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wcugrad
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Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:22 pm    Post subject: WRTP54G and dropped voice Reply with quote Back to top

I have been using a WRTP54G router for a couple of months now. Frequently (as in most of the time) I have dropped voice on calls where I am on the phone for any significant amount of time - say over 15 minutes. Sometimes it happens even on shorter calls, but seldom can I ever have a conversation longer than 15 minutes without noticing the problem. The call/line doesn't seem to be dropped, as my phone will still show the call as active, and the person I am calling says the same thing. We just can't hear one another.

My Internet connection seems to always be fine. Speed tests routinely show somewhere around 3 megs download/300+ kb upload. I have changed the setting for the "bandwidth saver" multiple times. I have firmware version 1.0.55, and the QoS tab in the router's admin page looks useless in terms of voice - easy to follow for other things like ftp, http, etc. I'm thinking about going back and putting a better wireless router in front of this to handle my LAN, and have this off that router just for voice. But I would really prefer to keep everything in one box if I can.
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RikMar67
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm having similar problems, except for me it happens right away. Someone calls me, I answer the phone, say "hello" about a dozen times, and then hang up because I can't hear the other person. Similarly, they can't hear me. They call me back and on the third or forth call it finally connects. Same thing when I try to call someone. I have to call about 3 or 4 times before we can actually start talking to each other.

I have had Vonage for several months now and this hasn't been a problem. I'm going to restart my router, but I'm sure that won't resolve the problem. If anyone else has some suggestions I'm listening.
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markwi
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

my wrtp54g is running on .58 with no issues. rough start up out of box but running smooth now. YAY! Very Happy

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wcugrad
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I must have gotten .58 pushed to me today at some point. I haven't used the phone since coming home from work, so I don't know if it is any better. But I was hoping that a techie on here would possibly add some insight to the use of the QoS feature specifically on the WRTP54G. There doesn't seem to be anywhere to "up" the priority of an Internet call (only port-related stuff and the defaults of ftp, http, etc.). In fact, the page actually says that ALL traffic will be treated as a low priority.

I didn't really have any problems getting things up and running. But from day 1 I have had this problem with the voice seemingly cutting out even though it appears that both parties on the call still seem to be connected. Any ideas (network traffic, QoS not properly giving the call a higher priority if I was doing something on one of my computers, etc.)???
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

wcugrad wrote:
I must have gotten .58 pushed to me today at some point. I haven't used the phone since coming home from work, so I don't know if it is any better. But I was hoping that a techie on here would possibly add some insight to the use of the QoS feature specifically on the WRTP54G. There doesn't seem to be anywhere to "up" the priority of an Internet call (only port-related stuff and the defaults of ftp, http, etc.). In fact, the page actually says that ALL traffic will be treated as a low priority.

I didn't really have any problems getting things up and running. But from day 1 I have had this problem with the voice seemingly cutting out even though it appears that both parties on the call still seem to be connected. Any ideas (network traffic, QoS not properly giving the call a higher priority if I was doing something on one of my computers, etc.)???


OK, it's midnight, so I can be forgiven for being longwinded. So here goes...

Put a real router in front of the WRTP54G. Stop wasting your time. You have better things to do. If you can find them, I have threads with tales of major angst trying to get the WRTP54G QoS running, and that was the very beginning of my tales of woe with this router. It dies daily under the strain of heavy-connection loads like BitTorrent, it's QOS Does. Not. Work. Period.

I had trouble with intermittent call quality (to put it nicely). I had trouble keeping my network stable. I had DNS problems, requiring workarounds. You name it, other than actual dropped calls, I had it.

Finally, I had it. Resisting the urge to reshape the WRTP54G into a flatish pile of silverish shards using a large lump of metal attached to a wooden stick (aka "Hammer Time!"), I resolved to fix my network first, then deal with my Vonage issues later.

I went out and bought a WRT54G V4, now known as the WRT54GL, loaded aftermarket firmware (HyperWRT Tofu), put the WRTP54G behind it, and turned off everything I could find (wireless, firewall, etc) on the WRTP54G, and... wow. I mean, really. wow. BEST $50 I have spent in years. Hands down. The WRT54GL is about $75 now, and I'd do it again in a second. It cost me about a month or so of my Vonage savings over landline cost, and it was worth every last penny.

