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Old 02-23-2021, 11:18 AM   #1
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Insty Connect

I'm curious if anyone has seen the video about Instyconnect or have you been fortunate to get one and try it out? I've been researching what else I can use to get antennas outside and connect to a device inside. My ALcatel tablet does not have any ports for an external antenna so I've been looking at routers as an alternative. This IC looks like it has all I would need and more, so any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:38 AM   #2
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I will wait on Starlink...
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:15 AM   #3
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I will wait on Starlink...

Presently Starlink users have to use the service in a fixed location which makes it unusable for mobile internet according to Chris at MIRC.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:19 AM   #4
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That is real old news, thanks for reminding us though.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfleetwood View Post
I'm curious if anyone has seen the video about Instyconnect or have you been fortunate to get one and try it out? I've been researching what else I can use to get antennas outside and connect to a device inside. My ALcatel tablet does not have any ports for an external antenna so I've been looking at routers as an alternative. This IC looks like it has all I would need and more, so any input would be greatly appreciated!

I took a look at their website & browsed the FAQ.

A big turn off for me, the SIMs are installed in the antenna which is installed on the roof. If you switch out SIMs (I do) this can become an issue.
If I were interested in obtaining one, I would ask for the make an model of the router/modem imbedded in the product. I doubt they have received certifications from the major carriers & getting the device to work on any given network could be problematic. Securing data plans which provide adequate data is frequently more of an issue than finding the equipment.

At their price point, I would look elsewhere for equipment, especially since they really have no track record.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:52 AM   #6
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The idea of having the modem at the antenna is good but ...

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A big turn off for me, the SIMs are installed in the antenna which is installed on the roof. If you switch out SIMs (I do) this can become an issue.
Yeah that's a good point. I haven't used it but that's one of the things that Pepwave's "SIM injector" solves. https://www.peplink.com/products/sim-injector/ A SIM can be physically up to 100 meters away from where it's actually used.

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If I were interested in obtaining one, I would ask for the make an model of the router/modem imbedded in the product. I doubt they have received certifications from the major carriers & getting the device to work on any given network could be problematic.
From one of his videos, it was obvious that he was just using a phone plan. I've seen some discussion asking whether it has FCC approval which is a more serious question. I haven't seen an answer. Something about the modem itself may have been previously approved but if you put it in a different box or something then it needs to be re-approved but I don't know the true situation.

That said, I admire what he's doing and wish him well. The video I saw showed a row of 3D printers working away. That's obviously not going to scale but you have to start somewhere.

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Securing data plans which provide adequate data is frequently more of an issue than finding the equipment.
Very true.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:35 PM   #7
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I'm very much not a fan of the exposed looping antenna cables. A tree branch is gonna eat that right up.
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Old 04-29-2021, 02:56 PM   #8
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Insty Connect - Kind of a review.

Well, I took the dive. Both guns blazing!



I ordered the yet-to-be released Cat 20 5G model and received the Cat 12 4G model to use in the interim. I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Nick has done a great job.



The software is based on the OpenWRT project of which I am a fan of (OpenWrt 19.07.6 specifically). I was VERY surprised by the signal I got with TM here. I wasn't expecting much at all and only got the plan to lock in a limited time 100Gb plan on expectations that we'd be in areas with little or no VZ signal occasionally. The software has been rock steady and while I have seen a touch of flakiness in the UI, I blame it on the VZ SIM card more than I do the software. Nothing serious, like the "Switch SIM" option (It allows for 2 SIM cards BTW.) not showing up after selecting the VZ SIM. I'm guessing it's hung up on getting the network up which just isn't going to happen (See below). This is easily remedied by going into the "Geeky" menu and selecting it there, so no biggy. The OpenWRT software, which sits on a Linux



As far as the concern about the wires hanging on the antenna. I am planning on mounting this on a 24ft telescopic flagpole mounted off the rear near the ladder. While moving it will be low enough that the ladder should protect it. Optionally it wouldn't be too tough to use two frizbees or the like to protect those wires. The antenna itself is solidly built and they say that the black withstands UV better that white. White requires a lot more pigment over black, so maybe there more plastic in the plastic?





The biggest issues I have had, besides UPS dropping it on the wrong porch, has been getting Visible (VZ) to work. T-Mobile required a phone call for a supposedly active SIM, but after that it's been fine. Visible has been several phone calls and online chats over a week to no avail.


