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boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

4 edits

EVDO Only Mode via Watcher -- 1X/EVDO conflicting data?

Hello,

Finally got set up with a clean ESN device and on millenicom now. Now comes the tweaking and fine tuning of my antenna.

I started off by setting up the Sierra Wireless Watcher program for my 598U. I then set it to EVDO only mode.

When I set it to EVDO Only mode my signal drops to around -100 or worse (from -84). My download speed also drops from around .70Mbps-1.4Mbps to .3 or lower.

I imagine this means I have a low signal to EVDO mode compared to 1x mode?

When I change from "EVDO Only" to "Automatic Mode" the information changes to the following; When I hover my mouse over the Watcher Signal GUI it says:
"EVDO: -82 dBm, 1X: -109 dBm"

It also shows EvA as highlighted, mousing over shows "EvDO Rev A Connected"

I would assume this means I am connected to Evdo Rev A, I am getting reasonable speeds of .7-1.0mbps

I am just wondering why is it when I put it into Evdo Only mode I get such a decrease in performance? Is my reasoning incorrect here or is the program mislabeling 1X and EVDO?

*Update/Additional Info*
When using the ##DEBUG screen on Sprint Smartview I notice that my Channel is 100 (which is 1x, no?) however according to speed test I am getting around 2.50 Mbps to 2.80 Mbps -- Does this sound right? I always thought 1X was much slower data speeds than this



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by boondockEVDO:

I always thought 1X was much slower data speeds than this

theoretical max 1xRTT is 153kbps so that is not 1xRTT... gotta be evdo at 2.8Mbps

Dexter1992

join:2010-07-16
Winona, MN
reply to boondockEVDO

Download the latest version of Watcher from the official site.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

1 edit
reply to boondockEVDO

Yea, I have the latest version of watcher.

Suddenly about 4-5 hours ago the EVDO Only option started working properly. I am retaining -83 signal currently in EVDO Only mode instead of losing signal.

I now notice that in my sprint smartview debug window that the "Current Service Pilots" listbox is now empty (With automatic mode it shows the channel and PN in the list box). My channel is currently labeled as "0" in the Common Information pane and in the EV-DO pane it lists my current PN as 87.

I'm going to keep track of my PN fluctuations and try to figure out what the best set up will be.

Not sure what the issues were but it seems to have fixed itself. I imagine it won't be smooth sailing yet though.


Dexter1992

join:2010-07-16
Winona, MN

Same with me, you won't see PNs in EVDO-Only mode. Which is why I once speculated that perhaps leaving the modem in Automatic might be better, if the information is used to improve quality of the connection.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

1 edit
reply to boondockEVDO

Cool, good to see the issue is common then.

Since EVDO Only mode started working I have been locked to the same PN in the "EV-DO" debug pane. Have you noticed if your PN has changed yet?

My speed doesn't seem hampered anymore when using EVDO Only mode compared to Automatic Mode (At first it was very bad until the EVDO Mode started working properly, maybe it was due to a firmware update or something -- who knows too many variables) I am still getting around 2.8Mbps max and low of 1.5 so it's right on target.

I will be monitoring my pilot number over the next few days and tweaking my parabolic grid as well, will keep this updated.

Lastly, any idea if Watcher software has a debug mode? I pressed CTRL+D and typed in ##DEBUG and also tried 000000 and nothing happened.

*UPDATE*
The same thing happened again as last night. All day today I was connected to EVDO Rev A under the pilot number 87 with a solid signal of -80/-83. Around nightfall my Pilot Number changed to 60
and I have a poor signal again of -100.

I am using a parabolic grid and it is well secured. Any idea what could cause my Pilot number to switch from 87 to 60 and give me this poor performance? My area is a very low traffic area, especially at this hour.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

Re: EVDO Only Mode via Watcher -- Pilot # changes in the evening

(can no longer edit last post)

Again the same thing happened. During day time hours it seems that my connection is through Pilot Number 87 and I have a -1 EC/IO, ~-83 dBm signal.

Then around night fall my Pilot Number changes to 60 and I have ~-100 signal strength and -5 EC/IO.

- I have a static parabolic grid antenna set up.
- I am in a very low populated area so I am thinking it isn't due to overloading.
- Weather conditions have been normal, no high winds
- Only Sprint tower I could find is about 2.6 miles away

Any idea what could be causing these changes in my pilot number?



