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Avedis53

ACE - Professor

 • 

2.2K Messages

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 4:49 PM

Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

While I didn't encounter this problem initially when I started up my Mcell a few months ago, it has now become a daily ritual that I hope someone here can help me with.

 

My setup:

 

Motorola SB 6120 modem -> Netgear WNR3500L router -> Mcell

 

The Mcell is connected to the router with a pair of Netgear Powerline 200 Nano Adapters because my modem and router are located in the basement with no exposure to window for the Mcell to see a GPS satellite.  The connection is good.

 

My Charter ISP connection is 30 mbps down and 4 mbps and is rock solid.

 

What's happening and what I've done so far:

 

Usually once a day I will no longer see the AT&T Mcell indication at the top of my iPhone 5.  When I check my wife's iPhone 4S she has also lost the AT&T Mcell indication.

 

Turning the phones off and then on does not bring back the Mcell connection.  Switching Airplane Mode off and then on does not bring back the Mcell connection.

 

The Mcell has all solid green lights when I go to check it after seeing the lost connection.  If I power cycle the Mcell, the phones will then show an Mcell connection again until the next time they lose the connection which is usually once/day but not at any particular time.

 

I have the latest firmware on all devices.

 

When I check my router's admin page after a lost connection, the router indicates that the Mcell's IP address has not changed and it remains the same after power cycling the Mcell.

 

On the WAN page for my router, I have set the MTU size to 1492 and set the NAT Filtering to "Open" instead of "Secured".  No improvement after doing so.

 

Suspicious of the Powerline Adapters, I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the Ethernet cable from the Mcell to the Powerline Adapter to mimic a temporary loss of connection to the router to see if that affected the Mcell connection.  The Mcell connection was not lost.

 

I have not set any open ports or a static IP address for the Mcell yet.  Is what I'm experiencing indicative of this solution?  Does anyone have any other thoughts as to what try next?

 

I don't want to waste my time with an AT&T Level 1 tech support person because their suggestions are almost always worthless.  I have better luck contacting user forums and that is why I'm posting here.

 

Thank God I was able to convince AT&T to give me a Mcell for free because if I paid $200 for it, I'd be very upset right now.

 

Thanks In Advance!

 

Avedis53

 

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Responses

Stephen570

Explorer

 • 

27 Messages

7 years ago

Update: After contacting support through the forums we were sent a replacement microcell. There was a glitch somewhere in activating it so the activation took 10-12 hours (I did contact support through chat and they escalated the issue).

 

We now have a working microcell.

 

In addition to the troubleshooting steps that AT&T publishes and those discussed here in the forums I'd suggest trying the following if possible for you:

 

  • Check your router's logs and look for the microcell requesting an IP address. I was able to determine that the microcell was requesting an IP address as often as every 5-15 minutes. These requests matched up to when the microcell was resetting or restarting, and I could see how often it was happening even when I wasn't home to witness it. If all other devices/services remain working while the microcell drops, it's a possible indicator that the microcell and not your ISP is the problem.
     
  • When you connect the microcell in priority mode (microcell directly to the modem and the router to the microcell) watch to see if other devices/services go down when the microcell does. In the case of our microcell in priority mode, all devices would lose service when the microcell dropped/reset, but they would all work just fine when the microcell was not setup in priority mode. That was another indicator that the microcell was probably defective.
     
  • Try the microcell at another location, preferably with another ISP. You'll need to add another service address and set it as the default/current address (manage microcell at http://www.att.com/standalone/3gmicrocell). That will put the microcell through the activation process again. I tried this and the microcell displayed the same problem of dropping/resetting.

 

Again, everyone from AT&T I worked with was very helpful.  And, again, thanks to Otto and everyone else here in the forums.

 

 

 

 

 

Avedis53

ACE - Professor

 • 

2.2K Messages

7 years ago

I've had my replacement Mcell for about 3 months now and it has operated virtually trouble-free except for an ISP outage and a couple flashing 3G green light events that corrected themselves without a power cycling.

 

My replacement Mcell is sitting on a window sill that faces the south with its right side facing out. I do not use priority mode as I do not want the Mcell to affect the rest of my network and the Mcell is connected to my router with Powerline adapters that use my house wiring for communication between the two units.

