13-01-2011 10:37 PM
OK - I'd like VF tech to read this carefully and comment. I've been doing some snooping and thinking.
The problem seems to come down to the very short time that the VF SS Server and Box give each other to maintain a SYNCH. I can see that there is a need for a short SYNCH response time to stop a mobile locking onto an external mast or continually yoyoing from VF SS Box and local mast.
The problem seems to be that when a large (in my case) cable ISP has either heavy traffic or is meddling with their equipment or some of their routers are responding slowly or has a bandwidth issue (less likely) OR the VF SS Server comes under heavy load, then the VF SS Box and Server either cannot make SYNCH or maintain SYNCH.
I surmised that in the late evening as traffic levels fell and routers became less loaded then SYNCH might (just might) occur. So I switched off the SSBox until 10:00PM. Lo and behold .... light one steady, light two steady (well nearly all the time), light three flashing and even for a brief time going steady.
The customer is not entirely in the clear. Certainly all the nonsense I was fed by VF Tech staff can be ignored - for instance I have removed ALL port forwarding (because all port forwarding SLOWS a router and can delay SYNCH). I moved my VF SS from behind two (dumb) switches directly onto the NATS router ... all to decrease response time for SYNCH.
The situation is much improved from this morning but a permanent lock on light 4 is not yet happening. However I am pretty sure that my brain is not that wrong on this.
Is the problem soluble ..... well I am going to suggest to VF to be more generous on the response times needed to maintain SYNCH because VF are making assumptions on the performance nationally of Broadband that in my view are unrealistic. For the local customer - dont hide the VF SS behind layers of switches and internal routers - you may be contributing to the problem.
am I right ????? .....
13-01-2011 10:48 PM
I will be VERY interested to read the VF response to this thought provoking post.
For me as a simple customer could you explain what you mean by hiding behind dumb switches. Mine is pulgged into my router which is in turn plugged into the adsl filter.
14-01-2011 08:16 AM
A dumb switch or router is one which requires no external reprogramming to maintain its functionality. It's a 'Ronseal' - does what is on the can and nothing else. You may still have to maintain any Firewall or DHCP table in the switch or outer.
I can report back this morning on what happened overnight. My VF SS Box was able to lock lights one and two but was unable to lock light four continually showing an update occurring. Just twice did it lock four to solid that I was aware of: both for just five minutes or so. Then it started to recycle again, some flashing two, lock on two and then more flashing light four.
I'm going to stick my neck out here. I suspect that someone fiddled at VF recently and surreptitiously reduced slightly the SYNCH timings required on the VF SS server which threw a wide range of SS boxes as they could not respond fast enough to the slightly reduced SYNCH requirement. Was it then VF's solution was to try to update the VF SS boxes? Has VF now discovered that some boxes simply cannot take the update? I don't know but I smell 'techie fiddling here'.
There is a simple principle in the tech world: DO NOTHING IF IT ALL WORKS. When you upgrade - WARN CUSTOMERS. NEVER try mass upgrades because your systems will be downed by client responses if there is a smidgen of a problem. Be INCREMENTAL both geographically and in practice. Tell the TRUTH - every time.
14-01-2011 09:14 AM
14-01-2011 03:35 PM
I've had word back from our Sure Signal team who have advised that nothing has been changed that would cause problems maintaining synchronisation.
What they've advised is that it's more likely to be down to latency on the broadband connection. If you could perform a traceroute to 126.96.36.199 this will help us identify whether this is the case or not.
14-01-2011 03:56 PM
The replacement box has arrived, been installed and is working.
Methinks now that (whatever VF may say) there was some tweaking going on because 2000+ boxes don't suddenly go into fail mode for no reason whatsoever, but these boxes may have been 'older models' with 'older firmware' and not tolerant to tweaking by VF.
Hopefully I am right.
17-01-2011 05:42 PM
Rough estimate from the volume of calls being taken by Busines Tech support, the number of posts etc. Assuming that only about 1 in 10 actually either use the forum or get through to Bus Tech Supp: then 2000 may well be conservative. When the problem arose Bus Tech Supp described it as the busiest day that had had for years!
