MAX BR1 Classic WiFi problem

A little background: I just set up a new BR1 Classic and installed it in an RV that we use as our “timing trailer” for autocross events. The BR1 firmware is updated to 8.0.0, build 3455.

We have a couple laptops inside the RV that connect via ethernet and those were rock solid on both Saturday and Sunday, our first event using the BR1.

Unfortunately the WiFi connected laptops weren’t quite as stable. On Saturday - when I only had them turned on to connect to the new WiFi network on the BR1 and to check for Windows updates, they would randomly lose connection to the internet… though the WiFi connection seemed to remain intact according to Windows 10’s reporting. That all went away with power cycle of the laptops and the BR1, and I walked several hundred feet away outside the RV and was still able to reliably connect to the internet. (This was from the same side as the wall on which the BR1 is mounted.)

On Sunday our Registration crew had set up on the other side of the RV, and as luck would have it they were located where our entire PA system - including wireless mic transmitters and our radio broadcast system - is located, and one of the computers had no WiFi service while the other would achieve connection, only to quickly lose internet access. When I moved the entire Registration table back about 15’ so the RF sources weren’t between the laptops and BR1, the worse of the two computers was able to connect more reliably, but still dropped internet frequently and the other didn’t improve or only improved marginally.

On Saturday I found that we had 28-30 Mbps for the ethernet connected computers based on Ookla Speedtest, while the WiFi computers were at around 8-12 Mbps.

Based on Sunday’s performance, the system isn’t usable for Registration as it stands. Would installing an external WiFi antenna be the right approach here? Alternatively would an interior Access Point integrated with the BR1 but at the front end of the RV, as far as possible from the PA system and other electronics be a better option?

Are there any known incompatibilities between the Max BR1 Classic and a recent Dell laptop? I don’t know the exact model, but we bought them probably in February or March of this year.

Edited to add: when I configured and tested the BR1 at home, I was accessing it from my MacBook Pro. Not once did it drop a connection of have any delays accessing the internet. This makes me think the Dell laptops or Windows 10 have some problem to resolve…

Thanks for any tips or insight.

Mike

Well where is the BR1 mounted? Inside? And you are trying to get signal to devices hundreds of feet away outside? That is likely your problem right there… Mount a secondary AP, the BR1, or wireless antennas externally.

Also, did you measure wireless signal at all? You provide us with a lot of narrative but not much information.

Sorry, I should have included that detail. The laptops were outside the RV, about 20’-25’ from the BR1, which is mounted inside on a wall. The walls are fiberglass, perhaps 1.5" thick in total.

I don’t have info on the wireless signal strength. I had other responsibilities when this all unfolded Sunday, but the problem on Saturday was with the laptops inside the RV, 5’ from the BR1. Signal strength in that scenario must be irrelevant.

Unfortunately the RV is stored an hour away from me and I am not able to get to it until the weekend of the 7th.

windows update goes down. next time you are having issues, note specifics, i.e. location of device, laptops, etc, check signal strength, note how you are connecting (i.e. cellular or wifi as wan or both), and run a speed test from both wireless and wired devices. there are so many variables you havent really provided us any info we can go on. its possible there was a signal issue between the br1 and the wireless devices, its possible there was a slow connection (i.e. cellular), its possible windows update was having issues, etc.

There is no WiFi WAN. This is solely on cellular WAN.

Since I am unable to do continuous testing in the same environment, let me simplify the question:

Can anyone recommend an external antenna to pair with the BR1? Alternatively can anyone point me to a recommended access point to pair with it?

My research suggests this may be appropriate for an external antenna: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/taoglas-limited/MA450.K.LBICG.004/931-1498-ND/7355925. Specs are here: https://cdn.taoglas.com/datasheets/MA450.K.LBICG.004.pdf

That covers the cellular bands it appears I need for our use, as well as provides an external WiFi antenna. Two actually, but the version of BR1 we have only has a single connector for an external WiFi antenna.

Hi Mike,

Now I cannot speak for the functionality of the Taoglas, but the two antennas our partners have had a lot of success with are Mobile Mark’s ltm402-3c3c3j2c (2 cell, 1 wifi, and 1 GPS connection) and Poynting’s A-MIMO-0003-V2-15 (2 cell, 2 wifi, and 1 GPS connection.)

If you want to go the access point route, and I cannot suggest Peplink’s APO-RUG enough.

Thank you very much Calvin.