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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

NetComm Wireless NTC-140W Review

Available at 3Gstore, the NetComm NTC-140W is a powerful tool for industrial M2M and IoT applications. Significant features in a user friendly package make the 140W an easy choice for new networks or upgrading older hardware.

 

 

The NetComm NTC-140W is built with harsh environments in mind. The ruggedized enclosure and device can withstand temperatures operating temperature from -40f to 185f, significantly higher than other industrial routers which cap out in the 150f range. That may seem excessive, but when you consider automotive or industrial deployments where the router may be subject to extreme heat or cold, the operating temperatures of the 140W ensure reliable operation in the most extreme environments.


As an industrial device, there are also multiple power options available. Included with the NTC-140W is a hardwire harness that connects to a 4 pin molex connector. This means you have 2 cables for power, and 2 cables for programmable I/O operations on the router. In a vehicle application you can have ignition sensing to power the router on with the vehicle to save power. The 140W also accepts 8-40V DC for an incredibly wide range of operating voltages from solar power supplies through high voltage industrial control panels. An optional AC adapter is available for those that don’t need a hardwired power connection.

 

 

There are 2 Gigabit ethernet ports for LAN/WAN connectivity, the multipurpose I/O and power supply, and a micro USB 2.0 OTG interface (discussed later). The SIM card for the cellular radio inserts with a lockable tray and uses standard 2FF sized SIM cards. 3FF Micro or 4FF Nano SIM cards can be used with a SIM adapter. There are 2 SMA connectors for cellular signal, 2 RP-SMA connectors for WiFi, and an SMA connector for GPS functionality. A multi-function reset button lets you reboot, load into recovery mode, or factory default the unit. Status LEDs provide clear indications of signal strength, network status, or any errors that need to be addressed.

 

 

Once logged into the web user interface for the NetComm NTC-140W, you’ll find a clean and easy to understand configuration screen. A helpful but not overloaded main status page tells you everything you need to know from system information to cellular status. The web UI isn’t cluttered, but it isn’t lacking in features either. System logging, firmware management, diagnostics, port forwarding and firewall settings, and more, are easily found and changed. Aside from the web GUI, many other configuration and control options are available. Telnet into the device for status monitoring and configuration, SNMP allows for easy integration into existing systems, a TR-069 client configuration is supported for advanced users, and SMS controls (text messages) allow for simple remote management. With SMS commands you can request advanced diagnostics like signal strength, IP, uptime, and more. You can also remotely configure a device's APN to get an NTC-140W connected without any hands on time. Multiple commands can be executed as well for reboot, reset, and more.


The NTC-140W is more than just a cellular only router. This also functions as a powerful failover unit using a wired WAN connection as a primary connection with cellular as a backup. There is nothing worse than having critical applications go offline, and having to send a tech out into the field to troubleshoot only to find out the issue lies with the ISP. The 140W will save time and money from expensive truck rolls, and stop lost productivity from remote sites and equipment that have gone offline.

 

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(263 Days of Uptime as of this Post!
 

The NetComm NTC-140W runs on top of an embedded Linux 3.6 kernel and a full SDK is available for download. With the SDK you can create and install custom applications and run them directly from the router. Internal flash storage is available for use and can be extended with the USB connection if more resource intensive applications (like on site data logging) are required.

 

 

When it comes to mission critical applications such as primary connection backup, surveillance, point of sale, digital signage, remote monitoring, in-vehicle communications, and more, the NetComm NTC140W is a powerful tool and a major contender in the M2M and IoT world.

 

The NetComm Wireless NTC-140W is Available at 3Gstore!





 
Thursday, 11 May 2017

Verizon Acquires Straight Path - Accelerates 5G Launch

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In a press release today, Verizon has announced a massive purchase of Straight Path, a major holder in high frequency wireless spectrum. AT&T was previously in the running to acquire this spectrum holding company but in a power play, Verizon has stepped in. This move will give Verizon massive coverage in high frequencies which are critical to the launch of 5G networks based on millimeter wave technology. T-Mobile on the other hand plans to deploy their 5G network on their 600Mhz low frequency licences which will give the carrier excellent building coverage with the least amount of time to deploy vs high frequencies which will need base stations and many antennas to pass the signal to new areas.

