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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

 

 

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.7K Messages

9 years ago


@guitargain wrote:

 

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.


What I did with my phone line is tap into the same connectors in the MPOE that the phone line was coming in on (the modular phone boxes are so much easier to use). I then ran the AT&T Data Cable (that a phone installer left when he was fixing an underground switch that had gotten wet) straight to my computer room where I installed the RJ-11 connector. The filter is connected to the Test Jack of the modular box so that the remaining, originally installed phone jacks in the house are filtered from noise. So...... one solid, 2-wire insulated line from the phone box to the RJ-11 jack in the house. Nothing else is attached to that line (including the DSL filter). We still use our landline as our primary phone number but having the MicroCell is essential for our kids and their friends because they live on their cell phones.

 

Could you post your VoIP line test results. Avedis is pretty good at interpreting them and he might see something there. What would be best is to take at least three readings maybe 4 hours apart and average to get a more realistic picture. All it can take at times is for your line quality to falter for a period of time and you will lose connectivity to AT&T, which will result in a re-boot to get that connection back.

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

9 years ago

LOL.............somehow I suspected that.............AT&T MicroCells seem to git scared of the the boonies. Ya'd think they was afraid of the boogie man!

 

Nearest MacroCell of Any provider is 3.5 - 5 mi from me......and checking online I haven't found a mapping of declared AT&T cell sites that puts one within 25-50 mi of me. I think the sites actually nearest are co-shared. I DO know that their signal levels have deterioated badly in the last couple of months........txt used to go thru OK most of the time, even without MCell...........now they are as bad as Voice calls.

 

Would it be possible that with the Net Neutrality law getting gutted that AT&T is not ponying up for "high speed access rates" from the Internet Trunk providers (Cox, Comcast, etc)? Especially in the Rural area's.........and this could be throttling the actual data getting to their server hubs (wouldn't really show in OUR overall data rates) and causing latency problems and issue's .........

 

Not saying that is my particular issue in this case, but on an over all (big picture) basis? I don't seem to see, many that identify with living in more Urban having as many issue's that don't lend themselves to the simple fix's...........

 

Otto??? 

 

Avedis??

 

Thanks for the info..........................from viewing some post back a year or more I think might be seeing a pattern. But since most don't really give real definitive localized info it's difficult to pin it down.

 

 

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

9 years ago

NOW for the first time since this Trek (adventure?) got started...................Error FTC225.

 

Wonder if they REALLY fixed the GPS problem................or  as REALLY fixed it good.....in a BAD way?

 

Such as they got the GPS info flipped around and nailed it down in the WRONG location?

 

I've checked the external antenna connections and wiring....no apparent problems there.

 

LOL,  Smiley LOL does it get much better than this!!!

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.7K Messages

9 years ago

Just thinking out loud now but one of the other functions of the GPS antenna is to set and adjust the timing so maybe something is off there. If the tower(s) are having issues, or the directionality of the signal has changed, maybe.........

 

FTC223 is the usual GPS error code. What did FTC 225 say exactly?

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

9 years ago

Yes read something about that........I mentioned that it was talking with several different time servers in the logs on the Cisco router......

 

The error was:

FTC225: Your MicroCell was unable to obtain a GPS signal to report its position.

 

It also appears that the external antenna port is powered (3-5 vdc) and the mnx plug doesn't appear to actually disable or disconnect the internal GPS, but rather works with, but independently.

 

Hmmmmmm....just postulating here a litte....now a 2.4 -5 ghz receiver (remembering my 3 meter satellite installation days) sensitivity is very touchy and a lower temp (70 deg K vs a 90 deg K) is more sensitive..........................now if the internal receiver was degrading (unit is a replacement and came with no pwr supply-usually the case with a refurbished item) then that would tend to degrade the external signal because of the increase of noise in the internal..............thinking..........depending on the exact nature of the reason for degradation.....hmmm..leaky/open cap in pwr reg circut (12 vdc to 3 v) or in 12 vdc would/could/maybe introduce a considerable amount of ripple....noise to sensitive receiver.....

