Dropped and Garbled audio with SpectraLink 8440 Phones

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
I have a site with 95 SpectraLink 8440 phones and 80 APs with a ZD 3000 running 9.6.1.0.15. We experience dropped audio for up to 8 seconds and then the call will come back. The SpectraLink phone logs show very high Tx and Rx retries. I was told this ZD load addressed dropped audio issues with SpectraLink but we continue to have issues. The SpectraLink phones are at 4.3.0 which is also the latest software. The inside APs are on the 5 GHz band to reduce interference with a separate customer WiFi and the outside APs are on 2.4.
Photo of Steve Dreher

Steve Dreher

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 4 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Matt

Matt

  • 25 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
Hi Steve - I've found this info re Spectralink

For optimal voice quality, Self-Healing and Background Scanning should also be disabled when Spectralink Compatibility is enabled on any AP
Photo of r0nnieb

r0nnieb

  • 5 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Hi Steve, you may nee to change the default DTIM settings through the CLI on the ZoneDirector. I've had a customer before with the polycomm phones and I found some documentation for the 8440's mention the DTIM value settings requires changing to '2' on your Voice SSID WLAN
Photo of Steve Dreher

Steve Dreher

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thank you for the responses, I have already made these changes with the same results. At this time the VIEW teams of SpectraLink and Ruckus are working together to solve this issue. Hopefully they will have a fix very soon.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Hi Steve

We're also experiencing problems, which Mitel and SpectraLink are looking into... which have been plaguing us since our system was installed back in February.

The WiFi part of our phone system consists of a Mitel 5000 HX, Ruckus ZD1112 + 11x ZF7363, SpectraLink 8440's and Cisco SG300-28P switches. Are you much the same?

Matty.
Photo of Steve Dreher

Steve Dreher

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
We have a 6 cabinet Toshiba CIX 670 PBX, a Ruckus ZD 3000 with 80 zf7363 and zf7762 APs, Cisco switches, and 95 SpectraLink 8440 phones. The best I could ever get is using 5 GHz on the inside APs and 2.4 GHz on the outside APs. To get you by while they fix this I suggest changing your APs to use 5 GHz only using channels 149-165 which is sub-band 4 on the phone. Use Auto for power on the phone and APs. You still get the hight Tx and Rx retries on the phone but it's less than 2.4 which seems to reduce the audio drops. Remember that 5 GHz has less range so if these phones are used outside, like mine, then they will not be able to go as far. That is why I had to keep my outside APs (zf7762) at 2.4 GHz. This is at a huge car dealership campus where it is spread out with multiple buildings and users walk all over the place outside too.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Hi Steve

Luckily for us, the majority of our phones are Mitel 5330e's which we have very little trouble with - and only 7 users on SpectraLink 8440's.

We're using 5 GHz sub-bands 1 and 2. For some reason, if we have all 4 sub bands enabled, we found that the phones would not work on channels 100+, so we decided to disable sub-bands 3 and 4.

We were advised to change our power settings to Auto both on the AP's and the phones, but that actually made things seem worse, so we changed the handsets back to their defaults, P5.

Have SpectraLink or Ruckus come back to you yet?

Cheers,

Matty Brown
Photo of Luke Sandberg

Luke Sandberg

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I was using my co-worker's login when I started this post but now mine is fixed. SpectraLink made a site visit and we found one substantial issue. It seems that the Ruckus APs are not changing channels when another AP in close proximity is on the same channel. So we were getting co-channel interference. We then statically assigned the channels in an area and are currently testing this area before we static the channels for the whole campus. I don't think that is everything but is a big chunk of it. Ruckus did have a SpectraLink no-audio issue in an earlier software load. I would get the ZD to the latest and 4.3.0 on the 8440s. If you stay on 5 GHz the SpectraLink person recommended sub-band 1 and 4 only. If you have trouble having both enabled check in Services or System and there is a setting for optimize for compatibility or performance in the Ruckus ZD. That may need to be adjusted.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Yes, I noticed that too - back in June I pointed this out to our reseller, who in turn spoke to Ruckus, who replied "If there is no interference or less interference on the specific channel, Even though the APs are in auto mode, Unless the APs reach certain threshold value , They will not change the channel. They will remain in same channel."

I think the problem with this is that our WiFi is only really used for VoIP and therefor barely any bandwidth is used so I would think we're unlikely to hit their threshold values. I guess if we had laptops on WiFi sending file across the air, our AP's would move to cleaner channels.

I guess the only downside of manually configuring channels for your AP's is that if there are neighboring sites using 2.4GHz or 5GHz your AP's will not swap channels to avoid conflicts.

Let me know how your tests go - hopefully you're onto a winner there.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
I noticed on Friday that a new firmware, v4.6.1 has been posted on SpectraLink's website on 02/10/2013.

We loaded it late on Friday to a couple of handsets and did a walk test. The results were promising - routes that would previously have resulted in high data loss were vastly improved. But we've been here before - I'm not getting my hopes up this time!!

