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Alt 2017-12-22, 15:21   #1 (permalink)
 
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Standard Voice dropout/port forwarding on Fritz!Box

Hi!

Since I moved to Germany, I'm experiencing voice dropouts on VATSIM. I have Fritz!Box and XSquawkbox 1.3.3. I guess I have to do the port forwarding thing, but don't know how to fill in these fields, first of all the Anwendung field.
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Alt 2017-12-22, 15:57   #2 (permalink)
 
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Hi Dace,

you are talking about voice dropouts, i.e. you have a connection, but packets get dropped. If you needed the white list entries you try to enter, then there would be no working connection at all. Additionally, outgoing connections (and of course their back channels) are normally not blocked by the F!Box, so as long as you did not configure your F!Box otherwise, the XSquawkBox should be able to communicate.

You mentioned that you moved to Germany. Perhaps you are still using the same VatSIM server as before and there might be a better suited for your location?

I had never any problems with any of my F!Boxes connecting to VatSIM. Therefore a bad internet connection or your connection to the F!Box (e.g. WLAN?) might drop packets... If possible, try to use the 5 GHz WLAN band, because 2.4 GHz is very crowded in most places...

Good luck,
Björn
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Alt 2017-12-22, 17:54   #3 (permalink)
 
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Switching servers shouldn't make any difference for voice communication as voice and data servers appear to be separate from each other on VATSIM: Public data files contain a voice URL for each ATC station, so whatever data server you are choosing, you would still connect to the same voice servers. Which voice server is used depends on the controller, not the pilot.

As Björn said, you don't need to set up any port forwarding rules to connect with VATSIM. Unfortunately, internet service is pretty horrible in Germany compared to most other countries as far as I know, so I'm suspecting another common issue:
  • Congested network links on your ISP's side - you can try to complain but usually there's nothing you can do about that other than switching to a different provider. Prominent example: Telekom. If you have a contract with 1&1 it's random which network you are actually connected to (could be Telekom; 1&1 is just a reseller choosing the cheapest available connection for your area. They don't have any network to link with home users on their own, although they imply to have it - they are doing false advertising and have already been sued over it.).
  • Congested shared broadband connection - if not connected via dedicated lines like DSL or fiber but TV cable. Internet via cable providers works fine for some people and is an absolute nightmare for others (e.g. if that's the only provider you can get in your area, you can expect everyone to use it - since whole building blocks share the same links you get the same congestion issues as if you're using WLAN on a crowded channel). Prominent example: Vodafone/Kabel Deutschland.
  • Congestion on your router - although Fritzboxes in my opinion are still the best routers you can get, I've seen them behave very chaotic and unreliable when it comes to real-time applications and UDP connections if more than one application on your network is transferring a lot of packets at the same time. If you have other applications/devices accessing the Internet while you fly online, try to temporarily shut them down and see if it helps. Examples of applications I've seen conflicting with VATSIM (and vice versa): Netflix, Xbox Live, Skype

The Fritzbox also provides a basic QoS option to prioritize outgoing traffic by TCP/UDP port. Unfortunately that might only help if you are the one whose voice is breaking up on VATSIM. It does not help at all if you can't hear others properly.

Can you give any details about your ISP connection (link type, provider, speed) and router (model number)? Do you only have issues with VATSIM voice servers or are other applications/services also affected (maybe changing with time of day and weekday)? You can see if how much local traffic is currently being routed by checking Internet/Online-Monitor (graphs at bottom: "Aktuelle Auslastung der Internetverbindung"). Your router's CPU load can be seen by its effect on power consumption on System/Energiemonitor (light blue bar for "FRITZ!Box Hauptprozessor").

BTW, I wonder why AVM doesn't provide a localized firmware, that shouldn't be too hard to implement and latest Fritzboxes should have more than enough memory to include at least English as an international fallback language out-of-the-box.
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Geändert von Daniel Neugebauer (2017-12-22 um 17:58 Uhr)
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Alt 2017-12-22, 19:47   #4 (permalink)
 
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I actually don't know what the exact problem is as I'm not so technically knowledgeable, but I've read a lot about this issue with vPilot and they always recommend port forwarding. I guess it doesn't depend on the pilot client, just that vPilot is more popular, so people complain more often. It may be something else however, as pressing my PTT doesn't help me to stay connected to the voice room. Updating voice room in the XSquawkbox menu doesn't help either. The only thing that helps is swapping the active frequency to standby and back. I sometimes do it as a precaution while the controller is talking to somebody else. However yesterday I stopped receiving voice at the critical moment of getting ILS intercept in a busy airspace. I'd just talked to the controller a minute ago, and then silence. I can't completely rule out internet disconnects as that sometimes happens, too, but then I usually get disconnected from VATSIM altogether, so I notice it (or a web page doesn't load). The problem is consistent on every flight, though, so I think it has to be something else. It's just that after a certain time on the frequency (roughly about 20 min) I get disconnected from the voice room, regardless of how much time has passed since I last transmitted, and there is no notice about being disconnected that I get when switching frequencies or when a controller disconnects.

