Signal strength with Boron varies widely

I recently replaced two Electrons with Borons because 1) the Electrons’ went off line often and for extended periods due to very low cellular signal strength and 2) 3G cellular is going to be shut down by AT&T in February. For the first couple of weeks, the Borons were rock solid, one sending a ‘0’ or a ‘1’ and the other receiving those values every 5 minutes, 24 x 7. Then one of them - the sender - started going off line several times per day, but not for extended periods. Then last week it went off line for 5 straight days; attempting to connect but never succeeding. I thought that perhaps that Boron was defective since nothing whatsoever had changed in the local environment during the entire period and the ambient temperature didn’t vary but just a few degrees from day today.

Since I had purchased a maintenance spare Boron, I swapped the backup for the production unit, but there was no change. I brought the production device to my home where there is a mountain between me and the closest LTE cellular tower and it connected here (but would come and go over time due to the almost non-existent signal). I then put the production Boron back in place. Then a couple of days ago the thing re-connected and hasn’t gone off line again since. Rock solid again. Clearly it has nothing to do with Particle hardware but, rather, the cellular service.

I am curious if anyone has seen such strange behavior and, if so, is there something that you were able to do to mitigate it to any degree.

Hi Brian-

Can you DM me the device ids so I can take a look at their behavior? That behavior is strange and, as you noted, is likely an issue with the cellular connection.

Hi Colleen. The ID of the Boron that has been having difficulty is e00fce68117446816642cba0. The one that it “talks” to via the Particle Cloud is e00fce68975f0d7fe35ea1a1.

Brian

I deployed a Boron LTE (BRN402) last Spring.
It collects wind speed, direction and temperature and sends 4 data points every 10 minutes via an API/web hook.
It ran flawlessly until October 15th.
At that point it started to have many disconnects followed by long periods of trying to reconnect.

I work closely with AT&T in my area as part of my day job.
I reached out to my contact and after some digging we found that my issue started when they added a new tower down the road.
The new tower includes 5G capability which includes band 14 being added and used.
As part of the new tower addition to the network in the area, the neighboring towers had band 14 enabled.
Since my setup is a seasonal use I pulled it and shelved the issue.
I’m back on the issue as I’ll want to reinstall this Spring.