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CE 5.0 device bogs *way* down when cell reception bad - can't replicate RRS feed

  • Question

  • Folks, I really hope you can help me out here. 

    We have a software package that is running on a Windows Mobile 5 device (sorry, I am not all that clear when it is right to call it CE or Mobile or what version applies where ;p).  In any case, we are sending data intermittently to a server via http, using the GPRS on the device.  The problem is is that the places where this device is being deployed have very bad reception.  The device as wa whole becomes almost unusable when this occurs.  One of the problems is that I can't replicate the problem here in California in the SF Bay area.  I am experimenting with bandwidth throttlers to see i I can't bring up the problem, but no luck so far.

    I am an old-school game programmer, optimization is not a problem...but I can't do it unless I can actually know what's going on.  The problem is bad enough that the client is currently taking the SIMM cards out so that they don't even *Try* to use GPRS, but that still doesn't give me a whole bunch of insight into the problem.

    Does anyone know of a good tool that will simulate a really poor connection?  I am currently trying to replicate the problem with the device cradled, using my PC for it's Internet connection, and using a tool to throttle my PC's bandwidth.  I'm not very happy with this as it isn't a true indicator of what may be going on, and I don't want to fix something that isn't broken.

    Also useful would be a way to monitor the data rate and QOS directly (in code would be nice), so any leads on that would help also

    Thanks,

       Sean

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 6:21 AM

Answers

  • Paul,

       Windows Mobile 5.  The confusion is because of the various versions of Windows Mobile, .NETCF, and WindowsCE.

       Also, at shows where this happens the battery life is much shorter.  This is not really an issue,I am just noting it because this seems to me to indicate that the device is working much harder than normal in these conditions, and that this may be affecting the whole system (less CPU available for other tasks).  I would feel a *lot* better about this if I could only get the device to exhibit the problem where I can see it.  At worst, I may have to grab a laptop and fly out to a location where this is happening to see if I can pin it down.

       Can you point me to some tools that would help if I *can* replicate the problem? 

    Thanks,

       Sean

     

    You've already tried the tools I would recommend (throttling the data connection). After that, it sounds like an issue with your WWAN driver and you will have to get tools from your OEM or WWAN device manufacturer.

    Good luck!

    • Marked as answer by seanhunt1 Sunday, August 5, 2012 9:28 AM
    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:57 PM

All replies

  • Hi seanhunt1, what a mess you are saying.....

    Would you mind interpret clearly about your doubt?


    Please not forget mark your answer, and unmark your disagreed point.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:16 AM
  • A blue theme is Windows Mobile 5
    A green theme is Windows Mobile 6
    A blue theme with fancy gradients and such is Windows Mobile 6.5 (AKA Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5)
    An ugly theme is Windows CE.

    Is it your software package that gets slow or the device itself? (i.e. if you close your software is the device still slow?)
    If it's the software package, try connecting to an 802.11 AP and limiting the available bandwidth or artifically increasing the latency. This is possible when connecting to a Linux server. This may help.

    If its the device itself that gets slow, then you probably have an issue with the WWAN driver. Unless you are the OEM there is little you can do but contact the OEM and plead for support.

    -PaulH


    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    • Edited by PaulH79 Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:58 PM
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:56 PM
  • Paul,

       The application is running in 'kiosk' mode, so we don't really know if th ntire device is bogged or just our app; also, I am getting this second-hand, as this is deployed at conferences that are in various locations, I am not there, and it doesn't happen where I am.  It appears to be linked to really poor 3G connectivity at the location.  We are pretty much forced to rely on GPRS when available, not 802.11 or Bluetooth, unfortunately. 

       We are using HTTP to send data to a URL.  I have tried to limit the bandwidth with the device cradled and the PC's bandwidth throttled way down, with no luck, the application works fine.  The problem appears to be related to the GPRS connection being dropped and reconnecting.

       Each record sent is less than 200 bytes.  The app is written using a background thread which checks for a  a connection, then sends data if possible.  If there isn't a response, the thread goes to sleep and tries again some minutes later.

       If the SIMM card is removed the problem goes away (no card = no network = no attempt at sending data).  We've also included an option to disable the data send in the app itself.  These are really just workarounds though, as one of the main features of the package is the ability to update the data on the server as it is collected. This is a badge scanning app and device, the badge data should show up on the server fairly shortly after a badge is scanned.

       We are talking to the OEM and are getting a firmware update, if this fixes the issue, great, but I am not counting on it at the moment.

    Thank you,

       Sean

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:52 PM
  • Paul,

       Windows Mobile 5.  The confusion is because of the various versions of Windows Mobile, .NETCF, and WindowsCE.

       Also, at shows where this happens the battery life is much shorter.  This is not really an issue,I am just noting it because this seems to me to indicate that the device is working much harder than normal in these conditions, and that this may be affecting the whole system (less CPU available for other tasks).  I would feel a *lot* better about this if I could only get the device to exhibit the problem where I can see it.  At worst, I may have to grab a laptop and fly out to a location where this is happening to see if I can pin it down.

       Can you point me to some tools that would help if I *can* replicate the problem? 

    Thanks,

       Sean

     

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:01 PM
  •    I was trying to provide as much information on the problem as possible.  Could you point out what was unclear?

    Thanks you,

       Sean

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:02 PM
  • Paul,

       Windows Mobile 5.  The confusion is because of the various versions of Windows Mobile, .NETCF, and WindowsCE.

       Also, at shows where this happens the battery life is much shorter.  This is not really an issue,I am just noting it because this seems to me to indicate that the device is working much harder than normal in these conditions, and that this may be affecting the whole system (less CPU available for other tasks).  I would feel a *lot* better about this if I could only get the device to exhibit the problem where I can see it.  At worst, I may have to grab a laptop and fly out to a location where this is happening to see if I can pin it down.

       Can you point me to some tools that would help if I *can* replicate the problem? 

    Thanks,

       Sean

     

    You've already tried the tools I would recommend (throttling the data connection). After that, it sounds like an issue with your WWAN driver and you will have to get tools from your OEM or WWAN device manufacturer.

    Good luck!

    • Marked as answer by seanhunt1 Sunday, August 5, 2012 9:28 AM
    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:57 PM