"Verizon now has all of the pieces in place to quickly accelerate the deployment of 5G," said Hans Vestberg, executive vice president and president of global network and technology at Verizon. "Combined with our recent transactions with Corning Incorporated, XO Communications, and Prysmian Group, this is another step to build the next-generation network for our customers."

Read the full press release here.




Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 May 2017 )
 
Monday, 08 May 2017

WilsonPro 1050 Announcement

 

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ST GEORGE, UT–(Marketwired – May 8, 2017) – WilsonPro, the leader in enterprise cellular connectivity, announced today the availability of the WilsonPro 1050. The Pro 1050 is the industry’s first Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless carrier-approved „inline” cellular booster system. The Pro 1050 is the only passive distributed antenna system (DAS) with a unique dual-amplifier design to compensate for cell signal that is lost over long lengths of cable.


“WilsonPro’s powerful passive cellular boosters are the only solutions that give businesses the benefits of an active DAS without the high cost or lengthy implementation,” said Bruce Lancaster, CEO of Wilson Electronics. „The Pro 1050 goes one step further to minimize lost cell signal along a cable run to ensure a strong, uninterrupted cell signal throughout the entire building. Strong cell signal is essential for a company’s overall efficiency and effectiveness and WilsonPro strives to create effective products at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions.”

 

The Pro 1050 amplifies weak cell signal to provide reliable voice and data coverage, including 4G LTE, in any large commercial space such as hotels, hospitals, retail spaces, large residential buildings and event venues. Typically, as cell signal moves over long lengths of coaxial cable, some of the signal is lost, reducing overall booster system performance. The Pro 1050 solves this issue by using a dual-amplifier system, which consists of a main amplifier and a supplementary inline amplifier. Working together, the two amplifiers determine the actual signal that is lost along the cable run and boost the signal accordingly to compensate for up to 300 feet of cable. The enhanced signal results in cell service that is up to 32 times stronger, increased data speeds and fewer missed or dropped calls.


The Pro 1050’s self-optimizing design makes it quick and easy to install unlike active DAS, which can take years to implement. The Pro 1050 works with all North American cellular networks, simultaneously boosting all carrier signals at the same time. The Pro 1050 features eXtended Dynamic Range (XDR) technology and will never overpower and shut down, no matter how strong the outside cellular signals are. Like all WilsonPro cellular signal boosters, the Pro 1050 features cell site protections that detect and prevent any cell tower interference and its best-in-class warranty protects the product for three years.


Learn more about the WilsonPro 1050 at 3Gstore!


About WilsonPro

Wilson Electronics, LLC, home of WilsonPro, weBoost, and zBoost, is a leader in wireless communications infrastructure, dedicated to delivering connectivity to every corner of people’s lives. The company has designed and manufactured cell phone signal boosters, antennas and related components for more than 20 years. Each booster is designed to significantly improve cellular coverage in homes, workplaces or vehicles. All Wilson Electronics products are designed, assembled and tested in the U.S.A. For more information, visit www.wilsonpro.com.





Last Updated ( Monday, 08 May 2017 )
 
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Mimo for 4G LTE Routers and When You Need It (and When You Don’t)

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(Multiple-Input Multiple-Output)
 

First, we need to start with a simple question. What is MiMo? MiMo stands for Multiple-Input Multiple Output, which is a wireless technology. For the purposes of this article we are going to talk about what MiMo is in related to cellular signal. With MiMo there are multiple transmitters and receivers on each side of a connection used to send and receive more data at the same time. 4G LTE cellular technology is built on MiMo, meaning the cell tower and end user device have multiple antennas on each side to help improve speeds and reliability. MiMo is also commonly referred to as diversity which is the same concept.

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(Pepwave MAX BR1 - MiMo Cellular Antennas)
 

Embedded cellular routers from manufacturers like Cradlepoint , Pepwave , Sierra , Netcomm , and more, all take advantage of MiMo on their 4G LTE capable devices. There will be a cellular main and cellular aux antenna port which creates multiple paths to the cell tower. Most of these embedded cellular routers include small screw on antennas for cellular reception, but what do you do if you need to install the router somewhere where cellular signal isn’t reliable?


The common solutions are to either run an external antenna, use a direct connect amplifier, or install a cellular repeater system. We’ll look at each option and when MiMo does and does not benefit the embedded router.

