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Fibocom FM350-GL module compatibility with MikroTik Chateau 5G
(22/07/2022, 01:46 PM)Eagle Wrote: I know the A22 5G has a mediatek modem , I was googling mediatek modems and they show up everywhere but struggling to find a 5G router with that chipset.
While curious to see what other M.2 modems are available, I came across the following Fibocom FM350-GL that is based on the MediaTek T700 and is reasonably priced for a 5G module:

Unfortunately, I cannot find anything confirming whether or not MikroTik's Router OS supports this particular model yet. MikroTik only mentions one 5G Fibocom module in its peripheral compatibility list, the FM150-AE, which is Qualcomm X55 based.

The modem is intended for laptops with an M.2 slot, but may work with a USB to M.2 modem adapter that has a SIM card slot.

One great feature about the FM350-GL is that it has 4 antenna connections, only needs two 2x2 MIMO antennas or a single 4x4 MIMO antenna for 4x4 MIMO on 4G and 5G across all the bands.
Is there a way to find out if it would work? I sent an email to the modding website guy and also the Mikrotik support .. I would happily get that just to be able to connect to N3 alone nevermind N78.
I'd imagine if I did a outdoor setup like you suggested before to reduce cable loss , it would pick both N78 and N3 up from here. It works on A22 when I climb up to the antenna and hold the phone where the antenna is , it gets around 200-300 Down and about 50 up.

I presume you can't just plug it into the router and it'll work as normal? Big Grin
I see MikroTik added support for two more Simcom modems in its V7.5rc1 RouterOS release. However, they don't mention what model numbers these device IDs correspond to:
Quote:*) lte - added at-chat and NMEA port support for Simcom modems, USB composition (device id - 0x9003);
*) lte - added at-chat support for Simcom modems, USB composition (device id - 0x9005);

Once they add support to the RouterOS, it should be just a matter of swapping the modems. Otherwise it may not operate at all, much like trying to use a device on Windows without a driver available for it.

As that modem supposedly has Windows support (since it's for various Thinkpad laptops), it'll likely work with an active 10m (or longer) USB3 extension cable, e.g. install it in a weatherproof box. Technically you can also do that with a Samsung A22 phone configured to tether over USB as the USB cable would also keep the phone powered.
I've asked mikrotik what modem they're referring to there and also asked if it'd work or not, hopefully they say it will.
Is there a way of adding antennas onto that modem/phone to increase the signal because if so I think it'd be worth trying to do something like that. or if not try using the A22 over it instead.
I got this reply from mikrotik support, I dont understand what it means: 

Can You please try:
  • try to bring Chateau 5G closer to the tower to see, if this changes the connection mode/band pattern
  • reset modem settings to manufacturer defaults
    /interface lte at-chat [find] input="AT&F0"
    /interface lte at-chat [find] input="AT+QPRTPARA=3"
    /interface lte at-chat [find] input="AT+QPOWD=1"

And asking if the modem you linked me would work they said this: 

Should work in MBIM mode or RMNET mode in USB compositions 0x9000; 0x9001; 0x9002; 0x901a and 0x901b. Generic SIMcom modems usually use AT+CUSBPIDSWITCH command to switch compositions, please consult the modem manual for more details.
RouterOS v6 and v7 supported cellular modems:
From looking up those at-chat commands, the "AT&F0" restores the factory settings, "AT+QPRTPARA=3" wipes all configuration from the modem and "AT+QPOWD=1" shuts down the modem. I presume they want you to do this to make sure no setting (such a locking a band, cell or some other parameter) is causing this issue.

From what I could find on searching for "MBIM", the Fibocom FM350-GL supports MBIM mode. However, as it's not in MikroTik's supported peripheral list, there is still the risk it may not fully work properly. For example, if it connects, it may might report signal readings or just basic (e.g. RSSI) readings, etc. due to different modems using different AT commands.

I came across this hardware manual that goes into more technical info about the modem. Going by the antenna port connector details, it requires I-PEX MHF4 connectors, which are lower profile than the U.fl connectors on the Quectel 5G modem. It has 4 antenna ports labelled M, M1, M2 and D/G. It uses the M (primary/transmit) and D/G (Diversity) ports for all bands, including 5G. For 4x4 MIMO, it uses ports M1 and M2 for the second MIMO.
Do you think you'll be able to change bands and stuff like that ? I just love the customization with mikrotik routers that's only reason I'm hesitent on changing to another router if a hardware modding option is available.

Are these the right cables?

I'd be willing to potentially take the chance, does it matter which model on the site I pick theres 3 options? I assume there'll also be some kind of customs charge since its coming from china + gonna take a good while.
I doubt there won't be much options with refunds and stuff either Big Grin
Good news, the chipset is the mediatek m80 5g, and it's being added to upcoming routers:

Bad news it seems to be supported from Linux kernel 5.17:

And it's really new:

Routeros7 is currently based on Linux kernel 5.6
Those cables are too short (3.5cm) and have MHF4 male at the other end. Big Grin 

These appear to be the correct leads:

I didn't notice the choice of two models (besides the engineering sample) until you mentioned and also found another cheaper Fibocom FM350 GL m.2 module intended for certain HP laptops:

I also wonder about the MikroTik Linux support Meritez mentioned.  In the worst case scenario, you'll need to use it directly with a PC until MikroTik adds support. 

