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Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

Tutor

Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

Hi Otto Pylot et al,

 

 

[quote]

The MicroCell is a totally closed system so there is no access to modify or change
settings like you can with a router. Only AT&T can modify the system and does so on
occasion with updates automatically pushed to the unit (usually in the middle of the
night). There are no announcements of what the updates are for or when they will
be pushed out.[/quote]

 

[quote]

AT&T performs maintenance on their network usually on a nightly basis during the
hours of minimal usage, usually very late at night or early in the morning..[/quote]

 

So this is the problem. My GF and I (who live around Burlingame by the way!) have the microcell.  We are both in the medical field that requires us to be on call during the night.

 

The microcell works great until sometime between 12  and 5 ish, the microcell goes down the same way you described, pretty much every day during the night at random times. Takes about 15-20 min (?) to come back up.  The 3G light starts blinking green and then reconnects.

 

Here is the problem: when the microcell disconnects, both my GF's iPhone 5s and my iPhone 5 (along with iPhone 4S, 4 etc) do not reconnect to the microcell. We have 115-120db signal (essentially no signal, as you know) and that's what the phone persistently connects to.  I have to do airplane mode for 15-20 seconds or reset my phone to get it to reconnect.



I recently installed a Wilson DB Pro w/ a YAGI (directional) antenna with about 69-85 db coverage.  This seems to help a lot.  When the microcell goes down, the phones connect to the Wilson DB pro's signal.  We are now using both the microcell as our main cell signal and the Wilson DB Pro as backup signal (mostly for during the night). 

 


Do you know why this could be happening?  I have tried literally all the suggestions, including priority mode, all router settings (running latest TomatoUSB on Asus (RT-N16), Microcell next to window.

 

Why don't our phones reconnect to the microcell appropriately (without the Wildon DB antenna)? Why do they persistently hold the 115-120 db signal?   

 

Please help!

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Message 1 of 20
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

Wow. That's a new one. AT&T does do maintenance on the network at night but not every single night. The same is true for updates. Did this just start or has it been going on for as long as you've had the MicroCell? Did you buy the MicroCell new?

 

Everytime the MicroCell restarts, it goes thru the Initial Activation process. Part of which is adjusting transmission strength in realtionship to the nearby towers. Why your phones don't reconnect (we have the same phones in our house with no issues) once the MicroCell comes back up is odd. When the MicroCell goes down it sounds like your phones are looking for a signal to connect to and if they find one, they lock onto that until the MicroCell comes back up and then are unable to reconnect unless  you manually switch modes on the phones (toggle Airplane mode). The fact that the MicroCell is going off-line EVERY night is troublesome. It could be an ISP issue as well. Whose your ISP?

 

Have you tried a hard reset on the MicroCell or a Reset Network Settings on the iPhone? Have you upgraded to 7.1 on the iPhone? I did and haven't seen any issues.

 

It's also interesting that the Wilson DB Pro allows you to connect to the MicroCell. I'll have to look into that.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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 20
Tutor

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

>>>>Did you buy the MicroCell new?

Yes, and the microcell was replaced by AT&T as well for troubleshooting purposes.

>>>>Wow. That's a new one. AT&T does do maintenance on the network at night but not every single night. The same is true for updates. Did this just start or has it been going on for as long as you've had the MicroCell?

rofl what? I thought this was every night for everyone. It happens pretty much every night since we've had the microcell (1 year+). It's hard to tell because I have to stay up and watch my phone. Is there any way to track this other than taking a video camera and recording for 5-6 hours?

>>>It could be an ISP issue as well. Whose your ISP?

Astound (Wave Broadband) The best!. I ran ping -t all night, in addition to specialized software that measures packet loss and lost pings. They reported no problems during the times the microcell went down. Internet access was maintained (Asus RT-N16)

>>>Have you tried a hard reset on the MicroCell or a Reset Network Settings on the iPhone? Have you upgraded to 7.1 on the iPhone? I did and haven't seen any issues.

Hard Reset Microcell - yes
Reset Network Settings - yes
I have not updated to 7.1 yet due to jailbreak [using an app called Signal, which tracks signal strength and location of tower), but I will do my girlfriend's phone and see. I am very skeptical it will make any difference, though. I am running 7.0.6.

[quote]It's also interesting that the Wilson DB Pro allows you to connect to the MicroCell. I'll have to look into that.[/quote]

When the microcell goes down (either during the night or artificially [me disconnecting the power purposely]) the iPhones connect to the Wilson DB Pro's signal. I haven't done enough testing yet, but it looks like most of the time the phone does reconnect to the microcell eventually. I am assuming it's because the microcell has a more powerful signal than the Wilson DB Pro?