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(Panorama Enclosure Antenna - Use Two for MiMo!)
 

When running an external antenna only with no cellular amplifier, it is best to run 2 external antennas, or a single external antenna that supports MiMo (this would be a single antenna that has 2 leads to connect to the modem). This setup allows the embedded modem to retain its MiMo capabilities while still having an external antenna to maximize signal strength to the modem. Lets use the Pepwave MAX BR1 Mini as an example. This has a cellular main and cellular aux antenna port. If it was installed in an ATM machine it may have weak cellular signal due to the metal enclosure it is surrounded by. An external antenna is needed in this scenario.

 

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(Panorama Panel Antenna - 1 Antenna with 2 Connectors)
 

Two Panorama Enclosure antennas can be connected to the BR1 and installed on the exterior of the ATM machine. You’ll get full MiMo performance which will allow for the best network speeds possible. If the MAX BR1 Mini was installed indoors, a building mount antenna would be needed. This is where a single antenna can be installed, such as the Panorama MiMo Panel antenna. This is a single antenna with two leads to connect to the two ports on the BR1. Installation is simplified with a single external antenna, but MiMo performance isn’t sacrificed. When using antennas only, it is best to have a MiMo configuration whenever possible.

 

(Cradlepoint IBR600 - Stock Antennas)
 

We'll look at another example using a Cradlepoint IBR600 router. This device also has two cellular antenna ports for MiMo operation. The stock antennas are simple paddle antennas, but again, mounting location plays a lot into the cellular signal strength. Sometimes a full fledged outdoor antenna isn't possible to install and a higher performing indoor antenna is needed.

 

(IBR600 with Indoor MiMo Antenna)
 

This Panorama Portable antenna includes a length of cable to help position the antenna indoors where the signal is best, while still maintaining MiMo performance on the Cradlepoint router. This is great for server racks, digital signs, kiosks, or anywhere else where a boost in signal is needed to get the maximum performance out of the router.

 


(Signal 4G Direct Connect Amplifier Kit)
 

The story changes when you start looking at cellular amplifiers. Direct connect cellular amplifiers are popular when cellular signal to a single device is weak and an antenna alone isn’t enough to do the job. The amplifier mounts near the embedded router you need to boost the signal to, and an antenna is connected to the amp. Amplifiers, aka signal boosters, dramatically improve the incoming and outgoing signal between a cell tower and device. By using a direct connect cellular amplifier, speed and reliability can be dramatically improved to a single device. Amplifiers do have a downside though, and that is along with the boost to cellular signal, they also boost noise. Signal to Noise Ratio, or SINR, can make or break cellular connections. Too much noise, regardless of how strong the signal is, and a modem won’t be able to connect! When using a direct connect cellular amplifier it is advisable to only use a SINGLE cellular amplifier on the MAIN antenna port of the embedded router, and disable the aux antenna port if possible or simply do not connect the second antenna. What happens to MiMo? Simply put, you no longer have MiMo performance in this configuration, but often times the addition of a second cellular amplifier does more harm than good due to excessive noise introduced to the modem. When a direct connect amplifier is required, the modem will typically perform better with a single amplifier and antenna instead of two. An amplifier like the Signal 4G is a popular option for a direct connect amplifier and can be used in M2M and IoT applications as well as for home or business use to provide the highest gain to a single device.

 

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(weBoost Connect 4G Repeater)
 

Cellular repeater kits have the same restriction as direct connect amplifiers. With a cellular repeater there is an external antenna, amplifier, and internal antenna to rebroadcast the signal to multiple devices including the embedded router you want to boost the signal to. You can’t run two separate repeaters in a way where they can boost a main and aux connection on a router without the kits interfering and shutting each other down, and even if you could, there would be so much noise in the environment the amp may not connect. Again, you have to consider that if an amplifier is required the benefits of having a usable signal, even if not full MiMo performance, is better than no signal at all! The weBoost Connect 4G is a kit that can boost cellular coverage up to 5k square feet to multiple devices at the same time.


What about USB modems and hotspots? Unfortunately, most USB modems and hotspots do NOT have external antenna ports that support MiMo functionality. In our testing with one or two external antennas connected the devices perform exactly the same, which is an unfortunate limitation of consumer grade devices. Upgrading to an embedded cellular router provides an immediate reliability boost, and often times speeds are improved just by using the small included antennas that these devices include, and can be improved even more with a proper external antenna. Read more about USB vs. Embedded hardware.

