Added external antenna yet still 0.8 Mbps throughput, Dianella, Western Australia

I've been using Vividwireless for ~6 months as my ADSL2+ is about 0.5Mbps
(lots of joins/reflections/loss + some paved streets = no plans for copper replacement)

Unfortunately my Vividwireless is only slightly better at ~1Mbps

There's an Optus 2.3GHz tower ~500m away (other side of a hillcrest and a few houses) and another 1.2km away but LOS

Logging periodic stats gives the following trend, using the internal antenna:

Cell_ID RSSI SINR download speed

44056857 -71 3 1306
44056857 -69 4 906
44056857 -71 3 1005

I've recently added an external 24dB antenna with 3m of coax and pointed at LOS tower.

Shifting antenna slightly varied SINR down to 3dB
Current position varies from 5-9dB, usually sits on 6dB

Cell_ID: 44056849
RSRQ: -11dB
RSRP: -61dBm
RSSI: >=-51dBm
SINR: 9dB

Throughput right now, with above modem stats, is 0.81Mbps down, 0.08 up and 56ms ping.

Are both these towers congested beyond salvage?

North end of Dianella has a number of paved cul-de-sacs which means 2020+ for NBN or any sort of copper maintenance (as pavers pop up when trying to tunnel cable with a DitchWitch etc)

There's a fair few houses with what look like 2.4GHz and a few MIMO antennas in the area so looks like I'm not alone with lack of Internet.

Any thoughts or suggestions before I check out whether this is purely a Vivid congestion/limit vs other providers on local towers?

RE,
Chris

< edit >

By the time I've written this, stats are now 1.31Mbps down, 0.13 up.
Varies between around these levels

< /edit >

Comments

#1

cjcooper wrote 22 weeks ago

By way of comparison, my mobile phone, using a different ISP, showing 2/5 bars signal strength (same location as internal antenna Vividwireless modem) gets 23 Mbps.

#2

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 22 weeks ago

If the area really is as you describe it, a blackspot, then you are probably going to run into congestion.

The easiest way to tell is to find out whether you get significantly higher speeds early in the mornings, say around 7am, as compared to evenings around 7pm and later.

I'm in an outer-eastern suburb of Melbourne where there is less reliance on wireless technologies (ADSL offnet up to 6Mbps is readily available). My LTE modem signal not much different than yours (I get lower RSSI but better SINR). I can get 10Mbps all day every day. So unless some other evidence shows up, I would think congestion is the first thing to investigate.

For starters, you could disconnect your external antenna and see whether performance drops or not. My guess is "not". If it does drop noticeably, then you may have two issues happening.

How do you use your Internet access? I tend to do email and some light web browsing. Very little in the way of movies, yourtube, etc. I had ordinary ADSL 1.5Mbps for years and it was more than enough for my needs, until my kids grew up and started using YouTube and Facebook heavily.

#3

ozzcaddy-MODERATOR wrote 22 weeks ago

Just looking on the Optus Service Status map, there appear to be many towers surrounding Dianella. However, there are 2 towers to the East of Dianella that currently have a problem, at Noranda and a tower in between Morley and Bedford.

If you look at the Optus Service Status map, you can be more accurate than what I can, where you are in relation to these 2 towers.

https://www.optus.com.au/about/network/service-status

Click on the towers that are not green, and it will display information on that affected tower.

Ozz

#4

cjcooper wrote 22 weeks ago

I'll check out the tower info, thanks

Speed has been around ~1Mbps for the last few months so don't expect it is maintenance related.

Speed is consistently bad from 6pm to midnight (when I'm home and want to use it) and also bad on weekends ... hence why I went an external antenna upgrade thinking it can't be always congestion.

I also might try pointing at some less optimal towers, as the suburb North of me has better ADSL and NBN is being installed in some streets, so towers may be less utilised.

Email and web browsing - fine
Windows or NVIDIA driver update and bye-bye Internet for the evening
YouTube - pretty bad
Netflix - SD sometimes ok, but try explaining to the kids 30 mins in that the Internet has gone to lunch for the weekend

What I was doing on the weekend was about 6 hours of Adobe Connect upgrades with 4 computers all set to use ~120k/sec to make them share nicely :(

As per any modern home, there's a pile of smart devices (couple of phones, smattering of tablets, TV's, PVR etc) all randomly polling.

