Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

ACE - Professor

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. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*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 1 of 232 (14,807 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

My original Mcell was built in October, 2012.  I do not know the hardware version.  The replacement Mcell was built in March, 2012 (although refurbished) and is hardware version 2.0.  I've had no dropouts since I started using the replacement two weeks ago.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 46 of 232 (3,036 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Interesting. Well, let's see what happens over time.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 47 of 232 (3,021 Views)
Contributor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Mine says HW Version 3.2

Message 48 of 232 (2,962 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Thanks. So there are 2.0 and 3.2 in the "wild". That might be a good thing to keep track of.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 49 of 232 (2,918 Views)
Explorer

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Has anyone seen their connection issues spontaneously be resolved?

 

We've had problems with the microcell for quite some time. Every one or two days our phones would lose the microcell connection and we would need to reboot the microcell to get service. I've tried just about all the troubleshooting steps and configurations with no change. That is until a few days ago.

 

As of a few days ago we're staying connected to the microcell, with no changes on our end (was a firmware update pushed out? tower configuration changed?), but now our phones' batteries are draining at a very high rate. We can barely make it through half a day before the batteries are ready to die. (I've also posted a message in the thread about battery drain on microcells.)

 

The connection problem (which seems to be resolved) and the battery drain are not specific to a particular brand/model of phone. We've seen the issues with a mix of the following phones: Samsung Focus, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4s, HTC WP 8X, and Nokia Lumia 920.

Message 50 of 232 (2,806 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Unfortunately, there's no telling when AT&T pushes out an update. They are usually done in the middle of the night and if the MicroCell reboots successfully (solid green 3G light), you'll never know. It could be any number of things including local tower maintenance affecting the power output (transmision strength) which the MicoCell uses to adjust its output. The battery drain issue is another one of those issues that have multiple "fixes" if that's a good term.  iOS 6.x does seem to have battery issues and not just with the MicroCell but other phones, I don't know. Leaving WiFi on all of the time does help some because the phone will only use the MicroCell for calls leaving WiFi to handle the rest. That's what I do with my iPhone. Our old Samsung 3G only phone holds a charge for a long time but the iPhone 5 needs to be charged about every two days.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 51 of 232 (2,800 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Just thought I'd post an update of my status.  I've still had no reoccurrance of a dropped connection that requires a power cycling of my Mcell since I replaced it with another one provided by AT&T.  Today however, I was on my iPhone for about an hour and the call dropped.  I saw that the Mcell indicator on my iPhone was gone.   Went upstairs to check the Mcell and all lights were solid green.  I switched Airplane Mode on and off and the connection re-established itself.

 

So whatever happened was caused by something else other than what I previously experienced since switching Airplane Mode had no effect on re-establishing my connection with the old Mcell.

 

I've never had a accelerated battery drain issue as described above on any of my iPhones.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 52 of 232 (2,791 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Sounds like the MicroCell has issues similar to connecting to a tower. We just came back from a trip to Arizona and our phone worked fine, most of the time. But every now and then it would lose connection to a tower and get stuck in "Searching". It could be the same thing with the MicroCell. Interference, what ever, causes the MicroCell to start "Searching" and it just doesn't have the ability to correct itself without a reboot.

 

And yes, battery drain doesn't seem to be an issue with us as well. I'm beginning to wonder if it doesn't have something to do with how AT&T is allowed to adjust it's tower strength for various regions which would result in the MicroCell spending more time communicating between the phone and the MicroCell which would result in battery drain. Don't know. Just a thought.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 53 of 232 (2,779 Views)

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

   
  
I am still having problems with my microcell, after about a year..
 
It has all the 3g and GSM and all the green lights where they should be, it just my iphone 4 and 4s do not say "M-Cell" except for 4 hours (Max) at the time. And then it falls off, back down to one bar, and no "M-cell" indicator. I have tried, one other microcell, three different routers and am on my second cable modem (this time an ipv6- comcast) and still cannot get the "M-cell" and full set of bars to stay on my phone for an extended time... I am really dissapointed
 
Just chiming in, I appreciate all of your help on here
Alec
Message 54 of 232 (2,753 Views)
Community Support

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Message 55 of 232 (2,746 Views)
Highlighted
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones


alecthomas wrote:
   
   
I am still having problems with my microcell, after about a year..
 