I have a "real" VZ SIM card in my Wineguard ($$$$, dealer installed and totally not worth what I paid.) that I'm going to pop into the Insty if Visible doesn't get their stuff together soon. Then I can report back numbers from a network with decent signal.




In the mean time tho, TM gave me the following numbers from the coast of VA, in Hampton. Keep in mind if you had a TM cell phone you probably couldn't call out from here!


Fast.com reported 2.6 Mbps and SpeedTest.net reported a Ping time of 71ms, Download Mbps of 4.22 and Upload Mbps of 1.74.

Network status with TM at the time:
Signal Strength : 58%
RSSI : -77 dBm
ECIO : -15 (RSRQ) dB
RSCP : -110 (RSRP) dBm


Just FYI:
RSSI, or “Received Signal Strength Indicator,” is a measurement of how well your device can hear a signal from an access point or router. It’s a value that is useful for determining if you have enough signal to get a good wireless connection. RSSI value is represented in a negative form (e.g. −100), the closer the value is to 0, the stronger the received signal. RSSI value is usually 0 to 100.

The EC/IO is a measure of the quality/cleanliness of the signal from the tower to the modem and indicates the signal-to noise ratio (the ratio of the received/good energy to the interference/bad energy). It is measured in decibels (dB). In a perfect world, where there is no true interference, the interference level is equal to the noise level resulting in an EC/IO = 0 dB. Once the EC/IO is above ~ -7.0 dB, your connection is going to suffer.
RSCP, or received signal code power, denotes the power measured by a receiver on a particular physical communication channel. It is used as an indication of signal strength, as a handover criterion, in downlink power control, and to calculate path loss. In CDMA systems, a physical channel corresponds to a particular spreading code, hence the name (Received signal code power).


RSCP Signal strength Description
-60 to 0 Excellent Strong signal with maximum data speeds
-75 to -60 Good Strong signal with good data speeds
-85 to -75 Fair Fair but useful, fast and reliable data speeds may be attained
-95 to -85 Poor Marginal data with drop-outs is possible
-124 to -95 Very poor Performance will drop drastically, closer to -124 disconnects are likely




Stay tuned.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:33 AM   #9
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I'm still in a quandary about whether or not I should look closer at a device that supports band 71 or not? And, having the sim card up on the roof or not? I guess that depends on do you need the antenna on the roof or just put it up during set up? Are you limited by the length of the cable. The technology sure looks great and Nick seems like he knows his stuff. But not sold yet!
Any input would be great. Thank you in advance!!
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Old 05-01-2021, 12:14 PM   #10
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I'll just wait on Starlink.
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Old 05-01-2021, 03:06 PM   #11
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I mean Starlink is cool and all but I'd still want to have some sort of terrestrial signal reception capability too. Do you always park in treeless areas?
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Old 05-01-2021, 03:23 PM   #12
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I have no problems getting a signal from a cell tower, space is next.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dcfleetwood View Post
I'm still in a quandary about whether or not I should look closer at a device that supports band 71 or not? And, having the sim card up on the roof or not? I guess that depends on do you need the antenna on the roof or just put it up during set up? Are you limited by the length of the cable. The technology sure looks great and Nick seems like he knows his stuff. But not sold yet!
Any input would be great. Thank you in advance!!

Not sure what your concern is about the SIM card being up on the roof. As I said, I'm expecting to only have mine out while camping with it on a flagpole. It is protected, and cheap to replace. My concern is speed and reliability of a connection... I have to get to the net to do my job. Hence I have the Insty for my main comms and a Winegurard as trichary backup. I hate how much it cost for, basically, DSL speeds, but the turtle wins the race. Insty does have the potential to bond the two providers (SIMs), which would be WAY cool. 5G is also coming. StarLink, et al.


BTW, Check out LTEhacks on FB or ltehacks.com for good info.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:59 PM   #14
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Working on Insty connect

I received one a couple days ago. I too have been watching about it and wanted to give it a go. So far so good. It does a pretty good job with the Visible service. I also have a prepaid Verizon hotspot so will see how it goes. We are camping at a state park so will try and do some comparisons. At home I am getting 14 to 15mb down and 8 to 10mb up. The plastic looks like it came out of a 3D printer but the router is in a metal case. Lots of options in the software.
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