Question

Weekly Reboot


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I am still in my first month of home internet but it has been good enough to cancel my previous cable provider whose service was unreliable at times.  When I first got the 5G home internet, I tried using it as my wi-fi hotspot as well.  That didn’t work well.  I have close to 20 devices and they would all connect but some connections failed over time or some devices would not work properly.  It was definitely not going to be reliable enough to keep.  Although the symptoms were different, I had similar problems with my cable providers’ all-in-one modem when it came to wi-fi.  My solution for that was to offload the wi-fi onto a dedicated device and just use the modem as a modem.  That helped with the wi-fi issues but still left me with unreliable internet at times.  I went the same route with the 5G home internet as well.  My wi-fi performance is doing great and the 5G home internet is hard-wired to the wi-fi router.  Everything works great except that on a couple occasions my internet just completely stopped working.  The first time when I checked the modem through the web admin it had been up for a little over 7 days and a reboot fixed the issue.  This morning the same thing happened.  I checked the web admin and the uptime was a little over 9 days.  Again, rebooting fixed the issue.  I’ll update this question as I gather more data but has anyone else seen behavior like this?  My guess is that the device has some sort of memory leak that I’m hitting after a week of usage and a reboot clears it out.


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Either I’ve had my modem pointed the wrong way for months or the tower in town has been getting better.  I was able to stay on n41 for over 11 days before falling back to n71.  I made another rotation and was able to reboot on n41.  I’ve never seen my SNR higher than 18 so it must not be the strongest signal.  I’ve only got one angle left to try whenever I fall back to n71 again.  I also did not get the firmware update yet.  Although I did only do a soft reboot and not a hard reboot.  Does anyone know if that matters after a new firmware is downloaded?

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I did another 45 degree rotation counter-clockwise and rebooted but only came back on n71.  I went back to the previous angle, rebooted, and reconnected on n41.  So I only have 2 angles that get me on n41 so far.  Interesting.

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According to my last post I was only able to stay on n41 for about 88 hours.  I was relying on an app on my phone to do scheduled speed tests but I don’t think it was very reliable.  I have since switched to running them on my computer.  On Sunday night (8/22) my internet went out completely.  It had not done this for a while and seemed unusual since I had rebooted the modem a few days earlier.  I did not rotate the modem and just rebooted it but it only came back on n71.  It was working so I left it alone for the night.  By morning it was still on n71.  I rebooted again and it came back on n41.  So I’m thinking there was an issue with the tower the night before that made n41 stop working.  I didn’t fall back to n71 until today and with my more consistent speed tests I can say I was on n41 for about 98 hours.  I find it interesting that my time on n41 seems to be limited to less than 100 hours at a time but I’ll keep rotating and rebooting to gather more data.

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According to my scheduled speed tests I was on n41 from 8/14 @ 1:20pm to 8/18 @ 5:24am.  Then I dropped to n71.  Up until now the back of my modem has been pointing just west of south.  They should add a compass app to the top screen!  I rotated it clockwise about 45 degrees and rebooted.  I came back up on n71.  Then I rotated it counterclockwise 90 degrees and waited.  No change.  I rebooted and it came back on n41.  I will be interested to see how long I stay on n41 this time.

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Yesterday for hours the 5G connection was absent so I gave up on any serious work online. Today it is back. I am not sure when the 5G signal from the tower at 0 degrees started up again as I did not monitor it. It is back this morning and pretty much as it most commonly is. The 4G LTE signal commonly appears to be delivered from the tower at 270 degrees and the 5G signal originates at 0 degrees 5.3 miles away. So far this behavior has little variation and I have not seen other than the n71 channel here. Since we are in a rural location with lesser population density it stands to reason they would use the n71 for broader coverage. The speeds we have here with T-MO are 10X our service in CA for less cost it is harder to complain about but the unpredictability tends to be similar to PG&E electric service in CA. Doh! That is not a compliment. I hope your connections improve. I think given time the solution will mature and become more stable.

