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Disabling dormant mode: no more "dormant-killers"

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_gt
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:44 am    Post subject: Disabling dormant mode: no more "dormant-killers" Reply with quote

You can DISABLE dormant mode by adding the following initialization string to your EVDO PC Card Modem settings (in xp it can be done using control panel -> modems applet):

at+cta=0

Different value instad of "0" will set inactivity timeout before entering dormant mode (in seconds). Default value is 20.

Tested on KPC650, but should work on all cards.
Enjoy Very Happy
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ajerison
EVDO User


Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you discuss the advantages we'd see from changing the inactivity timeout?

Thanks,

A.
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freelandm
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject: Dormant Killer Reply with quote

Nice work digging this up. Kyocera has documented this in their modem setup instructions:
Per http://www.kyocera-wireless.com/support/pdf/modem_setup.pdf
Cellular AT Commands for Packet Data Services Table
Command Description
+CTA=<value> Set/Read/Test Um packet data inactivity timer.
0 Traffic Channel not released during inactivity periods.
1−255 Release the Traffic Channel after <value> 1-second intervals have elapsed since last sending or receiving RLP data frames on the Um interface. 20 (default)

Are there any disadvantatges to doing this? I don't think so. When you're not surfing, there is no throughput, right...or does it use one of a limited number of connections at the tower?
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bonipie
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 16
Location: West US

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you be a little more specific about where I would make this statement? I get around XP ok, but sometimes I need to be pointed the right way. I'm guessing Device Manager > Modems > Kyocera .... > Properties > Advanced > ??? Would it be "Extra initialization commands:"

Thanks for any help. Boni
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freelandm
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

XP Professional: Start | Control Panel | Phone and Modem Options | Modems Tab | Kyocera CDMA Wireless Modem | Properties | Advanced
Paste at+cta=0 into the "Extra initialization commands" control.

Mike
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bonipie
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 16
Location: West US

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried the above in Windows XP Home and it made no difference in the time going into dormancy. We have always gone dormant after about 8 seconds of inactivity. I have tried to work out the problem with Verizon with no improvement. As a result, I always 'ping'. But, if we forget to ping, the connection goes dormant and sometimes cannot be coaxed out of dormancy. (In this case, we need to reboot or sometimes removing the card and reinserting it will get us back on the internet. Usually, if we start pinging, it will bring it out of dormant mode.) It is a problem-we really shouldn't have to go through the process of starting a ping everytime we want to use the internet. Any suggestions? I am using Verizon broadband and national access with a KPC650 card. I am not using Venturi or Norton's.

And, on the same (I think) subject, if I go for a KR1 router, can you ping or do something else to avoid dormancy? A friend experiences dropped connections with his KR1, and I was wondering if dormancy has anything to do with it.

Thanks, Boni
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freelandm
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I had more answers for you Sad It worked for me. I should note that I have a fairly weak signal and occasionally have to power off and power up my card. I do that through VZ Access Manager, under Options. It's a lot faster than rebooting the computer.
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Mackieman
EVDO Junkie


Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 491

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really think you should disable dormancy features on your EVDO devices. Data dormancy is a CDMA standard wherein data connections are preserved but air links are torn down when not in use thereby lowering the load on a particular cell site. This, in due turn, frees up spectrum for other users (both data and voice) and results in a better network experience for everyone. Dormancy is specified for most devices and tested as a part of CDG2 to operate correctly; there is almost no noticeable lag in establishing the air link when coming out of dormancy. I don't see how this will increase your performance; rather, I think it will hurt overall performance on a given cell site in the long run.
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tbhausen
EVDO Junkie


Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting... How does NDIS relate to all this?

Todd/Indy
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Mackieman
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Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 491

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NDIS is, as far as I know, not something that affects dormancy issues. Data dormancy deals with the CDMA portion of the connection between the EVDO device and network base station. NDIS helps pass data between the computer and the EVDO device over the specified bus (PCMCIA/Express/USB/whatever). If there was an NDIS issue I suppose it is possible that it would affect the ability of data to be passed thus not bring the device out of dormancy correctly but that seems like it might be an issue that affected the device regardless of dormant state.
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freelandm
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mackieman wrote:
<snip> Data dormancy ... frees up spectrum for other users (both data and voice) and results in a better network experience for everyone. <snip> I think it will hurt overall performance on a given cell site in the long run.


I suspected there would be an adverse social impact so I hesitated for many weeks before implimenting. Before I disabled dormancy our connection was regularly "stalling", so we started using Dormant Killer. We found it made a huge difference so we were grateful that we found a more lasting solution and no longer needed to run DK. We only have another 6 months on our contract, then I'll try Sprint, which has a tower only 1 mile from out house and has Rev A already in the vicinity...or perhaps cable will finally be out (Comcast has plans to extect the cable to our neighborhood "soon"). Then I'll be off the Versizon network. In any event, I understand I'm occupying a connection persistently, but if there is no throughput, how much of a difference does it really make to the community? Since July 2005 my total usage has only been 3271 MB, that's less than 200 MB per month.
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Mackieman
EVDO Junkie


Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 491

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freelandm wrote:
In any event, I understand I'm occupying a connection persistently, but if there is no throughput, how much of a difference does it really make to the community? Since July 2005 my total usage has only been 3271 MB, that's less than 200 MB per month.


The issue, as I noted previously, is that you're still eating up spectrum when you don't actually need to. CDMA allows for around 30 slots per 1.25MHz of spectrum space (may vary widely based on implementation). During dormancy, you maintain your data connection (DHCP information, etc) but the air link (also called traffic channel) is torn down, thus freeing up your spot on the base station. By disabling dormancy, you use one slot on the base station all the time, even when you don't need it for data, thus denying it to other users. It is not a matter of data usage; it is an RF issue of wasting valuable spectrum on a cell site.

In reality, having one person do this is probably not going to cause a major problem on any network. However, if lots of people start doing it, it can become a problem. And if a carrier found out you were doing it, I'd imagine that they would not be thrilled. In any event, your mileage may vary. Smile
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freelandm
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Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<snip> CDMA allows for around 30 slots per 1.25MHz of spectrum space (may vary widely based on implementation). During dormancy, you maintain your data connection (DHCP information, etc) but the air link (also called traffic channel) is torn down, thus freeing up your spot on the base station. <snip>

I understand now. Disabling dormancy is like leaving the cable plugged into my router...it still occupies one of a limited number of connections.
In the interest of social responsibility, I'll change it back to 20 and see how it works out. In the event that my connection starts to hang again, what alternatives can you recommend? I live in a weak signal area (one or two bars) and EVDO is my only broadband option at this point. I'm too far for DSL, no cable, dial-up is slow and very unreliable, satellite has latency issues and doesn't do VPN.
Thanks - Mike
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bonipie
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 16
Location: West US

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really agree that you should not (have to) ping or use a dormancy killer. However, I have worked several times with Verizon techs, and they agree that my connection going dormant at 8 seconds is excessive. They have tried to make certain changes (don't know what) with no difference. The normal methods to cancel dormancy did not work (f-something). If you take the time to compose and email or read one, it goes into a dormancy that does not recover. I don't think that it is too much to ask for better performance for $60 a month. Or, am I the only one that takes more than 8 seconds to compose an email.
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Ricks
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 24
Location: PA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:14 pm    Post subject: Dormant connection.. Reply with quote

I been using a freeware program call StayAlivePro. http://www.bysoft.com/
It automatically pings the network and is fully adjustable with pings.
Since I notice my connection went dormant between 9-11 seconds.
I set the ping for random 7-10 and this works for me.
A single ping every 7 seconds uses no bandwidth so it can ping all day.
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