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Mifi 4510L connection issues
web_spinner
Member

To start out, I have been browsing these threads for several hours and, while my issues have similarities, there aren't any that seem to replicate what I have been experiencing.  I apologize if I have replicated a previous thread.

A little history.  I was a Mifi2200 user for over two years.  During that time, my experiences with the 3G broadband service was delightful.  I live in a remote area where DSL or cable is not available and latency with a satellite service would not have allowed me to enjoy my nightly MMORPG escape. On December 21st, I experienced my first 3G service loss since the day that I owned the unit (I bought it the day it was made available).  Since I had noticed some intermittent behavior with my Mifi2200 device and decided that it was time to upgrade.

On Dec. 22nd, I upgraded to the Mifi 4510L and have been experiencing a strange problem that does not allow me to browse the internet on the 3G service with any reasonable speeds.  Actually, speedtest.net will not configure because the response from the internet is so bad.  The EvDO Rev.Ae appears to be connected with either 3 or 4 bars of strength.  I get a private IP (10. address) and the DNS server shows a connection.  My wireless device shows that there is internet access (Windows 7 64bit).  I have tried every available WWAN setting and can only get a reasonable responsive connection to the internet with 1xRTT.  I have tried both wireless b/g/n and wireless b/g setting with no difference in performance.  If I drive about 3 miles away, I can get the same connection strength, same private IP range (10.) and same DNS server however the 3G performance returns to those that I enjoyed before. I live in a hilly area so basically I drive to the other side of a hill - down into a valley and my home being atop an adjacent hill.  I am not in a 4G service or 4G/3G transition area.  I have driven to a 4G area and tested the device there and, while the speedtest.net isn't phenominal, is works.  The Mifi 4510L easily switches between 3G and 4G without any noticeable issues.  The problem seems to be related to my location.  BTW, there were a few occasions in the past month where the 3G signal worked well, but it only lasted a few days.  Of course, I have been in contact with Verizon Wireless Tech Support throughout this issue and hope to gain some more insight on what is going on.

From what I have been able to gather from all the different related threads is that I may be experiencing tower interference with my device.  I saw that you could isolate tower signals.  I was wondering what would be a quick and easy way to confirm (or isolate) interference from towers.  If I might be wrong, please steer me in the correct direction.

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Re: Mifi 4510L connection issues
John_Getzke
Leader
Leader

Hello,

After reading your description your symptoms do resemble a tower/signal strength/interferance situation.  You may have to run a site survey to help you paint a better picture on the natural reception capabilities of the MiFi. 

Here is a wonderful link that can walk you through the Site Survey process:

http://3gstore.com/page/13_will_an_antenna_help_me.html

After conducting the site survey you may be able to determine if an antenna will benefit you or not.  There are also booster products which can be purchased to ensure you are both pointed to the correct tower and recieving a strong enough signal.

Here is a site that I like to use to help locate cell phone towers:

http://www.cellreception.com/towers/

Beyond that you might want to try a simple SIM Card reset.  If your MiFi is getting confused and connecting to the wrong tower in your area then resetting your SIM card may help it renegotiate to the correct one and improve your performance.

Level 2 Reset:

  1. Power down the MiFi
  2. Remove the back cover
  3. Remove the battery
  4. Remove the SIM card
  5. Allow the MiFi to sit for 30 seconds
  6. Reassemble the MiFi
  7. Test the Connection
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Re: Mifi 4510L connection issues
web_spinner
Member

Many thanks John,

I did a site survey several days ago (it has been pretty cold outside -20F windchill) and got a fair assessment of the signal around my house.  Both my Mifi4510L and my iPhone4 report very good signal strength 3G 3+bars (Mifi can report as high as -66dbm EvDO)  There isn't a sweet spot that I can identify.  At the windows in my house, I also get the same signal strengths and that is where I keep the Mifi (the window also keeps it cool this time of year).  The signal strength does not change at any of the windows in my home and will decrease to about 2 bars if i stand in the middle of the house.

I have verified that I have 6 towers locally (all at about 6 miles from my home).  One of them I have LOS to (I can actually see the beacon blink as it is a 273 foot tower) and believe that this is where my main signal is from.

I have had the SIM card replaced by Verizon on one occasion (about a week ago) with no result and am now waiting for a replacement Mifi in the mail.  The information from my current Mifi indicates that I have Modem FW of 2.23.01 so I believe that I have the latest update and cannot get my Windows 7 64bit system to recognize the modem on USB anyway.

I have tried the reset procedure you show several times and there are things that indicate that it does not reset the Mifi.  The Mifi power setting stays the same, default is 30 minutes however it stays at Never which I set it to when I first received the Mifi, the WWAN an LAN settings will also stay the same.  I can get these to reset to default if I hold the reset button down.  However, the connection to the 3G network is always the same.  Good signal (usually better than -80dbm), DNS and IP acquired, downloads are horribly slow or non-existent.  I have tried some ways to isolate the signal from the towers with no success (basically a grounded can with a small peep-hole for the Mifi antenna), signal strength will decrease a bit but, DNS and IP acquired, same horrible downloads.  If I switch over to 1xRTT, I can get speedtest.net to run, slow but it will at least run.

Funny thing, my iPhone4 (3G) seems to work fine most of the time (100mS ping/2.5Mbps download/0.8Mbps upload).

Any new thoughts?

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Re: Mifi 4510L connection issues
John_Getzke
Leader
Leader

Wonderful feedback, thanks for sharing!

We can conclude that signal strength is not the problem.  -66 dbm is a great signal for 3G, I average around -80.  Normally I would suggest the other few resets but it sounds like you have already tried them. Your firmware is up to date so we can rule that out too.  SIM card replacement should have helped but it sounds like it hasn't...were running slim on possible solutions here : ( 

Overheating can sometimes lead to performance hits, although it is normally more of a problem when left in a hot car all day.  You could try running the MiFi off the Wall Adapter with the battery detached for a while to compare. 

Replacing the MiFi would be the best bet at this point and it sounds like your already on top of it.  Let us know how the new device performs and we'll see if we can come up with anything else.

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Re: Mifi 4510L connection issues
web_spinner
Member

Well, I have good news related to this issue.  I arrived home last night and "Lo and Behold" my 3G connection is magically working (my new Mifi has not arrived from Verizon yet).  Good strong signal -68dbm EvDO, 103mS ping/1.97Mbps download/0.57Mbps upload.  I was ecstatic.

I called my neighbor, who has been having similar issues and he tells me that the Verizon tech support member he was communicating with called yesterday to let him know that they found a bad device at the signal tower we identified as our main feed.  It is what I had concluded only days after I lost the signal a month ago, at the time gave them all the information I collected. Seems they were troubleshooting the wrong tower with me pulling my hair for a month wondering if I had a bad device, bad setup or interference.  At least I take blood pressure pills.

Thanks for all the good info.  I will know to look here first.

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Re: Mifi 4510L connection issues
John_Getzke
Leader
Leader

Sounds like good news to me.  Atleast we have some kind of a realistic solution to the problem.

Lets hope the problem remains resolved with the new tower equiptment.  Hold onto your notes incase it happens again and share what we have learned with VZW so they can send a field tech.

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