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  Topic: Are Dropouts a common problem? (30 replies)
#1     Fri May 18, 2007 4:15 pm
VE3EFC
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 724
Subject: Are Dropouts a common problem?

Steve W0SDJ has suggested that VOIP dropouts "affect every single operator" and I should be fixing the problem instead of blaming their internet connection.

When I tune across the bands, I occassionally hear someone having minor dropout problems but it is quite rare. I never have dropout problems even when I test with ten year old laptop, Pentium 133 with 33.7k dialup modem. If someone is having dropout problems, there is really nothing I can do from my end. I heard from many people saying the Qsonet VOIP works better than other VOIP programs.

Let me explain what might be happening.

1) If one person has an internet problem, it will affect "every single operator" they hear, so it appears like everyone is having the same problem. The other stations are hearing each other fine.

2) If one person is transmitting with an internet problem, the hundreds of listeners hear this problem and think its a problem with all of their receivers, when really its a problem with one transmitter.

Thus one problem station creates the illusion that it is a common problem.

Qsonet works perfectly with a ten year old Pentium 133 Mhz computer and 33.6 dialup modem. This is outstanding performance from both the Qsonet server and the CQ100 client. There is nothing to fix.

If someone is running Skype, Echolink, BitTorrent, MSN, adware and spyware, while their children are downloading music in the other room, they will encouter VOIP breakup on the Qsonet system. Programs that use UDP will suffer less because UDP simply drops packets, while TCP resends them.

Nothing has changed at the Qsonet server, so I do not understand why all of sudden breakups are considered to be a problem. Please reply below whether you consider breakups to be a problem and whether it has become worse or stayed the same.

73, Doug
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#2     Fri May 18, 2007 4:31 pm
KB3NPH
Spring Run, PA
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 52
Subject: Re: Are Dropouts a common problem?

Doug, I have been on CQ100 for only a short period of time. I have never been troubled with a "DROP OUT". The only thing I have had is an occasional lock up due to a station trying to "DOUBLE" with someone else and for some reason the system locks. All I do is re-start CQ100 and all is fine. Keep up the good work and looking forward to the next revision to the program with the log and other minor problems fixed. I say these problems are minor because that is just what they are. Just re-start CQ and all is well.

Tnks

73s KB3NPH



VE3EFC wrote:
Steve W0SDJ has suggested that VOIP dropouts "affect every single operator" and I should be fixing the problem instead of blaming their internet connection.

When I tune across the bands, I occassionally hear someone having minor dropout problems but it is quite rare. I never have dropout problems even when I test with ten year old laptop, Pentium 133 with 33.7k dialup modem. If someone is having dropout problems, there is really nothing I can do from my end. I heard from many people saying the Qsonet VOIP works better than other VOIP programs.

Let me explain what might be happening.

1) If one person has an internet problem, it will affect "every single operator" they hear, so it appears like everyone is having the same problem. The other stations are hearing each other fine.

2) If one person is transmitting with an internet problem, the hundreds of listeners hear this problem and think its a problem with all of their receivers, when really its a problem with one transmitter.

Thus one problem station creates the illusion that it is a common problem.

Qsonet works perfectly with a ten year old Pentium 133 Mhz computer and 33.6 dialup modem. This is outstanding performance from both the Qsonet server and the CQ100 client. There is nothing to fix.

If someone is running Skype, Echolink, BitTorrent, MSN, adware and spyware, while their children are downloading music in the other room, they will encouter VOIP breakup on the Qsonet system. Programs that use UDP will suffer less because UDP simply drops packets, while TCP resends them.

Nothing has changed at the Qsonet server, so I do not understand why all of sudden breakups are considered to be a problem. Please reply below whether you consider breakups to be a problem and whether it has become worse or stayed the same.

73, Doug
__________________
#3     Fri May 18, 2007 4:42 pm
W7RJR
Spokane, WA
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 114
Subject: Dropouts versus disconnects

Hello Doug

Yet another topic? OK, Yes, I consider drop-outs to be an issue with CQ100. I agree with Steve. I have heard the same rationale here over and over again about how it is everyone else's bad internet connection, etc. These are not sudden break-ups just brought to your attention. They have been there since day one.

The following post was made by a G station on Oct 22, 2006:

Hello all. During a qso last evening, someone mentioned that there seems to be more "packet dropouts " than a few weeks ago. This does seem true, but they are usually only brief 0.5 -- 1 second maybe. Are they more common now,and if so, why? I use DSL,does it depend on the connection,I mean does the internet have " bad days" or " bad hours " ??I have found that after these brief dropouts, the transmitting station info dissapears from the screen,and it returns to (in my case) G4OBB listening.This can be changed back by briefly switching to another "band" or by altering frequency,then going back,and all is back to normal.Why does this occur?anyone got any answers? I suppose all these ver minor glitches willbe ironed out in due course. Regards to all. Des.

As you can see, this is not a new problem. My apologies to G4OBB should he not wish to be quoted, but it does prove my point.

By the way, I consider drop-outs to be a different problem than disconnects, with the latter being more troublesome.

I do not know why these problems occur. I speculated in my review that TCP/IP versus UDP might be a contributing factor. Obviously you feel this is incorrect. What I do know is that these drop-outs have not been fixed. I also know that no other VOIP program that I use experiences these kinds of interruptions and hiccups. I have no problems with my broadband connection. I am using Windows XP SP2. You state that UDP drops packets instead of resending them like TCP/IP. A dropped packet or two will not likely even be noticed on VOIP. What if TCP/IP keeps resending packets but fails to get an acknowledgement? What happens then?


I believe the problem is far more widespread than it is 'rare'. Let's not hear about what 'might' be happening, let's find what 'is' happening.
I am ready and willing to help with any kind of beta testing you would like to conduct.

