Good morning everyone.
Until a few days ago I was on the Rogers modem / Inukshuk system for my internet. While it may not have been the fastest, it was reasonably reliable andI was quite happy with it.
Rogers will be removing this system at the end of the month and we are being put on the Rocket Hub. We have no choice in this matter it seems. I won't get in to the pricing, just the technical issues I seem to be having.
Last friday, I connected the Hub and it worked immediately. However, it is so slow that it will not even load something as simple as the environment Canada weather channel.
Very shortly after I hooked it up, I received a download notice from Firefox regarding a security update, which I downloaded. Total of 30.5 megs and this took something over 3 minutes to download. The incoming speed varied from a high of 195 kb to a low of 165 kb.
It appears that I will need some sort of decent antenna or signal booster of some kind to get this working properly. As you might have guessed, I'm far from being a techie type person. It needs to be kept simple for me.
I have spoken with the local dealer, and he thinks the hub should work far better than it is currently. I get 4 bars on our cell phones consistently and never have a dropped call.
I will be calling Rogers tech for guidance and I hope they can help. But if anyone has had a similar problem and solved it, can you tell me how?
Many thanks in advance for any assistance you might be able to give. BTW, I'm an old retired guy, but I can follow instructions.
the signal strength for the cellular frequency bands that the RocketHub uses for data 3G+ is the important thing. But curiously, you may find what we found with our Rogers RocketHub (an Ericsson W35) that the voice/telephone always works, even with the lower signal strengths we have at our location.
I find the whole subject of which frequency band Rogers is using for 3G+ to be confusing. But we do have a Wilson multi-band external log-periodic antenna:
According to this web site, this antenna is effective from 800 MHz to 2500 MHz. That would cover the three possible bands used by Rogers cellular: 850/1900/2100 MHz.
So check on the RocketHub internal web-based management interface to determine what the signal strength is that is being received by your RocketHub. If it seems low, you might get improvements in data transfer rates by using an external antenna.
But do be aware that if you are connecting to a congested cellular tower, you will likely experience not only data speed slowdowns, but also outright internet connection drops. Check over the course of the day/night as to when your data transfer rates increase or decrease, and/or when internet disconnects occur. Our experience was that at the times of the day that one would expect high cellular voice traffic, data transfer rates slowed right down, or we got internet disconnections. So, if you consistently get problems at specific times of day or night, but not at other times, there is a good chance that cell congestion is the issue and an external antenna will get you better signal strength, but will not improve things as much as you hope.
I know of someone near here who can see the Rogers tower from their back window, and they were still getting slowdowns and disconnects due to cell congestion. Cellular signal strength was definitely not an issue there!
So, be careful how you interpret the RocketHub performance, because it could be that signal strength is not the issue so much as congestion on the Rogers cellular network.
Skinorth, many thanks for your help.
FWIW I just got off the phone from Rogers Tech and didn't learn a whole lot, except he did explain to me a little about the frequencies. I understand that the two main ones are 850 and 1900, and that if you are on 850 for instance, that there are two frequencies - one higher than 850 and the other lower - one for transmitting and the other for receiving.
I suppose it might be handy for me to learn all this stuff, but whether it will help or not I don't know.
I did find out that the three possible towers that we might connect to operate at both 850 and 1900. I further understand that the 850 frequency is supposed to have greater distance capability, but lower throughput rate if I understood correctly. He suggested that I contact Powertech Canada, as apparently they have both antennas and signal boosters which have been effective in increasing real speeds. He did say they are not connected to Rogers in any way.
Now, to your comment about congested towers, the area of concern is very rural indeed. More or less a farming area with low population. The island we live on has exactly three permanent customers - including me! I suppose they could be congested, although I would doubt it.
I asked Mandy, the Rogers tech guy, if there was any way I could check on my computer (mac) as to the real speed, and he said no. But I could do a Speedtest. I actually did that last night and got a ping of 81ms, d/l speed of 3.06 mbps and upload of 1.77mbps. I'm told that this speedtest is done by throwing out any and all extraneous information to get the maximum possible speed, and that I should not expect anywhere near that in the real world. Truth be told, even 10% of that would be nice.