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Hum… When you pulled the secondary signal with the RSRP at -111 dBm was that with the n41 or n71 channel? If that was with the n41 connected on the secondary signal that would put the reception at the outer cell edge. According to the tables I have found RSRP <= -100 would be defined as cell edge. I really would find out the coordinates of the tower that both the n41 comes out of and the n71. It may be your router is at the outer edge of the n41 but solid in the n71 so it tends to fall off the n41. Just speculation on my part, but knowing your coordinates in relation to the tower the signal originates would for sure provide some clues. I would ask T-Mobile if both the n41 and n71 are transmitted off the same tower. I would think so. 

I really think much of the disconnects are related to the tower gear. The 5G delivery even on n71 seems to be rather flakey to me. The signal currently is not even present as far as my router is concerned. The 4G is delivered from roughly 270 degrees which is NOT the same tower here. Until T-Mobile gets their 5G network a bit more mature I think we are going to continue to see delivery that is unpredictable.

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My modem dropped off n41 today and fell back to n71.  Still decent speeds but definitely slower.  A reboot brought me right back up on n41.  Looking at my previous posts I think I had similar issues last Sunday only I fell from n71 to nothing on the secondary channel.  I have my speed test app checking speeds every 6 hours.  My downloads have mostly been above 150 Mbps since my reboot on Tuesday.  Today they dropped below 100 Mbps.  I’ll increase my speed tests to hourly for a while to gather more data.

Before reboot

 

After reboot

 

 

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You can connect to the web UI with 192.168.12.1 via the wireless as long as associated with the WIFI signal. I find using an ethernet cable better. That is my preference as the WIFI on my MacBook Pro seems to be a little less reliable than some of my other clients.

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If you want to really do a power cycle you can use the power switch on the router. I have unplugged the can but well if the power switch is ON then well the battery will deliver power for the tower radios. Just use the switch on the back. Allow the router to sit for like 30 seconds or so to allow capacitors to drain down and then power it back on. It will take approximately 2 minutes to fully initialize. Once it comes back I like to use an ethernet cable and login to the HTML UI to review operation and make any changes  I think necessary.

I’ve also discovered that occasional reboots are helpful. What’s aggravating is that I can’t find an easy way to do that other than signing into the web portal. If you unplug the gateway, it just runs on battery. Has anyone found a quicker way to reboot?

Power down(on/off button). I also unplug the unit, plug back in after 30 seconds, then power on.

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You are welcome. I was thinking if you know the distance to the tower from your coordinates it would be good to look at the coverage for the n41. I believe it only spans our maybe 3 miles. If you are on the outer fringe maybe that would account for the signal being unstable. I know I am 5.3 miles line of sight to the tower I am connected to and it is sending on n71 so my signal should hold pretty stable. The price I pay to be in the rural area with the mountain view. :slight_smile:  I just wonder if the radios operating on the edge of the delivery reach for the signals tend to waver from time to time. I am sure the throughput is lower as the radio is farther away from the tower. Probably follows the same basic physics as WIFI signaling in that respect.  Good luck with it. 

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I just checked cellmapper.net and it looks like a couple n41 cells were added to our tower over the last couple months.  I’m guessing that’s what I’m attached to now.  I will probably leave the modem alone for now but if I fall back to n71 I may try some different rotation angles to see which one works best.  Your diagram will help with that.  Thanks!

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From helping my neighbor out with his router I discovered some interesting information about the design of the can and made this diagram. I believe the antenna labeled 5G-4 is the one that the n71 channel is received upon. The tower here is due North so I spin the 5G-4 to have the best exposure and that helps in this location.

 

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So your router receives the n71 channel how do your RSRP, RSRQ and SNR values for the 5G now? Probably the RSRP has come up a few dBM.