Will an Antenna or Amplifier Help Me? Find out BEFORE You Buy!

How can you determine if an an external antenna or amplifier is needed? We recommend you start with a simple site survey that can be performed with an iOS or Android phone. By taking measurements of the signal both inside and outside the location your device will be used, you can determine the best device for the job. Need help interpreting your results? Contact the experts at 3Gstore!


 




Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 May 2017 )
 
Tuesday, 02 May 2017

Cradlepoint Announces IBR600C Series and Expands IBR900 Series

 

IBR600C with antennas
IBR600C with cellular and WiFi antennas

 

Cradlepoint has announced the IBR600C series, a compact semi-ruggedized router for failover, vehicle, and m2m applications. The IBR600C (includes WiFi) and IBR650C (no WiFi) all feature multiband 3G/4G/LTE modems that cover a variety of North American networks and are certified for use on Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Canadian networks. Each model is pre-set for a particular carrier, but users can easily flash the on-board modem firmware for use with any of the other supported carriers. 

In addition to expected features like failover, WiFi as WAN, load balancing, and IP Passthrough, the IBR600C series provides a variety of updates over the older IBR600 series, including:

  • Dual SIM slots for redundancy
  • 2 x ethernet ports that can each be set to either WAN or LAN (1 x 10/100 and 1 x 10/100/1000)
  • Additional memory
  • Compatibility with the COR extensibility dock (allows users to add another MC400 modem and adds additional ethernet ports and expansion support)
  • Ruggedized enclosure
  • 9-33V voltage input range
  • Temperature sensor and thermal shutdown alerts with QoS

The IBR600C has an MSRP of $699.99, while the IBR650C (which includes all the same features except WiFi) has an MSRP of $649.99. The entire IBR600C series will be available May 2017.

More about the Cradlepoint IBR600C Series from 3Gstore

 

Also announced today was an expansion of the IBR900 line. The IBR900LPE-VZ utilizes the same ruggedized IBR900 body and all included features as the rest of the line, but the included modem includes 3G EVDO failback for Verizon and Sprint (the Cat6 models previously available supported LTE for those carriers, but not 3G failback - which is critical for users in areas where LTE is not available or who need to ensure they can failback while traveling to remote locations). Cradlepoint will also be offering the IBR900LPE-VZ-NPS, which doesn't include the AC power supply or antennas. Both of the new models are pre-set for Verizon, but users can easily update the embedded modem for use on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Canadian carriers as well.

More about the Cradlepoint IBR900 series from 3Gstore




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 May 2017 )
 
Tuesday, 02 May 2017

SureCall Amplifier Kits On Sale!

If you are looking to improve cellular signal in a home, office, or vehicle, now is the time to buy! Select SureCall Amplifier kits are on sale through the end of May, 2017!

 

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The SureCall FlexPro is designed for users who need to boost voice and 3G data signal inside a small home. The external antenna is omnidirectional meaning it requires no aiming, and a whip antenna connected directly to the amplifier to rebroadcast the signal. This simplifies installation while still providing a boost to nearby devices.

 

https://3gstore.com/product/6709_surecall-mate-flexpro-omni-whip.html 199.99!

 

The SureCall Flex Pro is also available in a Yagi/Whip kit. The outside antenna is replaced with a directional external antenna that must be accurately aimed at a cell tower to work. Installation is more complex than the omnidirectional kit, but the added gain from this antenna equals more coverage range inside.

 

https://3gstore.com/product/6708_surecall-mate-flexpro-yagi-whip.html 249.99!

 

The SureCall EZ 4G kit boost signal up to 1000 square feet, for 3G, 4g, and LTE, without the need for an external antenna! This is made for home users that want to boost signal to a few devices in a small area for both voice and data.

 

https://3gstore.com/product/6493_surecall-ez-4g.html 299.99!

 

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The SureCall Flare includes an external omnidirectional antenna, and an internal amplifier and antenna combo. This supports voice, 3G, and LTE data, and can cover up to 2,500 square feet!

 

https://3gstore.com/product/7089_surecall-flare.html 299.99!

