Cradlepoint, Or Other Similar Devices

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Tony Laubach, May 7, 2018.

  1. Tony Laubach

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    Been doing some research and am having a hard time finding what I am looking for. Back in the day, I used a device, I believe it was a Cradlepoint, that one could connect various USB wireless cards into one device and either combine the signals, use the strongest, etc. It would then broadcast a Wifi signal that devices could connect to using all the networks at once or the strongest network.

    Does such a device still exist? Are they Cradlepoints? Recommendations are particular devices?
     
  2. Mark Blue

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    They were Cradlepoint until they decided to go after another market and leave us chasers out in the cold. To get in the game with a Cradlepoint you’ll need around $1000.00 bucks these days, because they’re designed for ambulances and such now. The Pepwave linked above will let you put four external USB modems in it, but it’s getting a little long in the tooth. If you’re looking to get in the game a dedicated hotspot from either VZW or AT&T is the only way for reasonable money. There is no doubt these new mobile routers are nice, but not a thousand dollars nice!
     
  3. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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  4. Mark Blue

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    If you’re still researching this is a good resource to check out. The juiciest information is behind a paywall, but there’s plenty to read otherwise: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/review-categories/mobile-routers/

    I have Verizon for our phones, iPads, and USB modem, but I’ve been looking at dropping the USB modem from my current plan and getting myself one of these bad boys: https://www.att.com/devices/netgear/nighthawk-lte-mobile-hotspot-router.html#. They’re only available through AT&T, but by having the two best wireless services it would be a formidable combo. The only thing I’m a little worried about is the external antenna and amp part of the equation, but I’ll get there.

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    Mark, I've had my eye on that Nighthawk for a few weeks myself. I'm also on Verizon, but have looked into getting an AT&T based data source to fill in the majority of the gaps I might have (such as western IL, for example).

    The reviews I've seen have been mostly good. The main poor reviews seem to be from people who bit off more than they could chew from a tech standpoint and were after something that basically set everything up for them. I would imagine that the admin menu for configuration is probably similar to Netgear's DOCSIS routers, so it shouldn't be a steep learning curve at all getting some of the more advanced settings taken care of.
     
  6. Mark Blue

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    Hey Drew (Mr. Nissan!): I’m ready to order the Nighthawk MR1100, but I’m faced with having to find two matched unidirectional MIMO antennas without using a cellular booster for the first time in years. It certainly isn’t a show stopper, but it’s something that requires research and I waited until the 11th hour like a dummy. The Neatgear antenna that’s made for it is directional, so that won’t work. Should be interesting to see what I end up with, if I pull the trigger.

    With the hotspot having 4x4 MIMO built in it’s a bummer that two external antennas will drop it down to 1/2 of its capabilities. On the other hand, it’s far and away on the leading/cutting edge of technology and is even beating the cellular routers that cost five times as much in head to head testing. I’m talking the likes of the Cradlepoint IBR1100 and the Pepwave Max BR1 MK2 no less. If you dig up anything interesting let me know!
     
  7. Tony Laubach

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    Hey all, thanks for the advice. I currently have AT&T as my personal accounts (ZTE Mobley Hotspot & Galaxy S8+) and access to a Verizon card through work(I believe Jetpack 6620). A few things I've noticed..

    Verizon is horrid, at least compared to what I remember a few years ago. The gaps along I-70 in central/western KS into eastern CO are large and again, weren't there years ago. They have noticeable gaps outside the interstate as well. Their coverage map seems at best false advertisement, because there are large gaps in coverage. I had Verizon til I switched to AT&T because I felt I was paying a ton for what was declining coverage. It became a deal breaker, and as soon as my contract expired, I took all my lines over to AT&T. My bill was considerably cheaper.

    AT&T Mobley is nice because it is truly unlimited (I have never been throttled on that account) and it hooks into the car. However, it is often out of service while the cell phone has perfect service. I have considered upgrading to a better hotspot, but because I do have business access to Verizon, I have held out to this point.

    That said, I have looked at that Nighthawk idea, and would hope to increase my coverage area a bit. However, I have read that this device is not included on unlimited plans. That concerns me.

    My station has offered up the idea to customize me a wireless system to ensure I am connected as much as possible. That's where I am seeking ideas on a router that can support multiple service providers. The 3G store linked in one of the first replies got a just-under $500 price quote. That right now is leading the charge. And may ultimately get the green light. The Mofi 4550 is also getting a look from me, so thanks for suggesting that. That is a completely new device to me, so I am going to check that out as well.
     
  8. Mark Blue

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    I’m glad someone besides me noticed what you’re saying. VZW acts like they have the whole CONUS blanketed in LTE, but my experience says that’s a crock. You don’t have to go very far off the beaten path before it’s no signal city. I’m curious to see how AT&T coverage will stack up against VZW. It must boil down to a loss of roaming agreements that have caused things to go south like they have.
     

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