Otto, this is a real pain to troubleshoot because the problem happens at the microcell, where I do not have any [digital] access.
I have tried initiating DMZ mode on my router due to hacking concerns (http://tinyurl.com/kvhs4k4)


At any rate, I don't know if this will ever get fixed, but the fact that someone as experienced as you says that's an issue that you've never heard of befuddles me even more Smiley Sad

Message 3 of 20
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

I have a house full of iPhones and a very old Samsung. They are all connected every morning when we get up and are just fine for making and receiving calls. I've never woken up to a blinking green 3G light so either we don't get disconnected at night becuase there is no nightly maintenance in our service area or if there is, our phones don't have any issues reconnecting.

 

You can have a solid internet connection (no appreciable issues) and still lose VoIP to the AT&T servers.

 

Jailbroke phones can have issues becuase you've modified the OS (maybe  slightly changing the IMEI number) and with the way cellular connections are made and maintained, there's just no telling how that will affect connecting to the MicoCell. However, if othere non-jailbroke phones have the same issues at the same time, it's probably not due to the jailbreaking but it's something to keep in mind.

 

Running VoIP tests by yourself is a good test but keep in mind those are usually just snapshots at a point in time. Your ISP should be running them over a period of days to see if there is any pattern.

 

Wave Broadband offers their own phone service (I use Sonic btw who is THE best Smiley Wink) so it's possible that they could be doing something to hinder another competitors service from using their network. Upload speeds and outages seem to be the most common complaint with Wave.

 

The phones will connect to the Wilson is that is the predominant signal and it would be if the MicroCell was offline for whatever reason. The fact that the phones can't reconnect to the MicroCell and not use the Wilson as a "bridge" is probably a signal saturation issue.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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 4 of 20
Tutor

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

>Jailbroke phones can have issues becuase you've modified the OS (maybe slightly changing the IMEI number) and with the way cellular connections are made and maintained, there's just no telling how that will affect connecting to the MicoCell. However, if othere non-jailbroke phones have the same issues at the same time, it's probably not due to the jailbreaking but it's something to keep in mind.

Happens with non-jailbroken or jailbroken

> I've never woken up to a blinking green 3G light so either we don't get disconnected at night becuase there is no nightly maintenance in our service area or if there is, our phones don't have any issues reconnecting.

The light will come back on within 20 minutes, so you have to actually be up during the night to see it.


>Wave Broadband offers their own phone service (I use Sonic btw who is THE best Smiley Wink) so it's possible that they could be doing something to hinder another competitors service from using their network. Upload speeds and outages seem to be the most common complaint with Wave.

I actually looked at Sonic.NET as my first option. I am too far away from central hub and would barely get broadband speeds for $40 a mo (not even close to 20). With Astound I get 100Mbits (yes, 100Mbits) for $45 a month. No joke. I don't even have cable or telephone to get a package deal. No contract either. I get someone English speaking (like Sonic.NET) almost immediately.

>Upload speeds and outages seem to be the most common complaint with Wave.

Upload speeds are 5mbits consistently here. We rarely have outages, especially not during the night (which I use the Internet the most).

>The phones will connect to the Wilson is that is the predominant signal and it would be if the MicroCell was offline for whatever reason. The fact that the phones can't reconnect to the MicroCell and not use the Wilson as a "bridge" is probably a signal saturation issue.

I don't know what signal saturation indicates.

I am really, really hoping the Wilson DB Pro as a bridge for the nighttime helps us out. We need reliable, consistent cell phone service during the night for our jobs
Message 5 of 20
Highlighted
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

How many devices do you have using the internet at night when you are mostly on? Maybe it's a priority assignment issue by the router and if the MicroCell is low on the list, traffic is just not routed to it and it loses connection because of port assignment. The MicroCell needs those four ports open and accessbile all of the time, as well as IPSec Passthougth enabled, block Fragmented Packets disabled, and the MTU at least 1492. Can you assing a static IP address to the MicorCell?

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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 20
Tutor

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

>>> How many devices do you have using the internet at night when you are mostly on?

All the ports are taken now
1. Mac Mini #1 (Main computer, windows 8.1)
2. Mac Mini #2 (Mac, rarely on)
3. Microcell
4. Apple TV in bedroom

> Maybe it's a priority assignment issue by the router and if the MicroCell is low on the list, traffic is just not routed to it and it loses connection because of port assignment.

Would I have to enable QoS in order for this to work?

>> The MicroCell needs those four ports open and accessbile all of the time

???

