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Sandman333
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Inbound audio choppy Reply with quote Back to top

Just got my wireless broadband and Vonage set up the other day. The wireless internet feeds into the Linksys RT31P2 from Vonage, which then feeds a Linksys WRT55AG router and on to my computers. My download bandwidth is supposed to be capped at 256k according to the plan I am on, but testing shows typical speeds between 400k and 1000k. My upload is supposed to be capped at 64k, I don't know how to test that to get an accurate figure (but read on, that doesn't appear to be the problem).

When I made the first call on Vonage, there was about a 1 second delay in the voice (called my POTS line, a phone in each ear) and lots of choppy audio- couldn't understand a thing. Went on the Vonage site, and dropped bandwidth saver back to the middle setting. Improved dramatically, but still some choppy audio both ways. Dropped the badwidth saver to the bottom, and I could make clear calls. Also made sure QoS was functional on the ATA.

Now the problem: About 1/3 of the time, inbound voice (not calls, doesn't matter who placed the call) is choppy to the point of not being able to understand anything the other party is saying. Sometimes this happens at the beginning of a call, sometimes 10 minutes into a call. Sometimes it clears up on its own. The strange thing is, I don't have this problem with outgoing voice. With a typically download bandwidth of 900 kbps, I shouldn't have a problem. I would have expected a problem with the 64k upload instead. I have messed with the QoS setting in the router, trying different values (30, 64, 128, 256), but have not noticed any difference in the problem.

I rang a continuous ping to the ISP's antenna POP (I am less than 1/4 mile away, and it has a 8 to 10 mile radius), so signal strength shouldn't be a problem. Still, the ping times out at least a couple times every minute. I thought this might be the cause, so I made a call and watched the ping run, and even though it was timing out here and there, I had good audio. At other times, I got choppy audio even though there were no time-outs. So, I don't think it's related.

The antenna does report a signal strength of 42 to 49%. It's a directional antenna, and given my close proximity to the POP and the broadcast range, I would think it should be better than that. Maybe they didn't aim it right when they installed it, and I am on the fringe of the aiming "cone", thus the problems? But still, I would expect outbound voice problems before inbound, and outbound voice never has a problem.

My ISP is http://www.tswireless.net
Any thoughts?
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Widescreen
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Wireless ISP's have huge latency problems. I'll bet that's the problem and unfortunately there's probably nothing you can do to fix it.
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Sandman333
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

what specific proceedure should I use to check the latency?

According to the ISP, there is another customer that has Vonage and they have no problems. The wireless is 802.11b, so I wouldn't think latency would be a problem???
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reebok
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

testyourvoip.com detailed results for latency and packet loss and discards.

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Sandman333
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK, I'm at work right now, so will have to wait 4.5 hours till I get home and can test it.
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reebok
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ok, I actually didn't read your post before my first reply, because let's face it, it was long. so now that I have read, it sounds like your problem is jitter (which also shows up on testyourvoip), especially noting the wireless connection, and especially the signal strength. this is the best explanation of jitter I found:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,8353924
jitter is a variance in delay. So at one moment you may have 10ms of end to end delay and then it may jump up to 100ms back down to 30ms, etc. All of this causes the voice packets to arrive erratically; in spurts.

if this isn't good enough/easy enough to understand, I'll come up with my own interpretation, but it probably won't be until tomorrow or the next day.

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Sandman333
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

reebok wrote:
ok, I actually didn't read your post before my first reply, because let's face it, it was long. so now that I have read, it sounds like your problem is jitter (which also shows up on testyourvoip), especially noting the wireless connection, and especially the signal strength. this is the best explanation of jitter I found:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,8353924
jitter is a variance in delay. So at one moment you may have 10ms of end to end delay and then it may jump up to 100ms back down to 30ms, etc. All of this causes the voice packets to arrive erratically; in spurts.

if this isn't good enough/easy enough to understand, I'll come up with my own interpretation, but it probably won't be until tomorrow or the next day.


Ok, I understand that. I also talked to the tech guy that installed my wireless, and he said the timeouts I am seeing, he didn't see the other day. It's possible they didn't get the antenna tight enough, and the wind blew it out of alignment. He is going to test the system on his end, and then come out tomorrow to re-aim the antenna if necessarry. When he tested by ping orginally, he did it with 1000b packets, where I am noticing timeouts with the standard 32 bit, so something changed.... Internet still works fine, so just to get the Vonage working correctly, and I'll be saving $40 - $60 a month on my tel bill.

EDIT: Oh, also while on the phone with the rep, he said that the 42 - 49% signal strength meant nothing, as there is no standard in the industry right now for those numbers. One antenna can be laying on the floor, face down, and indicate 100% strength, while another can be mounted and aimed and only indicate 50%. The real problem is the ploss...


Last edited by Sandman333 on Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sandman333
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just tried calling my Vonage line from work, first time got a busy signal (voicemail is set up), next got "Your call cannot be completed as dialed". Then got "You have called a number that has been disconnected". Then, finally got through.

I don't think that is all on my end, is it?
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jMon54
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Oh, oh.. I, too, have a wireless ISP. My bandwidth is supposed to be 1mb both ways. Yet my audio is choppy even with the bandwidth saver dialed back, the Linksys router/adapter connected per Vonage's specs, and no computers turned on. The techie at the ISP assures me Vonage should work fine with their system, they have it in their offices. I ran a ping test to their gateway and there was zero packet loss and minimal latency. But pings out beyond their gateway times out. Running trace route does also. I'm starting to think maybe wireless broadband and Voip isn't "there" yet.

Oh, yeah, I did call Vonage Tech Support. To be honest, I only held on for about 15-20 minutes before I tired of waiting.. and all the time listening to the choppy audio of their caring message... LOL. I'll try again when I have more time.
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Sandman333
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK, I went to http://www.toast.net and did their performance test, both upload and download.

Download, I got 1016kbps average, and upload I got between 144 and 216 kbps.

So, with those numbers, I should have no problem running Vonage at its highest quality settings. Problem is I can't even get it to work reliably at the lowest setting.....

at testyourvoip, I got 3.8 when preserving quality, and 4.1 when conserving bandwidth.
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