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Standard User blackbird399
(newbie) Thu 26-Apr-18 22:32:23
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Wet Joint - Advice needed


[link to this post]
 
Hi,
I have a Wet Joint in my line which sometimes plays havoc with my Fibre connection and sometimes is fine (and by fine I mean that I only have disconnections every 2 days rather than a few per day). Iíll explain why how I know itís a wet joint later. Iím reaching the limit of my patience as Iím self-employed, have a business line and expected to be able to work from home when I wish rather than doing it reluctantly when I have to. Itís quite embarrassing have to redial into conferences or apologise for a presentation stopping. As Iíve reached this frustration level, I think I have few options:

1. Keep reporting at Zen Support until they relent and get OpenReach out again (although I know what the problem is, itís going to be easier). BT identified a problem before, but it stopped while they were trying things Ė so they had no idea if they fixed it.
2. Use Principle 4 to terminate my contract, get a new line to the house and use it for broadband. Then terminate the line I have. This is riskier as there are two points the problem could be and it depends on where the new line runs from. This will cost £140.
3. Go for FTTP Ė this is unlikely to be sensible as Iím 470m from the cabinet and the cost will be prohibitive (two underground sections 348m and 50m and then about 70m to the house).
4. Wait for a further degradation (same as 1, and as the weather is getting better Iím likely to be out of contract at that point Ė and very far away from Zen).
5. Go for mobile broadband and put an ADSL line back in for the kids Ė ADSL was stable on the line and 19Mb down. Needs 2. to happen.
I understand that Zen donít want me to end up with the OpenReach charge if they donít find anything and want to see the fault on a test they can run Ė but that costs pales in comparison to the 2 hours commute to my clientís site and the £13.50 parking chargeÖ the problem has been evident from December. I donít want to do the maths, but itís way above the OpenReach fee.


How do I know itís a wet jointÖ That took a while but fairly obvious with hindsight I had a lot of pictures, but it appears you canít add them. So Iíll type the relevant info.
Decemeber/January
The line was dropping multiple times per day and syncing at ~38Mb
Here was a typical error rate from January (SNR was 10 downstream):
Fritz!box Error Seconds:5085 SES:3568 CRC per minute:8 last 15 minutes 803
Exchange Error Seconds:20 SES: 4 CRC per minute: 0.04 last 15 minutes: 0

The errors came in a bell curve and lasted for hours then petered out Ė but with this level of errors it took a few weeks of calls to Zen support to get a fault raised with OpenReach. The line at first passed tests, but then failed and the engineer replaced the drop line as the original wiring was very old. Things were fine for a few days and then the SNR Graph had wide varying minimum and maximum (up to 10 db Ė which is likely to explain the disconnects):

My Speed went up to the Mid 40s Ė then the errors came back.
I was averaging 16 CRCs per minute and had managed to clock up 16686 Error seconds with the Central Exchange.

Then the Beast from the East arrived and my SNR graph dropped by 30Db

I was syncing in the 20s, when it synced, and it dropped every few hours, so I was lucky to capture some screenshots showing the drop in SNR.

Back to Zen Support Ė the weather had heated up and the snow melted (not that Iíd worked it out at this point)Ö so a forced resync put it back in the 40s and Zen werenít going to do anything about it. Iím now frustrated, and not trusting my internet connection even a bit.
Back to the same Ė seeming random patterns of errors. I worked from the clientís site and listen to complaining from the kids when I got home.

