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dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to jandrfas

Re: New Sprint 4G user - mediocre to poor speeds

Have you connected the modem directly to your computer to verify that your 4g is enabled? I ask because those speeds look a lot like evdo (3g).

If you find that you can indeed connect to 4g via the direct computer connection then you have eliminated any device/account/provisioning problems... move on to the router:

The mbr 1000 will need a driver added (see »knowledgebase.cradlepoint.com/qu···+Routers )

and will need to be on the proper realm (see »knowledgebase.cradlepoint.com/qu···X+Modems )

Hope it helps.


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

Yes, I have connected the modem directly to the PC with similar results (in fact a little bit worse due to the location of the USB ports on my desktop - weaker signal than where the router is located). I also updated the router firmware, installed the 4G drivers for my device, and verified that the WiMax realm is set to "sprint4G.net" per the Cradlepoint instructions.

Can the router location make a difference, even if there's a full scale signal? When I push the signal strength button on the MBR 1000, all 4 LEDs are illuminated, and when I go to the modem status page in the router it also shows a full scale signal. The LED on the modem is glowing steady green. I've tried 3 different locations and have had similar results in all 3.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by jandrfas:

Yes, I have connected the modem directly to the PC with similar results...

I would then continue to troubleshoot the device/account. Give tech support a call and see what ideas they might have, especially if you have never reached true 4g quality of service... there could be a config issue happening on your device or even on their systems related to your account.

I would also take it out for a 'road trip'. If you can get it to work properly in another location then you might have it narrowed down to a proximity issue or an issue with the access point (tower) you connect to.

Can the router location make a difference, even if there's a full scale signal?

It can with all radio based communication... on good old evdo I have seen full bars with .05M down and 700K up Move to another location (try near a window) and presto speed returns... so yes full bars can be deceiving at times.

jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

Thanks - I will try what you suggested. I just installed the Smart Connect software on my laptop (I uninstalled it from the PC since I'm running through a router and the signal strength at my desktop location isn't good). I'll try going on a road trip with it this evening, and if I can't find a good hot spot I'll assume it's an account or device issue and see if Sprint can resolve it.

I really want this to work out since I'm so fed up with my DSL and see 4G as my best possible alternative. I will post an update later tonight.


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

Ok, I tried taking the modem out of the router and connecting directly to my laptop. On the first try right out of the gate this is what I got...



Now that's something I can live with! Now the trick is to figure out what's up with the router. My next job over the next couple hours will be to set up the router in this exact same location and see if I get the same results. More to follow,,,


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

More testing and I got speeds approaching 10 up and 1.5 down with ping times around 40. Great results!

Now, I put the MBR 1000 in the EXACT same spot that generated the best speed tests and I get this:



After several repeat tests, speed is fluctuating between 1.5 and 3.5 with very poor upload speeds (around .3). Obviously, something is wrong with the router settings. It is a brand new MBR1000. I verified that the firmware and the WiMax drivers are both up to date.

From the modem setup page, the WiMax settings are as follows:

Carrier: Sprint (3G/4G) - from the pulldown setup menu
Realm: sprintpcs.com / sprint4g.net
Authentication Protocol: TLS
Dual WiMax/3G Settings: 4G only
LET Multi-Mode Settings: Auto

What gives? Are there any other settings that could be causing me problems?


criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom

Here's a radical idea. Do I understand correctly that Clear supports a connection that involves router?

If I'm right about that, you might want to call Clear. As far as I know, Sprint doesn't want to hear that you're using a router, and won't help you. But I believe I read somewhere that Clear will.


seaprobe

join:2006-07-16
Sunnyvale, CA
reply to jandrfas

On what channel is your router's WiFi set? You may want to try a lower channel, as the WiFi band more or less abuts the WiMax band used by Clear/Sprint. My Overdrive, for example, won't go above channel 7.

Also, the evdoinfo.com site had a tip a while back about using a USB extension cable with their routers. Apparently there is just enough leakage that adding six inches or so of separation can make a huge difference.


