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WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

WFH_Colorado
Tutor

WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Hi community

I have been experiencing wifi dropouts when a call is made or received on a cordless phone system. The phone are DECT 6.0 and operate at 1.9Ghz, brand new system. This happened with two different phone brands and seems to happen more frequently after I upgraded the firmware to 2.6.1.36 on Orbi router and 2.6.1.38 on satellite. Using cable internet with verizon router set to bridge mode. Has anyone seen similar behavior? Any suggestions? Thanks.

Model: RBR20|Orbi AC2200 Tri-band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 22
CrimpOn
Sage

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

I have a Panasonic cordless phone system with five handsets and experience no interference with my Orbi WiFi.

Since the radio frequencies are different, I would be surprised if there were any interference.

 

My guess is "something else" is causing a problem. Not the DECT cordless phone.

I love my Orbi.
Message 2 of 22
vajim
Master

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Message 3 of 22
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Try setting manual channel 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4Ghz and any unused channel on 5Ghz.

 

Be sure any wireless phone system is placed far away from the RBR or RBS units...


@WFH_Colorado wrote:

Hi community

I have been experiencing wifi dropouts when a call is made or received on a cordless phone system. The phone are DECT 6.0 and operate at 1.9Ghz, brand new system. This happened with two different phone brands and seems to happen more frequently after I upgraded the firmware to 2.6.1.36 on Orbi router and 2.6.1.38 on satellite. Using cable internet with verizon router set to bridge mode. Has anyone seen similar behavior? Any suggestions? Thanks.


 

My Setup ISP SparkLight | Internet Cable 1000↓/50↑ CM2000 Modem | Wifi Router RBRE960(v.85) and R8500(v.158) Router Mode | Switches NG GS105/8 | 

Additional NG HW: C7800/CAX80/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi: CBK40, CBK752, RBK50, RBK853, RBK752, RBK953, SXK30 | NightHawk: R7000, R7800, R7960P, R8000, R8500, RAXE500, RAX50, XR450, EX7500/EX7700, GS308v3

Message 4 of 22
vajim
Master

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@FURRYe38 wrote:

Try setting manual channel 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4Ghz and any unused channel on 5Ghz.

 

just don't tell your neighbors


 


 

Message 5 of 22
CrimpOn
Sage

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@vajim wrote:

interesting read:

https://www.sandman.com/knowledgebase/cordless-wifi-rfid-troubleshooting


Loved the link. Thanks.  Spot on regarding issues when installing wireless systems.  Particularly loved the commend that "finding the best location for wireless phones could cost more than simply running phone cables."  Was drooling over that $199 spectrum analyzer until I found out (a) it actually costs $800 and (b) it covers only the 2.4G and 5G frequencies.  If something is interfering with the 1.9G DECT 6.0 frequency, this box won't show it.

 

I am still reluctant to infer that Orbi WiFi will interfere with call quality on a DECT 6.0 cordless phone system.

I love my Orbi.
Message 6 of 22
WFH_Colorado
Tutor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Thanks for reference. I'll take a look. The sepctrum analyzer is nice but I found that the android WiFi analyzer app or NetSpot is pretty good at seeing what's going on in the neighborhood. True, they won't look down to 1.9 and focus on 802.11 but it's informative. It's also surprising what OSX has to offer natively when you dig into "Open Wireless Diagnostics". I understand the comment about the DECT phone frequencies should not interfere but I can pretty reliably see the problem when my phone rings or there is an outbound call. I manually set to channel 10 and stayed away from 1 since it's the closest to the phones and I am not sure on the bandwidth or power of the phone. It may be a bit better. Maybe it's just coincidence but I did seem to get worse with the firmware update.

Message 7 of 22
CrimpOn
Sage

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

The huge difference between a spectrum analyzer and the WiFi tools is what they look for. WiFi analysis detects only WiFi packets.

Spectrum analyzer displays any sort of signal within the frequency band it is set for.  Things like microwaves,, bluetooth, and 2.4G cordless phones do not show up on WiFi monitors, but appear on spectrum analyzers.

 

The base station for my Panasonic DECT 6.0 is about three feet from my Orbi router.  It has a bluetooth capabiility to link cell phones to the Panasonic handsets which I am not using.  Is this an option on yours?

I love my Orbi.
Message 8 of 22
WFH_Colorado
Tutor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Yes; it is an option since I am going through remodel now anyway. Why so close between base and orbi? Maybe your just suggesting that the diistance does not matter. Most seem to recommend staying as far away as possible. The VTECH VS112 has the same capabilities although I am not using the BT. Probably unrelated but wifi analyzer shows an intermittent booming signal on channel one. I have the mac address for it so I am chasing that down to see if it's something like my chromecasts or TV.

 

 

Message 9 of 22
CrimpOn
Sage

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@WFH_Colorado wrote:

Yes; it is an option since I am going through remodel now anyway. Why so close between base and orbi? Maybe you are just suggesting that the diistance does not matter. Most seem to recommend staying as far away as possible.