Anyway: it does seem to be restricted to the 'older boxes'. My guess is that there was a minor tinker on the SS Server which meant that a whole host of older boxes could no longer synch. The problem for VF is that the SS Box is very very popular and the more that connect make it imperative to expedite the synch on the SS server: the problem is that if the new SS Server code is too quick then perhaps the older boxes could not synch properly.
Interestingly the Bus Tech Supp were completely unaware that in France such boxes are available in supermarkets INDEPENDENT of any carrier. Take it home, plug it in: Bougytel, FranceTelecom - doesnt matter. In the UK its tioed to a carrier. (PS the VF boxes are made in France: the Francs are way ahead of us!)
22-01-2011 11:46 PM - edited 23-01-2011 12:01 AM
I've spent the last week trying to get this damned thing to work and losing the will to live...
I bought the VSS a few weeks ago and didn't bother getting it going until last week, never imagining I'd have such difficulty. I now have the "2nd light flashing monotonously forever" issue. I bought the device specifically because I have a Saturday job in a location which has zero Vodafone reception for my other work's phone. I have tried to setup the device at both my home and work location to no avail, and with the same agonizing effect of the long drawn out @ flash.
I have tried setting up port forwarding on my Belkin F5D8633-4 but it seems I have to specify an internal IP address. Now, the VSS requires to be served DHCP IP addresses...which can change! So what's the point, or is there a way, where I can either set a static IP address on the VSS or forward ports without specifying an internal address??
If I don't get this working in the next 3 weeks, I will have little option but to return the device and ask Vodafone for my money back - and to reimburse my company for the cost of the nice shiny new HTC Legend that was bought specifically for this purpose...sigh...I'd rather not do this since it doesn't resolve my fundamental problem of not having reception on Saturdays when I may be required to be on call.
I'd appreciate suggestions, preferably by email but I'll look on here too in the next days. FYI I've been checking my IP connection and I've been averaging a really rather healthy 10mbps download / 800kbps upload (not bad for an 8mbps connection with TalkTalk!). And yes, I did the wait an hour/24hours/48 hours thing...with no change. Port forwarding seems to be my only hope.
It seems to me the VSS needs some kind of interface so we can connect to it and do things like set static IP address, use it to ping/tracert out to the appropriate servers on the 'net etc. The idea of a black box which needs little/no setup may be very nice but given the noise around the setup issues, it seems a little more may be necessary.
23-01-2011 10:59 PM
Hi Frank and let me welcome you to the Vodafone eForum.
I'm sorry to see you've been having issues setting up your Sure Signal unit.
I can see you've followed the troubleshooting guide, but to no availe, so I've sent an email, to your eForum registered address, to get some further information from you. If you can kindly complete and return this, it will allow us to assist further in this matter.
02-02-2011 02:13 PM
09-02-2011 08:19 PM
Once I've completed the portforwarding on the router, good luck to anyone who does not understand routers, I thought I did but this took some hunting around to find instructions.
how to I fix an IP address to the SS as I can't log onto it to fix it?
How long does it take the SS to connect once I have opened the ports?
10-02-2011 09:06 PM
11-02-2011 01:11 AM
To fix the IP address of the SS, first look on the back of the SS to get it's MAC address. The go in to your routers LAN settings and assign the MAC address to a fixed IP address. Then reboot the SS and it will pick up the fixed IP address.
However you still wont be able to login to the SS because it doesnt have a user accessible web interface like a router does.
11-02-2011 12:06 PM
11-02-2011 07:03 PM
Help, my sure signal has worked perfectly for 10 months and now refuses to talk to me or any one else. Same symptoms as every one else.
Have changed nothing on my router, phone, internet service or anything else.
Do I have to get a new sure signal? Or can Vodafone make it better?
Please help no signal whatsoever in deepest darkest south Devon
12-02-2011 02:41 PM
Firstly I would like to wish you a very warm welcome to the eForum.
The best way to get your issue resolved will be to follow the Sure Signal Troubleshooting guide . This will guide you through step by step on how to get the problem fixed and advise you what to do next if it still isn't working at the end.