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Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

shermans
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

This may sound difficult to believe but I have managed to confuse two WiFi Routers with one another.  A long story, but I spend a lot of time in France and decided to go broadband.  I signed up to France Telecom but did not want to be ripped off renting their special "Livebox" which is just a WiFi router.  Anyway, I know all about the techie stuff, don't I ?  I'll get my own router !
Then I spotted on Ebay a WiFi router going very cheap - yes, it was a Livebox, so no trouble with France Telecom and getting ADSL up and running with that.  Oh no.  I'm far too clever...
Until the damn thing came and then I realised my mistake, I had bought an "Alicebox" instead.  Got confused with the names, they sound so alike, and they are both orange in colour, but of course the "Alicebox" is Tiscali and the "Livebox" is France Telecom.
The "Alicebox" which is an Hitachi (?) AH4021 in reality, is all pre-configured, and even when I get into the firmware with 192.168.1.1, it is all designed around Tiscali.  The Fance Telecom software is of course also all pre-configured for their own "Livebox", so I am at present stuck.
I can change some settings, but a) I cannot remember what my settings are in the UK on my WiFi there, which connects to Plusnet, but they probably would be nowhere near the same anyway, and b) there does not seem to be any sort of ADSL password in the configuration panel.  Can anyone by any chance throw any light on the settings or alternatively suggest how I can dump all the Tiscali nonsense and just go back to the OEM configuration software which of course is not included !?
The only settings which I seem to be able to change are :
VP/VCI - default to 8/35
Con ID - default to 8/37
Category - default to UBT
Service - default to ppp_8_35_1
Interface - default to ppp_8_35_1
Protocol - PPPoE
Igmp - ?
QoS - ?
The Gateway is also blank, presumably because there is no ADSL connection.  It also seems that the ppp_35_8_1 is the connection ID.
I have been given a connection ID by France Telecom, as well as a password but no other settings at all.  And there does not appear to be a place in the above list for a password, unless the Con ID - Default 1 - is the password.
There is a second default profile in the "Alicebox" configuration.  All settings are the same, except :
VP/VCI = 8/37
Service =  br-8-37
Interface = nas-8-37
Protocol =Bridge.
However, of course, none of those settings wold be relevant to France Telecom.
Any sugestions would be most appreciated.  Next time, I will be less cocky.  But if I can,t fix it, then it's going to continue to be 40kbps dial-up for the next three weeks, and I cannot face it !
Nick Embarrassed Embarrassed
10 REPLIES
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

This guy has got the alice box working
http://chaosblog.wordpress.com/2007/08/26/dsl-modem-als-router/
If you can read german or translate it online.
shermans
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

Thanks, I actually speak German, so i will have a look at that.
In the meantime, I have actually managed to discover that I can change the settings easily, and have tried to set up a new profile, but there are too many unanswered questions.  Can anyone suggest answers ?  Trying to get help from France Telecom is like pulling teeth - there is no suc thing as service in France, just Gallic shrugs.
The connection and password are obvious when you enter a new profile.  Not so obvious until you do.
The problem is the likely settings for :
VPI 0-255 ?
VCI 32 -65535 ?
Catgory - UBR wih PCR ?
              UBR without PCR ?
              CBR ?
              Non realtime UBR ?
              Realtiem UBR ?
Enable QoS ?
Encapsulation mode LLC/Swap briding ?
                              VC/Mux ?
Authentiction Auto ?
                      PAP ?
                      CHAP ?
                      MSCHAP ?
Extension IP PPP ?
Enable IGM ?
Enable WAN ?
Any thoughts gratefully received.  otherwise it will be trial and error.
Undecided
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

These I can tell you:
VPI 0
VCI 38
Encapsulation VC/Mux
No idea on the others.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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VileReynard
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

VPI/VCI are country dependant.
http://damien.bergamini.free.fr/ueagle/vpivci.html
Gives values for France etc.
I haven't a clue if they are right

shermans
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

Grin
Cracked it !  Thanks so much to all three of you who replied.  The German blog started me off in the right direction.  Then the other two references for VPI and VCI and the other settings finally sorted it out.  Amazin the difference !
I really am grateful to all of you.
Many thanks
Grin
shermans
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

