New Choice Internet & Phone Service
Well I'm bummed.
My neighbor showed me his 3 Mbps setup and he's getting 2.9x down and .98 Mbps up which is basically as stated. I went out the next day (Thursday) and bought the 5 Mbps setup. When I brought it home mid-day I was able to get 4.8 Mbps down and about 1.7 up on our desktop which uses a wireless network connection to the router linked to the Wimax antenna. I came home after work and since that point until now I can't get more than about 1.2 Mbps down and .1-.2 up. I struggle to get two bars consistently in a concrete home now.
I called tech support early Friday afternoon and they were going to look into the local tower (Estate Cottage I believe) and get back to me but I never got a return call.
We'll give them another week or so to see if things improve before having to reluctantly return the antenna for a refund.
I was given one of those modems to check out over the weekend. It works good even now! I had to take down my antenna for Broadband VI so I have been on Choice all storm, so far. Still have power. Still have a signal an my Dish satellite! Both my pone services work, At & T and Centennial. Although Centennial is now owned by AT& T, they have kept the services apart. Thank God as I prefer the Centennial Service!
Oddly, we have BBVI, DirecTV, and Innovative all working. With the shutters on in a concrete house it just feels like I'm home playing hooky with the family and skipping work obligations (of course we were run out of the office this morning.) Feels strange to have full services like nothing is happening (usually my DirecTV connection goes down in a heavy rain but not today.)
Jim can you explain why I find that signal strength inceases depending upon the vertical height of the modem, I have no service with the unit on the floor, 1 bar on the coffe table and 2 bars on the shelf ~6ft above the floor. The modem is currently located near an interior corner, but the pattern repeats even near an exterior wall. Also is there a signal strength meter avialalbe for WiMax similar to the WiFi keychain fobs to find the best signal strength?
I can give you an educated guess, as this is a topic I've been studying for about 20 years. The one word answer is "multipath". A little more info to help you to decide what to do:
- RF energy will bounce off of many different materials (it actually reradiates... but for simplicity think of it as just bouncing)
- if there is a direct path and a bounced path to your antenna then you have the potential for "multipath interference". The signal from the direct path and the signal from the bounced path can add destructively or constructively depending on simple geometry and the wavelength of the signal
- if the direct signal and the bounced signal are 180 degrees out of phase when they reach your antenna then there is full destructive interference
- you can actually get constructive interference if the bounced signal and direct signal are in phase. This could give you a 6 dB better signal
- your concrete floors are smooth and bounce the signal very well (especially if it gets wet from rain)
- there is always destructive interference down close to the bounce surface because there is an automatic phase change caused by the bounce (180 deg phase change from the bounce)
- I have simple multipath models that I use for my work, but it's not worth going to this level of detail. Just keep raising the antenna until the signal is strong enough. One caution: if you keep raising your antenna you can reach another destructive adding geometry, so I would raise the antenna in about 1 ft increments, looking for a peak signal.
Sounds alittle like a mico version of wave propagation.
That was radio waves bouncing off the earth, sea & ionosphere.
The distance is determined by the bounce angle, though it is also common to have multiple bounces!
Sorry, I got caught up in my when I was 13 year old radio technician stuff!
I don't know, talk 10,000 miles away duplex(both ways) on 12 watts(the power of one taillight bulb).
I thought it was very interesting in the early 70's!
Of topic, but thanks for the throwback EngRMP !
Actually, I think what you're referring to is "ducting". If you get an atmosphere where the dielectric properties change as a function of height above ground/water, then that atmosphere acts like a lens that bends electromagnetic energy. Over long distances, this bending can effectively be a "bounce"; or channel the signal into what appears to be a "duct". You can see this effect over water if there are light/no winds and humidity is changing (quickly getting worse/better). I saw this effect along the coast of California last year. We were looking at a tanker that was heading out of port in the morning. Typical CA cool morning. By the time the ship got about 10 miles out, the Sun came up and quickly started to warm the air. There was no wind. All of a sudden, the ship appeared about three times taller than it had looked. It only lasted about 10 minutes.
At the top of our atmosphere, I think you have the same effect. The atmosphere is thinning which is a changing dielectric distribution.
But, this phenomena typically acts over much longer distances than internet tower to house distances. If STX was receiving it's wireless link from STT then this could be a player in performance... but, in that scenario the multipath effect would be a killer.
Sorry... also probably a bit off topic...
In the words of "Ogre" NNNEEEERRRRDDDDDSSSS!!!! But I'm one too so I find it interesting.
O/T I haven't had much luck with Choice the last few days. Service has basically been non-existant since the storm for me but I am very busy with work right now so haven't had time to call them/deal with it. I switched back to my Innovative DSL until I can troubleshoot.
BBVI has been on and off on the East end of STX depending on the status of their generator.
Choice apparently doesn't have a generator but depended on battery backup which was OK on Monday but after that wait for WAPA to come back so they can recharge their batteries.
AT&T still waiting for the generator repair man. Have to drive towards Christiansted to pick up a signal to make calls and check for VM.
Apparently Innovative CATV is also off because their East end generator isn't working. Don't know for sure as I gave up on Innovative in June and went to Dish.
Hard to believe that all this 21st century technology depends on 19th century generators.
I called Choice yesterday to follow up on my complaint to them last week about my new high speed WiMax connection not working. The apologized for not getting back to me and said they had some other significant issues they had to deal with first (presumably from the storm.)
Oh well, good thing I didn't cancel BBVI yet. I'll give Choice another couple of weeks or so and then I'm returning their antenna before my 30 day window is up.
I called them today to see what if anything was happening. The first person I spoke with told me that everything was working so it must be me.
The second person I spoke with told me they still have some issues.
Both of the "tech support people" were script jockeys. They really didn't have a clue. When I told them I was in the status and set up screens and started reading them back information they were speechless. Their solution to everything is to power cycle the modem and if that doesn't work try it again and move the modem to another location.
I'm still having issues, it is a little better right now but its just all over the place and not stable enough right now to get rid of my other connection.
Support emailed me back today, acknowledged problems since the storm, told me to reset the modem several times a day to take updates as they are really changing things often with their network, and if I was still having problems call them tomorrow. I won't have time to do that during business hours so I will likely see if things have improved when I get back from a business trip next week and make my final decision as to the viability of the service then.
My service came back Saturday evening. On Monday before their battery backup failed I was getting a fairly consistent 5 Mbps down 1 Mbps up.
Now I am getting 256kbps down and maybe 700Kbps up. They still have lots of work to do.
FYI The problem with not having working generators is the primary responsibility of the tower's owner. AT&T, Choice, BBVI, etc rent tower space from the the tower's owner. The owner is supposed to be responsible for maintaining the site, tower grounding, generators, etc.
Stealing generators is very common here. If you leave a portable generator at a remote site it will be taken. You have to leave an employee at the site to guard the generator.