Please do not take this as personal criticism because it is not.
You have a fine creation and your craftsmanship is NOT in question.
I understand how difficult it can be to diagnose a problem when it is not readily reproducible.


73, Bob
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#4     Fri May 18, 2007 6:37 pm
VE3EFC
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 724
Subject:

Hi Bob. I fully agree with you that TCP is more sensative to a bad internet connection. However, I would rather lose 5% of people with bad connections than losing 30% of people with port forwarding problems.

If 30% of Echolink users have port trouble, they can come to Qsonet. If 5% of Qsonet users have connection problems they can go to Echolink. I am just trying to explain my reasoning. I am willing to change this opinion if I am wrong. I guess each person's opinion on this subject will depend whether they are part of the 5%, part of the 30% or part of neither.

The other big advantage of TCP is it allows Qsonet to be used in airports, hotels, cafes, RV parks, schools, offices etc.

I always intended for Qsonet to fill a nitch that had been ignored by other programs. I never intended it to be another Echolink with a pretty skin.

73, Doug
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#5     Fri May 18, 2007 6:56 pm
W7RJR
Spokane, WA
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 114
Subject:

Doug

OK, I think we have discussed both this problem and my review enough!
Thanks for the frank and honest discussion. If there is any way I can help you make CQ100 better please let me know.



73, Bob
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#6     Fri May 18, 2007 7:19 pm
VE3EFC
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 724
Subject:

Hi Tim. Thanks for reminding me about that freeze up on doubling. I have been hearing occasional reports of this since day one last August. We spend a whole afternoon last October trying to duplicate the problem here. I am sure I can fix it if I can just catch it in the act. We hammered on our PTT buttons like crazy but could not once trigger the problem. If we cannot see it happen, its almost impossible to fix it.

The code is very complicated at this point because if the server detects two stations key up at once, one is the looser and one is the winner. The looser is send a special code to unkey his mic. I think there is a timing issue somewhere in this code where things are getting out of sequence. It might be more likely to happen in Windows 98.

Tim, I am happy to hear your internet is working fine with Qsonet.
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#7     Fri May 18, 2007 9:34 pm
KB3NPH
Spring Run, PA
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 52
Subject:


VE3EFC wrote:
Hi Tim. Thanks for reminding me about that freeze up on doubling. I have been hearing occasional reports of this since day one last August. We spend a whole afternoon last October trying to duplicate the problem here. I am sure I can fix it if I can just catch it in the act. We hammered on our PTT buttons like crazy but could not once trigger the problem. If we cannot see it happen, its almost impossible to fix it.

The code is very complicated at this point because if the server detects two stations key up at once, one is the looser and one is the winner. The looser is send a special code to unkey his mic. I think there is a timing issue somewhere in this code where things are getting out of sequence. It might be more likely to happen in Windows 98.

Tim, I am happy to hear your internet is working fine with Qsonet.



These minor things are no problem. It seems some people just have to critisize about something. This W7RJR must tie his shoe laces together before he goes to bed so he will have "SOMETHING TO BITCH ABOUT" when he wakes up in the morning.

73s
de KB3NPH
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#8     Fri May 18, 2007 9:54 pm
W7RJR
Spokane, WA
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 114
Subject:

Tim

I would like to remind you that I did not bring up these topics of discussion. My Eham.net review was intended for that audience, not this one. Doug asked me if he could comment on that review and I agreed.
Would you expect me to sit idly by and not defend what I wrote?
That's not bitching or complaining. I could have just as easily said that I did not want to discuss it. In retrospect, perhaps I should have!

I know you are angry because I don't approve of your beacon.

I'm sorry that you feel you must attack me personally to get your point across. An intelligent viewpoint would have been much more effective.

73
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#9     Sun May 20, 2007 8:40 pm
W0SDG
Apple Valley MN
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 101
Subject:

Oh, I do so love a little disagreement now and then. No, I actually love them all the time! If it is done without malice or intent, the discussions can be kinda fun. Bob, you opened the door and you are going to get what you are going to get. It will die out anyway, so be cool about it. Tim, learn that one persons opinion is not necessarily anyone elses and if you are happy with what you are doing, so be it. Your intentions are good so have at it as long as it isn't hurting anyone. It doesn't seem to bother Doug, so just let it be. Don't let other peoples opinions rent space in your head to the point it ruins your day! Personally, I find the beacon beneficial. There, now I hope you feel better!! :-)

ps. Bob is correct in not wanting the mud slinging though and your rebuttle was not condusive for a healthy discussion.

Steve - W0SDG
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#10     Sun May 20, 2007 9:03 pm
W0SDG
Apple Valley MN
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 101
Subject:

Are dropouts a problem? Yes Doug, they are. It is what causes the issues we have been discussing, ghosting, lockups, whatever. Does everyone have this problem? I certainly think so, some more and some less, and maybe even hardly ever, and some falling into the the ideas you pointed out with overuse of the internet on the same hookup. I have a 10 meg, cable modem connection, sole user, and I have dropouts or breakups, or whatever they can be called, from time to time. When I do, the CQ100 burps, and I have to reset it by changing bands, etc. This is inherent with the internet. My bottom line is that these issues do exist, maybe they can't be corrected under the present conditions, I don't know. I am not putting your efforts down here, as the CQ100 concept is great and yes, you should be proud of it. I just get the sense that you are digging in on the issues on the table.

No bugs? Phooey, there isn't a piece of software out there today, expensive or inexpensive that doesn't have bugs. Don't be offended, it's the nature of programming and Bill Gates! Despite it all, I do love my PC.. That's why they make fly swatters!

Steve - W0SDG
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