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belusnecropolis

Build your own devices, routers, relays, IoT etc.

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9m9g.jpg

This thing is a school bus next to the CBA850

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This is an update to my post of November 10 and November 17.   My CradlePoint COR-IBR1700 router has been working fine for the past couple of weeks.  Initially the load balancing seemed rocky, but after a couple of weeks it seems to be working fine.  It rotates through the ethernet ports every few hours.  So for a couple of hours I am on eth0, then for a few hours on eth2, then for a few hours on eth3.  (eth1 is the local LAN; the others are set to WAN.  eth1,2,3,4 are user configurable LAN or WAN, eth0 is WAN). 

I am 12 days into my monthly cycle and have 13GB on each of my 3 units, so I am happy with the IBR1700's ability to load balance.  It is overkill for this application, but I had it sitting in the closet gathering dust and I am much happier with it than I was with the Peplink load balancing unit.   The only drawback of CradlePoint is that they don't distribute firmware updates anymore unless you buy a subscription. So if you are considering Cradlepoint for anything, just be aware of this.

I am still getting very slow download speeds (0.1Mbps download, 2Mbps upload.  Yes, you read that correctly).  But at least availability has been 100% for the past several weeks.  I called Sprint, they wanted to send me a MagicBox, but otherwise don't have a solution. Sigh...

 

I ordered a range of tiny coax cables for my HTC 5G hub units (thank you belusnecropolis for the pointer to LTEfix).  These might attach to the circuit board and I will try external antennas once they arrive.  At this point, I'm just stabbing in the dark about which connectors are the antenna connectors (see my previous photo of the HTC 5G hub circuit board).

Thanks,

Scott

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9myg.jpg

Well I found where to start taking this thing apart. I'll break it down tonight. Gotta step up the antenna game on this official Home Internet Box.

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On 11/20/2019 at 9:57 AM, 645824 said:

Thanks,

Scott

Should be able to draw some good interest once we get these torn down and figured out. Expect lots of proprietary protocol so finding a comm port on the modem will be tricky if that is your thing. Getting an antenna design going is what I am excited for most. All I can do with the software is try to break it hard enough in the most blatant manner possible. 

I have to be nice to this case though, I shredded a MR100 Nighthawk and a couple of magic boxes no problem, I'm trying to keep this thing at least a few more months, so I am excited to see what I can come up with. If you manage to teardown Sprint's premiere 5G home router and set up some externals that would be really neat to see.  

Jim @LTEfix is great. We boomer chat on facebook and get confused by all the software, bitmaps and such. He really has a great domestic business going sourcing all this stuff. Thanks to his services I have an elaborate junkyard going and now 3 year Ever Improving LTE Internet Project. 

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This is a follow-up to my post from November 20.

1. After looking at the unit for awhile, I that I have identified the antennas.  The are rectilinear shapes that look like tuned resonance blocks.  There are 6 of them (in no particular order):

      a. 37H10696-00M-A, D5x-B03-1221, IT-190307

      b. 37H10699-00M-A, A2x-B03-1221, IT-190307

      c. 37H10697-00M-A, E5x-B03-1221, IT-190222

      d. 37H10694, B5x-B02-1113, IT-190112

      e. 37H10693-00M-A, A5x-B03-1221, IT-190222

      f. IT-190215

At this point, it isn't clear which antenna does what frequency.  The trick is that 3 of these are in the outer housing and connect to the circuit board with a gold-plated press contact. Since I still get 3-4 bars with this cover removed, then those must not be my 4G LTE band.  

2. There are five MHF4 connectors on the circuit board with cables running to them (some are white and some are black). But when I disconnect those one at a time the signal level doesn't change.  Since they are tiny coax connectors, they must be RF, but they don't been to be my Band 41 (~ 2.5 GHz).

3. For the 4 other connectors (shown in my previous circuit board photo), neither the MHF4 cable nor the U.FL cable that I got from LTEfix fit.  It is as-if I have the wrong sex. It might be an MHF-SW23, but I'm guessing...    So at this point, I'm stuck again.

