Question

New Home Internet User With Arcadyan G4AR 5G Gateway. Technical Signal Questions.

  • 24 March 2024
  • 6 replies
  • 98 views

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Gonna be long but I like to be thorough in my descriptions. I live in the mountains of northeastern Tennessee. T-mobile has basically been non-existent in my rural area with the closest tower being 5 miles to my east with no signal at my home. I know this as I tested a couple years ago with T-mobile’s hotspot test program. I could only get 1 bar by standing in 1 spot in my yard or driving about a mile down the road. For direct line of site, it would take an antenna that is over 100’ to get over a hill that is ¼ mile from me in direct line with that tower. All the major carriers use this same tower and only ATT has added additional towers down closer to my area, which is who I have cell service with due to the fact they dominate the my area in coverage.

A couple years ago, I became aware of T-mobile’s home internet program and put my email in to be notified when available when in my area. About 10 days ago, I received the email. I looked at their coverage map and it showed I was now in the 5G Ultra Capacity area and showed better coverage than previously. I read up on it and ordered it after reading about the 15 day test drive.

Received the Arcadyan G4AR Gateway and set it up. I had 3 out of 5 bars off the bat and it was showing for me to aim toward the tower I mentioned before that is 5 miles to my east and blocked by a hill. According to the T-mobile app on my phone, the internal antenna was receiving from the omnidirectional and directional antenna. As I moved closer toward the windows at the end of the house toward that tower, the signal got weaker. As I continued moving around, I found that aiming it toward my NW caused my signal to go to 4 bars (Very Good). Strange as this was 120 degrees away from where it wanted me to aim. I started thinking, there is an ATT tower that was put in over in that area that is 3 miles away that I could actually see from my house until trees grew up in my neighbors field in the corner 70’ from my house. I am now beginning to wonder if T-mobile added a set of panels/antennas to that tower that ATT owns. I cannot see the tower any longer from inside my house due to the growth of these trees. 

It had rained for the last few days so I had not had the chance to get outside and move the gateway around until Friday. By aiming to the east at the old tower, my signal dropped to basically nothing. When I moved to the north side of my house and stepped 20’ from my house, with the gateway, I had all 5 bars and an Excellent signal as I pointed at the ATT tower to my NW. I moved around more yesterday and went to an outside building I have and aimed to the NW with this tower in sight and once again, excellent signal and 5 bars. This tells me that they were trying to get me to aim at the wrong tower and have actually added their own antenna to the ATT tower.

Here is where my problem comes into play. Whenever I am inside the house, the gateway goes back to the omnidirectional antenna only instead of the omnidirectional and directional antenna. I can only figure it is due to the trees 5 trees that are in a line 25’ long and 70’ from my house blocking the signal. The other problem that I am experiencing is low (?) SINR on both 4G and 5G whether inside or outside. It is worse inside but still not as good as it should be. I know most people experience 20-30 but mine is currently 17.5 on 4G and 14.9 on 5G but sometimes goes to 5 or 6 and even down to 0 on 4G and we lose internet all together for 10 seconds or so. My current RSRP on 4G is -93 and -85 on 5G. When I was outside and the internal omni and directional were both running, RSRP were -76 on 4G and -70 on 5G. Either way, the SINR is all over the place and my ping based on speed tests is 60-80. I did see it hit 50 once when outside and looking directly at the tower with no obstruction. As for speed, I have no complaints currently. I have been hitting 600 down and 30-60 up with even 91 up yesterday when looking directly at the tower and gateway was showing internal directional was also working. BTW, I am fortunate enough to be getting these signals from Band 2 and N41.

So here is where I am at...I need to talk to the owner of the field next door about the trees. That will help some but he is like finding Waldo. That still won’t resolve my high ping problem or my SINR problem. I did drive down and look at the tower I suspect T-mobile has added their panels to. Since I looked last time a year or so ago, there is a 2nd row which I suspect is theirs. The panel that appears to be what I would be receiving from is aimed probably 20 degrees parallel to me to the north so I am probably catching the side edge of it. 

Any suggestions on what I could do or who I could talk to about this? Not really sure that I want to call and talk to someone at support in India who wants me to repower my gateway. I need to talk to a tech. Thanks guys.


6 replies

Userlevel 5
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I think you need to get it to work through the trees.  I recommend that you watch Nater Tater’s YouTube videos.  He has several videos about external antennas for the newer gateways.  I think you will appreciate his explanations.  Good luck.

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I think you need to get it to work through the trees.  I recommend that you watch Nater Tater’s YouTube videos.  He has several videos about external antennas for the newer gateways.  I think you will appreciate his explanations.  Good luck.

I have seen several of his videos. My only problem with the trees are their size. There are probably 5 trees in a 25’ fence line that are 20-24” in diameter at the trunk with limbs up to 16” in diameter. I live on a hill so I am just about level with the top of the tower so I am looking at it thru the trunk portion of the trees. Even when I was at my building outside in a direct line of sight of the tower with my gateway, the SINR was still erratic, causing the 4G to disconnect, which would cause my 5G to disconnect for a few seconds until the 4G reconnected and 5G could ride on it.

Userlevel 5
Badge +7

You shouldn’t need line of sight to the tower.  Have you tried an external antenna?

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You shouldn’t need line of sight to the tower.  Have you tried an external antenna?

Not yet. Just got the gateway a week ago and am trying to use all my other alternatives first. I am on disability so $300 is a hard hit to take.

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Just as a note… after getting a g4se, instructions show to point thw back of the unit towards a tower (internal directional).Also to note,  depending on thw home, glass may be worse for signal than wall.   I also get a huge boost with window open.Eg. Window, b2 -100dbm rsrp sinr 15.  Wall -98 dbm,sinr 16.  Open window,  -86dbm, sinr 21.

 

 

 

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I  just recently received the C4AR GW and have experienced signal issues not completely as expected when I signed up. Have you looked at the Cellmapper website for towers in your area: https://www.cellmapper.net/.  This information is based on user contributed information which I found useful and mostly accurate. 

The FCC also has an official database that’s searchable: https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/AsrSearch/asrRegistrationSearch.jsp

The search feature on the FCC website seems to have some nuances which I have not yet mastered, but is supposed to be the official record of every tower. But I can still find towers in the DB I drive past every day. The elevations seem wrong to me, but my judgement could be off. Also bear in mind a lot of towers are owned by third parties that rent out space/elevation to major carriers, Good luck. Please fill us in with your results.

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