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5G routers, antennae and testing
I did not realise how rapidly that 5G symbol is flicking back and forth. I was think of it connecting for a few seconds, then disconnected for a few seconds and certainly not like a defective fluorescent tube!

My guess with the 200Mbps+ speed tests is that it's aggregating three 4G carriers like what the Chateau 12 does, particularly with the concentrated signal from the dish. Unfortunately that 5G flicking in/out is looking more like a range limit issue, although I'm surprised neither the phone nor the mast is locking out after multiple short reconnections.

It might be worth getting on to Three just in case it's something they can fix. They may not realise their 5G signal reaches you and with all those connections/disconnections, they should stick out a sore thumb in their LOGs assuming they're recorded.
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I was still getting speedtests of 150 Mbps+ without the dish as well, for example 4G+ mode, even deliberately selecting all of the available bands for aggregation and it will not come remotely close to that speed wise, max 30-40 Mbps. It'll pull speeds of 80-150+ when it's got the intermittent 5G connection, it shows as 5G NR on nperf as the access technology as well. But on 4G+ / LTE-A it's not getting enough signal on the LTE bands to pull those speeds I guess? It still must be establishing some form of 5G data connection right?

I just went up to the shed window to double check and I got a speedtest of 161 Mbps then the next one will be 20 and then the next 150+ Again , retried in LTE-A mode and the highest I can get is 20?? What is going on Big Grin It's so weird, I've complained too but got no answer yet, I'll try find out if there will be any additional NR sites as well in the gweedore area that wasn't listed on Comreg.
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I tested the 5G from home and on my way to sligo, from what I can tell there was one in Donegal town somewhere and there was 1-2 on the way to sligo/in city.  
So I tested it on my way out the road from home and it's flickering as usual , so I go around the hill beside me, so i'm basically a km closer than where I would be at home and it has no problem holding the connection, going by the LTE advance timings, there's no way it's coming from Arranmore.

I also noticed it uses both band 3 and band 20 for 5G from what I can tell, my guess is it's in Gweedore somewhere. I discovered I even pick this site up from home as well despite huge hills in the way/ no line of sight ... when the wind turned my LOG antennas in the opposite direction it was picking up this same band 3 cell with PCI: 6  ID that you'll see in the screenshot I took.  I also picked up band 1 and 20 from this site too, about -107 RSRP on the LOG's without tweaking it properly, weak mainly due to blocked line of sight. 

Band 3 on 5G: https://i.imgur.com/3QjN7Kt.jpg

On my way into Dungloe, it picks up the site I get from home and holds the connection no problem with 200+ Mbps and a timing advance of 11,500m or so, with technically worse NR signal than what I can get at home, so knowing my luck I'm out of range by 1KM or so. 

Arranmore Band 1 on 5G: https://i.imgur.com/n5P68Sm.jpg 

The 5G cell's in Donegal town  were impressive , they appeared to be using B20 for 5G from what I got from my testing , their 4G speeds were really good too, the best result I got was about 360 Mbps. 

Fastest result: https://i.imgur.com/LDBrupJ.jpg

Signal readout: https://i.imgur.com/3lhUzsf.jpg  


Sligo was more impressive, I'd say if I had direct line of sight and good NR signal I'd probably get 500 + Mbps, latency was the lowest I ever seen on mobile networks, 11 Ms was the best result I saw, speedtest.net appears to be slower than Nperf so traffic shaping must be there. Donegal town didn't appear to have any shaping.  They were using band 1 in the city and using band 20 on the 5G cell on the way into the city.

Fastest result: https://i.imgur.com/Smy1GUO.jpg

Signal readout: https://i.imgur.com/6dehWKC.jpg

Fastest speedtest.net result: https://i.imgur.com/WO9n2A0.jpg

It'll be a real shame if it is just out of range at home by a kilometer, it's funny because I get a stronger NR signal from home than where I can hold the solid background, sad it'll end up being down to just range.
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That's great seeing all those 5G speed tests.  The Sligo ones sure are quick, almost FTTH like with the low latency.  Cool  When I tested a few FTTH connections in Ballybofey (both Open Eir and SIRO based), the lowest latency was around 7ms with both.  So to get as low as 11ms, that is very close to fibre latency, with most of that presumably being the latency over the backhaul to Dublin. 

