Leave the light on for us

Just another reminder to our seasonal subscribers not to shut the power off on their rooftop receivers, if at all possible, when they leave for the season.

Our network is always undergoing improvements in performance and reliability, as well as expansion. Certain of these improvements require reaching into all our subscribers’ roof units and making coordinated changes between them and the towers that serve them.  If you turn your equipment off for the summer season, we won’t be able to update your unit.  When you return here, you may find your account’s configuration six months behind everyone else’s, and your service may not be immediately operational.

Your internet equipment uses less power then an incandescent night-light or a single Christmas-tree bulb. Please leave it powered up. Thank you!

Brief outage Friday midnight

This announcement affects only subscribers of our towers located in Morristown and Wittmann. Subscribers of towers located in Wickenburg (including “postal Wickenburg”) will not be affected.

We are replacing the Network Operations Center router in Morristown with a faster and more powerful model. There will be a brief network interruption on the order of 10-30 minutes just after midnight Friday night (i.e., Saturday morning) to cut over power and cabling to the new router.

Repaving the Information Highway

In a week or three, CenturyLink should be completing our recent order to double our gateway speed, resulting in our having more than three times the network bandwidth we had only one month ago.

Unfortunately for us, just having all this new speed available at the gateway doesn’t automatically make it accessible to all our subscribers.

For the past several weeks, a phrase has been looping through my mind from Larry Niven’s “A World Out of Time.” Tasked with a 200-year intergalactic voyage, the bulk of which he must spend in cryogenic stasis, the story’s hero is subjected to a rigorous dietary regimen to ensure his surviving the journey: before each cold-sleep session, it is crucial for him to “grow fat… and exercise to distribute the fat.”

This passage echoes in my head because it’s a perfect description of our current challenge. Continue reading

Red light means go!

A number of our subscribers for whom we have installed wall-mounted MikroTik mAP access points have called us, concerned that they might have a network problem because a red light was showing on their unit.

The light in question is normal. It indicates that the WiFi unit is supplying power to the roof-mounted radio unit over its ethernet cable (hence the label “PoE out,” “power over ethernet”).  This particular model of access point is the only MikroTIk device we supply to subscribers that offers the PoE pass-through feature, which allows us to power both your WiFi access point and your roof unit with only a single power supply.

In general, different MikroTik units can come equipped with red, blue, green, orange, or yellow LEDs. In some of the higher-end models, the same LEDs can show different colors under different circumstances… but on none of them (to our knowledge) does the color of the LED itself ever indicate an error condition. In all circumstances, MikroTik uses the color red or orange to indicate only that the unit is supplying power to some other unit.

So rest easy—this red light means only that all of your systems are go!

Ready… get reset… stop!

Hillary's "reset" button

Click image for the story of this “reset” button…

Take it from a world-famous politician: a “reset button” doesn’t always do what you thought it would, or meant it to. Sometimes it creates problems instead of solving them.

The WiFi units Grand Avenue Broadband offers to subscribers all feature reset buttons.

Please don’t press them!

Units we deliver to you have your customized network name, passwords, frequencies, and addressing configured into them, so that they work on your account and don’t interfere with the signal from your home tower. Reset buttons reset equipment to factory defaults, which include none of those things.

Fortunately, the reset buttons on our units are disabled at most times. However, if you do manage to reset your WiFi unit, its configuration will need to be re-established. Often, we will be able to do this from our central site; at times, it may require a housecall.  Either way, there will be a peregruzka—a “surcharge”—for the service.

Mockingbird, Easy Street upgrades Monday

We were quite pleased with the smoothness of today’s whole-network speed upgrade, coordinated between and performed by us and CenturyLink, resulting in under 60 seconds of downtime at 7:30 AM.

Our next task is to better distribute the additional speed among our towers. To that end, we’re spending Monday on upgrades to Easy Street and Mockingbird towers. Continue reading

Speed issues at Mockingbird

Our Mockingbird Tower is experiencing performance issues that have so far defied analysis. We’re working this problem today and will continue to work it until it is resolved. In the meanwhile, subscribers served directly by Mockingbird Tower (Central) and Mockingbird Tower (West) may experience a reduction in bandwidth and response time, as well as occasional short (under two minutes) outages as we perform brief diagnostic tests. Subscribers served by other towers are not affected by this situation. We hope to have these issues resolved as soon as possible.

Tower Maintenance: 251st Ave.

We will be increasing the capacity of 251st Avenue tower this Tuesday, December 12, between 9 AM and 2 PM. Users served by this tower, as well as by Dixileta and Circle City towers, may experience brief (<10 minute) outage periods as equipment is detached and replaced. Users served by Castle Hot Springs tower may experience mild slowdowns as data is shunted through that tower to serve 251st Avenue during times when the primary link units to 251st Avenue are being replaced.