Did some speed tests to see what the actual throughput was taking retransmissions into account (I have children who provide an alarm when itís not working):
Download speeds varied from 10 to 40 Mb and the average was 33 Ė it appears thereís loads of retransmission going on (the screenshot really tells the story). Not the best.
April came and I went on holidayÖ I came back to find the connection had been at 25Mb and to top it all Iím now banded at a max of 44 (looks like the DLM didnít like the errors), looked back at the weather forecast: snow, again from the east.
The penny dropped.
Went outside and looked at my phone line Ė there are two joins, both sheltered from a westerly wind and both above groundÖ profuse swearing.
Did some more speed tests on Zenís site Ė throughput was poor, so back to Zen Support.
They agreed the speed is poor but wanted more tests. Amazingly for Scotland the sun has been out since and thatís where I realised that thereís nothing Iíll be able to do. Most of the problems are in the evening or morning and wetness can clear up now that the temperature is in double figures Ė the problems are likely to be condensation as much as rain (although the temperature, freezing the condensation, are likely to be another part of it).

After the dry days I compared the connection (SNR Graph), itís substantially higher than before giving attainable of 54Mb/14Mb (although Iím now banded so wonít get any of it).


I wrote a quick program the other night which captures data in the SNR graph, the bit loading from the same page and everything I found interesting on the DSL page and stores it on a database, every 10 seconds, with the view of gathering evidence. But having been on the phone regularly from the beginning of the year to Zen support, I realise how much this has cost me in lost time and effort, and just want either to leave Zen or get a reliable connection. Iíve already got loads of screenshots, so more evidence isnít going to help.

So Ė do I cut my losses or perservere?

Edited by blackbird399 (Thu 26-Apr-18 23:35:50)

Standard User professor973
(knowledge is power) Fri 27-Apr-18 00:38:06
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
Just remove it and dry it out, it should then smoke OK smile

Standard User jdigz7
(member) Fri 27-Apr-18 01:24:23
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by blackbird399:
Hi,
I have a Wet Joint in my line which sometimes plays havoc with my Fibre connection and sometimes is fine (and by fine I mean that I only have disconnections every 2 days rather than a few per day). Iíll explain why how I know itís a wet joint later. Iím reaching the limit of my patience as Iím self-employed, have a business line and expected to be able to work from home when I wish rather than doing it reluctantly when I have to. Itís quite embarrassing have to redial into conferences or apologise for a presentation stopping. As Iíve reached this frustration level, I think I have few options:

1. Keep reporting at Zen Support until they relent and get OpenReach out again (although I know what the problem is, itís going to be easier). BT identified a problem before, but it stopped while they were trying things Ė so they had no idea if they fixed it.
2. Use Principle 4 to terminate my contract, get a new line to the house and use it for broadband. Then terminate the line I have. This is riskier as there are two points the problem could be and it depends on where the new line runs from. This will cost £140.
3. Go for FTTP Ė this is unlikely to be sensible as Iím 470m from the cabinet and the cost will be prohibitive (two underground sections 348m and 50m and then about 70m to the house).
4. Wait for a further degradation (same as 1, and as the weather is getting better Iím likely to be out of contract at that point Ė and very far away from Zen).
5. Go for mobile broadband and put an ADSL line back in for the kids Ė ADSL was stable on the line and 19Mb down. Needs 2. to happen.
I understand that Zen donít want me to end up with the OpenReach charge if they donít find anything and want to see the fault on a test they can run Ė but that costs pales in comparison to the 2 hours commute to my clientís site and the £13.50 parking chargeÖ the problem has been evident from December. I donít want to do the maths, but itís way above the OpenReach fee.


How do I know itís a wet jointÖ That took a while but fairly obvious with hindsight I had a lot of pictures, but it appears you canít add them. So Iíll type the relevant info.
Decemeber/January
The line was dropping multiple times per day and syncing at ~38Mb
Here was a typical error rate from January (SNR was 10 downstream):
Fritz!box Error Seconds:5085 SES:3568 CRC per minute:8 last 15 minutes 803
Exchange Error Seconds:20 SES: 4 CRC per minute: 0.04 last 15 minutes: 0

The errors came in a bell curve and lasted for hours then petered out Ė but with this level of errors it took a few weeks of calls to Zen support to get a fault raised with OpenReach. The line at first passed tests, but then failed and the engineer replaced the drop line as the original wiring was very old. Things were fine for a few days and then the SNR Graph had wide varying minimum and maximum (up to 10 db Ė which is likely to explain the disconnects):

My Speed went up to the Mid 40s Ė then the errors came back.
I was averaging 16 CRCs per minute and had managed to clock up 16686 Error seconds with the Central Exchange.

