NOK 5G21 Gateway Battery Backup

  • 9 January 2021
  • 41 replies
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How does the battery backup option work on the High Speed Home Internet NOK 5G21 Gateway device.  When the device gets unplugged or losses power, the device configures to battery operation, then the WiFi is disabled.  I also tried using Ethernet.  Neither connection method works. 

 

In the manual it says “During battery operation, neither Wi-Fi nor Ethernet connections are supported.” 

 

What is the use to have battery backup if WiFi nor Ethernet connections are supported?  How can I use the device during battery operation? 


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It just replaces the original power supply and plugs into the barrel connector on the back of the gateway, NOT the UPS plug on the device.

 

 

That is correct. I was sold on the idea that it has a battery backup to operate during a power outage.  While the battery has its use it's pretty useless when you can't monitor the signal from the phone application. 

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I was wondering the same thing. The battery would be great for moving your device around the house, checking for the best signal. But soon as you unplug it it shuts off and reboots, when it comes back on it has no wifi or internet connection. It does show Bars, but that’s not alot of help, since there are cell 2 connections

Yes, I was trying to move around my house on battery to test 5G signal but then I couldn't log into the thing without wifi! Makes no sense at all. I really thought mine was defective until seeing I'm not alone.

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Supports the phone jack that is not enabled or used?  Just a thought.  Many of the cable gateways that subscribers have voice service and use a connected “landline” phone use the built in battery to provide a connection when the power goes out.  This supports lifeline and other services.

I also thought the built-in battery would support the gateway cell connection when the AC power was out but like you have discovered it does not.  Disappointed in this. 

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I was excited to see the back up battery, but it doesn’t allow the unit operting when power is unplugged. What’s the purpose of the back up battery???

The battery inside the router is so you can move the unit around to find the best cell signal for the router and to remember settings. If you want bttery back up to use if the powder goes out then you can call T-Mobile, they will send you out a UPS battery back up for your router free of charge. The battery back up they send you will run the router for 12 hours.

No UPS or battery back up to the battery from T-Mobile. Battery is to see if the signal is ok, that is it. Why have a battery in it if it only checks signal, when you unplug it, it tells you nothing, even if power outage. It is very confusing. A battery to charge the battery, but that is not included. NO UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) from T-Mobile. There, said it twice.

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Was unsuccessful in finding the price and availability of a Nokia UPS device for this gateway. Therefore, I just bought a generic battery backup on Amazon. 

APC UPS Back-UPS Connect, VoIP, Modem and Router Uninterruptible Power Supply Battery Backup (CP12142LI) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079HFML55/ref=cm_sw_r_em_apa_glt_fabc_X990RDRTR56XA2V5089J?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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Installed the battery backup yesterday and so far seems to be good, easy solution.  It comes with two cables and multiple adapters.  One cable works directly from the 12v/3.5a plug to the gateway.  This unit replaces the gateway’s power supply and provides the 12 volts directly.

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Pics:

 

 

It turns out that the battery backup not only won’t keep WiFi or Ethernet connections going, it won’t keep the connection either. In other words, when you get power back it will have to establish a new connection.

Mine was working fine, and after a few weeks without problems, I decided to unplug it and then plug it into a UPS. When it came back up, it wouldn’t get a secondary signal (no 5G). This went on for days, and T-mobile was no help. Rebooting made no difference. Finally, almost a week later, the system  got messed up and the network was unusable. I couldn’t do much other than resetting the device with a pin. After that, it established a connection with 5G, which has been working fine going on two weeks now. It wasn’t a hard reset so it wasn’t a settings issue.

My advice is to plug it into your own UPS and not reboot it or unplug it unless absolutely necessary. Anything I read about location or signal strength was not relevant, because if location had been a problem, it wouldn’t have worked flawlessly for weeks until unplugged without being moved. And it wouldn’t have stayed on 4G until some random event after a reset, and then go back to 5G even though it wasn’t moved.

For those who think that maybe it’s in a borderline area with respect to 5G, my download speeds with 5G are up to 600, usually a bit under 500 being typical, and upload speeds are up to 65, with around 40-50 being typical. And that’s with no data errors when testing. It works great with 5G but will lose its signal even with the battery if not plugged in.


That means, in theory, that the battery serves one purpose, which is to allow you to see signal strength as you move the device around when unplugged.

I am still struggling at the brand. All is around 500Watt, but someone menthioned this:https://ecoflow.com/products/river-max-portable-power-station?variant=39335175979081 , and this:https://www.jackery.com/products/explorer-500w-portable-power-station, well both are great but I do find a cheaper one:https://togowild.com/products/togo-power-advance550-520wh-portable-power-station

anyone gives me some advice?

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there must be a way to rewire the internal battery so that it keeps the can running normally?  it seems to be a waste of battery and it is always being charged for nothing.

Oh that's a thought. But who has land lines anymore?! Seems more important to support voice over wifi for emergency calls. Plus the thing has a big 5000mah battery which should be enough to keep WiFi going for several hours! 

 

Also, is anyone else losing all wifi settings when unplugging?

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Mine does not lose the custom settings I have set when I unplug the wall wart.  I’ve moved it around to different locations and plugged it back in, no lost settings.  It might have done it once when I first got it, but honestly, I was changing settings like crazy and re-booting so I’m not sure if it did it or I did it.