Whilst everything is set to prompt and not auto-download, I have to micromanage my DHCP leases to shunt everything off to the 0.5Mbps ADSL gateway when I need to wring the neck of the LTE when working... ugh.

And a Pi running wireshark of a port mirror so I can watch traffic and go hunt down any rogue updates.

Running out of things to try...

TTFN
Chris

#5

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 22 weeks ago

That's certainly a LOT of devices generating traffic. Wouldn't be easy to get them all to play nice together. I used to get pretty cranky back in the days when I was on 1.5Mbps and I was trying to watch an AFL video reply and my kids would start watching YouTube videos.

What I did in the end was push all the non-work-related traffic (phones, tablet, Xbox, etc) to my LTE modem and reserved the ADSL for work stuff. The only exception was when my daughter needed to access the Synology file server on her laptop. She played a lot of Minecraft so most of the time I made the laptop use the LTE, but occasionally had to switch networks.

It got a lot better when I upgraded the ADSL from standard 1.5Mbps to 6Mbps off-net.

#6

LDR wrote 22 weeks ago

Hi cjcooper,

Im in the exact same area as you (Dianella) but have only started up the service last week. ADSL in my location struggles to hit 3mbps due to a 4km+ copper run.

Vivid Stats below:
Cell_ID: 44061979
RSSI: -77dBm
SINR: 1dB (will fluctuate between -2 to +4)

There definitely seems to be congestion issues based on the speed tests ive run throughout the day.

Between 7am-9am on a weekday its so far commonly achievable to hit 8-10mbits, however theres a gradual decline after that. As of right now (10:50am) im getting around 4-5mbits. From tests this week and last, by about 3pm this will be down to under 2mbits. From about 5:30pm onwards until just before midnight the service will struggle to pull 1mbit. Weekends so far have just been constantly under 2mbit any time day or night.

The other factor is there seems to be at least 4 towers possible to connect to in this area (all congested - some worse than others).

Cell ID: 44061979 tends to give me the most usable performance during the day (but fails in the afternoon/evening).
Cell ID: 44056849 I can also connect to, however ive found this to be completely unusable at almost all times (ive had rare moments during signal testing where its pulled 10mbits, then minutes later gone back to .5mbits).
Cell ID: 44061971 tends to be even worse during testing
Theres a couple of other random towers it will connect to but the signal quality is pretty poor (SINR of -10)

Given that its maxing out the link at certain times, I dont think an improved signal quality is going to help, at least not in any significant way. Ive tried a bunch of signal capture box methods - none of these had any appreciable effect beyond maybe a tiny improvement to the SINR - speed tests still fluctuate all over the place.

Everything so far seems to point to congestion/load balancing at the towers.
So I think we might be SOL until 2020+?

#7

cjcooper wrote 22 weeks ago

Thanks for the response, at least I know it's not just me then (or a dodgy LTE modem)

Didn't get on the roof to realign the antenna and gale wind/rain likely to rule changes out until the weekend.

#8

cjcooper wrote 22 weeks ago

So, just to throw a spanner in the works, I'm working-from-home for a few hours this afternoon and am getting speed of 5-8Mbps throughput between 2 and 4pm!

#9

cjcooper wrote 22 weeks ago

Well, that fell off a cliff.

At 3.30pm dropped to around 3Mbps
At 5.30pm I'm getting 0.2Mbps (yes, zero point two)

Wireshark on a port mirror to the LTE modem confirms nothing much is happening :(

RSSI >=-51dBm
SINR 6/7/9dB (varying whilst I watch the page, but still decent figures)

Meantime, web pages are failing to load

At 6.10pm I'm getting 4Mbps

Ugh

... and the odd Drupal 503 error, but that's not my end :)

Guru Meditation:
XID: 643951619
Varnish cache server

#10

cjcooper wrote 22 weeks ago

Am I blacklisted?

tracert -d www.google.com

Tracing route to www.google.com [216.58.196.132]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.2
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 * * * Request timed out.
4 * * 1449 ms 10.112.0.254
5 463 ms * 433 ms 119.225.139.57
6 * * * Request timed out.
7 * * * Request timed out.
8 * * * Request timed out.
9 * * * Request timed out.
10 * * ^C

Whilst looking at

Device status
IMSI : 505025505146481
WAN IP Address:
Cell_ID: 44056857
RSSI: >=-51dBm
SINR: 8dB

Had to change ISP to be able to post this :(

#11

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 22 weeks ago

Keep in mind too ... weather can have a big impact on signal, especially if you have a lot of trees between you and the tower(s).