Then the Beast from the East arrived and my SNR graph dropped by 30Db

I was syncing in the 20s, when it synced, and it dropped every few hours, so I was lucky to capture some screenshots showing the drop in SNR.

Back to Zen Support Ė the weather had heated up and the snow melted (not that Iíd worked it out at this point)Ö so a forced resync put it back in the 40s and Zen werenít going to do anything about it. Iím now frustrated, and not trusting my internet connection even a bit.
Back to the same Ė seeming random patterns of errors. I worked from the clientís site and listen to complaining from the kids when I got home.

Did some speed tests to see what the actual throughput was taking retransmissions into account (I have children who provide an alarm when itís not working):
Download speeds varied from 10 to 40 Mb and the average was 33 Ė it appears thereís loads of retransmission going on (the screenshot really tells the story). Not the best.
April came and I went on holidayÖ I came back to find the connection had been at 25Mb and to top it all Iím now banded at a max of 44 (looks like the DLM didnít like the errors), looked back at the weather forecast: snow, again from the east.
The penny dropped.
Went outside and looked at my phone line Ė there are two joins, both sheltered from a westerly wind and both above groundÖ profuse swearing.
Did some more speed tests on Zenís site Ė throughput was poor, so back to Zen Support.
They agreed the speed is poor but wanted more tests. Amazingly for Scotland the sun has been out since and thatís where I realised that thereís nothing Iíll be able to do. Most of the problems are in the evening or morning and wetness can clear up now that the temperature is in double figures Ė the problems are likely to be condensation as much as rain (although the temperature, freezing the condensation, are likely to be another part of it).

After the dry days I compared the connection (SNR Graph), itís substantially higher than before giving attainable of 54Mb/14Mb (although Iím now banded so wonít get any of it).


I wrote a quick program the other night which captures data in the SNR graph, the bit loading from the same page and everything I found interesting on the DSL page and stores it on a database, every 10 seconds, with the view of gathering evidence. But having been on the phone regularly from the beginning of the year to Zen support, I realise how much this has cost me in lost time and effort, and just want either to leave Zen or get a reliable connection. Iíve already got loads of screenshots, so more evidence isnít going to help.

So Ė do I cut my losses or perservere?


I would suggest getting in touch with AAISP and explaining your situation regards to the line they would be more than happy for you to migrate and they will kick openreach into touch to have the line fixed due to weather damage this really doesn't do any favours for Zen's current reputation as you are a business customer and i'm guessing you have provided them with these details and are still reluctant to have OR sort this issue.

I have 2 Lines from a overhead pole which is pretty much in the open but seems to have been equipped with plenty of protection from snow rain wind and hail all in the one day (I live in scotland also tongue)

Think it's got the stage where Zen are now becoming similar to other bigger ISP in this department of poor customer service.

Edited by jdigz7 (Fri 27-Apr-18 01:25:23)


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Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 27-Apr-18 06:21:53
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
So post the pictures on IMG or similar, then post a link.

Two joints on what, your dropwire ?

Standard User blackbird399
(newbie) Fri 27-Apr-18 20:53:39
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
Zen have asked for more information, so I'm pulling that together. In the meantime, if anyone wants the code to monitor their own Fritz!Box to within an inch of it's life, ask and I'll post it (It's C#, and I can add comments to make it more readable).
Standard User blackbird399
(newbie) Tue 01-May-18 22:47:13
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
Well, that turned out to be interesting

over 8 days my internet speed has changed a bit:

24/04/2018 51532/14964
24/04/2018 44000/11014
28/04/2018 40000/10478
30/04/2018 35000/10445
01/05/2018 32400/10400

I'll be seeing OpenReach on Friday, I had to fight for it (although it had only fallen to 35000 at that point). Impressive 38% speed drop over 7 days - be informative to see what the fault has been raised as, given the speed criteria is 25% drop over 14 days. Given the recent form I could knock that for 6.