 

I did make the suggested router changes (port forwarding and static IP address for the Mcell) when I had my original Mcell and kept those changes with the replacement Mcell.  I've had dynamic IP addressing issues in the past when my router changed IP addresses on some of my network equipment (I have 11 devices connected to my router), so I wanted to eliminate that potential problem with the Mcell.  I don't know if these changes are still required but I haven't removed them because if it ain't broke...don't fix it.

 

Since the summer months are about here, I'm hoping that solar heat the Mcell will receive by sitting on that southern-facing window sill won't cause thermal issues.  The Mcell specifications page lists a maximum ambient temperature limit of 100 degrees F and that could present a problem during the daylight hours.  We'll see.

 

I am hopeful that AT&T will eventually replace their current Cisco Mcell with one that is truly 4G/LTE compatible and has improved reliability/performance.  Since Cisco bought Ubiquisys in May of this year, hopefully they will trickle down the purchased technology to femtocell customers with a much improved, new generation of the Mcell.

 

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
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OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

7 years ago

Nice summary report. Mine sits facing a North-West window (oriented like yours) about 18" from the glass (double-paned) and down low so that only the top half is above the window sill. They do get warm but I have plenty of open space around mine. You might want to consider a small desk fan blowing on yours if you think it's getting too hot. You have a fairly elaborate LAN which is proof that the MicroCell can work under those confgurations. But yes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I've often toyed with the idea of removing the port forwarding, but.........

 

I am in total agreement with you on a new MicroCell that can take handle 4G/LTE, and have expressed as much to my support group but we'll see. After what I learned about the new AIO service and why it can't, and won't, work with the MicroCell, the 4G/LTE may take longer than we want, if it happens at all. But support does listen and pass along our suggestions so we'll see what the future brings.

 

Thanks for your contributions, which are positive and supportive to me, and the community as a whole.

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OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

7 years ago

@Stephen570 - Good advice and thanks for getting back to the group. Priority mode is basically a trouble-shooting method but some have found that it's the only way to get a somewhat stable connection. I prefer not to use it for the reason you mentioned. I've been trying to put together a User Guide for the Real World so tips and solutions like yours are essential. Thanks.

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Avedis53

ACE - Professor

 • 

2.2K Messages

7 years ago

I knew if I posted anything about things going well with this replacement Mcell that something would happen and it has.

 

I've started experiencing a loss of connection with the Mcell over the past three or four days.  The big difference over my past problem is that to reconnect to the Mcell only requires switching to Airplane Mode and back to regain the connection.  I haven't had to power cycle the Mcell.  With my original Mcell, toggling Airplane Mode didn't help.

 

Otto, any thoughts as to why the sudden change and a possible cause?

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

7 years ago

Arrgh! This is so frustrating. Ok, refresh my memory. What kind of phone do you have? If you aren't having to reboot your MicroCell, and just toggling back and forth between Airplane mode on your phone corrects the issue, then maybe it's the phone. If it's an iPhone, try to Reset Network Connections. I know that AT&T has started to update the network connection settings on iPhones to comply with the Emergency Notification Act and maybe that confused something. Mine was updated the other day and nothing changed but each phone may be different. Oh, and AT&T will eventually be updating all phones to comply (I think VZ and the other carriers will have to as well).

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Avedis53

ACE - Professor

 • 

2.2K Messages

7 years ago

Iphone 5.  I just reset the network connections.  I'll see if it still happening.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

7 years ago

Let me know how it goes.

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Avedis53

ACE - Professor

 • 

2.2K Messages

7 years ago

Resetting the iPhone's network settings didn't solve the problem.  I woke up this morning and saw that my iPhone was not connected to the Mcell again.  A quick toggle of Airplane Mode and the iPhone reconnected to the Mcell.

 

Shows up on both my wife's 4s and my 5 at the same time so I'm thinking that the issue is on the Mcell side.  I think I'll try a hard reset of the Mcell and see if that makes any difference. 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

7 years ago

It almost sounds like there's a brief drop in transmission from the MicroCell so that the MicroCell connection is fine with AT&T but the iPhones can't recover. That doesn't mean that it's the iPhones problem but something is interfering with their communication and they are having a hard time re-connecting, whether it's on the MicroCell side or the iPhone side. Have you tried sending a pm to CustomerCare? Tell them I sent you Smiley Wink If you have and they haven't been of any help, let me know. I may have another avenue to pursue.