My calls are crisper and clearer on Vonage than they have ever been. Seriously, even with my network idle, my WRTP54G voice quality was "good". With the WRTP54G doing ONLY Vonage work, and my network going like a bat outta hell with other stuff, but the WRT54G managing things, the voice quality is land-line good. Better than cell. Far better.

With QoS, I no longer have to cringe when the phone rings downstairs and my desktop upstairs is running full-bore BitTorrent, because the WRT54G clamps down on BitTorrent and feeds the Vonage WRTP54G everything it asks for.

And I can still surf the web and use my multiple VPN connections and 9 simultaneous IM connections, with BitTorrent going gangbusters the whole time and an active Vonage call at 90k running from time to time, with nary a failure for **21 consecutive days**. My network just - works. Like it should. "Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found yooooouuuuuu...." (extra points for anyone who gets the reference).

Now, don't get me wrong. This was a learning curve. I had to learn a lot about QoS, how the Linksys routers worked, etc etc. But, much to my infinite delight, I learned that the WRTP54G is a most excellent Vonage device.

As long as you don't ask it to do any actual routing, or wireless, or anything else that overworks the poor little dear.

Should you decide to go this route, please do feel free to ask for help. Loading the router with HyperWRT Tofu is easy. Tuning QoS took a lot of research, but I can shortcut you through a lot of that. However, detailed discussion of this is probably outside the scope of these forums. www.linksysinfo.com and www.hyperwrt.org are great resources.

PS: DO NOT load the code from the main www.hyperwrt.org page. It's old. Look for "Tofu" if you are running a WRT54GL, and "Thibor" if you choose a WRT54GL. And avoid the WRT54G itself, unless you can find an older model.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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wcugrad
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Joined: Dec 29, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK - I got the WRT54G and put on HyperWRT with tofu11 as the firmware. I disabled everything I could find on the WRTP54G, have it off port 1 of the new router, and set the QoS for port 1 to high. Over the past 2 days I haven't lost a call like I did before, but I get choppy voice if I do something like a speed test during a phone call. Any pointers on how to better configure the QoS on the WRT54G?

My upload speeds typically range between roughly 320 Kbps and 360 Kbps. Should I set the upload speed to something like manual/300 instead of auto? And should I set the QoS to "highest" on the Vonage device by MAC address instead of the port?
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

wcugrad wrote:

My upload speeds typically range between roughly 320 Kbps and 360 Kbps. Should I set the upload speed to something like manual/300 instead of auto? And should I set the QoS to "highest" on the Vonage device by MAC address instead of the port?


300 would be a good start. Then you can tune it from there. It's tough for your router to get the "automatic" setting right. You can also run a speed test on a quiet connection (nothing going on) and use that, or about 95% of that, as a start.

If you have QoS set too low, it artificially slows down your upload bandwidth. If you have it set too high, it is less effective.

QoS does not affect download bandwidth, so if YOU are hearing the choppy audio, there's little you can do about it unless you can cap your download speeds using whatever application you are using for downloading. YOU hearing choppy audio means too much trying to be downloaded at once.

QoS DOES affect upload bandwidth, which means you can fix things using QoS if the OTHER end is getting choppy or poor audio.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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wcugrad
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have this set to manual/300, and the QoS setting to "highest" on my router's MAC address. I noticed at least 2 or 3 calls yesterday where the call (or at least the audio) was dropped - almost like mute was turned on since the phone still shows like it is connected to the line.

I never notice choppy audio on my end. But I did a speed test while making a phone call and the other end reported choppy audio during the test that went back to normal when the test finished. For the service, I am saving $15/month over Time Warner's Digital Phone service (that I had for about a year and NEVER had any problems). I have now bought an upgraded 5.8 GHz phone system ($100), a new router ($45 after the rebates), and the wireless WRTP54G ($30 after rebates). Where are my savings? And all of this for service that keeps dropping??? It will take me almost another full year to realize any cost savings to pay for all these extras.
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