Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

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Charlie
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Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

Bought a cheap OpenWRT router ages ago but never got around to testing it with a 4G LTE module. I have attempted to purchase several used examples but have been let down in each instance.

Does anyone know of a site that offers reasonably priced, as cheaply as poss', modules.

eBay has some, a very few really, but mostly are US based, that will incur an import charge, whilst my usual supplier of tech has failed to deliver, but appears to offer these items at a great price. The last one I ordered was shipped to the wrong address, in the wrong country, yet I was informed my item had been successfully delivered.

Obviously a fake tracking number was given to me.

I am particularly looking for a AirPrime MC7455 or newer.

Thanks

Charlie
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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

Just rechecked my usual tech port of call and all sellers have raised their prices. I read that there is a shortage, which maybe the reason mine was not sent to me.

I have noticed someone with a better feedback record but a higher price. Once my refund is processed it looks very much like I will be trying his outlet.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Portreve »

Bear in mind that there are different frequencies and different channels on those frequencies which are used in different individual countries, as well as groups of countries. While it's true that for the most part there's some overlap, it's possible the best locally-supported frequencies and/or channels are ones the cellular adapter(s) you've tried to use don't support. Do a lot of digging and pay very careful attention to the fine print.
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Charlie
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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

I think this particular module is meant for international use as it has a generic option but is dominated by US carriers. There is a lot of help out there for these OpenWRT routers and modules as they are used by many people in the US that live in vans and trucks motor-homes and places like that.

https://ltehacks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=233

First thing I do is flash the latest generic firmware which is done via USB so very straightforward.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

Latest attempted order is en route "Exported Shenzhen" today. Let us hope it arrives at the correct address in the correct country. Last one I ordered went to Ballymena Ireland. First time that's happened in all fairness.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

Finally arrived and I have fitted it (the module) and got the OS on the router working. I have to say, as a first time user of this sort of technology that I am really quite impressed.

I cannot receive a 4G signal here as yet but what I can get performs reasonably.

At Speedtest I got a download rate of 25.53 Mbps and an upload rate of 4.17 Mbps with a ping rate of 34 out of the box.

I wouldn't say this is for the newbie or those who have eyesight problems but experienced Linux users would find it easy.

You could of course get someone to set up the software and do the fiddly bits fitting the module for you in which case you would like it.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

For some unknown reason I cannot connect to it via Android or Windows. Linux connects easily.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by AZgl1500 »

I'm in the USA and 4g LTE is dominant here.

I looked at those routers and just did not feel comfortable with the fiddly crap at all.

I settled on a 4 channel Aggregation LTE modem, the Netgear MR1100
In the dark hours between 0300 and ~0600 when most folks are asleep, it can get close to 40 Mbps down, and ~5Mbps up.

IF, next to a upgraded cell tower, I have heard that it can provide ~100Mbps downloads, although I have never experienced that.

Its' performance is highly dependent on the equipment installed in the cell towers....
Where I am, very rural, I average around 10-14 Mbps down, and 1.5 to 4 Mbps up.

AT&T, my ISP carrier, will not allow us to upload faster than 10% of the download speed at any given time



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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

AZgl1500 wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 7:42 pm
I'm in the USA and 4g LTE is dominant here.

I looked at those routers and just did not feel comfortable with the fiddly crap at all.

I settled on a 4 channel Aggregation LTE modem, the Netgear MR1100
In the dark hours between 0300 and ~0600 when most folks are asleep, it can get close to 40 Mbps down, and ~5Mbps up.

IF, next to a upgraded cell tower, I have heard that it can provide ~100Mbps downloads, although I have never experienced that.

Its' performance is highly dependent on the equipment installed in the cell towers....
Where I am, very rural, I average around 10-14 Mbps down, and 1.5 to 4 Mbps up.

AT&T, my ISP carrier, will not allow us to upload faster than 10% of the download speed at any given time



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You're right they are very fiddly. My eye sight is beginning to go and I easily lose small components and screws. While this modem/module combination is good for the money, I got the module dirt cheap from our friends in China the same goes for the modem. If you buy local you are talking about 200 dollars or more just for the Sierra MC7455.

I wouldn't like to say if it is dependable as the modem Linux software seems to be a bit buggy. Difficult to configure too. Not at all user friendly.

Your router looks very classy in comparison. And very expensive. IF we get inexpensive 5G here and I find a modem/module combo to work with it I will probably upgrade. To be honest this is a toe in the bath water for me, but I like what I see so far.

