Your method is OK - it works, right?
If you want to do the work and have more fine tuned selections, do the following stuff for one carrier at a time.
IMPORTANT: Signal readings and bandwidth speed often don’t correlate - they should, but it’s not the reality given the complexity of LTE. Measuring throughput is the de facto standard. Being aware of both is of course good.
IMPORTANT: Use the directional antenna connected to your signal meter for your readings - not the 9" antenna that comes with the meter. You’ll get readings that are based on the gain that you’ll actually be using when connected to the router.
First of all, use cellmapper.net to find what towers are in your area. This tool will list the towers, their bands, their strength, their location (you’ll have to plot the lat/lon coordinates using this tool beside Google Maps). This will tell you what bands SHOULD be available to you - keep in mind the topography between your location and the various towers. If you have an omnidirectional antenna to use temporarily, it will help - you can put the router in Auto band mode and see what it picks up, then you can see the cell ID in the Dashboard LTE connection page to find the tower using the cellmapper.net tool. This will often show you a tower that other databases don’t have - interesting. Note these coordinates since this is the most likely tower to use for aiming your directional antennas.
The signal meters don’t work well for LTE bands UNLESS you use it in Channel scanning mode but it’s a bit more work - signal meters in “band” mode generally only show a carrier’s primary band/s and other bands OFTEN work better. Do a bit of research on what the frequency ranges are for the bands in your area. Then use the signal meter in channel mode to find your best RSRP db when aiming. Directional antennas such as the Panorama and Poynting 5G offerings are pretty easy to aim since their horizontal dispersion is wide - yagis are a different story (more precision required).
Once you correlate your signal readings, via channel frequency strength, to bands, turn off the unavailable bands using Custom settings for the carriers that you have sims for.
After you have a general idea of what towers are in your area and their coordinates, the surefire way to see if bands are available is to turn off Auto selection in the router and use Custom band setting. For a particular carrier’s sim, select one band at a time and see if your router connects and what the signal readings are. This is pretty much what you’re doing already.
For BANDWIDTH, don’t measure bandwidth using the router, rather, use a client speed test utility since the bandwidth at the “desktop” is what matters. Make a note of the bands that connect. Use the cell ID noted in the Dashboard to verify that it is connecting to the tower you expect (cellmapper.net).
Your Max Transit Duo will aggregate bands. In my case, having done all of the research and testing, my best bandwidth is the following:
AT&T - aggregation of TWO band 2s
Verizon - aggregation of TWO band 66s
I hope this gets you started. In the end, the signal meter didn’t help much for fine tuning panel antennas - there just wasn’t much variance in strength/bandwidth when the antenna was several degrees off from the precise antenna location (I can see the AT&T antenna). I still found comfort in knowing that they were precisely aimed.
If you are using your router while mobile, I highly recommend a panel directional. Also, do your research before you leave on a trip, if you know the locations that you’ll be stopping. I use my router both at home and on the road. My signal meter is most useful when I’m really remote - it can at least give me a general direction to begin aiming my antennas.
Hope this gets you started. I have a lot of experience with this since I’m so anal.