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Avedis53

ACE - Professor

 • 

2.2K Messages

7 years ago

Had to do another Airplane Mode toggle last night to reconnect again.  Both phones had dropped the connection. That was after doing a hard reset and power cycling of the Mcell.

 

I'll PM Customer Care and see what they have to offer. 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

7 years ago

Do me a favor. PM me with a detailed summary of what the issue is and what you've done so far and I'll pass this along to my contact in Support. Do follow up with CustomerCare as well (as that is the "official" way to get help).

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Community Support

 • 

2.4K Messages

7 years ago

Hi Avedis53,

 

We received your private message and one of our managers will be reaching out to you shortly so we can look into this further.

 

Thanks!

 

Nicole K.

AT&T Help

Need help with an account specific question?  Post a new question here on the forums by clicking the "Ask a Question" button.
For additional support, please visit us at our AT&T services hub.

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

7 years ago

Thanks Nicole Smiley Happy

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Avedis53

ACE - Professor

 • 

2.2K Messages

7 years ago

Sigh....update since my last post.

 

My dropped connection issue is still occurring just about every night in the wee hours of the morning and I am still able to reconnect by toggling the Airplane Mode on our iPhones when I wake up in the morning and find them disconnected.

 

I have been in contact with Customer Care throughout this problem and have traded a few phone calls with a technical support person.

 

They seemed to think that it is a competing signal issue between the Mcell and the local cell towers.  They indicated that AT&T has been doing tower upgrade work in my area for the last three months and that it might be possible the changes have had an influence on what I'm experiencing.  I do not see any increase in cell tower signal strength based on my iPhone's signal bars.  Regardless, they decided to disable the hand-off feature to see if that would help.  It did not.  (Item of note: When I access the Manage Mcell website, it still indicates that the hand-off is enabled but tech support said that there is a problem with the website and have put in a ticket on it.)

 

I disagree with their assessment that this is a competing signals problem.  My wife leaves her iPhone charging overnight at a location 20 feet from the Mcell while I take mine to our bedroom at night.  Both drop the connection and have to be toggled to reconnect.  If I've moved my phone to a location where the cell tower strength is greater and my phone switches to the tower, why does her phone switch and it hasn't been moved to possibly change the signal strength from the tower?

 

Why does this only happen at night?  Our phones maintain connection with the Mcell throughout the daylight hours as they are moved around the house quite a bit.  AT&T doesn't have an answer to this. 

 

In talking to the tech support person, it is interesting that they have the capability to access logs for my Mcell and see various error codes.  It would sure be nice if I could do that.  You would think that if I can access logs on a $80 router to see what's going on that a $200 Microcell would have similiar capabilities.  I guess they don't want customers to have that information.

 

Speaking of logs, I have just started monitoring my router logs to see what is going on regarding the Mcell.  I assigned a static IP address to the Mcell months ago, so it makes it easy to look at interactions between the router and my Mcell.

 

I get two types of log entries associated with the Mcell.  First, there is this kind:

 

[DHCP IP: (192.168.1.20)] to MAC

address 48:44:87:xx:xx:xx, Saturday,

Jul 06,2013 03:59:15

 

192.168.1.20 is the static IP address for my Mcell.  I've blanked out most of the MAC address for security reasons but it is the Mcell's MAC.  I'm not versed on router networks and DHCP, so I'm not sure what this log entry means or what is prompting it to occur.

 

The other kind is a lot more disturbing:

 

[LAN access from remote] from

182.140.241.10:51264 to

192.168.1.20:443 Saturday, Jul

06,2013 09:12:39

 

Again, the 192.168.1.20 is my Mcell and port 443 is for the HTTPS TLS/SSL.  Again, I'm not sure what this log entry means.  I would interpret it to mean that someone from the listed IP address is accessing the Mcell.  I seen 3 of these in the last day.  The IP addresses are from interesting places like Australia, China and Portugal.  This worries me.

 

At any rate, I'm going to continue to monitor the router log to see if I can correlate a router/Mcell problem.  AT&T said they were going to look at a few more things before sending me another Mcell.

 

To be continued....

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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