It has all the 3g and GSM and all the green lights where they should be, it just my iphone 4 and 4s do not say "M-Cell" except for 4 hours (Max) at the time. And then it falls off, back down to one bar, and no "M-cell" indicator. I have tried, one other microcell, three different routers and am on my second cable modem (this time an ipv6- comcast) and still cannot get the "M-cell" and full set of bars to stay on my phone for an extended time... I am really dissapointed
 
Just chiming in, I appreciate all of your help on here
Alec

I see you contacted CustomerCare so that's a good thing. Are you running iOS 6.x on your iPhones? If so, you could try a Network Reset on your phone. That sometimes clears out any "gremlins" that may be in your OS so it can connect reliably, especially if all of the lights on the MicroCell are solid green. However, in doing so you may lose some settings so write down pw's, whatever, just in case.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 56 of 232 (2,742 Views)
Explorer

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones


Stephen570 wrote:
...

We've had problems with the microcell for quite some time. Every one or two days our phones would lose the microcell connection and we would need to reboot the microcell to get service. I've tried just about all the troubleshooting steps and configurations with no change. That is until a few days ago.

 

As of a few days ago we're staying connected to the microcell, with no changes on our end (was a firmware update pushed out? tower configuration changed?), but now our phones' batteries are draining at a very high rate. We can barely make it through half a day before the batteries are ready to die. (I've also posted a message in the thread about battery drain on microcells.)

...


Update: we're back to the microcell droppping. Sigh.

Message 57 of 232 (2,712 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

[ Edited ]

Stephen570 wrote:

Stephen570 wrote:
...

We've had problems with the microcell for quite some time. Every one or two days our phones would lose the microcell connection and we would need to reboot the microcell to get service. I've tried just about all the troubleshooting steps and configurations with no change. That is until a few days ago.

 

As of a few days ago we're staying connected to the microcell, with no changes on our end (was a firmware update pushed out? tower configuration changed?), but now our phones' batteries are draining at a very high rate. We can barely make it through half a day before the batteries are ready to die. (I've also posted a message in the thread about battery drain on microcells.)

...


Update: we're back to the microcell droppping. Sigh.


How do you have the MicroCell set up?

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 58 of 232 (2,705 Views)

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

[ Edited ]

Thanks Otto!

 

Yes I have reset just about everything on my iphone including network settings, and routers and modem.  I am running the most updated iOS version. I even got a new modem from Comcast that I am trying to see if it will help. But as of this morning, that did not help either.

 

I called AT&T and talked to the support folks, and they are stumped too. The ladies that I have multiple conversations are Kitty and Jamie. They are VERY Smiley Happy nice and accomodating, but they are not sure what the problem is either.

 

So Kitty has a third microcell on the way. I should get it this week.

 

----

 

But a question for the forum. Does altitude matter for the microcell placement? I have a functioning cable outlet near a cabiinet in the kitchen that I could easily run the wiring to the top of the cabinet, thus making it about 9 feet high and two feet from a window. Just curious, is there anything inherentley beneficial to putting th MC higher? Thanks much

Alec

Message 59 of 232 (2,671 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

That's an interesting question that hasn't come up before to my knowledge. My MicroCell is on the edge of a desk next to the window. The router is about 10' away and 4' up. I recently moved the router for the very reason you ask your question, for better coverage. That simple adjustment in height on my router significantly improved the transmission quality for WiFi to the furthest spot away in our house (which is my chair in the family room). I don't know how the signal is propagated with the MicroCell. WiFi is always best high up because the signal goes "out and down" but the MicroCell......? You might want to to an experiment and get back to us. My feeling is that it probably won't help but you never know.

 

So Alec, back to your question, do you have multiple devices on  your LAN and how do you have the MicroCell connected? You may want to consider port forwarding to a static IP. That's what I do and my connection has been rock solid for almost 3 years now even with turning the power off for network reconfiguration (moving the router, cleaning up the cable nest, etc).

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 60 of 232 (2,655 Views)
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