New ZBT WG1608 5G-ready router + GoldenOrb firmware

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BillA
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New ZBT WG1608 5G-ready router + GoldenOrb firmware

Post by BillA » Tue May 05, 2020 1:29 pm

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Here's more info about the new ZBT WG1608 5G-ready router, and a list of 5G modems at the end of this post.

In a nutshell, it's a souped up WG3526, while running on the same MT7621 chip, it comes with a new 2G/5G WiFi chipset and other interesting upgrades.
It can work with both 4G-LTE and 5G modems (mPCIe or M.2 type), there's no need to drill extra holes for additional antennas to accomodate a 4x4MIMO modem.
Please note, that some sellers include some low end 5G modem which may not work on all US carriers, so make sure to check with the seller before the purchase.
It makes a great choice for someone who wants to go 5G with no fuss.


Here are the highlights:

1. It comes with both mPCIe and M.2 modem connectors to accommodate either form factor, however only one slot can be used at a time. While you cannot plug in two internal modems at the same time, it's possible to USB or WiFi tether a second external modem in an enclosure or even a phone for load balancing or channel bonding. Here's how to do it:
https://ltehacks.com/viewtopic.php?f=10 ... 7661#p7661

2. A new 2G/5G WiFi chipset (MT7906EN-2G and MT7613AEN-5G) for a more stable/higher performance.

3. In order to accommodate the latest 5G modems, it comes with 2 WiFi and 5 cellular antennas fitted with MHF4 connectors. They have done an interesting redesign of the antenna system, as the usual four WiFi antennas (2x 2GHz/2x 5GHz) have been consolidated into just two, now handling both 2G/5G WiFi bands. A well designed RF combiner/splitter should have no major affect on WiFi performance. The 5 cellular antennas are used in the following configuration:

2x Main antennas
2x Diversity/AUX antennas
1x GPS which is not absolutely necessary


Here are the specs:
https://www.zbtlink.com/sale-12902374-n ... -slot.html


Here's the latest GoldenOrb firmware (look for the latest date in the file name):
https://www.ofmodemsandmen.com/upload/



Different memory and modem slot versions:

The WG3526 and WG1608 routers are available in two different Flash/RAM sizes.

1 . 16MB Flash /256MB DDR2 RAM - which can flash the standard firmware up to 16MB, and will run a bit slower on the 256MB DDR2 RAM.

2. 32MB Flash / 512MB DDr3 RAM - which can flash the standard firmware up to 32MB, plus allows you to flash/load additional apps/modules later on (for example additional modem support, VPN's, etc), and will run a bit faster on the larger 512MB DDR3 RAM.

The cost difference between the two memory versions is about $10, which is well worth it for those who need the extra flash and RAM. I prefer the larger Flash/RAM version, but not everyone needs it.


The WG1608 regardless of the Flash/RAM size, is also available in two different modem slot versions.

1. WG1608-v2 (single modem slot) comes with only a single M.2 modem slot which works with most newer 4G-LTE/5G modems using an M.2 connector, but will not work with mPCIe modems.

2. WG1608-DM (Dual Modem slots) comes with both an M.2 modem slot which works with most newer 4G-LTE/5G modems using an M.2 connector, and also an mPCIe modem slot which works with some older 4G-LTE modems using an mPCIe connector. BUT, you can only use one modem at a time (M.2 or mPCIe), due to design restrictions it will not fit two modems at the same time.

The cost difference between the two slot versions is about $10, which is well worth it for those who need the extra mPCIe modem slot. Now that's a cheap slut ... errr... I mean slot. lol


Modems:

The most popular modems in the US are the Quectel EM12-G (4G), EM16-G (EM160R 4G), RM500Q-AE (5G) and the Simcom SIM7912G-M2 (4G), SIM7920G-M2 (4G), SIM8200EA-M2 (5G).