I haven't changed anything in the Fritzbox settings yet. The model is Fritz!Box 7560. I have 1&1 DSL 100 connection with WLAN as well. I usually don't use other apps while flying apart from Vatspy and the weather engine, sometimes teamspeak, youtube or twitch, too. I've never had problems with any other apps than VATSIM.
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Alt 2017-12-22, 21:34   #5 (permalink)
 
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Zitat:
Zitat von Dace Nicmane Beitrag anzeigen
I can't completely rule out internet disconnects as that sometimes happens, too, but then I usually get disconnected from VATSIM altogether, so I notice it (or a web page doesn't load).
Can you upload screenshots of Internet/DSL-Informationen/DSL and Internet/DSL-Informationen/Statistik? Maybe it's also good to have a quick look at Internet/Online-Monitor/Online-Zähler, column "Verbindungen", rows "Aktueller Monat" and "Vormonat" (showing number of reconnects per current and previous month). I got the 7560 as well with Telekom VDSL 25 and have no issues (not using port forwarding either). Connection is very stable and should not be interrupted except for the default 24h disconnect Telekom does and maybe an additional configured reconnect by your Fritz!Box to move that ISP-triggered disconnect to a more pleasant time (like 4-5am).

If it's not just the 24h disconnect you are observing but some issue with the physical connection to your ISP then it may very well be that your voice connection drops due to packets getting lost at the wrong time. Looking at the statistics we may be able to tell if your DSL connection is okay or has some more serious issues. If the physical connection is unstable you may be able to adjust the Fritz!Box's modem to sync at a slower, more reliable data rate (but let's have a look at the statistics first, maybe that's not necessary ).

Judging from just the name "DSL 100" I'd expect that to be a 100MBit Telekom VDSL connection with vectoring.
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Alt 2017-12-23, 01:00   #6 (permalink)
 
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Zitat:
Zitat von Dace Nicmane Beitrag anzeigen
... but I've read a lot about this issue with vPilot and they always recommend port forwarding.
You don't need to do that. You said yourself you have nothing changed, i.e. the F!Box will do the necessary things on its own.

As Daniel described (cool, I learned something new ) XSquawkBox connects to the voice server. Therefore you have an outgoing connection and the F!Box will make sure the returning packets get through as well.

Zitat:
Zitat von Dace Nicmane Beitrag anzeigen
I can't completely rule out internet disconnects as that sometimes happens, too, but then I usually get disconnected from VATSIM altogether, so I notice it (or a web page doesn't load).
You should see that in the event log of the F!Box.

Zitat:
Zitat von Dace Nicmane Beitrag anzeigen
I have 1&1 DSL 100 connection with WLAN as well. I usually don't use other apps while flying apart from Vatspy and the weather engine, sometimes teamspeak, youtube or twitch, too. I've never had problems with any other apps than VATSIM.
Are you connected to your F!Box via WLAN? 2.4 or 5 GHz? I have absolutely no problems with my internet connection, but using the 2.4 GHz band will lead to packet loss and shaky voice transmissions because of congestion of this frequency band. I see no problems with 5 GHz.

A simple test for you might be to use teamspeak. Connect to some server with voice traffic and check your own packet loss statistics there. (Move your mouse over your user name, right mouse button and select the last menu item, something like client connection status.) If you lose packets there as well, it is probable the same is happening on your voice connections with VatSIM.

Bye,
Björn

P.S. to Daniel: F!Boxes are available as international versions as well. These will speak other languages as well. But you can't switch the language just by using a different firmware.
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Alt 2017-12-23, 14:32   #7 (permalink)
 
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I use WLAN only for mobile devices. The computer is connected by cable. Here are the screenshots.
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Dateityp: jpg Statistik.jpg (331,9 KB, 20x aufgerufen)
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Geändert von Dace Nicmane (2017-12-23 um 18:09 Uhr)
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Alt 2017-12-23, 19:53   #8 (permalink)
 
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22 connections in the current week, i.e. three connections per day on average. That seems a bit excessive to me. One connection per day for the mandatory reconnection every day is to be expected. My F!Box tells me 14 connections, but I know I had a few unplanned connection losses plus a few expected ones. So, perhaps despite your very good physical connection parameters the data link gets lost from time to time. And using the ethernet connection is promising as well, so I do not expect problems from those directions. So, I would expect problems at the providers side or its uplink or something different on your system. But for the latter I have no idea where to look. The F!Box part looks good to me.

So, sorry, no further advice possible from me. I hope Daniel or someone else might help or you find another explanation and fix it yourself.

Bye,
Björn
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Alt 2017-12-24, 14:11   #9 (permalink)
 
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I shut it down for night, so that could make two connections per day. I did have an internet disconnect yesterday and I was disconnected from VATSIM. I didn't have any ATC on my flight and I'm actually not willing to experiment while in the air, I'll do it on the ground. I did observe yesterday with VRC for more than an hour and the audio didn't cut out.
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Alt 2017-12-24, 16:52   #10 (permalink)
 
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So I used this page http://178.79.154.95:18009/?opts=-R-D to confirm that I disappeared from the voice room after 20-30 minutes without any internet connection problems. When I flip the frequency to standby and back, I get back in. It's also showing the 3290 port but apart from this, it doesn't help me anything as I still don't know why it's happening.
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Dateityp: jpg channel2.jpg (102,3 KB, 15x aufgerufen)
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