> as well as IPSec Passthougth enabled
I use Tomato USB. Where exactly is this setting. I could not find it and I looked everywhere.

>> block Fragmented Packets disabled
I couuld not find this setting either.

> MTU at least 1492
This was done long time ago in accordance with your guide.

> Can you assing a static IP address to the MicorCell?
First thing I do for all network devices ^_^
Message 7 of 20
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

I can't help you with your router settings (and neither can AT&T) because it's just too difficult to keep up with routers and how to configure them. Maybe somebody else here (Avedis53?) is familiar enough with your router to show you how to check and configure those settings.

 

However, if your MicroCell worked before with no issues and just stopped working all of a sudden, then it's doubtful that those could be your problem but you do need to confirm those settings for completeness of troubleshooting. The more sophisticated your LAN is (modified or customized software, etc) the more apt the MicroCell is to have issues. It's a fairly robust beast given the seemingly endless ways people have their networks setup but you never know. One little update or modificatoin to your router could be the cause of your sudden problems. That's not to say it's not on AT&T's end but there are just so many variables that can affect connection. If all you have is a blinking green 3G light then something has affected your connection to the AT&T servers (which you already know).

 

The ports and minimal router settings are listed in my Guide (link in my sig).

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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 8 of 20
ACE - Professor

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

This is a tough one....

 

Has the ASUS rt-n16 always been part of your home network since adding the Mcell?

 

Has this problem existed from the first day you installed your Mcell?

 

You said you ran in priority mode and still saw the same problem that requires you to cycle Airplane Mode on you iPhones.  What do you consider priority mode?  The Alternate Connection method described in the User's Guide? (modem > Mcell > router)  How long did you try to run with configuration?

 

If you saw the same problem using the Alternative Connection method, then your router settings or potential router conflicts are not the problem.

 

You've tried multiple Mcells and experienced the same problem so I'd say it isn't the Mcell.

 

I would start looking at your ISP as the source of the problem.  You said that you've pinged your line and run some quality tests and saw no problems.  That doesn't mean much unless your problem is continuous.  The Mcell is pretty finicky and it doesn't take much for it to lose its connection to the internet.  Perhaps something your ISP is doing at night is causing the Mcell to lose its connection.

 

You said that the Mcell always reconnects on its own but you have to toggle Airplane Mode or reset your phones to reconnect.  This bothers me as your phones should automatically reconnect to the Mcell since it should have the strongest signal in your home.  I'm not sure what to recommend in this case. 

___________________________________________________________

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 20
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

Thanks for jumping in Avedis53. I feel there is something missing in his setup description. Yes, the phones should reconnect to the MicroCell because it should be the dominant signal, with our without the Wilson. I would seriously look closely at the router, especially if it can receive automatic updates from the ISP.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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 20
Tutor

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

Has the ASUS rt-n16 always been part of your home network since adding the Mcell?
> Yes


You said you ran in priority mode and still saw the same problem that requires you to cycle Airplane Mode on you iPhones. What do you consider priority mode?
> Running the microcell without the router

How long did you try to run with configuration?
> 1-2 days. After it disconnected during the night once or twice (happens every night between 12 and 5, once only nightly)


You've tried multiple Mcells and experienced the same problem so I'd say it isn't the Mcell.
> Indeed. This is the 2nd Mcell


I would start looking at your ISP as the source of the problem. You said that you've pinged your line and run some quality tests and saw no problems. That doesn't mean much unless your problem is continuous. The Mcell is pretty finicky and it doesn't take much for it to lose its connection to the internet. Perhaps something your ISP is doing at night is causing the Mcell to lose its connection.
> Certainly a possibility!

You said that the Mcell always reconnects on its own but you have to toggle Airplane Mode or reset your phones to reconnect. This bothers me as your phones should automatically reconnect to the Mcell since it should have the strongest signal in your home. I'm not sure what to recommend in this case.
>> Yea, this is a real pain to figure out, since it happens in the godawful hours in the nighttime and happens random hours between the aforementioned period. What makes it that much more difficult to troubleshoot is that Apple has a closed ecosystem, so I can't even get third party software (if any) to troubleshoot this. I jailbroke my phone and use Signal (on Cydia) but that just shows tower info. I wish there was an app that would notify you if the signal went above (dB) a threshhold. I bought signalalert that notifies you if you lose signal, but I can't run wifi with it otherwise it won't work.


router, especially if it can receive automatic updates from the ISP.
> Wait, the router or cable modem? Both of them are owned by me. It's a Asus RT-N16 with Tomato by Shibby 1.28 (Tomato Firmware 1.28.0000 MIPSR2-109 K26 USB AIO). The cable modem is a Motorola 6120, standard configuration.


