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Recommended modem for B20...
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  New user, hoping to gain knowledge and help
Posted by: cpm - 22/11/2022, 11:49 AM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (8)

So first post, hello everyone Smile
Very informative forum, if not initially somewhat overwhelming for a novice like me.

Anyhow what brought me here is that I got my hands on a Three Hero 5g SIM.

Getting speeds up to 450Mbps on my S21 Ultra from front downstairs window sill. Sometimes around 100Mbps, but speeds are encouraging nonetheless.
nPerf reports 5G NSA. 

I've been doing plenty of reading and searching the forums. But need some direction/ initial advice for a novice, I'm feeling somewhat lost/overwhelmed.

So I'm considering ditching my 350Mbps Virgin Media fibre for 5G broadband. Many may say I'm mad, but it's €15 per 28 days compared to €75 monthly. And I don't use VM for TV, just broadband. Have Saorview and satellite dish for TV.

Anyhow I tried a Three branded ZTE MC801A 5G from 
CEX. I used it in bridge mode connected to my Asus mesh. Busy household and didn't tell anyone, and didn't receive any complaints. Ran it for several days including over the weekend.

However I noticed speeds dropped to around 60Mbps daily. Swapping SIM back to my phone brought speeds back up over double. Read up on various forums about Three pushing out updates etc in the past. So this made be nervous and I returned it.

So I'm looking for an unlocked 5G SIM modem now. I read up on ordering a Unicom VN007+ from AliExpress etc but just need some advice where to go from here (nice folks at ispreview.co.uk directed me here).

Looking to spend in the region €200-€300.

Any suggestions please.

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  Huawei 5G CPE WIN H312-371 - band lock
Posted by: chrisshan - 12/11/2022, 10:32 AM - Forum: Equipment and Software - Replies (5)

Hi guys,

The Huawei 5G CPE WIN H312-371 is an outdoor 5G CPE device and works quite well in n78 environment. I've got a situation where the service will favor a 4G signal over this 5G and drop speeds from 300mbps to circa 10mbps. Does anyone know if this can be band locked or know if 4G bands can be turned off? A simple reboot of the hardware will restore the 5G service, but this is irritating f

I have seen Huawei 5G CPE Pro 2 being band locked and assuming this can also be done? 

Side note for anyone, Huawei 5G CPE WIN H312-371 only supports NR NSA Bands 41, 77 & 78

As there are probably 100s of methods, please share your method if you have one.

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  Cell booster choice Vodafone
Posted by: Eagle - 31/10/2022, 10:34 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (3)

My neighbour is wanting to have cell coverage in the house to get calls/texts and also to use data on the phone , he's with vodafone. Would the booster interfere with the reception I get on 4G/5G? House is just infront of my antennas about 30m away abit to the right of the path of where I'd get signal. 

What would be the best options I could get him that isn't extremely expensive? I don't know what to get to be honest.

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  Three 5G Broadband Hub (Zyxel NR5103E) Disassembly
Posted by: Eagle - 30/10/2022, 05:49 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (72)

So in the pursuit of 5G where I am , 16km away from cell tower and tried the M5 nighthawk , S20 5G , Mikrotik Chateau 5G and they all are unable to register on N3 or N78 and it fails to connect in a loop despite adequate signal. Details here : https://confusedbird.com/thread-139.html

So I have finally half solved my problem with my theory about using a mediatek based modem (The Zyxel NR5103E)

Here's what I have so far,  was very difficult to take apart  that plastic housing over all the connectors/ethernet ports etc, You need something thin to slide around it and wedge it up , it's  held in by clips but after that it just slides out and rest is fairly straightforward.

Currently went from -126 RSRP on N78 to -110 RSRP with a 10m run of cable + TS9-SMA adapter using XPOL-V3

Goal is to fit inside the EPNT-2 to eliminate a 12m+ run of cable

More will keep being added as I'm posting and doing it as I speak Big Grin

Going by longest part of PCB it's 190mm exactly so would it squeeze in 5mm extra u think?

