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Ron-ski
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Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

Our Virgin Broadband was installed in April 2018, it is fibre to the house with a media convertor to convert to coax.

It has worked perfectly until the 1st August, then we started getting regular drop outs.

August 1st

My Broadband Ping - Ronski's Virgin Cable

Pretty much every day has a dropout, so I'm not going to post them all.

September 2nd

My Broadband Ping - Ronski's Virgin Cable

September 3rd

My Broadband Ping - Ronski's Virgin Cable

I even set up a webcam to record the hub, the below link will take you to a video of what the hub is doing during the above episode.

https://youtu.be/bbI_nu2Haag?t=15

You can see it goes from steady purple to flashing green to show its trying to lock on to the signal.

Today's

My Broadband Ping - Ronski's Virgin Cable

 

 

Log from September 3rd - Multiple drop outs between 07:30 and 10:00am

 

Network Log

Time

Priority

Description

01/01/1970 00:00:10

Warning!

ToD request sent - No Response received;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:05:59

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:18:41

Error

DBC-ACK not received;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:18:53

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:21:8

critical

Received Response to Broadcast Maintenance Request, But no Unicast Maintenance opportunities received - T4 time out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:50:3

critical

Unicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:50:3

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:50:23

critical

Unicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:50:23

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:51:40

critical

Unicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:51:41

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:52:2

critical

Unicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:52:3

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:52:22

critical

Unicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:52:23

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:54:23

critical

Received Response to Broadcast Maintenance Request, But no Unicast Maintenance opportunities received - T4 time out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:56:13

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:57:46

critical

DHCP FAILED - Discover sent, no offer received;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:57:49

critical

Received Response to Broadcast Maintenance Request, But no Unicast Maintenance opportunities received - T4 time out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

03/09/2019 08:58:26

critical

No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

 

I managed to capture the following during an episode on Sunday 8th

 

 

 

Cable Modem Status

Item

Status

Comments

Acquired Downstream Channel (Hz)

322750000

Ranging

Ranged Upstream Channel (Hz)

32599808

Locked

Provisioning State

Offline

 

 

Downstream bonded channels

Channel

Frequency (Hz)

Power (dBmV)

SNR (dB)

Modulation

Channel ID

1

322750000

1.7

40

256 qam

24

2

138750000

2.5

40

256 qam

1

3

146750000

2.2

40

256 qam

2

4

154750000

2

40

256 qam

3

5

162750000

2.2

40

256 qam

4

6

170750000

2.2

40

256 qam

5

7

178750000

2.4

40

256 qam

6

8

186750000

2.5

40

256 qam

7

9

194750000

2.7

40

256 qam

8

10

202750000

2.7

40

256 qam

9

11

210750000

2.7

40

256 qam

10

12

218750000

2.5

40

256 qam

11

13

226750000

2.5

40

256 qam

12

14

234750000

2.5

40

256 qam

13

15

242750000

2.4

40

256 qam

14

16

250750000

2.2

40

256 qam

15

17

258750000

1.7

40

256 qam

16

18

266750000

1.5

40

256 qam

17

19

274750000

1.2

40

256 qam

18

20

282750000

1

40

256 qam

19

21

290750000

1

40

256 qam

20

22

298750000

0.9

40

256 qam

21

23

314750000

1.5

40

256 qam

23

24

322750000

1.7

40

256 qam

24




Downstream bonded channels

Channel

Locked Status

RxMER (dB)

Pre RS Errors

Post RS Errors

1

Locked

40.9

4

0

2

NotLocked

40.9

6

0

3

Locked

40.9

6

0

4

NotLocked

40.3

0

0

5

Locked

40.9

5

0

6

NotLocked

40.9

4

0

7

NotLocked

40.3

0

0

8

NotLocked

40.3

13

0

9

NotLocked

40.3

5

0

10

NotLocked

40.3

0

0

11

NotLocked

40.3

4

0

12

NotLocked

40.3

4

0

13

NotLocked

40.3

4

0

14

NotLocked

40.3

5

0

15

NotLocked

40.9

19

0

16

NotLocked

40.9

17

0

17

NotLocked

40.3

5

0

18

NotLocked

40.9

0

0

19

NotLocked

40.3

6

0

20

NotLocked

40.9

0

0

21

NotLocked

40.3

4

0

22

NotLocked

40.9

0

0

23

NotLocked

40.9

4

0

24

Locked

40.9

6

0

 

