I received the AirMaster 4000D LTE outdoor CPE router setup for the Sprint network band 41 and wish to show you my results in this review. Must admit that I am impressed with the quality and performance, never expected such an increase in speed! If you already have a SIM in another device, be sure to read the complete page.
The SIM I am using is from a “mobile virtual network operator” (MVNO) and was in a tiny hotspot with external antenna ports. Even with two external MIMO antennas, I never got over 12 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up on ANY band, much less band 41. Most of the time was stuck on band 25 with bottom of the barrel DSL speeds. I am not going to share the MVNO name, but it should not be very hard to figure out…
Before we get started, I find it very important to note a few things. Seller does NOT supply the 110V power cord for included POE and (of course) no CAT6 ethernet cable. The 110V power cable is a common cable just like used on USA computers. You can obtain the 110V (6 or 10 ft) cable and correct CAT6A ethernet cable from Amazon (notice: we earn revenue if you buy from links on this page).
10ft 110V Power cable
6ft 110V Power cable
50ft CAT6A Ethernet Cable
Since the 4000D does not have onboard WiFi, you will need to connect it directly to your network via ethernet or to a WiFi router. The WiFi router (yellow box above) used in this review is the “GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2” and the tiny little thing rocks (checkout wifi download speeds below)! You can hotspot tether USB cellphones, use as a repeater and much more. I always keep a few on hand since they cost very little. Learn more here:
GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2 Mini Travel Router, Repeater Bridge, 300Mbps High Performance, 128MB RAM, OpenVPN Client
Here are the images I snapped along the journey:
Setting up the AirMaster 4000D is fairly straight forward. Many simply insert their SIM card and the unit starts working right out of the box. Did not work out that way for me.
But first, lets back up and talk about a few other things before getting ahead of ourselves:)
If you look at the SIM card closely (in photo above), there is scotch tape applied to it and the adapter. It is recommended to do this so SIM card does not fall from adapter while inserting into the weatherproof enclosure. If you really pay attention, you will see some tape over the SIM contacts, which is a really bad idea! What I did (and not shown) is use a small razor blade and CAREFUILLY trimmed around the contact to remove tape. Pointing this out in case you do the same…
Here is the instruction manual for the AirMaster 4000D
I first followed the setup and configuration from this post on the LTEHacks Forum. Very informative and teaches you pretty much everything you need to know about the 4000D. Chances are if you have a fresh SIM directly from Sprint, the 4000D is already connected, congratulations! In not, read on…
Now lets talk about my setup and connection issues I experienced.
I had a 50ft CAT6A cable in my war chest to use for install, but did not want to string it out for setup. What I did was use a standard 5 ft CAT6 cable and it made it much easier.
After plugging in POE and then the 4000D into it, I plugged in my laptop (running Win 10) and entered 192.168.01 into browser. Presented with a login screen and entered default admin password ‘Global_system’. First screen that appears is:
Like I stated above, I did not get connected to network right off. Also, my first view of login page did not contain info like above because there was no connection to the network.
All of the first four (4) LEDs showed normal, but the first LED on signal bar only blinked about once per second. At first thought no signal in my mad man cave. Moved to location that I knew would have signal, but still no go. Again, many seem to just insert SIM and start surfing. I am most positive my initial problem was because of the MVNO SIM and nothing to do with the unit itself. Fear not, there is a work around for us cheap ass MVNO users, BUT you need to obtain info from a working hotpot.
Below are the basics of what I did to get connected. I cannot take full credit for these steps and have placed a link to person who figured all this out below my steps.
Great time to grab a beverage, take the dog out, shoo the kids back to their space and spend about 30 minutes alone with the AirMaster.
