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Complete NOOB - Eir 4g with Huawei B535-232
#1
Hi All,

Complete noob to the 4g mobile broadband setup so go easy on me Smile

Basically myself and my OH have moved to rural Mayo (near Cong) from Galway city and unfortunately have no fibre access. I have setup a Huawei 535 router with an Eir PAYG sim and for the most part it is working quite well. I currently am connected to a mast which gives me 3 bars of signal on the router, throughout the day we get speeds of 20+MB download and 3-4MB upload but between about 8:30 and 10pm most nights the speed drops considerably to around 5MB download, I'm guessing this is contention or some kind of throttling on the mast?

I seem to be between 2 masts here, the 2nd of which gives me 5 bars of signal on the router but with a lower download speed of 6-8 MB and 20MB upload, I am thinking this mast must be oversubscribed based on the high upload compared to download?

I have downloaded the HUACTRL app today thanks to all the info/recommendations for it in the forum, see below details for my connection to the mast with 3 bars signal. I was just wondering are there any tips I could try, locking to different bands etc to see if I can get a more stable connection especially later in the evening.

I have also been given the loan of an external omnidirectional antenna but haven't got round to trying it out yet, might it be worth a shot? When I have briefly tried switching the router to use the external bunny ear antennas that shipped with the router my speeds seemed to drop a bit so I went back to the internal antenna until after work hours.

Thanks a million for any pointers from here!


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#2
The main 4G bands Eir operates on are 1, 3, 20 and 28. Bands 1 and 28 are using temporary spectrum made available during the Covid-19 pandemic, so if you get a connection on either band 1 or 28, this will work until April 1st. Bands 1 and 3 provide higher bandwidth than band 20 or 28, but they don't penetrate walls as easily, so if you don't pick them up inside, you might be able to receive them with an outdoor antenna.

Going by your screenshot, you are currently connected to a temporary band 28 mast, i.e. the "B28-700MHz". The stronger 5 bar signal is very likely from a band 20 mast. Unfortunately, the evening time dip is indeed network contention.

To change the band, go into the Settings tab (with the wrench), touch the edit icon under 'SET BAND', then tick just a single band that you would like to try, leaving the rest unchecked. If the router shows no signal, then this band is not in use in your area, in which case you can try another band #.

An omni-directional antenna as its name suggests is an antenna that is not sensitive to any particular direction. It basically provides the equivalent signal to placing the router in the same spot. To test it, I suggest using something like a camera tripod to mount it temporarily and place it outside where you can run the leads in a window. Try it on bands 1 and 3 to see if you pick up either. Repeat for each side of the house.

If the antenna gives a significant improvement, you can install it against an outside wall on that side of the house. Do not install an omni-directional antenna above the roofline as it is likely to pick up interference from masts in other directions.

If you manage to pick up band 1 or 3 outside with a weak signal, then I suggest getting a directional antenna instead (such as the Poynting 4g-xpol-a0002 or the LowcostMobile MIMO 700-2600MHz) as this will provide a much higher gain over the omnidirectional antenna on these bands.
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#3
(13/01/2021, 05:09 PM)Seán Wrote: The main 4G bands Eir operates on are 1, 3, 20 and 28.  Bands 1 and 28 are using temporary spectrum made available during the Covid-19 pandemic, so if you get a connection on either band 1 or 28, this will work until April 1st.  Bands 1 and 3 provide higher bandwidth than band 20 or 28, but they don't penetrate walls as easily, so if you don't pick them up inside, you might be able to receive them with an outdoor antenna.

Going by your screenshot, you are currently connected to a temporary band 28 mast, i.e. the "B28-700MHz".  The stronger 5 bar signal is very likely from a band 20 mast.  Unfortunately, the evening time dip is indeed network contention. 

To change the band, go into the Settings tab (with the wrench), touch the edit icon under 'SET BAND', then tick just a single band that you would like to try, leaving the rest unchecked.  If the router shows no signal, then this band is not in use in your area, in which case you can try another band #. 

An omni-directional antenna as its name suggests is an antenna that is not sensitive to any particular direction.  It basically provides the equivalent signal to placing the router in the same spot.  To test it, I suggest using something like a camera tripod to mount it temporarily and place it outside where you can run the leads in a window.  Try it on bands 1 and 3 to see if you pick up either.  Repeat for each side of the house. 

If the antenna gives a significant improvement, you can install it against an outside wall on that side of the house.  Do not install an omni-directional antenna above the roofline as it is likely to pick up interference from masts in other directions. 

If you manage to pick up band 1 or 3 outside with a weak signal, then I suggest getting a directional antenna instead (such as the Poynting 4g-xpol-a0002 or the LowcostMobile MIMO 700-2600MHz) as this will provide a much higher gain over the omnidirectional antenna on these bands.

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply Sean, delighted to have found this forum it really is a goldmine of info. 
I will have to do some tests on the different bands over the next few days and see what kind of speeds I can get and report back. Hopefully I can get something comparable to the performance I currently have on the band 28 connection as I have signed up to a 12 month contract based on how it was working, (I hadn't realised I was using a temporary band, do you think there is a chance ComReg might extend this?)

If the weather allows at the weekend I will take the router etc outside aswell to compare the performance. 

Thanks again.
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