Tower slowdowns

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.

Skip-In Ranch upgrade postponed

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.

Skip-In Ranch tower outage Thursday

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.

Skip-In Ranch: Unscheduled outages

Our Skip-In Ranch tower host is having major residential renovation performed. This has led to a half dozen or so outages to Skip-In Ranch tower subscribers over the past several weeks, as workmen turn off circuit breakers, work on the roof in the vicinity of our mast, or remove and replace our indoor equipment for framing, drywall, and painting work. (Subscribers of our Morristown towers may experience micro-outages when any existing sessions through the Skip-In Ranch long link reroute through the Mockingbird long link.)

We’ve successfully educated the foreman about what breakers and components interrupt our service, to the point where at least the workmen no longer disable us indefinitely. Although we still don’t get advance notification of these outages, they do take pains to keep them as brief as possible. We’re all hoping that this renovation progresses quickly and completes soon.

Skip-In Ranch Tower Work

The neighborhood resident host of our tower that serves Skip-In Ranch has scheduled roofing work on his property from Wednesday, June 10 through Friday, June 12. Roofers will be working and walking around our antenna equipment during that period, which may result in interference ranging from short speed slowdowns to intermittent loss of connection. We ask your indulgence during this period. Please feel free to phone us at 623-640-7883 if you experience a loss of service exceeding five minutes, and we will work to address whatever the issue may be.