Mockingbird testing progresses

Mockingbird TowerCondensed version: We’ve narrowed down the Mockingbird Tower problem to RF noise that spikes periodically. Our tower equipment and configuration are clean and validated. We now need to perform after-midnight testing over the next few days that will result in brief (10-20 minute) interruptions of service for a number of the subscribers on this tower.

Details and analysis follow for the technically curious. Continue reading

Ill Wind

bent-wmSubscribers homed to our central Morristown Tower may experience some slowdowns, dropouts, or other unusual behavior over the next day or two, due to interference from the windmill atop our transmitter tower, whose entire head canted over last night such that the tail intermittently swings into the path of one or the other of our three sector antennas.

Last week, after the tail itself (though not the entire head) had bent down into a similar position, we called windmill specialists out to dismount, repair, and remount the entire head assembly. The repair obviously didn’t last, and we have put in an order for an urgent followup service call.

We hope you’ll bear with us in the interim, and we thank you for your patience as we get this issue resolved.

Signal Tour Complete

The Mockingbird West and Morristown East towers have been complaint-free for nearly a month now; and with today’s elevation and realignment (and, in one case, physical draining and drying!) of the equipment installed at our last remaining problematic subscribers of Rio Vista tower, we are officially calling a successful close to our Great Subscriber Signal Tour of 2015.

Ever mindful of the embarrassing dangers of prematurely hoisting the “Mission Accomplished” banner, we will continue to monitor subscriber connection dropouts to shortstop individual subscriber signal problems as they may occur.

Thank you for choosing Grand Avenue Broadband. Your commitment and support means everything to our business.

Progress with Reliability Upgrades

With four subscriber unit upgrades and a bit of creative rerouting on North Vulture Mine Road this past weekend, it appears that we have eliminated (or at least greatly reduced) the retransmit cascade failures affecting all users of the Mockingbird West tower. Return signal and bandwidth from the upgraded units to our tower is now capable of several times rated contract speed. If you’re still experiencing slowdowns or outages, please inform us.

We’re awaiting an equipment restock delivery (mid-week) to address one problem subscriber site that is regularly interrupting the Morristown East sector, and one or two units that require the same improvement at Rio Vista Hills. After next weekend, we hope the cascade failure problem will be a thing of the past (or at least the far, far future).

Intermittent Service Cure Plan

Simultaneously with the arrival of the current cold weather, we began receiving automated connectivity failure reports against a number of our subscribers, mainly those being served by our Mockingbird West tower, with Rio Vista, and Morristown East users in place and show positions. They were difficult to pin down, primarily because the metrics reported by the towers didn’t support any particular diagnosis. We replaced the radio unit at Mockingbird West in case the receiver discrimination was going sour, but gained zero relief.

After several weeks of thrashing and several hours of attention from consultants, we now believe we understand the problem, and have an action plan in place to address it. Continue reading

Fixing Our Far West Wickenburg Service Issues

For the past week or so, WIckenburg subscribers west of Country Club have been experiencing extreme slowdowns and service outages. We have been working on the problem for several days, making configuration improvements and uncovering and reporting various manufacturer firmware bugs, but our efforts had no effect on the speed problems we were seeing on the network.

Today, we were able to schedule the prompt attentions of MikroTik consultant Butch Evans, who carefully combed through our configuration looking for the cause of the slowdown. His conclusion: we are seeing noise (interference) problems of a sort that don’t show up in the usual meters. Continue reading