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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:31 pm    Post subject: Vonage and DIRECTWAY (HUGES) Satellite Uplink - No go. Reply with quote Back to top

I moved to the wilderness and they don't have cable modem here or even DSL. Lots of wineries, though. So that's a plus.

I have the DIRECTWAY satellite internet link (HUGHES aerospace). It works OK for surfing the net.

As an experiment, I plugged the Vonage box in to the DIRECTWAY box.

It worked, sort of. WIth the signals bouncing off the satellite, there was a 2-second delay in the voices. The uplink voice was scratchy and robotic (the Hughes system is asymmetrical, and the uplink path is about 1/10th of the downlink). The downlink voice, however did come in loud and clear. Very clear.

You could communicate, after a fashion ("Watson! Come here! I need you!) but with the delay, the conversations were more hilarious than useful.

I'm keeping Vonage for the time being. I can use it at the condo in Florida, and I am having all my calls forwarded via Vonage to my landline here or my cell phone. All my friends and clients can still reach me - and it is still a local call for them.

The only PITA is that local Union-made telco service is like $60 a month (ouch!) and they even nicked me for $3.15 a call to Spain (for a one minute call!). Oh, Vonage, free me from this tyranny!

While the experiment failed, frankly I was impressed it worked at all. The Vonage box (Linksys) logged on and gave me dialtone. It is a pretty robust system to operate at all under such trying conditions.

Now if I can only get the cable company to bring the cable that last half-mile to my house!

Regards,

--Bob.
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ZipZilla
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Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Vonage and DIRECTWAY (HUGES) Satellite Uplink - No go. Reply with quote Back to top

robertplattbell wrote:

Now if I can only get the cable company to bring the cable that last half-mile to my house!

Regards,

--Bob.



Is it really only a half mile? I bet if you agree to pay for the work, they'll run it.
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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'll look into that. I am smack between two cable companies, and when I call either of them, they just say "we don't offer service there". End of story.

But that will be my summer project. I'll rent a ditch witch and buy 5000' of coax and some line amplifiers...

--Bob.
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ZipZilla
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Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

robertplattbell wrote:
I'll look into that. I am smack between two cable companies, and when I call either of them, they just say "we don't offer service there". End of story.

But that will be my summer project. I'll rent a ditch witch and buy 5000' of coax and some line amplifiers...

--Bob.


I'd put in a call to each one's general manager. You're gonna need to go higher than customer no-service. I bet they'll do it. If there's one thing we know about cable co.'s, they like money!
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dbirdman
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Jul 09, 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am also in the Direcway (no T) world, mostly mobile with an auto-pointing dish, but also a .98 meter dish at my home base. I run a website for mobile satellite internet users, and a number of my members use Vonage even with the difficulties of variable latency and low uploads. I decided to give it a try - I'm on an above-average Direcway business account. Brought a RT31P2 home from the office for testing last week and found it acceptable.

Yesterday I got my own. Worked well out of the box, with Bandwidth Saver at 30K, and I had several calls to people where they rated my voice as good, and I would rate theirs as perfect. Today, it flat did not work. On calls out and calls in, there was dead silence for people on the other end, and I heard them poorly at best with crackle and static that started at first ring.

My configuration is Direcway modem issuing a single static IP by DHCP to the RT31P2 then a USR 8054 wireless router. Tests today included with, and without, the wireless router. Speed tests today showed nominal for my connection, which means upload between 80K and 140K and download between 800K and 1000K. Latency between 600 and 800ms on most pings, and few dropped packets.

The problem persisted all day, and continues to persist. I spent 2-1/2 hours on support (got New Jersey instead of India) this evening. The tech did all sorts of things. Jitter buffer up, jitter buffer down, changing codecs, changed the packet size, moved from phone port one to phone port two, you name it. I tried three physical phones, 2 corded and one cordless, with different phone cords. Multiple modem reboots, and router reboots and hard resets.

At no time did we ever get to where the tech heard anything but silence when I would pick up on her calls. I never heard her clearly, but usually I could make out what she was saying.

Ultimate conclusion from their end was that it was a latency issue. I can't blame them for feeling that way, and I'm well aware that the Direcway connection does not meet true broadband standards, but the latency today is the same as it was yesterday, as is the bandwidth, and both are better than Direcway Consumer service customers have who say that Vonage is adequate for them. What went wrong? Who knows. Very frustrating. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

All the directway techs flat out said "we do not support Vonage - it will NOT work with Directway"

So I guess they are right.

Two things to keep in mind. One is that the service varies with rain, fog, humidity, and clouds. Heavy rain = no signal.

Second, even with the "upgraded" service (you like to spend money, I see!) there is a quota of packets per hour for each user (well, it is sort of like a "gas tank" scheme, as I understand it).

If you go over your quota, directway shuts you down until your gas tank refills. So that's an issue as well. After all, you are sharing a data link with most of North America, and they don't want folks hogging the link.