The Zen rep did not reply after asking for further evidence, so I feel somewhat disappointed.

On the plus side I've kept the alternative solution for the wet joint just in case I need it laugh
Standard User Ixel
(committed) Wed 09-May-18 19:24:02
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
If you're still having this issue then I second what someone else in this thread said about AAISP.

I was with Zen and had a line fault which was not detectable by standard tests. A voice engineer did turn up (which of course was no good for me) but I didn't get an SFI engineer so I ended up ordering a second line from AAISP and found that the second line also had a similar fault to the first line. I went to AAISP's IRC channel to see if it was worth reporting and was told to email them. AAISP promptly got on to TTB who then got on to Openreach and four SFI engineers later (three of which were escalated), within I think about two weeks, my second line improved a lot and the problem was somewhat resolved. It was a tricky problem to say the least. I remember one of the SFI engineers commenting that my provider must know someone high up in Openreach, haha. Credit to Zen though, they let me leave my contract early in the end and reimbursed me.
Standard User blackbird399
(newbie) Thu 10-May-18 20:03:53
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: Ixel] [link to this post]
 
Well OpenReach have now been out twice and I have to say have been great both times. First Guy took a look at the info I'd gathered and said - that looks like a wet joint... it wasn't showing up at first, but eventually a HR fault appeared and he headed off to fix (and to figure out why it was 866m away when the exchange and cabinet are much closer). There was no fault when he finally figured out where the cables were laid, so he came back. Fault was still there. He went to the base of the pole just outside the house and could see an extra 6Mb speed and no fault. After some double checking he went to climb the pole and found it was 6 years past the last check expiry and he had to book a hoist and leave.

Second engineer came (full disclosure: him and his wife had been at our house for dinner a few weeks ago, so he had already had his ear bent) and replaced the line from the pole - It may well have suffered a lightning strike... which I remembered about once he said the cable was weak at one point! As they were up there anyway they took a good look round and found a bridge tap - I'm now 650m from the cabinet according to the tester.

End result is that I'm now getting 60Mb and the line has been up for 29 hours. Not a record yet, but will be soon. We'll see what happens when the weather turns bad on Saturday.

Edited by blackbird399 (Thu 10-May-18 20:06:40)

Standard User blackbird399
(newbie) Thu 10-May-18 20:32:39
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
As promised here's code should anyone want to gather info from their Fritz!Box

It's C# code (solutions and projects are all there) and a Database Creation Script in the root directory. I was using a MySQL server so if you have something else it'll need a few modifications.

There are some variables to complete in Form1.cs for the DB collection, your Fritzbox address. Then just run and leave it alone. The same GUI can be used to view SNR, Attainable Speed and a ping time to 8.8.8.8 over the course of a day (day is selectable). The other selection lets you pick a time and view the SNR Spectrum.

I just started collection on an old computer and viewed the results from my laptop.

Readings are taken every 10 seconds, so you get a pretty good view of what's happening.

You also need to know a bit of coding to use it (as I didn't make an installer), but hope someone finds it useful:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AofPcWieuJD2tqdExFNVMW5p_s6NeA

Here's what it the Ping looked like over a day: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AofPcWieuJD2tqdFPeCrmTfcNtJfqw

Edited by blackbird399 (Thu 10-May-18 20:41:26)

Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 14-May-18 06:07:45
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Re: Wet Joint - Advice needed


[re: blackbird399] [link to this post]
 
So not a wet joint at all then .....

Then blip the first engineer saw was almost certainly exchange equipment.

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