View Full Version : Halfbridge / Passthru DSL modem & DSLAM upgrades?

12-10-2011, 12:02 PM
Hi all,

So after a long saga of constant disconnections for around 6 months, changing ISPs to Slingshot, things were finally starting to look better. I was running off the Cabinet, attaining 10-odd mbps (Though I had a TDR complaint in to get that improved), and I'd had solid internet for a few weeks!
...Until last Tuesday when they changed the wholesale plan that I'm on to a different connection type (Apparently I'm on an EUBA plan now).

Then the fun began :(

So I had got myself a Draytek DV120 to replace my Linksys AM300 (I was loaning the AM300 out). It'd been working perfectly since a few days after I got Cabinetized / switched to Slingshot when I purchased it.

Basically, I started getting *mass* packet loss, but it wasn't all the time, it wasn't with predictable... For example I could play LOTRO on US-based servers and only get around 1% loss. However, playing games on an NZ-local server would fail miserably. Speedtests would fail most of the time, but when they worked it'd show me getting max line speed. pingtest.net tests would consistently show 0% packet loss...
I made a post here: http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?120948-Slingshot-Connectivity-issues-tonight

So fast-forward a bit, I lodged a case, put up with it for ages, Slingshot had no idea what was going on, and I even bought another couple of DV120s to test with. Lucky for me on Monday I got my AM300 back and tested with that. It didn't have any issues. Odd, so the issue is the DV120.
Right, firmware time. I went through *every single* firmware on the list from the draytek.com.au website (About 10 of them) and still no joy. Pop the AM300 back in, and it's fine.

Talking with one of the guys from SnapperNet (Who were quite helpful!) suggested that the ikanos cards in the DSLAMs may be playing a factor in it.
So I do some more searching, find this: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=39&topicid=85892&page_no=2

Anyways, I guess what I'm wondering is:
1) Does anybody know of any other halfbridge or PPPoA -> PPPoE Passthru capable modems that can be used in place of the DV120? The AM300 is becoming more and more hard to come by these days...
2) Does anybody know any further information about said firmware upgrade? I tried contacting Telecom but talking with the first-level helpdesk monkeys, they know absolutely zip and I tried twice to get through to some description of 2nd / 3rd level helpdesk, but they must be having a bad week in the Philippines.
3) Is there anything else that I could be trying to improve matters with the DV120? I've not got 3 of them which are semi-useless if this is the case going forwards... Though SnapperNet have been great, they're going back to Draytek to see about some further firmware updates specifically to assist with the ikanos cards in the DSLAMs.
4) Is there an easy way to detect (in advance) what kind of connection somebody is on, short of plugging in a router like the DV120 and having it interrogate the DSLAM?

I'm not fully familiar with precisely how things work, still getting my head around a few things, but any advice / comments / suggestions would be appreciated.



12-10-2011, 12:22 PM
Hey great to hear someone else having problems with the Drayteks!

I haven't had an issue with the DV120 itself but some older models, that are no longer available, and SnapperNet don't want to know about it basically.

The main problem is that even though the Drayteks say they are ADSL2+ routers they aren't connecting at ADSL2+ speeds, only ADSL1.
I also tried about 9 different firmware from Draytek's site but made no difference.
So I have a number of clients that need the Draytek VPN endpoints but aren't able to get ADSL2+ speeds and SnapperNet won't do anything as the routers are out of warranty and old models.
Putting in an old crappy D-Link on any of the clients lines gets double the speed they are getting with their Drayteks so they can't say it's an age thing as the Drayteks are newer than the D-Link I used to test with.

12-10-2011, 12:40 PM
Yeah apparently it's some description of an incompatibility between the ikanos cards and the Draytek devices. Chipset / Firmware, I'm not sure, I just know they don't work as they should.

It's a shame because I've found the DV120's to be *rock solid*. I've got one that's been ticking over now for around 250 days, without missing a beat!

12-10-2011, 12:44 PM
Yea they are good as my parents have one that hasn't missed a beat.
Also got a number of clients using them without issues.

12-10-2011, 02:02 PM
It appears some chipset combinations between DSLAM and modem don't play nice together, New DSLAM's are being equipped with VDSL cards so that VDSL can be offered to customers, but it appears the older ADSL2+ cards work better with some modems and on longer lines. In many cases a few of the older cards are equipped for use when faults can't be resolved on the VDSL cards.

One hopes this will be sorted with firmware at some point, for now though perhaps you could ask slingshot if it's possible to be connected to an ADSL2+ card. Be prepared for hassles though, help desks really don't seem equipped for questions like that and no guarantee it will make a difference.

And before you ask, they are set to use ADSL2+ protocols by default so no you won't see VDSL connection speeds even if you have a compatible modem, if your ISP offers that service you have to pay for it before it will be enabled :)

12-10-2011, 02:44 PM
Hmm that's actually not a bad point. Can they do that on an "EUBA" line though, or as part of the EUBA connection do they have to be on these newer VDSL cards? Or is that purely based on what $ Slingshot pay to Telecom Wholesale?

12-10-2011, 04:05 PM
That I don't know, to be honest I have no Idea what EUBA even is. But given that VDSL doesn't seem to be available yet I would assume any current service can be offered on either type of card.