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is it my router?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by bhs00, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. bhs00

    bhs00 Networkin' Nut Member

    I have been happily using my e3000 with tomato for a few months connected to an SB6120. The version of tomato I have been using is tomato-E3000USB-NVRAM60K-1.28.7488MIPSR2-Toastman-RT-VPN-NOCAT.bin However, last night my power flickered and my internet world came crumbling down. I could access the router GUI, but not the modem GUI or the internet. I tried rebooting both devices. I can connect directly from PC to the modem and work fine. And at lunch I connected successfully using an Apple Airport Extreme when set to defaults. So that should rule out that my Modem is the problem. I've tried resetting the Tomato router to defaults and still nothing. I've thought about loading ddwrt or another version of Tomato or maybe even stock firmware but haven't yet. It is stuck at WAN renewing. Has anyone heard of something like this? Any ideas on what to try?
  2. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Unplug the modem, let it sit for 5 minutes. Plug it in, let it boot, plug your system into the modem, verify internet connectivity. Disconnect your system from the modem, connect your system to the router, and clone that system's MAC address to the WAN port. Connect the modem to the router and you should be good.
  3. Planiwa

    Planiwa LI Guru Member

    I would never reset, reboot, or power cycle a modem until I had first determined that this was necessary, and that I had obtained all useful information from the modem.

    A modem is a highly intelligent computer that monitors the line status continually, makes minute adjustments such as DMT bit-swapping, and records this data, and can communicate it. To me this is valuable information. But, of course, not to everyone.

    While I appreciate the efficacy of the "power cycle everything" approach, it is not the only approach, and certainly not mine. It is well-suited to clients who have no interest in understanding and diagnosis as components in problem solving.

    BTW, I'd be very interested in hearing from others who are interested in using modems to diagnose line data. Tomato makes it easy to do this. The ST516 modem is particularly good at communicating line status.
  4. bhs00

    bhs00 Networkin' Nut Member

    This worked. Thanks
  5. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Actually, if you're using a cable modem, the only way to get the modem to use a different MAC is to power cycle it, at least with major US & Canadian ISPs. They only allow a single MAC address to work at a time, and that MAC is determined at boot time. A select few cable modems allow you to perform a soft reboot of the modem, but it's effectively the same thing as a power cycle since it loses all it's learning settings. Each time the cable modem boots it downloads configuration settings from the ISP, so while those settings are lost, it's not a great loss (unless their server is down).

    The reason I suggested power cycling is because I recognized the part number. The SB6120 is a Motorola cable modem.
  6. Planiwa

    Planiwa LI Guru Member

    Aha. Thanks Monk E. Boy, I didn't know that about cable modems. I may try out DOCSIS 3 soon.

    I have a Tomato router at a location with a very flaky DSL line. It's 80m from the Remote, but the Attenuation (40dB) suggests 3km. A few hours ago the modem decided to resync at half the previous DS rate, with an US SNRM of 5 (was 12) and DS SNRM of 20 (was 10). Have to go there and check the wiring. Maybe loose contacts or insulation faults -- hungry squirrels? :)
  7. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Yeah gotta love squirelly problems like that (ha!).

    At my last house the only way I could maintain a solid internet connection for long stretches was to (every month or two) reboot the modem because something/someone would adjust settings outside the house which would throw off all the learning of the modem, so you'd power cycle it and within a few minutes it was back up and running at full speed again.

    I really dislike the shared equipment nature of cable modem installations, seems like cable ISPs never bother to look at their service history so they're constantly adjusting gain up & down to make the most recent customer happy but don't care if it blows up another customer in the neighborhood. So when the tech comes out to help the other customer it gets adjusted back to the old setting, which of course blows up the previous customer. Cable ISPs need to hire better techs, and not just fixate on how many customers a tech can service in a day.
  8. rani5907

    rani5907 Networkin' Nut Member

    I had a e3000 connected with Motorola SG6120 modem. The e3000 has tomato-E3000USB-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta on it. The setup worked flawlessly till last Sunday. I used to reboot my cable modem and router every few weeks and boy, I learned never to do that again. The e3000 simply will get stuck at the WAN IP renewing. I also have a e2000 which works as a bridge for upstairs. I plugged that in and the same result. I also took Mone E. Boy's solution and tried that twice with e3000 and in the presence of the Charter guy and it did not work. So broke down and had the Charter guy provide me with $10/month rental of their netgear docsis 3.0 modem/wireless gateway. It has to be some sort evil plot and now I am seeing my connecting which is supposed 30 MBPS almost crawling. It actually crawls when we get on Netflix or Hulu. The online chat guy from Linksys support is telling me my e3000 is out of support. I am having mix feelings about cisco as I think these are great products but ton of complains on the refurb e3000 in newegg where I bought it from ignoring the complaints.
  9. shadowken

