My 2 year contract is expiring so I tried a new Netcomm 3G10WVR2. With my old Ericsson w35, I got Speedtest speeds averaging 2Mbps down and 1Mbps up with ping around 100ms. My new Netcomm 3G10WVR2 (using the same outdoor antenna) gets average speeds in the 3Mbps and 1Mbps range with a high of 4.4 Mbps and similar ping. So, the Netcomm gets about 50% higher download speeds with upload and ping about the same. I use Speedtest every few days and monitor download and upload speeds constantly using Networx: http://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/ I do not have direct lin-of-sight to the tower because of a large hill behind my house.The Netcomm without the outdoor antenna gets highr speeds than the W35 with the outdoor antenna.
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I have been using a W35 for almost two years now. Your comparison and comments are interesting, particularly your comment that the W35 with external antenna does not work as well as the Netcomm without external antenna.
I am assuming then from your comments that your test results are consistent enough day to day that the conclusions you are drawing would be a valid comparison of the two devices.
Given that is actually so, it would be interesting to speculate on what would influence these results. Are design and implementation differences in the cellular Radio Frequency (RF) circuitry on the two devices the cause of this difference? Is there a superior error detection and correction algorithm on the Netcomm for cellular RF signal errors? Etc., etc.
At this point, I have "invested" $150 in my W35, and am not eager to spend such a sum again, so I will not likely try your test myself.
But thanks for the info.
I haven't been around for some time, but have been more active in my own building and experimenting.
Long, complex post here, but the benefits are in the details...
Looking at some of the diverse problems people have been having, and having had a bad experience with the latest Rocket Stick, it seems there are some underlying commonalities in the problems.
The stick depends on the computer it is connected to to handle the "crunching" that is needed to support mobile internet.
There is no apparent Linux support for this (at least for Fedora).
Trying to use the stice with a 3rd party mobile router also has had problems with compatibility. If I want to upgrade to the rocket hub (all hardware outright purchase, no plans or bundling) I will have to buy that device outright with no "swap and pay the extra" possibility. If I did this with every experiment I tried, the cost would be prohibitive.
Consequently, I would have to sell the stick privately first, then upgrade. This is a possibility, but I would expect to only get a fraction of the original cost back in the sale, so the option goes into a spreadsheet to see what the ultimate cost would be first.
For some of my friends who visit the U.S. frequently (one is a trucker), the cost of this kind of service in the U.S. is a fraction of what it is here, but you would need a U.S./ account with a provider in the U.S. The reason: Canada taxes this kind of service very heavily in the background - too heavily.
Consequently, the interest would be to have a mobile router that can handle various providers' sticks, and be Linux compatible. This is unlikely, although I have yet to look intoi Netgear's offering. When I was one of many that had problems with Linux and the D-Link DIR-825, I bought a Netgear R6300, and that solved the problem (Local cost $200.00 + taxes).
The Netgear R6300 is not a mobile router, but still may play a part in this...
If I am able to find a Linux compatible mobile router thast will accommodate a variety of sticks, that will be a good start to make the mobile network provider and OS hardware independent. such a router will never handle more speed than the fastest mobile service at the time, far less than the N6300 mentioned which is Gb. plus. but all it has to do is serve the mobile to its LAN side. This prevents its processor from being burdened by LAN-side traffic.
Then I will test chaining an ethernet router (AKA RJ-45) on the Lan side of the mobile router using a reverse-wired CAT5e cable. If that works as expected, then the ethernet router, with the processor muscle to handle all the LAN-side traffic, can deal with that, unburdening the mobile router's procdessor from most of the "crunching".
In this way, each level is hardware independent of the other, and only minimally tied to any one provider. also, LAN-side traffic can operate at Gb. speeds.
The Mobile router then sould not care about the operating systems of the LAN-side computers.
In the event that a suitable Mobile router is not to be found, or ends up too expensive, I may be able to substitute a bare bones computer for it and run the sticks that way, as it were, using the windows OP-SYS on the bare bones as a "Windows nuisance server".
Also, in the longer term, if the bare bones machine has enough "crunch power" to accommodate future operating systems when it has to, that may end up extending its useful life far beyond what may be the case with a mobile router.