The reason I somewhat ruled out the router is because even though the microcell connects back, the iPhone doesn't. Very bizarre! With the Wilson on, the past 3 days I have had a consistent signal.

Message 11 of 20
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

This is a real headscratcher. The Wilson confuses me (and probably your setup as well). Could your RG be doing NAT as well as your router? If so, the MicroCell does not work correctly with a double NAT. The fact that multiple MicroCells are exhibitng the same issue sort of rules out the MicroCell and points back to either your ISP or your phone(s). Jailbroke phones can develop all kinds of issues after updates by either AT&T, your ISP, or even Apple. VoIP is a great service but it can be "delicate" at times and not take too kindly to off-lable modifications.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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 20
Tutor

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

This is a real headscratcher.
> Agreed!

The Wilson confuses me (and probably your setup as well). Could your RG be doing NAT as well as your router?
> What is an RG? You mean the router (RT-N16)? I don't think so. I placed the microcell under DMZ with static IP and it still exhibited these issues. When I ran the microcell without the router, it had these problems as well.



If so, the MicroCell does not work correctly with a double NAT.
>The microcell works great all day. It's just during the night when it goes down (3G light blinking) and then phone doesn't reconnect.

The fact that multiple MicroCells are exhibitng the same issue sort of rules out the MicroCell and points back to either your ISP or your phone(s). Jailbroke phones can develop all kinds of issues after updates by either AT&T, your ISP, or even Apple.
> Other than the apple iphone iOS itself, I have completely ruled out being a specific phone. This problem has happened on about 5 iPhones. Granted, haven't tried Android though.


So in general, I see 3 Questions
1. Why is microcell going down almost every night
2. Why isn't the iphone reconnecting to the microcell
3. WHy has the wilson db pro potentially helped solve this issue (Again, I am not certain it has; I need more time for observation/testing, but it seems like it has for the time being
Message 13 of 20
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

In order of your questions:

 

1. The reason the MicroCell goes down everynight for a brief period of time is probably not due to AT&T but your ISP doing something. AT&T does do maintenance at nights but they don't bring the system off-line every night. Considering the various time zones involved, that would be very difficult to maintain on a nightly basis. They do more location verifications than anything else. If they can't verify the physical location of the MicroCell via GPS, you'd be waking up with a blinking green 3G light every morning and have to reactivate it.

 

2. Not sure why your iPhone is not reconnecting everynight. Jailbroke phones I won't try to figure out what's going on with them because they are not at the original mfrs specs so anything could be going on after updates or whatever. You could try to Reset Network Settings on the phone and see if that helps but everytime your MicroCell powers up, it adjusts it's signal strenght based on the local towers and then the iPhone adjusts its signal strength to the MicroCell, or the strongest signal.

 

3. The Wilson just confuses the issue. It probably messes with the MicroCell when it comes back up because of the signal strength. The MicroCell "sees" the Wilson and says, oh, we have a strong signal so I don't need to put out as much signal. Then, when you disconnect the Wilson, the MicroCell is the only game in town but its signal output is probably marginal because it was set wrong due to the presence of the Wilson. Your phones connect at night becuase the Wilson is providing enought signal for your phones to connect to the macrocell (tower) and not the MicroCell.

 

You need to figure out why you lose connection at night and I'd start to see if your ISP is doing any maintenance at night or you are having power issues which is resulting in a temporary loss of power to your MicroCell. Check the ac adapter and see if it feels warmer than the air vents on the top of the MicroCell and make sure the MicroCell has plenty of ventilation around it.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTMobilityCare

*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 14 of 20
ACE - Professor

Re: Microcell disconnect during night (ATTN: Otto Pylot)

Bleh....

 

To review:

 

This problem has been happening since day one of the Mcell.

 

The problem is independent of the ASUS router and the Mcell.

 

 

I would agree with Otto about the Wilson confusing the issue where the iPhones will not reconnect to the Mcell.  (Response #3).

 

To make sure I understand, even with the Wilson turned off, this problem still exists?

 

While I tend to suspect your ISP is doing something at night (which they probably won't admit to you) that causes the Mcell to temporarily lose its connection, that doesn't explain why your iPhones won't reconnect to the Mcell without having them renew their connections (Airplane Mode toggle).

 

Brute force method would be to switch to another ISP and see if the problem remains.

 

Or you could ditch the Mcell and stick with the Wilson.

 

You could press your ISP for information regarding things they may be doing at night but I think I already know what the answer is.....

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________

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.
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