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Yarome

Netgear Unite Explore as "Mobley"

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This thread was suppose to be about the Explorer, 815.  And you mentioned that you are using the 770 model.  I travel full time, so I am not in the same spot for any long period of time.  My thought of going this route is that I can make a weak signal a useable one.

From what I have read the 770, 781 and 815s can get a better signal and have the option of a plug in antenna ports to even get a better signal.  And that the models always keep improving with the latest chip, increasing speeds.  Plus some of them you can run in 2.4 and 5g which also increase speeds. 

I get and agree that this is an AWESOME plan.  It seems to be the forum that has the most information on this topic.  This is why I quoted it.  Not sure if it is 100% fact, but this is the first step into researching this.

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2 hours ago, rynosback said:

...you mentioned that you are using the 770 model.

Who, me?? I don't own a Unite. I Bought an 815S but haven't received it yet. Seems to me the "unite" product line are all going to perform similarly (when talking "mobley"). 

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8 hours ago, Yarome said:

Who, me?? I don't own a Unite. I Bought an 815S but haven't received it yet. Seems to me the "unite" product line are all going to perform similarly (when talking "mobley"). 

No Dutch said he was using a 770.

The Unite 770S I'm using is not unlocked. I got it from "h2o Wireless", an AT&T MVNO. i did nothing to it except install the Mobley SIM and change the APN to match the Mobley's setting. Plus the usual security settings, etc., as you would for any hotspot.

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5 hours ago, rynosback said:

No Dutch said he was using a 770.

The Unite 770S I'm using is not unlocked. I got it from "h2o Wireless", an AT&T MVNO. i did nothing to it except install the Mobley SIM and change the APN to match the Mobley's setting. Plus the usual security settings, etc., as you would for any hotspot.

That's correct, and each version of the Unite has some improvements as expected of course. As far as AT&T cutting me off, it's been slightly over two months now with my Unite on 24/7 and no complaints from them so far. I can find nothing in the "fine print" prohibiting using the Mobley SIM in another hotspot device, and AT&T does offer the Connected Car plan for a number of other devices, albeit primarily those devices factory installed in various car makes & models.

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  • I received the Unite Pro 781S I bought off Ebay today. I removed the Mobley SIM, installed it in the adapter and the hotspot. After it was up and running I went in and made a few config changes and everything seems to be running fine. Hopefully this will give us a good mobile hotspot with the Mobley being a backup. Thanks for all the help.

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1 hour ago, Hunter11 said:
  • I received the Unite Pro 781S I bought off Ebay today. I removed the Mobley SIM, installed it in the adapter and the hotspot. After it was up and running I went in and made a few config changes and everything seems to be running fine. Hopefully this will give us a good mobile hotspot with the Mobley being a backup. Thanks for all the help.

What configuration changes did you make?  Like naming the hotspot and new PW?

Did you run a speedtest with the Mobley and then with the Explorer?  I read some where that someone got about double speeds down.

Edited by rynosback

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rynosback, that was about it as far as changes plus this unit had different settings for a WIFI timeout. I set that to never.

I did not think to run any speed test but we can tell the Unite is faster than the Mobley was. Right now where we are I am getting 4 bars. As long as it holds up and keeps working it is well worth the $50 I paid for it and the Sim adapter. 

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3 hours ago, Hunter11 said:

rynosback, that was about it as far as changes plus this unit had different settings for a WIFI timeout. I set that to never.

I did not think to run any speed test but we can tell the Unite is faster than the Mobley was. Right now where we are I am getting 4 bars. As long as it holds up and keeps working it is well worth the $50 I paid for it and the Sim adapter. 

Are you going to add an external antenna for better range?

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I probably will at some point. We are getting ready to head out on a trip so I will be looking at them when we get back. 

Edited by Hunter11

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Easy as Dutch said. Got the 815S today. Slapped in the sim, updated settings and ONNNnnnn she rolled!

Nothing scientific, but I did 3 speed tests per configuration at the same location and orientation. Averages were:

(2.4ghz)

Mobley: 32ms 27.68d/11.11u -96db
815S:  24ms 36.42d/13.98u -74db
815S+MIMO: 26ms 39.98d/17.14u -66db
815S+Tether: 26ms 37.12d/11.31u -72db

(5ghz)

815S: 18ms 35.35d/11.7u -76db

"My" conclusion... the Unite Explore does indeed get a better signal than the Mobley. The 6000450 MIMO antenna seems to help a bit, but not as much as I anticipated... however... I have no idea if the tower I was connected to supports MIMO and signal strength improvements might be more dramatic in areas with weaker signals (?).... but still a noticeable improvement.

USB tethered... didn't seem to make much difference over wifi.

