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[RT-AC86u] packet loss/dropouts (updated)

Discussion in 'ASUS AC Routers & Adapters' started by atomxv, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    I have a 86u running merlin 384.7 and have been experiencing packet loss on wired clients. I have a pretty simple setup, HDHomerun in lan port 1, an nvidia shield in port 2 and a nexus player in port 3. when watching live tv on the shield or nexus player, the picture will freeze or breakup about every 10-15 min. Silicondust (HDHR) has checked logs and says it's not their hardware and are blaming the router. I've had the 86u since the beginning of the year and have had merlin on since new (i've upgraded to every stable version). This problem has been occurring for the past 3-4 weeks. It happened with 384.6 as well, but did not start when that was installed....it just started randomly with no change that i can think of.

    i don't notice it with anything except tv, probably because it's a constant high bitrate stream. wifi is strong (150+ mb/s)

    so, any ideas to try? is the router bad?

    also posted in merlin, but i am not sure it's a firmware specific problem.
     
  2. ApexRon

    ApexRon Senior Member

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    Each one of the Ethernet connections, including the one to your modem, should be 1 Gbps and remain there until device is powered off. Any device that is less than 1 Gbps should be researched to determine if it is capable. Any speed change or erratic behavior could be caused by an auto-negotiation issue but having the problem occur on 2 out of 3 devices is unlikely.
    • Are you watching video streaming on more than one device at at time?
    Your video image issues could also be caused by errors between the router and your ISP. There could also be a time of day issue. When you have an issue with a particular video, replay that video on the same device between 1am and 6am if you can. It is not unusual for an ISP to overcommit bandwidth in a neighborhood. During peak hours, if too many people are consuming bandwidth, everyone will get throttled back. Run a speed test during the time this issue occurs.
     
  3. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Could the issue be with the broadcast TV antenna signal dropping below minimum tuner levels... low signal or low signal-to-noise ratio? These things can change.

    My 2xRT-AC86U AiMesh (stock f/w) has a wired HDHR3-US tuner and wireless HDHomerun Android app on a Nexus 7 tablet and a ZTE Maven 2 phone. Both will stream OTA HDTV over 2.4 GHz over 350' away.

    I recently reworked my attic antenna... I stacked a second HD7694P for direct aiming and now have signal quality, SNR, and symbol quality all maxed at 100%. This was in response to a difficult station that recently got worse and was frequently failing to tune. My rework pushed all stations/signals to 100% except the difficult station maxed out at 80% and an SNR that bounced around the high 70%... good enough for all tuners, but not perfect like the other stations despite now aiming directly at the transmission tower. Then a few weeks later, the difficult station went off air for 2 days and then came back on air at 100%! So I called the station... they "tuned" their amplifiers, whatever that means. Whatever they did, they solved their problem and the one I had marginally solved by reworking my antenna. Still glad I did the rework since it improved everything to 100%.

    The 86U would be my last suspect.

    OE
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  4. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    I'm using an HDHR3-CC (cable variant). signal quality is always at 100%. I'm at a loss...maybe I'll try swapping some cables tonight.
     
  5. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    I see... that's not "live" TV... that's that sliced and diced and compressed stuff! :)

    You say the Nexus Player is in port 3. I see an ASUS Nexus Player with only an 802.11ac connection(?). If it uses WiFi, try disabling Wireless\Professional\Airtime fairness for each band.

    OE
     
  6. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    I have an ethernet adapter for the nexus player. It's only 100 Mbps but the shield that is 1 Gbps exhibits the same behavior.
     
  7. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Shots in the dark:
    o outdoor coax weathering... how's the viewing on a TV?
    o indoor coax network changes/damage
    o cable card
    o HDHomeRun Ethernet cable
    o router factory default reset and reconfig or just try a spare router first

    OE
     
  8. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I have checked the cables and the seem to be in good shape. HDHR is reporting Signal strenght at 99% (-1.0 dBmV) and Signal Quality at 100% (36.4. dB). I have swapped ethernet cables with no change. Next steps would be to swap the cable card or router (I have an old 66u I could try).

    While watching last night, I noticed that the picture breakup/pixelation happened every 10 minutes (almost exactly). The issue lasts a few seconds and then is fine. Does that point to anything?
     
  9. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Don't know. Perhaps a circuit or component instability that periodically reaches some breakdown threshold.

    Sometimes the quickest/only troubleshooting method is wholesale swapping out of pieces of the puzzle.

    OE
     
  10. john9527

    john9527 Part of the Furniture

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    There's been some sporadic reports of the AC86 ethernet ports being 'aggressive' in negotiating connect speeds and power saving. Since the HDHR Prime streams are UDP, there is no retry for any 'glitches'.

    Save yourself the headaches and get a 1Gbps unmanaged switch to plug everything into, then a single port to the router. I've been running that way on an AC68 for years with the Prime, and stream to WMC, FireTVs and Nexus Player without problems. For the wired clients, you can even reboot the router without affecting the streams.
     
  11. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    sounds like a plan, i'll give it a try. thanks for the suggestion!
     
  12. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    Added a switch and it's still happening. By adding a switch i am effectively bypassing the router and ruling it out correct?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  13. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    OK, I unplugged the switch from the router and it appears the issue goes away...plug the switch back in and it comes back. Here's what is weirder, it's happening at a 10 minute interval and only happening on MPEG2 channels (with a higher bitrate of 15ish mbps vs lower bitrate h.264 channels).

    So...what could my router be doing every 10 minutes (not exactly, but close) to cause packet loss and interrupt my hdhomerun stream. I am at a loss.

    Oh, I connected my shield to wifi and it also does it at the same interval.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  14. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    Another update: I swapped the 86u with an old 66u (factory reset) and had the same issues. So it's not specific to the router, but something on my network. I connected the 86u again and shut off wireless...it seems to have gone away, i then narrowed it down to just the 2.4 ghz frequency. On 2.4 i have:
    • 5 wemo mini plugs
    • 3 wemo light switches
    • 2 altec lansing google cast speakers
    • 1 harmony hub
    • 1 canon printer
    I have disconnected each one individually with no luck, changed the channel and bandwidth, still happens. only if i turn off the radio completely does it fix the problem. that's not really an option because the things i have connected to it can only connect to 2.4.

    so...what else can i try??
     
  15. john9527

    john9527 Part of the Furniture

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    Hmmm.....I had to make a change to networkmap on my fork when I added the harmony hub. It was giving a response that it supported web access but replied with a null url which drove networkmap crazy. I can't see the networkmap code now since it's closed source, but you might try shutting the harmony hub down and see if things get better.
     
  16. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks for the suggestion..I tried unplugging the harmony and the problem persists.

    Here is the last 24 hours 2.4ghz traffic. Does it look suspicious? Those spikes look like they are that the 10 min intervals...how can i figure out what they are?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    here's one i just caught watching in real time...

    and as predicted, the next identical spike came 10 min later. this is driving me nuts.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  18. john9527

    john9527 Part of the Furniture

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    10 min is like an eternity to the router....the longest background task I can think of is 30 sec. Did you try disconnecting like items as a group...both speakers, etc?
     
  19. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    I will try that tonight. if i didn't have clients that needed 2.4, i'd just shut it off.
     
  20. atomxv

    atomxv Occasional Visitor

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    It appears to be the wemos. I've had them for a year so i assume it's a firmware update. Not sure if it's worth the hassle, I'll replace them with a different brand.