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3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

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3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

My GPS, Ethernet, and power light are on with a solid green. My 3G light is a solid red that flashes every three seconds. I use a Netgear router/modem; honestly, I'm not sure what a modem or router looks like but I plugged the microcell's ethernet into the Netgear. I've tried disconnecting then reactivating the microcell. No luck.

 

Any advice on how to troubleshoot this issue would be awesome. I live in the countryside where cell phone reception is severely limited. Thanks!

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Message 1 of 131

Accepted Solutions
Community Support

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

Hello Community!

 

One of the most common topics we see on the forums is regarding the Microcell.  Specifically, how to identify and understand the differences between the LED light indicators on the device as well as troubleshooting steps to resolve any issues.

 

The information contained below is a combination of the great community content, as well as information provided by our Advanced Technical Support team that supports the Microcell every day.

 

MicroCell LED Guide

 

Power LED

  • Off– No power to MicroCell.
  • Solid Green– Microcell has power.
  • Solid Red– MicroCell is either still powering up or is in an error state. Please unplug the MicroCell from power and plug it back in. If the LED remains red, please try an alternate power outlet or alternate power cable. You can also test the ac adapter with a voltmeter. It should read 16VDC ± 0.5. If not, replace the adapter with one of the exact same power rating.

 

Ethernet LED

  • Off– No Ethernet cable connected. Please make sure both sides of the Ethernet cable are firmly attached. One side should be plugged into the Ethernet port on the MicroCell and one side should be plugged into an Ethernet port on the modem or router. Ethernet cables should click when inserted into an Ethernet port. If the LED does not light when both sides are firmly attached, please try an alternate Ethernet cable. The MicroCell has been tested and works with Ethernet cables up to 15 feet long.
  • Solid Green– The Ethernet cable is connected and the MicroCell has been assigned a valid IP address.
  • Flashing Green– The Ethernet cable is connected but the MicroCell has not been assigned a valid IP address. Please power cycle the modem, then router, then MicroCell in that order. If the Ethernet LED continues to flash, please ensure DHCP is enabled on the modem or router. The MicroCell requires DHCP to work.

 

GPS LED

  • Off– No location check is being performed at this time. The MicroCell is either unplugged or is going through activation.
  • Flashing Green– The MicroCell is performing a location check. It is scanning both for GPS satellites and for local cell sites.
  • Solid Green– The MicroCell has completed the location check.

 

Computer LED (only on white model MicroCells)

  • Off– Nothing is plugged into the computer port.
  • Flashing Green– Traffic is passing through the MicroCell.
  • Solid Green– No traffic is passing through the MicroCell.
  • If continued issues occur, it is recommended to not use the Computer Port because of potential issues with the connected computer’s internet settings.

 

Network or 3G LED

  • Off– The MicroCell is not activated. It is either powered off or going through activation.
  • Flashing Green– The MicroCell is not activated. It is going through activation or is experiencing a connectivity issue. Please wait 90 minutes after registration. If the 3G LED continues to flash after 90 minutes, please review the Firewall &Router settings and make sure the modem or router are appropriately configured for use with a MicroCell.
  • Flashing Red– The MicroCell has failed the location check. Please ensure the MicroCell is registered to the correct address. Please power cycle the MicroCell to trigger a new location check. It may also help to relocate the MicroCell to a location with a clear view of the sky. If the MicroCell fails the second location check, please contact AT&T Customer Care.
  • Solid Green– The MicroCell is fully activated and is broadcasting signal.

 

We also have comprehensive Video content to help you navigate any issues you might be having:

 

Note: A failing AC adapter can affect any of the LED lights so it’s always a good idea to check the adapter with a voltmeter, especially if the MicroCell is a few years old or you have experienced numerous or unexpected power outages.

 

You can also find a full list of Microcell support by visiting our Microcell support site

 

Thanks again for all your fantastic questions and support, and please comment below if there is anything we’ve missed!

