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    Posted Jun 21, 2010
    12:07:33 PM
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    Two Microcells - one house.....

    A brief summary of my situation.... we have an ordinary single story wood construction house.  2000 sq ft.   Macro coverage at our address has improved over the last couple of years but it's still marginal.  NIMBY and hilly terrain will never let us have solid coverage from any carrier's macro network.  I had hoped that the Microcell was the solution that would allow us to make and receive calls on our at&t phones without the calls dropping all the time.

     

    I got a Microcell the day they became available in our area with hopes it would solve my problem.  It didn't.  No matter where I located the Microcell in the house, including the basement and the attic, being in other parts of the house would result in a hand off to a macro cell and an eventual dropped call.  Soooooo....

     

    I just picked up and installed a second Microcell.   Activation and installation went just like the first one.  Each took about 30 minutes.   I've only run a few test calls so far but what I've found is pretty much what I expected.  Coverage seems to be very solid in close proximity to either Microcell but walking from one end of the house to the other during a call, leaving proximity to one Micro and getting closer to the other, causes the call to just drop.

     

    One good thing is that when not on a call, or when a call drops because I moved, the connection to the then closer Microcell seems to be immediate, unlike when switching back to Micro from macro after a dropped call.

     

    My plan is to try this arrangement for a week or 3.  It if works...good.  If not, I'll be taking the second unit back for a refund before the 30 day window expires.

    Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jun 21, 2010 7:21:27 PM
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    MicroCells can only handoff to the Macro network.  There is no handin from Macro to MicroCell.  There is also no handoff between adjacent MicroCells.

     

    So what you're experiencing when walking out of coverage of one of the MicroCells, is a handoff to the Macro network.  Once you're on the macro network, there the call will remain until it is terminated.

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jun 22, 2010 5:42:59 AM
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    d00mz wrote:

    MicroCells can only handoff to the Macro network.  There is no handin from Macro to MicroCell.  There is also no handoff between adjacent MicroCells.

     


    Yes, I know that.  (And it will be a HUGE improvement if at&t ever updates the system allowing handoff from macro cell back to Microcell.)

     


    d00mz wrote:

    So what you're experiencing when walking out of coverage of one of the MicroCells, is a handoff to the Macro network.  Once you're on the macro network, there the call will remain until it is terminated.


    I'm not sure what I'm experiencing in the middle of the two Microcells is a handoff to the macro network.  The reason I say that is because at least some of the time when a call hands off to the macro network the call continues.  Then, when the call ends my handset's alpha tag  reads at&t instead of Microcell for 30 seconds or a minute before it returns to Microcell.  

     

    When I move between the two Microcells the call always drops, it never continues on a macro cell.  At least so far.  (I'm only in the second day of my trial.)  And when the call drops the alpha tag is still reading Microcell.

     

    Bottom line seems to me that we now have two areas of solid coverage in the house but you can't move from one to the other during a call.   But the purpose of my original post was really to let anyone who might be interested know that yes, you can have two Microcells active on one account and at one address.  I'd seen speculation about it before but never read where anyone had actually tried it.

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jun 22, 2010 11:15:15 AM
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    jefe wrote:

    d00mz wrote:

    So what you're experiencing when walking out of coverage of one of the MicroCells, is a handoff to the Macro network.  Once you're on the macro network, there the call will remain until it is terminated.


    I'm not sure what I'm experiencing in the middle of the two Microcells is a handoff to the macro network.  The reason I say that is because at least some of the time when a call hands off to the macro network the call continues.  Then, when the call ends my handset's alpha tag  reads at&t instead of Microcell for 30 seconds or a minute before it returns to Microcell.  

     


    Actually, that makes sense.  Right as the call ends, after your handoff from Micro to Macro, you are on the Macro network.  Once the call was completed, the MicroCell signal was stronger than the macro, so your phone hopped back onto the MicroCell.

     

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jun 22, 2010 11:32:41 AM
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    Yep...I agree that it makes sense.  The only thing that puzzles me a little is the part where whenever I'm on a call and walk from one Microcell area to the other, the call ALWAYS drops.  You'd think that if it handed off to a macro cell it would continue on the macro cell, at least for a short while, wouldn't you?  I mean...the whole reason I'm trying two Microcells in the first place is no matter where I'd locate the first one, parts of the house would result in a hand-off to a macro cell.  Most of the times when that happened the call would continue, at least for a while.

     

    Also, as I mentioned before, when I do successfully hand off from Micro to macro...say during I walk out of range in to the back yard and then back in to the house, when the call ends the alpha tag reverts to at&t, vs. Microcell, and stays that way for a finite period of time.  It's somewhere around 30 seconds to a minute before Microcell appears again.   But if I walk from one Microcell area to the other and the call drops, Microcell never disappears from the alpha tag.

     

    Thus my suspicion is that in that situation I'm not really hanging off to a macro cell at all.  Unfortunately, I'm just guessing and I don't know of any way to prove if my guess is right or wrong.

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jun 22, 2010 2:19:59 PM
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    While and appreciate and sympathize with the problems you are having... I haven't even got past step one... How did you set-up a second Microcell? I just purchase a second one and it's less than straight forward on how to set it up? Did you register it under another AT&T wireless account of the same as the first?

     

    Any help or explanation would be appreciated.

     

    Thank You.

     

    ROD

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jun 22, 2010 2:33:55 PM
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    Rod....

     

    I set up my second Microcell exactly the same way I did my first.  Same cellular account; same cell number; same address.

     

    The quick start sheet that came with in the box seemed pretty straight forward to me.  First thing you have to do is log on to your at&t wireless account.  There's link in the upper right hand corner "Manage at&t 3G Microcell."  Go there to start the process.  You have to get an acknowledgment that your Microcell has been activated before proceeding.

     

    If you've already activated Microcell #1, there's a link on that page to Add a New 3G MicroCell device.  Click there and enter your s/n.  After that....just follow the steps on the quick start page that came in the package.

     

    Does that help any?

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jul 21, 2010 6:52:59 PM
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    Edited by TomBeckman on Jul 21, 2010 at 6:53:44 PM

    I have 17 AT&T 3G cell phone users in one building, so I'll need two Microcells to cover all of them.

     

    The way the building is structured, the Microcells with both be in a centrally-located room with a window, so their signals will overlap a lot.

     

    Is this arrangement possible, or will the Microcells interfere with each other and users' ability to make calls?

     

    It sure would be nice if we could register more than ten users per Microcell.

     

    Thanks.

     

    Tom

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jul 21, 2010 9:22:33 PM
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    Edited by jefe on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:24:20 PM

    I haven't heard anyone who's using that exact configuration.  My two Microcells are separated by ~50 but their signals no doubt overlap and that doesn't seem to cause any problems.

    My guess is what you want to do will work but you won't know until you give it a try.  You always have 30 days to return the MicroCells if they don't do what you need them to do.

    Keep in mind, BTW, that the MicroCell only allows 4 calls currently.  If you think you'll have more than 4 users needing to make calls at the same time you may actually need more than 2 units.  I have no clue if more than two at the same address will work.

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jul 21, 2010 11:22:44 PM
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    Thanks for the response. Once I try out the configuration next week, I'll post a report.

     

    Tom

    Re: Two Microcells - one house.....

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    Jan 22, 2012 9:42:55 AM
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    How did you get the data line to mc #2? Long cat 5 run? Thx

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