I suggest trying the satellite dish with your phone again, but point towards Gweedore to try picking up that PCI 6 cell and see if the 5G connection stabilises.  I don't have high hopes with there being no line of sight, but certainly worth trying given the high gain power of the dish, particularly at 3.6GHz.

Donegal town is one of the few areas where Three doesn't appear to have any traffic shaping as I often get >150Mbps even on TestMy's standard test.  Great to see it's also the case over 5G. 

Interestingly, in my Chateau's cell-monitor list, I also get a band 3 cell with PCI 6.  I doubt it's the same cell: Wink

   

I had a very coincidental prepay offer from Three on the Samsung A51 5G by SMS, which I ended up taking up.  So I'm stuck with Three for another year.  On the positive side, at least I'll be able to test out new 5G sites as they go live.  I never anticipated ever buying another network locked phone, but when they offered it for €290 (vs £386 on Amazon), I didn't have high hopes of the Black Friday details matching this.  Big Grin
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I wonder why they don't do it there? It seems to be everywhere else I've tried too, I just saw that phone there , they added a new christmas tab to the site too but no 5G broadband stuff yet , was a pretty big discount as well Tongue .

I'm still waiting on what Three will say about the whole thing, I asked about additional sites too which seems to be the case at least from what I saw today. I suppose my only hope will be if they add 5G to Dungloe then I'd be only 6-7KM away from it with blocked line of sight in the middle but, when I was testing Vodafone, their band 3 cell was giving me -98 RSRP and maxing out the 100 Mbps on the LHG 4G almost, but that performance no longer remained when other people must've started using their unlimited plan too.

I'll give the phone and dish another go too, I'm very surprised I pick up both band 1 and band 3 from wherever it is, my antennas are basically pointing into the ground almost Big Grin so much is blocking line of sight for sure.
Oh and how many bands can that MR5200 aggregate on LTE again?
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The MR5200 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modem. Going by NetGear's MR5200 page, it can deliver up to 2.5Gbps LTE and what appears to be 4Gbps 5G NSA. The 2.5Gbps matches the Snapdragon X55 5G capabilities, so they appear to taking full advantage of its LTE capacity, unlike most phones with the X55 5G modem.

Qualcomm mentions the X55 is capable of 7x20MHz carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO and 1024-QAM on the downlink and 3x20MHz carrier aggregation on the uplink:
https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdr...5-5g-modem

Indeed, the satellite dish needs to point towards the ground to get the 22-degree offset. If it's vertical, it's effectively picking up signals 22 degrees into the Sky, not that it's going to pick up Starlink. Tongue
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I'd love to see what 1+3+3+20+28 could offer if all bands are able to be aggregated. Its rumored to be released around mid november so i'll probably pick one up when it's released. It appears to have external antennas as well on top of being portable so I can drive around and do testing with it also Tongue ]

Still no answer from Three yet so I'm still none the wiser. I definitely think there is a second NR site somewhere though.


Edit: Still very impressive what speeds I can get off-peak with triple CA 1+3+3 , 300 Mbps on testmynet prioritised and 273 on Nperf Tongue  I really wonder what kind of speeds I'd hit if I could combine all of the bands, imagine with 5G as well. 
1+3+3+20+28+N78 = ??? Would be pretty crazy. Shame I think i'll be out of range of 5G though I'm looking forward to MR5200, is it capable of aggregating all of Three's LTE bands? 

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Hi Emilia,

I was wondering if you would be willing to part company with one of your LHG Cat 6 dishes. I'm torn on whether to buy one or not and thought you might be Willing to sell one to me. I'd love to try it for my garage as I have nothing out there currently and no WiFi. 

