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Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

j123
Grafter
Posts: 48
Thanks: 1
Registered: 08-07-2010

Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

Intermittent noise on the line over the last few weeks has caused frequent line drops. An engineer came out on Friday, which of course was one of the days where the line was clear. He found no faults but replaced the old master socket. For the rest of the day, the line was stable and clear.

This morning, the modem logs show there were a number of line drops in the morning, and the RouterStats graph showed a familiar erratic graph.

After a few hours of erratic lines on the graph (but without a line drop) I tried dialing the quiet line test, which was quiet. When I hung up, the graph went back to being stable.

I thought this must indicate a problem with the corded phone itself, but I’ve tried isolating equipment problems in the past with no success.

I’ve attached the graphs below showing the difference before and after dialing the quiet line test. Does anyone with techy knowledge of this have an explanation of what happened? I’m trying to isolate this intermittent fault.

 

 NoiseMargin-2016Dec17-1948.jpg

 

11 REPLIES
MrSilver
Pro
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Registered: 05-10-2016

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

Hi,

I doubt I can help much, but one test to try (if you havnt) is plug the router into the test port on the master socket (need to unscrew the faceplate) and not connect any telephones in at all, try two difference filters if you can in case one is the problem.

If you can keep the line stable or make it fail and you are just using the test port with nothing else on the line then the good news is you have ruled out what is in the house! 

If it is stable then gradually add things back in.

If it is still unstable then maybe see if @Anoush can co-ordinate a copper line test / xdsl status test at the point you are seeing the errors to see what comes back in the test results while you can see it having problems.

 

In terms of what you are seeing after dialling, all I can think of is the call out is causing some kind of reset on the linecard, but thats guessing :-)

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 2,123
Thanks: 361
Fixes: 114
Registered: 22-08-2015

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

I heard my name.

 

Running a status check,

 

Upstream DSL Link Information Downstream DSL Link Information
Loop Loss: 22.6 44.5
SNR Margin: 27.5 10.3
Errored Seconds: 0 0
HEC Errors: 0  
Cell Count: 29786 55120
Speed: 440 6628

 

Historically, there were heavy drop outs, but that seems to have cleared up now,

 

I've joined the Plusnet Help Team as of May 2017. As such, I have a new forum account. Please direct any queries to @Gandalf. Thanks

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Support
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,016
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

This has all the hallmarks of iffy line joints.  Sometimes use of the phone can cause iffy joints to become less iffy!

Keep logging and keep doing QLTs.  When you get the poor router stats plots, just 'lift the receiver' and listen to the dial tone - is it without noise?

Please describe your internal wiring ... at the time of that graph were your Christmas lights on?

 

@Anoush - does the radius plot tool still suffer from problems if there are 'too many' events to plot?  The loss of connection on the morning of the 17th Dec without an event marker looks a bit odd.  It might be worth revisiting the plot from the 16th - the day of the engineer's visit.  That work seems to have improved matters, but may be has not eliminated everything.

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
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Registered: 22-08-2015

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

I don't think it's an issue of too many events. I think it's just a display issue with radius.

 

However, too many radius events can cause lag/a delay with generating new events. For example, if the server reports the PPP password is incorrect, the router will try to connect far too many times with the incorrect password, so when it's reconfigured and connects with a correct one it can take a few minutes for radius to update.

I've joined the Plusnet Help Team as of May 2017. As such, I have a new forum account. Please direct any queries to @Gandalf. Thanks

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Support
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

... that is what the problem was (still is?) - if there are 'too many' events in the radius plot report, the report did not display properly.

There might well be the other issues you mention within the radius service as well... but I was thinking of issues confined to the reporting tool.

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 2,123
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Registered: 22-08-2015

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

It's not an issue with too many events; I've seen it with 3-4 events.

 

But you're right it's just a display issue.

I've joined the Plusnet Help Team as of May 2017. As such, I have a new forum account. Please direct any queries to @Gandalf. Thanks

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Support
j123
Grafter
Posts: 48
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Registered: 08-07-2010

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

I haven’t been able to do much testing over the Christmas period, but the line seems to have been stable and quiet for at least a week.

The download speed has also improved after the engineer visit, previously around 4.2 Mbps down and 0.38 Mbps up, now 5.50 Mbps down, 0.38 Mbps up. The engineer said that the line quality was good and capable of up to around 7 Mbps, so lower speeds were probably due to a cap put on by Plusnet. I don’t know if the cap was automatically lifted or if the engineer put in a note for it to be lifted, but this is the fastest it has been.

The few periods of noise since the engineer visit have persisted during master socket tests, suggesting an external fault. At least now I can do master socket tests, as the old socket that was replaced was the one without a removable face plate.

I was hoping I could find an internal wiring fault because at least that would be fixable. In response to Townman, at the moment I have a long extension cable plugged in to the downstairs master socket, leading upstairs to a microfilter splitting to the modem and a corded phone. The modem/router is connected directly to a computer via ethernet cable.

There is an old extension leading from the master socket under the floor boards to an extension socket in the adjacent room (maybe 10 ft away) with a wireless phone/answerphone connected to it via a microfilter.

But for now, all seems well. As with all intermittent faults, it’s hard to fix something that isn’t broken.

Thanks for everyone’s help. The iffy line joint sounds the most likely. I’m hoping to transfer to fibre in the next few months, so maybe that will bypass that problem.

MrSilver
Pro
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Registered: 05-10-2016

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

@j123 might be good if @anoush could re-run the line test. You SNR margin of 10.3 is probably keeping the line stable but slower than it could go.

The SNR margin is dynamically changed by BT to keep your line stable, so when you had problems before that was probably keeping the line working still.

One things to consider is getting something like this  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003H6GUNA

What it does is splits the ADSL at the master socket so you can take the phone extensions. It would mean putting the router next to the master socket and potentially then using wifi if you don't have an ethernet cable, but they have in some cases shown significant speed improvements on ADSL lines. Not wiring is needed, just unscrew front of the existing scoket, plug in and put screws in. (just to make sure its totally clear, it you put on you cant then put the adsl on the phone extensions but they also don't need microfilters either! its easy to remove too!)

My guess is your SNR is currently more like 6 which is the initial BT default if you are getting 5.5meg now, if the line looks stable. If its stable for several days BT may automatically reduce the SNR margin to 3 to give a speed improvement, I think plusnet can request a new SNR margin change too, but pushing it too far makes the line unstable again - always a balancing act or speed vs stability!

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

Shouldn't j123 now have the new NTE5c socket, which that faceplate wouldn't be suitable for?

I think @j123 really needs to re-test things without any extension wiring connected.

j123
Grafter
Posts: 48
Thanks: 1
Registered: 08-07-2010

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

Yes, it's the 5C master socket.

At the moment stability is more important than speed, and the connection is the fastest it has ever been, so I'm reluctant to change anything. But thanks for the suggestion.

Also, it wouldn't be convenient to put the modem/router near the master socket because of the way the power sockets are arranged. In addition, having the modem/router on the first floor helps the wifi signal reach to the top of the house. It all works well as long as the line is quiet and stable.

j123
Grafter
Posts: 48
Thanks: 1
Registered: 08-07-2010

Re: Erratic Routerstats graph affected by phone call

I spoke too soon. A few hours after posting that the connection dropped and the noise has returned with a number of line drops in the last few hours.

There is noise on the quiet line test and I'm getting much slower connection speeds (currently syncing at 283Kbps up, 6439kbps down, giving a speed of 0.23Mbps up, 3.77Mbps down.)

The testing continues (when I can find the time). I haven't had a chance to do master socket tests.