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5G routers, antennae and testing
I wonder if the eBay ones had a wrong type of connector. They should snap on as easily as the MikroTik's own u.fl connectors.

These are the ones I purchased for my router, which work fine:

I went for that 5 pack as every smaller pack I found either did not ship to Ireland or had RP-SMA connectors, which are not compatible with SMA.

So far I haven't seen the MikroTik connect in 4CA, which the Chateau 5G certainly supports. It's possible Three's masts are not 4CA capable, at least not the one I'm connected to.

There is a bug in the 11.04 modem firmware where it only reports two carriers in the web interface, even when it connects to more. To see the full list, go into the terminal and type:
/interface lte cell-monitor lte1

If it shows three different EARFCN values, then it's very likely connected to all three.

Another issue I ran into with the 11.04 modem firmware is that it may connect to the third carrier using the additional two ports. With mine, it will connect to EARFCNs 6300+1700+100 with the main two antenna ports. However, it will only connect to EARFCNs 6300+1700+525 using the third and forth antenna ports for EARFCN 525. I don't know why, especially as both EARFCN 100 and 525 are on band 1.

It's worth trying your 5G antenna on the third and forth antenna ports. In the meantime, you can try it on the main two antenna ports to see how well it performs on band 1 and 3.

For the cell lock command you'll need the EARFCN and cell ID. The command is as follows:
/interface lte at-chat lte1 input="at+qnwlock=\"common/4g\",1,earfcn,cellid"

For example, if you want to lock the primary cell to that B3 cell shown above, you would type:
/interface lte at-chat lte1 input="at+qnwlock=\"common/4g\",1,1700,237"

To remove the cell lock, type:
/interface lte at-chat lte1 input="at+qnwlock=\"common/4g\",0"

Rebooting the router will also remove the cell lock.
I mean the cable itself is hard to bend like when trying to plug them in , they keep trying to turn around and the cable is slightly thicker so it wont stay in the little plastic channel without snapping out of it when i go to plug the ipx into the connector , refresh the page I made an edit to post Big Grin 4CA is possible , I had 4ca in a different combination iin the netgear as well. Maybe I am doing it wrong and it possible, the cable you got looks like mine too

Update: yeah just tried fitting them again, feels like too much tension on the cable itself, i need a more flexible u.fl cable. would 15cm be enough from the empty antenna port to A0 and A1 or should these work and i'm just not doing it right Big Grin
they seem a bit thicker than the ones that are inside the mikrotik, and its very hard to get it bend around the plastic channel without twisting around and not facing down so it can be plugged in.
From looking at the eBay listing, it appears just like the cables I have. I remember it was awkward trying to get the cables routed in mine, although I was able to squeeze them in the channels. I installed the U.FL end first, then attached the SMA end into the empty antenna slot.

Another option would be to purchase two of the following:

I bought the 10cm pigtails by mistake from EuroDK at the time of purchasing the Chateau 5G, not realising they would be too short. Their leads are just as thin as MikroTik's own leads. The Chateau LTE12 has the modem ports right next to the SMA ports, so I assumed it would be the same for the Chateau 5G. Whoops... Smile
I had a brainwave and took apart my LTE 12 which is bricked/broken and not working anyway, nothing worked netinstall etc, no response whatsoever, think it got damaged in lightning storm stopped working ever since that night. So I took one of the longer cables in the LTE 12 with ipx-sma and plugged it into the chateau 5G no problem, since the other ebay cable was being tough I heated up a butter knife and melted the plastic channel abit to widen it, worked and it finally plugged in. the second one inside the LTE 12 was tiny so it was no good Big Grin I'll try testing 4X4 MIMO tmoro with the 5G antenna , in the meantime i'll probably order new antennas more suited for band 3 and above.

