U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

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U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

Our household recently opted for AT&T's U-verse triple bundle, replacing a previous one from Cox. In that prior setup, we had a Cat 5 cable ported out of the gateway to the Microcell, which was situated in a room with a window sill. One of the gateway's other available ports was connected directly to a Windows 7 desktop computer.

 

The install tech convinced us that the U-verse central hub box/gateway (sorry, but I don't recall the correct terminology for the device) should be relocated to the main living room instead of where it was in that room with the PC and window sill.

 

The install tech was most helpful, friendly and accomodating to the point of installing a dual-ethernet port box in my room so I could hook up my Roku 3 directly to it.

 

All TVs and wireless devices in the house currently work fine, no problems there, but I'm at a loss as to how to successfully re-connect the now-idle Microcell without having to run Cat5 up and down walls and ceilings from the living room and into the other room with the window sill.

 

Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcome.

 

P.S. there is no window in the living rom. 

Message 1 of 12 (4,091 Views)
ACE - Professor
Solution
Accepted by topic author quartermaester
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

If you're unable to live with Ethernet cable strung through your house and are set on the locations of both your gateway in the living room and the Mcell being in its original room then there are three options.  This is assuming you've tried to activate your Mcell by locating it next to the gateway and it won't get a GPS signal there.

 

1.  You can get an external GPS antenna to plug into the Mcell and place the receiving end of the antenna in a place where the Mcell can pick up its necessary GPS signal.  Instead of a bigger Ethernet cable you'll still have a antenna cable but it is smaller in diameter.  Not a great solution but the cheapest.

 

2.  You can buy a pair of Powerline adapters.  These conduct data via your home's AC wiring system.  You plug one Powerline adapter into an AC outlet next to your gateway and connect it to your gateway via an Ethernet cable.  You plug the other Powerline adapter into AC outlet in the room where your Mcell is located.  Connect the Mcell to the Powerline adapter via an Ethernet cable.  This will work in most cases but data transmission over AC lines can easily be disrupted by a variety of interferences and cause the Mcell to lose connection (flashing 3G light). 

 

3.  You can purchase a network repeater (or range extender).  Locate the repeater in the room with the Mcell and connect the Mcell to the repeater via Ethernet cable.  Set up the repeater to wirelessly connect to your gateway.  This is probably the best but most expensive solution to your situation.

___________________________________________________________

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 2 of 12 (4,075 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

[ Edited ]

U-verse techs haven't a clue as to how the MicroCell works and it's requirements. You need two things: a direct ethernet connection to the router/modem/gateway and a window for GPS lock.

 

If you have an older-style MicroCell (the white ones) there is a small external antenna connector on the back of the unit near the top. You can purchase an external antenna (connector type is listed in the Tech Guide) and extend the antenna up to about 50' to the nearest window. It's basically a very thin cable with a flat end that attaches to, or near a window.

 

The ethernet connection will be more difficult. There are various options (extenders, etc) that may work but I'll wait till Avedis53 jumps in here because he has more experience with those than I do.

 

Once you re-establish the MicroCell setup there may be some more configuration you'll have to do to get it to work with U-verse but we'll worry about that after you setup the MicroCell. In the meantime, post the exact model of your gateway.

 

Aha! I see Avedis53 beat me to the post. Cool.

___________________________________________________________

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 3 of 12 (4,073 Views)

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

Presumably, the suggestion by the tech for the location of the U-verse gateway to the living room was to better facilitate WiFi connectivity to two slightly more distant rooms where before, with Cox' gateway in that room with the window and Microcell, there was a noticeable loss of wireless signal. The total install was involved, lasting literally all day, which wound up including a gigabit switch for the living room. The Microcell here is model DPH (or DFH) 151-AT, with 3/11 manufacture date and HW version of 2.0 I noticed a tiny plug at the end of the wire while doing some quick online research for the antenna. Besides the power jack and ethernet ports on the back I hadn't ever noticed that teeny connection. So far it looks like that's the most logical choice, since I do not wish to run CAT5 into that other room. That, and according to their user manual, the pair of powerline adapters I'd previously bought for the Roku in my room require a dedicated wall receptacle (the back behind the living room TV with all the other AT&T devices would not be possible without a tap/extension line). My past experience with the Microcell, when it was properly connected and back when I was on AT&T, was less than satisfying. Dropped calls and poor call quality were commonplace, many times within 15 feet on the other side of the glass from the Microcell! But since my sister and brother-in-law still have AT&T as their carrier I'll spring for the antenna. I do appreciate the suggestions, Avedis53. Thanks a bunch!
Message 4 of 12 (4,037 Views)