Yes, I got ahead of myself. Because of a wiring issue, I needed to move the Panasonic unit to the same room as the router and that was the easiest place to put it.  If proximity to the router was going to cause an issue, this would seem to be where it would happen.

 

I had not realized how complicated cordless phone technology is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_enhanced_cordless_telecommunications 

Had no idea that (a) US DECT 6.0 is entirely separate from the rest of the world, (b) that products from one area are forbidden in the other area.

 

This comment stood out: "In North America, DECT suffers from deficiencies in comparison to DECT elsewhere, since the UPCS band (1920–1930 MHz) is not free from heavy interference. Bandwidth is half as wide as that used in Europe (1880–1900 MHz), the 4 mW average transmission power reduces range compared to the 10 mW permitted in Europe, and the commonplace lack of GAP compatibility among US vendors binds customers to a single vendor."

 

I followed the link and did not find anything about this "heavy interference".

 

When I  search for DECT 6.0 interference, results uniformly state "there is no interference between DECT 6.0 and WiFi."  I did find some comments about running more than one cordless phone network in the same house, and opinions were mixed. Some said, "can't" and others said, "no problem."

 

The VTECH support site talked about needing DSL fiilters on every phone jack, but I doubt that very many Orbi customers still have DSL.

Panasonic cordless phones have a way to"change channels", but I did not find any mention of doing that in the VTECH support docs.

I love my Orbi.
Message 10 of 22
Mikey94025
Mentor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@WFH_Colorado wrote:

Hi community

I have been experiencing wifi dropouts when a call is made or received on a cordless phone system. The phone are DECT 6.0 and operate at 1.9Ghz, brand new system. This happened with two different phone brands and seems to happen more frequently after I upgraded the firmware to 2.6.1.36 on Orbi router and 2.6.1.38 on satellite. Using cable internet with verizon router set to bridge mode. Has anyone seen similar behavior? Any suggestions? Thanks.


Another datapoint - I also have a many-handset Panasonic DECT cordless system in my house and while we don't use our landline as much anymore, I have not noticed any interference and there have been zero dropouts along with our Orbi AC and Orbi AX systems.

 

Just to confirm - Is the OP using VOIP or a landline?  If VOIP then there are other issues to investigate.

 

Message 11 of 22
WFH_Colorado
Tutor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Interesting. VOIP via xfinity. Would be interested in hearing about that potential issue. As a datapoint, I somewhat recently switch to xFi modem to get the 1GB I was not utilizing, I don't recall if issues happened about then but first set it up not in bridged mode and just let the router get an IP from the modem. I switched to bridged thinking that the radio on the modem could have been the problem but it may still be serving up xfinitywifi, I toggled that with no apparent change.

Shot in the dark here... maybe a DSL filter on the backside of the modem?

 

 

Message 12 of 22
CrimpOn
Sage

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@WFH_Colorado wrote:

Shot in the dark here... maybe a DSL filter on the backside of the modem?


My Panasonic cordless is also VOIP (Spectrum voice from the modem).  I would think if line filtering is required,it would be internal to the modem.  Certainly should not hurt.

 

I am confused again.

  • Is the ISP AT&T or Xfiinity?
  • This same thing happened with a different brand of cordless phone? (WiFi dropout when the phone is used.  Every phone? Just one particular phone?)
  • Any luck figuring out that 'rogue' 2.4G access point on channel 1?  If your Orbi is on channel 10 that should not cause any overlap.

 

I love my Orbi.
Message 13 of 22
WFH_Colorado
Tutor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

The ISP is xfinity. The issue was happening with both new VTECH and old panasonic. I have not fully debugged the channel 1 signal problem yet. Wiill keep you posted. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Message 14 of 22
Mikey94025
Mentor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@WFH_Colorado wrote:

Interesting. VOIP via xfinity. Would be interested in hearing about that potential issue. As a datapoint, I somewhat recently switch to xFi modem to get the 1GB I was not utilizing, I don't recall if issues happened about then but first set it up not in bridged mode and just let the router get an IP from the modem. I switched to bridged thinking that the radio on the modem could have been the problem but it may still be serving up xfinitywifi, I toggled that with no apparent change.

Shot in the dark here... maybe a DSL filter on the backside of the modem?


If your VOIP is xfinity then I don't think a DSL filter will help (you're getting it via cable).  Your DECT issues happened with and without bridging the Orbi, right?

 

So your VOIP comes out of the xfinity gateway's phone line plug, then your Orbi is bridge downstream.  Therefore your Orbi has no impact to the IP part of your VOIP, right?  Or are you using some other VOIP gateway device and it's plugged into your Orbi?

 

If your VOIP is coming out of Xfinity's gateway then one simple test is to turn off your Orbi and then see if your VOIP is unaffected.