The Fusion4Home has an external omnidirectional antenna and internal amplifier with whip antenna and works on voice, 3G, and LTE. This is similar to the FlexPro but supports LTE.

 

https://3gstore.com/product/6572_surecall-fusion4home-omni-whip.html 299.99!

 

The Fusion2Go is a cellular amplifier kit for vehicle use. An external magnetic mount antenna brings in the cellular signal to the amplifier, and a patch antenna distributes the signal into the vehicle. This works on voice, 3G, and LTE, and can broadcast up to 10’. This is suitable for a small vehicle, or a specific area within an RV that needs a boosted cellular signal.

https://3gstore.com/product/6272_surecall-fusion2go_kit.html 289.99!

Not sure if a cellular amplifier is right for you? Contact the experts at 3Gstore or follow our Site Survey instructions!




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 May 2017 )
 
Tuesday, 02 May 2017

How USB 3.0 Can Affect Your Cellular Bandwidth

As you may know, there’s several things that can cause interference with WiFi signals. Interference could cause intermittent or consistent connection problems such as limited range or poor speeds. Since there are so many electronics that affect WiFi signals, it makes it quite tricky to troubleshoot WiFi related issues. Sometimes with a bit of trial and error, powering equipment off and unplugging things, you get lucky. This is how one of our customers discovered the cause of her intermittent bandwidth issues was related to a USB 3.0 connection on her laptop.

There’s different USB types, but it’s likely you’ll at least be familiar with USB 2.0 and 3.0. USB 3.0 can provide a faster connection in comparison to USB 2.0. Throughput rates can vary depending on a number of things (e.g. hardware, software, etc.), but generally USB 2.0 has a speed of about 40Mbps while USB 3.0 can reach 400Mbps. This certainly comes in handy for large data transfers to an external hard drive, for example.

The downside however to using USB 3.0 is that it creates a high level of noise within the 2.4-2.5GHz range. In the case of our customer, they were using a Verizon Jetpack 6620L tethered via USB to a Surf SOHO MK3 router. The customer was finding that their connection speeds were quite intermittent, even when connecting their PC directly to the Jetpack (without the router). The problem was that they had been using a USB 3.0 hub in the PC they were using to test. Once the USB hub was moved over to the USB 2.0 port on the PC, the connection speeds dramatically increased and stayed consistent.

According to Ken Loyd, director of consumer product for D-Link, this is why USB 3.0 causes so much trouble:

The USB 3.0 specification requires USB 3.0 data to be scrambled and it requires spread-spectrum. This noise can radiate from the USB 3.0 connector on a device (such as a PC or Router), the USB 3.0 connector on the peripheral device or the USB 3.0 [port]. If the antenna of a wireless device operating in this band is placed close to any of the USB 3.0 radiation channels, it can pick up the broadband noise. The broadband noise emitted from a USB 3.0 device can affect the SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and limit the sensitivity of any wireless receiver whose antenna is physically located close to the USB 3.0 device. This may result in a drop in throughput on the wireless link.

Though we’ve only just discovered this ourselves, other companies like Intel have already done some research. Intel in particular even wrote a white paper on the subject back in April 2012.

Thankfully, the USB routers sold at 3Gstore use USB 2.0 ports. This includes Cradlepoint and Peplink/Pepwave. If you’re using another router for your application, and it uses a USB 3.0 port, the good thing is that most manufacturers are trying to incorporate features to notify of possible interference or use hardware that can help reduce the noise level.

In our research, here’s some things that may help if you’re experiencing this USB 3.0 issue:

  • Use a high-quality shielded USB 3.0 extension cable when connecting any devices to a USB 3.0 port. This can help put more separation between the USB 3.0 device and the WiFi antenna on your WiFi device.
  • If possible, isolate WiFi clients such as computers, tablets or phones on 5GHz while printing or file sharing with a USB 3.0 connected printer or hard drive.
  • Try to keep WiFi clients at least 20ft or more away from the router if they’re using some sort of USB 3.0 device.
  • While it’s not ideal, if you can make due, use a USB 2.0 connection instead as most USB 3.0 ports should be backwards compatible with 2.0.



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 May 2017 )
 

EVDO News, Tips, Products, Reviews, Verizon and Sprint Experts.
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