BR1 Pro 5G poor Wi-Fi performance, disappointed in PrimeCare+ support

I have a BR1 Pro 5G installed in my camper with a 42G antenna mounted to the roof so I can work remotely when we travel during the summer months. Over the past year we (my family and the others we camp with) have noticed our Wi-Fi AP performance has been degrading. We are noticing:

  • Poor connectivity with line of sight - Streams and video calls stutter, pages are slow to load, programs will display connection timeouts
  • Devices will connect and then disconnect - Even though the network strength is shown as strong
  • Range has been slowly decreasing - When I installed the unit the 42G would blanket an entire campground loop, now I can’t get connectivity at the firepit outside my camper

I do some network engineering for my day job and have worked with Cradlepoint devices in vehicles before so went through the usual:

  1. Tried changing settings to see if it was a firmware bug
  2. Isolated bands to see if it was any particular band
  3. Disabled Wi-Fi as WAN (since it shares the radio)
  4. Pinned channel and power settings for testing
  5. Ran iperf3 between an ethernet connected device and a Wi-Fi device
  6. Changed to the provided pole antennas and re-ran all my tests
  7. Tried factory resetting the device
  8. Tried updating the firmware to current

After all of these tests no configuration changes made a difference. The iperf tests have been interesting. I ran tests with both the 42G and pole antennas, both preformed similarly, indicating they are not the issue. With the pole antennas and the BR1 Pro sitting next to my Wi-Fi device:

  • TCP based tests wildly fluctuate speeds
  • UDP tests (with bandwidth set lower than the TCP test rates) show upwards of 30% packet loss when the Wi-Fi device is sending data.

It seems to me the RX chain in the BR1 Pro 5G is failing.

Now, through this I submitted a PrimeCare+ ticket to get some support, and my interactions have been really disappointing for a service I pay yearly for (particularly compared to Cradlepoint’s phone and US based support). My main frustration is that they are located in GMT +8 so a comment cycle is extremely slow (basically 1 day since they respond at midnight my time). I’ve accommodated testing at 11pm my time once already, with no progress being made. I’ve had the ticket open for a total of 15 days of troubleshooting, and we only JUST ran performance tests via a screen share (support used nuttcp).

Anyone have recommendations of things I can do to resolve this? I just want my $1500 in hardware to work how it did when I got it.

-Nathan

Maybe you can clarify. What are you using for WAN? Cellular only? What port(s) is the 42G connected to? Have you tried connecting directly to the Peplink to test via ethernet?

For load (iperf) testing I’ve been using a locally connected Ethernet device and a WiFi connected device. This eliminates WAN connectivity issues and tests performance between the two local devices. Both devices are capable of generating more than 1Gbps of traffic.

The 42G provides all 4 cellular connections and both WiFi connections.

But, we have AT&T and T-Mobile cellular plans on the device. WiFi issues are consistent across WAN connections and are resolved when a device is directly connected via Ethernet.

Hi @nat45928 . The situation you describe is atypical but it sure looks like you have been diligent in troubleshooting.

In Peplink’s world the sellling Peplink Partner is responsible for first level technical support. I’m wondering if you have contacted the seller. Having said that, I know some partners (including those who participate in the Forum here) take this responsibility really seriously. Others don’t and you may have bought it from an on-line retailer that does not offer technical support (uuugh.) Regardless, I’ll say the response you have received is a bit bothersome.

So, my recommendation is to do this: (1) Post your ticket number here and also reference this thread in a follow-up message on the ticket. (2) Make certain your ticket is set to “ring” and ensure RA is turned on and a .diag report has been submitted.

Please let us know how it goes.

  • Rick
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You should have a separate indoor LAN AP if you are connecting the exterior antenna to the wifi .

Agree it’s very weird. I honestly just thought cellular WAN was spotty at first, but it’s gotten worse and worse then it clicked something else is up. It’s hard to pinpoint with out radio metrics so all I can do is throw iperf at it.