Was this time last year I was having the same problems with the lower broadcasting power... according to three there is no fault at the mast but theres a massive difference in RSRP and SINR for a while now.
Hmm, very weird, so I ordered another one of these 2100 3G antennas last night, and I put up the one I had, plugged it into ANT 2 on the mikrotik and the signal readings are normal and good like before, im starting to wonder if the 45 degree polarisations are weaker than vertical and horizontal , because both my LPDA's are mounted at +-45 degrees...  this is what I get with just the 3G antenna plugged in in ANT 2 (picture below). I managed to get the highest speed I've seen in a while with having 3 of the antennas plugged in. I cant wait to see what the fourth antenna will do. So I'm starting to wonder if I should the put the  3G antennas -  one vertical , one horizontal and leave the LPDA's at 45 degrees? What ports do u think I should put the antennas into in the right order, with these readings I have the 3G antenna in the ANT 2 port, one I added with ipx last night.

[Image: GzQ987W.png]

With the LPDA's on their own: 

[Image: LYXGxmP.png]

I also managed to get multiple different 4 CA appearing, though it seems to be dependant on the combination of antennas I have plugged in which is weird, but it's the first time I saw 200 mbps on in a while. swapping antennas around also has an impact on the upload, so there's definitely a correct order I just dont know what though.
Speed with the single 3G antenna on its own in ANT 2 is poor, about 20 mbps down and 0.80 up ,  but signal readings are like above. is that normal for a single antenna on its own?
That's great getting the 4 ports all connected. I didn't know your Chateau LTE12 stopped working. From my experience of thunderstorm related damages, usually the power gets damaged. So it's worth trying another 12V power supply on the Chateau LTE12 to see if it boots up. Whenever there's a thunderstorm, try unplugging every lead that goes outdoors, including the TV antenna, phone line, etc. With the last thunderstorm here, my brother's cordless phone, satellite receiver and TV all stopped working. I got his phone and satellite receiver working again with new power supplies, whereas I had to replace the mainboard in his TV.

For bands 1 and 3, you can connect the antennas in any order. However, for band 28, the LPDAs need to connect to whichever SMA connections that run to modem ports A0 and A1. Modem port A0 handles the upload on 4G, so I suggest testing each antenna on this to find which gives the fastest upload. If it's one of the 2100MHz antennas, then you may need to sacrifice band 28 as only modem ports A0 and A1 handle band 28.

You can mount the two 2100MHz antennas one vertical and one horizontal. This way you can leave the LPDAs at +/-45 degrees, which will give you all four polarisations. When you get the second 2100MHz antenna, check if there is a condensation drainage hole before mounting it rotated 90 degrees, i.e. that any drainage holes doesn't face up where it could lead to water going inside the antenna.

If you had the single antenna on its own with MIMO #3 or #4 (modem ports A4/A6), it would have struggled as it would be trying to transmit/receive using the A0/A1 modem ports.
I unplugged A0 and A1 inside and put the IPX into A0 and A1 and put those out the the empty ANT 2 and ANT 3 slots... and I swapped A5 with A6 in the inside, hopefully that's done correctly Big Grin , When I plug an antenna into #1 or #4 on its own, nothing happens with signal... but if I have the LPDA's in the #2 and #3 and then plug the 3G antenna into either #1 or #4 then the signal seems to improve/SINR does too. Not sure why it won't work on it's own.
That wiring is correct, which should provide 4x4 MIMO on bands 1 and 3. The modem uses ports A0, A1, A4 and A6 for MIMO layers 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Just a pity they use ports A5 and A7 for band n78 as it does complicate things for those that what 4x4 MIMO on 5G band n78.

Indeed #1 and #4 will not work on their own as they provide MIMO layers #3 and #4. These ports are utilised once the modem etablishes the connection on modem ports A0/A1.
So I have the LPDA's in the ANT#2 and ANT#3 slot , (a0+a1)  and the 3G antenna is in ANT#4  so there is 3 connected in total... weird thing I'm noticing is the SINR will jump to 22-24 whenever the internet is used/downloading but when it idles it stops and goes weak again. RSRP does the same, it'll drop down to 102 RSRP. 
[Image: pqbA3rX.png]

I'm wondering will having the 4th antenna connected when it comes tomorrow rectify this, or is it just going to improve while data is in use.. ever since the mast changed and got the "5G symbol" the signal weakened and remained weak while using LPDA's.  

 It appears as a strong signal like I explained earlier when I just have the 3G antenna in itself and it will not fluctuate at all, data use or not. But if I have the LPDA's plugged in, and the 3G antenna on the 1st or 4th slot, it'll only show strong signal while data is in use. 