These are album links so theres more than one pic (need to scroll)

Initial opening of router:


Process of unplugging trying to get black assembly off :


Half of the assembly off , there's some thermal pads/paste and a heatsink mostly just plastic on first half with internal antenna connectors soldered on and terminating to some kind of ipex connectors. Disconnected all the internal antenna connectors. I'll try get a picture of other side next. :


Can't seem to see any other way to get this apart other than a thermal pad that seems to be attached to a heatsink that's clipped tightly into the plastic assembly. 
Should I just try pry the thermal pad away? :


These are the two type of small connectors going from internal antenna to PCB, no idea what exact ones they are :


Seems to be two PCB's joined together with a thin 8 shaped connector that makes contact between them.
The second plastic assembly just has another heatsink clipped into it, PCB is joined to it with a thermal pad.
Close up of the PCB and antenna ports, all internal antennas disconnected:


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  Mobile phone hot-spot or router??
Posted by: Barrie - 29/10/2022, 07:53 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (2)

Hi, I've tried reading some of the stuff, but it's outside my Ken unfortunately. So a big thank you to whomever can help. Here goes.... Just moved house to the Orkneys and there is no nearby mast (have checked cell mapper). The nearest is 13 miles away of which there are two, the other is 24 or so both in Different directions. We can get 4g in one specific spot in the house. It drops on and off a lot. We have tried EE, Vodafone and O2. They are similar although locals recommend EE. 
My questions?? Am I better with a router and signal booster or just hotspotting our phones with a booster ? And what would be the best booster options? Everywhere is pretty flat and across the sea to the masts. I'd be really grateful of helpful replies. ? ? Thank you in advance to anyone.

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  1 Chateau LTE12 2 mANT-LTE-5o
Posted by: Meritez - 24/10/2022, 03:42 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (2)

So I have dismantled my Chateau LTE12, and as per the internal photos found here:

I have swapped main int and main ext, div int and div ext, and wired mimo 1 and mimo 2 externally.
port 4 is now div_int, port 3 is mimo 2, port 2 is mimo 1 and port 1 is main_int.

I've then connected two mANT-LTE-5o and I'm seeing 65 down and 45 up, 3CA.
[Image: MikroTik-Caterau-17.jpg]

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  What is the best positioning of 4 external 4g/5g antennas for a Chateau 5G?
Posted by: ionutm80 - 14/10/2022, 11:24 AM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (3)

Hi Sean,

I need your help on positioning external antennas for Mikrotik Chateau 5G!

I have modded a Chateau 5G with router-mods.uk which helped me to expose all 8 LTEs antennas (4 for 4G and 4 for 5G) and 2 WiFi antennas, see pictures attached.


The instructions received from router-mods are also attached

.pdf   MikroTik-Chateau-5G-User-Guide.pdf (Size: 287.06 KB / Downloads: 27)

I have also ordered 2 Bluespot 4G/5G MIMO antennas:


and 2 Bluespot Mini 5G only antennas:


I have seen that in previous posts you recommended that in case of Poynting antennas one to be kept in normal position and to be mounted in diamond shape, unfortunately the antennas above are both rectangular. The interior of the antennas are the following:


How do you recommend to position these antennas for best signal reception and at what distance between them?

Thanks a lot in advance!

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  Recommended modem for B20 4G?
Posted by: Lynx - 14/10/2022, 09:03 AM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (12)

Dear Seán,

I live 1.4km away from our nearest cell tower, which only offers B20. On cellmapper it states:

System Subtype LTE
PCI 318 (106/0)
Maximum Signal (RSRP) -73 dBm
Direction E (74°)
Bandwidth* 10 MHz
Uplink Frequency 847 MHz
Downlink Frequency 806 MHz

I presently have a B818-263 indoors (see diagram below) but recently I have started to see deterioration in the signal during periods of congestion (particularly in upload) and during these times I find if I open my window and hold my Google Pixel 3a facing through the window I seem to get full bandwidth (70Mbit/s download and 30Mbit/s upload). If it makes sense it seems as if during congestion the signal quality deteriorates but opening the window seems to restore things?

In any case I am thinking I need to try to get a better setup now. 

Can you recommend a modem and/or antenna to help me upgrade my setup with a more directional antenna? 

I wondered about the Zyxel NR7101 (integrated modem + directional antenna) since OpenWrt can be run on it, but it is £700, which seems potentially rather overpriced. 

Or I could stick with the B818-263 and get one of those Poynting 4G XPOL 2 devices? Would that be able to offer good gain in specific direction to mast? I wonder about positioning that above my office in the eves since there is no metre thick wall there only slate + kingspan. Might this work well?

As silly as it sounds I also wonder about trying to somehow get an enclosure for a mobile phone, power it, and connect over WiFi to the phone, given that I notice that I seem to get such good rates with my phone. I presume at 70Mbit/s download and 30Mbit/s upload this is the max available over this single band 20? 

A factor is that I am not that keen on drilling a hole through the window frame or walls, but if that has to be done I will do it. I know there are those cable feeds, but I'm not sure how robust they are. 

Actually what I really want (with your help) is a kind of permanent 'set once and forget' solution that basically gets everything possible out of the existing mast. 

