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Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

fnxweb
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 20-06-2011

Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

I do have a question-ticket open on this (as well a discussion with Draytek), but I probably should have come here first!
Essentially, I'm seeing my Draytek Vigor 2130n complain about a lack of response to (PPP/LCP) echo-requests, and then fail to complete PPPoE with missing PADO (!?) packets on my Fibre connection.
After much grief with the stock Technicolor router (problems with WiFi, firewall & DHCP which made me reboot it once a week) I bought a Draytek 2130n.  I went for that with using the stick BT modem as my modem's in the hall but I really need the WiFi in a more centralised point in the house, and I've had great experiences with Draytek in the past.
However, I'm seeing the 2130n dropping connection periodically, and then failing to reconnect for 5-30 minutes.  I did a firmware update and a full reset, plus a local cable check*, but so far no joy.
(* - the cable between the modem and the router is the long CAT-5 I used to used between my old ADSL router and my switch;  I have a CAT-5 cable tester which implies it's OK, I've not seen issues with it before, and have even replaced one of the plugs since I could make it drop a line by twisting it.)
The connection drop is random;  I've seen it happen with a period of 2 hours, and I've also gone 2 days with no problem.  It always begins with something like:
Jul 23 16:23:07 router pppd[13625]: No response to 5 echo-requests
Jul 23 16:23:07 router pppd[13625]: Serial link appears to be disconnected.
Jul 23 16:23:07 router pppd[13625]: Connect time 1071.7 minutes.
Jul 23 16:23:07 router pppd[13625]: Sent 17419154 bytes, received 112625748 bytes.
Jul 23 16:23:07 router pppd[13625]: Script /etc/ppp/ip-down started (pid 873)
Jul 23 16:23:07 router pppd[13625]: sent [LCP TermReq id=0x3 "Peer not responding"]
Jul 23 16:23:07 router root: [IP-DOWN] IFACE=ppp0 TTY=eth1.2 SPEED=0 LOCAL=X.X.X.X REMOTE=X.X.X.X IPPARAM=wan
Jul 23 16:23:08 router root: [IP-DOWN]revert uci network state in ip-down...

.. and then I get repeating ..
Jul 23 16:27:45 router pppd[11999]: pppd 2.4.4 started by root, uid 0
Jul 23 16:28:00 router pppd[11999]: Timeout waiting for PADO packets
Jul 23 16:28:00 router pppd[11999]: Unable to complete PPPoE Discovery

.. amongst other things.

Does anyone have any ideas for how I can pin this down?  The guy on the ticket I have showed me a graph of drops I've had in the past week (a lot), but I feel they could just be an artefact of my router deciding to disconnect.
Over the weekend I shall move my router to the hall and use the short Draytek supplied CAT-5 cable (seemingly not fully wired?) between the 2m in case it's my home-made one.
But, of all the problems I had with the Technicolor, dropping connections didn't seem to be one, so I can't help but think the modem & the cabling are OK (not that I guess I would know;  I only know now as the Draytek's emailing me every time it comes back up, and it was *so* flakey when I first set it up.  And there's always the chance that a dodgy connection was causing some sort of fall-out in the Technicolor).
I think the Draytek runs a flavour of OpenWRT;  is there anything techy I can try there (I'm quite happy using Linux)?  I have SSHd in, and fiddled with the /etc/ppp/options file to try to increase the lcp timeout values, but they don't seem to be used.  The file has:
#lcp-echo-failure 5
#lcp-echo-interval 3
lcp-echo-failure 30
lcp-echo-interval 4

.. (I commented out the original values), but despite at least one reset, one reboot, and several I/F+pppd restarts, the logged error still says it had "No response to 5 echo-requests", not 30.
So I've no really clue as to what's happening.  For ref., the modem DSL light seems to always stay on, if I recall correctly.  Indeed, I can't yet detect any change of lights on the modem or the router when there';s a failure;  I have to check the logs to see it's gone down.
21 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,540
Thanks: 661
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

I'm not sure what's causing the initial timeout and drop of the connection, but the delay on reconnecting (Timeout waiting for PADO packets) will be down to this http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,114808.0.html
fnxweb
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 20-06-2011

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

Yeah, I'd read that earlier;  I'm going to see if I can get the patch off @jimbof as it looks like he's got the same router (although he may have a fully custom OpenWRT installed).
jimbof
Grafter
Posts: 348
Thanks: 2
Registered: 02-05-2013