(1) Disconnect power from AirMaster and remove the SIM from unit. Place back in working hotspot. Get connected and login to your hotspot. You must be connected to band 41 to obtain needed information. With so many different hotspots and menus, it is virtually impossible to walk you though to correct menu, but it should look something like this:
Referring to above menu example, we are looking for the following information:
- APN: Should be something like r.xx.ispsn or maybe just r.ispsn. Make sure you get this right! Not in above menu, but you should have already entered it by this point anyway:)
- MCC: Mine is 310
- MNC: Mine is 120
- Physical Cell ID: Mine is 219
- DL Channel: Mine is 41292
(2) Retuning to the AirMaster, power it backup without SIM inserted. If you have made many changes to the unit already, highly recommend you do a factory restore. I did it just to make sure all garbage was erased. You can find the reset to factory under the “Maintenance / System Reset” tab on menu.
Take notice of the IPv4 and IPv6 fields below. In my setup, only IPv4 is active. Yours may have both IPv4/IPv6 active and it is important to note this from old hotspot. In my case I entered the APN with only IPv4:
If your old hotspot showed both IPv4/IPv6 you most likely want to choose “IPv4v6”. You can add more than one APN and looks like the unit goes down the list until finds one if likes. After entering your information, click the “Save & Apply” button.
(3) Lets start now with the PLMN Section menu. I honestly cannot recall which order I did this, but thinking switched to Nomadic and checked Allow Roaming, then did a “Save & Apply”. Enter the MCC and MNC obtained from old hotspot/router and again “Save & Apply”. Maybe enter it all at one time, but I like to be safe:
(4) Moving on to the eNB menu. Check “Preferred eNB List” and the “Enable Lock ND&S to the preferred list”. Enter the “DL Channel (Earfcn)” and “Physical Cell ID (PCI)”:
Remember, you are entering the information obtained from old hotspot, not from example image above. After entering your information, click the “Save & Apply” button.
(5) Now lets enter the DL Channel from old hotspot/router into the ND&S menu tab.
Select Band ID 41. Then enter a “Start Earcfn and End Earcfn” value. Seems you can only use range/span of 15, so entered 41285 to 41300 to straddle channel 41292. In other words, channel 41292 is about in the middle of 41285 to 41300.
If I recall correctly, I did a “Save & Apply” and correct start / end frequency fields were updated automatically:
(5) I always go back and double check everything, but that is just how I roll. If you are satisfied with your settings, unplug the AirMaster 4000D from POE.
Insert the SIM back into unit and plugin back into POE. Give the unit a few minutes to reboot and sync with tower. You should now be able to surf the net on Sprint Band 41.
Read the complete troubleshooting steps over at LTEHacks Forum.
Take a look at my installation. It was going to be a temporary, but I have fallen in love the the AirMaster and pretty sure it is found a permanent place:
Here are some installation tips:
- If your CAT6 RJ male plug does not fit into the weatherproof strain relief assembly / female jack in housing, carefully trim all the rubber away from male plug on cable. This will leave you with nothing but RJ and cable, which is ok since it will be weather protected. I had to do this myself.
- Noticed that the weatherproof screw cover for SIM card was easily not tightened completely. What I mean is you have to apply little extra pressure until it completely seals. Use your common sense and ensure you get a good seal and not over tighten it.
- Band 41 is in the 2.5 Ghz spectrum and not designed for long range, especially through vegetation (trees). Getting your AirMaster high as possible and pointed exactly will pay off in speed (in normal circumstances). Some engineers say since the 2.4 Ghz band is heavy used in densely populated areas and very noisy – getting distance from those types of devices may also improve performance.
Here are some speed tests taken around 12 midnight and 5pm to test tower load and AirMaster performance. Remember, these these speeds are over a WiFi network run by a tiny portable travel router. If the AirMaster were connected directly to my network via ethernet, have no doubt tests would be better speed wise. Maybe I will revisit this post and update with those results at a later date.
I had more images of tests ran at night, but think my dog ate them, so these will have to do:
I honestly have to give the AirMaster 4000D a thumbs up and 5 out of 5 stars. The unit is rugged and made to withstand outdoors.
Since everything (antenna, modem and radio) is built into the housing, performance is outstanding on band 41, which is way up in the 2500 MHz spectrum. For what LTEFIX is selling the entire AirMaster kit for, you can barely buy just a decent 2.5 gig antenna at other dealers!
Visit LTEFix.com for all your LTE needs and tell them JettDigitals sent you…
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