Softether VPN revisited

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I read all previous posts regarding the Softether adventures and did not find anything that fit my situation. Forgive me if I missed one.  I set up my Softether VPN server on my Windows 10 pc and VPN client on my Windows 10 laptop.  I have no problem connecting to my server from  a variety of wifi hotspots.  After connecting to the server, I boot up SmartSDR from my client laptop.  My Flex 6500 shows up on the startup page.  I do a connect and I see the ip connection in the lower right of the screen and the Flex radio template appears.  The panadapter ( I am using one panadapter for testing) appears however, no receive data appears.  A few seconds later, I get the Flex error message indicating I have lost connection with the radio.  My VPN connection stays connected.  I ended up putting my DSL modem in the Bridge mode and configured my router to forward ports from 443 to 5555.  This extended the connect time with the radio but never get receiver data and eventually disconnects.

I would appreciate any suggestions on how to solve this problem.

73, Bob, KN4HH
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Bob KN4HH

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jim Gilliam

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When you make connection to SmartSDR over the VPN how many bars do you see on the bottom which indicates the data speed? On mine I get either 4 or 5 bars 100 miles away. However in order to obtain that quality, I need make sure that the Radio is the only service on the server side and my smart SDR client is the only service running on the remote side. Otherwise, I get 1 or two bars and very poor service.

I, also, have OpenVPN running on my router at the server side (not using softether) and I find the quality of service very similar except that I don't need a remote computer acting as the server.



Jim, K6QE

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Bob KN4HH

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Thanks, Jim.  I didn't think to look at the bars for latency.  I have made changes that others have suggested and i will check it out from my remote ops from the airport tomorrow morning.
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Mike va3mw

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Bob, it sounds like you have latency issues. Try reducing the frame rates in SmartrSDR. With Softether, you only need to forward 1 port (5555 as an example) to the Softether server through your firewall. In my case, I set it up and it worked first time. I did not have to do what Jim did.

If you go to www.pingtest.net, what do you see for latency numbers? I would do it both on the ciient and server side.


mike va3mw
(Edited)
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Bob KN4HH

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Thanks, Mike.  I have reduced frame rate from max to 7FPS.  I will give it a try from the airport in the morning.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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also make sure you are NOT using any daxIQ channels.  this will almost certainly choke your connection. 
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Bob KN4HH

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Chris, thanks for that tip.  I will shut down DAX and DAX IQ and see what happens.
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Bob KN4HH

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I am at ATL airport and I have reduced frame rate to 3FPS, no DAX, no DAXIQ, and no CAT.  I can maintain a connection for about 3 mins and then disconnects.  I am seeing one Red bar on SmartSDR. I am using my cell hot spot and the speed is 35mb/s.  The connection to my home server is a DSL connection crawling along at 3mb/s.  No other apps or background services are running.  I am wondering if 3mb/s on the server side will not be sufficient. 
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Guys,

SmartSDR is remarkably tolerant about latency regardless of the number of bars showing on the bottom.  What it loathes is lost packets.

Bear in mind that most home broadband connections are heavily asymmetric - way more bandwidth down to your home than up.  On a low speed up link its really easy for the capacity to be exceeded resulting in dropped packets and eventually lost on connections.

Use SpeedTest.net from home to see what you up link capacity can support.

To make SmartSDR use LESS bandwidth do the following:

1. Reduce the fps rate on the panadaptor and only have one pan open.  Try a fps rate of 3 - its still very usable.
2. Reduce the waterfall line duration - for starters, reduce it to 0 - that will result in about one line every minute of so but its a good place to start.
3. Make sure that DAX and DAX IQ are turned off.

As an example, the K6TU Remote iPad app drops to about 300 Kbps with the above recommendations.

GL & 73!
Stu K6TU
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Mike va3mw

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I can confirm that with my remote base, I can get it to run very well at 500kbs. This is with Softether running on a Pi as a client connected to Softether at the remote base. All DAX is off.

Mike va3mw

(Edited)
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Bob KN4HH

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Thanks, guys.  Well, my DSL up-link may be the culprit here.  I measured it at 250Kb/s and a downlink speed of 3.02 mb/s.  Since I have rolled everything back as instructed, I get very choppy receive audio at my client laptop and the connection lasts for no more that 2-3 minutes.  Waterfall is off and only using only one spectrum display.
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Bob,

You are right on the hairy edge with 250 Kbps...  when you come close to that rate, your ISP will begin traffic shaping - this is code for "dropping packets".

The audio, pan adaptor, waterfall and metering are all sent as UDP packets which are not tolerant to drops - although the SoftEther VPN client of WIndows should recover these for you - eventually.  Trouble is this compounds the problem because the recovered packets cost more bandwidth to retransmit and then are discarded because they arrive late.

The remote audio takes about 80 Kbps to provide the audio to you, the metering on the radio is about 30 Kbps and every frame of a modest sized panadaptor is 16 Kbps...  you can see that starts to come close to your uplink speed in a hurry.

One further suggestion; shrink down the size of the SmartSDR window - the pan adaptor sends 2 bytes of data for each pixel in the X dimension so halving the X dimension will half the up date rate for then pan.

IF you can and you plan to operate a lot remotely, its worth upgrading the broadband connection...

Stu 
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Mike va3mw

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Hi Bob

Do you know what you are paying for?  If you aren't getting what you pay for, then you should talk to your ISP.  When you did your test, make sure you are hardwired and not connected via wifi.  Even better if you can plug your computer directly into the cable modem at least just for the test.

Since you seem to drop your connection every few minutes, that tells me that you have an issue where something is failing.  Maybe a router rebooting or some other intermittent maybe even outside of your house.

Let us know how you make out.

Mike va3mw
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Bob KN4HH

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Thank you, Mike.  Unfortunately, I am getting what I paid for from Earthlink.  Yes, everything is hard wired.  I cant connect directly to the DSL modem since I had to put it in the Bridging mode to get traffic to my server.  I use Parallels Access and I have no problem reaching my Flex and staying connected.  I am only trying to use VPN to support my Maestro until V2.0 is released.

Bob, KN4HH
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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If there are interruptions you could verify this using a tool like ping plotter
https://www.pingplotter.com/download.html

this will run a traceroute show latency points  and could be very helpful in fully understanding what is happening.   you can save the records for viewing later.. run it though the day and see what the scoop is.  256k upstream is going to be rough.

  It may be worth looking at some other providers who may have access to better DSL line repeater tech.  Earthlink is a third party provider and there maybe a local telco that can give you a better DSL experience (if not horribly worse customer service, service or speed, pick your poison).
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Bob KN4HH

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I finally have success with remote operations.  I upgraded from DSL to cable internet running 30mb/s download and 6mb/s upload and I get solid connections and good throughput.  I also found out that, as reported earlier, you really need to shut down DAX for good latency.

Now that my maestro is in hand and working via my local WiFi, has anyone set up softether for it.
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Mike va3mw

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There are a few entries on using Softether via a PI or even a laptop that the Maestro is connected to (you then Bridge Softether on the Laptop).