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What is happening with 3G?
Frogis's profile

Tutor

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3 Messages

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 5:06 AM

HELP - 3G light is flashing, microcell was previously working fine

Hello,

 

   I figured it was worth posting here so I have yet to have success with anything else. 

 

Background

 

I live in an area almost exactly inbetween three AT&T cell phone towers, so subsequently my phone is constantly switching singnals from one tower to the other giving me very inconsistent service.  After diagnosing the problem with AT&T about six months ago they sent me a micro cell free of charge, and it worked absolutely fantastic until....

 

The Problem

 

About a week ago my microcell's 3g light started flashing, this had happened once or twice before so I performed a simple reset but it did not fix the problem like before.

 

  •   I tried resetting my modem, router, and microcell
  •   hard resetting my microcell for 30 seconds
  •   de-activing and re-activating my microcell twice
  •   checking my power cord to make sure it was the right voltage
  •   getting a replacement microcell sent to my house
  •   setting up my microcell in the alternate arrangement (modem-->microcell-->router)
  •   updating the firmware on my router

and none of these fixed the problems.

 

My current internet is about 30mbps DL and 10mbps upload so that isn't the problem

The ports on my router are all opened, and nothing has changed to effect that

 

After going extensively through the forums I am kind of at a loss of what to try next.  Any suggestions from people on the forums?

 

I am currently located in the East Bay of California (Alameda, CA)

 

Thanks very much.

 

-Frogis

 

 

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

9 years ago

Well I hate to have to post this but................................  the new MC is doing the same thing the old one was.  I have the dreaded flashing green 3G light at least once yesterday.  So it wasn't the double NAT, it wasn't the MC hardware, it is almost assuredly on AT&Ts end.  I don't have a double NAT, I have the modem bridged, I have all the ports forwarded correctly, I have the MTU set at 1492.  But contrary to what some of yall thought, I knew in my heart that this was the case.  Even though I know computers and networks can do crazy stuff, I didn't believe that the MC would work fine for the better part of three years and then all of a sudden be affected by double NAT if worked that long with it.  I do know that about two years ago we had a very similar if not the same issue.  I remember that we would lose service the same way and when I read on the forums others were having the same problem in a lot of other areas and eventually they must have fixed it because after a couple of months it stopped being an issue.  I can only hope that AT&T is doing something to fix this issue too.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.7K Messages

9 years ago

So let me get this straight, the old MicroCell worked ok for a couple of years then you started getting the blinking green 3G light. Calling support didn't help so you bought the newest model of the MicroCell. Ports are forwarded correctly, router cofigurations are correct (IPSec Passthrough enabled, Block Fragmented Packets disabled, MTU=1492, and only one device is performing NAT duties). Activation took about 15 minutes with all lights a solid green (power, ethernet, GPS, and 3G) with no error messages. MicroCell worked fine for about a day and then the 3G light started blinking green again, just like the previous MicroCell did.

 

Your internet is DSL with basically a 6.0/1.0 connection speed. I would physically check your wiring at the DMARC/MPOE back to your house, including the RJ-11 connector. A loose wire or unnecessarily exposed wire can affect your VoIP. The internet may be fine but any line issues can cause your connection to the AT&T servers to drop. I've had DSL for 10 years and eventually had to do my own wiring (using 2-wire, shielded, data cable) from the DMARC/MPOE back to my computer room.

 

Have you run the line quality test and the VoIP test (links are in the Tech Guide)? These will only give you snapshot in time on what's happening but if you pick a couple of differernt times throughout the day  it may give a reasonable picture on what's going on with your connection.

 

If you powercycle will your connection re-establish itself for the remainder of the day? Does it look like you lose your connection at night (early morning hours)?

 

It is entirely possible that the problem is at AT&T's end so I would suggest you send a PM to CustomerCare, detailing your issue, what you have done to correct it, your account information, the best way for them to contact you, and your location. Let us know when you've done that and then I'll contact the Admins on my end. Can't hurt.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

9 years ago

I would agree that some VOIP quality testing be done if it hasn't yet.  Definitely need to perform the testing several times throughout the day but concentrating on times where expected usage of the node is the highest (ie. during early evening hours).  It would also be a good idea to get an ISP tech out to the house to test the various portions of your home wiring/network to see if there is a problem and if so, where it is originating.

 

It may be a problem with AT&T but like I've said before, if you don't know where the problem is, find out where the problem isn't.  If you can eliminate your home/network wiring out to the pole as the problem, then it stands to reason that the problem is further down the ISP side of things or the AT&T side of things.

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

9 years ago

I don't remember if you said what area of the country are you in (USA I hope LOL)?

 

Sounds like from your lines and equipment, etc that you are in a rural area or at least out on the fringes somewhere. Could you expand a little on this?

I am curious as to the percentage of MCell problems related to Urban, Suburban and Rural customer's.............I think there may be a correlation.....

 

 

Like all have said so far, lines....connection points, ANY junction box, inside, outside, up to and including the DMarc (your ISP transition to your wiring transition point). I had a phone line several years ago in a junction box next to a floor had gotten moisture in it.....nicely corroded the connections.

 

Took out the internet and all the phones in the house had static on ALL the lines in the house (old dial up modem days). Most customer Phone or Cat 5 plugs can be daisychained  around a home from the DMarc (easier and quicker, for the installer and use's less wire) between junction box's. Anyone of them could cause and issue.

