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830 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 2212127 7-Apr-2019 08:46
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You could get a glass mounted antenna and connect it to the B315, something like a cellphone antenna.Back in the day Woosh offered glass mount antenna so lookk for something that A) can be glass mounted b) does not take up a large chunk of the view.


You are correct in keeping the cables as short as possible.


There are also some cheap antenna on Ebay / Aliexpress but make sure you get the correct antenna connection and dont believe the gain values they state.


I did buy some paddle external antenna for the B315 but they made no difference what so ever despite the 5dbi claim.


Something like this.,searchweb201602_5_10065_10068_10547_319_10059_10884_317_10548_10887_10696_321_322_10084_453_10083_454_10103_10618_10307_537_536,searchweb201603_61,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=88777d00-f368-4b6d-a29c-b574d3a57b9a-3&algo_pvid=88777d00-f368-4b6d-a29c-b574d3a57b9a&transAbTest=ae803_4 was useless.


Might sound dumb but try another window that might not have LOS to that transmitter and see what happens, for me I went from Patchy to Rock solid, I am at a lot to explain way I am not connecting to the three Vodafone sites that I am close to but am connecting to one about 2km away.



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Fat bottom Trump
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  # 2212199 7-Apr-2019 11:53
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I did a lot of experimenting with antennas when trying to improve my RBI connection. I am in a hilly rural location and depend on one tower. It is about 20 km away, no LOS. The device is the B315. 


I have 2 wideband yagis. After a firmware upgrade last year, I get a consistent stronger signal than I used to on 4G. Stats vary, but it is always at least 3 bars and usually 4. Before the upgrade it was usually 2, sometimes 3. I still have some buffering issues, but that is due to mast congestion, not signal quality.


When experimenting, I discovered that even with no antenna (internal only), I could get a usable 3G signal.  That was from 20 km, with hills in the way. 



I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage


Linux Systems Admin
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Integrity Tech Solutions

  # 2212266 7-Apr-2019 12:15
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I experienced this sort of issue in the Philippines.


Have they limited RBI to selected cellsites? This breaks how cellular works and causes drop outs all the while a phone works as normal.




When experimenting, I discovered that even with no antenna (internal only), I could get a usable 3G signal.  That was from 20 km, with hills in the way. 



Directional aerials and cellular don't mix.

Integrity Tech Solutions @ Norsewood, New Zealand

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Lifetime subscriber

  # 2213341 9-Apr-2019 08:39
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You are correct, I hadn't noticed that before!!




When on 3G, I get:


USIM card status: Normal


Network mode: 3G


IPv4 status: Connected


IPv4 address:


Ecio: -8dB


Rscp: -69dBm


Rssi: -61dBm


Downlink channel: 3086


Scrambling Code: 176


Band: 8  




When on 4G I get:  


USIM card status: Normal


Network mode: 4G


IPv4 status: Connected


IPv4 address:


Rsrq: -15dB


Rsrp: -108dBm


Rssi: -75dBm


PCI: 431


Upload Frequency: 730.5MHz


Band: 28  




I'm assuming that means in the 700MHz band.  Looking at the map here:,176.3063745,12z looks like all near me are 700MHz, with a 900Mhz at Rotorua airport that we might see occasionally.  So 700 seems safe.




Thanks for your assistance.



The 3G is connecting to Okere Falls. The 4G is connecting to Ngongotaha. Okere Falls is still 3G only, Ngongotaha is multi band 4G but does get busy due to its elevation. I recommend the new B525 modem with MIMO antenna kit.



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I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
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  # 2214055 10-Apr-2019 07:16
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The 3G is connecting to Okere Falls. The 4G is connecting to Ngongotaha. Okere Falls is still 3G only, Ngongotaha is multi band 4G but does get busy due to its elevation. I recommend the new B525 modem with MIMO antenna kit.



A guy from Downer is coming out Thursday with a B525.  I don't know how we'll install the antenna, as there's no good way to affix to the house.  I guess that could mitigate the problem - I'll go from a relatively lightly loaded 3G site to a heavily loaded 4G site, but the dropouts will probably go away. 


It still seems a problem to me though.  When connected to the Okere Falls site I most of the time get 40ms ping, and 14Mbps download.  That is totally fine for me.  But then there are periods during the week where I get 500ms ping and either 0.2Mbps download, or a simple timeout on the speedtest site.  I get that cell sites slow down when there are lots of users, but it's not really plausible to me that it has that many users at some of the times of the slow down - 6am in the morning and other such times.  Fundamentally I believe there's something else going on with that site, and I doubt that it's load.


I usually get 4Mbps from Ngongataha, I guess with MIMO external aerials I'd maybe get the same 14Mbps I get from the 3G site, but from a site that doesn't seem to have the massive slowdowns that Okere Falls has.  Which is weird given that Ngongataha is supposedly a heavily loaded site.  The Downer guy tells me he's been to a couple of houses down our street with the same symptoms - 5 bars of signal but no data.  He's given them new B525 modems as well, but no idea why he thinks that'd fix it.  Still, the B315 is a pretty low end modem, and it looks like the B525 has both a better 4G chipset, and also slightly more configuration features - for example it supports IP address reservations in the DHCP config - but apparently only 8 addresses for some reason known only to Huawei.

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  # 2235748 13-May-2019 09:00
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Resolution on this.


Downer came out and gave me a new modem, a B525.  He looked out the window and said given how close the 3G site was, that was the better location.  So we didn't worry about 4G, connected it up, and after some hassles with switching the SIM over, it was working.  That worked well for a few days, then the 3G site slowed down significantly again - pings out over 1s, very very slow data rate, timeouts on a lot of events.  


A forum member who is also a Vodafone employee helped out a lot with various diagnostics over a couple of weeks.  Ultimately there appears nothing wrong with the 3G site in a technical sense, other than that it just doesn't give any throughput for periods of time that aren't what you'd consider traditional peak times, and that occurs both on phones connected directly to 3G, and devices connected to the B525.  Quite a lot of things that are non-standard about my network so we never came to a resolution as to whether that really indicates a problem with the 3G site, although my view is that if 2 phones and a router independently connected to the site are all getting problems at the same time, it's hard for that to be something on my network.


Moved the router to a window that has a better view towards the 4G site, and I'm getting 3 bars with the new modem.  It runs between 40Mbps and 15Mbps, presumably mainly related to other load on the site - apparently that site is quite elevated so a lot of devices anywhere around Rotorua can see it, and therefore it can end up heavily loaded.  Those speeds are adequate for what I need, and much better than what I had most of the time before.  More importantly, I am not getting the stalls I was getting on the 3G site.


It does occasionally roam back to the 3G, presumably based on atmospheric conditions.  When it does that I get stalls again.  I'll probably reconfigure as 4G only so it doesn't roam back.


Overall this is a satisfactory outcome, although when I leave our house and walk around the neighbourhood I sometimes have no connection from the phone - it's not that frequent that it's a big problem for me.  I'll leave it to see how this goes for a few months, and then decide whether I need to do more.

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