wifi and wired connection issues

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  • Updated 1 year ago
much like what was experienced in the previous post https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/maestro-lousy-network-connection-via-ethernet-and-w...
I am now experiencing the same issues when i never suffered them before, due to health reasons i was not able to use my equipment for some time, the maestro sat from shortly after it arrived (i was early on the list from dayton orders) and i used it maybe a few weeks and has been shelved until just before the orlando hamfest in feb. It was then i found the unit would not power up, i brought it to fex booth and they took it friday night and brought it back, as it had sat it had depleted the battery, despite the 10k ah external via the usb cable being charged and connected. They fixed the dead battery problem and i have been experiencing the issue since i got back with it.

I can be all of 3-5 feet from my wifi connection, i have used linksys ea6900, Asus and very high end Meraki wifi AP units and they all exhibit the same issue, the unit will slowly degrade to poor and drop packets even when there are no other devices on the network. 
I do wifi for a living (hence why i have meraki AP's) and i have never had any device exhibit such an issue.
I use many tools to keep track of my local mesh and neighbors wifi to be sure i am on clear channels and not overlapping. inssider, acrylic, and the built in scanning utilities in the meraki wifi units, channel monitoring, band usage, etc. Ive done my homework trying different settings in the wifi, 20/30/80 wide channels etc.
The merkai is actually the worse performing via the maestro even though its the most powerful and advanced AP device i use, yet everything else i own works flawless at a full AC connect speed, ive streamed 3 simultaneous 4K video feeds over the meraki, no dropouts via the Sony TV using youtube, with the same for the pc and laptop, all LOVE the meraki and the others. Bandwidth is not an issue.
Last night was the nail in the coffin as it didnt just go down to poor and drop packets, it went down to NOTHING and despite stating it had no network connection i was still getting stream from the 6500. 5 times in just as many minutes it dropped down to showing NOTHING connected and 4 of those drops the unit reset on me and restarted the connection feeding me the audio and slice once again, although poorly. 
It likes to do this with the wired side as well, slowing down and dropping packets again despite a robust network connection, but the wifi is far worse.
I'll load up the details just to get it out of the way.
this is with 1.10.16.25 loaded
comcast: 100/25mps connection
firewall: custom of my design using a linux core, runs on a dc7900 hp pc
switch: HP v1405-24 gigabit - 6 million packets per second 
cabling is all cat 6 now from FW to switch, DTV box, DVR unit, AP's and 2 pc's
Flex 6500 running fixed ip (assigned through dhcp) 1.10.16.25
maestro: wifi/cable fixed and dhcp (although assigned via FW) 
Linksys EA6900 runs 2.4 on channel 1, 5ghz on 57. both named different to separate. i use the 5ghz side only on the maestro as the 2.4 is a bit busy with neighbors, although they are usually under -76dbm in strength. the 5ghz band has plenty of open channels and no overlapping.
When ive traded out the Linksys for the Meraki MR42 AP i shut off the 2.4 and only use a free channel in the 5ghz. signal is -25 to -40dbm through the entire house. the strongest neighbor in the one room has a signal on 2.4 in the -60dbm range but only on one channel. 
5ghz is pretty wide open, only a few neighbors have it and even then the strongest signal is -70dm and usually less than -80 throughout the house. 
I experience the issue during all hours, on any channel i try, clear or not, via lan cable, even as the single only device on the wifi or the cable. 
ping plotter shows no slowdowns on my network, i can see very little use of my network, 1ms or less ping times all the time, I only experience what happens on the maestro with dropped packets and poor connections.
Finally i can add that my iphone 6 plus runs flawless on the exact same network using the latest ios smardsdr and doesnt care which wifi AP i use or which band/channel. 
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K4KRT

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Posted 1 year ago

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Michael Coslo

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Interesting - I have a somewhat similar problem. I don't lose it altogether, but there are times that something is happening, and SmartSDR goes down to one bar, and the weirdest thing is that if I am say, watching a video on youtube on my Mac - which is wired ethernet, the video will pause - just stop dead, and I have to hit play again, even though the whole video might be buffered. I have a brand new modem/ wireless router combo.

It started doing this when I updated SmartSDR the last time, and before I changed the router and modem. Before it did that it was happening more often, and both wireless and wired. But today, I was watching a video and  the moment I turned the Flex on, it killed the video, and appears to have resurfaced. I tried running wireshark, but at that point it stopped. I'm going to run Wireshark again on a different computer tomorrow. 
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K4KRT

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i just tested back on the 1.10.15 beta and the same was true, i am going to go back to the 1.7.32 and see if it does the same
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Manfred HB9FLU

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I have the same problems
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Mike va3mw

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Here  is how I would diagnose this.

First, the EA6900 was the worst router I have ever tested.  I kept it for 20 minutes and took it back.   I ran jperf and Lan Speed Test through it and it was a mess on both 2.4g and 5g wifi.  It might be better with DD-WRT  loaded on it (if you can do that), but I didn't take the time to test it.  It was hugely expensive and I already had under $1000 dual band access points that worked so much better.  My favourite today is the TP-Link Archer C5.  

For those of you having issues, what happens if you plug the Maestro directly into the 6000 with no switch, hub or wifi?  Do you still see the same issues.  If so, then open a case with Flex as there is clearly a problem with the 6000 or the Maestro.