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It is apparent that there is a UPS connector on the back of the NOK 5g21 gateway that allows for true battery backup. The question now is . . . where can we get or buy this Nokia part?

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Update on APC UPS Back-UPS Connect:

After charging for about 10 hours, I was able to stream Netflix movies for over 10 hours. I was hoping for at least 2 hours because that is the longest Zoom meetings that I need to attend from home. 

 

 

It turns out that the battery backup not only won’t keep WiFi or Ethernet connections going, it won’t keep the connection either. In other words, when you get power back it will have to establish a new connection.

Mine was working fine, and after a few weeks without problems, I decided to unplug it and then plug it into a UPS. When it came back up, it wouldn’t get a secondary signal (no 5G). This went on for days, and T-mobile was no help. Rebooting made no difference. Finally, almost a week later, the system  got messed up and the network was unusable. I couldn’t do much other than resetting the device with a pin. After that, it established a connection with 5G, which has been working fine going on two weeks now. It wasn’t a hard reset so it wasn’t a settings issue.

My advice is to plug it into your own UPS and not reboot it or unplug it unless absolutely necessary. Anything I read about location or signal strength was not relevant, because if location had been a problem, it wouldn’t have worked flawlessly for weeks until unplugged without being moved. And it wouldn’t have stayed on 4G until some random event after a reset, and then go back to 5G even though it wasn’t moved.

For those who think that maybe it’s in a borderline area with respect to 5G, my download speeds with 5G are up to 600, usually a bit under 500 being typical, and upload speeds are up to 65, with around 40-50 being typical. And that’s with no data errors when testing. It works great with 5G but will lose its signal even with the battery if not plugged in.


That means, in theory, that the battery serves one purpose, which is to allow you to see signal strength as you move the device around when unplugged.

 

I read somewhere that the home location is determined by the power source and would make sense here if that’s true.

Does the battery at least keep the connection from dropping? In other words, if you unplug it for five seconds and plug it back in, will you still be up and running without waiting for anything to restart?

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I use an EcoFlow RIVER Max Portable Power Station which holds 576 Watt Hours on a full charge.  This power station has a variety of outlets:  110v for electronics and appliances, also 5v USB jacks and three different types of 12v jacks.

110v to T-Mobile Gateway ≈ consumes 15 amps  ≈  backup power for  38.4 hours

12v to T-Mobile Gateway = consumes 7 amps = backup power for 82.3 hours.

So, during a power outage, it’s not likely I’d power the gateway for 24/7, but I could theoretically stream video to a tablet and keep tablets and phones charged for 2-3 days using only the power station.

https://ecoflow.com/products/river-max-portable-power-station?variant=39335175979081 

Do you mean 15 Watts, and 7 Watts? That makes the math work, but it may be much less due to quiescent power losses (i.e., nothing connected, power consumed by power supply and circuitry) and inefficiencies (Pout/Pin = approx 80%). Most flyback power supplies are the most efficient near full load, mostly due to minimization of the quiescent losses (they’re still there but much less than power delivered). Many of these power supplies calculate the watt-hours by multiplying the nominal voltage by the amp-hour value of the batteries but the actual measured power supply delivery duration is often much less.

Yes.  Sorry.  I stand corrected. Watts, not amps

The Ecoflow displays 15 watts when using the 110v powersupply

and 7 watts when connected directly to the 12v barrel jack.

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Wow that is incredible… could be the switching power supply is most efficient at full-rating but with something like 1.25A (12V @ 15W) it seems that your measurements show it’s less than 50% efficient. YUCK. Then again, there may be additional inefficiencies when considering the 12V to 110V power outlet and then the 110V to 12V plug-in power adapter, combined. Assuming they’re identical, then each conversion is 68% efficient (square root of 7/15). Even that is pretty low IMHO.

There is a plug receptacle on the device labeled UPS

 

Does anyone know what type of UPS and/or plug can be used with this?

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It seems that it is more efficient to use a 12VDC UPS, versus 120VAC UPS, then additional conversion loss from AC-DC adapter. The link to the APC UPS above shows as unavailable. Here’s a link to something that seems to work, but doesn’t include the battery.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/284452109699?_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D234212%26meid%3D906647436be64da187f8fa0ef789f768%26pid%3D101113%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D233512645971%26itm%3D284452109699%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2563228%26algv%3DDefaultOrganicWeb%26brand%3DBelkin&_trksid=p2563228.c101113.m2108

 

Here’s another version of the above on Amazon that includes the battery:

https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-BATTERY-BACKUP-REVISION-BU3DC001-12V/dp/B004RRFY5I/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Belkin+Battery+Backup+Unit+Rev-B+BU3DC001-12V+Residential+Gateway&qid=1633212730&sr=8-5

Looks like it uses a 12V 7.5AH battery; should last for about 3 hours at a draw of 2A but others have reported between 1 and 2A. Probably 3A if it is charging the interal battery too.

I wonder, if ever, will TMO allow the internal battery be used for both WiFi and Cellular during a power outage.

NOTE: buyer beware, I’m not suggesting buying this, just as an option. I would be best to buy something new with at least a 2-year warranty.

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