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Huawei B818-263 setup
#1
Hi Sean and others, 
Thanks for all of the useful info you've shared on the site.  
I've been reading your posts for a few years now and based on that,  I bought a Huawei B593s-22 router which I have been using successfully for about two or three years now.
Speeds in the middle of the night are around 15Mbps but painfully slow at peak times (0.2Mbps sometimes).  Upload speeds tend to be better than download speeds.  I live out in the coutryside in County Cavan and I've been using it with an outdoor directional antenna, pointed towards what I think is the nearest good signal from maybe 5 or 6 miles away or maybe more, not sure.  Unfortunately I don't have line of site as I'm down in a valley and the antenna is pointing into a hill.
Here is the antenna I'm using... https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EE8RRFK/r...TE_3p_dp_1

[Image: antenna1.jpg]
Anyhow, I've bought a B818-263 because it seems to have more settings on it..... I've played around with the LTE bands settings in the router and taken some notes (just using the internal antenna for now, as I'm waiting for an adapter to connect it to my external one).  Straight away at 7pm I'm getting 5Mbps with the B818 internal antenna on Band 1, compared to 0.85Mbps juat a few minutes before on the B593 with external antenna.

Do you have any advice on how to proceed?  Is there a way to find out where the masts are, using the cell id listed in the Huawei?
I'm finding band 1 (2100) to be the best speed and it lists cell id 800286, but I can't find it on the comreg siteviewer.
I'm guessing I was picking up band 20 on the old B593.  With the B818 set at auto, it picks up band 20 too but the speed is very slow.

Here are the results on the B818 just sitting on a window sill with the internal antenna.

David

[Image: signals.jpg]
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#2
Unfortunately, there's no way to map the cell IDs to those on ComReg's Site Viewer, apart from the Eir network. You can try checking http://www.cellmapper.net/ to see if their map has it listed as it plots the cells based on input from users using the CellMapper App. If the dot is Green, it is actual cell tower location. A red dot is approximate, which could be well out.

It is very likely that you are picking up bands 1 and 3 from the same mast that your antennae are pointed at, in which case you should get a massive improvement once you get the TS9 adapters fitted.

I suggest waiting until you get the TS9 adapters and see what signal readings you get. Bands 1 and 3 are much more sensitive to the antenna direction than band 20, so you'll likely need to fine tune the antenna direction in roughly 10 degree increments to get the highest SINR reading. As you mention it's pointing into a hill, tilting the antenna pair up by 10-20 degrees may provide further improvement.

The mobile networks have temporary spectrum on Band 1 that will expire on the 1st April, so I suggest fine tuning with the router set to band 3 only to get the highest or most stable SINR reading on it, then re-enable the other bands apart from band 20 for 4G+.
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#3
Thanks for the reply...
I can see some local towers on cellmapper but like you say, there doesn't seem to be a way of matching it to the cell id that comes up on the b818.
At least with the b818 I have more control over the bands and can see the sinr numbers etc. Its a real limitation on the old b953s-22!
Hopefully the external antenna will work well.
Definitely fringe reception here as if I put the router inside the window sill instead of the outside sill, it loses the connection completely. Also, can't even make a call or receive an SMS on our phones inside the house!
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#4
Still waiting on the sma - ts9 adapter to arrive.  Brexit and Coronavirus are really slowing everything down!

I think I have found the Three mast on siteviewer that I'm getting the LTE signal from... 6.1km away
https://siteviewer.comreg.ie/#site/3_CN0...203_CN0069

It lists one with "THREE" at the beginning of the site id and a second one with "3"
The only other 3 mast closer to me only lists UMTS and GSM.


[Image: 3-CN0069.jpg]

[Image: THREE-CN0069.jpg]
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#5
Hopefully it'll not take too long. Indeed Brexit has affected many of my deliveries also, e.g. I received my Which? December magazine in the post a week after receiving the January edition! My Dad also had one packet that took about 6 weeks to arrive from the UK. I can just imagine the torture many eBay UK sellers are facing with overseas customers.

Going by those ComReg images, that appears to be just an 800MHz 4G mast. The '3_' sites are using spectrum Three acquired from buying out O2, which costs of 800MHz (10MHz band 20) and 1800MHz (15MHz band 3). Three has mainly used the 800MHz band in rural areas and of the sites they use the 1800MHz band, I have heard they are refarming many for 5G on the 1800MHz band (n3 5G band). The 'THREE_' sites are using Three's original spectrum, where they originally only had 1800MHz (20MHz band 3) spectrum before buying out O2.

