We're trying to upgrade our service (so we can have more than the paltry 5G limit) so we are trying to get the UML290 to work. Verizon tech support had us set the modem to only look for 3g signals (since 4g is not avail in our area). We have an external antenna with the appropriate adapter. For some reason the old UM175 connects fine, but the UML290 won't connect at all.
We took a drive into town with our laptop, and the UML290 worked fine. Could this be an issue with our local tower? Verizon doesn't have a clue and they are going to send a field tech out to the area.
Any clues as to why this is happening????
First thing to do is to check your 3G signal strength using VZAccess manager at your home location. In the VZ manager display (Network Tab) you will not your incoming signal strength - depicted by green vertical bars. Check at the home location where the modem does not work - note the signal strength value by placing your mouse cursor on the bars and repeat procedure in town where it does work.
Had the same problem as you are experiencing - turned out that the signal was too weak at home location, while the in town signal was super.
Resolved problem to a degree by installing a cell signal amplifier and boosting signal to modem. Signal strength improved in my situation to solid 2 to 3 bars for 3G, however there can be other issues related to Verizon Wireless itself with respect to consistency of download speeds - check yesterday's post "3G Broadband issues".
Well, as I said in first post, I already have an external antenna. I get a good 2-3 bar signal (-83 to -99) with the UM175 at home. I get nothing with the UML290 at home. Is the internal antenna that much poorer on the UML290????
Couple of questions...
1. Is the UML175 a 3G modem (I have no idea of its specs)? If so, then why go with the UML290 for 3G - there does not appear to be any gain here particularly if it is plugged directly into your computer USB port.
2. When you drove into town was the 290 modem plugged directly into the laptop USB port? If so, did you use the same setup at home (290 modem plugged directly into laptop USB port) to determine signal strength?
3. I have no clear picture of your external antenna configuration - be aware that the 290 3G modem probably functions on a couple of cell frequencies that may be different from the 175 modem.
The internal antenna of the 290 will pickup a solid one bar 3G signal as displayed in VZ manager (-95 to -100dBm) after that you are in Neverland territory. I have proofed this a number of times... If you have no signal inside your house then you are toast without external amplifiers/antennas that are compatible with the 290.
All this can become pretty frustrating, been through this curve. Hope this helps at least a little...
Here's some answers:
1. I'm upgrading my device so I can upgrade my plan. Currently on 5gig 3G plan for $59. We have been recently going over the 5gig limit. Cannot do a 10gig plan with the UM175 (not compatible?????). So even though we don't have 4G, my only option for a new device is a 4G modem.
2. In town, the 290 was plugged directly into the laptop and had the external antenna connected. At home, we tried with and without the antenna, as well as directly in the laptop and in the router. The 290 would not work at all. BUT the 175 still did!!! With the external antenna, and without (although lower signal).
3. The external is a 40" magnetic that is attached to a metal plate (for ground plane). We've had it in the front yard, as well as in the attic.
SO frustrating that I can't get this new one to work!
Truly a mystery that points to one or two causes - not sure which one is the right solution. There may be other reasons...
First thing that comes to mind is that the new 290 modem is faulty or has issues. When I first went with the 290 it worked for a short period of time and then its performance deteriorated to the point it would barely pick up a signal anywhere. I called Verizon and after some discussion they agreed to replace the modem - but you need to return the modem before they will send a replacement. The replacement 290 modem worked!
You noted that you tried the 290 in town with the antenna connected and it worked - I assume that you also tried the 290 modem in town without the external antenna to compare signal strength with and without?
Lastly, it is possible that the external antenna may not be fully compatible with the 290 - again I assume that you have checked this possibility out.
Beyond the above, no other immediate suggestions come to mind for resolving your problem. I share your frustrations in making this equipment live up to the advertising hype. Keep your posts up to date as the problem becomes resolved, one way or another.