended into madness when DSL was first invented.)

When I moved to AA some years ago I moved my line rental from BT to AA just so that there would be no possibility of two companies passing the buck back and forth, indeed I would always be certain that ‘the buck’ would stop at AA. (What is a buck anyway? ???)
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