 

Katie, Community Specialist

Employee Contributor*
*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.
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Message 119 of 131

All Replies
Teacher

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

So here we are approaching December of 2012.  I believe the post that started this thread was entered almost one year ago...and I've read all sorts of suggestions....from powering off the device in specific sequences that included disconnection of the ethernet port...to gigabit network incompatibility....to chanting while swinging a dead chicken overhead (of course, that's an exaggeration).  I imagine some have resolved their issue, but only some.  I get the distinct impression that most are still dealing with the flashing 3G LED.  It does appear that many agree with the failed firmware update theory as the cause, although I can't seem to find how I might confirm through MCell status and date/time stamps.  I've been all over the net and can't find any definitive discussion of root cause and permanent resolution.

 

I really want to try the suggestions that I've read thus far, but would like to avoid the days or weeks worth of trial & error (which I will do out of desperation).  Is there anyone on this forum that can claim success?  Is AT&T listening at all?  Any success stories would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

Message 76 of 131
ACE - Master

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

Your are correct in your conclusion that the flashing red 3G is the result of an update by AT&T. The MicroCell failed to properly re-boot after the update and it thinks it is broken. There is no way to confirm what is going on with the MicroCell because it is a totally closed system only available for "inspection" at the AT&T end. I had the blinking red 3G only once, and that lasted for about an hour with a simple power cycle fixing the problem. I posted yesterday my iPhone 5 and MicroCell speed test. In it, I've listed my hardware setup which may help you. Basically the MicroCell is setup following AT&T's installation instructions and then my port forwarding scheme. There are just way too many hardware variables out there to point you to any one thing that may fix your setup. A hard reset may work for you (pressing the reset button on the back), port forwarding, changing the position of your MicroCell and using an extension GPS antenna, making sure your ISP is not blocking any of the ports necessary for the MicroCell to communicate with the AT&T servers, etc.

 

Oh, and sometimes swinging a chicken over your head does help Smiley Wink

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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.
Message 77 of 131
Teacher

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

Spoiler
 

Gps antenna is the cheapest thing to try and the only thing that fixed mine..........

Message 78 of 131
Teacher

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

I say;"Go with the chicken!" I ended buying a new unit, when old one did the whole "flashing red" thing. The thing that amazes me is the total lack of understanding at tech support. It's clear to me that they are just reading from a manual. I didn't even bother calling, when my unit "flaked out" a couple of weeks ago. I tried a power cycle and ended up un-registering and then re-registering. I didn't have a chicken, so I used the neighbor's cat. It wasn't happy!

Wake up AT&T and get some tech folks that actually can troubleshoot these units.
Message 79 of 131
Teacher

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

LOL..so I guess the voodoo thing is not off the table. 

 

Re: AT&T tech support....I agree.  I called yesterday to see if there might be an acknowledgement of the problem and a solution on their part.  They recommend the unreg/re-reg approach to start.  Then the tech said something that I couldn't let pass....so I asked her to help me understand exactly how the system works end-to-end.  I was stunned when she tried to suggest that the MCell communicates to local cell towers.  I asked "how is it that the MCell can connect to a cell tower, while my phone cannot?.....If my phone could do so, I wouldn't need the MCell".  Her answer:  Because the MCell is supposed to be located by a window.  I knew it was time to end the call.

Message 80 of 131
ACE - Master

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing


Rickalodeon wrote:

LOL..so I guess the voodoo thing is not off the table. 

 

Re: AT&T tech support... I asked "how is it that the MCell can connect to a cell tower, while my phone cannot?.....If my phone could do so, I wouldn't need the MCell".  Her answer:  Because the MCell is supposed to be located by a window.  I knew it was time to end the call.


That's funny, but very sad. I mailed support over the weekend with a list of support related issues from the last couple of weeks. I know AT&T would like to resolve issues and comments like that but the machine moves very slowly. That's pretty much why we have this forum, becuase if it wasn't for the contributors, there's a lot of folks who would not have been able to get their MicroCells up and running.

