I read about this today, I stumbled on it and I thought it was worth sharing. Especially the bit where he tells us about the best ping story he's ever heard... It's actually a pretty clever way of using it and method I would gladly use in this situation. I could have used this a few months ago.
The best ping story I've ever heard was told to me at a USENIX conference, where a network administrator with an intermittent Ethernet had linked the ping program to his vocoder program, in essence writing:
ping goodhost | sed -e 's/.*/ping/' | vocoder
He wired the vocoder's output into his office stereo and turned up the volume as loud as he could stand. The computer sat there shouting "Ping, ping, ping..." once a second, and he wandered through the building wiggling Ethernet connectors until the sound stopped. And that's how he found the intermittent failure.... the full whole thing is right here The Story of the PING Program