 

 

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Ron-ski
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Message 2 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

Upstream bonded channels

Channel

Frequency (Hz)

Power (dBmV)

Symbol Rate (ksps)

Modulation

Channel ID

1

32599808

3.3

5120

32 qam

13

2

32600021

3.25

5120

32 qam

13

3

39400056

3.25

5120

32 qam

12

4

46199959

3.275

5120

32 qam

11

5

53700034

3.3

5120

32 qam

10

  General Configuration

Network access

Not allowed

Maximum Number of CPEs

1

Baseline Privacy

Enabled

DOCSIS Mode

Docsis30

Config file

 




Primary Downstream Service Flow

SFID

15579

Max Traffic Rate

402500089

Max Traffic Burst

42600

Min Traffic Rate

0




  Primary Upstream Service Flow

SFID

15583

Max Traffic Rate

38500089

Max Traffic Burst

42600

Min Traffic Rate

0

Max Concatenated Burst

42600

Scheduling Type

BestEffort




Upstream bonded channels

Channel

Channel Type

T1 Timeouts

T2 Timeouts

T3 Timeouts

T4 Timeouts

1

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

2

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

3

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

4

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

5

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

 

I initially reported the problem on 20th August, and was sent a new hub, which I installed on the 22nd August and had activated that evening. We had drop outs the very next day.

I then phoned again and an engineer was sent out, he turned up on the 29th August. He took one look and changed the wideband attenuator on the back of the hub from 15dB to 3dB and fitted a new 4 way splitter externally where the media convertor is located. He said the fibre installs should have these 4 way splitters, most have been fitted but as mine is not street accessible it wasn't done. He assured me this would fix the issue, although he couldn't explain why it had worked perfectly for over a year, I was not convinced. We had multiple drop outs the very next day.

My Broadband Ping - Ronski's Virgin Cable

 

Rant Warning

Getting support from VM is an absolute nightmare, from dialling the call it takes over 3 and half minutes through to actually waiting for an agent to answer the call, you have to go through the nonsense of VM detecting to see if there is a fault and stating that they need to reset the device, every single time I have phone the automated system has said this, at least there is an option to not do this.

Then I wait on the phone for around 20 minutes to get to speak to first line support, now I'm trying to be nice here but they are absolutely clueless! They run further tests to check my hub (remember the automated system supposedly did this). They ask how many devices I have connected, a say at least a dozen. They say well we can see one, or sometimes none, I say that's because I'm using modem mode and my own router. They then offer to reset it to router mode, hmm why did I put it into modem mode, ahh because I'm using my own router. They say but your wifi won't work, shall we switch to router mode, I say no, I have my own wifi access point. Then they ask what phone I'm using, or what the lights are doing on the rear. I say the light at the front is flashing green, they ask again about the lights at the rear, I ask do they know what the lights at the front mean, after a pause they admit they don't! So they quickly go back to the wifi issues, bang head against the wall! So I give up.

Another night I phone again and ask to speak to a manager, so you want to speak to a manager? Yes Please, OK she says, put me through to a dead line. So I phone again, go all through the 3 minutes of time wasting nonsense, listen to the music for 20 minutes, finally get to speak to someone again. I politely explain what's happening and the green light is flashing on the front - he doesn't know what that means but offers to put me through to someone that does. Another long duration listening to music, finally someone answer, they sound like they know something and are genuinely interested but it sounds like he's trying to tell me how to fix the fault, or at least diagnose it a bit further, I tell him that's his job and he should send an engineer, at this point he tells me can't. When I ask him why he tells me he works for a department that fixes printers! I thank him, he offers to put me through to faults, after 90 minutes on the phone getting absolutely nowhere my enthusiasm is crushed and I hang up.

