We, like many of you, had a lot of fun following the device across I-90 yesterday morning on its journey from Spokane to Tacoma, and were just as frustrated to find out that it was unable to communicate around 4:30 yesterday afternoon.
The device bases its location on satellite and cellular network coverage which we knew would be spotty across I-90 but we had our fingers crossed that the updates would be continuous enough to allow people to watch this historic occasion as the pieces travel to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge project that is nearing its completion.
Although quite fun to follow, this was really created as a management tool to help people make informed decisions to avoid the rig that unavoidably takes up two lanes.
Now we wait and see and hope the communication with the device will start up again while the truck is still traveling during the day. Once the truck reaches North Bend it will only travel at night, which won't be as fun to watch but will certainly make it much easier for those who need to get to where they need to without a big truck in the way.
In the meantime, we are going to the backup plan to manually update the site every 15 minutes to keep you up to date on where the truck is.
Update: Thursday, 12:30pm
The device started communicating again around 12:20 or so. Turns out some faulty wiring was causing the connection issues. We had just finished the manual update page and had it ready to go...funny how that works out sometimes.
Update: Friday, 12:15 pm
Device had trouble communicating again last night. Since it's in Federal Way today we had a local expert from Olympia drive up and examine the device and he discovered that bent copper clips on the power poles were the sole source of our troubles. A local Radio Shack provided a new connector for the fix and we are crossing our fingers that we won't have any problems with the device when the second truck comes into town.