I seen before you said you had 2 redundant dishes, but had ping problems. If your not returning them for a refund, any chance I could try one?
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(05/11/2020, 08:51 PM)Emilia Wrote: I'd love to see what 1+3+3+20+28 could offer if all bands are able to be aggregated. Its rumored to be released around mid november so i'll probably pick one up when it's released. It appears to have external antennas as well on top of being portable so I can drive around and do testing with it also Tongue
So far I haven't come across device capable of aggregating the lower bands together, i.e. 20 with 28 or 8. However, it will likely aggregate 1+3+3+20 or 1+3+3+28, where adding band 28 can add about another 70Mbps given how quiet the cell is.

I saw a thread on Boards claiming that Three will launch 5G broadband on Monday (9th November).

(05/11/2020, 08:51 PM)Emilia Wrote: Still very impressive what speeds I can get off-peak with triple CA 1+3+3 , 300 Mbps on testmynet prioritised and 273 on Nperf Tongue  I really wonder what kind of speeds I'd hit if I could combine all of the bands, imagine with 5G as well. 
Those sure are impressive speeds especially for 4G. Cool

I saw a 1.2Gbps test result posted on Boards using the Eir network in Dublin, so it looks like Three's 5G performance is mainly limited by the backhaul to their masts. So far I haven't seen any speed tests above around 500Mbps on Three 5G.

I got my Samsung A51 5G yesterday, so was busy transferring everything across. The most awkward was Microsoft's Authenticator App as it's not as straight forward as Google's. I'm now waiting on the flip cover to arrive as I don't feel comfortable doing much outdoor testing with the bare phone. With the flip cover, I will be able to hold the outer edges easier to avoid covering its internal antennae. One thing's for sure, there's definitely no 5G around here.
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From further testing with my Samsung A51 5G, I made some interesting observations:

The LTE Timing Advance for this phone is 78, unlike my HTC U11 which was 144.  To my surprise, this phone has no problem connecting to bands 1 and 3 as the primary band from the distant mast I pick up, despite the very weak signal:

       

52km sure is a long distance, but then again most of that is across Donegal Bay.  Smile

It also gets quite impressive speed (with the prioritised server) despite the distance and weak signal, tested without band locking:

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At first I thought Three increased the range limit of bands 1 and 3, but it now appears to be a hardware limitation.  I did a quick check with my Netgear MR1100 and it still not able to connect on bands 1 or 3 as the primary band, just as aggregation bands.  Pity the Exynos 980 has its own proprietary modem, unlike the S20 FE which has a Snapdragon modem.  This means I'm not sure whether the upcoming Netgear 5200 would also be to connect them as primary bands.  As 5G's 3.6GHz band uses time slicing, I'm sure the 10.5km range limit (or whatever the operator extends to) will be the same.

I really like the Samung Band selector App.  Nice to see it can choose combinations such as 1+3, 20+1, etc. so this will be great for seeing which bands are in use while out and about once the lockdown finishes. 

Three's Samsung A51 5G is Dual SIM.  I tried the 48 SIM in it and it works fine.  I'm not sure whether the phone is actually network locked or if it treats the 48 SIM as a Three SIM as it worked fine both on its own and also together with the Three SIM.  Speeds, traffic shaping and 4G aggregation capabilities appear identical between the two SIMs from here.

The only drawback I found with this phone over my previous HTC U11 is that the USB port is USB2 only. This means whenever I get to test 5G, I'll not be able to tether the full potential speed as USB2's usable throughput is limited to about 400Mbps.  My 3 year old HTC U11 has a USB3 port, so I'm surprised Samsung chose USB2 for this phone. The Samsung S20 FE has a USB 3.2 port.