#12

LDR wrote 22 weeks ago

Your speed stats are matching up with my experience so far Cjcooper -
During the week day the speeds are generally fine, however theres a steep drop off from about 3:30 onwards (about the time kids would be getting home from school) where it becomes ultimately near unusable.

Even in the crazy wind and rain yesterday I was still able to pull down 8-9mbits during the "off peak" times, but then from late afternoon onwards its a fail.

I have no idea how (if?) traffic is load balanced between cell towers, so no idea if this is even viable to solve as new towers are added to the network? At least not without constantly fiddling with a directional antenna to try and find the least congested at any particular moment.

#13

Helimedic wrote 22 weeks ago

Looking at your modem stats and the improvement with an external antenna, your issue will be congestion.

You should be get much better speeds with those stats!

#14

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 22 weeks ago

I concur with LDR and Helimedic. My original view back at post #2 above was that it would likely be congestion issues, given the no-NBN and ADSL issues in the area. Your stats are about as good as you could expect:

RSSI: >=-51dBm (that is excellent signal strength, albeit with external antenna, but even the -70dBm you get without antenna should be fine)

SINR: 9dB (you mentioned usually around 6dB, that's a little bit ordinary, but you should still get 10Mbps throughput fine; if there's any way to get it above 9dB and up to 15dB or above, I would recommend that, rather than focusing on RSSI)

RSRQ: -11dB (that's good, borderline excellent, keep it as close to -10dB as possible)

RSRP: -61dBm (that's excellent)

#15

LDR wrote 22 weeks ago

Cjcooper -

Could I get some details from you on the type of antenna setup you've put together? I am looking at a directional YAGI type to try and improve my SINR and local feedback would be good.

Not sure which tower you are pointing at, but from my testing so far I tend to get better throughput when attempting to pick up the towers to the east/southeast of dianella - these (on average) seem to be less congested at various times of the day. The nearest one (to the west of dianella drive) seems to be the most congested on average from testing so far. My testing has been limited to the internal antenna and a signal capture box so far so not 100% reliable (bouncing signals, etc.), but at least some starting data.

#16

cjcooper wrote 21 weeks ago

I'm pointing at the tower on Dianella open space, which is between Alexander and Morley Drive. I've LOS from Midland to Airport to Perth ... but the closest tower top of Tuart Hill, is through a couple of two houses at the crest of a hill so so I'd have to find where it bounces best off another house :(

#17

LDR wrote 21 weeks ago

Not sure if you've seen the tower map at:
https://oztowers.com.au/Home/Query (select optus, then 6059 for the postcode - look for 2300mhz towers)

Theres a bunch around - I find the towers to the east *tend* to be less congested but after about 3:30pm all bets are off.

#18

cjcooper wrote 21 weeks ago

This antenna BTW

http://www.accessantennas.com.au/perth-discount/wifi-networking/24dbi-gr...

#19

LDR wrote 21 weeks ago

Thanks CjCooper,

Out of curiosity, how are you finding the speeds in the area lately?
Peak times (4-10) are still abysmal, but im finding outside of that anywhere from 5-10mbits is achievable - this does seem to be highly tower specific though (can be on .5mbits, reposition the modem slightly to hop towers, and instantly be at 10mbits). This weekend will be the next big stress test.

#20

cjcooper wrote 21 weeks ago

Speeds, including peak times, seem to have improved.

3-7Mbps off-peak
2-4Mbps peak

I'll persist, though will keep comparing times and throughput peak times:

Work iPhone 6 is Telstra ~27Mbps
iPad Air is Amaysim (Vodaphone) ~3-7Mbps
Land line is Amnet (corporate) ~0.5-1Mbps
Test 1Gb data plan iPhone 5 Optus is ~5-7Mbps

Not all things are equal as mobile devices are 2-3/5 signal strength

#21

cjcooper wrote 21 weeks ago

Any tips on how to get a support ticket number out of Vivid?