Message 15 of 22
WFH_Colorado
Tutor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Phone line right out of xfinity xFi gateway. No intermediate VOIP device. Orbi is downstream from gateway bridged. In thinking about the setup, I have a switch behind the router for hardwired devices.... phillip hue hub. Maybe I need to start unplugging some of these and see what happens. I need to test again with the phones to make sure they are correlated.

Prior to the xFi gateway, I had a (woefully) slower arris modem with the orbi and never saw the problem. hmm

 

Message 16 of 22
Mikey94025
Mentor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@WFH_Colorado wrote:

Phone line right out of xfinity xFi gateway. No intermediate VOIP device. Orbi is downstream from gateway bridged. In thinking about the setup, I have a switch behind the router for hardwired devices.... phillip hue hub. Maybe I need to start unplugging some of these and see what happens. I need to test again with the phones to make sure they are correlated.

Prior to the xFi gateway, I had a (woefully) slower arris modem with the orbi and never saw the problem. hmm


It sounds like everything is wired correctly, i.e., you have your Xfinity gateway bridged to your Orbi and everything runs downstream to it.  Your successful prior Arris + Orbi setup seems to eliminate the Orbi as the source of your DECT interference, right?

 

Do you have any coax splitters upstream of the gateway or is it wired directly to your wall outlet?  Did Xfinity install your new xFi gateway and used high-quality cabling?  I know they always say that poor cabling and loose connections interferes with strong cable service, so I assume it can also affect VOIP performance.  

Message 17 of 22
WFH_Colorado
Tutor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

After a lot of debugging and some internet searches, I suspected the upgraded modem hardware. I completely removed the orbi network and hardwired to the modem after taking it out of bridge mode to verify. Per suggestion from comcast employee post and private message, I went to a local store and traded the sick xb6 for a specific xb7. It turns out that a lot of arris modems with the intel puma 6/7 processor have dropping problems. There are a lot of web pages that are dedicated to this problem and list the modems to avoid.Search for "bad modems puma". The xb6 and xb7 models handed out by comcast come from two manufacturers, some use the puma processor (arris) others use a broadcom (technicolor) - note the model number on the bottom. I asked for and they had a xb7 with the broadcom and have not seen any issues previously reported. Background: the pumas cannot keep up with the load and cause drops, lags, and increased network jitter. My VPN connection saw that and disconnected. The VOIP call triggered additional load and accentuated the problem. Thanks for all your suggestions, it helped me narrow down the issue. In the end, not an orbi/phone issue but wanted to post an update. Cheers.

Message 18 of 22
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

FYI:

http://www.badmodems.com/

 

My Setup ISP SparkLight | Internet Cable 1000↓/50↑ CM2000 Modem | Wifi Router RBRE960(v.85) and R8500(v.158) Router Mode | Switches NG GS105/8 | 

Additional NG HW: C7800/CAX80/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi: CBK40, CBK752, RBK50, RBK853, RBK752, RBK953, SXK30 | NightHawk: R7000, R7800, R7960P, R8000, R8500, RAXE500, RAX50, XR450, EX7500/EX7700, GS308v3

Message 19 of 22
vajim
Master

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi


@FURRYe38 wrote:

FYI:

http://www.badmodems.com/

 


Show us your list of bad firmware 

Message 20 of 22
WFH_Colorado
Tutor

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

Reference I used was: https://approvedmodemlist.com/intel-puma-6-modem-list-chipset-defects/

 

From the bad list ....

XFINITY XB6-A (ARRIS TG3482G)
XFINITY XB7 (ARRIS TG4482)

Note: the XFINITY XB6-T (Technicolor CGM4140COM) uses a Broadcom chipset, it is safe
Note: the XFINITY XB7 (Technicolor CGM4331COM) uses a Broadcom chipset, it is safe

 

I switched to the CGM4331COM.

 

Message 21 of 22
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: WiFi issues with cordless phones and Orbi

You should be good then. 

Enjoy. 


@WFH_Colorado wrote:

Reference I used was: https://approvedmodemlist.com/intel-puma-6-modem-list-chipset-defects/

 

From the bad list ....

XFINITY XB6-A (ARRIS TG3482G)
XFINITY XB7 (ARRIS TG4482)

Note: the XFINITY XB6-T (Technicolor CGM4140COM) uses a Broadcom chipset, it is safe
Note: the XFINITY XB7 (Technicolor CGM4331COM) uses a Broadcom chipset, it is safe

 

I switched to the CGM4331COM.

 


 

My Setup ISP SparkLight | Internet Cable 1000↓/50↑ CM2000 Modem | Wifi Router RBRE960(v.85) and R8500(v.158) Router Mode | Switches NG GS105/8 | 

Additional NG HW: C7800/CAX80/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi: CBK40, CBK752, RBK50, RBK853, RBK752, RBK953, SXK30 | NightHawk: R7000, R7800, R7960P, R8000, R8500, RAXE500, RAX50, XR450, EX7500/EX7700, GS308v3

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