Become a social impact investor for as little as $50.
The Mobile Beacon offering of 4G internet access for $10/month is a good deal. I tried using that to provide a building (fixed location) with internet access. Here are a few observations:
> The Franklin R850 box has no external antenna. This makes it tricky to get both good reception of the cell tower and and good WiFi range. I could never find a single place in the building that gave a reliable signal. Indeed the Sprint map showed me in a marginal signal area.
> The Franklin also uses a battery. If the box is left powered on for a year the battery expands and knocks the back off.
> I have volunteers using the Franklin boxes in their homes with no problem. They power it off when not in use.
> The Mobile Beacon alternative is the Netgear 6100D. That works much better with its physically separate antenna. It also has RJ-45 ports so hooking up machines without WiFi is easier..
> I tried using a remote antenna with the Netgear box with not much success. An Amateur Radio friend told me I need special low loss cable to connect the remote antenna. Indeed my attempt with an external antenna did not help. Fortunately I found a spot inside with a signal which is just good enough 99% of the time. The antenna must be in a particular corner of the building and precisely aligned vertically. The signal is sensitive to nearby metal objects.
Freedom Pop sells their version of the Netgear 6100D for $99. It can also be found used on Ebay. Mobile Beacon sells their version of the Netgear 6100D for $245 (now $220). I do not believe you can move cell modems between networks. It would be nice if Mobile Beacon dropped their price. Hint hint... :-)
If you are setting up a fixed network in a building I would strongly recommend the Netgear office solution over the portable boxes. Check the Sprint coverage map. Get a radio expert if you are in a marginal area.
RGVRRM Accidental Techie
Close this window