All of our handsets have now been updated to the latest firmware... we'll see how it goes next week.
Photo of Luke Sandberg

Luke Sandberg

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I checked that out, but it's for the Microsoft Lync support and we are not using that. So it looks like the latest for me is still the 4.3.0.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
All that means is that the firmware additionally supports Microsoft Lync 2013. It doesn't mean that you have to be using Lync to run the firmware. See page 7 of the release notes to check if the firmware is compatible with your hardware. Ours are - yet we never asked for Lync support.

On a side note, the new firmware kind of fixes one issue and causes another. No more large packet losses, but the phones seem to have trouble handing off (roaming) to other access points.

Will these phones ever work properly?? :(
Photo of Michael Daracz

Michael Daracz

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hello, I would like to join this convo.   I have a zd with 16 access points. 7363s.   It seems like forcing channels on individual access points helped, but its still not perfect.   I updated to 4.6 firmware, but that made it much worse for me so I downgraded. 
Photo of Keith - Pack Leader

Keith - Pack Leader

  • 860 Posts
  • 51 Reply Likes
First of all, thanks everyone for contributing your experiences here - I think this is a good example of how forums like this can enhance overall resolution.

Our engineering team has been working with Spectralink on this issue. There are several contributing factors - best practice guidelines, a high number of independent variables in the environment and some software quality issues.

I have anecdotal reports from other sources that turning down the transmit power on the APs seems to help.

We also have a new version of 9.5 (9.5MR3) coming out in the next few days and that has some fixes that also look promising.

I'm not going to declare victory (yet), but I think we are getting close. We appreciate your patience while we work through this issue.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Here's hoping! Do us a favour and post something here to let us know when the new firmware is available to download! :)

I presume a new version of 9.6 will incorporate the same fixes, too?
Photo of Keith - Pack Leader

Keith - Pack Leader

  • 860 Posts
  • 51 Reply Likes
It will go in the company announcements area as usual.

Yes, the next version of 9.6 (9.6.2) should have these as well, but it's still a ways off.
Photo of Michael Brado

Michael Brado, Official Rep

  • 2049 Posts
  • 286 Reply Likes
I suggest to provide a ZD debug, and AP support info, gathered when a phone
with a known MAC address is on the AP or APs, and open a ticket with Ruckus
Tech Support.

If you are running ZD 9.6.1.0.15, latest Spectralink code, and still appear to have
short silence or one-way audio, do the problems seem to be related to roaming and
can you collect the ZD debug, and AP support info of the To and From APs the
phone roamed between? This is the info that can provide some clues to identify
a known issue/bug, or normal poor client connection in the face of interference.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
9.5MR3 has been released... look here for the announcement and here for the release notes.
Photo of Michael Daracz

Michael Daracz

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Did anyone try this release and see if the problems went away?
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Yes, I tried this release. It seems to work well, except since installing the firmware, phones are unable to roam to/from two of our AP's. Further investigation is needed to figure out what went wrong.
Photo of Michael Daracz

Michael Daracz

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I updated, it didn't do anything for me still garbled and choppy. ugh
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
The 9.5MR3 firmware continues to give us good call quality 99% of the time. Still some issues with roaming between AP's though, especially when the phone is not in a call. Phones can lose signal when moving from one area to another and standing directly beneath an AP. Is roaming somewhat limited whenever you're not on a call? Also - is rebooting after losing/regaining a connection normal?... not quite sure why it does that, though I guess that's a SpectraLink issue rather than something Ruckus can help with.

All our SpectraLink 8440's are on firmware 4.6.1.0011.
Photo of mason mackinnon

mason mackinnon

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hello There,
I am wondering is there a way to soft test a 8450 phone.
Photo of Michael Daracz

Michael Daracz

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi guys, after some testing, I am on the same page as Matty Brown, we have good quality 99% of the time, but we have troble roaming while on call. Sometimes, headset has to be restarted to regain access to the wireless. Running 9.5MR3 and phones are on 4.6.1.0011
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Well, we're still having problems with our Ruckus/Spectralink equipment and we're shutting down for Christmas at 5pm today. Hopefully a solution to the problem will be released early 2014...?

Happy Christmas everybody!! :)
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Wait a minute...

"Spectralink Optimization"??

Have Ruckus finally come up with a solution?
Photo of Keith - Pack Leader

Keith - Pack Leader

  • 860 Posts
  • 51 Reply Likes
That change is a set of best-practice settings enabled with 1 click. It's not a fix to anything per se, but might be worth a try.
Photo of joe statter

joe statter

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi Guy's the Spectralink issues and the ASCOM /ALU 8118 phone problems have now been mostly resolved in the new 9.6.2 MR available on the support site.
Photo of Matty Brown

Matty Brown

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
We've been running 9.6.2.0.13 for the past two days with some success. It was someone at Ruckus that recommended that we try this release.

As far as I know, Spectralink/Ruckus are still a way away from gaining VIEW certification, but this release seems a step in the right direction.

Spectralink 8440's still on 4.6.1.0011.