Tonight I decide to try again, what a waste of time that was! Go through the same old rubbish for over three minutes, then on hold for 21 minutes, finally speak to a lady, I explain I have an on going fault and I would like to speak to a higher level of support please. She said she will put me through to the seniors department. Another 20 minutes on hold listening to music, finally get to speak to chap explain the problem, yet again he needs to go through security questions, then says he can't help. I'm really wising up now (or am I) and I ask what department he is in "Disconnections" comes back the answer. I explain just how bad I think VM are, thank him for his time and hang up.

I have literally spent hours on the phone to VM over this, and my conclusion is they are utterly hopeless, I'm just fopbbed off, passed anywhere and everywhere. Support clearly do not know what the lights on the front mean, they clearly can not cope with the hub being in modem mode, they clearly don't have a clue. There really should be a different mechanism for customer that have on going faults, starting all over again every time you ring up is sole destroying!

Rant Over

So could someone who does have a clue please help get our broadband fixed. My daughters have been home over summer and have had problems do home work as the connection keeps dropping out.

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Andruser
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Message 3 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

Kudos for the politeness of your rant. In your shoes, many of us would struggle on that!

Most of your stats appear to be in spec, although I notice that your upstream is 5 channels at 32QAM which is pretty unusual, and most of the downstream channels are not locked, which suggests that the hub is struggling to get a secure connection on lots of different channels. I hope the forum staff will pick this up and make the necessary referral to VM's mythical (and apparently singular) broadband expert, but if that doesn't happen, or doesn't produce results, then I suggest that you investigate VM's complaints procedure, as a first step to seek arbitration via CISAS.  Should you go down that route, I suggest that you complain to VM by post, and from the start be very clear on what resolution you want - from comments round these forums they have a tendency to investigate complaints but then quietly mark them as "resolved".

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jbrennand
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Message 4 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

You clearly have network connection problems the BQM & Network Logs prove that ! Post up the logs again as more evidence.
You will at least need an engineer's visit to see if it can be sorted.
A VM person should pick the thread up in a day or two (or a Superuser can alert them) and they will see the problem and organise it with you.

--------------------
John
--------------------

My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Message 5 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

Good Afternoon Ron-Ski

 

Thanks for your post and our Community Forums and I'm terribly sorry to see that you've been having multiple issues with your broadband service as well as the support that our team have issued over the phone.

 

Do please check out the purple envelope in the top right hand corner of the screen for a PM from me

 

Kindest regards,

 

David_Bn 

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Ron-ski
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Message 6 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

@andruser, it was very hard work keeping my cool on the phone, but being rude gets you nowhere.

Todays ping graph, and network log. More T3 time outs.

My Broadband Ping - Ronski's Virgin Cable

Network Log - this is only part of it as the full log was taking me way over 20,000 characters for some reason.

Time Priority Description

12/09/2019 12:49:21criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:49:21criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:49:56criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:49:56criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:51:0criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:51:0criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:51:35criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:51:35criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:52:9criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:52:9criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:53:2criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:53:2criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
12/09/2019 12:53:37criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
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Tudor
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Message 7 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

I can see that your upstream levels while in spec are right at the bottom end of the allowed range. This combined with what I suspect is noise on you circuit is the probable cause of all your problems. 


Tudor
There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't and F people out of 10 who do not understand hexadecimal c1a2a285948293859940d9a49385a2
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Ron-ski
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Message 8 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

@tudor

That seems a far more plausible explanation, although in our case we have fibre to the property, and then a media convertor to convert to coax, then about 10 meters of coax to the hub. So I would presume that noise would be picked up on the coax, as the fibre is not affected by electrical noise, and I've no idea if something further up the fibre could cause these sort of issues. I've looked back through all the ping graphs to when this started, and pretty much all the drop outs are during the daytime. We haven't had any new equipment installed, and we haven't had any alterations to the electrics, lights etc. There is a fridge freezer the other side of the wall where the coax runs but were talking about shielded coax not some old phone wires with VDSL running over it.

