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Cloneman

join:2002-08-29
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reply to Davesnothere

Re: Router ALT Firmware for QoS for VoIP

Davesnothere,

I was under the impression you were still on DSL. My findings were specific to DSL, and my assumption is that a superior service like VDSL or cable can handle more stingy reservations.

You should in fact be able to get away with reserving much less.

You can do synthetic benchmarks to test your setup at myvoipspeed.visualware.com

My setup is to stress the connection with multiple high speed downloads (windows service packs or linux ISOs) with an ftp upload at the same time.

If I get more than 7-8ms jitter, generally I keep trying to tweak.



El Quintron
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reply to Davesnothere

said by Davesnothere:

 
But everything else I recapped 2 posts ago (now bolded) was correct ?

...

So I use the factory F/W to flash in the DD-WRT Mini, next use DD-WRT Mini to flash in the Tomato, then clear the NVRAM from within the Tomato GUI, and finally add my custom settings such as port forwards ?

That's how I did it, and I've never bricked a WRT54GL... others might want to chime in here, but it's a pretty though to brick unit.
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Ott_Cable

@teksavvy.com
reply to Davesnothere

VoIP consume at most 90-ish kilobits/sec including all the overhead even with the highest quality codec at 64k bits/s. I have posted the Cisco's calculations link multiple times in the past.

The only reason why some people recommend reserving the bandwidth is to not saturate the up/down links so much to cause jitters. The right amount would be determined by how tolerate your particular ATA firmware and you to jitter during a phone call.



Ott_Cable

@teksavvy.com
reply to Cloneman

FYI: »www.telecompute.com/voip.asp

>Acceptable VoIP quality requires a delay of not more than 80ms in either direction for true toll quality voice communication.

>The tolerance range for VoIP jitter is in the range of 20-30ms. Jitter buffers and high quality routers temporarily store and 'smooth out' the delivery of voice packets.

Spec'ing single digits jitter is a bit overkill.



Davesnothere
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reply to Cloneman

said by Cloneman:

....I was under the impression you were still on DSL. My findings were specific to DSL, and my assumption is that a superior service like VDSL or cable can handle more stingy reservations.

You should in fact be able to get away with reserving much less....

 
Not sure how you thought I was still on DSL, considering how much I continue to brag about being BHELL-FREE (a word-play on 'belfry'), but anyway, your latest comment looks to be even better news.

BTW, I am with START Communications, on Cable thru the Cogeco AGG POI, and it works well.

My VoIP UPstream issues were present before that, but it's just that I have been getting more picky in my old age, I would say.

And the tips/links are appreciated (from everyone).

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2 edits
reply to El Quintron

said by El Quintron:

said by Davesnothere:

Recap : So I use the factory F/W to flash in the DD-WRT Mini, next use DD-WRT Mini to flash in the Tomato, then clear the NVRAM from within the Tomato GUI, and finally add my custom settings such as port forwards ?

That's how I did it, and I've never bricked a WRT54GL... others might want to chime in here, but it's a pretty though to brick unit.

 
Thanks - Good to hear.

I have read a fair bit on the DD-WRT site overnight and saw some major cautions & directives, many of which might well be applied to ANY firmware changing scenario.

The most notable one (besides being sure that you have a validated and correct firmware for your device) would seem to be doing this so-called '30-30-30 Hard Reset' »www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Ha···30/30/30 of which they preach incessantly, before/after/between each firmware update.


Gone
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It has been my experience that the way they go on and on about a 30-30-30 is overkill, but it ultimately depends on the router. I've had to do 30-30-30s far more often with the M10s were use here than my WRT610N and WRT320N at home.



