AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

Tutor

AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

I used the AirCard Watcher program to connect. I am using the PCMCIA/PCCard Sierra Wireless AirCard 860, but I know a person with different AirCard with another provider is having similar problem (I think the other person is using Verizon, and has AirCard 595).
Problem:
  After being connect with the AirCard for sometime (seems random, maybe several hours or days or so), the internet stops working. I cannot ping [ping nameofsites- Ping request could not find host nameofsites. Please check the name and try again], I cannot telnet to any external site, etc.
  The watcher program still reports connected with good signal (The other person experiencing similar problem said it will eventually report it as disconnect after some hours, then she has to manually press the connect button), but only the TX byte counter goes up (maybe this only indicates number of bytes send to the card, and not data actually send out successfully). 
  I have to manually press disconnect, and press connect, to get things working again. This is a big issue, because we are using this for automation on an unmanned computer. (I do not get the same problem, if am connected via wired-cable.)
 
Anyone else experienced this? What is causing this problem? What is the fix? Is there a program that will programmatically disconnect and reconnect, after it detects this condition?
 

Edit update: firmware information:

software: 4.4.2.3
ndis driver: r2_0_20_ac_gprs
firmware: u1_1_29acap
firmware build: 02/20/06
boot loader: u1_1_1acbt
hardware: 1.1
device: aircard 860



Message Edited by jmc0 on 02-25-2008 05:12:15 PM
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Message 1 of 20
Mentor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

I am currently using an 881 USB and not directly experiencing this.  Do you have the latest firmware loaded onto the 860?  I don't tend to leave mine connected for more than several hours at a time.
Message 2 of 20

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

Well, your watcher is very outdated, version wise.
 
Update here:
 
As to your problem of lost connection. I have had an 860 card since they were first brought out. This has been a constant problem. I just disconnect and re-connect, like you said. These cards are not meant for continuous connection and i beleive that is against the TOS.
 
I will say, that after each software update has occurred, loss of connection seems to be less of a problem, but still occurrs.
Hope this helps.
Message 3 of 20
Tutor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

In light of that information; here are some more questions, in addition to the questions from my original message.
 
1) Anyone know if the lost connection problem, also affect different models of PCCard/PCMCIA AirCard (e.g. 595, 881, 875, etc.)?
2) Is this a service provider issue or sierra wireless problem or both or neither?
3) Any semi-offical statement/forum-message from any of the teleco or sierra wireless, etc. acknowledging the problem (or are they [ISP provider/Sierra Wireless] even aware of the problem)?
 
Thank you for the assistances.


Message Edited by jmc0 on 02-25-2008 05:09:40 PM
Message 4 of 20
Mentor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

Yes I have an 860 card and it worked good for about a year, about the second week of Jannuary it started doing the same as you describe,random and very frustrating . updated firmware installed new sierra watcher and still same. figured my card must be bad so bought new 875 and still the same doo. that was running XP pro with service pack 2 . next bought external anntena 11db and it sure speed up the connection but allso speed up how offten it froze. I am in rural area using edge but usualy have 4 to 5 bars 70db and about 3 miles from tower. Next step built new pc running vista ultimate and its the same. I allso use it in my laptop with media center adition and it does the same thing.  I have allso set up windows with regular dialup connection with the card and it does the same thing. The funney thing about this is a couple weeks ago I downloaded an ISO image of freespire linux with bit torrent program and it stayed connected as long as I was downloading as soon as I stopped downloading it would freeze up.
 What is realy strange is I loaded freespire on a PC installed the pcmcia adapter card loaded the driver for the 875 card and connected fine left it connected for hours and it wouldnt freeze up.
 Tom
Message 5 of 20

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

Too elaborate further. It  seems to be a network problem. I travel all across the US. The disconnects don't seem to have any correlation to signal strength. They can happen with 5 bars as well as 2 bars.
I have noticed they occur less often with a 3G signal.  Not knowing how far i am from any particular tower, i can't say it might be  distance  related. As, i only have a Sierra wireless 860 and a Sony Ericcson GC83, i can't say if the other cards do any better. However, they both have the loss of connection problem, so that is why i think it is a network problem.
I also think it is an EDGE network problem.
Message 6 of 20
Master

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.


tazmannusa wrote:
Yes I have an 860 card and it worked good for about a year, about the second week of Jannuary it started doing the same as you describe,random and very frustrating . updated firmware installed new sierra watcher and still same. figured my card must be bad so bought new 875 and still the same doo. that was running XP pro with service pack 2 . next bought external anntena 11db and it sure speed up the connection but allso speed up how offten it froze. I am in rural area using edge but usualy have 4 to 5 bars 70db and about 3 miles from tower. Next step built new pc running vista ultimate and its the same. I allso use it in my laptop with media center adition and it does the same thing.  I have allso set up windows with regular dialup connection with the card and it does the same thing. The funney thing about this is a couple weeks ago I downloaded an ISO image of freespire linux with bit torrent program and it stayed connected as long as I was downloading as soon as I stopped downloading it would freeze up.
 What is realy strange is I loaded freespire on a PC installed the pcmcia adapter card loaded the driver for the 875 card and connected fine left it connected for hours and it wouldnt freeze up.
 Tom

So, you installed Linux and the connection worked flawlessly for hours, is that correct?  Then you returned to Winblows and the issue returned, is that correct?  Anyone else here see the pattern?
Message 7 of 20
Tutor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.