Next, let's add 1 layer at a time.  We have seen Gig switches be problematic and at this time, not sure why and I can only guess.   How does it work with a Maestro connected to the radio via a switch.  Hardwired only.  

Lastly, there is nothing standard about Wifi other than each vendor has a recipe to make it work 99% of the time.  Streaming data is not usually a priority other than for video, and if we drop frames in a video stream, you may never notice.

Pingplotter doesn't really tell you much other than you have a path or you don't.  It does not help with throughput.  Sort of like is my coax connected or not and it doesn't tell you how well the antenna radiates.

What has worked for others as a temporary fix is to get off anything Gigabit.  No 2.4G wifi (that was not the case here) and keep on 5G if you can.   

I also have a commercial Meru system that I love, but it will not reliably connect to iPhones and the Maestro.  So, I am not surprised that the other commercial system mentioned does not function.  In fact, I would expect it as it is more secure by design.

My 2 cents anyway.

Mike va3mw

  
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Bob G W1GLV

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i've had the same problem since I bought the Maestro. Some days it's OK but more of other days it's not. I've tried several different routers but it was the same. My present router is an ASUS RT-AC3200 which is the better of all the routers I've owned. I put it a complaint to Flex but what you get is Dudley asking you the same old questions with no resolution. WiFi doesn't seem to be a big issue with Flex. It will become one when they ever release v2.0. The real problem will rear it's head then. 
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Mike va3mw

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Hi Bob

WiFi certainly is an issue, however it is impossible to test all possible models of consumer grade routers.   In a previous life, the company I worked for test over 30ish 'hobby or consumer' grade routers and some were great and some were bad.  Even buying expensive routers wasn't always the best router.  Sad but true.

Commercial routers do much more filtering at the L2 layer and that can also be good or bad.  

The one way we tested all these devices was jperf with multiple TCP or UDP streams traversing Wifi routers.  It was very surprising how how good some low cost devices were and how bad some high cost devices were.

Even from vendor to vendor iPhone, Blackberries, and Laptops with different WiFi vendors would connect or would not.   One more than 1 occasion, we have 2 iPhone where one worked and the other failed.  And, from what we could tell, they were identical models and software versions.  However, clearly, something was different.

For your that fails, what channel widths are you running?  What band?  Do you know any of the internal settings?  Beacon timing, CTS protection, WMM Support, etc.   

Believe it or not, even the encryption method has an affect on performance.  I believe that routers has 4x4 MIMO, which is great, but...it affects beam forming.  Can you try it without Beamforming turned on?  Apple devices as an example, have a serious issue with Beamforming (at least they used to).

I would also make sure that Jumbo frames are turned off.  These are the things I would try if it was my router.

I mentioned earlier that Router/AP vendors send out their devices with average tuning and to ensure they don't get support calls on their devices.  What that means is that 95%+ of the devices seem to work fine.  But, without good support tools, it is really hard to measure and diagnose problems.  That leaves us to a bunch of guessing which is painful for everyone.

many 73, Mike va3mw
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Michael Coslo

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If the Flex radio needs some specific top of the line setup, and nothing else, we should be told what we need to buy so that the radio will work. 

Now that being said, I have a pretty decent wired and wireless system, so I don't think that's the issue at all. It's something that started after the update, I bought a new and faster modem and router to cure the problem, and it didn't go away.

direct fiber maybe? (just kidding)
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Bob G W1GLV

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But, all of my other devices work great. There's got to be something wrong with the programming algorithms. I've never seen such a lousy WiFi system.
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Mike va3mw

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You can also say that many other Maestro systems are also working perfectly and not seeing the same problems other are.  Who do you blame?  Flex?  Microsoft?  TP-Link?  Cisco?  etc....  :)  Everyone has a part.
  
The hard part is we don't have tools to diagnose this correctly.  It is like trying to tune a duplexor on a repeater system without some sort of signal generator.  

Eventually, we will get to the bottom of it.

73
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Michael Coslo

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We'll figger it out at some point.  As luck would have it, I haven't been able to repeat the problem now. 
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Michael Coslo

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I've narrowed at least my network problem to CAT. When it starts or I cloes it, it does something odd to my local network. I will investigate further now that I can invoke the issue. 
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Mike va3mw

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For those affected, there are many previous conversations regarding this. My rough list includes the oldest dual band router you can find. That seems to work well. I have an WRT-400 I think it is, and it is flawless. Technically, I 'think' I know why, but I don't have enough data to defend or explain it at the moment.

For current product, I have been using a TP-Link Archer C7, and off the shelf with its default settings, it works great. https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Archer....

When I have my Maestro at my remote base, I have the C7 in the cottage and 200ft of CAT5 cable later, my 6300 sits. It runs flawlessy with that setup. And, to be honest it is all stuff over 10 years old (except for the C7). I only have basic home 10/100mbs devices at both ends. It is a setup that many will roll their eyes at, but from the Maestro on Wifi back to the radio goes through 2 'hobby' grade switches. I might drop 1 packet in 1,000,000. I am just sharing what works for me.

Maybe others can chime in with what works for them.

YMMV.

Mike va3mw
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Mike va3mw

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This is what my topology looks like
(Edited)