Mockingbird Update

After several abortive ordering attempts (in which “in stock” on a website listing apparently translated to “let us check our warehouse” once the order was placed), we located a dealer with a replacement antenna actually in stock. We have been verbally assured that our replacement unit shipped yesterday, and are awaiting written confirmation including a tracking number. In the absence of nasty surprises, we plan to be replacing the Mockingbird central antenna this weekend.

We are also going to be subjecting the Rio Vista antenna (same manufacturer and model) to testing to determine if it shows any early symptoms of the same failure mode, in case a prophylactic replacement is indicated.

Mockingbird, Rio Vista traffic affected

What appears to be a power supply problem at Mockingbird Tower is currently affecting network speeds to subscribers of Mockingbird West access point and Rio Vista Tower. Subscribers of Mockingbird Central access point are not currently affected, but may become so before the repair is scheduled. We will be running a repair crew out to the tower at around noon tomorrow.  Details follow. Continue reading

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

Success close behind; progress close ahead

Our new equipment at Rio Vista Tower, like our new equipment at Mockingbird tower, has been meeting and exceeding all our expectations. We’re seeing greatly improved signal strength and effective bandwidth to every one of our subscribers on those towers.

According to CenturyLink’s schedule (and supported by visual verification today), new fiber has been pulled to the utility pole nearest our Wickenburg gateway. The next week or so will be spent establishing a physical service entrance to the building, and configuring and testing the new CenturyLink fiber equipment. We are hoping to be able to cut over to the new gateway sometime during the first full week of October. This gateway will provide us twice the bandwidth to the greater Internet as we currently have, and will be expandable for even more speed beyond that. We’re looking forward to this improvement, and we know you are too!

Thank you for using Grand Avenue Broadband.

Backbone Speeds and Rio Vista Upgrades

Our consultant in Latvia did a dynamite job last week on our long-link radios. They’re now operating at a comfortable multiple of the new gateway speed on order from CenturyLink. (We still have a final link radio to replace on our downtown Wickenburg gateway tower to obtain an even stronger link, and we hope to be able to complete that task this coming weekend.)

The next set of equipment planned for some upgrade lovin’ is the Rio Vista Hills service tower. Continue reading

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.

Improvements Continue…

Now that the Mockingbird West tower trouble board has been green and silent for about a week, and with the interruptions on the Morristown East tower greatly reduced as of yesterday, our next goal is to improve performance at Rio Vista. We’re seeing a reduction in signal levels from all tower users, which may indicate a central tower problem.

We’ll be taking the Rio Vista Tower off-line for a few hours tonight at midnight, in order to attempt to analyze the source of the problem and plan remedial action.

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