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Success on Three with modded router

MrLou

Casual Member
After years of living with FTTC from Origin Broadband I finally had enough this year when my speeds plummeted from the heady heights of 38/8 to around 25/4. FTTP not due here for years, no other fixed s line options.

I tried a few mobile broadband routers and experimented with external antenna in my loft. All useful info but lead me to realise that I needed to get higher and out from under the tiles and solar panels

To cut a long story short I realised that a modded CPE Pro 2 would probably be my best option. A week later, with three Bluespot antenna I'm getting excellent service, consistently 300mbps peaking at 550 and for £22/month. Upload between 20 and 55mbps.

Hopefully it will be reliable, but after a couple of days I've no reason to be unhappy. My broadband is 10x faster and for about the same monthly fee.

Upfront cost was about £400 for antenna, router mod service and antenna installation.

If you're within 3 or 4km of a 5g site and can get external antenna pointed at it, probably among the most cost effective way to get high speed service in the UK.


Screenshot_20210924-225731.jpg
IMG_20210923_170903~2.jpg
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
@MrLou thanks for sharing your success story.
I expected you would use 4 antenna though. 2 for 4x4 mimo 4G and 2 for 4x4 5G. Is any one of them 4x4? How are you using the 3?
 

rob77

Casual Member
I've a very similar set up. I'm around 2.5km from the mast but have direct line of sight. I have one bluespot 5G antenna pointing straight at the mast which uses 2 wires. I have then a poynting 4x4 which I use for 4G and that is omni directional and uses 4 wires.

This goes in to a CPE Pro 2 with 8 x SMA connectors kindly modded by Router-Mods. Router-Mods were excellent in advising what would be the best setup for my needs. With our 5G being NSA only an antenna with 2 x SMA is needed. 4G can use carrier aggregation so 4 SMA is best.

I still need to finish fixing it all on to the front of the house neatly. Hoping to do that today weather permitting as I've just got all the wires hanging through the front room window at the moment lol.
 

MrLou

Casual Member
@MrLou thanks for sharing your success story.
I expected you would use 4 antenna though. 2 for 4x4 mimo 4G and 2 for 4x4 5G. Is any one of them 4x4? How are you using the 3?
All three antenna are the same, 2x mimo Bluespot.

The antenna are arranged vertically on a 3m pole attached to my chimney with about 10cm separation between each.

If I use the lowest antenna for 5g, I get poor signal, making me think that it's on the limit for line of sight. So the top two are 4x4 into 5g, the lowest antenna feeds 4g.

With a single antenna for 4g I still get 5 bars, using 2 didn't improve things.

Maybe a longer pole, to get them higher, with 4 antenna would be better, but I'm happy with the performance as is.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I must admit, I've never before even considered that somebody might mod a router in order to gain access to all of its internal antennas for external antenna connectivity. That is a stroke of absolute genius :) , even though I'm not 100% sold on the cosmetic appeal of having that many antennas outside (makes the house look like a mobile base station).

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But it does make me wish that more router manufacturers would cater for this, since a lot of them ship with 4-8 antennas for different bands / technologies, but then only give you access to run an external antenna for one or two of those. Admittedly, most people don't need more than a single external antenna with two outputs, or two antenna with single outputs, but it's definitely nice to have an option for more.

The link to Router Mods may be something that comes in handy here:
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
I must admit, I've never before even considered that somebody might mod a router in order to gain access to all of its internal antennas for external antenna connectivity. That is a stroke of absolute genius :) , even though I'm not 100% sold on the cosmetic appeal of having that many antennas outside (makes the house look like a mobile base station).

rs=w:1200,h:1200,cg:true,m


But it does make me wish that more router manufacturers would cater for this, since a lot of them ship with 4-8 antennas for different bands / technologies, but then only give you access to run an external antenna for one or two of those. Admittedly, most people don't need more than a single external antenna with two outputs, or two antenna with single outputs, but it's definitely nice to have an option for more.

The link to Router Mods may be something that comes in handy here:
Fyi this subject has been discussed a lot here and the guy behind it is a forum member: @Istis1st84
 

MrLou

Casual Member
Yes, I meant to at the link in my post, thanks for adding it.

Chris at Router Mods has been a pleasure to deal with, helped me out lots.

I know what you mean about the aesthetic of the router and the mast, but the router is out of sight in a cupboard. The antenna are, imo, less unsightly than those awful TV antennas. I had my TV antenna removed at the same time, it's been defunct for years and as a bonus the birds don't mess up my solar panels!

Originally the router was in the loft but I have the fear of live kit up there with the (admittedly very small) risk of fire. It's now hidden away with cable holes going directly to the loft.

Now I just need to run a few bits of cat 6 as it maxes out my WiFi!
 

neily

Casual Member
After years of living with FTTC from Origin Broadband I finally had enough this year when my speeds plummeted from the heady heights of 38/8 to around 25/4. FTTP not due here for years, no other fixed s line options.

I tried a few mobile broadband routers and experimented with external antenna in my loft. All useful info but lead me to realise that I needed to get higher and out from under the tiles and solar panels

To cut a long story short I realised that a modded CPE Pro 2 would probably be my best option. A week later, with three Bluespot antenna I'm getting excellent service, consistently 300mbps peaking at 550 and for £22/month. Upload between 20 and 55mbps.

Hopefully it will be reliable, but after a couple of days I've no reason to be unhappy. My broadband is 10x faster and for about the same monthly fee.

Upfront cost was about £400 for antenna, router mod service and antenna installation.

If you're within 3 or 4km of a 5g site and can get external antenna pointed at it, probably among the most cost effective way to get high speed service in the UK.


View attachment 1579View attachment 1580
Good Job! Quick question, how do you find exactly where your 5G mast is to point the antenna in the right direction? Is there somewhere online? or app to use to find your nearest Three mast? Many thanks.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Good Job! Quick question, how do you find exactly where your 5G mast is to point the antenna in the right direction? Is there somewhere online? or app to use to find your nearest Three mast? Many thanks.
Cellmapper, but visual inspection can work, too.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
As far as I know all the apps will only be reporting the status of ENDC of the connected 4G bearer - meaning that if ENDC=true then that 4G site is enabled as a 5G anchor. If the provider doesn't have inter-site ENDC deployed then that tells you the 4G site has to also be 5G, however if they have inter-site enabled then it doesn't necessarily mean that the 4G site is also 5G; the 5G could be served from a different nearby site.
 

MrLou

Casual Member
I found it by looking on cell mapper as a start and then moving my antenna left a bit, right a bit, until it was as good as I could get it.

Wasn't too tricky as had a good idea where to start, one option locally.
 

Router-Mods

Casual Member
Afternoon all,

Chris here from Router-Mods. good to see another satisfied customer.

@MrLou thank you for your business, it was a pleasure and also thank you for your recommendation here.

Happy to help anyone, feel free to get in contact via our website www.router-mods.co.uk
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
I'm getting excellent service, consistently 300mbps peaking at 550 and for £22/month. Upload between 20 and 55mbps.
Here comes the Three cynic...

Just you wait. Few months from now your service will be horrendous, Three CS will tell you it's temporary but it never is.
 
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