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

it may sound crazy but...

got any halogen lamps that kick on at dark?

are there any retail signage that light up at dark around you or in the path to the tower?

is there something that could be happening physically at dark between you and the tower (someone parks a truck everyday and it kills your line of sight)?

if i understand the old setup each of the 3 antenna arrays on the tower has it's own pilot number? if that is the case i wonder if you adjusted horizontally might get it to aim at only one panel... just a wild guess though.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

2 edits

I believe the line of sight should be clear of any large light emitting sources. My area is also dark with no lights where the antenna is, my next door neighbor has a light on his barn that is about 30+ meters away but it doesn't illuminate my area much and the antenna's direction isn't intercepted by it.

I will try adjusting horizontally tomorrow. Any predictions on why it would switch panels suddenly and with such predictability?

Any idea if this may be a tower issue? I am not sure when/if I should contact millenicom support involving this issue.

*EDIT* Just noticed that PN changed from 60 to 369 and I believe also to 169 in one case. (not 100% sure about 169, just knew it was a different value)

369 is having the same connection stats (signal, ec/io, speed) that 60 had.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by boondockEVDO:

...my next door neighbor has a light on his barn that is about 30+ meters away but it doesn't illuminate my area much and the antenna's direction isn't intercepted by it.

It's not the light it's something about electrical interference thrown off by halogen systems.

I will try adjusting horizontally tomorrow. Any predictions on why it would switch panels suddenly and with such predictability?

i've been told some panels are re-aimed automatically for coverage filling, not sure if that is even happening in your area, or you could be hitting an edge where 2 sides meet... i have no idea however it might have nothing to do with this. don't blame me if the re-aim goes badly

Any idea if this may be a tower issue? I am not sure when/if I should contact millenicom support involving this issue.

just keep good data of the times etc should help them with the report

boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

4 edits

Thanks again for your help dib.

I called support and they informed me they weren't sure why it was doing this but as long as my speed is above 0.4 Mbps that there wasn't anything they can do.

Now I am seeing my PN change to 171, 369 and 165 -- no longer on 60.

Will attempt some re-aiming to see if that will fix it, that seems to be the best option at the moment.

So many PN isn't making sense if each sector is supposed to only have one PN? Here is a picture of my debug to make sure I am talking about the right thing

»i.imgur.com/XRvLp.png?1

I am talking about the PN listed in "EV-DO Information" field. Is that the proper one to refer to?

When I have Wireless Watcher set to EVDO Only mode it blanks out the "Current Service Pilot" screen, I disabled it for this picture -- I believe it always remains on 369 here (I have also seen the EV-DO PN set to 369 as well though.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

3 edits
reply to boondockEVDO

Re: EVDO Only Mode via Watcher -- 1X/EVDO conflicting data?

Just as expected @ 4:30AM EST (daylight savings time started today I think, wouldve been 5:30AM) I connected back to PN 87 with max DRC Request value and ~-85 signal, downloading at around 2.5-2.9Mbps.

»i.imgur.com/epqTe.gif

From around 8-9PM EST until 4:30AM EST I was stuck with speeds around 0.7 to 0.4 Mbps (DRC Request value of 7 or lower) and not connected to PN 87

Hoping to figure this out today. Going to adjust my antenna but it just strikes me as odd that its so predictable.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

Disconnect your antenna and check it. You are picking up multiple towers / sectors.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

Disconnecting my antenna caused me to lose alot of RSSI (I didn't have my device in a good spot for transmitting)

It kept losing service coverage but when it did have it, it was the same PN.

Tonight when it happens (assuming my adjustments don't fix it) I will try it with the modem in an area with better signal when not attached to the antenna.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

That's a good start. Get rid of the conflicting PN's and only have one should do it. What is your RSSI without the antenna now? My wife's is most always -85dBm or more and it doesn't effect her that much.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA
reply to boondockEVDO

I gave my antenna a little more elevation and adjusted it horizontally today.

During the day I got connected to PN 171 with 0/-1 ECIO, 14 DRC Req

At night now my PN is changing around a bit now my PN reads 87 and my channel reads 350 (was 100 yesterday as shown in previous images)

»i.imgur.com/d9NoF.jpg

I realize I am picking up different sectors but I just dont understand why there is so many different PN. I also don't understand why my channels yesterday read 100 (that means its not EVDO speed, right?) but I was getting evdo speed. Now my channel reads as 350.

