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!
03-15-2013 10:46 AM
So I'm back from vacation and the problem still exists. I'm seeing dropped connections occurring at other times besides at night so I definitely think we can rule out "nightly polling" as the cause of a dropped connection.
I just received another call from ATT Customer Care this morning and that person told me after discussing my problems with their technical gods, it is recognized by ATT that there is a dropped connection issue with the Mcells and it is independent of cell phone manufacturer. I was told that while there is no solution at this time, ATT is working with Cisco to come up with a firmware revision that will address this problem. No date was mentioned as to when (if ever) we will see it.
I said that's fine but I wanted to eliminate the possibility that I had a defective Mcell. I told her that when I first got the Mcell, I didn't have this problem. She agreed to send me another Mcell (reconditioned) free of charge by priority shipping. I will need to send the original Mcell back within 10 days. She will contact me after I've had a chance to see how the "new" Mcell is working.
If I had paid $200 for my Mcell, I would certainly be more upset than I am now but since they gave it to me for free, I'll just have to deal with it by power cycling the Mcell when I see that my iPhones have lost their Mcell connection. Considering the fact that when I do have a Mcell connection it provides good cell phone coverage in my home where I have marginal cell tower signal strength and dropped calls, it's better than nothing.
Despite my frustration with the Mcell, I have to say that at least ATT seems to care about my problem and is doing everything they can from their end to help me.
I'll report back after I've had a chance to evaluate the "new" Mcell and see if I still have the same problem.
03-15-2013 12:02 PM
Thank you for your update and no-nonsense reply. I'm glad to hear that support is working with you in so far as shipping you a refurbed MicroCell to test out. Cisco would not have been my first choice as a mfr but that's history now. There are a lot of MicroCells without your issues (mine for one, which is going coming up on 2.5 years of continuous service) so I'm not sure if a firmware update is the answer or not. It's more like a faulty component but what ever the case, at least support is working to resolve it.
03-16-2013 8:09 AM
03-16-2013 9:10 AM
I tried the tower signal strength game but it didn't matter in my case. I moved the Mcell to a spot that had the lowest number of signal bars on my iPhone (1-2) but could still get a GPS lock. I would be curious to know if adding an external GPS antenna resolves your problem but since I've always had a solid green GPS light, I doubt it would in my case.
My ISP is Charter and from my understanding, this problem is independent of ISPs.
03-16-2013 10:38 AM
To answer both of the above comments, it does seem that Comcast customer's have more issues than others but I think that's more of a numbers game than an actual problem with the ISP. External antennas do work very well if you have to move your MicroCell away from a window to a better position in your house. However, if the GPS light is solid green then you've got GPS lock, and unless the unit is defective and gives you a "false" reading, you're fine. You can try a network reset on your iPhone if you haven't done so already. That sometimes fixes the connecivity issue but you may lose some of your network settings so make sure you have them written down somewhere so you can quickly and easily put them back in.
03-17-2013 6:28 AM
03-17-2013 9:21 AM
Probable fix or not, it's worth a try, at least for the iPhone, but that's up to you. If the replacement unit doesn't work, then I'd pm CustomerCare (see the link in my sig), detail what's been happening, what you've done, what AT&T has done, along with your account info (phone number, etc) and see what they can do. They sometimes can get more information from the network engineers than phone support can so it's worth a shot if it's a network issue. Something is causing your MicroCell to lose connectivity and drop your phones, whehter it's the network or the MicroCell itself is hard to say.
03-17-2013 9:23 AM
My replacement Mcell will be delivered tomorrow. I will post the results after I get a few days of operation on it.
03-17-2013 1:04 PM
03-19-2013 12:59 PM
My replacement Mcell showed up yesterday. I unauthorized the original Mcell and authorized the replacement. I had a few problems with the authorization of the new Mcell. I placed it in the same location as the original Mcell but could not get a GPS lock there even though the original Mcell could. Perhaps this was causing a problem with maintaining a connection with my iPhones....don't know.
I moved it to another location in a southern facing window and was finally able to complete the authorization although I had to power cycle the Mcell once because it was hung up with a flashing 3G light after the GPS went solid green. After that, it started working.
It has been functioning without a lost connection for about a day now. I received another call today from Customer Care asking how things were going. I told her what had happened and she is going to contact me at the end of the week to see if my problem has been resolved. It was nice to see that AT&T was still following up on my problem.
Fingers crossed....I'll report back at the end of the week.
03-19-2013 2:18 PM
I'm wondering if the issues you had with the new one were just related to activation. IOW, maybe there's a time frame before your account is "cleared" from the MicorCell database so that you can add a different sn to the same physical street address. Or may it just took longer for this MicroCell to adjust its power output in realtionship to the tower. Too many variables to know for sure. I'm impressed that support called you so quickly and is going to call you back later on this week. Maybe CustomerCare and this ACE thing is starting to work.
03-23-2013 9:41 AM
So here it is day 6 since I replaced my original Mcell with the replacement sent to me by AT&T. The only dropout was due to a windstorm that went through here on Tuesday and caused a brief ISP outage in my area.
Has my problem been solved? It would appear so, at least for the short term as my original mcell worked for a few months before acting up as previously described in this thread.
Does this Cisco-built Mcell have inherent problems? Based on what I've read in this Mcell forum and my personal experience, I'd have to say yes. That being said, I certainly appreciate the help I received from AT&T's Customer Care people and from Otto Pylot, our ACE-in-the-hole on the Mcell forum. A Kudo for you!
I think it is worthwhile to note that while it is important to troubleshoot the Mcell by trying the suggestions brought up in this forum, do not beat you head against the wall if they don't work and realize there is a likely probability that you too might have a defective Mcell. Mine was, yet it displayed solid green indicator lights the whole time I was having connection problems. I insisted that AT&T replace my Mcell and they happily did so free of charge as mine was still under warranty.
Unless something comes up, I consider my case closed. Good luck to you all in resolving your Mcell problems.
03-23-2013 1:48 PM
- edited 04-01-2013 5:14 PM
Mine started doing this over the last few weeks. I just don't get the rock solid for several months then this. Nice to see others with the issue makes you feel a bit better about the possibility of a fix, but a bit annoying just the same. As OP mentioned ATT support offers no help other then replacing unit.
Mine is hard wired to a U-Verse modem/router which is less then 5' away. My U-Verse inet actually stopped working every few weeks after we got the service which tech support said was normal and I just had to deal with that. I finally complained enough they sent a tech out and replaced the modem/router which I haven't rebooted it in several months now. Device is in a window, always keeps full green status, works great after a reset for a short time.
A month or two after I got it the 3g signal would turn red, but it would still work fine. I read on here somewhere a reset/unplug etc routine which got it back to having all green and things were good for a few months until I started having this problem.
2 blackberry phones, both won't work when the microcell is "dead" although it shows fully online. One of them is a z10 other is a 2 year old torch.
This device is a primary reason i'm still with ATT as we have minimal coverage in our location, and when it's working the microcell is great.
04-01-2013 5:49 PM
I'm beginning to wonder if Cicso's newer MicroCell builds are using faulty or sub-standard chipsets because they seem to develop issues after less than a year of use. Out of curisoity, what is the hardware version number of your MicroCell? It's located on the sticker underneath the unit. My original unit was a hardware version 1.0 and it developed issues after 8 months. I got it replaced with a hardware version 2.0 and it's been troublefree for almost 3 years now.