Is it possible that vertical and horizontal polarisations are the stronger ones? or is there something else at play here, trying to understand why there is such a big difference. Did they change something whenever those changes were made that would cause something like that you think? 

Also how big of a difference did 4X4 make for you? out of curiosity.
I have noticed something similar on my end with the band 3 readings, but until now I've assumed it was due to having the 3rd and 4th antennas in the attic.  In my case, the EARFCN 525 RSRP reading is typically around -115dBm, but improves to about -105dBm during a speed test, after which it returns back to -115dBm.  I will not be able to install these two put outdoors until a later time. 

Even with the antennas in the attic, I reckon I get around 20-30Mbps improvement during off peak times, i.e. after 1am or early in the day.  I think it improves peak time speeds somewhat as I usually get around 40-50Mbps from 8pm to 10pm most days.  I remember it often dipped to around 20Mbps with the Chateau LTE12.  Upload speed is about 5Mbps better than the LTE12, even with just the two antennas. 

A quick test as I write this post:
[Image: 7e16aa80-030c-43d0-bd4d-b931af96c352.png]

Signal readings from cell monitor.  I put a red arrow for the cells I'm connected to, 127 being the primary:

Once you get the other antenna, it's well worth trying speed tests with different combinations, e.g. one speed test with the 4th antenna connected to the remaining SMA socket, then another with the leads of the 2100MHz and LPDA swapped. In each configuration, try also swapping SMA #2 and #3 around to see which gives the fastest upload speed with each antenna set.
Looking forward to getting the antenna tomorrow to see the difference . I tried this tcp optimizer again, definitely makes a difference to the speed of the download and upload. 
It's a bit of a mystery why theres such a difference in signal by changing the polarisation. 

I did this test about 10 times , swapping settings, it seems to make a significant difference for me with latency , upload and download. I copied the settings I used below, just click windows default if you want to revert them or save a copy of your current settings if you have anything specific. I think its worth trying. Not sure what most of them do but copied settings from a guy who said he was gaming on LTE and was searching for a way to improve things and he recommends this. 

Would be something similar like this, 85 down 15 up , enable settings - 115 down and 20 up.

[Image: 8zMmXpG.png]

Optimised settings: 

[Image: PmiGD7h.png][Image: O0sdGLk.png]
Thanks for the TCP Optimizer suggestion.  At the moment, it's difficult to tell if it has any impact with my connection as our speed fluctuates quite a lot.  These are 6 speed tests run a few minutes apart with those TCP Optimizer figures applied.  Although I didn't retest with the defaults, these are what I would typically expect for around 9pm on a weekday, although I think the upload speeds are a little higher than what I usually get in the evening: Cool


Many of Ookla's servers appear to use the faster BBR TCP congestion protocol.  This means I no longer need to use nPerf for a capacity test, i.e. the "up to" speed.  

I also wonder whether the packet loss I get is with Three or some core fibre connection.  For example, when I ran an M-Lab test on someone's FTTH connection, I was surprised to see 1-2% of retransmission in each test.  Then again, this doesn't appear to affect CUBIC based TCP connections like what I experience, e.g. TestMy got 400Mbps on that Eir FTTH connection compared to around 10Mbps here.

National broadband fella came around today, he said we should have fiber to the home in a year and a half or so, would be nice to finally have a proper inet connection without all this hassle Tongue .

Got the 4th antenna today and turned it onto it's side so its horizontal, it works really well on B1, signal readings are like before, normal.  It seems to be fastest if I put the two 3G antennas into the 2nd and 3rd port, but if I put the two LPDA's in its place and the 3G antennas on the two outer ports, it's fast but not as much.

Also if the LPDA's are on the 2nd and 3rd port the signal readings fluctuate a lot and are weaker unless its downloading, opposite happens if the 3G antennas are there. 
Do you think the signal weakness is because of polarisation or are the LPDA's potentially faulty?