Thanks for input as a reseller. I honestly hadn’t even considered the selling partner (5Gstore.com) as a support avenue since it was an online transaction about 2 years ago.

Remote access is on so fingers crossed they can see something. Ticket number is 24060557.

-Nathan

If you buy your primecare upgrade directly from peplink, do they become your primary contact? I thought this was how it worked. If so, I’d recommend not getting primecare through the 5G store when it comes up for renewal.

I was in talks with another seller (Source Inc.) to switch from MobileMustHave after they botched a few tickets and frontier or peplink had to step in to buy primecare through them, but when peplink started offering the drop in hardware replacement for $30/year more I just switched to them.

I’ve been renewing my PrimeCare+ through Peplink directly after the initial year.

ugh, and they still want you to work through the person you bought it from. I haven’t opened any tickets since switching over.

That’s disappointing. Having to deal with the support of whatever store you bought it from for the lifetime of the product even though you’re paying peplink directly for support is a gotcha I didn’t understand up front (and apparently still don’t).

Peplink can always step in and help directly. Give it a shot with the reseller and then ask peplink to step in.

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Update here, still no progress being made a few days later.

The latest test was to fully isolate a 5GHz channel (good thing I live in a rural area away from everyone???) and ping at 1s between the device and a Wi-Fi Device. Without any traffic flowing.

I’ve provided tests that have latecy and loss but support continues to blame the RF environment even though it’s as clear as you can get besides an anechoic chamber.

And here’s what pings on a 5GHz / 80 MHz channel look like when the devices are ~1ft apart (with paddle antennas).

# ping 192.168.50.1

Pinging 192.168.50.1 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=6ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=2564ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=3ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=10ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=2318ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=66ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=7ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=9ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=14ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=16ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=32ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=14ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.50.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64

I’m 100% regretting my purchase of this device now. When I bought it worked great and did exactly what I needed, but I have no interest in supporting a company that just gives their users the run-around when dealing with issues they report.

-Nathan

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Yeah but that’s a hassle. Peplink will tell you to deal with the seller first, the seller might spend weeks going in circles, then Peplink may step in. I guess I’ll have to switch over to a different third party seller to get my primary support switched over when it’s time to renew.

Interestingly one time it was Frontierthat fixed a ticket for me. They didn’t even know how to extend the Primecare and kept telling me that I had to activate it on my end (I sent them official docs, but they were confused between Primecare and a bandwidth extension iirc). Peplink kept saying it was the seller’s responsibility, then Frontier stepped in and fixed it.

Another update: support has agreed theres packet loss on 7/4 and is supposedly escalating to engineering. I’ve received no update since then. Ticket has been open since 6/15.

Hi There,

Just a silly suggestion here as I did not see it being tried.
Have you tried removing the 42G Wi-Fi antennas and only use the paddle ones that the unit ships with?
Are you seeing similar performance on LAN, or only Wi-Fi?
Have you tried fixing your channels and channel width outside DFS? I usually fix 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4 and 36, 48, 149, 161 on 5G.
Output Power settings to max?

Thanks

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Going in order:

  1. Antennas - Yep, behavior is the same on the 42G and paddle antennas.
  2. Wired - LAN has no issues, on Wi-Fi connections timeout, websites won’t load etc.
  3. Configuration - Yep, tried various combinations of band isolation, power, channel selection, and channel width, all don’t seem to improve anything.
  4. Power - Have tried with and without boost, no change in performance and the overall range remains poor (about 15ft LOS) before devices fail to connect to the network (connect then disconnect rapidly).

It sounds like a faulty unit then - curious to hear what support says.

Would be interesting to see physical installation and condition of plugs/connectors.

Are you using the stock 100-230v power supply, or how are you powering the unit?

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Here are some images from my install. Wires were run to the unit through some cabinetry above my fridge. The unit is velcroed to the paneling. I pulled a new (3A fused) DC circuit from my distribution panel and used the 10ft accessory harness. Most testing has been with the unit at home connected to the AC plug though.



And here are some photos of the 42G Wi-Fi harnessing.


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