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Old 07-12-2019, 05:33 PM   #1
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Cradlepoint COR IBR900 Series

Hi all,

Just bought a 2019 FC 25 RB. Looking at installing the IBR900 Cradlepoint. My question is old versus new version? Do I need to install an external antenna, and, if yes, which one?

Searched the forums and see discussion of the Cradlepoint but nothing relating to the updated version or external antenna.

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:37 PM   #2
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Ibr900

I use an IBR900 with an external Wilson Yagi antenna that is attached to the "batwing" TV antenna which I decomissioned. The setup is excellent in every regard, but be aware the router doesn't cater to technophobes, its a commercial grade unit with the UIs to prove it!

I think if you are going to spend the money on this unit, you owe it to yourself to put up an external antenna. You might choose to use a Yagi or maybe rig up a MIMO. There are a lot of options. Like others here, I took care to use quality cable (LMR 400) which minimizes losses. Using junk wire can introduce enough noise to halve (or worse) whatever gains you have from your antenna.

If you are trying to optimize for the future (5G) get the new one, the recently released modems are capable of much faster speeds. I personally wouldn't - I'd rather wait a bit and get v2 5G tech rather than read tea leaves now.


Feel free to PM me for more info. My install was largely based on Roccinate's so search for posts from him, too.

-a
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:46 PM   #3
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I am thinking of Asus RT AC 6800 with Merlu software. Have heard good results from another user.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:46 PM   #4
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Cradlepoint COR IBR900 Series

Just curious what is driving you to that particular unit? The IBR900 has a category 6 modem with 2x2 mimo antennas - theoretical LTE speeds of 300Mbps d/l. 802.11ac WiFi. $899.

The Verizon (Inseego) jetpack 8800L for instance has a class 18 modem with 4x4 internal mimo antennas and optional 2x2 external mimo antennas and theoretical LTE d/l speeds of >1000Mbps. 802.11ac WiFi. $199. AT&T nighthawk is similar.

For what it is worth mine is tethered to a pepwave soho router for secure gigabit wired/wireless LAN and I see actual download speeds in the 50-70Mbps range in the real world when I’m close to the tower. 10-25 otherwise.

It’s an impressive device with small footprint and price. Just putting that out there as I was close to purchasing a commercial LTE radio like the BR1/IBR900 but could not justify the jump in price for a radio with less bands as I don’t operate on multiple networks / don’t need dual sim slots.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
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Antennas etc

You people are way over my head. Talk English, please. Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:18 PM   #6
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In plain English: cradlepoint devices are outstanding for business use with a very rich feature set for corporate environments. But if you are simply trying to get connected via cellular with more than adequate speed and features there are more cost effective ways to do that.
External remote antennas almost always will do a better job than then using the antennas that are attached to the router.Some antennas (YAGI as an example) are directional and will give you a stronger signal than an omnidiectional antenna assuming you point the YAGI towards the tower.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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Cradlepoint COR IBR900 Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenfconnor View Post
Some antennas (YAGI as an example) are directional and will give you a stronger signal than an omnidiectional antenna assuming you point the YAGI towards the tower.


I agree if you are comparing against a single internal antenna embedded or attached to a given cellular modem device.

Modern LTE modems (and phones) leverage 2x2 and 4x4 internal multiple-in / multiple-out (MIMO) antennas that provide the ability to transmit data across dual frequencies simultaneously with class 6+ modems, which can absolutely out-perform a single directional roof-mounted antenna in some situations. All depends on your location relative to the tower(s). Signal strength is only one factor to take into account - frequency band and the ability to transmit / receive on multiple bands simultaneously needs to be taken into account when you are comparing hardware setups.

I travel with all options - single roof-mounted antenna, 2x2 directional MIMO antenna that can be oriented towards the tower the best / closest tower, and a built in 4x4 MIMO antenna which is in-device.

The only time I end up using my surecall roof mounted antenna these days is if signal is so weak, it’s the only
option (like last week in Moraine Park campground in RMNP)... in which case data d/l speed is pitiful at best and your are typically just using for voice.

Lots of good comparisons, videos and general mobile internet information here:

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info everyone.

I'm working this weekend, so an abbreviated response.

Yagi--no bowtie in the newer AS's (pwered tv antenna) so no easy install or pointing ability.

In the way back, I installed a Wilson cellular (latest iteration, Wilson Electronics--Weboost) booster with yagi in our home because of poor coverage. I also use enterprise grade equipment at home (ubiquiti and mikrotik). I built my last desktop and server. So I'm comfortable with non consumer equipment/config.

After researching the forum and online resources, it seemed like Cradlepoint was more up to date on chipsets, and a robust, solid solution. Pepwave is still using cat 6 modems is my understanding. The newer Cradlepoints are Cat 9? I work in emergency medicine and the first responder units that have Cradlepoint in them seem very happy with this choice.