Could it be a faulty media convertor, or is there a way to boost the upstream levels - there's a 3dB wide band attenuator on the rear of the hub? Externally with the media convertor there is a splitter (Model ABS104TP) which has -7dB marked on each port. The engineer fitted these on his recent visit, prior to that there was just a 15dB attenuator on the rear of the hub.

It's been suggested that it could be my router causing the issues, given the evidence (the logs & video) I doubt this very much, but I'm going to run the SH3 in router mode, turn off and remove from the network my pfSense router and see what happens. The downside of this is I've heard that the SH3 can stop responding to pings, so my graphs may be unreliable, so I'll get my webcam recording the hub again as well.

 

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Ron-ski
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Message 9 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

So we are now running the SH3 in router mode.

It now seems impossible to post the full tables as they exceed 20,000 characters, I didn't have this issue in my first post so what's happening now???

Cable Modem Status

Item Status Comments

Acquired Downstream Channel (Hz)
306750000
Locked
Ranged Upstream Channel (Hz)
60299964
Locked
Provisioning State
Online

 

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Ron-ski
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Message 10 of 21
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Re: Intermittent connection drop out's - can last minutes to hours

I've found if I copy and paste directly from the SH3 then I exceed the 20,000 limit, but if I paste into Word (as per first post was copied from) then I don't have the issues.

 

Downstream bonded channels

Channel

Frequency (Hz)

Power (dBmV)

SNR (dB)

Modulation

Channel ID

1

306750000

1

40

256 qam

22

2

138750000

2.5

40

256 qam

1

3

146750000

2.2

40

256 qam

2

4

154750000

2

40

256 qam

3

5

162750000

2.2

40

256 qam

4

6

170750000

2.2

40

256 qam

5

7

178750000

2.4

40

256 qam

6

8

186750000

2.5

38

256 qam

7

9

194750000

2.7

40

256 qam

8

10

202750000

2.7

40

256 qam

9

11

210750000

2.5

40

256 qam

10

12

218750000

2.5

40

256 qam

11

13

226750000

2.5

40

256 qam

12

14

234750000

2.5

40

256 qam

13

15

242750000

2.4

40

256 qam

14

16

250750000

2.2

40

256 qam

15

17

258750000

1.7

40

256 qam

16

18

266750000

1.5

40

256 qam

17

19

274750000

1.2

40

256 qam

18

20

282750000

1

40

256 qam

19

21

290750000

0.9

40

256 qam

20

22

298750000

0.9

40

256 qam

21

23

314750000

1.5

40

256 qam

23

24

322750000

1.7

40

256 qam

24

 

Upstream bonded channels

Channel

Frequency (Hz)

Power (dBmV)

Symbol Rate (ksps)

Modulation

Channel ID

1

60299964

3.275

5120

64 qam

9

2

39399971

3.275

5120

32 qam

12

3

46200000

3.275

5120

64 qam

11

4

53700021

3.275

5120

64 qam

10




Upstream bonded channels

Channel

Channel Type

T1 Timeouts

T2 Timeouts

T3 Timeouts

T4 Timeouts

1

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

2

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

3

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

4

ATDMA

0

0

0

0

 

General Configuration

Network access

Allowed

Maximum Number of CPEs

1

Baseline Privacy

Enabled

DOCSIS Mode

Docsis30

Config file

ncxv9873254k;fg87dsfd;kfoA,.iye




Primary Downstream Service Flow

SFID

15579

Max Traffic Rate

402500089

Max Traffic Burst

42600

Min Traffic Rate

0




Primary Upstream Service Flow

SFID

15583

Max Traffic Rate

38500089

Max Traffic Burst

42600

Min Traffic Rate

0

Max Concatenated Burst

42600

Scheduling Type

BestEffort

 

PS. Just noticed changing to Router mode changes my public facing IP address

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