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

said by seaprobe:

On what channel is your router's WiFi set? You may want to try a lower channel, as the WiFi band more or less abuts the WiMax band used by Clear/Sprint. My Overdrive, for example, won't go above channel 7.

Also, the evdoinfo.com site had a tip a while back about using a USB extension cable with their routers. Apparently there is just enough leakage that adding six inches or so of separation can make a huge difference.

WiFi set to Channel 1 per Cradlepoint's suggestion. I also tried the USB extension cable and that made matters worse. The modem constantly disconnected and re-connected. Maybe the cable I'm using isn't well enough shielded, but I tried it in many different orientations and it performed poorly.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

Something to test:

Connect your computer to the cradlepoint via ethernet cable.
On the cradlepoint interface disable wifi entirely.... and see what speeds you get. That will eliminate wifi interference.


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

said by dib22:

Something to test:

Connect your computer to the cradlepoint via ethernet cable.
On the cradlepoint interface disable wifi entirely.... and see what speeds you get. That will eliminate wifi interference.

Eureka! I did just as you suggested and got full speeds. At 6:00 this morning I was at 10.15 up/1.12 down, 41 ms ping with the WiFi disabled. As soon as I turn the WiFi back on, speeds drop to 1.32/0.21 with 132 ms ping. Thanks for the suggestion. We have identified the problem.

Now the hundred dollar question: how to fix it. I tried a short (12 inch or so) USB extension last night and it freaked the modem out (constant disconnect/re-connect every few seconds). It could be the cable wasn't good quality - it's just one I pulled out of my spare cable stash and I have no idea where it came from. Does anybody know if Sprint's USB Performance Dock has RF shielded cables?


xrayman

join:2008-12-09
Kansas City
kudos:1

Use a Wireless Access Point connected with cat5 cable to get the WiFi RF away from the modem.

»cgi.ebay.com/NETGEAR-WG602NA-54M···92wt_905
»www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wi···ss_Point


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

said by xrayman:

Use a Wireless Access Point connected with cat5 cable to get the WiFi RF away from the modem.

»cgi.ebay.com/NETGEAR-WG602NA-54M···92wt_905
»www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wi···ss_Point

Thanks for the suggestion. It is one possibility that I can explore. I have a Linksys WRT54G that I've been using for my DSL (which will go away if I get the Sprint 4G to work). I assume I can probably use that as a WAP?


xrayman

join:2008-12-09
Kansas City
kudos:1

I installed dd-wrt on my WRT54GL, set up for WAP, 100ft of cat5 to modem on top of my house, works great!
Check the list to see if your router will work with dd-wrt firmware.
»www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Su···_Devices

Before you try to take any actions, including loading any firmware to your router....read the English Broadcom Forum Announcement entitled Peacock Thread
»www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486
It contains more information than just for those who are having problems. Unfortunately, skipping any steps may lead to bricking (break) your router.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to jandrfas

said by jandrfas:

Eureka! I did just as you suggested and got full speeds.

I would try a 4 foot or 6 foot usb extender cable and play with locations. You can also try what others have said here, use the cradlepoint as a stand-alone router, while feeding the wifi from another device away from it.

I would also drop a chat/message to cradlepoint and see if they have run across this... since the changing the channel number didn't do much. Who knows they might have some tricks as well.

Glad you narrowed it down! Now get sprint/clear to build out more of the middle of the country so we can enjoy those speeds as well


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to jandrfas

said by jandrfas:

I assume I can probably use that as a WAP?

For simple testing just run an ethernet cable from one of the lan ports on the cradlepoint to the wan port on the WRT54G (where your dsl plugs in now). No re-configs should be needed, but you might need to power cycle the linksys for it to pull a new ip address from the cradlepoint.

jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

I am up and running. The USB extension cable did the trick. I started with a 4' cable but was still having some interference issues. Ended up with a 12' cable which works out well for my situation (good spot for the router and modem based on best hotspot and availability of electrical outlets, etc.). I'm now getting average download speeds in the 6 - 7 range with occasional excursions to 10, and upload speeds consistently around 0.9 - 1.3. I'm going to let it run for a week or so, and if I get any sort of reliability out of it then I'm going to pull the plug on my DSL.