You mention the RocketHub internal web-based management interface to determine the signal strength. Sounds good to me, but I don't know what that is or how I might do that. I can tell you that the hub is showing the signal strength as high and that's about all.
I'm back on my old modem now until I get this sorted out.
One thing you can do is take your RocketHub, and your computer, and you can take them to a different location, closer to cell towers, and plug it in to test your result there. At the least, you will then know you have better signal strength, and you can compare your results with what you get at home. If you get the same results in several, widely separated locations, you will have learned that no matter what you do, the device is not performing to expectations. I suggest, for example, you take it to the store/dealer to whom you referred earlier, and try it there, if they will cooperate.
It is possible that you have a defective RocketHub. It could also be possible that there is something in your setup that is incorrect, although I doubt that, as the device should work properly out of the box. In the final analysis, you may need to do an exchange with Rogers to get another RocketHub to determine if that fixes the problem.
You can get to the management interface by putting the IP address of the RocketHub into the address field (URL) of your web browser (IE or Firefox). You have not stated which RocketHub you have, but the address of the router/RocketHub is most likely "192.168.1.1". Leave out the double quotes when entering the address.
You should then get up the welcome screen for the management interface on your web browser. Refer to the User Guide for the RocketHub to determine the username and password that you should use. If I am not mistaken, you should use "admin" and "admin" for the username and password, respectively. But your User Guide will be the ultimate reference.
The User Guide will also give you information on the various pages available in the management interface.
If the lights on the front show adequate signal strength, I would not worry about getting an antenna for the immediate future. There are a number of vendors for the antenna. Shop around online and you will get an idea of pricing. Don't forget that you also will need a cable and an adapter pigtail to connect the router to the cable.
You mention you live out in a rural area. I have used my RocketHub in a rural area too, in Prince Edward County, outside of Picton, ON. I experienced the cell congestion there as well as in my home location. Noticeably, around 8:30 - 9:00 AM and around 5:00 PM, there would be a drop in throughput and some internet disconnects. My suspicion is that Rogers configures/provisions rural cell towers to suit the lower traffic levels expected in such areas. So, the population may in fact be low in the area, but at certain times of the day, with people moving about, and using their cell phones from their vehicles, the cellular traffic will increase, depending on who/what is going by.
Also, regarding the antenna, if you do choose to get one, remember that they are directional, and you need to aim it at the tower you decide to use for your cellular signal.
Skinorth, once again you are a goldmine of information, thank you.
I could take the computer and hub to the dealer, and from past experience I know he will be more than happy to let me check from his location. And while I do not disagree with this suggestion, it is not terribly practical for me. We live on a small island and in order to get over to Vancouver Island we take the trip on a small boat. Both the tides and weather need to co-oerate, and that rarely seems to happen at this time of year. However, it is an option I will keep open.
In fact, now that my memory has kicked into gear, I did just that a couple of years ago with the current modem. It turned out to be a local tower problem, no fault of the modem. I would rather suspect that the RocketHub is working OK.
The Hub Rogers sent me is the Netcomm 3G10WVR2. Browser is Firefox. Yes, admin and admin is the username and p/w.
I will give this a go and see what happens.
You mention the possibility of Rogers may configure the rural cell towers for lesser use, and that might well be true. I will see what I can find out about that.
However, one thing that should NOT happen in B.C. is cell phone use in vehicles, it has been outlawed. Having said that, I still see such use frequently.
I was aware of the directional nature of the Yagi type antenna as I spent some time last night trying to learn a little about that. However my legitimate knowledge of how all this works is far from complete.
The rural area we live in is like this. Ruxton Island is a small island in the Gulf Islands in B. C. We are perhaps 15 miles from downtown Nanaimo as the crow flies - assuming the crow isn't drunk. The area on Vancouver Island directly across from us is between Cedar and Ladysmith. Both Telus and Rogers have a number of towers in this area. For all I know they could be the same towers with shared use, I don't know.
I do remember my dealer showing me a local map with the exact locations of the towers nearby, so I will see if I can get a copy of that from him. And speaking of directional...do you know if there is any way to tell the signal strength with some sort of meter or...???
