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Forum introduction and useful guides
#1
The confused bird forum is a place to discuss about mobile broadband, including routers and antennas.  Of course other discussions are welcome such as what bird seed to get. Big Grin 

On my Editor Seán blog, I ran into an issue where several articles on mobile broadband have so many comments that new comments end up being buried.  This in turn leads to further comments asking the same questions and I can't exactly say "See this thread", like I can with a forum.  After your first post or two, you will also be able to post without me having to approve every post (anti-spam measure) and keep better track of past discussions.

The forum runs on the open source MyBB, so it only cost me the domain name to set up, about the price of a take-away sub.  My blog has been ad-free since first setting it up in 2006 and I intend running the forum as an ad-free hobby also.

As you may have guessed, I like watching the garden birds.  One day there was a chaffinch on the garden fence tilting its head left/right looking confused, probably wondering what I'm up to.  Well, I grabbed my camera and that's the bird on the sidebar of my blog.  It gave me an idea what to call this forum and means it is not named after a specific technology either.  

Before asking a question, here are some useful guides that may have an answer:

Largest 4G plans for home broadband in Ireland
Contract and prepay plans with the largest data allowances.  This also covers voice data plans as most voice SIMs will work in a router (unofficially) with a little configuration. 

How to pick the right router for 3G/4G broadband
If you choose a prepay broadband or voice SIM, I recommend getting a suitable router to provide Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet access from the SIM's data.  Mains powered routers tend to be more sensitive than mobile phones and hotspots as they don't have to cram a tiny antenna inside, particularly on the rural UHF 3G and 4G bands.

3G/4G antennas – Types, directional, MIMO, cables & connectors
Generally I recommend getting the router separate as most people do not need an antenna.  For those that do need one, I strongly recommend placing it in the loft or high up on the gable outside.  If you would like a recommendation, post your RSRP, RSRQ and SINR readings here.  I can usually tell from these readings whether an antenna will make a difference and what to get.

Troubleshooting 3G/4G mobile broadband and antennas
This covers the common issues I see people run into and how to correct them. 

Irish mobile broadband SIM card APN settings 
While most routers automatically configure according to the SIM type, manual configuration many be required when using a voice SIM in a router.  This is also true when trying to use a mobile broadband SIM in a phone to use as a hotspot.  

DIY in-car Wi-Fi and data plan suggestions for use in Ireland
A guide on providing in-car Wi-Fi such as for kids to use use their tablets on.  This covers tips such as using your phone's data allowance, dual SIM phones, etc.  

You can also find me on the following forums:

TestMy Forums (Sean) – Internet performance and troubleshooting – I’m a beta tester and moderator. Ask questions there and you’ll likely get a reply from me, such as this. ?

Club Myce (Sean) – Their forum covers data storage such as recordable discs, USB drives, hard disks and solid state drives. Other topics include backing up music and video content and their news section focuses on online privacy. I’m one of the forum admin.

Boards.ie (editorsean) – Ireland’s largest discussion forum. I occasionally participate in the Bargain Alerts and Mobiles sections.

If there's something I haven't covered or have a question, feel free to post a thread. Wink


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