In a nutshell... I'm a happy camper! Maybe when I get home I'll run it with the weBoost. Really can't imagine though what a fella's supposed to do with even 27mbps. :P

Dutch- Appreciate all the great info. TY

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Just noticed a rather cool feature. Right on the home page of the 815S it shows "# GB of UNL used" and how many days left in my month cycle.

Gotta love new toys! :lol:

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Side note. I logged in to my ATT account and noted that in my device listing it now shows the Unite Explore rather than the Mobley so ATT DOES recognize the actual connected device.

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1 hour ago, Yarome said:

Side note. I logged in to my ATT account and noted that in my device listing it now shows the Unite Explore rather than the Mobley so ATT DOES recognize the actual connected device.

I read about that.  Only time will tell if they will allow that.  I think there were a couple devices being used that show up as unknown.

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4 hours ago, Yarome said:

Easy as Dutch said. Got the 815S today. Slapped in the sim, updated settings and ONNNnnnn she rolled!

Nothing scientific, but I did 3 speed tests per configuration at the same location and orientation. Averages were:

(2.4ghz)

Mobley: 32ms 27.68d/11.11u -96db
815S:  24ms 36.42d/13.98u -74db
815S+MIMO: 26ms 39.98d/17.14u -66db
815S+Tether: 26ms 37.12d/11.31u -72db

(5ghz)

815S: 18ms 35.35d/11.7u -76db

"My" conclusion... the Unite Explore does indeed get a better signal than the Mobley. The 6000450 MIMO antenna seems to help a bit, but not as much as I anticipated... however... I have no idea if the tower I was connected to supports MIMO and signal strength improvements might be more dramatic in areas with weaker signals (?).... but still a noticeable improvement.

USB tethered... didn't seem to make much difference over wifi.

In a nutshell... I'm a happy camper! Maybe when I get home I'll run it with the weBoost. Really can't imagine though what a fella's supposed to do with even 27mbps. :P

Dutch- Appreciate all the great info. TY

Sweet, thanks for the information.

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Yep, AT&T clearly can see that we have a hotspot other than the Mobley connected. So far, the only mentions I've seen of anyone being switched to a more expensive plan after moving the SIM was someone that put it in a phone instead of a hotspot. Since we're on a data only plan, I suspect that does trigger some sort of reaction on AT&T's part. As long as we stick to hotspots, I hope we'll be ok in the long run...

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I've had our Mobley and Unite Explore 815-S and Mobile Mark Rooftop Magnetic MIMO antenna for this full trip, which we started the 1st of May. I do not have the 6000450 MIMO antenna unit, because I'd already decided to go with the Mobile Mark. And, I also have two Maximum Signal 13" Magnetic antennas available too. (Use this primarily to feed non MIMO devices, but have A/B'd tested with between the Mobile Mark and dual Maximum Signal 13" antennas too.)

I have had the same similar results as reported in this thread. (I believe I've info shared some results on this forum in the past too.). But in general:

-Unite Explore is always faster then the Mobley, in all conditions

-Unite Explore in strong signal areas, runs faster without the Mobile Mark connected

-Unite Explore in marginal signal areas, runs faster with the Mobile Mark. (A few places, it's made the difference between 'streamable' DL speeds and non 'streamable'. Also in a few places, it made the difference of internet surfing useable DL speeds, and not being able to pull in a stable enough signal to use. 

-Only in one location, has the Maximum Signal dual 13" pair outperformed the Mobile Mark. They do have higher DB gain then the Mobile Mark, but I suspect the relation of the pair's orientation towards the tower, could make a difference. In general, the Mobile Mark is all that I've needed. 

-I do also have the Maximum Signal Booster. And in fringe areas, I've had better DL speeds by disconnecting the Unite Explore form the Mobile Mark, and placing it within 2-4' of the internal antenna of the Maximum Signal Booster. (At least 2 times this has been the case with the ATT signal. And our Verizon Samsung S6 has provided better signal speeds probably another 2-3 times. Again, extreme fringe coverage areas. That being said, on this trip in the regions we've traveled, the bulk of the time I just left the Unite Explore connected to the Mobile Mark. 

-Mobley - The Mobley has worked great in areas with moderate to strong signal. I have also played with it in the cradle of our WeBoost (Sleek like) booster, and had good results in a few area with more stable and faster DL speeds. I, as I'm sure many of you on this board did to, that the Mobley's ZTE older technology chip and non MIMO antenna - would have lower overall performance. It has, trailing behind both the Unite Explore, my wife's iPhone 6 as a Hotspot, and when in areas (Like Aurora, CO's Cherry Creek State Park.) with both strong Verizon and ATT signal, the Samsung S6 has also out performed the Mobley's speeds. And that is OK with me, as it is still a great bargain and worth having in our 'internet arsenal':)!

Sure glad it is working well for those of you that have it too!!!