After pairing my phone with my PC, I see that Windows has built-in screen mirroring.  So if I later try satellite dish experiments, I will be able to easily reading them on my laptop.
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(06/11/2020, 09:36 AM)Comsman Wrote: Hi Emilia,

I was wondering if you would be willing to part company with one of your LHG Cat 6 dishes. I'm torn on whether to buy one or not and thought you might be Willing to sell one to me. I'd love to try it for my garage as I have nothing out there currently and no WiFi. 

I seen before you said you had 2 redundant dishes, but had ping problems. If your not returning them for a refund, any chance I could try one?

I would but I use them both to test other ISP's atm, I have one of them aimed at dungloe with a vodafone sim and another in the gweedore direction with an eir sim. Plus I would not recommend buying them at all , the LTE 6 in my experience has some kind of firmware/hardware issue that support couldn't identify either, I'd recommend you to avoid LHG 6's at all costs and go with the LHG LTE instead.


If they do launch 5G broadband tomorrow, what router should I pick up to test out their 5G? I still didn't get an answer yet from their tech team about the 5G stuff but maybe i'll get one tmoro. Its interesting a phone modem can connect to the cells but a dedicated router can't. Kind of silly Big Grin
I was happy I came across that samsung band selector thing, also find it extremely useful for testing since my phone doesn't aggregate the bands properly/effectively I should say. If I manually select all of three's bands it gets 100-200 Mbps standing out the road. I thought I was far away but 52000m really is what you'd call far Tongue

I wonder what their actual NR signal max range is, since I was picking up a solid connection 12,000m away and still getting 100-200Mbps, I'm guessing i'm just unlucky and its around the 13-14KM mark, so I;m out of luck by a kilometer Big Grin
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Impressive readings and speeds you're getting considering the distance of the mast. Good to hear Three should be launching their 5G broadband plans tomorrow, I found two blank webpages on their site that seem to be for their upcoming 5G broadband plans. One page is titled "3 Broadband Unlimited 5G" and the other "3 Broadband Unlimited 5G Pro". I wonder what the differences between those two will be, what exactly makes the Pro plan "pro"? Confused Probably a shorter contract length or maybe even faster speeds? Would be a shame for them to throttle 5G like that for the cheaper plan.

My CPE Pro is still delivering 4G speeds while having the 5G indicator lit, so there's still been no 5G connection yet. Hopefully that may change tomorrow, I'll be looking out for that. Wink
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(08/11/2020, 10:01 PM)Mitsuha Wrote: Impressive readings and speeds you're getting considering the distance of the mast. Good to hear Three should be launching their 5G broadband plans tomorrow, I found two blank webpages on their site that seem to be for their upcoming 5G broadband plans. One page is titled "3 Broadband Unlimited 5G" and the other "3 Broadband Unlimited 5G Pro". I wonder what the differences between those two will be, what exactly makes the Pro plan "pro"? Confused Probably a shorter contract length or maybe even faster speeds? Would be a shame for them to throttle 5G like that for the cheaper plan.

My CPE Pro is still delivering 4G speeds while having the 5G indicator lit, so there's still been no 5G connection yet. Hopefully that may change tomorrow, I'll be looking out for that. Wink

Some details on Three’s 5G Broadband plans.... The €45 plan is consumer. The €36 and €44 plans are business/enterprise.


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Thanks for that info! I'm not sure how willing I'd be to sign up for that, for two years you're stuck with a 1TB cap on data for 5G every month. I've used up more than that in a month on 4G for €20. Tongue In fairness, it is the same data cap as Imagine for a fraction of the cost and for a presumably faster speed, so it's certainly a welcomed addition to the market for people looking for internet out in the sticks (assuming they are within 5G coverage).
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(08/11/2020, 08:17 PM)Emilia Wrote: I would but I use them both to test other ISP's atm, I have one of them aimed at dungloe with a vodafone sim and another in the gweedore direction with an eir sim. Plus I would not recommend buying them at all , the LTE 6 in my experience has some kind of firmware/hardware issue that support couldn't identify either, I'd recommend you to avoid LHG 6's at all costs and  go with the LHG LTE instead.