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I was not really running scheduled periodic speed tests. Well, given mine was dropping both channels it would have been clear when the disruptions were but running the concurrent PINGs was helpful as the lag and flakey response of the HTML reporting by the router to the client did not give me a real accurate picture when it actually was down on the uplinks. It might be a cashing and refresh issue in the software. I can see the real time clock on the one view running but that I am not sure matters much.

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From what I have seen with my T-Mobile router is that it will do ~150-170 Mbs down in periods when the traffic through the tower is not as heavy. The spin of my router to expose the surface to the left of the back side of the router, i.e. where the LAN ports etc… are allowed the 5G to improve and the LTE went down a bit. I think the radial radio antenna design in this router maybe prevents getting the best signal wash for both LTE and 5G signals.

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I’ve increased the frequency that my scheduled speed tests are run so I will have a better idea of if / when things change.

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Right but what I found on waveform.com, is that signal quality plays a big role in throughput and I believe this as if you have lots of bandwidth but errors you will have retransmits due to the basic operation of TCP/IP. Clean is always better of course. I would bet they did an upgrade on the tower your device is associated with.

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I use a Linux client and run concurrent PINGs to google, guad9 and cloud flare DNS servers to compare latency. Run them and then record the values you have for the primary and secondary channels. I would bet you will see a nice change on the n71 channel with the 5G. Your download speed test is pretty good. Mine currently will pull 127 MBs down and 35 Mbs up with 54 ms latency to a server in KY. That is pretty consistent for that server.

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Yes.  Lower frequencies go further but are slower.

https://www.t-mobile.com/support/coverage/t-mobile-network

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OK so interesting. My understanding, unless my memory fails me, is that n71 has more reach than the n41 band.

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So you are on the n41 5G channel and your unit reports -108 dBm so that is in the Fair signal strength range. The -11 dBm puts the signal quality in the excellent range and the signal to noise ration is 13 dBm so that is still in the good range. I forget the range of the n41 band. I would have to look that up myself. I can't keep these things in my head. I do recall in my research seeing estimated range values for various 5G channels. I had some success with the rotation of my router making the 5G n71 come up 3-4 dBm and the 4G LTE went down but the end result was the LED panel on top of the router reports 4 bars vs 3 when I spin the can to have the 5G so it is most exposed in the direction of the tower. That is interesting. We appear to have the same hardware revision 3TG00739AAAA. Good or bad I dont know but we for sure use different primary and secondary channels.

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After posting my screenshots I realized that I actually don’t usually get n41 for my secondary signal.  I am usually on n71.  I can confirm 200 Mbps downloads now so maybe something has changed on the tower in town and I’m getting better reception now.  Woot!

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I ran into a new issue but I think I’ve seen a few other posts touch on it.  Yesterday I noticed my connection seemed slower than usual.  It continued today and I finally considered doing a speed test to confirm.  It was not dead in the water like my usual overheating scenario so I did not immediately assume it was a modem issue.  My speed test came back with around 10 Mbps download.  Yikes!  I have the FCC speed test app on my phone and it does background checks once a day.  It shows that my speed dropped from 72 Mbps on Sunday to 5 Mbps on Monday and 2 Mbps today.  So I checked the modem and noticed that my primary signal was on B2 and my secondary signal was not connected.  A quick reboot brought me back to B66 / n41 and my usual speeds.  It would be nice if the modem would keep an eye out for better signals and switch back when possible.  I understand falling down from time to time if something is unavailable but why not pop back up too?  Here are some before and after screenshots.

 

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So you are running the TP-Link Archer C6 I get that but you are aware the Nokia is 802.11ax capable. I thought of getting another router to link to the Nokia just to have better visibility and more control of the clients as the Nokia is a bit limited. Do you receive the 5G band or not? you talk of the device as a LTE router but it should have both LTE and 5G signal links. I found when mine drops only to LTE it tends to be much less reliable than when the n71 channel is also up. I would for sure monitor the signals that link up to the tower. 

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