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4 edits
reply to Davesnothere

 
....contd

So this morning I proceeded to put the DD-WRT Mini into there (v24 SP1 Stable Generic Mini), using the below steps :

(00) Save various instructional web pages to offline as suggested
(0) Make & save Screenshots of current router GUI config screens
(1) Download firmwares and confirm MD5 hashes
(2) Set router LAN IP to Linksys default 192.168.1.1 and a PC to a static IP on the same subnet
(3) Do a 30-30-30 Hard Reset of router
(4) Bring up router GUI again using default admin/admin
(5) Do firmware update to DD-WRT Mini from within factory GUI
(6) Log into router DD-WRT for 1st time, using default of admin/admin, IIRC
(7) Do a 30-30-30 Hard Reset of router
(8) Log into router DD-WRT, setting a new password when prompted
(9) Undo IP changes of (2) and log in again (Steps 2 and 9 are optional - not needed if you had always used default router IP)

Then I looked around in the GUI and began to reconstruct my other settings, WiFi, port forwards, etc.

All went well.

AND, I then noticed that DD-WRT Mini seems to include some QoS functionality !

SO, the $64,000 question now is :

Do I need to change to Tomato (or to the VoIP-named larger DD-WRT build), or will the QoS functions of this MINI be sufficient ?

From what I have noted so far, the QoS page in MINI looks like it just might be OK.

BTW, I did NOT clear my NVRAM so far - Should I still do that if I stay with DD-WRT-Mini ?



FiReSTaRT
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join:2010-02-26
Canada

I'd go with flashing to Tomato. Only done one flash through DD-WRT so I can't help you there as it's been A WHILE. Went the TFTP route ever since as it's a lot easier, especially from Linux.



El Quintron
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reply to Davesnothere

said by Davesnothere:

From what I have noted so far, the QoS page in MINI looks like it just might be OK.

If it ain't broke... really that's up to you, I vastly prefer *anything* other than DD-WRT so I'm completely biased, if this works for you then you're probably good to go, until you need it to do something it currently doesn't.

said by Davesnothere:

BTW, I did NOT clear my NVRAM so far - Should I still do that if I stay with DD-WRT-Mini ?

It's usually a good idea to do so, or to do some sort of reset so that you don't have any leftover configs from previous incarnations. That being said, some DD-WRTs prefer the 30-30-30 over "clear nvram" so check your documentation.
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xsbell

join:2008-12-22
Canada
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reply to Davesnothere

If you have an Atheros AR71xx based router with at least 8MB of flash and 32MB of memory, I'd recommend Gargoyle (Open-WRT port).



El Quintron
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said by xsbell:

If you have an Atheros AR71xx based router with at least 8MB of flash and 32MB of memory, I'd recommend Gargoyle (Open-WRT port).

He's got a WRT54GL, I'm currently rocking Gargoyle on my WNDR3700...
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FiReSTaRT
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WRT54GL is BCM-based so no Gargoyle



El Quintron
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said by FiReSTaRT:

WRT54GL is BCM-based so no Gargoyle

Good catch.
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xsbell

join:2008-12-22
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reply to Davesnothere

I had a WRT54GL a long time ago and it didn't do too well with all my services running and QoS enabled on top of that, it got maxed out pretty quick.

Maybe time to upgrade?



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said by xsbell:

I had a WRT54GL a long time ago and it didn't do too well with all my services running and QoS enabled on top of that, it got maxed out pretty quick.

Maybe time to upgrade?

 
I thought so too, when I first got my Cogeco 30/2 service last year, but was pleasantly surprised at the download speed and the test benchmarks, so I stayed with the beast.

Since my current (START cable 16/1) service is less fast than the GOUGEco, I see no hardware reason to change routers, unless upgrading to Gigabit LAN convinces me sometime.


silvercat

join:2007-11-07
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Or unless a good sale convinces you to upgrade Recently got a Cisco / Linksys E4200-RM (v1) for $59.99 through Future Shop. Sure it's refurbished, but a pretty powerful router



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4 edits
reply to Reimer

said by Reimer:

Shibby's Tomato mod does indeed have a build for the WRT54GL.

It's also got the Toastman QoS additions incorporated as well so it's a good choice.

Go for the tomato-ND-1.28.5x-093-SD-VPN build

»tomato.groov.pl/download/K24/build5x-093-EN/

 
OK, so after fiddling a bit with DD-WRT Mini & VoIP editions, I decided to go for the above-suggested Tomato build.

However when I browse the DD-WRT updater dialog to my downloaded file, it rejects it as invalid.

