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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

AT&T MicroCell Fixed Problem

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VegasGeorge's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 23, 2006
Location: Las Vegas, NV USA
Posts: 893
VegasGeorge is a jewel in the roughVegasGeorge is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: iMac, and Macbook Pro

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Like many iPhone users, I have a MicroCell unit in my home. It worked fine for several months. A few days ago it lost its connection. The only thing I can think of that changed was my introducing a new Airport Express into my network. I have a simple home network consisting of a cable modem, Airport Extreme router, and Macs. The MicroCell was hard wired to the router. When I added the Express, I changed the network password and encryption level. But nothing in the MicroCell manual even talks about that. It's supposed to be plug and play.

I followed all the published procedures for rebooting and troubleshooting the MicroCell. Nothing worked. I called AT&T. The best they could come up with was to tell me to put my MicroCell "closer to a window." They claimed that it couldn't get a GPS fix and would need up to 24 hours near a window to reset. I told them that it had been working fine in its present position for months. They didn't care. So finally, I resorted to my own common sense and experience dealing with devices. I proceeded on the assumption that changing the password or encryption somehow interrupted the pairing of the MicroCell and the router.

Using a paperclip, I held in the totally undocumented and unmentioned "reset" button on the back of the MicroCell for 10 seconds. Then I unplugged it. I went to the AT&T website for Activation, and deactivated my MicroCell. Finally, I went through the documented procedure for activating a new MicroCell. 30 minutes later, I had a fully up and running MicroCell with no problems. And, it's in the same place on the bookshelf it used to be. It didn't need to be any closer to a window.

I hope this helps someone with similar problems.
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Member Since: Oct 28, 2014
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For those stumbling upon this post, which appears at the top of several Google searches on troubleshooting MicroCell devices, the process works and has nothing to do with iPhones nor any Apple products. I have not one Apple networking product and no iPhones being used with the device yet had the same problems, though I was installing a MicroCell for the first time.

For whatever reason, I had to do the reset, unplug, then follow the procedure (again) to get this to work. Note that I purchased the MicroCell used and initially followed the documented procedure. Here are all of the steps, for those who may not have a manual (that is the 'documented' procedure I followed):

1. With MicroCell still plugged in, unplug the ethernet cable
2. Using a paper clip, depress the Reset button for 10 seconds. If you watch the front of the device, the power light will briefly blink red before returning to green when 10 seconds have passed.
3. Unplug the MIcroCell power cable.
4. Log into your AT&T account and deactivate the MicroCell. Note the page is rather funky and I had to do this twice to get it to actually deactivate the device.
5. Connect the ethernet cable to the MicroCell.
6. Power on the MicroCell.
7. Activate the MicroCell through the AT&T website.
8. Wait patiently. It may take 5 minutes for it to start, but you should see the device going through the steps on the Activation Progress page of the AT&T website.
9. At this point, wait at least 90 minutes for the device to figure out where it is and begin working properly.

My MicroCell did not get hung on any of the steps leading up to the location step (where it stuck forever before moving on), so if that happens, you probably will need to contact AT&T to assist you. Note that if you can't even get the first step (power on) to register, the AT&T tech support is rather worthless.

My MicroCell is a Cisco DPH-153AT model.
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