I also get 25 Upload with the two 3G antennas which is the most i've ever seen with the mast in its current state

The LPDA's in ports ANT 2 + ANT 3 , the RSRP doesnt really reflect the SINR which is weird

-102 RSRP and 22 SINR if the 3G antennas are swapped in their place

[Image: fkAlJoU.png]
That's great news from the NBI. I recently received an e-mail update from NBI giving an updated rollout status of between January 2025 to December 2026, so at least another 4-5 years for my area.

Based on your testing, I'm getting the impression that your LPDA's have degraded. A 45 degree polarisation only degrades the signal by 3dB. As you get a massive 13dBm difference, that's gives the impression of water ingress in the cabling or connections. If that suddenly happened after that thunderstorm that damaged the Chateau LTE12, it's possible the surge damaged the insulation in the cable. If you still use extensions with the LPDAs, try testing the router (or the Netgear if easier) without the extensions temporarily, just in case it's only the extension leads that degraded.

It would be worth contacting Poynting or store you purchased them at, especially given how expensive those antennas were.

The RSRQ factors in network load, where as the SINR is just purely signal to interference+noise ratio. So with the yellow line being solid to right, that 15MHz B1 cell has a lot of traffic at that time.
I'll try testing the cables tmoro with the netgear outside if I can, wonder is it because of that, the 4X4 MIMO is making a difference even with the weak signal from the LPDA's , first time I saw speeds like this in a while Big Grin 

[Image: wd6OOHi.png]

And thats only with 3CA from what I can tell, not even 4.  I definitely think there's some degradation with these antennas, it shouldnt be reading so much weaker like you said. The 3G antennas make it appear like there is no issues. 

I got the LPDA's from novatel in cork, I doubt I'd still have a warranty but worth asking anyway , lets see what they say.
That's a great improvement. As the 2100MHz antennas don't pick up the lower bands, it's likely you not getting anything on the 700MHz or 800MHz band.

Once you get the issue with the LPDAs resolved, you'll likely get well over 300Mbps, in which case you're probably beating what you can achieve with Starlink. Hopefully the latency is consistent.

The maximum download speed I ever got here was 204.46Mbps. I once had an upload speed of 38Mbps during the high pressure near the end of August directly on my phone. However, that high pressure period was a right pain as the signal would fluctuate between being very strong to where I was swamped with out of range masts that my router couldn't connect to, i.e. periods without internet connectivity.
They fixed the mast today too, I definitely think the LPDA's are degraded because they dont' perform well on higher bands now at all for some reason, but even with that, here is some speed test results with 4X4 MIMO. Wonder what would it be capable of with full signal Big Grin 

[Image: Fr0KW0a.png]
[Image: Nrs0L5D.png]
At those rates, you'll probably not need Starlink or 5G, plus the latency is also better than the 40+ms from Starlink.  Then again, at 4am, you likely have the mast to yourself Cool

When I woke up at 5:30am, I ran a speed test for curiosity from my phone.  Not as fast, but still impressive for a long distance signal across Donegal Bay:
Coincidentally on the day Vodafone launches 5G on prepay, I've been getting some of the fastest 4G speeds I've seen to date on my mobile with the 48 network, at least around Sligo. 

While travelling with someone, I got a few near 300Mbps and the following just outside Sligo on the road to Donegal:


As this was in a moving vehicle, I couldn't get much above 200Mbps on the Google (M-Lab) test, which measures what the connection can sustain during the test.

As Vodafone finally made 5G available on prepay, I plan trying it out.  It's been at least a year since I tried any tests with the Vodafone network.
I see Three has increased their 5G bill pay broadband to €50/month and introduced a 4.5% annual price on new contracts, where the price increase takes place every April. As it's in the new T&C's, there's no escaping it either when it kicks in, unlike past price increases. It's bad enough their contract lasts 24 months, double that of Eir and Vodafone's 5G plans. Prepay plans don't appear to be affected, but then again, 5G routers are not cheap for anyone considering using a prepay 5G SIM (3 Prepay 20 + 5G add-on, approx. €27/month).

So far Eir and Vodafone have not mentioned about introducing a similar price increase, but something to watch out for. Both Eir and Vodafone still charge €45/month for their 5G broadband. Eir includes the 5G Huawei CPE Pro 2 router, whereas Vodafone charges €99 for it. Both have a 12 month contract.

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