Is this sprint smartview debug window just sort of bad or something? I don't know how else to explain what seems to be so many misinterpretations.

Is there any better debug window I can use? I really liked the one jim shows in his blog for the CDU I think it is, it had a list of ALL the pilot numbers close in the area. This sprint one only seems to list the one you're currently connected to.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

Did the speed drop as well I take it?


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

3 edits
reply to boondockEVDO

My speed has been pretty stable all day today and tonight since moving my antenna. Once I moved my antenna the PN was stable for awhile. Eventually my PN started switching around again. My DRC Request seems to remain at 14 and speeds are good even though it keeps switching around.

Does the sprint smartview debug screen work well for everyone else? I don't see why this thing is giving me so many different PN if a tower is only supposed to have 3 PN.

Are there any other debug programs I can use or do I have to use a different device for that? I would love to be able to see all of the surrounding PN like Jim's debug screen (shown here; »2.bp.blogspot.com/_u_YFCyIcLS4/S···mber.jpg ) for his CDU-680 modem, is that possible with my 598U? All of those PN listed in that window are ones located in his area from his antenna, right? I imagine they're not all from the same tower?



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by boondockEVDO:

Does the sprint smartview debug screen work well for everyone else? I don't see why this thing is giving me so many different PN if a tower is only supposed to have 3 PN.

who knows how they do the pilots these days... they might be doing all kinds of new trickery... good that your speed stabilized!

boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA
reply to boondockEVDO

Finally stumbled upon some new information that may explain my multiple PN. Unfortunately I am not sure what to do about this or if it will effect me.

There are 3 sprint towers all inline with each other pretty much from my position; here is a graphic of it :

»i.imgur.com/CwwFV.jpg

The parabolic grid antenna can pick up signal from 10 miles or more right? If the beam intercepts multiple towers in a line will it take from the first signal encountered?

I am worried I may be shooting through all three of the towers and occasionally switching between all three.

Any suggestions?



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by boondockEVDO:

Finally stumbled upon some new information that may explain my multiple PN. Unfortunately I am not sure what to do about this or if it will effect me.

There are 3 sprint towers all inline with each other pretty much from my position; here is a graphic of it :

»i.imgur.com/CwwFV.jpg

The parabolic grid antenna can pick up signal from 10 miles or more right? If the beam intercepts multiple towers in a line will it take from the first signal encountered?

I am worried I may be shooting through all three of the towers and occasionally switching between all three.

Any suggestions?

If that is indeed your situation you need way less antenna.

boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

doh, past the return date on my parabolic grid -- ah well was only 45 bucks.

Any suggestions on an antenna that won't transmit as far but will still be good enough to make it through some dense forrest?

These were unlisted sprint towers that I didn't manage to find until I searched through the actual tower builder's site.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

Click for full size
Click for full size
I have the same problem at times. Depends a lot on the atmosphere.

Notice the top image I was on my primary PN (396) it then went to multiple PN's all active and causing a disconnect.

Dexter1992

join:2010-07-16
Winona, MN

Jack what version of Smartview are you using, as I can not duplicate that screen? For instance my packet error rate value gives me a number not a percent. Also I had a similar issue with PNs, for me, can't remember the numbers but I was picking up one to two PNs. When I was using 1 PN my speed was great, and the other it was not that great. I had my grid aimed a bit slanted upwards, instead I just made it 100% straight, seemed to fix the issue. 1.9Ghz panel antenna may have been the better choice for both of us.

Also, sometimes through some updates Evdo-Only Mode gets turned off when the modem resets.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

Dexter I'm using an old Franklin 680-U. This debug screen is in the onboard software. As you can see the multiple PN's are a problem.


boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA
reply to Dexter1992

I am considering trying to get ahold of one of those CDU modems, I like that listing of PN. Does anyone know of a third party software that would list PN for a 598?

I've found that EVDO-Only mode from Wireless Watcher actually hurts my signal very badly. Only during 1 day out of the 5-6 that I've been using it has it actually helped my signal.

I also slightly slanted my para grid ant, I will try remounting it properly and see if that helps any.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

Shoot Jim_in_VA a IM. I'm sure he can help you out.