Followup: Q Lies

It appears that the manufacturer’s queueing bug was indeed slowing down a significant number of subscribers.

After “rejuvenating” the queues on the bulk of our towers by hand yesterday, our bandwidth usage at peak hour reached a new all-time high of 25% more than our previous record. This is gateway bandwidth that has always been “available” for users, and we’re very pleased now to see that it has at last become accessible.

We’ve also installed the scripting code to perform automated queue rejuvenation monthly on all towers, so this OS bug should not be silently biting us ever again.

Upgrade trifecta

Dave works his magic on our 251st Avenue tower.

Today’s upgrades were uniformly satisfying.

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.

Morristown upgrade Friday morning; possible Mockingbird upgrade Friday afternoon

Just a brief notification that the upgrade work to the WIckenburg/Morristown link is scheduled for tomorrow morning (Friday) between 9:00 and noon.

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.

 

Morristown Upgrade, Stage II

Tower climber

Dave installs Stage I…

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:

  • Morristown
  • Skip-In Ranch
  • Castle Hot Springs
  • 251st Avenue
  • Dixileta

We’ll post a brief notice like this one once we are certain of the day of installation.

Network performance improves

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.

 

Work continues Wednesday 20th

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.

Mockingbird blip slipped

We placed an order for new armored power cabling for Mockingbird Tower late last Tuesday (UPS three-day) with a new cable dealer who loudly advertises “same-day shipping.” They didn’t actually ship our order until Friday evening (without telling us)… so the cable, originally planned to arrive Monday (Tuesday at latest), still hasn’t shown up and we don’t know what time it will arrive.

This has forced us to postpone today’s tower upgrade to next Wednesday, the 25th. With luck, we’ll be able to dodge monsoon power outages for one extra week.

 

Mockingbird blip Wednesday

This Wednesday (7/18) around mid-day, we’re going to be upgrading the power supply and power cabling at Mockingbird Tower. We’re going to continue running on the existing cabling until we get everything laid out and ready to go, at which time we’ll cut over to the new power feed. If everything goes as planned, there will be no interruption in tower service at all; if it doesn’t, subscribers served directly by Mockingbird Tower might experience at most a two-minute outage as the tower resets. (No other subscribers will be affected by this maintenance.)

Part of the upgrade includes a battery backup system designed to be able to operate the tower for over an hour, to ride out any short-term monsoon-induced power outages that may affect Mockingbird Hill. In addition, relieving our power crunch on this tower should also help improve speeds to our Rio Vista tower subscribers.

A great week,
 and a great 11 years

This week our tower bandwidth improvement project is for all practical purposes complete. Read on to learn about the improvements we’ve made to our performance in Wickenburg and Morristown… plus a little bit of nostalgia in celebration of our 11th anniversary. Continue reading