Tips from our Customers: Overcoming a Network Outage
By Gretchen Freeman, Principal Librarian/Strategist / March 29, 2017 / Categories: #AMH

Frisco Public Library in Frisco, TX, recently experienced a total network and Internet connectivity outage—both wired and wireless network access were down. As with many of our customers, Frisco Public library relies on its Tech Logic UltraSort AMH to check in and sort all returned materials. When network connectivity failed, the AMH could no longer communicate with the library’s ILS server to remove materials from patron records. Not only did staff have to check in materials manually, but patron services suffered as a result.

When the outage occurred, a quick-thinking library staff member came to the rescue. The library had a Cradlepoint MBR1400 wireless router with a substantial cellular data plan on site (originally intended to support the AARP tax assistance team working at the library). Rojelio Davazos, a Frisco staff member, followed these steps to bring the UltraSort AMH back online during the outage.

  • Power up the Cradlepoint router
  • Close open applications
  • Check: Is there a modem card? How is the cellular connection established?
  • Connect the UltraSort’s ethernet cable to the Cradlepoint router
  • Open a web browser and it will redirect to the Cradlepoint login screen
  • Enter the password to start the Cradlepoint connection
  • Adjust the router’s built-in antennas for maximum signal strength
  • Verify internet connectivity
  • Open UltraSort AMH software and resume processing.

This sequence worked like a charm and the library’s AMH was immediately back up and running. The router also supported a couple of self-checkout stations and staff computers during the network outage. The library could have achieved the connection with multiple W-Fi hot spot devices, but using a single Cradlepoint router (priced around $400) was a simple and effective solution.

Instead of having the AMH offline and materials waiting to be checked in, Frisco was able to keep its technology operating with this creative solution. It’s good to know that having a router with cellular access will function as a back-up for critical network connectivity.

Thanks for sharing your solution, Frisco Public!