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

The GPS antenna is to *replace* and not be used in *addition* to CAT5 cable, on the Microcell, yes?
Message 5 of 12 (4,033 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

No. The CAT-5 cable would be used for your ethernet connection. It will not replace the antenna. The external antenna is used to extend your antenna connection for GPS sync only. You still need to connect your MicroCell via ethernet to your router/gateway via the yellow ethernet connection on the back of the MicroCell.

 

PowerLine Adapters, as suggested by Avedis53, is one way but there are caveats to that.

___________________________________________________________

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 6 of 12 (4,029 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

No.  The external GPS antenna cable plugs into the MCX socket on the back of the Mcell.  You locate the receiving head someplace where it can receive a GPS signal, preferably near a window.  I've seen these external antennas come with up to 100 feet of cable.  Looking at them again, the cable diameter isn't much smaller than Ethernet cable.

 

You will still need to locate your Mcell close to your gateway and connect the Mcell to one of the ports on the back of the gateway with an Ethernet cable.

___________________________________________________________

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 7 of 12 (4,021 Views)

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

Understood that the GPS antenna is to work in conjunction with the Microcell being connected via ethernet cable to the gateway. Easier said than done, in my household's case. The room with the gateway has no windows. A door with glass panes, facing east, provides the only natural light. In addition, there's a roof overhang directly atop the other side of that door. As mentioned, the install tech spent many hours. Working from the attic on down he wired each of the five rooms where U-verse-attached TVs were with wall-mounted ethernet ports. He wired the room where the previous Cox gateway had been with a dual ethernet port, but those two are now fed out to the desktop pc and a fax/printer (we have dedicated fax line). I understand that the preferred install would have the Microcell connected directly into the U-verse gateway, but might it also be possible to somehow tap into the dual ethernet box in the room where the fax and pc is?
Message 8 of 12 (3,933 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

You could buy an Ethernet switch for the room with the fax and PC dual Ethernet box.  Connect the Ethernet switch to one of the existing Ethernet box ports and connect the PC and fax to it.  Connect the Mcell to the other Ethernet box port.  Switches are fairly inexpensive.  You can get a  5 port Gigabit switch for less than $20.  You'll want a Ethernet switch instead of an Ethernet hub.

___________________________________________________________

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 9 of 12 (3,907 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

[ Edited ]

If you can dedicate one of the ethernet ports to the MicroCell that may work. But you can't (shouldn't) be switching back and forth because the MicroCell needs to be in constant communication with the AT&T servers with nothing else (preferred) on that single line back to the Gateway (especially a dedicated fax line). AT&T performs maintenance on the system every now and then, usually in the middle of the night. Part of that maintenance is checking the location of the MIcroCell and sending any updates if there are any. If the system can't detect your MicroCell or verify its location, you'll wake up to a blinking green 3G light. I've gotten up in the middle of the night before and seen my 3G light blinking green, which means that the connection has been temporarily broken due to the maintenance being performed. The following morning, the light was a solid green and all the phones indicated M-Cell.

___________________________________________________________

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 10 of 12 (3,905 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

These posts use to show how many minutes ago someone posted.  What happened to that?

___________________________________________________________

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 11 of 12 (3,890 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: U-verse installed, now unable to use Microcell

It's another problem that is being worked on, hopefully.

___________________________________________________________

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 12 of 12 (3,828 Views)
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