We get really crappy connections here in the UK. Some cities have 5G now and some places get decent 4G but in my town we get very poor connections. I am surprised you don't get super speed in the USA. The UK is notorious for being slow to implement technology and to charge the earth for it.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

I seem to get better results from different antenna types. I have three different types. The stock antennas are the worst the next fastest are some telescopic antennas that I bought, not too bad. The fastest are the pair I got that are magnetic, I have them stuck on a radiator near a window. They are decent. I think an outside antenna would work wonders but I would still only get 3G. The only 4G signal I can receive comes from a company that don't do unlimited plans, so no good.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by AZgl1500 »

Charlie wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:15 pm

I wouldn't like to say if it is dependable as the modem Linux software seems to be a bit buggy. Difficult to configure too. Not at all user friendly.

Your router looks very classy in comparison. And very expensive. IF we get inexpensive 5G here and I find a modem/module combo to work with it I will probably upgrade. To be honest this is a toe in the bath water for me, but I like what I see so far.

We get really crappy connections here in the UK. Some cities have 5G now and some places get decent 4G but in my town we get very poor connections. I am surprised you don't get super speed in the USA. The UK is notorious for being slow to implement technology and to charge the earth for it.
on a retiree's income, I could not afford the full price of a new one,
I lucked out and found a used one on eBay for $199 and free shipping.

super speeds in the USA are ONLY in the large, major metro areas where Fibre is available.

the rest of us have to suffer with ADSL, or WiFi from a sub-contractor who spouts the stuff out from a Water Tower and can cover up to about 5 miles, with Yagi Antennas at your house..... the complaints here in Rural America USA are rampant with vile comments about us being worse off than India, or China, or South America....

We have Huge Open areas of 100, and 200 miles of open space between places that provide Fibre Cable.

for me, it is 20 miles to the nearest Fibre connection... and that is Cox Cable.... I have called them again and again asking for them to come help us out..... they give me the same reply, your area is NOT profitable for us, only 2 or 3 customers per cable mile.
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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

AZgl1500 wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 11:29 pm
Charlie wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:15 pm

I wouldn't like to say if it is dependable as the modem Linux software seems to be a bit buggy. Difficult to configure too. Not at all user friendly.

Your router looks very classy in comparison. And very expensive. IF we get inexpensive 5G here and I find a modem/module combo to work with it I will probably upgrade. To be honest this is a toe in the bath water for me, but I like what I see so far.

We get really crappy connections here in the UK. Some cities have 5G now and some places get decent 4G but in my town we get very poor connections. I am surprised you don't get super speed in the USA. The UK is notorious for being slow to implement technology and to charge the earth for it.
on a retiree's income, I could not afford the full price of a new one,
I lucked out and found a used one on eBay for $199 and free shipping.

super speeds in the USA are ONLY in the large, major metro areas where Fibre is available.

the rest of us have to suffer with ADSL, or WiFi from a sub-contractor who spouts the stuff out from a Water Tower and can cover up to about 5 miles, with Yagi Antennas at your house..... the complaints here in Rural America USA are rampant with vile comments about us being worse off than India, or China, or South America....

We have Huge Open areas of 100, and 200 miles of open space between places that provide Fibre Cable.

for me, it is 20 miles to the nearest Fibre connection... and that is Cox Cable.... I have called them again and again asking for them to come help us out..... they give me the same reply, your area is NOT profitable for us, only 2 or 3 customers per cable mile.
That router you have is more expensive than I imagined it would be. I would have went YIKES when I saw the asking price. At the moment I am using fibre at home but am trialling the 3G/LTE to see what I can expect IF I decide to opt out of my fibre contract. The speeds are unreliable on fibre these days at least mine are and it's more expensive.

I have found that when I use my VPN on the 3G connection it is more stable and is improved. I am running that from my Linux laptop though, wouldn't know how to set it up on the LTE router.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

5G will be available to you soon most likely then you will be able to use your super router to its capacity. The good part about my router is that it is customisable. You get out what you put in in other words. If you can expect low speeds locally then a very cheap module could be used until better speeds become available. That's the good part. The module I chose was overkill, I cannot max it out on the services available so I could've saved money buying a lower speed module.

But I did not know what to expect so I can be forgiven for that.

When 5G becomes available I could if I wanted to fit a module capable of those speeds on the same router, though it is only 2.4ghz WiFi and the LAN ports are not gigabit. That's where it's customisable

I expect 4G will be improved for me locally so my MC7455 can be used to its full capacity, then it will be a better bargain I think.

