Explore & discover

Helpful Links

3G microcell "network" light blinking red overnight

Tutor

3G microcell "network" light blinking red overnight

I have an older microcell, white model 151 (approximately 5 years old).

 

Every night for the last week or so the microcell as been going offline and when I get up in the morning the "network" light (with the 5 signal-strength bars) is slowly flashing red. The other lights (power, ethernet, and GPS) are still solid green.

 

After power cycling the microcell, all the lights return to normal (solid) and I can make & receive calls without a problem, until the next morning.

 

Is this a sign that the microcell is dying? Is there a problem with my local network configuration that's blocking the Microcell's communication? I did get a new router a few weeks ago, but I don't think the Microcell issues started right away after that. I checked the Microcell network guide and I believe my router is configured correctly (all ports are allowed, etc). When I power cycle the Microcell it seems to link to AT&T just fine.

 

I haven't been able to figure out if the Microcell is going off after X number of hours, or if it happens at the same time every night.

14,837 Views
Message 1 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: 3G microcell "network" light blinking red overnight

A red flashing 3G light is either indicative of a hardware failure or an update that was received and unit didn't reset itself properly and it "thinks" it's broken. Being as you have a new MicroCell it's more than likely the update process has been interrupted somehow. A brand new MicroCell will go thru the Initial Activation phase and update itself. I would either try to do a hard reset on the MicroCell to clear out the memory and registers or try to activate it directly to the router first, and then move it to the Airport Express. It could be that the AE connecton to the TimeCapsule is where it's starting to fail now. I know it worked before but you could've been on the minimal edge of connectivity (lag, interference, etc) and something has changed. If you can connect bypassing the AE, then that's probably your answer.

 

The most reliable connection for the MicroCell is a direct connection to the router/modem. Connecting to an AE and then to a router wirelessly can, and does, work for a lot of people but you are introducing a wireless component so anything can happen.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*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 16 of 20
ACE - Professor

Re: 3G microcell "network" light blinking red overnight

I would definitely try a temporary Ethernet cable connection between the Mcell and your modem to see if the AE is causing the problem.  I have a similiar setup using a range extender to wirelessly connect my Mcell to my router and it does lose its connection occasionally for some reason. 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*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 17 of 20
Contributor

Re: 3G microcell "network" light blinking red overnight

I tried the hard reset on my new microcell. Instead of the bars flashing red now they flash green. It seems to happen at midnight. Unplugging the unit and plugging it back in brings service back usually within 10 minutes. I also tried running a network cable from my Airport Extreme router directly to the microcell but it didn't change anything. I followed the directions again powering down the cable modem the Airport Extreme and the microcell and powered them back up in the recommended order but it didn't make any difference. Now I'm wondering whether this is an issue with AT&T or Comcast. Nothing has changed on my end.
Message 18 of 20
Contributor

Re: 3G microcell "network" light blinking red overnight

I had a microcell for 2 years just working fine. Then I re-organized my living room and suddenly the microcell stopped working. I had blinking red lights and blinking green lights. I tried pretty much everything that was suggested in this forum but nothing really helped. My last attempt was to re-locate the micro cell to see if it would have any impact. Although the cell was only a few inches away from a sliding glass door going to the outside (the location where it did not work), moving the cell 5 more inches towards to door made averything work properly again.

 

CONCLUSION: It appears that these microcells are be EXTREMELY sensitive to location! My suggestion for anybody having problems which do not get resolved by hard resets, etc. - move the microcell right in front of the window or sliding glass door and see if this solves the issue. For me it did 🙂

Message 19 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: 3G microcell "network" light blinking red overnight

It's not that they are "extremely" sensitive to location it's just that they have to have that clear view of the sky for GPS to work. And depending on your geographical location or what's around you, a few inches either way can affect GPS. For some, placing the MicroCell horizontal to the window instead of perpendicular can improve reception. I believe the instructions say nor more than 18" away from a window (at least they used to say that) so the unit can have that unobstructed view of the sky. I can move my MicroCell anywhere, and it any orientation along the length of my 60" desk which is up against the window and not affect reception at all. However, if I move the MicroCell, which is about 6" from the window to about 2' away from the window I have noted reception issues. The antennas (GPS, 3G) are located on the top of the main board which would be the top of the unit.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*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 20 of 20
Share this topic
Share this topic
Announcements
NEW - Take a look at our best value & price ever for unlimited wireless - AT&T Unlimited Starter and AT&T Unlimited Extra plans!

Additional Support