Some feedback on my earlier problem, and a couple more questions for those who are more technical than me.
First of all, my Orange ADSL service here in France works well, very well.  In fact, as I am about two miles from the exchange, I can only get 512k, whereas with my Plusnet account in the UK, I am on up to 8 Mb, and actually see about 2.4 Mb. But I have to say that my nominally lower bandwidth here in France is far faster than my UK Plusnet connection - it is like lightning.  Now I put that down to the fact that, being in a very rural area in both countries, both the same distance from the exchange, the UK lines are old copper, replaced about ten years ago, whereas in France, they have installed dedicated new ADSL fibre optic lines all through the lanes in this part of France (Lower Normandy).  So I assume that the fibre optic makes the difference, even on a much lower bandwidth.
Now my question.  As I have said, I have no complaints at all, but wonder whether it will last, because I have probably committed heinous crimes wiring up my system.  As the house had recently been re-wired, all the telephone sockets (there are eight around the house) carry eight wires - four twisted pairs.  So I decided, (wrongly technically I have since learnt), that as only two wires are needed for the telephone,  I would use another pair to route the ADSL signal right around the house - that means, I can plug a modem into whichever socket I want and pick up the ADSL signal.
Well, it works fine, as far as I can tell.  In fact, I use a WFi modem of course, but I have been able to choose the socket from which I get the strongest signal in any room in the house.  In fact, one socket upstairs in the middle of the house gives me 4 mbps and maximum quality throughout the house. But it is a long way from the incoming supply, and at the end of the line.  Should that make any difference ?  Should there be a sina drp due to the resistance in the long circuit ?  If so, does it matter ?
I have been unable to get a proper master filter due to bureaucracy out here.  So I have actually just split the incoming supply, passed the entire telephone network through a standard telephone socket filter, and of course then connected the ADSL line to one of the spare twisted pairs.  Very crude, very simple but it works.  The question is for how long ?  Am I in for any nasty surprises when perhaps traffic increases after the holiday season, and I start to lose line quality because of my Heath Robinson setup ?  Or is it a question of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  s I said, the ADSL works fine and so do all the telephones, surprisingly, with no interference.
I remember that things like "attenuation" are significant but I do not know what they should be.  I am attaching the test results I just got from the modem, which, as I say, is at the end of the line on my ADSL circuit, about thirty feet from the incoming supply.
If anone is willing to comment either on the test results, or on my wiring, or wheher there is any technical difference between a standard ADSL socket filter and a master filter, I would be most interested.
Thanks
Nick

Mode: ADSL2
Type: 
Line Rate - Upstream (Kbps): 156
Line Rate - Downstream (Kbps): 601
SNR Margin - Upstream (dB): 26.8
SNR Margin - Downstream (dB): 5.7
Attenuation - Upstream (dB): 32.4
Attenuation - Downstream (dB): 69.5

Mode: ADSL2 
Type: 
Line Coding: Trellis On 
Status: No Defect 
Link Power State: L0 
 
  Downstream Upstream
SNR Margin (dB): 5.9  27.0 
Attenuation (dB): 69.5  32.4 
Output Power (dBm): 0.0  12.6 
Attainable Rate (Kbps): 1040  628 
Rate (Kbps): 601  156 
MSGc (number of bytes in overhead channel message): 11  10 
B (number of bytes in Mux Data Frame): 14  22 
M (number of Mux Data Frames in FEC Data Frame): 1  1 
T (Mux Data Frames over sync bytes): 5  1 
R (number of check bytes in FEC Data Frame): 10  4 
S (ratio of FEC over PMD Data Frame length): 0.7874  4.5000 
L (number of bits in PMD Data Frame): 254  48 
D (interleaver depth): 64  8 
 
Super Frames: 6779485  6779483 
Super Frame Errors: 206  0 
RS Words: 576256290  461004844 
RS Correctable Errors: 5354472  0 
RS Uncorrectable Errors: 1990  N/A 
 