I could be wrong about 5G though, but the antennas are also easily replaced so that may be possible. Not 100% sure on that.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by AZgl1500 »

5g

Don't expect it outside of the big metro areas, it just can't travel very far, as it is operating in the mmWave regions.

here in the USA, T-Mobile bought up all of the 700mHz frequency bands and are calling it "5g" but it is actually more like a puffed up 4g signal.... the lower frequencies can surf out over the rural areas better giving coverages of 15 to 25 miles IF no obstructions are in the way.... like a large Mole Hill that is a 100 or more feet higher than the "line of sight" signal path.

Verizon is pushing the mmWave frequency bands, hoping that after Covid-19 is behind us, the economy will pick up again :roll:
So far, they only have 5 metro areas with 5g.
So much for helping the little guy like me....

I tried Satellite Internet.... the latency was so horrible that my stomach soured immediately and I canceled it.

4g LTE from a cell tower, even at the slower speeds, is far better, because it is "always there".... not the fastest, but better than dialup modems.
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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

AZgl1500 wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:00 am
5g

Don't expect it outside of the big metro areas, it just can't travel very far, as it is operating in the mmWave regions.

here in the USA, T-Mobile bought up all of the 700mHz frequency bands and are calling it "5g" but it is actually more like a puffed up 4g signal.... the lower frequencies can surf out over the rural areas better giving coverages of 15 to 25 miles IF no obstructions are in the way.... like a large Mole Hill that is a 100 or more feet higher than the "line of sight" signal path.

Verizon is pushing the mmWave frequency bands, hoping that after Covid-19 is behind us, the economy will pick up again :roll:
So far, they only have 5 metro areas with 5g.
So much for helping the little guy like me....

I tried Satellite Internet.... the latency was so horrible that my stomach soured immediately and I canceled it.

4g LTE from a cell tower, even at the slower speeds, is far better, because it is "always there".... not the fastest, but better than dialup modems.
Well I think just about everywhere is going to get 5G here IF the masts aren't all destroyed by technophobes first. They are being routinely vandalised at the moment, some even blame Covid-19 on 5G.

Our Gov't is keen on 5G because they like the idea of a surveillance state which would be paid for by ordinary users of the 5G signal. Not a bad plan actually.

I think 5G is available now in some locations pretty close to me so eventually they will arrive with their equipment. They are supposed to be improving 4G too so there may be no need to get new more expensive equipment.

Regarding my modem and LTE module. I have been looking at alternatives and I could have gotten a module that would potentially provide 100-150Mbps with an upload rate of 50Mbps for well under twenty quid. I have seen some for around 8 quid including postage. Considering I can only get 20-30Mbps I'd say I might have made a bit of a mistake but time will tell.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

I have been watching my connection and it fluctuates between UMTS(rarely)
HSDPA/HSUPA (most common) and DC-HSPA+. I am around 1000ft from a 3G repeater? (I think) I don't think it's an actual fully fledged mast/tower.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

I put a long power cable to the router and placed it outside in the garden. I was able to get LTE there but the download rate was something like 0.75Mbps so I have disabled LTE and specified 3G only in the router settings.

So I can get LTE but the signal is so poor it doesn't work at all indoors and is hopeless outside, at least with the antenna I was using. I think I need an outdoor antenna with an amplifier/booster built in. Otherwise I will just have to be happy with 3G.

Next test will be how does it work outside on 3G only. It is the middle of the night so I will have to wait. My neighbours must think I am crazy, signalling aliens with the LED's on the router or something.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

Having problems forcing the router/modem to use 3G permanently. As soon as I place the unit outside it forces LTE.

I have used the software control to set "3G only" and I have used the following sequence of AT commands AT!ENTERCND="A710" and AT!SELRAT=01 then AT!BAND=00
and then AT!RESET

It still forces LTE when in the open whatever the approach.

This is not great. I have to find a way of permanently selecting 3G only to take any advantage of an external antenna.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

I've gone to Sierra support forum with this issue. I hope they can tell me what to do.

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Re: Looking for used Cat 6 4G LTE module

Post by Charlie »

Charlie wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:39 pm
I've gone to Sierra support forum with this issue. I hope they can tell me what to do.
Had a reply from their forum claiming the bloke couldn't replicate my issue. What rubbish. I can change mine to 3G only but also lose connectivity as a result. Unplugging the router is the only solution to that, but this resets the Sierra module to automatic and not 3G only. There is no stickiness in the settings. It doesn't survive a power loss. I don't understand how that can be normal.

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