02-18-2013 8:49 AM
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.
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!
07-28-2013 3:10 PM
08-01-2013 4:53 PM
Mcell is still running without any problems.
Otto, I have one unrelated question. Have you noticed a greater audio delay when your cell phone is on the Mcell as opposed to when you're away and on a tower? It sure seems like it to me. When I'm having a conversation with another person using the Mcell, we talk over each other. It appears like there is a second delay after I start talking that the other person starts to then hear. This delay doesn't seem to occur when I'm on a tower. Have you experienced anything like this? Perhaps it's because of using the internet but I do see a difference.
08-01-2013 7:12 PM
Good to hear. No, I have not noticed any audio delay whether in my house on the MicroCell or out of range of the MicroCell. However, to be honest, most of our calls are on the landline so I may be a bit bias here. BTW, the document that I'm working on is close to being reviewed so hang tight. I want to run it by AT&T first, even though I still haven't heard anything from them, and then I'll pm you with it for critique.
08-02-2013 11:43 AM
I await with baited breath.......
Don't hold your breath too long because it may be a bit longer. I still haven't heard back from AT&T (no surprise) so what I may do is send them the draft (which I'll send to you) and give them an opportunity to review it (if they will) for accuracy and technical info (in case there is something they don't want out in the public domain). Afterwards, I'll post it with any corrections and/or additions. I'm almost done with v. 1.0
08-02-2013 12:51 PM
08-08-2013 12:07 PM
Could you tell me what "external antenna" means? Where do I buy one and what exactly do I call it when I walk into a store? Please excuse my ignorance, but I want to buy the right thing. Thanks
08-08-2013 12:36 PM
There is a small antenna input on the back of the MicroCell (I think it's even labeld antenna), not to be confused with the reset hole. You can purchase a variety of external antennas (that use the MCX connector) and plug one in. They are a very long, thin, cable with a flat end that you place on your window if you can't position the MicroCell next to a window with an unobstructed view of the sky. You can't buy them at an AT&T store so most people just Google MicroCell Antenna to find them.
08-09-2013 6:50 PM
funny i have the same exact problem... for months no resolve.. router set up exactly to AT&T's specs.. disconnects every night requiring a power cylce... 7 pages of this and AT&T microcell all the way up to its affiliation with IPacess.com.. behond the lines tier two tech support... refuses to even acknowledge this as a know issue.. seems most popular problem here.." 3 at&t like new" replacements... one worked for a week or so .. today i have a flashing 3g red light but full bars.. AT&T baffled... wont give me a new microcell.. but will pay up to 200 dollars for me to get a 3rd party... that makes sense right.. femtocell stystem is like brain surgery to these people.. most tell you that it only works with an existing signal.. thata a repeater or booster.. not how a femtocell even works.. ive heard every excuse to window. my ISP of course... the construction of my home... to replace my sim card.. hmm how does my sim card affect the function of the light on the microcell or anything other than the phone recognizing it.. and it does just fine when it works.. AT&T sucks..
08-09-2013 10:43 PM
I would suggest starting a new post with your issues so that it will be easier to address them and keep track of. We have no way of knowing how you have it setup, what your ISP details are, etc. If you bought the MicroCell new from AT&T, then you have a one year warranty and can get a warranty replacement if it is warranted. If you bought it second hand (from eBay as an example) then that's a different story. Contacting IPacess.com is a waste of time (I'm not even sure how involved they are, or were, with the MicroCell development). Even if they did contribute to the firmware, it's not their responsibility to troubleshoot the MicroCell.
Yes, the construction of your house can affect the MicroCell. A stucco house can act as a Faraday cage in some cases which can affect the signal from the MicroCell and/or the macrocell in the home.
A constant GPS signal is required at all times so the MicroCell needs to be within 18" of a window with an unobstructed view of the sky, or you may use an extension antenna if a window is not convenient as long as the antenna is attached to a window.
Your ISP can affect the proper functioning of the MicroCell if the speeds fluctuate, a port is blocked by the ISP (or an upstream switch is faulty), etc.
The above are some of the basic requirements for any femtocell currently sold in the U.S.
08-10-2013 5:27 PM
A couple of things regarding your FAQ.
First, under the section regarding Phone Not Connecting to Microcell, consider adding turning the cellphone off and back on again in addition to the other recommendations. This is especially important for phones that have just been added to the Approved Users phone number list and is stated in the User Guide.
Second, regarding Mcell connection problems, I've been thinking about the quality of the Internet connection that ISPs provide and how it can vary over time. As you may recall, I participate in the SamKnows internet quality monitoring program that was contracted by the FCC. As a result, Internet connection parameters such as download speed, upload speed, latency, packet loss, RTP jitter, and a host of others are monitored on an hourly basis by my router and I can access the data on their website.
I've seen wide variations in these variables especially packet loss, which for me has varied from virtually zero to over 5%. I had an especially bad period of packet loss over a year ago where it was consistently running 4-8% for days and was causing all sorts of problems for me. I called Charter and they came out and tested my line with their fancy equipment and verified the problem. They started testing at the pole and found some connectors full of water and replaced them but that didn't help. They kept working back on my node and eventually found an amplifier/repeater that was bad a few blocks away. They replaced that and my packet loss went back down to about zero again.
My point is that Internet packet loss is affected by a variety of things from ISP equipment malfunctions to periods of high usage. Since there are so many different ISPs out there and their infrastructures vary significantly in age and maintenance frequency, I can't help but think this could be a cause for some of the intermittent Mcell problems that so many are experiencing.
I am unfamiliar with femtocell communication protocols but I don't think it is much of a stretch to think that intermittent bouts of high packet loss could cause a Mcell to repeatedly drop it's connection to AT&T's Mcell Internet infrastructure and require the Mcell to be power cycled frequently.
I would recommend to people who are having issues with the Mcell and can't pin down the cause that they have their ISP test their Internet connection for problems like packet loss. Eliminating ISP problems that may surface during testing could help their Mcell issues. If the testing shows no problem, then troubleshooting efforts can be focused elsewhere.
08-10-2013 8:06 PM
thats was one of the fix answers i got.. wait.. i pay you to use my internet to get service on my phone... now you want me to put a bandaid on an already bandaided problem.. for a 200 dollars piece of equipment... Thanks
08-10-2013 8:10 PM
again you rarely get the same info twice... i asked today if AT&T does anything at night around these times EST. 2 to 4 am.. Answer: no sir... this is the only logical answer.. lets to the math.. everyone has the same issue not the same internet.. Doh... the fact all the symtoms are identical clearly piont to the equipment and provider