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CLEAR Spot Voyager


danielholt
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Hey guys,

 

So I moved back to Wake Forest, NC (The Research Triangle as AJ would call it) last week from a work reassignment that had me in Athens, GA... as many know, I stumbled upon 1 of the first unblocked Sprint LTE signals in the U.S., see http://s4gru.com/ind...dpost__p__17219 for more on that, anyways... back to my review....

 

As many people in the area know, Sprint absolutely suck here in the Raleigh/Durham area... theres no sugar coating that.. I am a strong Sprint supporter, and have seen with my own eyes what will be done, but in the mean time, the area here gets a check mark next to "needs improvement". Regardless, the area will be much improved over the next year, and I look forward to the achievements that the LTE deployment team make.

 

So...my new job assignment puts me on the 2nd floor of a building where we are maybe 1/4th of a mile from a WiMAX tower, now... I love to play internet radio at my desk all day, and use facebook, and the various other things to keep me in communication with my wife and outside world, also youtube clips, and maybe some large email attachments here and there, I do not ever recommend doing these things with an office internet connection, I am an IT supervisor for a living, and we regularly monitor bandwidth trends and usage at end users desk... Reports get compiled, and forwarded on to managers, long story short, big brother is watching, don't jeopardize your job, its a big deal I guess for me as I work with the federal government, and DOD, little companies may not be so stringent, but someone, somewhere down the line might ask you why you are eating up so much bandwidth, its something I would just rather avoid.

 

This brings me to my bandaid fix... Now, being that our Sprint service is less than desirable at the moment, my wife and I have decided on Verizon for our phone carrier, we have a youngin at home, and communication for us is vital, I wont go on about Sprint & dropped calls cause I don't want to turn this into a rant, its not... This topic is meant to be about making it by with what you have, and being that Verizon are amazing at deploying LTE all over the united states, and we have amazing coverage in our area, the fact that we are capped at a certain data limit is very unattractive. So being the tech guru guy I am, I needed an unlimited solution for my desk at work.... I looked at clear's website and decided on the Clear Spot Voyager.

 

 

Size:

The clear spot voyager is small, when I say small, I mean SMALL. I put a quarter next to the device for comparison purposes, as you can see, its the size of about 4 quarters, and is very thin as well... This is a device you can stuff in your wallet pocket and take with you!

 

Battery:

It has a micro USB port in the back, and will charge connected to a computer, or of course by an A/C connection. I have found that the battery last about 5 hours of heavy usage without a charge. The battery is non-serviceable, meaning when it dies, the device dies with it, unless you use the USB cord. I don't think this will be a problem as by the time these batteries die, clear will be pawning people off to an LTE solution, which makes this a great in between device.

 

Speed:

I put this thru the paces at my work, and discovered this is good for 6-10mbps down, and 1-1.3mbps up, I will continue to monitor over the next few weeks, and if anyones interested, I'd be more than glad to provide more results after a few more weeks of heavy usage.

 

Service:

I get a touch of service, meaning 1 bar or less of service depending on what room I am in, in my home. So for me this is a work only device, ironically enough I work only 3 miles from my home, I was really hoping to get good service where I live, this just wont be the case, my TWC wideband at home more than makes up for that anyways. Service at work is great, like I mentioned earlier in the post, my office is only 1/4th of a mile away from the tower, so at work I get "all the bars" which is a loaded expression, but for the purposes of this review, signal strength numbers really do not apply.

 

 

Finally, my last impression for this device is, if you live in an "excellent" WiMAX coverage area, and won't have Sprint LTE for awhile, this device may appeal to you. There are no contracts, I paid $53 with tax for this at best buy, and activated it at home as a customer owned device. This means you can cancel at any time. The plans are very flexible as well, you can buy as low as 2 hours of service, to a day of service, a week of service, and finally a month of service. If you buy a month of service you agree to be billed every calendar month after the day you signed up, but as I said before, there are no commitments, cancel guilt free when Sprint LTE comes to your town. Those are my 2 cents.

 

I give this device/service a 6/10.

