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How to make a Cisco router work with plus.net ADSL Max

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How to make a Cisco router work with plus.net ADSL Max

Hi all,

I've been through hell recently trying to make my cisco router work with a plus.net adsl max (i.e. 8meg ADSL) service and finally cracked it so I thought I would share this with everyone else.

I had upgraded from a Dlink DSL504 to a Cisco 1841 with HWIC-1ADSL running Advanced Security IOS with the intention of brushing up on my cisco knowledge and learning IOS firewall. However although the Dlink was able to keep a rock solid connection at 8192 downstream and 448 upstream, the HWIC-1ADSL was up and down like a whore's drawers, disconnecting and reconnecting about every 15 seconds. Plus.net support advised an IOS upgrade, which made no difference. After endless experimentation and trawling of the cisco website I finally discovered that the solution is to upgrade the ADSL firmware on your router/WIC/HWIC. This solution works for cisco 857, 867, 877, 1801, 1802 routers or any of the following HWIC cards: HWIC-1ADSL, HWIC-1ADSLI, HWIC-1ADSL-B/ST and HWIC-1ADSLI-B/ST.

Firstly check your downstream noise margin with a "show dsl interface atm0/0/0" (your interface number may vary). You need about 6.0db or more to get a stable connection. With the default firmware that is embedded in the HWIC-1ADSL I was getting -7.5db.

Next, go to ftp://ftp.cisco.com/pub/access/800 and grab the latest DSL firmware plus the installation instructions. The firmware that worked for me was adsl_alc_20190_3.0.10.bin. Follow the instructions and reboot your router. (n.b. this is the public part of Cisco's FTP server, no CCO login required).

Now try a "sho dsl int atm0/0/0" again. Et voila! My downstream margin had increased to 11.0db and my connection was rock solid.

So if you're having trouble with a flaky connection give this a try - good luck!

cheers
matt

p.s. For reference heres the config that I use to connect to plusnet and the full results of the "sho dsl int atm0/0/0" before and after the upgrade. Note that the firmware version has changed - use this to check that everything has worked ok.

--- 8< --- CUT HERE, CONFIG FOLLOWS ------------------------
interface ATM0/0/0

no ip address
no ip redirects
no ip unreachables
no ip proxy-arp
ip route-cache flow
no ip mroute-cache
atm vc-per-vp 128
no atm ilmi-keepalive
dsl operating-mode auto
hold-queue 224 in
pvc 0/38
no oam-pvc manage
encapsulation aal5mux ppp dialer
dialer pool-member 1
!
!
interface Dialer0
ip address negotiated
no ip redirects
no ip unreachables
no ip proxy-arp
ip nat outside
ip virtual-reassembly
encapsulation ppp
ip route-cache flow
dialer pool 1
dialer-group 1
ppp authentication chap pap callin
ppp chap hostname XXX@plusdsl.net
ppp chap password 7 XXX
ppp pap sent-username XXX@plusdsl.net password 7 XXX
ppp ipcp dns request
ppp ipcp wins request
hold-queue 224 in
!


--- 8< --- CUT HERE, SHO DSL #1 FOLLOWS --------------------

router#show dsl int atm0/0/0

ATM0/0/0
Alcatel 20190 chipset information
Line not activated: displaying cached data from last activation
ATU-R (DS) ATU-C (US)
Modem Status: Showtime (DMTDSL_DO_OPEN)
DSL Mode: ITU G.992.1 (G.DMT) Annex A
ITU STD NUM: 0x03 0x2
Vendor ID: 'STMI' 'TSTC'
Vendor Specific: 0x0000 0x0000
Vendor Country: 0x0F 0xB5
Capacity Used: 93% 48%
Noise Margin: -7.5 dB 26.0 dB
Output Power: 20.0 dBm 12.5 dBm
Attenuation: 22.0 dB 10.5 dB
Defect Status: LOS LOF LCDi LOM LOS LOF LCDi
Last Fail Code: None
Watchdog Counter: 0xD1
Watchdog Resets: 0
Selftest Result: 0x00
Subfunction: 0x00
Interrupts: 45967 (0 spurious)
PHY Access Err: 0
Activations: 7
LED Status: OFF
LED On Time: 0
LED Off Time: 0
Init FW: init_AMR-R-2.5.042_no_bist.bin
Operation FW: AMR-R-2.5.042.bin
FW Source: embedded
FW Version: 2.5.42

Interleave Fast Interleave Fast
Speed (kbps): 8128 0 448 0
Cells: 0 0 6099 0
Reed-Solomon EC: 1 0 197 159
CRC Errors: 344 0 166 144
Header Errors: 1 0 180 206
Total BER: 0E-0 0E-0
Leakage Average BER: 0E-0 0E-0
LOM Monitoring : Disabled


--- 8< --- CUT HERE, SHO DSL #2 FOLLOWS --------------------

router#sho dsl int atm0/0/0

ATM0/0/0
Alcatel 20190 chipset information
ATU-R (DS) ATU-C (US)
Modem Status: Showtime (DMTDSL_SHOWTIME)
DSL Mode: ITU G.992.1 (G.DMT) Annex A
ITU STD NUM: 0x03 0x2
Vendor ID: 'STMI' 'TSTC'
Vendor Specific: 0x0000 0x0000
Vendor Country: 0x0F 0xB5
Capacity Used: 94% 48%
Noise Margin: 11.5 dB 26.0 dB
Output Power: 20.0 dBm 12.5 dBm
Attenuation: 22.0 dB 10.5 dB
Defect Status: None None
Last Fail Code: None
Watchdog Counter: 0x47
Watchdog Resets: 0
Selftest Result: 0x00
Subfunction: 0x00
Interrupts: 8250 (0 spurious)
PHY Access Err: 0
Activations: 1
LED Status: OFF
LED On Time: 0
LED Off Time: 0
Init FW: init_3.0.010_nobist.bin
Operation FW: AMR-3.0.010.bin
FW Source: external
FW Version: 3.0.10

Interleave Fast Interleave Fast
Speed (kbps): 8128 0 448 0
Cells: 114 0 304802 0
Reed-Solomon EC: 43 0 1 0
CRC Errors: 0 0 1 0
Header Errors: 0 0 0 0
Total BER: 0E-0 0E-0
Leakage Average BER: 0E-0 0E-0
LOM Monitoring : Disabled