I've tried calling the prescribed support number, followed by 40 minutes of mind numbing troubleshooting including
- rebooting my PC
- rebooting the LTE modem
- turning off WiFi on the modem
- end tasking background processes on the PC
- rebooting the PC again
- yes optus/service-status shows green
- yes I only have one browser, two tabs - one to modem one to speedtest.net

... and generally trying to convince the support tech that when the ONLY PC is LAN connected directly, with nice antenna reception stats ...

Apparently perplexed the support tech.

To the degree that I'm none the wiser and haven't received the promised support ticket number by e-mail.

*sigh*

Seriously, when only one PC is direct connected and Resource Monitor shows a scale of zero to 10Kbps dribbling along the bottom what more can I do to convince the tech it's not a network issue at this end?

I'm fluctuating between 0.2 to 1.4 Mbps tonight (with the odd DNS fail so presumably zero at some points)

#22

cjcooper wrote 21 weeks ago

NVM - found reply threaded under subject: "[Website feedback]" from a website auto-reply I submitted a few days ago...

Hope someone has fun with the pile of pings and tracert's requested :-P

e.g.

tracert www.vividwireless.com.au

Tracing route to vividwireless-pub-alb02-276054545.ap-southeast-2.elb.amazonaws.com [52.63.142.163]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.2
2 42 ms 28 ms 41 ms 180.216.250.1
3 59 ms 17 ms 38 ms 10.112.0.245
4 44 ms 76 ms 29 ms 119.225.48.173
5 * * * Request timed out.
6 * * * Request timed out.
7 * * * Request timed out.
8 * * * Request timed out.
9 * * * Request timed out.
10 114 ms 80 ms 110 ms 59.154.18.176
11 103 ms 84 ms 84 ms 52.95.217.190
12 148 ms 104 ms 108 ms 52.95.37.98
13 112 ms 93 ms 98 ms 52.95.37.111
14 115 ms 95 ms 68 ms 52.95.38.23
15 * * * Request timed out.
16 * * * Request timed out.
17 * * * Request timed out.
18 104 ms 100 ms 99 ms ec2-52-63-142-163.ap-southeast-2.compute.amazonaws.com [52.63.142.163]

D:\>ping www.vividwireless.com.au -n 20
Ping request could not find host www.vividwireless.com.au. Please check the name and try again.

D:\>date
The current date is: Wed 29/03/2017
Enter the new date: (dd-mm-yy)

D:\>time
The current time is: 21:14:07.11
Enter the new time:

Tests done in safe mode, direct LAN to LTE modem, WiFi disabled as requested.

For the technically minded, I see a lot more UDP packet loss than TCP.
TCP gets priority over UDP. Not sure what behaviour when throttled, but an overloaded firewall for example will drop UDP packets first. Windows tracert probably uses UDP hence bad stuff on that. DNS lookups use UDP first (assuming Windows is doing this properly :)

Anyway, let's see what comes back. Hopefully not another reboot LTE modem or PC and try again :-P

#23

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 21 weeks ago

NVM = never mind? Does that mean you've got a support ticket number now?

I agree, you would see UDP packet loss first. No guaranteed delivery. But those "request timed out" reports (5 thru 9) might simply be that those routers are configured to not respond to ICMP packets? If you run the same tracert in the morning and those 5-9 show up the same, that should rule out packet loss.

About 40ms to get from modem to tower is not too shabby. On the old vividwireless network (WiMAX) I used to allow 70ms. Anything 180.216 is a vividwireless public IP address assigned to a modem, so the 180.216.250.1 is presumably the gateway IP at the tower?

#24

cjcooper wrote 20 weeks ago

Yes I have a support ticket number. No feedback yet.

I guess my main problem now is DNS timeouts.
Typing www.google.com shouldn't result in browsers throwing DNS errors.
This is new-ish. Problem used to be throughput in general but no DNS errors.

Today I see my modem stats have changed.
The signal strengths now have qualifiers in words after the figures
e.g. (poor) (excellent) etc

This came after a hard reset to factory defaults as *nothing* was working* through the unit, then after reset button press (for ~20 seconds) back to factory default IP and admin login etc, however modified GUI. Auto software I guess.