    shadowken Networkin' Nut Member

    I'm really interested in such things too
  10. Planiwa

    Planiwa LI Guru Member

    Two nights ago, after the modem had collected 35 days of line data that I was going to present to the ISP/Telco, a tenant from the site snet me an SMS at 02:00, saying there were "internet problems" and he really needed to to some work. He asked if he could power cycle the modem. I answered "No!". I told him that if it was urgent I was willing to go there and check it out. He didn't want that. The modem was like a flight data recorder. It had the answers to exactly what happened, when. I knew it was just a matter of waiting and then I would be able to find out what the problem was. (BTW the router normally would keep the data from the modem, but I had to switch back to an older, less capable router, because of an apparent wifi problem with the brand new N16.). Two minutes later, the logs show that the modem was power cycled. All the data was lost. The DSL line was so bad that the modem had to try syncing for 8 hours before it got a stable sync. At one point it was syncing at 1/10th the normal data rate:
    3 <173> SysUpTime: 05:06:05 xDSL linestate up (downstream: 1504 kbit/s, upstream: 576 kbit/s; output Power Down: 18.0 dBm, Up: 11.5 dBm; line Attenuation Down: 43.0 dB, Up: 26.0 dB; snr Margin Down: 8.0 dB, Up: 6.0 dB)
    <173> SysUpTime: 05:06:22 xDSL linestate down
    4 <173> SysUpTime: 05:06:42 xDSL linestate up (downstream: 4032 kbit/s, upstream: 800 kbit/s; output Power Down: 19.0 dBm, Up: 11.5 dBm; line Attenuation Down: 40.0 dB, Up: 24.0 dB; snr Margin Down: 13.5 dB, Up: 12.0 dB)
    <173> SysUpTime: 05:50:32 xDSL linestate down
    5 <173> SysUpTime: 05:55:12 xDSL linestate up (downstream: 576 kbit/s, upstream: 672 kbit/s; output Power Down: 17.0 dBm, Up: 11.5 dBm; line Attenuation Down: 42.0 dB, Up: 25.0 dB; snr Margin Down: 6.5 dB, Up: 6.0 dB)
    <173> SysUpTime: 06:18:27 xDSL linestate down
    6 <173> SysUpTime: 06:52:14 xDSL linestate up (downstream: 384 kbit/s, upstream: 640 kbit/s; output Power Down: 15.5 dBm, Up: 11.5 dBm; line Attenuation Down: 42.0 dB, Up: 25.0 dB; snr Margin Down: 6.5 dB, Up: 7.0 dB)
    <173> SysUpTime: 06:59:52 xDSL linestate down
    7 <173> SysUpTime: 07:00:16 xDSL linestate up (downstream: 3520 kbit/s, upstream: 800 kbit/s; output Power Down: 19.5 dBm, Up: 11.5 dBm; line Attenuation Down: 40.0 dB, Up: 24.0 dB; snr Margin Down: 6.5 dB, Up: 10.0 dB) 

    There was one interesting thing. In the modem's ADSL report, two data items were switched. Consistently. I felt very uncomfortable about that. So, late last night I logged to the router from the Net, logged in to the modem from the router, and ... rebooted the modem. This is not spectatular, per se. But read on:

    The modem rebooted (which fixed that annoying problem that was probably the consequence of a spikey unplugging/replugging) and did so without blinking!!

    It did a resync, but never lost the PPPoE. The router never knew. There was no new WAN-IP. I never lost my ssh session to the router.

    That was pretty impressive for a little ST516v6 modem.

    BTW, I have some pretty nice modemstats software (from the router). One thing that I have learned is this:

    With a noisy line, the modem may do bit-swapping quit frequently. Unless you you keep watching the bit loading, you wouldn't know. So, my monitoring software calculates a CRC of the bit-loading and reports the actyal bitswaps, which usually are just a single pair, but may be dozens.

    The problem with this site is that I know that there are horrible line problems. I suspect that they are in the 3km from the house to the CO. But the house wiring is a mess. The owners won't let me fix it. I've made a long CAT-5 cable for a temporary home run to the NID/punchdown block that would isolate the DSL line from the messy indoor wiring, but they won't let me string that cable there (yet) --- they are always terribly busy with all sorts of things that prevent it. (I thing they don't appreciate the problem since, there appears to be pretty good internet connectivity over the catastrophic phone wire, so they think my standards are "too high". :)

    BTW, the DMT charts in my avatar image were all made by Tomato routers from various modems. But I do like the st516 the best.

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