 

Ave's suggestion is very good. IF you can (and can afford it) I would run new lines from the DMarc INDIVIDUALLY to each Junction Box with NO splices (I hate splices....an issue looking for a time to surface...and it will eventually). If there are ANY splices or Junctions that could possibly get moisture or water in them....................check them. Sometimes just loosining a screw and retighten is enough to swipe the connection's and at least temporaraly fix a problem. If any connections show signs of significat corrosion, a very through cleaning of both the wire and connection is required, a small wire brush and a little elbow grease works wonders.

 

Also installer's and line tech's have been known to have to splice a wire rather than run new one's...........although the splice's are SUPPOSED to be watertight...Check them if Possible.

 

Like Ave and Otto indicated.............eliminate the obvious. You don't want to know how many times I went to a customer's house and fixed their home entertainment equipment..........................By plugging it in to the AC or a wire back into an Amp.......Cats, dogs........................AND even children have been known to pull things loose or break wire's.

 

Just start with the cheap and easy....work up from there.

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

9 years ago

Ok......haven't done anything here, But do another Hard reset...again..................Now a NEW ISSUE.....blinking GPS light, and RED blinking 3G light.

 

This is a FIRST......have never had a RED Blinking light Since my problem started. Something is up........or Denmark is getting something rotten....................

 

Have NEVER and a Blinking GPS light..

 

...............It's off to the Race's again................Geezzz

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.7K Messages

9 years ago

A blinking red 3G light is indicative of two things. Either the MicroCell has detected a hardware failure or it received an update and during the re-boot process something got hung up and now it "thinks" there's a hardware failure.

 

A blinking red GPS light means there is no GPS sync ( internal GPS antenna failure, failure to lock on to the satellite(s), antenna block, etc).

 

Is your MicroCell parallel or horizontal to the window? Sounds silly I know but I've seen just changing the orientation of the MicroCell relative to the window has "fixed" a GPS problem before. The GPS antenna is located at the top of the board and sometimes just re-orienting the the position of the MicroCell is enough to give it a better "view" of the sky. I keep mine parallel to the window but I know of one person who could only get a reliable, stable, and cosistent GPS lock if his MicroCell was horizontal to the window.

 

Did you change the ac adapter? I can't remember if you did or not.

 

As you've undoubtably done before, power everthing down and disconnect the MicroCell enet cable. Power up the router (what ever you're using) first. Connect the enet cable to the MicroCell (which should be turned off) and then do a hard reset (again) on the MicroCell and see what happens. If you don't get GPS lock, try the re-orientation trick. And, before you ask, I have no idea why GPS worked before and why you may have to re-orient the MicroCell.

 

Rural areas have traditionally been a bit more problematic than urban areas. The reason being is the ISP in a lot of cases and what they have to do to get reliable internet service to you. Reliability is the operative word here. Stable speeds are what they consider reliable but the "special" needs of VoIP is not their concern unless they offer their own VoIP service. AT&T is certainly not blameless here and yes, they do have problems and issues with the MicroCell (as do other femtocell providers), that's why Avedis53 and myself are here. Neither one of us are AT&T employees nor hold AT&T in any special regard.

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

9 years ago

Getting ready to do just what you suggested.....I do have and external antenna for the GPS, so not sure position will help...but hey, what the heck.

 

Once couldn't get a ham radio long wire ant tuned, tried for 3 hrs, got disgusted, threw the PL connnector down (into a puddle of water)....sat down got madder, fired up the Ham radio, fired up the 1.5KW amp and locked it down, goin fix it, or fix it good....................1:1 swr and it was talking..5 x 5. did so for 3hrs, finally hooked it to another antenna.....who woulda guessed?

 

Anyway, since this a TOTALLY NEW issue.....some how it is ...............well................somewhat............encouraging??

 

EDIT:

All reset............In four months this is the ONLY change in issue at all. Therefore logic dictates that something, somewhere, for whatever reason has changed (not here all is as was).....

This can be good or.............................

Sometimes something has to break, before you can fix it it. Us tech's used to say....Let a little smoke out of it....it'll either fix it are break it and you can follow the burned parts to the original problem.....the parts are usually cheaper than the time to find it.........

Weird logic......but...............it usually worked out.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

9 years ago

Actually the MC worked perfect for about 4 hours before the flashing green 3G light.  But it has only done it once so far which is better than the other one because it was doing that 3-8 times a day. 

 

As far as the phone lines go, I installed them myself several years ago, but I do have a junction box so I will check it and probably going to rerun a straight run and do away with the junction entirely.  I only use two jacks in the house anyway so will replace the jacks as well. 

 

The Voip tests come back all good except the consistency of service is usually around 82%.  It did fail one yesterday at the peak times around 6 or 8 in the evening.  Did one this morning and one just now and it was good except the 82% consistency.

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

9 years ago

Uh....don't forget the patch Cat5 cables. Switch them around maybe? See if the problem moves with the cables?

 

Or maybe cause's another issue to pop up?

 

Still waiting here.....but not expecting any real change to occur.

 

If it does..............I'm buying the beer.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

9 years ago

I did forget to mention that I am in a very rural setting with the nearest AT&T Macrocell being about 15 miles away.

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