HEC Errors: 155  0 
OCD Errors: 1  0 
LCD Errors: 0  0 
Total Cells: 160917119  325663 
Data Cells: 13671037  3556 
Bit Errors: 0  0 
 
Total ES: 67  0 
Total SES: 0  0 
Total UAS: 28  0 
VileReynard
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

If this was England, one pair of wires serves each telephone number - so you could use only one pair to do both ADSL & all phones (with filters).
Another reasonable option would be to split the voice and ADSL signals into two separate pairs at the master socket (using a filter for voice).
The best way would be to run voice phone signals on one pair all round the house and use some CAT5 cable out of one or two ports of your router. You might want to plan this carefully if you are having multiple PC's connected...
But since you are using wifi the wiring shouldn't matter - whichever socket behaves best obviously is the best one to use.
However, you have an extremely high attenuation (69.5 dB) - that is very borderline. If you are able to place your router at the 4Mbps point then I would expect to see that 69.5 dB figure to come down a bit.
I would try it there for a few days (that attenuation figure includes internal and external wiring).

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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

The best solution would be to put a normal (wired) router at the master socket so that it got the cleanest signal possible and then use some of your wires to make an ethernet connection to a separate wireless access point situated so you get the strongest signal all round the house (I have a Netgear WG602).
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
shermans
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

Thanks for all the advice.  I have just decidd to try to connect the modem directly to the master socket, thereby by-passing all the interference from the house wiring - the French master socket actually isolates itself in a similar way to the BT version.  So that would give me the best signal possible.  I get SNR up of 26.7 and SNR down of 9.4.  That seems to be techncally reasonable.
The results are similar to before - there was a small improvement n SNR but the atenuation in both directions remains the same as before : 32.4 up, 69.5 down.
I assume that the down attenuation is so high because the last 500 meters from the fibre optic line on the main road down the lane to our house is of course actually copper.
So having conducted that test, I re-connected using the twisted wire Heath Robinson arrangement round the house.  To my surprise, I get SNR up of 29.6 and SNR down of 9.1, which means that the house circuit is adding very little interference.
My immediate impresion was that the master socket test was somehow leaving the house wiring still conected and not by-passing it.  So I double, treble checked the wirin and there is no possibility of the house wiring being connected when using the master socket
So the conclusion so far is that I am worrying needlessly bout nothing, because I understand that a SNR of 9 is perfectly acceptable, despite the high attenuation.
shermans
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Re: Can anyone help an idiot with an ADSL modem problem ?

I am only guessing about the fibre, but I cannot imagine that they would dig up all the verges for miles around to lay copper.  However, I admit that I don't know much about these things, and maybe fibre is too expensive.  All I can say is that the new cables which they laid have a bright yellow box every 500 meters or so with "ADSL" printed on the top. 
The telephone line actually also runs parallel along the road on standard telegraph poles.  I am assuming that the ADSL line must link into the telephone cable wherever it spurs off to a house.  All houses here are remote, and therefore each branch will be down a farm track of some sort - in our case, we are the only house 500 yards down a farm track, and the cable to the house is supplied by copper cable from the main road where the ADSL line has been laid, but it does join the old telegraph pole cables.  What happens after that, I do not know, but I guess it somehow links into the ADSL circuit at that point Huh  If not, what is the ADSL circuit there for ?
The only other thing that I can say is that the connection speed is far faster than my Plusnet connection in the UK, despite the consistent high attenuation.  Downloads are equally as fast as Plusnet also, even though I only have 512 kbps. 
What I am surprised about is that the SNR has today dropped to 3.9 from 9.1 last night, but I still do not notice any lack of performance.  Admittedly, I do not use it for gaming but use it for surfing and for email, and I also watch BBC News24 and listen to streamed radio from the UK.  I have been using Google Earth regularly to do some topographical research also.  In the last five days, my consumption has been about 1.5 Gb - while not a heavy user, it is still much more than I use in the UK due to listening to the radio / watching News24 etc.
I am really puzzled, but not complaining.