Best to all,

Smitty

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Roy - Sorry for the delayed response!! Lost track of this thread:)!

Here is a post where I shared info on some of my results with different pieces of equipment. Including the model of the Mobile Mark MIMO we're using.

Best,

Smitty

 

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I took a little different approach specifically for use in my 5th wheel. I was looking for a solution for a more full time type solution that would allow me to set up a complete solution for both WiFi as well as Cellular modem and router. We travel with 1-3 other couples on a regular basis and for some reason I have become the "Technology guy" so I don't mind being the one who sets up the connectivity for the group. Here are some of the basics;

  • I use WiFi Ranger set-up for distribution and rebroadcast of local WiFi (WiFi as WAN) where available
  • I have the Connected Car plan (Mobley) from AT&T
  • I elected to purchase the Mobley device for $99 (Didn't want to commit to 2 years in case they change plan)
  • Purchased Netgear 4G LTE Modem from Amazon for $115
  • Purchased Netgear 6000450 MIMO antenna for $27

So I had originally thought that I would purchase a WeBoost system to boost signal strength but decided that I'd try the $27 Mimo antenna first but after some research I realized that this antenna was directional....Hmmm. How could I mount the antenna so that I could easily point it every time we moved and had to point it at a local tower........Hmmm what is the highest point on the coach that I could mount the antenna AND be able to easily point it at the nearest tower without having climb up there every time I relocated???????????

Well..............I decided the best device I had that might work would be the existing Batwing television antenna. It can be pointed and the added benefit is that it can be elevated and lowered while in transit :) We also had 2 things going for us on our Alpenlite 5th wheel as the location of the antenna was very close to the location of my "Tech Cabinet"(old Tube TV cabinet in Bedroom), which just happened to be within a couple of feet of where the antenna was mounted on the roof.

I installed the WiFi Ranger (router) and the Netgear Modem both in this tech cabinet. I then ran the antenna cable as well as the cable to mount the external WiFi Ranger SkyPro antenna to the roof through a 5/8" hole that I drilled from the cabinet. I then installed a cover made by King to use on the roof to seal the opening and manage the wires (see photo).

I was able to secure the MIMO antenna to the Batwing antenna so that i lays flat when down and vertical when it is up (see photo). This also elevates the antenna just high enough to not have any obstructions when rotated through all 360 degrees.

A couple more things to know are that:

  • I use the Open Signal App on my iPhone to check for signal strength, locating nearest cell tower (pointing)
  • I was able to "Scab" 12V power from the existing Antenna Booster already located in this cabinet which powers both the Modem and router without need for 120V for the system (total draw .8 Amps)
  • The antenna cable (39") reaches the modem without any extensions.

Well to say I am pleased with the results would be a pretty big understatement. When I get to a new location we are now up and running with antenna pointed correctly within 30 seconds.....simply crank up the antenna and rotate it to point at the closest antenna. Speeds with the external antenna mounted externally are all but amazing (in remote locations) and "Helpful" in good coverage locations. in a recent location the results were as follows:

  • Hotspot on iPhone 7 was 1.76 Download and .008 upload directly on AT&T network vs. 10.17 Download and 8.95 upload when I raised and pointed the external antenna.

I experienced similar results on a recent 5 week trip through the mountains of California, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. We were able to stream Netflix on all but one occasion where we were almost 3 miles from a location where we could even make a phone call but other than that we were able to get online with AT&T from just about everywhere and in the one location where we couldn't get a signal neither could our friends that had a Verizon hotspot.:rolleyes:

 

So for about $150 in Parts (+ cost of Mobley) and 2 hours labor I now have a "Connected Coach" :D 

MIMO Antenna Mount (Small).jpg

Edited by paul65k

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Nicely done! But what if the TV antenna is pointed in the wrong direction for OTA TV viewing?

 

I used a series of PVC plumbing connectors and a 16' extendable painters pole to create a antenna tower that can easily be rotated and mounted it right outside the door to my camper. Even when raining I can reach outside and rotate.

I made adapters for various antennas I'm playing around with. 

Many times,a good outside antenna, some 25' in the air, works better than my WeBoost.

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20 minutes ago, rbertalotto said:

Nicely done! But what if the TV antenna is pointed in the wrong direction for OTA TV viewing?

 

I used a series of PVC plumbing connectors and a 16' extendable painters pole to create a antenna tower that can easily be rotated and mounted it right outside the door to my camper. Even when raining I can reach outside and rotate.

I made adapters for various antennas I'm playing around with. 

Many times,a good outside antenna, some 25' in the air, works better than my WeBoost.

Good question............we typically only watch TV via Satellite and our roof mounted Winegard Trav'ler and/or Netflix as a result of our internet setup :)

 

Edited by paul65k

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