I tested and the MD5 is OK on the file.

I noticed that it has a .TRX extension, where the DD-WRT (and other Tomato builds I have downloaded in the past, but not used) were .BIN files, or included at least one of each of those 2 extensions of file, plus some docs, usually all inside of a .ZIP archive.

This leads to 3 Questions :

(1) WTF is a .TRX file ?

(2) Where do I get a .BIN of the same build as suggested above, so that DD-WRT's updater accepts the file ?

(3) Will a stable Tomato MLPPP build (say from 2 or 3 years ago) be a good choice instead (as I have archived several in .BIN format, some even named for my WRT54GL router), and will any of those have good enough QoS or VoIP managing pages ?

I have a feeling that Guspaz will know something for (3).

Thanks


FiReSTaRT
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Why not install a stable Tomato build and then upgrade with the TRX file from the Tomato web interface? AFIK (someone should confirm this). I think I upgraded that way from TomatoUSB to a fresher Toastman build. Toastman's QoS setup is superior to vanilla Tomato and if shibby includes it, you're set.

»tomatousb.org/settings:upgrade

quote:
Upgrade Firmware

This option lets you upgrade or change your routers firmware. To upgrade your firmware, download the latest version of tomato for your specific device, or download another 3rd party firmware you would like to upgrade to. Then click Browse, and navigate to where you downloaded the firmware file (should be a .bin or .trx; if its .zip or .rar, extract the archive first) and select it.

Select "After flashing, erase all data in NVRAM memory" if you would like to reset all of your settings after flashing. This is recommended to prevent any configuration issues or conflicts, but it will erase all your settings and thus you will have to reconfigure the router from scratch. When upgrading between TomatoUSB versions, you can check the changelog because it always mentions to clear NVRAM when it is really required. If you are upgrading from different kernel versions (K24 to K26 or viceversa), the clear is required.

Then click upgrade, and do not touch the router! Let it upgrade and wait for it to complete.
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Davesnothere
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4 edits

said by FiReSTaRT:

Why not install a stable Tomato build and then upgrade with the TRX file from the Tomato web interface? AFIK (someone should confirm this).

I think I upgraded that way from TomatoUSB to a fresher Toastman build.

Toastman's QoS setup is superior to vanilla Tomato and if shibby includes it, you're set....

 
Thanks.

So are you saying that Tomato supports GUI upgrades using files named as .TRX ?

It now looks like (from your post and other research I have done tonight) a .TRX file is just a .BIN file with a renamed extension, to make it proprietary to Tomato's GUI upgrade page.

So can't I just rename the .TRX to .BIN and proceed from where I am now (DD-WRT) rather than starting over ? - The Polarcloud site's Tomato FAQ suggests so.

(I do have the factory firmware files archived if I need to revert first.)

As I understand it, the reason that we keep getting told to go to 'DD-WRT Mini' as an intermediate step to a larger Tomato flavour seems to be that the Linksys WRT54 series factory firmware will not handle firmware images larger than 3MB, whereas DD-WRT WILL do so, and DD-WRT Mini itself is less than 3MB, so satisfies the factory firmware limit.

If there was/is a 'MINI' version of Tomato, could we use it instead of DD-WRT Mini as the intermediate step ?

As mentioned earlier, the Shibby build is too large for the factory GUI to load directly, but it looks like the 2010 'TomatoUSB ND stable standard build #54' (the flavour with the USB code stripped out to match WRT54 etc series routers) is a smaller image than the DD-WRT-Mini, so ought to fit.

So please, would somebody who has renamed a Tomato .TRX image file (such as the USB series) to .BIN and successfully flashed it thru the Linksys WRT54GL factory GUI be kind enough to post here and say so ?