Hi Emilia,
I was thinking of going down the Mikrotik LHG route also, as the signal on band 3 (which is by far the best at this location) here is only borderline at times with my log antenna.  Is the issue with the LTE6 a widespread one? I wouldn't mind just using band 3 only with an LHG LTE as I can get around 60Mb/s, but aggregation with band 20 which is pretty strong here would be a bonus. Am I right in thinking that the older category 4 unit can't do band aggregation?
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It can't do band aggregation (LHG LTE) but the carrier aggregation  from my experience is essentially useless since it really doesn't work well on low frequencies like 800 Mhz (band 20) especially. The mikrotik dishes work better with the higher frequencies like band 3, band 1 etc I'm sure Seán could explain why better than I can.  I tested LHG 6 with and without carrier aggregation (3+20) and it's sometimes even had worse performance than just band 3 on its own. Either I was extremely unlucky with both LHG 6 dishes or there is just an issue with them. Mainly ping / latency spikes and the inability to make proper use of the network. For example I stream using OBS and I can bind obs to another network card, in my case the  mikrotik dish and I use a LOG antenna setup in my primary ethernet port for everything else. So that OBS can have seperate bandwidth for itself. Upon testing both dishes on band 3 , for some reason the LHG 6 is unable to utilize the available upload on the network, for example the LHG LTE was getting a solid 8000 Kbps bitrate and maintains it without issue. But when I try doing the same with the LHG 6, it would drop to 0 and barely be able to maintain 4000 Kbps on the exact same cell. I also tried my other LHG 6 I have, identical issue.
There definitely some issues with that device which I why recommend people to steer away from it and go for the LHG LTE instead. The benefit from carrier aggregation is useless from my experience because it doesn't make proper use of lower frequencies and its not capable of aggregating non contiguous intra band 3+3  ( ex o2 cell + three cell) either.
The band 20 readings are also extremely poor , like -17 RSRQ from a location I'd get -8 RSRQ with a wideband LOG antenna.  One other thing to note is I had trouble with VoIP apps like Discord , it was making the calls drop out all the time too on the LHG 6 and all the issues I mention here were present on both of my LHG 6's. Which is why I'm going to avoid them.  


On another note, it doesn't look like Three released anything today, I was checking this morning didn't see anything. I wonder what the advanced plan means with a "technician install". Is that something like FWA or is it just going to be an antenna like something I have already and me being out of range won't help anything? Tongue 
I was in burtonport this morning so I got to test Arranmore again, max speed I can get from it standing directly across the water from the Island was about 320 Mbps.  Timing advance standing here was 4100m, so i'm still about 4KM away as it is with line of sight.  


Readings across from mast: https://i.imgur.com/WoWbxfs.jpg

Readings the  furthest I picked up the same cell and held connection: https://i.imgur.com/YgKCLas.jpg

Speedtest results:    Nperf:  https://i.imgur.com/QpUf0DT.jpg   Ookla:  https://i.imgur.com/BXwAtTK.jpg   Testmynet:  https://i.imgur.com/PyATVQN.png

On testmynet 5G from the mobile 4KM away with line of sight was slower than what I get with triple CA off-peak with my 4G LOG antenna setup 15KM away. you can see the mast in the distance 
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Thanks for the 5G broadband pricing TelcoInternetSurfer. I'm not sure whether they will get away with calling them "Unlimited" when they state a 6.05c/MB out of bundle charge. Sick  Assuming one manages to hit 400Mbps (50MB/s), that is €3.03 per second.  Even gas station petrol pumps don't clock up that fast! 

It appears that Three hasn't gone live yet with the 5G broadband plans, however, they now list two 5G devices on their website:
https://www.three.ie/shop/broadband/broadband-devices/

These are pricing screenshots in case they disappear.  
   