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

Ah found you! The private mail you sent had no contact details but another forum member pointed me at your post.
I'm running OpenWRT on a custom built PC which has 3 gigabit LAN chips on it. 
The utility I based my work on was pppoesk.  It didn't work well for me as originally provided by the author:
https://github.com/lpefferkorn/pppoesk
My hacked up version which works for me is here:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-_YzKUQ1hkzeDR4bnVMMXYxWE0/edit?usp=sharing
I'm on x86 PC so I didn't have to worry about endianess (big vs little endian) but if you were trying to compile this for ARM on a draytekit looks like the code might need modifying.
But I think your big problem is that you are getting disconnections in the first place.  My connection never dies of its own accord (uptime measured in weeks) - I only started trying to solve the probelm as it annoyed me every time the cleaner power cycled the router / I forgot to shut down cleanly that I was forced to wait an eternity to reconnect.  But the maximum connection timeout should be around 8 minutes (2 minutes * 3 + a portion of 2 minutes) - so if you find you can't connect for half an hour or so then something else is up.
Perhaps your cabinet /port at the cabinet is broken and goes away for long periods of time, or loses it's connection to the backhaul, or you have a line issue?
jimbof
Grafter
Posts: 348
Thanks: 2
Registered: 02-05-2013

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

Your mention of your CAT5 being dodgy is worrying.  The cheap CAT5 testers tell you very little about connection quality.  Try a bought lead first.  There are a lot of plugs out there that don't fit particular cable well - and if you have plugs onto solid core cable (not sure if this is or not) it will almost always fail over time (even the connectors supposedly for solid core cable).  Some bad connections will even give you "happy lights" on your devices and not pass a single bit of data...  Most cheap crimp tools are also pretty rubbish - I've taken two back to Maplins and had to argue with them over the quality of the crimping, with many deforming the shells or pins or both, or applying uneven pressure to certain pins.
Of course, I could be typing this to a cabling ninja who I'm teaching to suck eggs though so if that is the case apologies! Smiley
fnxweb
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 20-06-2011

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

Heh, sorry, it wasn't supposed to be an intelligence test!  I used the “email” link off your profile page, which uses a web-form, so I have no idea of the format of the email you'd've received.
Yes, after some of the recent[ish] threads I've now read, the initial problem seems to the disconnections;  the time taken to come back up would appear to be secondary (I'd thought maybe they were another symptom).  I'm not sure I'm ready to dedicate a custom-made OpenWRT box to the task yet, though!
I've not been able to find out of anyone where the LCP acks. are supposed to originate.  My gut feeling is that they're from outside my property, just being routed through the modem, which would allow for the fault to be pretty much anywhere, but would include stuff someone else has to fix.  I just don't know how to pin it down.  I also don't trust the PlusNet-supplied routers to have told me if this malarkey was going on before, either.
One thing I do mean to try over the weekend* is to move my router to next to my modem and use the supplied cable to connect them (as opposed to my custom longer one), using my one to connect the router to my switch.  This would have to be short-term as the wifi likely won't get far enough into my house (the hall socket is round 2 brick walls).
As to cables:  I've done a several CAT-5s (enough to have a crimping tool and a supply of what I thought to be decent cable, plus some connectors & boots).  But I don't do or know enough to be able to state whether any of it is quality or not!  The biggest problem I've had recently was accidentally cutting into the inner cables while trying to de-sheath the main trunk!  It was late at night when I did that, though;  I've not had that grief before.
* as it happens, I did a full power-off+wait last night (I'd done all the previous stuff with the modem left on) and it's actually stayed up cleanly so far, so I may give it a few more days before trying another test.
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

What version firmware are you running on the 2130n?
I have tried several versions but stuck with v1.5.1 as this has been most reliable for me.
I note that the WiFi side of this router is not particularly good (slow) are you seeing the same?
I'm also using the stock Huawei VDSL modem but with access to the web interface - http://huaweihg612hacking.wordpress.com/

jimbof
Grafter
Posts: 348
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Registered: 02-05-2013

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

Quote from: fnxweb
I've not been able to find out of anyone where the LCP acks. are supposed to originate.  My gut feeling is that they're from outside my property, just being routed through the modem, which would allow for the fault to be pretty much anywhere, but would include stuff someone else has to fix.  I just don't know how to pin it down.  I also don't trust the PlusNet-supplied routers to have told me if this malarkey was going on before, either.

I believe the LCP acks should come in response to your LCP echo requests from the same place as your PPP session ends (ie at Plusnet's PPP server). 
If you have long bits of CAT5 (if you bought a reel, probably solid core)  you are better off terminating them with a line socket or faceplate / keystone jack using a punchdown tool.  If you go that route make sure the punchdown tool matches the terminals (either 110 standard or LSA/Krone).  Then you use a short length of factory built cable.  That's the "proper" way to do it.
Hope you get sorted! Smiley
 
fnxweb
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 20-06-2011

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

@knowdice: it came with 1.5.2, I updated to 1.5.3 in case that helped matters.  It wouldn't let me re-install 1.5.3 (when I wanted to really make sure I'd reset it;  said it was "invalid" even though it had accepted it only a couple of days before).  I took that as meaning I could only go "forwards" but by the sounds of it, that could be another symptom of a faulty device.
@jimbo: Thanks, I might come at you privately for more wiring tips when it comes to it!  You've now breached my knowledge of the subject!