I am not currently working from the AS, but that is a possibility. I would need a solid link for telemedicine. The slight cost factor going with enterprise grade equipment is not a big issue.

Wulfraat, and all, thank you for the feedback. I have looked at the lower cost modem/wifi router solution but will investigate your suggestions further. www.rvmobileinternet.com seems to be saying they favor the Cradlepoint over the pepwave because of the updated chipsets. This is what prompted me to lean more toward the Cradlepoint.

I, again, really appreciate the help all of you have given. I am completely open to solutions at this point.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
Just curious what is driving you to that particular unit? The IBR900 has a category 6 modem with 2x2 mimo antennas - theoretical LTE speeds of 300Mbps d/l. 802.11ac WiFi. $899.

The Verizon (Inseego) jetpack 8800L for instance has a class 18 modem with 4x4 internal mimo antennas and optional 2x2 external mimo antennas and theoretical LTE d/l speeds of >1000Mbps. 802.11ac WiFi. $199. AT&T nighthawk is similar.
Looking at the reviews of the 8800L, not seeing good things. Your experience has been good I take it? Lots of comments of bad performance, frequent reboots, poor streaming performance...

https://www.verizonwireless.com/inte...reviewsHeading
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:12 PM   #10
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MissingLink5, plain English (hopefully)

What Wulfraat said.

I am looking for a system to connect to the internet and setup a wifi network in our FC. At home, you usually have a modem (cable modem commonly) that then connects to your router. The router is essentially a traffic cop that directs traffic in the correct direction. Your typical home setup is Internet>Cable modem>router. The router may or may not have wifi capabilities. For simplicity, assume your router is wifi capable. You set up a wifi network on your router and join with your devices. The router connects to the cable modem which then connects you to the internet.

Setting up the same thing in your AS is similar. The first step is to set up a wifi network in your trailer. Any wifi router can do this. The next step is to connect the router to the internet. This is where all the #@%$ occurs. Internet connections are cellular for most RV's. Ignoring camp wifi. Given this, you need a cellular modem (instead of the cable modem) for the internet connection. You can do this by purchasing a hotspot (like Verizon Jetpack® MiFi® 8800L) then connect your wifi router to it. You can use your phone as a hotspot. You can use your vehicle wifi. You have internet>hotspot>local wifi>devices.

The routers like the Cradlepoint incorporate this into a single package. You have wifi and celluluar in one unit. You have a SIM slot (actually 2 slots-Cradlepoint 900) for your SIM/provider/data plan of choice. You buy a data plan and plug the SIM into the router. This connects you to the internet via cell network. You setup the wifi network in the AS and connect your devices. So you have internet>cellular modem>local wifi>device. These modems are used by first responders and businesses because of their reliability and robustness.

The modems have antennas....cell and wifi. The internal antenna's screw into the unit. An external antenna is just that, an antenna mounted on the roof, cable routed to the modem. There are antenna's called yagi's that are directional. Meaning they focus a beam in a single, narrow direction. You must point these at a cell tower for best reception versus omni directional, which are exactly that. You will see "MIMO" which means "multiple input, multiple output." MIMO antennas have 2 or 4 cellular and wifi (typically) antennas under "one roof." Current cellular modems are described as 2X2 or 4X4 which relates to the number of cellular channels, usually resulting in faster speeds as the number of channels increase.

Modem class has to do with the current chipsets/firmware/software. Class 6 is "older." Newer classes have improved data handling capabilities.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:06 PM   #11
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Sierra Wireless alternative

We installed the Sierra Wireless MP70, which has an excellent web-based setup and control interface. It also offers a web-based, remote manage capability - where you can even track your trailer.

Have used Sierra Wireless products in critical commercial for many years. MP70 is truly a commercial, FirstNet capable mobile router, and it is a bit pricey.

Sierra Wireless has many other lower and higher priced mobile routers. We purchased ours from Industrial Network Solutions.

73/gus
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:37 AM   #12
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sierra wireless

Thanks gklott for the info.

What antenna are you using?
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emdoc View Post
What antenna are you using?
Normally, we set the router up front on the credenza plugged into the local DC power port. With that configuration, we use these antennas mounted directly on the router:
LTE antenna - Sierra Wireless 1810075 Cellular LTE Mimo Antenna, Dipole (2 required)
WiFi antenna - Sierra Wireless AirLink Paddle WiFi Antenna - 2.4/5GHz - 6001111 (3 required)
GPS antenna - Waterproof GPS Active Antenna 28dB Gain, 3-5VDC, SMA

We purchased an external antenna, tried it temporarily, worked well, but we have not yet installed it on the trailer: Antenna Plus AP-MP70-MIMO Cellular/PCS/LTE 3 WiFi & GPS - Threaded Bolt
May actually go with the Antenna Plus AP-CCG-Q-S222-WH-15 LTE MIMO and GNSS antenna as the external mounted antenna and retain the three MODEM mounted internal antennas.

73/gus
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