Now all I have to do is come up with a way to keep the modem where it belongs. Right now it's just sitting on top of a piece of furniture and has already been knocked off a few times. I'm thinking I'll pick up one if their USB Performance Docks on eBay - not that I need a signal boost at my location, but it looks like a good solution to keeping everything where it needs to be.

Thanks to everyone for all the help! I think I'm going to be very happy with my new Internet setup.


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA
reply to dib22

said by dib22:

said by jandrfas:

I assume I can probably use that as a WAP?

For simple testing just run an ethernet cable from one of the lan ports on the cradlepoint to the wan port on the WRT54G (where your dsl plugs in now). No re-configs should be needed, but you might need to power cycle the linksys for it to pull a new ip address from the cradlepoint.

Here's a slightly off the wall question. To get the optimal 4G signal and speeds, I had to set up the Cradlepoint router and Sprint modem in a different room than my old DSL modem and router. The new location does not have ethernet connectivity. Now that my network is set up, I need to get a desktop PC connected to it. Previously the desktop was located in the same room as the router and connected via ethernet cable.

The obvious solution is go buy a wireless adapter for the desktop. They're relatively inexpensive and install in minutes. On the other hand, I can't help but think that I now have a perfectly good WRT54G that will just end up in storage, so why can't I re-configure it as a wireless adapter and save myself a few bucks? Is there a relatively straight forward way to do that? I've read up on the various third party firmware packages (dd-wrt, tomato, etc.) but I'm not very network savvy and don't want to brick the router, and I tend to not have a lot of patience with these things at home (I get enough frustration at work).


xrayman

join:2008-12-09
Kansas City
kudos:1

Using the stock WRT54G router in bridge mode, I don't think it is possible. I would get a low cost wireless adapter to use on the desktop.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to jandrfas

I'm with xray on that... while it might be technically possible (with some custom firmware on the linksys)... is suspect it would be work. A wifi adapter might kill 2 birds (just get one with the little stand you are after included ).

I am not much of a fan of wifi on stationary computers. I try to ethernet everything but my phones and laptops.

Check your baseboards, many have gaps at the bottom through which you can stuff and tuck an ethernet cable where it can't be seen. Many times I've seen people do this to avoid drilling or dropping cable through the walls. If the total distance (including weird dips around doors etc) is very far consider having someone just make you the ethernet cable... as pre-built ones get pretty expensive once you hit the 100foot mark, plus a custom built one will be the thinner in-wall cable and might fit better in the baseboard gap.


jandrfas

join:2007-08-23
Downey, CA

Success!

I decided to bite the bullet and try the dd-wrt upgrade. Figured I had nothing to lose. If it worked I saved myself the expense of a USB wifi device, plus perhaps some frustration (my experience with those is that they aren't particularly stable). If I bricked the router I figured no big loss - I didn't have a use for it anyway. The upgrade was actually fairly easy. The dd-wrt instructions are a bit intimidating at first, but if you spend an hour doing your homework and downloading the right files for your router it isn't bad at all. Now I have a very stable wireless connection to the main router and everybody is happy!



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by jandrfas:

Success!

You took the work route, but it sounds like you enjoyed it. Enjoy your speeds and think of us stuck on evdo while you stream that netflix


xrayman

join:2008-12-09
Kansas City
kudos:1
reply to jandrfas

said by jandrfas:

Success!
If I bricked the router I figured no big loss - I didn't have a use for it anyway. The upgrade was actually fairly easy.

Great that it worked for you. I have been very impressed with the versatility of the dd-wrt firmware. I have flashed several brands of routers with may versions of dd-wrt and never have lost a router. Just follow the instructions!


xrayman

join:2008-12-09
Kansas City
kudos:1
reply to dib22

said by dib22:

said by jandrfas:

Success!

think of us stuck on evdo while you stream that netflix

You can't get Sprint 4G or Clear in Kansas City?


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by xrayman:

You can't get Sprint 4G or Clear in Kansas City?

In the city, sure, but I'm on the road in the Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma rural areas... no coverage...