* no Internet.

Plug into local switch, start wireshark, no Huwaei mac address traffic.
Plug into LTE modem. Huwaei traffic sending who-has requests for LAN IP's but nothing else.

Restart LTE modem, no change in behaviour.
After factory reset, ok it's back to default IP, running DHCP etc but now same wireshark connected port is seeing traffic from both LAN and Huwaei device.

Not sure if I recorded firmware version but suspect changed (as definitely don't recall signal strength, SINR etc having words to describe their status)

I'll investigate more this evening

#25

ozzcaddy-MODERATOR wrote 20 weeks ago

They have updated your modem with the new firmware that is still being tested, probably to see if it resolves the problem.

Login to the modem interface > Settings > System > Device Information

Hardware version : WL1B310FM04

Software version: 21.321.03.00.1385

Under Status, they are extra signal fields, and at worst, you want Moderate if not Good or Excellent for those 3 values.

The modem probably required either a reboot or factory reset to bring up the new firmware.

You will probably find that the modem is connecting via LAN and WiFi following factory reset. Go in and turn off WiFi, if that's what you had before factory reset.

#26

cjcooper wrote 15 weeks ago

In case anyone cares (pls delete if breaches any tos)

Changed to parent ISP/modem

Connectivity now varies between 3-13Mbps (peak/off-peak)
No nslookup/ping/traceroute timeouts.

There was overlapping period of 3 weeks so can confirm via same LAN setup at home, by varying gateway and modem (plus hassle of swapping antenna cable) issues were resolved even at peak times

i.e. still suspect at times traffic or non-TCP traffic at least previously throttled to timeout state.

Mileage varied on different towers at different times; Stuck with LOS but distant 24dbi antenna aimed tower.

Device name: E5186s-61a
Hardware version: CL2E5175HM
Software version: 21.306.01.00.74
Web UI version: 16.100.02.00.03
PCI: 447
CELL_ID: 44056857
RSRQ: -11dB
RSRP: -59dBm
RSSI: >=-51dBm
SINR: 8dB
LTE Bandwidth: 20000
LTE Band info: 40
CA mode: Ye

Right now: according to Speedtest Windows 10 store app
Ping 20ms, d/l 13.34, u/l 1.02

Only cons is sometimes the modem flakes out and needs a reboot. Or maybe tower re-association / re-handshake required, resolved by modem reboot. POE requirements for the model above are 12v2a (double original modem) so I'm still waiting for a POE splitter on order so can just toggle switch port.

#27

cjcooper wrote 15 weeks ago

PS: Cell figures still fluctuate (SINR 8-12) despite LOS. Antenna 'dish' moves around a bit in the wind. Thicker pole required to resolve. Time of day (congestion) much more of a factor so won't change the pole.

#28

LDR wrote 15 weeks ago

Cjcooper:

What do you mean when you say:
"Changed to parent ISP/modem"
?

Also you seem to be achieving over the capped limit (10mb vs your 13mb) - is this consistent, or just bursting over in a speed test?

Lastly - any issues with streaming video, ie. Youtube?
Even when I can readily achieve 10mbit on a speedtest I can almost never smoothly stream HD content on youtube (480p and below is fine).

#29

SumDude wrote 15 weeks ago

Changing to the Parent ISP, meaning he changed to Optus 4G Home Wirelessly Broadband. As vividwireless is a subsidiary of Optus. The Optus speed limit is 12/1.

#30

cjcooper wrote 15 weeks ago

Correct SumDude. Changed to default Optus modem.

Throughput and pings are all over the place peak period as in run Speedtest over and over and might vary from 2.95 to 4.1Mbps, ping from 30 to 200ms

Watching Windows network throughput with Resource Monitor (hardly precise, but gives status for last few minutes at a glance) shows random up/down around 2-4 Mbps peak times, anywhere from 8-12 off-peak.

13+ would have been just a Speedtest result not the average

#31

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 15 weeks ago

There is a write-up on Optus Home Wireless Broadband here:

https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/optus_home_wireless_broadband

The major differences:
Not unlimited (data cap 200GB).
Basic speed is 5Mbps, but up to 12/1 if 2300MHz available.

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