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  • 2 weeks later...

im happy to report, i am still using it at work, i put some 3M double sided tape on it, taped it to top of cube... and i pull a consistant 7-8mb down, 1-1.5mb up, which is more than enough for my needs.

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im happy to report, i am still using it at work, i put some 3M double sided tape on it, taped it to top of cube... and i pull a consistant 7-8mb down, 1-1.5mb up, which is more than enough for my needs.

 

How much data are you using per month?

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  • 2 months later...

Picked one up today at best buy for 50$, was able to get it activated and working and then clear's website totally went belly up.

 

The spot itself has been working fine though, seems to work even better than my evo 3d at getting and staying connected to wimax.

 

It's remarkably small and light. About half the size of an iphone or so.

 

First impression is that you should pick one up if you are in a good coverage clear market and can use a nice portable hotspot.

 

No contract, so you can pay for only the time you need it.

 

It works well with both usb connected (like a dongle, but with a standard micro-usb cable/charger) and wifi.

 

 

The 8 device limit is just annoying though.

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That particular model also has serious issues getting good throughput. I've seen a max of about 8-9 Mbps on it when the network could do double that with the home modem. Much lower signals too. But hey, it's small...and the field test system is one of the best I've seen.

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My Verizon hotspot is also limited to 8 devices. I think I've never exceeded 4 connections.

 

Robert via CM9 Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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Really? A limit of 8 devices annoys you?

 

Well let's see my gadgets include, 2 phones, laptop, and a tablet. So that is just 4 by myself. Not even including other potentially wireless devices like wii and xbox which are plugged into the ethernet and dsl.

 

Add 2 or 3 other people in the house and their phone + whatever, plus any number of guests etc.

 

Obviously not everyone is going to be sucking down netflix at the same time, but once a device has connected, it will tend to stay connected and/or reconnect at will and these connection add up and can prevent other devices from connecting.

 

And since Idling on wifi (even with a hotspot) is better than the same devices idling on 3g/4g, I would expect less wisecracks about it.

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And since Idling on wifi (even with a hotspot) is better than the same devices idling on 3g/4g, I would expect less wisecracks about it.

 

It sounds like you need to get FTTB -- fiber to the body. Or you can realize that not all of your four devices need to be connected at the same time.

 

AJ

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That particular model also has serious issues getting good throughput. I've seen a max of about 8-9 Mbps on it when the network could do double that with the home modem. Much lower signals too. But hey, it's small...and the field test system is one of the best I've seen.

 

Thanks for the reply. I think I've only seen 10+ meg on either of my evo's a couple times, so up to 8-9 would be fine with me and better than I typically see anyway.

 

By field test, do you mean the 4g info shown on the advanced settings? or is there some special url or way to access more info?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just bought the Clear Spot Voyager. Better signal strength than the latest Virgin Mobile and T-mobile portable devices I tested (and returned). Delightfully tiny device. But I can't find this info:

 

1) Can I leave this unit plugged in 24/7? Store rep advised against it but didn't really know. So far the surface hasn't become too warm.

2) Does the Clear Modem with Wi-Fi (same price, not portable) receive a stronger signal? Store rep says they're equal, but you'd think a bigger device would give me more bars.

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Just bought the Clear Spot Voyager. Better signal strength than the latest Virgin Mobile and T-mobile portable devices I tested (and returned). Delightfully tiny device. But I can't find this info:

 

1) Can I leave this unit plugged in 24/7? Store rep advised against it but didn't really know. So far the surface hasn't become too warm.

2) Does the Clear Modem with Wi-Fi (same price' date=' not portable) receive a stronger signal? Store rep says they're equal, but you'd think a bigger device would give me more bars.[/quote']

 

1) It's perfectly safe to leave it plugged in 24/7.

 

2) The Clear modem with wifi has a better antenna than the Voyager. It has been proven in the past. Don't remember where the post is regarding it though.

 

Sent from my LG Viper 4G LTE using Forum Runner

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1) It's perfectly safe to leave it plugged in 24/7.

