What set-up do you recommend?

Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
3
#1
I am based in the UK living in a semi-rural area which I have managed to squeeze 3.5Mb out of ADSL until they introduced fibre to the exchange, not anywhere near me and now I struggle to get to 2Mb and sometime drops a lot further.

I am just learning about 4g after getting another adsl router with 4g built in - a Billion 7800dxl. This needs a dongle to work and is limited to 21Mb. This has triggered my interest and I don't really see the benefit of spending more money on a dongle, but going for a better quality 4g router and external antenna. Any advice would be appreciated.

I am less than one kilometer from a 4g mast - unfortunately it is in a dip and so am i plus it is surrounded by tall trees - definitely can't see it. The mast is 16m high power is 32dbW and frequency is 1800Mhz. I would estimate less than hundred properties within a 2 km radius but is near a motorway if this makes a difference.

My bias is to get either a router or mifi with minimum support of 10 devices, ideally have an option for external aerials. The Huawei B593 LTE looked like an interesting possible option - I would like to be able to cap the data usage via software if possible - by mac address would be an added benefit. Certainly within a monthly window. Any advice based on the above and yuor own experience would be gratefully received - Thanks
 

ginggs

Super Grandwizard
Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
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11,273
#2
I recommend a standalone router; either a MikroTik (e.g. RB750UP) or something that can be flashed with the ROOter firmware, and a separate USB LTE modem; either Huawei or Sierra Wireless. I think this would give you the most flexibility in terms of hardware and software.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
3
#3
Ginggs, Thanks for the tips - that really helps me understand some of the challenges ahead. Looking through the threads ROOter reminds me of a similar approach that DGTeam did with netgear on ADSL and Routerstats both of which I used to squeeze the life out of my useless ADSL line. The Billion router I have now I would say is the commercial evolution of these products. The number of 4G routers/mifi's/dongles coming out now is certainly confusing to a newbie like me, but I sense there has been some evolution over the last 12 months. These I would guess are most likely behind ROOter at this stage but I was hoping to start with a stock solution. Having experienced my line degrade and not being able to do anything about it despite protracted support and engineer calls.

I would like to try to use basic tools via ios/android/PC to locate towers and measure speeds. I am happy to set-up reboot a few times a day - if it needs it but just want to make sure I can get a decent connection for say 4-6hours at a time. I know I will need an external antenna as mobile signals seem to pretty weak in the house. Do I try 2 * yagi even though I can't see transmitter or an omni antenna. Signal for me is high on agenda - then choosing the kit that hopefully connects directly to that I am guessing preferably not through adaptors. Yagi seems to be becoming less common, is there a reason for this?
 

ginggs

Super Grandwizard
Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
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11,273
#4
I would like to try to use basic tools via ios/android/PC to locate towers and measure speeds.
Do this first. If you go for a standalone router + USB modem you can test speeds, measure signal strength and get cell IDs with the modem connected to a laptop.
Do I try 2 * yagi even though I can't see transmitter or an omni antenna.
If there is only one base station in your area that provides a good signal, then use a directional antenna.
If you are in the middle of a couple of base stations an omni might work, but the gain will not be as much.
Yagi seems to be becoming less common, is there a reason for this?
Where is Yagi becoming less common? Many people confuse Yagi with LPDA.
 

sajunky

Honorary Master
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
12,785
#5
In rural areas where microwave polution is smaller, omni antenna gives similiar results to directional one (if you accept slightly lower signal). In urban areas directional antenna is preferable due to rejecting unwanted radiation from other directions.

You can use YAGI - it is cheaper than LDPA - just make sure it is tuned to the center of frequency of your tower. Easy setup for Telkom FDD technology (as transmit and receive frequency is in the same band).
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
3
#6
Early Steps...

Been away - xmas and all that...

I am trying out a Huawei B593 B593s-22 - initially this struggled to pick up anything. Pairing it up with Poynting Omni directional aerial the best I can get so far if 1 - 2 bars. This gets me 20-25Mb download and about 3-5Mb Upload a big improvement on a measly 2Mb ADSL that I am getting - always nice to get more.

Scanning slowly there seem to be three distinct patches that pick up similar signals in different directions. I have only tried this at floor level and on the top of a flat roof held above the head and on first floor. None of if seems to make much difference from pointing it through the window at ground level.

I need to work a lot on siting these boxes and antenna as signal drops across the house, so probably need to hard wire or relocate - Huawei doesn't seem brilliant at wireless signal just average. House has lots of brick walls so can sometime end up going through at least two brick walls.

I did try taking the unit out in a car and driving up the road about 8 miles there were odd pockets where the unit would should 4-5 bars but 90% of the time even within sight of some masks it would struggle to get over 1 bar. Makes me wonder whether the unit is under performing as I would think a 4g mobile phone would outperform this?

My comment on Yagi appearing less popular is there just didn't seem to be many options around - definitely here to learn from what others have experienced. Confused as to whether to try Yagi - although will need to wait some time to afford this or consider building my own if anyone thinks that this might work?

I live in an area of about 100 - 150 houses spread over 3 miles house is in a dip and mast are typically other sides of hills in there own dips - might get closes to line of site on top of main roof but with -4 temps outside and not mad keen to leap on roofs in general - I will hold off for now.

Thanks for advice so far - seasons greeting and happy new year from UK
 
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