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Author Topic: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity  (Read 1330 times)

haglis

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Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« on: November 02, 2019, 04:17:50 PM »

Hi,

I volunteer for our local Blood Bike charity here in Aberdeen - NERVS - https://www.nervs.org.uk/

We have just moved into a new premises that is likely to be temporary as we get it for free as long is the landlord cant find a paying tenant.

Anyway, since its temp and we are not likely to use it much we have decided to use an unlimited sim for internet access and distribute this via wifi for our members to use, mostly riders/drivers and maint guys.

The building is a standard warehouse style commercial building with a large open space for parking and maint work and a 2 storey office part. I estimate that we might get away with using 4-6 wireless routers.

The building is fitted out well with cat5 and a populated patch panel.

I was hoping to use some unwanted BT homehubs, or similar, to connect via cat5 to the 4G router to provide the wifi.

So we will need a 4g router and an 8 port ethernet hub.

I was just going to use a cheap netgear hub.

The problem I have is that I have no idea which 4g router to use.

It doesnt have to be portable but has to be reliable and not too expensive. Around 70-80 at most if possible. If possible it should support upwards of 15 devices for when we hold meetings there, tho this is not the highest priority.

Should I get a small router that needs a separate dongle or other type of sim modem or something like the TP-Link TL-MR6400 (I only use this as an example) ? I have seen so many online my head is spinning.

I realise this sounds very vague and simplified but I hope I am on the right track.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks George.
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machare

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 05:56:05 PM »

There is some discussion about suitable hardware for using mobile phone networks for data here: https://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband.html
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aesmith

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 01:54:18 PM »

Hi,
Do you get a decent signal on Three at your premises?   I think that's the cheapest unlimited deal at the moment.  SIM only for 25/month from Smarty https://smarty.co.uk/ or from Three for 20 upwards depending on length of contract.   You can get a deal from Three including a router, if you're happy with a contract term ... http://www.three.co.uk/store/broadband/home-broadband/threehomebroadband

Alternatively get a secondhand Huawei router off Ebay.  They're not that sophisticated in terms of router and network functions but will get the job done.

Finally I work in Aberdeen city so could possibly lend a hand if you needed a bit of help getting off the ground.

Tony S
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haglis

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 10:56:23 PM »

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the reply.

Sorry for the time taken to reply but I have a heart problem and needed to get a pacemaker fitted. All seems ok atm.

Since I first posted a local company, in Blackburn, gave us the choice of several devices they were getting rid of to use as we please.

After getting thru the broken and partial units, we now have 2 Draytek Vigor 2600 G routers (differing firmware versions) and a 3com 8 port ethernet hub. I also have a spare BT Homehub that may also be of some use if required.

I just had to get some power adaptors from my nephews work which I am waiting to receive.

I am still waiting to find someone to go and check coverage from Vodaphone and Giffgaff to see what coverage there is, hopefully this week. There is no 3 coverage but plenty of O2 but at 35 a month they are almost twice the price of the others.

I'd be happy for any advice or help you could give me in configuring these routers, which I presume will be ok for the job ?

Hope to hear from you soon.

George.
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Ronski

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2019, 09:20:20 AM »

Doesn't Giffgaff (and Tesco) use the o2 network?
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aesmith

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2019, 10:29:02 AM »

Tesco uses O2.   The question really is which providers offer a competitive unlimited tariff.  For this application the Vodafone package with 10meg download limit might be OK at 26 /month. 

Regarding hardware, I don't know that Draytek model although I'm sure we could work it out.   Is it actually a 4G router?   I think you'd end up paying as much for a 4G dongle as you would for a low end route, and then there's compatibility between dongle and router to consider.
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Ronski

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2019, 10:37:19 AM »

aesmith, 10 Meg??? Even if you mean 10GB that's still expensive and rather limited. I wonder if any of the mobile companies do packages for charities, or if they'd get away with a non business product.
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haglis

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2019, 01:35:49 PM »

Thanks all for the replies.

Vodaphone has an offer for unlimited 5g data for 23 pcm which isnt too bad. Smart and 3 have better offers but no signal.

I was thinking of using the wireless capabilities of the Dreyteks to provide the wifi coverage over the large building and use a cheap-ish 4G router for the SIM, all connected thru the 3Com hub in the patch panel room.

Is this not the way to do it ?

I havent approached anyone about giving a better package for charities yet. I'll get on to O2 this afternoon.

Thanks for all the advice so far  ;D
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aesmith

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 01:34:32 PM »

aesmith, 10 Meg??? Even if you mean 10GB that's still expensive and rather limited. I wonder if any of the mobile companies do packages for charities, or if they'd get away with a non business product.
It's a speed limit, unlimited data but limited in download speed.  The Vodafone 23/month is limited to 2meg, 26/month is limited to 10meg, and 30/month with no speed limit.

Quote
I was thinking of using the wireless capabilities of the Dreyteks to provide the wifi coverage over the large building and use a cheap-ish 4G router for the SIM, all connected thru the 3Com hub in the patch panel room.
That would work.  Probably all you'd have to do on the Drayteks is disable DHCP and manually set their LAN IP addresses.  Set like that they'd act as wireless Access Points.   An advantage would be that you could locate the 4G router based solely on getting the best signal.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 01:39:09 PM by aesmith »
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Ronski

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Re: Need hardware advice for local Blood Bikes charity
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2019, 10:33:49 AM »

Didn't realise they restricted the speed.
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