I just had the "no response" loss again this morning, despite the full reset, so tonight/tomorrow morning I'll do the relocation so I can prove the modem/router cable.  Then see what happens over the next 2-4 days.
I've now had both PlusNet asking me to register a line fault and DrayTek telling me to return it under RMA!  I think I'll go with the RMA initially (presuming the cable doesn't prove to be the issue [but then, again, I didn't have this with either of the previous routers]) and hope that that helps.  While that's gone back, I'll get PlusNet to check my drop-outs with the previous router in-place, as if that continues it really implies it's a line fault.
Although how they'll prove it with something that generally is failing only once or twice a day I don't know:  my actual download/upload speedtests are still fine.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,146
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

This graph shows your connectivity drops:
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
fnxweb
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 20-06-2011

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

Thanks @Kelly;  the recent drop-outs tie up with the resets I've monitored on the router.  Unfortunately, they still don't tell me which end instigated the reset:  was there a legitimate error that the router spotted, or was it asked to quit?  *That* has happened a few times, including that last time, 5 mins. after the “normal” reset:
Jul 25 10:54:49 router pppd[24775]: No response to 5 echo-requests
Jul 25 10:54:49 router pppd[24775]: Serial link appears to be disconnected.
Jul 25 10:54:49 router pppd[24775]: Connect time 662.2 minutes.
...
[connection comes up OK briefly]
...
Jul 25 11:00:27 router pppd[3785]: rcvd [LCP TermReq id=0x9]
Jul 25 11:00:27 router pppd[3785]: LCP terminated by peer


I've now (20-30 mins ago) moved my router into my hall next to the modem, connecting the 2 via the stock cable that came with the Draytek (I may also try the one that came with the Technicolor if this has no luck) instead of my longer home-made one*.
This will at least be able to demonstrate whether it's my wiring or not.  If I still see errors, DrayTek have agreed to RMA the router, so I can switch back to the Technicolor for a few weeks (same wiring as now).  I'll get back to PN support after a fortnight or so to see if there have been drop-outs with that router (as I don't think it can tell me).  If there have been drop-outs, I can trigger a fault-check/call-out.
Thanks for everyone who's chipped in;  if you need to contact me directly, I'm on [tt]phoenix, fnxweb-com[/tt] for home, or [tt]fnxweb, gmail-com[/tt] when out & about.
“I'll be back ...”

* - I've checked, and am using “Enhanced CAT-5e” cabling (unshielded), so that much, at least, should be OK, presuming the cable is actually intact and I've not wholly stuffed up the crimping.  My wiring isn't involved in the DSL process now, though, so it's not so relevant.
jimbof
Grafter
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Registered: 02-05-2013

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

The most interesting thing about the cable is whether it is solid core (a single copper conductor under the insulation) or stranded (several smaller conductors).  It is very hard to get a good connection between an RJ45 plug and solid core cable, and even if it starts good they can degrade quite quickly with a little movement.  This is why solid core should only really be used onto "punch down" terminals.  You can get special plugs which are designed for solid core cable which have a different contact design, but they are still not brilliant.
fnxweb
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 20-06-2011

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

If I understand you correctly, how would I tell what I have?  The cable I have has the usual 4 twisted pairs, with some sort of fluffy strands, within the outer sheath.  If I had to, I'd say the 8 individual cables were single pieces of metal within their own rubber sleeves, but at that thickness I'd guess that if they were each separately stranded they've be far too fragile, wouldn't they?
The cable has, printed down the sides, “Enhanced CAT5E UTP 4PR 24AWG 095M”.
jimbof
Grafter
Posts: 348
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Registered: 02-05-2013

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

The printing doesn't give you much clue... the 095m is just a distance marker so you know how much cable is left on the reel.
The fluffy strands are a pull cord so you don't have to damage the conductors stripping off the outer - you pull it hard and it splits the outer so you can just cut it off easily with scissors / snips.
Stranded is used for patch cable - where each conductor will have 7 strands.  This is much more flexible for routing in racks etc - and is usually terminated in plugs.  Solid cable is really supposed to be used for building / infrastructure between patch panels and wall plates.If you think about electrics - stranded is used for mains cables between the wall and your TV/comupter, but solid mains cable is used in the walls for your sockets and light circuits.  The same applies to data cable.
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Intermittent Fibre connection - pppd/PPPoE/Draytek-2130n problem?

Might be like "teaching my granny to suck eggs"...but did you use the correct pin-out for each pair?

With the single copper core it's much more likely to fracture as the cable is moved so should only be used for "fixed" installations, whereas multi-core is much more robust and is suitable for patch cores.