Scott

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20 minutes ago, 645824 said:

Scott

1. Neat! Nice work.

2 & 3
The LTE antennas will usually be in the path of the antenna on the PCB. I assume all antenna are part of the case now so if the antenna feed from the board where they make that connection with the antenna in the case, those are your LTE antenna. It is easier if you are able to identify the LTE and WIFI radios from any FCC docs, and just follow the paths coming from those LTE radio====MHF4 port=====gold contacts at PCB edge.

You should try hooking up an antenna to those at least and see what happens. Who knows?

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If your WiFi signal goes down as you unplug them, that would also be a good indicator.

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Preparing T-Mobile Home Internet Askey router for modifications.

Remove the 4 soft pads, and the small Phillips screws located underneath.

9p9u.jpg

Bottom comes right off. This really way to easy. I earned this after trashing so many other ones. Remove the board by pressing on the two white tabs at the length ends holding the PCB. Angle front end up and remove switch side.

9p9r.jpg

Boop.

9p9p.jpg

That took about 3 minutes. I feel so lazy now. Anyway I will get to poking at these u.fl ports. Like @645824 said, the small path ports are not MHF4 on this router either. They are probably named in the testing documents somewhere so I will dig there later. Looks like the auxiliary antenna are accessible though  

I could always just solder up those ends to something as well.

Lots to do. Lots to plan. I also have a sim to test out in other devices.

Have a great night everyone.

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9pbr.jpg

9pbt.jpg

Made sure to test connection with case removed first. This confirms antenna are built into the top half. Trying the u.fl connectors on both antenna sets was disappointing. No connection. 

The sim was not friendly in my other devices, like I figured. It is IMEI locked to the Askey device.

Guess this means solder if we want to mod this thing gang.

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https://photos.app.goo.gl/WrkZbZm8ThDKk8246

I forgot to poast this. Here is the speed tests we did while driving around with this thing day 1. It really does not care what tower it is on. It hands off well.

We put 50 miles on it that day, probably covered about 12 different cells. 

I am going to try the hirose adapters I have left over from the 2k17 Nighthawk 4x4 experiment. I'll clamp em to the board and then run some antennae in and see what pops up.

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On 11/22/2019 at 7:00 PM, 645824 said:

This is a follow-up to my post from November 20.

1. After looking at the unit for awhile, I that I have identified the antennas.  The are rectilinear shapes that look like tuned resonance blocks.  There are 6 of them (in no particular order):

      a. 37H10696-00M-A, D5x-B03-1221, IT-190307

      b. 37H10699-00M-A, A2x-B03-1221, IT-190307

      c. 37H10697-00M-A, E5x-B03-1221, IT-190222

      d. 37H10694, B5x-B02-1113, IT-190112

      e. 37H10693-00M-A, A5x-B03-1221, IT-190222

      f. IT-190215

At this point, it isn't clear which antenna does what frequency.  The trick is that 3 of these are in the outer housing and connect to the circuit board with a gold-plated press contact. Since I still get 3-4 bars with this cover removed, then those must not be my 4G LTE band.  

2. There are five MHF4 connectors on the circuit board with cables running to them (some are white and some are black). But when I disconnect those one at a time the signal level doesn't change.  Since they are tiny coax connectors, they must be RF, but they don't been to be my Band 41 (~ 2.5 GHz).

3. For the 4 other connectors (shown in my previous circuit board photo), neither the MHF4 cable nor the U.FL cable that I got from LTEfix fit.  It is as-if I have the wrong sex. It might be an MHF-SW23, but I'm guessing...    So at this point, I'm stuck again.

Scott

Follow-up to my post of November 22.  According to the FCC doc, here are the antennas:

Report   https://fcc.report/FCC-ID/NM82Q6U100/4205443.pdf   says that it has these antennas:
WWAN:
<Ant. 1>: Fixed Internal PIFA Antenna
<Ant. 2>: Fixed Internal Dipole Antenna
<Ant. 3>: Fixed Internal PCB Antenna
WLAN:
<Ant. 1>: Fixed Internal PCB Antenna
<Ant. 2>: Fixed Internal PIFA Antenna
Bluetooth: Fixed Internal PCB Antenna
WiGig: Fixed Internal Array Antenna
5G NR: Fixed Internal PCB Antenna
 

So at least there are numerous antennas, and it appears that I found most of them.  I already tried unplugging them one at a time, but the signal level stayed consistent.  So multiples feed the signal level -- and some of the antennas are clearly set for receiving different polarizations.  So I'll need to unplug them all, then connect them one at a time to identify which is actually my 4G LTE band.   