   

(09/11/2020, 05:14 PM)Emilia Wrote: Speedtest results:    Nperf:  https://i.imgur.com/QpUf0DT.jpg  Ookla:  https://i.imgur.com/BXwAtTK.jpg  Testmynet:  https://i.imgur.com/PyATVQN.png

On testmynet 5G from the mobile 4KM away with line of sight was slower than what I get with triple CA off-peak with my 4G LOG antenna setup 15KM away. you can see the mast in the distance

That's great being able to test Arranmore with clear line of sight.  To me looks like that Arranmore mast doesn't enough backhaul capacity.  Either that or there are some very heavy downloaders on the island.  Big Grin   On the positive side, it at least means that you are not losing out on much with 4G+.  Nice view across the bay. Cool

I reckon the technician install is for that 3Broadband+ business plan on their website, presumably the 5G version of it:
https://www.three.ie/business/shop-and-p...dband-plus

Interestingly, when I log on to my Three Broadband account, it says I'm eligible for an upgrade, showing both 5G routers, so it looks like they are in the process of offering it to existing broadband customers.  However, when I click either router to view more info, it gives the following error, likely due to my address being way outside of 5G coverage:
   
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I tried to purchase the thing via billpay options there but I also get an error saying "5G is on the way but its not in your area yet" Would you say that technician install antenna will be better than that 5G WIN FWA, which says it has 4x4 MIMO antennas but 5.5 dBi gain, and a 4.5 dBi auxillary antenna? Not sure what that entails? And is it related to the advanced 5G plan that was shown in the pricing above? The FWA one I mean
I wonder would that 5G WIN FWA one be any better at aggregating 4G than the LTE 12 mikrotik device. Had another look for MR5200 still no sign of it either Cry
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The 5G WIN FWA is an outdoor 5G router, so would need to be installed on a pole with an Ethernet run into the house. Unfortunately, it does not have any antenna ports and it's unlikely simple to mod with it being weather-proof. Its internal antennae are omni-directional.

However, if I had this router, I would be tempted in mounting it to the LNB holder of a satellite dish. Wink As it's already weather proof, this does away with the issue of trying to protect it from water getting into it or the Ethernet port.

I wouldn't go with the Technician install router, at least not without finding out what type of outdoor unit they'll install. However, it would be useful for those who don't want the hassle of installing an outdoor unit.
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So I got a reply back from Three with their tech team, this is what they said in regards to my 5G issue.  

"Our tech team have had a look into your query and it turns out you are on the very edge of the 5G limit from that site, that's why you're finding the signal to be intermittent. You can see this on our coverage checker too and keep an eye on it in the future as 5G is rolled out further"  

I had a sneaking suspicion it was going to be close on the range limit, because I was connecting fine at around 12 or 13 KM. I doubt there is any way they will increase the range limit right? Or that it could be a matter of modem hardware like your issue with the band 1 and 3 cells not connecting on the netgear while working fine on the phone? That would be typical, being on the very edge of the limit  Dodgy 

I also got a reply back from a business rep from my early inquires about 3Broadband plus plan, he hasn't replied to my most recent email though asking what device they would install etc. 

"I will add a snippet of the plan below but we are being asked to take an EIRCODE in order to see if there is 5G in your area first.
 "Below is the plan, it will be €36 ex vat per month and we send you out our new Huawei 5G modem which will cost €123.14 up front."

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I wonder is it worth pursuing 5G at all now after hearing what they said, I did ask as well was it possible they could do anything so ill wait to hear back on that too. Still no sign of 5G broadband openly available on the site but they do appear to offering it to business/existing customers slowly. 

Also coincidentally, my carrier aggregation began working again upon my inquiries about 5G range, maybe the tech team did something to fix it but I can now carrier aggregate just like I used to before, 3 as the primary band etc. For well over a month if it was anything other than band 1 as primary it would disconnect in a loop. 
I saw this combination yday but I haven't managed to make it do it again, even when I cell lock band 3 1275 as the primary and select 3+28+1 , it'll only do either 3+3 on their own or 3+3+1 , 1+3+3. But not that combo you can see below, which would be the fastest I'd imagine. 

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