Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

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I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 6

Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

I have been reading quite a bit about Mobile Internet devices dropping connections and it seems to be  common that when the network gets busy it gives priority to voice calls and things like my Rocket Stick basically get booted off. This is not the new LTE stick, it is about three years old.

 

My situation is this: I maintain a remote weather reporting station with the only available option for uploading to the internet is Mobile. I am not able to go to the station every couple hours or so to restart the connection. Last summer it did not seem as bad and would often run for a week or two without dropping the connection. Now it seems to only stay connected for a couple hours max. The stick is basically never idle since it uploads data every 5 to 10 seconds. I run the station console through a small netbook with WXP. I tried setting up the computer to do automatic restart using shutdown.exe /r but it seems you can only do one instance of this scheduled task and the most frequent you can have it occur is daily. This would need to occur like every two hours or so to be any help at all. When the computer restarts it can start the Rogers Connection software automatically and the stick will connnect automatically (did not yet quite work out the automatic connection because it seemed to change the Autoconnect=1 to a =0 in the config file sometimes but that would likely be fixable).

 

If anybody has any ideas on how I may overcome this problem I would appreciate the help.

 

Thanks

 

 

***Edited labels***

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 13

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

Hello, I have a great solution for you.

 

Get the MOFI3500-3GN version 2 4G/LTE router and put your stick in there and hook up your device via ethernet.

 

If the signal is lost on the router, the router has the software to automatically reconnect.

 

Rogers in general is very very stable.  In fact, I cannot believe how stable the LTE sticks has been but of course, there will always be disconnects and the MOFI router will solve your issue.

 

Also, there are many other features you might want to use in the router such as OpenVPN or varoius other software.

 

 

 

I'm an Advisor
Posts: 842

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

@MofiTech:

 

you seem to be very enthusiastic about the MOFI3500-3GN router.  If I understand correctly it is being sold at various places for about $100.  But I already own a Rogers RocketHub which I bought for lots more than that.  Just like davidmc36, I get lots of dropped internet connections on the Rogers 3G network.

 

Why should I and the many others who bought RocketHub/RocketStick devices at considerably cost, now want to spend even more money to successfully use an overpriced cellular internet connection service as offered by Rogers???  I say, let Rogers fix and upgrade its network facilities and provide us with the service for which we have contracted and paid dearly!  I should not need to spend more money on more hardware.

 

It sounds to me like you are a marketing/technical support type who is genuinely trying to do your job and help people.  But please!  Rogers needs to get its stuff working and provide proper service to its customers.

 

In the meantime, thanks for your help.

 

skinorth

 

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I'm a Trusted Enthusiast
Posts: 225

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

research your sticks settings and any ability to lock it into one band... or invest into an antenna to lock it into one tower...I have a rocket hub that could pick up 5 towers and decided it wanted to roam... thus would go from 3G to edge etc etc.. 

 

check out  http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html for towers located near you... if you have a few, then look at getting a YAGI antenna to point it at the most relevant.

 

My router sitting on a desk seemed to want to roam.. but my house never moved LOL. 

I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 6

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

A router of any kind would not be a viable solution since we run on solar power and would not have enough to sustain it, but the yagi idea sounds interesting. The map shows a tower about two km from my location and the next two closest are 5-7 km. Does anybody know where to get the right connector for the external antenna hook-up on the stick? Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm an Advisor
Posts: 842

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

@davidmc36:

 

most sellers of antennas for this purpose also provide the required connectors/pigtails to go to specific devices.  You need to specify to them the exact make/model of the Rocket Stick, or the exact connector type, for them to provide you with what you need.

Here is one web site that describes antennas and related products:

 

http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/ProductDetails.aspx?Product=124&Category=28

 

The use of a good antenna will definitely help.  But I wonder if you might want to investigate some kind of Windows Powershell script that would automate the whole process for you.  I am no Powershell expert, but it is my impression that it would have the functionality to allow you to automate the process of detecting application/communications errors and the recovery process required to correct the associated problems.  See the following URL for a description of Powershell:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_PowerShell

 

You know that your application environment will need to be capable of handling disconnects from time to time.  Any application that uses external communications will encounter these kinds of errors and disconnects.

 

In fact, disconnects seem more than routine on the Rogers cell network internet access service.  They seem to be a built-in hazard which Rogers Internet users encounter all too frequently.  Hence you must plan on recovering in some automated fashion from them in order to have a viable remote monitoring application setup.

 

You mentioned in your original posting that data is transmitted every five to ten seconds. This frequency seems very high, and may be contributing to the failure rate.

 

Would it be possible to buffer the data for a more extended period of time, and then do a transmission of larger amounts of data, but much less frequently.  You may be able to build in more robustness into the application by changing your communications approach in some fashion like that.

 

skinorth

I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 6

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

It seems strange that the frequent data transmission would have anything to do with it. Last summer I had one stretch where it went for eight days straight without a hiccup. The first five days were full sun and then three rainy days and it ran out of power.

 

This summer has be absolute crap. I chalked it up to the launch of LTE and what some folks have been saying about the network giving priority to voice. The system seems to be overloaded. Also I never used to get dropped calls on my cell until this summer either and I ususally have one or two per day. Even if this thing would go back to typical behavior I would be happy. Average last summer was two or three days with no disconects. I could live with that but can't be going there every two hours to re-set it.

 

Another club member is working on a batch file to get it to restart every couple hours which may cure it for our purposes. I just need to get around the inconsistent automatic starting of the actual connection when the Rogers Connection Software fires back up. Doesn't want to do it every time. Maybe he will just dump using the program and run it as a dial-up connection controlled by the batch file.

I'm an Advisor
Posts: 842

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

@davidmc36:

 

the reason I suggested changing the time period between transmissions is that I have encountered times where the Internet, via Rogers cell connection, would take in the excess of five to ten seconds even to respond to any requests I made.

 

My thinking was that the setup time for a given connection could be in the excess of five to ten seconds, which might cause multiple application communication requests to back up, causing uncertain results, and possible "choking" of the whole process.

 

Once a data transmission request is set up and in process, depending on the amount of data to be transmitted, the actual time taken to perform the communication would likely be much shorter than five to ten seconds.

 

skinorth

 

 

 

I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 6

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

I finally got back to the Rocket Stick issue. The other memeber did not have time to work on it so I employed my old friend Google and learned how to write a batch file for restarting the laptop.

 

Just don't use the Roger's software. Make a shortcut to the ZTE Modem dial-up connection that is in your network folder and put it in your start-up folder. Also put the batch file there and have it start a one hour countdown to restart every time it starts.

 

Internet connection re starts no problem. About a three minute lapse.

 

shutdown -r -t 3600

 That's all there is to it.

 

I had no idea it was that easy.

I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 6

Re: Automatic Restarting of Rocket Stick

So I had limited success with the auto restart of the laptop. It would restart the connection no problem but the stick would still lock up after a very short period of time, even as short as ten or fifteen minutes.

 

I used skinorth's advice about the too frequent sending of data and right now is set to do uploads at only five minute intervals. Solid for the last 48 hours, no disconnects.

 

I am wondering if that is the only reason it is working better or if there has been a catch-up of capability on the network since I seem to be having fewer dropped calls on my Roger's phone lately.

 

I wonder if I could bring the data transmission frequency up to something like one minute intervals and still be OK?

 

Will do some further testing.