The four u.fl ports appear to be test ports.  So I'm focusing on the six MHF4 ports for the time being. Time to buy one of those MHF4 tools.

More news to follow...

Scott

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This is a follow-on to my previous posts with my Sprint HTC 5G hub.  

Success!

I modified one of the units.  It now yields 17 Mbps.  The other two unmodified units, that are a foot away, yield 0.3 Mbps.  Using www.fast.com  (since speedtest.net sees them as devices and want to install an App).

Here is my previous procedure, with the remaining 7 steps added:

This is a follow-up to my post of Saturday, Nov 16 regarding my opening of my HTC 5G hub (since it doesn't have external antenna connectors):

1. remove the SIM card tray by putting a paperclip, or the included HTC eject pin, into the small hole.  A long tray comes out that contains the nano-SIM card.  Note that the SIM card has the gold-contacts facing down.  This is important when putting it back in later.

2. remove the back cover.  It has plastic clips, so I had to pry it off.  It comes off fairly easily except for the portion near the ethernet connector -- that took some force to get it around, over, and off.  There are no wires, so I just set the back cover aside.

3. use a Torx T5 driver to remove:

     a. 2 recessed screws towards the bottom

     b. 2 recessed screws on the right (but mine only had 1 screw installed; so perhaps I received a refurb from Sprint)

     c. 3 screws towards the top

     d. 2 screws on the left

4. use a finger nail between the front bezel (screen) and the cloth-covered housing.  I had to go all the way around 3 times in order to open it up enough to then pry it off.  There are no wires, so I just set the cloth-covered piece aside.

5. remove the two T5 screws holding the fan (one at the top and one at the bottom).  The screw at the bottom is very short.  The screw at the top is the same length as all of the other T5 screws.

6. unstick the fan from the sticky pad on the lower-left, then pivot on the remaining screw to rotate the fan out of the way.  I couldn't figure out how to remove that pivot screw without bending something -- so I left the fan attached to that screw.  Note that the fan's 4-pin connector will disconnect when pivoting.  When re-inserting that connector, the blue wire goes towards the top and the red wire goes towards the bottom.

7. SKIP THIS STEP.     remove the T5 screw in the lower-right corner.  This loosens the circuit board and I looked underneath.

8. notice that there is a 2mm x 1cm rubber pad in the lower-right corner. Remove the pad (just pull it up).  Underneath is a black MHF4 wire and a white MHF4 wire.  I tried connecting to these but it didn't improve my signal.

9. pull up on the fan.  Recall that there is only one screw left holding it in-place.  PULLING UP WILL BREAK THE SCREW'S MOUNTING POST.  If you can find a better way to remove this screw, please let me know.

10. remove the two T5 short screws holding the silver left/right strap in-place.

11. remove this silver left/right strap by sliding a little to the right. Then remove.  This clears the silver stud on the left.

12. there are now five MHF4 connectors with cables running to them.  I will number these from left to right 1,2,3,4,5.

12.1: black wire that runs over to the left side of the circuit board (we've seen this wire already)

12.2: black wire that goes to antenna IT-190215 (in the upper-right corner; aligned for a different polarization)

12.3: white wire that goes down and disappears

12.4: white wire that goes to the left side of the circuit board (we've seen this wire already)

12.5: black wire that goes down and disappears

13. cable 12.2 and 12.5 appear to do something useful.  I didn't try 12.3 since I only had two MHF4-to-SMA pigtails.  Connecting these pigtails to 12.2 and 12.5, and then to some SMA paddle antennas, greatly increases the Mbps.  One aligned vertically, one aligned horizontally.

 

If anyone else tries this procedure, or tries connector 12.3, please post feedback.  This was my first "phone" tear-down and my first experience with MHF4 connectors.

Thanks to all for the feedback.  I'll be repeating this procedure with my other two units once I get more pigtails and better antennas.

