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brazzle
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Call quality extremely sporatic; setup ideas? Reply with quote Back to top

Hello all,

I just signed up with Vonage last week and while for the most part I am pleased, I am having some serious issues that won't allow me to keep the service if I can't get them resolved.

I am currently running the Vonage V-Portal and a Panasonic 4-unit DECT6.0 in a 3-bedroom single-story apartment (1600 sq.ft or so). Every time I have made a call from my home, the quality is fine; however, when my wife calls me at work (my cell) from the phones, about 25% of the time I get a lot of cutting out and about 50% of the time I get a piercing static that covers any voices that may or may not be there...it isn't just bad, I have no idea if there is a person on the other line. (Call quality has been set to High and Highest on Vonage's site, both with the same result)

With the whiteout static, my wife doesn't seem to know there was a problem, but she has noticed the cutting out before with others. It makes it difficult to diagnose since I haven't run into the problem making calls myself.

Here is my network setup (DSL):

Modem(trans. bridge)->Router(PPPoE)->V-Portal->Phone Base

The modem is a Qwest Actiontec M-1000, transparently bridged. The Router is a Linksys WRT54GL running DD-WRT v24SP1 authenticating with PPPoE. The router has assigned a static IP to the V-Portal and is giving highest priority to that address with QoS. I have also setup port triggering on UDP 10000-20000. Port triggering was my latest attempt, before that I had tried both DMZ and Port forwarding with the same issues.

I ran the Voip test on this site with the following results:

Speed test statistics
---------------------
Download speed: 1277256 bps
Upload speed: 757376 bps
Quality of service: 84 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
Maximum download pause: 204 ms
Average download pause: 24 ms
Minimum round trip time to server: 107 ms
Average round trip time to server: 128 ms

Voip test statistics
--------------------
Jitter: you --> server: 1.8 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 0.2 ms
Packet loss: you --> server: 0.0 %
Packet loss: server --> you: 0.0 %
Packet discards: 0.0 %
Packets out of order: 0.0 %
Number of supported Voip lines: 12
Estimated MOS score: 4.1


I had to enable QoS with highest priority on the machine, otherwise the jitter made things unusable (24ms-45ms). (yes i have disabled QoS since testing).

I'm not quite sure of the problem. At first I thought it was a phone problem, but I got the DECT system for its supposed range and lack of interference and no handset ever reaches more than 50-60 feet away from the base.

The one other thing I think could be a problem (since reading these forums) is the location of my device. I've never had electrical interference problems with any other device and the inconsistency of the problem makes me doubt that it is the problem, but I would like opinions. Unfortunately I cannot test it at the time of writing since I'm not home, but I will when I get home.

Here is how my physical devices are set up:

[V-Portal]<--1 in-->[DD-WRT w/7db Hi-Gain Ant.]<--1in-->[Modem]

and those are behind a 20.1" LCD. My phone system's base station is set up about 8 inches away from a 24" LCD. My phone is connected to the V-Portal with a rather long (25ft perhaps) RJ11. I am using a Powerline Ethernet adapter to get internet to my entertainment center, but the V-Portal and all other devices are behind a surge protector which should filter out any interference (the powerline adapter sits about 3 feet diagonally under the V-Portal).

Sorry if I'm giving too much info, I just wanted it all to be out there to pick apart. Other than suggestions, here are a few questions based on my setup:

1) Is it likely the V-Portal is bad?
2) Should I replace my phones?
3) Do I need to move the V-Portal (difficult, but manageable)

Based on similar quality issues, it seems that replacing the phone system doesn't usually help people on these boards.

Thanks for the help!
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mundy5
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Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 1179

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I see that you have done a lot to help make your situation more manageable. A couple of items come to mind.

1. Go on the Vonage website onto your account and lower the bandwidth down to 50kbps instead of the default 90kbps. 90 is completely unnecessary and usually can cause more breakdowns b/c more data needs to be passed in the same amt of time.

2. If you suspect your DECT system to be a problem, then you can go out and purchase (then return it) a wired phone and try it for a few days especially having your wife call you at work on your cell. If you have no issues with the corded phone, then you can "cheaply" determine that your DECT phone system is causing some kind of interference.

3. To determine whether your vportal is bad will probably take too much diagnostic tests to determine that.

also consider doing a search on this forum with DECT since I know others have had issues with it and some have had success.

hope this helps.

