EVDOinfo Tip of the Week #36: Check Your RSSI in a Cradlepoint Router

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Thursday, 07 January 2010

tip of the week by has long been your source for tips, tricks, hacks and suggestions for getting the most out of your EVDO service, and each week we will be highlighting a particularly interesting or popular topic in the "Tip of the Week" feature. To suggest future Tips of the Week, contact us at or post your suggestions in the EVDO Forums.


Check Your RSSI in a Cradlepoint Router

Mobile broadband customers often find that weak 3G cellular signal affects their internet speeds, or even the ability to connect to the internet at all. For many signal-challenged users, high gain antennas or amplifier/repeater can greatly improve their signal strength and allow them to enjoy better performance from their mobile broadband device. Before buying any signal boosting equipment, we always advise customers to do a "site survey" to determine whether an antenna/amplifier will improve not just their signal but their performance as well.

An important aspect of the "site survey" is recording signal strength in RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator - a numerical representation of your signal strength that is more accurate than "bars" or "percentages"). In years past, customers who used their mobile broadband modems in routers would need to use their mobile broadband modem directly in their computer and run their carrier's connection manager software in order to view their RSSI, but beginning in the fall of 2008 Cradlepoint routers began to display RSSI within the web admin for some modems. Starting with firmware 1.3.1 for the CTR500 and MBR1000, and firmware 2.2 for the CTR350 and PHS300, Cradlepoint routers will display signal strength as RSSI for many popular modems, making a "site survey" much easier for folks who use their mobile broadband modems in a router!

Even if you're not considering purchasing an antenna or amplifier and don't need to do a full site survey, being able to see your modem's RSSI while it's in your router can be a big help - you can easily see if moving your router to a different location (near a window, for example) results in better signal strength for your modem!

If you have a compatible modem and router, to view your RSSI, simply log in to your Cradlepoint web admin and select the "Modem" tab. Here's a graphic showing the RSSI for two modems in a Cradlepoint MBR1000:

RSSI in Cradlepoint router


The RSSI capability of the routers isn't mentioned often because it doesn't work with all the cellular modems officially supported by each router. Most of the current and popular modems available from carriers like Verizon (Mifi, USB760, PC770 and USB 598) and Sprint (Mifi, U760, 598U, and C777) will all display their RSSI via Cradlepoint's web admin, though the router may need the latest firmware in order to support the modem and RSSI feature. It's important to remember that NOT every cellular modem supports the RSSI display in Cradlepoint's web admin, and its one of the reasons we wrote this related article: Which EVDO Device is Best for Cradlepoint Routers?

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 March 2010 )
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