Scott

 

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On 11/29/2019 at 9:22 PM, 645824 said:

 

Scott

 

Would you please post pictures of your setup when you are finished with them?

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4 minutes ago, belusnecropolis said:

Would you please post pictures of your setup when you are finished with them?

I would love to, but I've hit my s4gru image limit.  It says that I only have 0.02MB of image space remaining.  Here in the 21st century, I can't take a 20kB photo   🙂

Scott

 

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6 minutes ago, 645824 said:

I would love to, but I've hit my s4gru image limit.  It says that I only have 0.02MB of image space remaining.  Here in the 21st century, I can't take a 20kB photo   🙂

Scott

 

imgur.com is a file sharing site that allows you to upload and share via a direct link.

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Telit model FN980 Five Gee m.2 card marketing materials.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oRDUAftby4IPLNMKeN7l9C9BnC9s5Wig/view?usp=sharing

 

Advanced LTE/5G LTE Data Card
Enabling a new generation of 5G state of the art data cards
featuring both Sub-6 and mmWave technologies with LTE,
WCDMA and GNSS support.
Industrial-grade M.2 form factor suitable - among others
- for the following applications: High Power Fixed Wireless
access, enterprise routers and gateways, indoor/outdoor
CPE, video broadcasting and surveillance. Support of
Qualcomm QTM525 and QTM527 mmWave antennas

Key Benefits
• Standard M.2 (NGFF) Data-card form factor
• Support of 5G Sub-6 FDD and TDD and mmWave
• Support of SA & NSA operations, 5G core network Opt.
3a/3x and Option 2
• 4G/5G Rel. 15
• 4G Cat. 20 up to 7CAs
• 3G HSPA+ Rel 18
• State of the art GNSS receiver

Connecting the world
from the inside out 1
AVAILABLE FOR
NA
EMEA
APAC

5G / LTE Data Card M.2
FN980m 50 mm

30 mm 3.5 mm

Product Features
• 5G Sub-6 and mm Wave FDD and TDD,
SA & NSA operations
• 5G core network Opt. 3a/3x and Opt. 2
• 4G: 7CA, up to 20 layers DL / 3CA UL,
256 QAM DL/UL
• 3G: HSPA+ Rel. 8 (DL/UL 42/11 Mbps)
• GNSS: gpsOne Gen9 L1 band on dedicated
RF connector, L5 shared with cellular
• Voice support: VoLTE, VoNR (under
evaluation), PCM audio over USB
• 4 antenna connectors for LTE/Sub-6
• 4 mmWave antennas supported
• 5G FR1 Bands: n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n12, n14,
n20, n28, n30, n41, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79
• 5G FR2 Bands: n257, n258, n260, 261
• LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18
19, 20, 26, 28, 71, 25, 66, 39, 29 (DL), 30, 32, 7,
38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46 (LAA), 48(CBRS), 34, 27
• WCDMA Bands: 5, 8, 3, 4, 2, 1, 9, 19
• 5G 4x4 MIMO support on bands n1, n2, n7,
n66, n3, n77, n78, n79, n41 and n30
• 4G 4x4 MIMO support on bands 32, 4, 66, 3, 2,
25, 1, 30, 40, 41, 7, 43, 42, 46, 48
• Antenna types: 4x LTE/Sub-6 + 4x
QTM525/527
• FOTA Support
• Dimensions: 30 x 50 x 3.5mm

Data Throughput
• 5G up to 5.5 DL/2.7 UL Gbps
• 4G up to 2.4 Gbps DL/211 Mbps UL
• 3G up to 42 DL/11 UL Mbps
Environmental
• Operating temperature range:
-40°C to +85°C
Interfaces
• 1.8/3 V SIM Interface
• USB 3.1 gen2 and 2.0
• PCIe gen3
• Drivers support: Windows 10, Linux

Approvals
• RED (planned)
• GCF (planned)
• Others (under evaluation)
Electrical & Sensitivity
• LTE/5G sub 6 Output power
- 23 dBm (power class 3)
• Supply voltage
- Nominal: 3.3 VDC

I bet this one is going to be expensive.

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