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Anyone experiencing link degradation?

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AE6XE's picture
Anyone experiencing link degradation?

Everyone in SoCal is seeing a significant degradation in link performance, many links that have been great quality for months and years are suddenly unusable.   Symptoms seem to be across all the channels in all the bands.   Major tower site where 6+ P2P links coming in are usually near 100%/100%, and last couple of days are showing ~30%/60%  LQ/NLQ.    This is going on from San Diego up through Ventura maybe beyond.

Anyone elsewhere seeing similar?  


w6bi's picture

We're attributing it to this:

Some local stations have reported multi-state propagation on 450 MHz.

kg6wxc's picture
Might be Tropo

I have been watching those maps that Orv linked to for a couple of days now.
Keep in mind those maps are only predictions, but there does seem to be a correlation.

If you look now, you'll notice an orange "blob" just off the So. Cal. coast, that sucker has been hanging around for a couple of days and is finally moving away.
This was that same map a couple of days ago: tropo_map-1800_9_5.png Those dashed lines indicate an "Unstable" area due mostly to local Thunderstorms.
It got worse after that, the pink area in the center got larger but was still off the coast, and then today the red area was right on top of us up here in the Ventura area (it may not have stretched all the way to the OC).
Before today (and for the last few days) it has mostly been an evening time phenomena and would go away a couple of hours after sunset or until about midnite-1am, it was consistent.
Today, the link degradation lasted all day and it did not let up. It has only just started to get better as of now.

I am certainly no expert on this kinda stuff and this should be taken with a grain of salt (or 3), but I think there may be a pattern here.

Absolutely seeing

I am absolutely seeing what you are. I just got back from a real quick trip to NY and MA and have been looking more closely as I had seen this while tunneling in Thursday night. Some of my most solid links that have been 100x100 since they went online and have been been providing near perfect throughput. These links are now down in the 20’s-high 50’s. Not good. I jumped in and started rebooting some of these today before seeing your post hoping it might be an olsr issue or something solveable. No joy.

K6AH's picture
San Marcos Pk

Keith, I thought SMP was also experiencing this on the link to Elsinore.  But it's not.  It's definitely a radio issues.  Unfortunately, I also can't talk to the switch, so I can't even power fail the radio.  I'll need to get back up there.

The San Diego network as a whole has been rock-solid throughout this.  Interesting we weren't affected down here.


I'm seeing OLSR entries run up and down from a normal 1200-1300, down to as low as Total = 30, Nodes = 10. A few minutes later it's back to normal. It has been doing this continually since Friday. And yes LQ/NLQ values are all low.

It's also dragging down the LQ on my tunnel connection (as seen from the Server side node which is closest to the mesh at large). NLQ is still 100%. Only 3 nodes down that tunnel with almost zero traffic just keepalives and ping monitoring.

Anyone seeing any different or new symptoms?


AE6XE's picture
One of the possibilities is

One of the possibilities is links being saturated with traffic and impacting OLSR.   I looked at some packet captures on a few nodes, and others sending to me.   While I do see heavy OLSR traffic, it's still not enough traffic by itself to saturate and be a root cause.  It looks more to me like a symptom -- lots of link updates to propagate around.    

I am seeing a lot of meshchat traffic and other traffic.   It would be a very good idea to turn off meshchat instances, particularly if there are still other instances that can be used.   Map crawlers, can be turned off.  This is just a process of elimination.    

Check the link rates, if these are still good or high, then this isn't an RF related issue.   



yes, I agree that the issue at SMP is the radio and have reached out to see I’d Chris can power cycle through his web enabled power strip as I think he also has in Internet based access to that allowing him to power cycle that which will reset the TS and all nodes. SMP being down may be what is making SD appear unaffected.

Link Rates


the lonk rates i am I am seeing are still decent, slightly worse than usual but still reasonable given the LQ/NLQ.

AE6XE's picture
Best guess...   there's some

Best guess...   there's some traffic occurring on the greater mesh network, that in and of itself should be normal and adequate RF links to support.  But this traffic is somehow triggering a defect in OLSR or preventing hello packets, then are going missed, then OLSR takes down the link because it goes below the threshold.  There hasn't been any big changes to the node counts, generally around 400+?   Any backbone link that goes down, then causes a cycle of lots of OLSR updates for all the nodes on the other side as it comes back up. 

What we're not seeing (please post if you are seeing otherwise):

A) enough OLSR traffic that it is a root cause or significant contributor to the symptoms.   I'm only seeing from ~8 to ~18 OLSR packets being sent out from a given node in a second.  18 x 1500 bytes/packet is tiny in comparison to our Mbps links.   the traffic, while it is floating up, isn't enough volume to explain this issue, and is expected traffic when links are going up and down.
B) flooding the network with traffic everywhere.   Just not seeing data flooding the network
C) link rates are still relative good/high.  If we were having atmospheric ducting issues, bringing in more noise, etc. then the link rates would be coorespondingly dropping with the additional interference and/or noise. 


K6AH's picture
...and San Diego, which, due

...and San Diego, which, due to a bad backbone radio, is currently disconnected from the greater SoCal network and is not seeing any of this.

K5DLQ's picture
Wondering if there are non

Wondering if there are non-standard or modified nodes running that could be contributing?   ie.  Pi's running olsr, hamwan linking experiments, PC's running olsr, etc...

(not pointing fingers, but, just thought this may be a good data point)


w6bi's picture
Back to normal

From our point of view in Ventura County, the network began recovering about 24 hours ago, and has since returned to normal.   This coincides (coincidentally?) with the fading of the tropo propagation noted earlier.
I skimmed the network mapper database, and found no 'non-standard' nodes that might be running funny OLSR daemons.    We had seen one or two in the past, but that's not the case at the moment.

K6CCC's picture
A data point

Here's the data point I don't really understand.  At my house I have a hAP (K6CCC-hAP-at-home) that is tunnel connected to Redlands, Glendale, Oxnard, and sometimes Orange County.  Additionally there is a DtD link to a Mikrotik LHG 5HPnD (just the driven element) that connects to a LHG 5nD about 50 feet away in my garage.  On 2 GHz, there is another hAP and a LHG 2nD (just the driven element) that are all within 4 feet of connected hAP.  All the 2 GHz links have S/N rations in the mid 50 dB range, and the 5 GHz link is in the low 30s.  Except for the hAP that has the tunnels, none of the other nodes have ANY traffic except OLSR.
When the "problem" was happening, all of my links including the tunnels went to crap.  Someone who knows more will have to figure out why the DtD and 4 foot RF links that have no traffic were affected.
And as I type this on Monday morning, all is healthy...

w6bi's picture
More tropo?

I again have very poor link quality to my normally very strong 5 GHz access point 5 miles LOS away.
I see we have another tropo hot spot that's developed right off the coast.
Anyone else seeing sudden link degradations this afternoon?


w6bi's picture
..and now back to normal

We got reports from about 30 miles around with similar issues.   Everything has returned to normal now.

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