It is an intersting experiment, and I did it as just THAT - an experiment only. I did not expect it to work, and the delay was unacceptable for normal phone calls.

But I was suprised it worked at all.

I was told the same thing when I went to work for the government. "Don't be amazed that things work so poorly in government - be amazed when they work at all". I was continually amazed when I worked there.

Thanks for the tips on the cable issue. Like I said, a summer project.

--Bob.
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dbirdman
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Jul 09, 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

robertplattbell wrote:
All the directway techs flat out said "we do not support Vonage - it will NOT work with Directway"

So I guess they are right.

"work" is relative, and there is no question that all forms of Voip over satellite are problematical because of the high latency. On the other hand, there are probably thousands of people with satellite that ARE using Vonage, just living with the problems. In a number of places where satellite is the standard internet access method there is no land or cell phone service. One of my regular correspondents is a general store owner in Manson Creek, BC. His two Vonage lines are the only working phones in town unless someone brings in a sat-phone with its high per-minute cost. He's on the same Direcway business account type I use (and same satellite/transponder).

Quote:
Two things to keep in mind. One is that the service varies with rain, fog, humidity, and clouds. Heavy rain = no signal.

Heavy is also relative. Most of us have never seen rain, per se, that heavy. I've been using Direcway daily for 3-1/2 years, in 37 states, and have never been down for rain. My home base is Eureka, CA, and I do see a lot of rain. I *have* been down in electrical storms, with or without rain, but only short duration. I'm also down whenever an electrical storm moves through Germantown, MD, a nearly daily occurrrence this time of year, but also short duration. Those that are knocked off by simple rain usually have marginal dish pointing (bad installers abound!) which is never a problem for me with computerized auto-pointing that is extremely accurate.

Quote:
Second, even with the "upgraded" service (you like to spend money, I see!) there is a quota of packets per hour for each user (well, it is sort of like a "gas tank" scheme, as I understand it).

That is over-simplistic. It is a rather complicated formula, and per hour doesn't play into it, but suffice it to say that my FAP bucket is very large and is rarely an issue (and I know when it is).

Quote:
If you go over your quota, directway shuts you down until your gas tank refills.

No, they slow you to your refill rate, but never shut you down. My refill rate is well above dialup - your consumer account has a refill rate roughly equivalent to dialup.

My Vonage service is still completely unusable today. It will be interesting to see if it ever comes back.
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dbirdman
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Jul 09, 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

My tests continued to degrade to the point of zero sound in either direction (sounds like the topic of one of today's threads, doesn't it?).

I brought the adapter from my office and swapped it out with the other one. Worked fine (by satellite standards).

Set it up like this:

DW6000 modem -> bat RT31P2 -> good RT31P2 -> USR 8054 wireless router (changed the lan side of the good one to 192.168.16.1)

Called support, and demonstrated by them calling me on each line that the satellite was working adequately (explained that I knew it wouldn't be great) on the good adapter, and the bad adapter was voice-dead (would still ring). The tech had a few more obligatory tests to run, including an internal reset, then did the paperwork for a replacement adapter.
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karamanlis
New Forum Member
New Forum Member


Joined: Jul 27, 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Satellite Voip ( www.highspeedsat.com/satellite-voip.htm - www.highspeedsat.com/pdf/direcway-voip.pdf ) is perhaps the last frontier in Voip development. Satellite Internet is becoming more and more popular, especially among customers living in remote areas where telephone or cable service has not yet been connected. Although satellite Internet service may be more costly, it does allow people in remote areas to enjoy all the benefits of high speed Internet, no matter where they live. Voip telephony has now been added to that list of benefits. Additionally, satellite Voip will shrink the world for a number of customers in places out of the way, as satellite hardware and service becomes more and more affordable. Large satellite companies ( Directway http://www.highspeedsat.com/-directway/ ) have extra bandwidth available on their satellite transmission networks, so the addition of satellite Voip allows them to maximize their hardware capacity. Some industry insiders consider satellite Voip to be a sure investment for the future, but the technology still faces a number of hurdles.

Satellite communications involve trillions of Gigabytes of data, and organizing these data streams has always been a challenge. Managing this data for Internet service has already been accomplished, but satellite Voip requires much more precision to prevent delays in transmission (known as "jitters") that may disrupt Voip signals. With know how and ingenuity, however, the satellite Voip provider partnerships are quickly sorting out the technology necessary for clear satellite Voip service. The development of effective satellite Voip service will make satellite Internet service even more competitive with cable and DSL Internet providers. It may also allow developing countries to enter the Information Age much more quickly, bypassing the lengthy stages of developing a massive standard telephone infrastructure network.
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otaku
Vonage Forum Evangelist
Vonage Forum Evangelist


Joined: Feb 02, 2005
Posts: 318
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

What about wireless broadband through a cell phone company? I saw somebody actually tested Vonage on a GPRS network and it worked decently well (I seem to remember some guy making a call from his car using an old corded Bell phone).

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