tazmannusa wrote:
Yes I have an 860 card and it worked good for about a year, about the second week of Jannuary it started doing the same as you describe,random and very frustrating . updated firmware installed new sierra watcher and still same. figured my card must be bad so bought new 875 and still the same doo. that was running XP pro with service pack 2 . next bought external anntena 11db and it sure speed up the connection but allso speed up how offten it froze. I am in rural area using edge but usualy have 4 to 5 bars 70db and about 3 miles from tower. Next step built new pc running vista ultimate and its the same. I allso use it in my laptop with media center adition and it does the same thing.  I have allso set up windows with regular dialup connection with the card and it does the same thing. The funney thing about this is a couple weeks ago I downloaded an ISO image of freespire linux with bit torrent program and it stayed connected as long as I was downloading as soon as I stopped downloading it would freeze up.
 What is realy strange is I loaded freespire on a PC installed the pcmcia adapter card loaded the driver for the 875 card and connected fine left it connected for hours and it wouldnt freeze up.
 Tom


Thanks for the comment. Just to clarify, when you said freeze up; you mean internet access is frozen (ie. you can not access to the internet [for whatever the reason]), and you have to push the disconnect/connect button for it to re-connect to get back in a working state?
Message 8 of 20
Mentor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

Jmc0
  Yes I have to hit disconnect and reconnect to get it working, sometimes it takes 4 or 5 minutes to disconnect.
 Here is another one, yesterday I had to do a complete restore because of a hardware problem, up and running in about 8 minutes with clean system with drivers only no network or ICS setup and the 875 card worked great 4 or 5 hours last night and a few hours thismorning. I think I will run it a couple days like this and see if it keeps working good.
 One thing I will say about Vista and the 875 card is vista dont like it, vista wiil not boot if card is in. wait till system is booted then push it in and you hear 3 bonks then all is fine
  Wanted to mention I called tek support on it a while back when still running XP and we found that the modem had been doubled up in device manager so we deleted all them all, rebooted put the card in and the system reinstalled the drivers and it helped but didnt clear it up 100%
  Tom
Message 9 of 20
Mentor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

I just got off phone with at&t tec support and they were very helpfull and polite. same problem happend this afternoon. We went through a lot of trouble shooting steps and it passed, so the next step was in the windows firewall, we added connection manager to the allowed programs. from what the gall said a lot of times the firewall is fighting the connection manager and causes this problem. Time will tell but it does seem a bit faster on the net now. It does make sence and hopfully will cure it
Tom
Message 10 of 20
Guru

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.


tazmannusa wrote:

Yes I have to hit disconnect and reconnect to get it working, sometimes it takes 4 or 5 minutes to disconnect.




If you use the Sierra Wireless 3G Watcher program, you can use the menu choice to Power off the Wireless Radio. This disconnects your wireless connection much faster than using the Disconnect button. If you are not using a Sierra Wireless card, then I don't know if there are alternatives or not.
Message 11 of 20
Mentor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

Deebat
 Thats kinda the same effect as just pulling card out while its still connected to the net and I dont think thats to good on them
 Tom
Message 12 of 20
Guru

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.


tazmannusa wrote:
Deebat
 Thats kinda the same effect as just pulling card out while its still connected to the net and I dont think thats to good on them
 Tom





I completely disagree. Just power the radio off, then when it is off, power it back on. I do this anytime I get a stalled connection. This is much better than removing the card. I do not need to use Safely Remove Hardware, and I do not subject the pins in the cardslot to undue stress from many removals and insertions.

EDIT: Besides, I don't think Sierra Wireless would put this feature in their Connection software if it was harmful to the AirCard. I believe the Disconnect button is for at&t's benefit. It lets the network know that you are no longer on it. The problem is that the Disconnect button timeout is set way too long.

Message Edited by DeeBat on 02-27-2008 07:32:07 PM
Message 13 of 20
Tutor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.



DeeBat wrote:

I completely disagree. Just power the radio off, then when it is off, power it back on. I do this anytime I get a stalled connection. This is much better than removing the card. I do not need to use Safely Remove Hardware, and I do not subject the pins in the cardslot to undue stress from many removals and insertions.

EDIT: Besides, I don't think Sierra Wireless would put this feature in their Connection software if it was harmful to the AirCard. I believe the Disconnect button is for at&t's benefit. It lets the network know that you are no longer on it. The problem is that the Disconnect button timeout is set way too long.


The real problem is, we users, have to live with this faulty 'stall' condition. They promote this to business user, but this problem is especially affecting the automation work on unmanned computer used in business solution. At the very least, someone (service provider/sierra wireless) should have a statement/message to explain this problem.
 
Is there any other 3rd party software to automatically reconnect (disconnect/connect or power-off/power-on) when this condition happens (especially if it is a command line tools)? Or some other way via settings, registry, or programmatically to cause the watcher connection program to reconnect when this condtion is detected.
 
Thanks
Message 14 of 20
Contributor

Re: AirCard internet connection stops working after being connected for some random length of time.

I have an 881U Sierra Wireless Aircard. I concur with the advice about downloading the 3G watcher (3G_Watcher_generic.msi) from Sierra Wireless on the posted site (http://www.sierrawireless.com/support/support_and_downloads.aspx?id=4,3,1,1). I was having random disconnects and difficulties signing on with ATT Communications Manager. Then I downloaded 3G Watcher and use that to get onto the internet, now I dont have any problems. Also to maintain continuous connectivity while I'm away for the computer for a long period of time, I changed my setings for the display going off and when mine computer goes to sleep to Never. Whenever the screen saver comes on and/or the computer goes into the power down mode, it will disconnect the internet and aircard connectivity. Aloha.
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