Unfortunately, I've had no luck finding any AT command reference for this module, at least not behind an OEM customer login page, so it looks like cell locking is not possible until the AT commands are made available.
This modem supports 2CC-5G CA, or NR CA.
The Snapdragon X55 in the Chateau currently does not.

I'm off to pester MikroTik for support.
that's the modem I need , thats exactly the same modem that's in the A22 5G and it works great. I wish the chateau had this
I've been reading the quectel forums, apparently the RM502 only supports 5G CA on n78.

So the device can not hold both n3 + n78 according to the above.  Dodgy

Has anyone ordered the FM350-GL yet?

Edit: dairyman has got hold of one:
Fibocom FM360

Based on the Mediatek T750

Found in the Zyxel NR5103E which is the new Three 5G hub here in the UK.

The E is without the four ts9 ports for external antenna.
That's great, which means the Irish Three may offer this model soon, plus a few months for the first used ones to show up on CeX.  I see they already have a placeholder page with the product name in the page title, but is currently blank. 

I saw this thread on ISPReview where someone modded their NR5103 model to bypass the TS9 ports with a decent speed boost.  With another one mentioning how easily the connectors break, this may be the reason Three has chosen the non-E model.  At least this modem just needs 4 antenna connections for everything, unlike the 10 internal antenna connections with the Huawei CPE Pro 3.

The last Zyxel router I owned was a DSL router back in 2005. The main "killer" feature I remember was its 12V AC power supply. Most 12V devices require DC power, which meant accidentally plugging the Zyxel's power lead into anything expecting 12V DC power usually either blew its fuse or let out the magic smoke. I presume their newer routers operate on DC.
Is that router available to buy anywhere right now? If it's based on the mediatek then I'd love to try it + if it has the ability to connect to external antennas?
So far I've only come across the router officially available from the two UK mobile operators Three and EE on bill pay only.  Going by this article on ISPReview, the Three UK model has the Mediatek T750 chipset and 4 external TS9 ports, so it's possible to get 4x4 MIMO with external antennas without having to mod the router.  Hopefully Three Ireland will offer the same router soon, especially now that they have a (blank) placeholder page for it already.

Going by what I read across some forum threads on ISPReview, the Three UK model is network unlocked.  One catch is that Three UK has been shipping the router with buggy firmware (version b8) that does not connect to 5G until it receives an over-the-air update to firmware version b10.  Users report being unable to get manual firmware updates for the router, which means that if you manage to find someone selling the router in the UK, check that the firmware has been updated to b10 (or later) first.  So far the only store I've come across selling the router is the 3G Router Store, charging £645+VAT for what appears to be a used / ex EE Zyxel NR5103 (link). 

Another potential option would be if you have a relative / friend in the UK in a 5G area that would be willing to order Three 5G Home Broadband, then cancel within 14 days and pay the cost of not returning the router (£350 going by this).  They'll need to set it up and ensure it updates to the latest firmware and connecting to 5G first before they mail it. 

From looking at various user screenshots (here and here), this router has a decent set of features without having to resort to third party apps or running scripts.  For example, it can display all the current connected bands and bandwidths both down and up, including aggregated 5G bands, e.g. two aggregated 5G bands, although I'm not sure whether Three Ireland (or the router) supports n3+n78 CA.  It also has band locking and can display the signal (RSRP, RSRQ and SINR) read-outs for both 4G and 5G.
I could ask a relative in Scotland to do it , I suppose if it's mailed I'll have to pay some kind of import customs charge on top.
If it's based on the mediatek I don't see why it wouldn't work , that'd be a huge boost to speeds as I can pick up both N78 and N3 from here, I would probably need to re-evaluate my current setup though because it's a 12m cable run atm so I can get better signal on N78.

I still get -95 RSRP at best on N3 when it briefly connects so that's not bad, it's getting almost 200 Mbps / 50 up on the A22 5G with worse signal so I'd imagine if it can connect to multiple bands together the combined speed should be pretty good.
If I went to derry could I just walk into the store and purchase the NR5103 outright without having a northern address? or could I use an address in scotland via their shop? I would be tempted to drive there to pick it up
I tried my best to figure out a way but they won't sell it outright without a UK address/bank card unfortunately Cry . So I'm gonna have to ask relative to get it in Scotland then post it over here.
Appears to be TS9 connectors with a switch for INT and EXT. I wonder will I have to do any modifications to it?  And it is meant to be unlocked from what I can tell so it shouldn't be a problem. Does that mean I should have 4 antennas to get the most out of it? since theres four TS9 ports?
(18/10/2022, 12:27 PM)Eagle Wrote: I tried my best to figure out a way but they won't sell it outright without a UK address/bank card unfortunately Cry . So I'm gonna have to ask relative to get it in Scotland then post it over here.
Appears to be TS9 connectors with a switch for INT and EXT. I wonder will I have to do any modifications to it?  And it is meant to be unlocked from what I can tell so it shouldn't be a problem. Does that mean I should have 4 antennas to get the most out of it? since theres four TS9 ports?

Hi Eagle

posted over on ispreview, did not know if you have seen it

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