FiReSTaRT
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Yes, Tomato GUI will support web interface upgrades. I'm almost positive that the one flash I've done from DD-WRT involved just renaming the TRX to BIN, but can't guarantee it. In this thread »Re: How to install Tomato firmware after DD-WRT ? the poster says:

quote:
Inside, you'll find a file called code.trx. Rename this file to code.bin, so DD-WRT will recognize it as a firmware file. Don't worry, the router knows what to do with the code no matter what the extension is.
Can't guarantee it 100% but I'm almost positive he's correct. This tutorial also just instructs the user to rename »klseet.com/index.php?option=com_···temid=31 the trx to bin
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Davesnothere
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2 edits

Shibby is Now in the Router

said by FiReSTaRT:

Yes, Tomato GUI will support web interface upgrades. I'm almost positive....

 
OK, I read those links and a couple more other sites, and then took the chance of renaming the extension as we discussed.

And it worked !

I was also a bit concerned that one of your linked sites and also Polarcloud's FAQ said that I needed to issue a command from within DD-WRT (before upgrading to Tomato) in order to capture a different and cryptic hash based on my existing password, to later give to Tomato in order to log in for the 1st time.

When I gave the command, it did not give me back a hash code, but the worst case if I could not log back in would have been to need to push the reset button to get a default login, which I did not need to do, as Tomato came up by itself, was already online, allowed me to adjust a few things, and then I found where to clear the NVRAM, did so, and next configured again, plus further settings.

All I need to do now is to figure out how to get Shibby's build's QoS to do what I want, which is to give my VoIP full priority or enough reserved bandwidth, and all other apps less.

At this point, any hints about setting the QoS would be both welcome and appreciated.

Reimer

join:2006-08-14
Toronto, ON
reply to Davesnothere

Re: Router ALT Firmware for QoS for VoIP

First off, under Advanced > Conntrack/Netfilter, look for the SIP helper under "Tracking/NAT Helpers" and disable it.

This is recommended by Mango for voip purposes
»www.toao.net/25-linksys-ata-configuration

As for QoS, I'd start off on the Basic Settings page and setting your outbound "Max Bandwidth Limit" to somewhere between 80-85% of your maximum upload speed.

Then under Classification, I'd add a new rule using your ATAs MAC address and then set it to the VOIP/Game class.



Davesnothere
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2 edits

said by Reimer:

First off, under Advanced > Conntrack/Netfilter, look for the SIP helper under "Tracking/NAT Helpers" and disable it.

This is recommended by Mango for voip purposes.

»www.toao.net/25-linksys-ata-configuration ....

 
Cannot find such a setting, though there are 4 other ticks in 'Tracking/NAT-Helpers' on that page.

I have Shibby's K24 rev 1.28 Build 93 including SD & VPN installed, which I believe to be what you linked and suggested earlier.

said by Reimer:

Shibby's Tomato mod does indeed have a build for the WRT54GL. It's also got the Toastman QoS additions incorporated as well so it's a good choice.

Go for the tomato-ND-1.28.5x-093-SD-VPN build

»tomato.groov.pl/download/K24/build5x-093-EN/

 
Is your own install from an older build ?

Did that tick get removed for my rev ?

Reimer

join:2006-08-14
Toronto, ON
reply to Davesnothere

Oh, nevermind then.

I have Shibbys on an Asus RT-N16 as well and that setting exists on that build but not on the WRT54GL build.



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said by Reimer:

....I have Shibbys on an Asus RT-N16 as well and that setting exists on that build but not on the WRT54GL build.

 
Yeah, I was reading more of what Mango had to say, and he mentioned that not all versions of Tomato had that function, but suggested disabling it and any of several other things, if we encountered them in our router's pages.

So I'll move along to the other stuff which you proposed.

Thanks.


Ott_Cable

@teksavvy.com

I don't agree with the highlighted part that mango has on the URL:

>Important note #2: This isn't strictly related to Linksys ATAs, however it is no less important: if your router has options for SIP ALG, SIP Helper, Stateful Packet Inspection, and/or SPI you should disable them. Otherwise, your VoIP equipment will end up in a lake soon. These are infamous for causing more problems than they solve (if they solve any at all).

That's totally irresponsible to tell people to disable their SPI firewall. I wouldn't trust a person's advice on VoIP setup if he/she can't do it without port forwarding or disabling firewall.



Gone
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Pfft, SPI is overrated, and you're not disabling your firewall by turning that off.