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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.
Message 81 of 131
Former Community Manager

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing

Hey all,

 

As a reminder, if you're having trouble with your Microcell you're welcome to send a private message to ATTCustomerCare with your name, account number, email address, phone number and the best time to contact you.

 

I know you've tried other methods of support without but we'd like the chance to get this worked out for you.  




To send a private message, you can either click on the link in this message or click on the little blue envelope in the upper right hand corner, click "compose new message" and type ATTCustomerCare in the "Send To" field.

--------------

As of May 1st, I am no longer serving as the Community Manager for AT&T. This account will no longer be able to accept private messages.

Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

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.
Message 82 of 131
Contributor

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing GPS antenna?

 My MC was fine until I removed it downstairs from an upstairs window where it had a better GPS signal.  I moved it down in order to be able to use cell phones in basement bedrooms.  Now I get red flashing light daily, and sometimes must power down/up more than once to recover.

I am on a northfacing mountain slope with lots of trees that have snow, leaves, etc changing all year.  Not easy to "see" the GPS satellites here.

I have read about update issues, bad chips, etc.  but the GPS signal is probably my issue.  Sounds like a GPS antenna might be my solution. I see the connection on the MicroCell.  Where do I get an antenna, and any suggestions realted?  Thanks. rr

Message 83 of 131
ACE - Master

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing GPS antenna?

I don't have the link readily at hand but you can Google AT&T Microell GPS antenna and find it. I think there's one that works just fine on Amazon for about $6. Make sure you take note of the type of connector that the MicroCell has and get the correct fitting antenna. I believe the cables go up to about 25'.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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.
Message 84 of 131
Teacher

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing GPS antenna?

Initially I had my MC down in my daylight basement and it struggled to get a good GPS lock. I then relocated it to an upstairs window and it was working fine..

 

However, this weekend it decided to flash the 3G LED red and after multiple reboots it stays in this mode. I can see that the device is getting a GPS lock as the GPS LED is solid green (as is the Ethernet LED).

 

It started to do this after the device was powered off for a few hours of electrical maintenance. Since it was powered back all it wants to do is flash its LED..

Message 85 of 131
ACE - Master

Re: 3G Microcell - 3G Red Light Flashing GPS antenna?

If the 3G light is flashing red that indicates a hardware failure. However, if the MicroCell received an update from AT&T that required an automatic reboot, the reboot might not have been successful and the MicroCell "thinks" it's a hardware failure. Was it powered off for "electrical maintenance" properly (unplugged) or did you have an outage and then it attempted to come back on once power was restored? Try a hard reset (holding in the reset button on the back for about 30 seconds).

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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.
Message 86 of 131
Highlighted
Voyager

3G Microcell - reseting everyday

I just received my MicroCell 2 weeks ago it was working great but the last week all the lights are green but my Iphone 5 will not conect or other cell phones on my plan.  I have to reset the Microcell every day to get the phones to connect and thenit will work for awhile. Is there any other suggestions?.

Message 87 of 131
ACE - Master

Re: 3G Microcell - reseting everyday

Are you in the Ohio area by any chance? There apparently is an outage in that area. Sometimes an upstream switch fails and AT&T doesn't know about it until complaints start coming in. Switch outages can sometimes cause a cascade effect and spread to other areas or states.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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.
Message 88 of 131
Voyager

Re: 3G Microcell - reseting everyday

No I am in Mid Michigan area (Lansing)

Message 89 of 131
ACE - Master

Re: 3G Microcell - reseting everyday

There is an apparent outage in the Texas, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania only affecting certain areas in those states. My guess is that it is an upstream switch somewhere so you may be part of the cascade effect. I would send a PM to CustomerCare (see link in my sig) detailing your problem, what you have done, and you complete account info (phone number, location, etc). The more complaints that come in the sooner the network engineers can figure out what's wrong, if it is in fact a switch, and get it fixed. The problems are the same: all lights are solid green, text messages work, but  incoming/outgoing calls fail.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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.
Message 90 of 131
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