 

Or, it most probably being "refurbished" (I detest that term, plugged in...yep works, ship it) could have degraded when I received it........or my original pwr supply could be iffy....as the problems started with the original MCell.....

 

I noticed 2 separate items on the other replacement Mcell coming in....hopefully the cust service girl managed to code in a new replacement vs a refurb.....if not I may be digging thru my ...uh, well let's call it my spare parts boxes (she calls it my "junk pile") for an extra 12v brick.............would be nice to know if the OEM part is a plain 12v or small switched mode brick. I am not really sure just how sensitive the MCell is to the power supply.

 

Normally I have little to no problems with pwr supplies, as I keep all my networking, computer and entertainment equip on UPS.

 

Ouch.......thats enough thinking for today.....I think Man Wink

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.7K Messages

9 years ago

The MicroCell does seem to be sensitive to the ac adapter. I've seen flaky things happen to a MicroCell and once the ac adapter was replaced, the problems went away. The specs of the ac adapter are in the Tech Guide ( I don't remember them off the top of my head). They are from my ac adapter so if you replace it with the same rating, you should be fine. I've been asking that when AT&T sends out a replacement MicroCell (either a refurb or a new one) to send a new adapter as well. They're thinking about it.

 

The use of the external antenna does not disable the internal GPS antenna as you surmised.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

9 years ago

I haven't figured out how to copy and paste the results of the voip test yet.  When I click on show text and it pops up, I can highlight the text but can't right click and copy it.

 

Anyway the MC has only had the blinking 3g light once since I installed the new one so maybe that was a fluke.  I sold my warranty replacement to a neighbor and installed it for them yesterday.  Her daughter has one next door to her and she is having the same flashing 3g light as we are reading about here.  She has never had any of the settings that are recommended either.  She bought it two years ago from an AT&T store which they activated for her and she went home and plugged it up and has never had any problems.  I set the other one up the same way and it activated pretty quickly and I told her that if she has any problems to let me know and I will go back and do the port forwards and MTU and all the other things that are recommended.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

9 years ago

I migh also add that the two people in my neigborhood that have microcells also reported to me that the problems started about the same time mine did which was about a month ago.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

9 years ago

I have a thousand foot box of CAT6 ethernet cable.  I am thinking seriously of rewiring and installing a POT Splitter at the telephone companies box outside and then running CAT6 for the DSL and for the two phone jacks for the heck of it cause I have plenty of it.  Probably won't be soon and I'm not sure how much good it will do since I am getting the speed I pay for so there can't be much if any signal loss.  I am as I stated before only about 2/10 of a mile from the dslam which has fiber to the dslam then copper from there to here.  I will also replace the two inside phone jacks while I am at it.  My voip tests are pretty solid with a little anomolies from time to time but nothing serious so far that I can see.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

19.7K Messages

9 years ago

If you've got the CAT-6 laying around then that would work just fine. Like I said, I just used old 2-wire insulated AT&T Data Cable from the "old" days when we had dial-up, and that has worked great. My DSL speeds are a constant 16-17Mbps using the same cable setup. I was more concerned about the line quality than anything else. We went thru some major remodeling last summer so the power was on, off a number of times. Each time the MicroCell bounced back and was ready to go in about 8 mintes after power up.

 

What you said about your neighborhood is a bit bothersome. If other MicroCell users are experiencing the same issues that you were, at the same time, that might be inidicative of a more serious issue for your area. If you want, pm me with the location of your neighborhood, how many have had similar issues and when those issues started. I'll pass that along and maybe they can get the engineers to look into your specific area. Network Engineering won't look at just one person if they are having issues but if there seems to be a pattern for a given area, that's a different matter. Calling support helps but they don't always put the dots together to show a pattern. Collating that information and sending it to me might be better. Five complaints at once, for example, from the same area raises eyebrows.

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