We added significant bandwidth to feed Skip-In Ranch and all the towers in Morristown; plus additional bandwidth to Mockingbird and Rio Vista towers; plus increased bandwidth between the Morristown hub and the 251st Avenue and Castle Hot Springs towers.
In addition, we installed a new northward-facing AP on the 251st Avenue tower to serve the growing number of subscribers located on the east side of Castle Hot Springs Road who can’t access their nearest neighborhood tower (Castle Hot Springs) due to an intervening hill. These subscribers are now benefiting from 8-10dB better signal (about eight times the previous signal), as well as the additional bandwidth available at their tower.
We also corrected a mysterious configuration gremlin that was causing decreased signal to our subscribers in Grantham Ranch.
We hope today’s work will make your Internet experience more enjoyable.
Depending entirely on time available, it is possible that similar upgrade work may be performed on the Wickenburg/Mockingbird link sometime in the afternoon, to provide even more bandwidth there. This would temporarily affect network performance to all the towers mentioned in our previous notification, with the addition of Mockingbird and Rio Vista towers.
Thank you for being a part of Grand Avenue Broadband.
The equipment needed for stage II of the Morristown bandwidth upgrade arrives this week, and we plan to be installing it on either Thursday or Friday morning.
This is the gear needed to complete the “full link” upgrade of our feed from Wickenburg, providing additional bandwidth to our east-end subscribers over and above the “half link” upgrade installed four weeks ago.
Subscribers served by east-end towers may see some short service burps and lower performance for roughly a 20-minute period sometime between the hours of 9:00 AM and noon, as our network compensates for the temporarily missing link by routing Wickenburg traffic over slower alternate routes.
Subscribers of these towers will be affected:
Castle Hot Springs
We’ll post a brief notice like this one once we are certain of the day of installation.
Our recent project to improve the bandwidth of both the Mockingbird/Rio Vista and Skip-In Ranch/Morristown backhaul routes has been successful and gratifying. Installation of improved equipment on the Wickenburg end of both links turned out to be sufficient to reach our immediate target, leaving a future opportunity for further improvement when necessary by installing matching upgrades at the far ends of both links.
Today’s project to improve signal and bandwidth to our newer customers in Grantham Ranch and the Rincon corridor east of the river was also particularly successful. That area is now served by a new dedicated directional access point located at our downtown gateway.
In spite of all the technical challenges, we are continually installing improvements to help keep our Internet service one you would be proud to recommend. Thank you for your patience and for your support.
Last Wednesday’s installment in our bandwidth improvement effort surpassed our expectations. Despite the fact that we had only enough time to deploy half the planned link (due to the structural enhancements we had to add to the tower to handle the heavier equipment), we managed to increase bandwidth to Mockingbird tower significantly via its backup link, plus we determined that the leftover half of the high-speed link could be more effectively employed elsewhere.
Tomorrow, we hope to be able to install improved equipment on the inbound side of both our Skip-In link (the main line to Morristown and all points east) and our primary link to Mockingbird Tower. As this involves some high-tower work, it will be slower, and some of the transitions may be less than smooth.
Although our existing redundant paths help ensure that your Internet availability will never be entirely severed, you may experience some “brownouts” as our system determines in real time that primary paths have gone black, and temporarily switches to secondary paths that will serve some of our towers somewhat more slowly. Short of unplanned disaster, the perturbations should not persist past 5 PM.
Thank you for your patience as we work to bring speedier Internet access to our ever-growing network of subscribers.
We’re experiencing an issue with some of our towers in which the speed to subscribers degrades as equipment uptime increases. Towers identified so far have included Skip-In Ranch Tower, Downtown Tower, and all three APs on Morristown Tower. In all cases, power-cycling the radio unit restores full performance.
Our equipment manufacturer, MikroTik, suspects a memory leak in their OS, and has asked us to provide them with diagnostic dumps from the affected equipment, which we are in the process of assembling for them today.
While we wait for a response from MikroTik, we’ll be setting up an automatic powercycle schedule on the affected towers. This will result in an approximately four-minute interruption of service between 2:00-4:00 AM several times each week at these towers. We hope to have this periodic refresh cycle operational by Monday.
Our planned upgrade to the Skip-In Ranch tower has been rescheduled for tomorrow (Sunday) morning. Service to subscribers served directly by this tower will be interrupted for 15-45 minutes sometime between 8 AM and noon. No other subscribers will be affected.
Due to an unexpected “infant-mortality” failure of our new PowerBox router unit (and no more spares in stock), we are postponing tomorrow’s scheduled upgrade to Skip-In Ranch tower. We expect to be able to reschedule this work late next week after replacement equipment arrives. In the meanwhile, we’ll be looking forward to participating in this year’s Gold Rush festivities (wave if you see us)!
Plus a Public Service Announcement
We’ve been made aware of a serious increase in reports of “tech support scams” by both our computer service customers and our network subscribers. If you’re interested in finding out what is out there, how to avoid being taken in, and what you can do if you already have been, please read this article in our sister blog.
With our knotty gateway speed problems finally conquered, we’re finally able to lavish some lovin’ on our next most needy tower: Skip-In Ranch.
Thursday morning, we’re going to be replacing the current 2012-vintage station router with a brand-new PowerBox, swapping out the subscriber antenna for the same model of dual-polarity omni that has been serving us so well at Mockingbird and Rio Vista towers, and elevating and guying the mast for a stronger and more error-free signal.
The outage should run roughly a half hour, and will affect only those subscribers directly served by that tower — traffic to Morristown towers will automatically reroute through our Rio Vista link.
Speaking of outages…
Yesterday’s 9:10-to-11:15 total service outage was caused by the local CenturyLink office “inadvertently disconnecting [our] port.” Thanks to subscribers who called in promptly to inform us of the problem, we were able to file a trouble ticket with CenturyLink by 9:25.
We continue to pursue the establishment of a second, independent gateway on the Morristown end of our network that will enable our service to “ride out” these rare single-point-of-failure outages.
Our recent rash of storms has apparently soured the receive sensitivity of the radio unit at Skip-In Ranch tower. We plan to replace this radio card either later this evening (Thursday, 10/22) or early tomorrow morning, which will involve a brief outage of about ten minutes.