Of course, electrical power is a consideration. However this can come from an inverter, as is the case with some of my existing equipment, where I use a 12 volt 50 amp unregulated power supply I built myself, to power 2 inverters, one battery supported, the other not. The battery supported unit acts like a UPS for devioces that do not require a shutdown signal, the other for items than can go down in a power failure, but do not want to see spikes or power glitches, such as those that are more than spikes but less than a real power failure. This will also handle minor brown-outs.
For the truckers:
A system like this could prove of value to twin or quad driver trucking operations, however they should be aware of a few cautions when powering such stuff from the electrical system of a truck:
For 12 volt systems:
The amount of powere this requires may be too much to be drawn from a cigarette lighter receptacle. It is advisable to connect to the battery through an extra fuse, with a separate fuse, a series choke and an anti-spike capacitor to handle the power, and filter out many of the power disruptions than can easily be found in such an arrangement.
Added to that, the inverters that are connected downline will need to be diode-isolated from the 12 volt supply and have an added "fill-in" battery downside of the diode to keep them alive when the diesel starts. This is because the rest of the truck's electrical system will shut down for the moment when the diesel is being cranked to start. When the power returns, It is likely to have added disruptions until the remaining electrical loads stabilize.
If the truck system is 24 volt, the owner can purchase an added 24 volt to 12 volt converter (sizes available up to 3 kW.) to accommodate the 12 volt subsystem above. In this case, the diode isolation will go between the 12 volt output of that device and the auxiliary battery used to "fill in" when the diesel starts)
If this is not done for loads that have a processor and operating system, they may see their operating systems corrupted as a result of the 12 vold distrupions.
One word of electrical safety caution here: This kins of system needs to be done by someone who has adequate electrical competence in addition to electronic competence. I have non-university formal qualifications in both and a technical background of some 50 years.
I read through your posting. You cover many points, and a diverse range of subjects relating to mobile internet connection.
Personally, I use a RocketHub Ericsson W35, which we have had for the better part of three years now, but only here in Canada, firmly located in a stationary environment, my residence, or my summer trailer. I have in the past done a bunch of Googling on the W35, as I was experiencing some problems initially. At that time I found at least one web site that mentioned the W35 being used in a "mobile" environment, in that case on a boat, and being powered by 12 volts.
I just checked the specs for the W35, and it can be powered by 10 - 28 volts DC directly. The W35 is/was also available with battery backup that would power it for up to four hours, in case of power loss. That would resolve the issue of power loss while the diesel is pulling DC for cranking the starter motor. It may also help in filtering the DC from the truck and stabilizing it to the backup battery voltage.
You mention Linux a number of times. From your text I am not clear on which device is running Linux. But, interestingly enough, the W35 does run a Linux variant using Busybox which seems to be a specifically slimmed-down and compact version of Linux (possibly RedHat) for use in devices like that.
As I don't own a Netcomm RocketHub, my knowledge of them is limited. But I would assume they too could be powered directly off DC 12 -24 volts resulting in a far simpler setup from a power perspective. Of course, you would need to do the usual power filtering and isolation/DC backup for operation specifically in an electrically unstable and noisy environment such as a truck.
How do you use a RocketHub across North America and with various carriers? Well that is where it gets interesting. I have a copy of the Ericsson W35 Administrator's Guide, and it contains information on a rich set of functionality which would allow the customization of the device for almost any situation which one might encounter in North America. Likely you would need only the appropriate SIM to allow the device to work, once "jailbroken" and with root access to set the required parameters. If you want a .pdf copy, send me a PM with your email, and I'll get it off to you.
For a variety of reasons, the carriers who have supplied the W35 do not appear eager to release the root password, but I hear it has been done.
The RocketHubs include a router that will give you dhcp and WiFi and would in my opinion hugely simplify your problem. You would need to simply install the unit in the truck, and WiFi would take care of the rest of the connection to your devices, iPhones, whatever. You might need to be careful with the location inside the cab if the unit is metal, to allow the W35 to receive cellular radio signals.
W35's occasionally become available on the used market, so you could definitely get one if you wanted.