_________________
St. Louis, MO
Vonage Customer from February 2005 to May 2010
ISP: Charter
Router: Linksys RT31P2 (blew up during electrical storm)
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brazzle
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Joined: Oct 15, 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

mundy5 wrote:
I see that you have done a lot to help make your situation more manageable. A couple of items come to mind.

1. Go on the Vonage website onto your account and lower the bandwidth down to 50kbps instead of the default 90kbps. 90 is completely unnecessary and usually can cause more breakdowns b/c more data needs to be passed in the same amt of time.


Actually, as of this morning it was already set to 50kbps since I was never able to discern a difference between 50 and 90.

2. If you suspect your DECT system to be a problem, then you can go out and purchase (then return it) a wired phone and try it for a few days especially having your wife call you at work on your cell. If you have no issues with the corded phone, then you can "cheaply" determine that your DECT phone system is causing some kind of interference.

I will definitely look further into the DECT system; however, if it were the phone I would expect there to be line static or some fairly consistent problem since we tend to make all of our calls in the same area. I wish (and hope) it is as simple as a phone problem. I think I have access to a corded phone, if not, I will try your suggestion and go grab one.

3. To determine whether your vportal is bad will probably take too much diagnostic tests to determine that.

I sent these details to Vonage tech support so hopefully they'll have some kind of idea as to whether or not this is behavior to be expected with a faulty unit

also consider doing a search on this forum with DECT since I know others have had issues with it and some have had success.

hope this helps.


Thanks for your help.
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Slyster
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: Sep 26, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Point of Note: all devices need to be at least 2 feet from each other if possible, including most definitely away from the monitor.
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brazzle
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Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have moved my V-Portal, but the furthest I could get it from any device is about 1.5 ft. I hope that helps. There just aren't a lot of places I can keep it.
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ed56
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Joined: Jun 08, 2007
Posts: 832

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Are you using your house wiring? If so could be a problem there, so try a direct connect of the phone to the Vonage device to test.

If this does not help, try a different phone cord to the phone.

You can also try connecting to the other phone line connector on the Vonage device (you will need to change the port on the Vonage web page at add-ons/move a number), see if this helps, could be a bad port on the Vonage device.

I would for sure contact Vonage if all of the above does not work

_________________
Time Warner Road Runner / Motorola SB5101 Cable Modem / Lniksys E2000 / Vonage VDV21
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brazzle
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Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

thanks for the tips. I'm not using house wiring; they won't let me touch the demarcation box on my rental, unfortunately.

I am going to try and get both a new cord and a corded phone to test with. The hard part is that since it is fairly random when it happens I will have a hard time knowing what has worked.

Did not know I could switch to use the line 2 port on the V-Portal, so I will definitely give that a shot.

Thanks
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VonTechMgr
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

brazzle........you mention that your wife can notice the issue but you have not experienced it. Do you know if this is occurring during different times of the day? So when your wife notices this, especially when calling you, is this during the day or in the evening? When you use the phone and audio is fine, would this be during different hours then your wife's usage?

Since you have DSL, this is a dedicated line over the last mile between you and the DSLAM in the Central Office. However, once your packets reach the ISP's network and Internet, this is shared traffic by all. If there is heavy usage which saturates the ISP's network during certain hours could explain why you could have audio issues only during a certain time frame.
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brazzle
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Joined: Oct 15, 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonTechMgr wrote:
brazzle........you mention that your wife can notice the issue but you have not experienced it. Do you know if this is occurring during different times of the day? So when your wife notices this, especially when calling you, is this during the day or in the evening? When you use the phone and audio is fine, would this be during different hours then your wife's usage?

Since you have DSL, this is a dedicated line over the last mile between you and the DSLAM in the Central Office. However, once your packets reach the ISP's network and Internet, this is shared traffic by all. If there is heavy usage which saturates the ISP's network during certain hours could explain why you could have audio issues only during a certain time frame.


that is correct; generally my wife calls me late morning/early afternoon while I'm at work. I'll have my wife call me a few times today and see if it happens again since some of the changes I've made.

Thanks
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brazzle
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Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

well, after having the phones work for a bit, I got some more incredible static today. It wasn't as bad as usual, I could still hear my wife but her voice sounded very synthesized.

A few more questions:

1) If the RJ-11 between the phones and the adapter was bad, wouldn't I have static during 95+% of my calls?

2) Could my ethernet powerline adapter be interfering with the phone? my V-Portal is plugged into a surge protector which will filter out the extra noise, but my phone is not.
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