ComReg's map appears to be several months old, so it's possible Three may have upgraded that site since. For example, ComReg does not list any of Three's NR (5G) masts in Letterkenny despite going live there in September 2020.
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#6
Well, I got the ts9 adapters today - unfortunately I'm not getting any better sinr numbers on the Three network on the b818 with external antennas compared to the internal antennas wth the b818 sitting on an outside window sill.
Download speeds seem pretty much the same as I was getting on the b593s-22... strangely on bands 1 and 3 I'm getting a better sinr on the b818 internal antenna than the b818 with external antennas.  Speeds are pretty un-useable though.  Doesn't seem to make much difference what direction I point the antennas - sinr never goes over 2.
Seems like I'm in a real black spot.  Might try a gomo sim instead of 3.

You mentionned something about the Eir (Gomo) masts and siteviewer - is there a way to find them via the cell id? 
e.g. cell id 10641991 is coming up with a sinr of between 4 and 7

I'm picking up band 28 (700Mhz) with Gomo on the B818 - 20 Mbps download, 13Mbps upload
If I put the gomo sim into the old B593, it gives about half those speeds.
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#7
That's a bummer, seems like either the Three mast is heavily congested or there is a problem with its backhaul.

Just in case the router is not automatically switching over to the external antenna, try setting the router's antenna setting to External for ports 1 & 2. Assuming the setting location is the same as my Huawei B535, go into the Settings menu at the top, then System -> Antenna Settings on the left.

You should see a significant change in the RSRP readings between the internal and external antennae.

The SINR staying low could indicate a problem with one antenna. The antennas need to be cross polarised, i.e. either one vertical and the second one horizontal or one titled +45 degrees and the second -45 degrees like a 'V' shape. They should not be both vertical like the Amazon picture.

For looking up Eir's cells, it's the two digit county code, followed by an '_' and then the short cell ID. This OpenCellID FAQ shows how to calculate the short cell ID, which is basically the division remainder of the long cell ID / 65536. I didn't find anything for CN_25159 (25159 is the short cell ID of 10641991), so it's likely a new site not added to SiteViewer or a temporary cell on 4G band 1 or 28.
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#8
Thanks,
Yes I've made sure that it's set to external antennas.
I should point out that inside the building, it wont pick up a signal of any sort on the internal antennas, but when I plug in the external antennas, I get a signal.
I was just comparing the following and not noticing much difference..
(A) Internal antennas with router outside building
with
(B) External antennas with router inside building.

Yes I already have one antenna vertical and the other horizontal.
I think it's just the dodgy Three network.
I know I could always get up to 20mbps download speeds on three at about 4am. It just goes down to 0.2mbps during the hours most people are awake.
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#9
Happy with the speeds on Gomo so far on bands 28 and 20 - they are coming up with different cell ids and band 28 is definitely faster.
Gotta love the HuaCtrl app..
Sinr fluctuates quite a bit from 4db up to 15db

[Image: Screenshot-20210122-104628-hua-Ctrl.jpg]

[Image: Screenshot-20210122-104757-hua-Ctrl.jpg]
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#10
That's a great improvement with GoMo. Hopefully they'll get some 700MHz (band 28) spectrum in the upcoming multi band spectrum auction. Band 28 has the advantage in that most older Huawei routers (up to the B525) and many older phones do not support this band, so most of the congestion ends up on band 20.

At least the SINR is able to get above 10dB. I just wanted to check earlier as I've come across a few people that mounted both antennae vertically to match the picture. It reminds me of one Amazon listing of a window bird feeder where the picture showed it mounted upside down. Smile
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#11
Neither of the eir site ids are showing up on siteviewer - hopefully they won't disappear after the pandemic!
short cell ids 25089 and 25159
I'm right on the Cavan/Monaghan border so they could be MN or CN
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#12
Incidentally, I drove from Shercock to Castleblayney (work-related) with the Huawei B593s-22 with rabbit ear antennas and the Three sim in it. Every now and again I did a speed test and it never went above 2Mbps anywhere except in Castleblayney main street where it was 35Mbps. Their countryside masts must be seriously slowed down.
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#13
That was an interesting bit of testing. Smile

It looks like they are all microwave-fed from the same congested backhaul site. The larger town sites usually have fibre backhaul.
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#14
Gomo suddenly stopped working last night at 11pm. Showing no service. Hopefully just a temporary issue!
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#15
Just in case it's looking for 3G connectivity, try setting the network mode to 'Auto'. If it connects, you can then manually select a band again in huaCtrl. When I did some tests with a Meteor phone SIM (now Eir) a few years ago in a router, it could not be left forced in 4G-only mode. The SIM had to periodically connect in 3G mode before the network would allow it to connect in 4G mode. It's possible something similar could be happening with GoMo.

If there's no connection in 3G mode either, they could be doing maintenance on the mast.
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