Once again, many thanks for your kind help, and sorry for the delay in replying...there are some things one has to do living on an island every day which consume our time!
For whatever reason, trying to get the IP address of 192.168.1.1. (which is the router in this case) only brings up a page of search results from Google. The ethernet IP address is showing 192.168.1.2. It doesn't seem to allow me to interact with the hub.
Any further suggestions?
between the two of us, we have exercised this Forum pretty heavily in the last 12 hours.
I understand your issue regarding transportation. I've been in and out of Nanaimo a number of times, I have a stepson in Sooke, and I love the area where you live.
It seems strange that the 192.168.1.1 address got you to Google!?! I am not sure how you check your IP parameters and the dhcp-assigned addresses on a Mac. But if you can find that, it will tell you the "default gateway" address. That is the address of your RocketHub.
As far as I know, the Netcomm RocketHubs come out of the box with the default address of 192.168.1.1. I would be very, very surprised if it is not reachable at that address.
Again, I do not have good Mac knowledge, but the standard test command to see if an IP address is reachable from your computer is the "ping" command. I am sure that the Mac must have an implementation of ping. You would type in "ping 192.168.1.1" into the ping command interface, or just the address 192.168.1.1 if it is a graphical interface. The program will then tell if it can connect to that address, or if it cannot reach it.
The other possibility is that you are not entering the IP address of the router in the right place in Firefox. The address 192.168.1.1 needs to be entered where you normally put the "www.xxx.com" or whatever, just like you were going to a web site. I hope you know what I mean. Firefox doesn't need "http" or "www...." there, just that IP address. This is a little different from the usual address format you would use with Firefox, but it will understand it nevertheless.
I am positive that Rogers configures not only the cell tower and associated equipment, but also any comm lines that run between each cell tower and whatever backbone network they have, to suit the expected traffic volume. It would just make tremendous financial sense.
As to people using cell phones in cars, well, besides the fact that although we in Ontario have a law which prohibits people from using cell phones in cars, they still do so. And it is still legal to use a cell phone in a car if you have a "hands-free" option installed.
There is a web site you can access which will tell you exactly where each company has its cell towers:
Also, the antenna to which I pointed you is not a yagi. Yagi antennas are quite directional, and have good gain, but tend to work effectively over a rather narrow frequency range. The so-called log-periodic antenna has similar gains, but can be designed for a much wider frequency range, such as this application requires.
So, keep at it. Good Luck, and hopefully by the time I get up tomorrow you will have everything under control.
They should give out gold medals to guys like you...really.
Sooke - great place!
It just dawned on me when I was having dinner that maybe I need to have a USB cable hooked between the hub and the computer, but I'm not sure. If I do, I will need to buy one next time I'm in town.
It's dead easy to bring up the IP stuff on the mac, just systems pref, network and you're there. Takes nearly a full second.
The mac definitely shows the right address for the hub, 192.168.1.1
I didn't try to ping, but I will. I just typed the address into the browser as I usually would, and good old Google came up with 3.5 million replies.
Thanks for the link to the cell towers, I'll check that out right away.
I did go to your link for the antenna that you have and I know it isn't a Yagi type. The one difference that I note is that yours had about a 9db gain (if I remember) and the yagi's I looked at went from about 11 to 18db gains or so. I really don't know what the real world difference would be, but I must assume (I know, I know...) that 9db will do the job.
OK, off to try the ping and check the cell towers. Thanks again.
OK, fast draw McGraw! I think I hardly had time to finish my second edit of the previous posting, and your response was in already!
I am still suspecting that somehow you aren't getting the IP address into Firefox successfully.
And you should not need a USB cable to connect to the RocketHub. The USB port is for either a printer or hard drive type external storage. Refer to your User Guide for details.
You could, however, connect the Mac to the RocketHub using an ethernet cable. But that will not give you any better connectivity than wireless. It seems that you are working quite well on wireless right now.
Although that is one thought........
You could check what your download speeds are with an ethernet cable and thus eliminate possible problems you could be having with the wireless between the Mac and RocketHub.
I think you are right.
So I tried again putting the address into the right spot, and came up with a 404 error.
I do have an ethernet cable between the mac and the hub.
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