 

2) The Clear modem with wifi has a better antenna than the Voyager. It has been proven in the past. Don't remember where the post is regarding it though.

 

Sent from my LG Viper 4G LTE using Forum Runner

Thanks for the feedback! I'm averaging 1.13Mbps download in my brick building with the Voyager, tops 1.26. Surely we can do better with 4g! You've inspired me to exchange for the Modem with Wi-Fi. Assuming I survive Hurricane Sandy, I'll report back... Edited by biff
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Thanks for the feedback! I'm averaging 1.13Mbps download in my brick building with the Voyager, tops 1.26. Surely we can do better with 4g! You've inspired me to exchange for the Modem with Wi-Fi. Assuming I survive Hurricane Sandy, I'll report back...

 

Be careful over there on the east side of the country.

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Hi everyone long time lurker. Thought I would reply to the 8 device limit. You have to remember that processing power is limited in these devices. The more wifi connections the faster the processor needs to be. Otherwise things slow down even if you have great internet connection.

 

I have a ispot for over 2 years in the DC area and it has been great. I get 4-6Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up.

 

Even during hurricane Sandy I have a -58 rssi and 31 cinr connection. Clear has been reliable through every weather disaster I have experienced in DC.

 

Good luck to all weathering the storm.

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Even during hurricane Sandy I have a -58 rssi and 31 cinr connection. Clear has been reliable through every weather disaster I have experienced in DC.

 

To be honest, that speaks less to the reliability of Clearwire's WiMAX service, more to your proximity to the cell site. With -58 dBm RSSI and 31 dB CINR (carrier to interference and noise ratio), you are located very close to the site.

 

AJ

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Probably correct about proximity to the cell site. According to clear's website I am a little more than a 1 mile (as a bird flies) from the nearest tower. It also helps I put my ispot in the attic of a 3 story home.

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Probably correct about proximity to the cell site. According to clear's website I am a little more than a 1 mile (as a bird flies) from the nearest tower. It also helps I put my ispot in the attic of a 3 story home.

Since when was there a database of Clear towers? EDIT: Just saw the site, new coverage map! That's very helpful. Never realized coverage was so "swiss cheesy".

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Not sure if I should start a new thread about this, but the Voyager is part of my inquiry, we'll try here first. As some others have commented, Clear sales people have been pushing the current generation device (Voyager included) out the door with a promise that they will be "LTE ready" when Clear's network is upgraded. Most of us here on the forums would immediately dismiss this chit-chat as people not knowing what they are talking about, much like promises of LTE by a certain date from Sprint sales people. However upon interviewing sales associates and a "manager", who readily admit they don't have any idea what TD-LTE is, or by what nature the devices they are selling would be "upgraded", it was revealed to me that the "LTE ready" line was actually put in their sales literature. This indicates to me that someone several levels removed from facing consumers made this decision..

 

So how about it? I was and still am of the opinion that handset sized TD-LTE chipsets are not on these fine shores, mostly because i haven't seen any FCC docs about them. Is it possible that the hardware is there but inactive? Or is Clear about to have another class action on their hands?

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Not sure if I should start a new thread about this' date=' but the Voyager is part of my inquiry, we'll try here first. As some others have commented, Clear sales people have been pushing the current generation device (Voyager included) out the door with a promise that they will be "LTE ready" when Clear's network is upgraded. Most of us here on the forums would immediately dismiss this chit-chat as people not knowing what they are talking about, much like promises of LTE by a certain date from Sprint sales people. However upon interviewing sales associates and a "manager", who readily admit they don't have any idea what TD-LTE is, or by what nature the devices they are selling would be "upgraded", it was revealed to me that the "LTE ready" line was actually put in their sales literature. This indicates to me that someone several levels removed from facing consumers made this decision..

 

So how about it? I was and still am of the opinion that handset sized TD-LTE chipsets are not on these fine shores, mostly because i haven't seen any FCC docs about them. Is it possible that the hardware is there but inactive? Or is Clear about to have another class action on their hands?[/quote']

 

I'm going to guess class action lawsuit.

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