[Image: 75d203893f51f510bf9cc7e03f609b3e9dd1d268.png]
[Image: cf73dfc5933fc45bf308b13c50bf33987e55c2e2.png]

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  Three band 28 quirks and CA speed observations
Posted by: Seán - 12/10/2022, 05:34 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - No Replies

Since around August and particularly September onwards, I have noticed my phone using 4G band 28 as the primary band just about everywhere Three Ireland has coverage on that band.  This affects my 48 SIM, my Three broadband SIM and a recently purchased 3 Hero SIM. 

It has now come to the point where I very rarely see my phone using band 1 as the primary band anywhere.  The only places I see my phone use primary band 3 are with masts that only operate bands 3 and 20, such as in Donegal town.  If the mast operates on bands 1, 3 and 20, but not band 28, it will generally use band 20.  Basically, it appears that Three has made some network changes that prioritise band 28.  This is not the case with Eir or Vodafone, which continue to prioritise bands 1 and 3 with good signal reception.  

Primary Band 28 impact

From my testing out and about, Three appears to support 2CA only with band 28.  I have seen it aggregate band 28 with either EARFCN 75 (band 1 5MHz), 525 (band 1 15MHz) or 1700 (band 3 20MHz).  Depending on the aggregated band, this can significantly limit the downlink speed, particularly when it aggregates band 28 with the 5MHz band 1 in congested areas.  While at Letterkenny hospital, it appeared to consistently aggregate band 28 with the 20MHz band 3, at least with my 48 SIM.

Earlier in the year, I often seen my phone aggregate 3 carriers, sometimes delivering impressive 300Mbps+ download speeds when aggregating the 15MHz band 1 carrier with the two band 3 barriers.  Now I rarely see 4G speeds above 100Mbps, at least not without band locking or 5G connectivity.  

The main issue I've observed since this change is how congested band 28 has got, especially with its limited 10MHz of upload bandwidth.  The vast majority of phones and mobile broadband routers don't support upload carrier aggregation, so forcing them on to band 28 leads to heavy upload contention. 

4G+ devices that lack band 28 support such as TP Link 4G routers and Three's former Huawei B315 and B525 routers appear to be prioritised to band 20 instead, at least with newer/upgraded masts that operate bands 1 or 28.  This is a plausible explanation as to why Three prioritises band 28 followed by band 20 as this would split the load between bands 20 and 28 for older and newer devices respectively.  From my observation running speed tests with my phone band locked to 20 and 28, band 20 clearly has higher congestion delivering about half the speed of band 28. 

Band locking for faster upload speeds

With devices capable of band locking, much higher upload speeds can be achieved by locking to band 3 or possibly band 1.  For example, the following speed test was in Killybegs where I generally get upload speeds no higher than the 20s and the upload speed I got retested with it locked to band 3:


At this time of posting, Three has two carriers on band 1 (5MHz and 15MHz), so depending which band 1 carrier it chooses, the upload speed could be limited to about 10Mbps with the 5MHz carrier.  For devices that support EARFCN locking, locking to EARFCN 525 (or PCI cell on this carrier) will lock it to the 15MHz band 1 carrier. 

Band locking for faster download speeds

For faster download speeds with a category 11 (3CA capable) or better router, simply band locking to bands 1, 3 and 20 may be sufficient.  Three supports 3CA with bands 20, 1 and 3, so disabling band 28 will likely result in it aggregating bands 20+1+3.  

As an example, while at Letterkenny hospital for a few hours, my phone consistently connected to band 28 as the primary band, aggregated with the band 3 (20MHz carrier). The following was the speed test and signal readings at the time:


When I locked my phone to bands 1 and 3, it connected to band 3 as the primary band, aggregated with both 1 carriers.  The following was the speed test and the signal readings:


Had this been a 3CA capable router, this band locking would have tripled both my upload and download speeds at the time.  The moment I removed the band lock, the network put my phone back on to primary band 28 aggregated with band 3, delivering much slower speeds again.  

Unlike routers, most phones are not capable of band locking, at least not without rooting.  For Samsung phones, see this thread.  For certain Xiaomi phones, get the Activity Launcher app (link), enter 'Band' and touch the "com.android.settings.MiuiBandMode" entry.  When band locking, be sure to include the 2G and 3G bands, otherwise it may block voice calls while band locking is enabled.

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  Chateau LTE12 (4G) LTE Firmware update available EG12EAPAR01A12M4G
Posted by: elbob - 05/10/2022, 06:14 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (14)

Hi all,

For those of you with Chateau LTE12 devices firmware EG12EAPAR01A12M4G is available to upgrade from the LTE interface dialog box in Winbox.

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