Note that the Quectel RM500Q-"AE" must be version "AE", and Simcom SIM8200"EA"-M2 must be version "EA", only those versions will work properly on all US 5G bands. For example the RM500Q-"GL" and the SIM8200"G"-M2 are the global versions with SA (Stand-Alone) bands only, and are missing essential NSA (Non-Stand-Alone) bands. This is very important when ordering modems, otherwise they are useless on US 5G bands or very limited, and will only work in 4G-LTE mode. In the US we use NSA modems since we don't have a fully SA network yet, so make sure to get the right modem which covers most of your carrier's bands and modes.
Here's a good explanation about the difference between SA and NSA bands/modes:
https://www.ericsson.com/en/blog/2019/7 ... -5g-tracks


ATT 5G bands:
n5, n41 (2.5 GHz), n71 (600 MHz)
N260 (39 GHz), N261 (28 GHz)

Tmobile 5G bands:
n41 (2.5 GHz), n71 (600 MHz, not the same as the 4G-LTE band 71)
N260 (39 GHz), N261 (28 GHz)

Sprint 5G bands (now part of Tmobile)
n41 (2.5 GHz), n71 (600 MHz, not the same as the 4G-LTE band 71)
N260 (39 GHz), N261 (28 GHz)

Verizon 5G bands:
N260 (39 GHz), N261 (28 GHz)


5G bands prefixed with the lower case letter "n" are called "sub-6GHz", which are the lower frequency 5G bands on ATT and Tmobile, but not Verizon.

5G bands prefixed with the upper case letter "N" are called "mmWave", which are the higher frequency 5G bands on ATT, Tmobile, and Verizon.

ATT and Tmobile will work on both sub-6GHz AND mmWave bands, but Verizon will only work on mmWave bands.
Sub-6GHz bands as its name suggests (below 6GHz) runs on lower frequencies, therefore they can travel farther and penetrate buildings easier than the higher frequency mmWave bands (above 6GHz). Also, mmWave modems are more expensive, and difficult to install due an additional 4 more antennas for a total of 8.


List of currently available 5G modems:

Fibocom FG100 modem (chipset: Intel XMM 8160) and Fibocom FB101 (chipset: Qualcomm SDX55) has all the sub-6GHz bands for ATT and Tmobile, including mmWave for Verizon.
4G-LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48, 66, 71
5G sub-6GHz bands: n1, n2, n3, n4, n5, n6, n20, n28, n38, n41, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79, n80, n81, n82, n83, n84
5G mmWave bands: N257, N261, N260


Fibocom FM150-NA (chipset: Qualcomm SDX55) which is usually shipped with the WG1608, only has one sub-6GHz band n41 for ATT and Tmobile, no mmWave for Verizon, therefore it's very limited and better off going with another modem.
4G LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48, 66, 71
5G sub-6GHz bands: n2, n41, n66, n78


Quectel RM500Q-AE modem (chipset: Qualcomm SDX55) has all the sub-6GHz bands for ATT and Tmobile, no mmWave for Verizon. Reportedly the RM500Q-GL global version only supports these NSA bands n41, n77, n78, n79 missing the important n71, so make sure to check with the seller.
4G LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48, 66, 71
5G sub-6GHz bands: n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79


Quectel RM510Q modem (chipset: Qualcomm SDX55) has all the sub-6GHz bands for ATT and Tmobile, including mmWave for Verizon.
Reportedly the RM510Q-GL version only supports bands n41, n77, n78, n79, so make sure to check with the seller.
4G LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48, 66, 71
5G sub-6GHz bands: n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79, n257, n258, n260, n261
5G mmWave bands: N257, N258, N260, N261


Sierra EM9190 modem (chipset: Qualcomm SDX55) has all the sub-6GHz bands for ATT and Tmobile, including mmWave for Verizon.
4G LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 48, 66, 71
5G sub-6GHz bands: n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n38, n39, n40, n41, n66, n71
5G mmWave bands: N257, N258, N260, N261


Simcom SIM8200EA-M2 modem (chipset: Qualcomm SDX55) has all the sub-6GHz bands for ATT and Tmobile, no mmWave for Verizon. Reportedly the SIM8200G-M2 global version only supports these NSA bands n41, n77, n78, n79 missing the important n71, so make sure to check with the seller.
4G LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 48, 66 ,71
5G sub-6GHz bands: n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n40, n41, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79


Telit FN980 modem (chipset: Qualcomm SDX55) has all the sub-6GHz bands for ATT and Tmobile, including mmWave for Verizon.
4G LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 48, 66, 71
5G sub-6GHz bands: n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n12, n14, n20, n28, n30, n41, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79
5G mmWave bands: N257, N258, N260, N261


Image



Here's my speed test using a Simcom SIM8200"EA"-M2 (NOT the SIM8200"G"-M2 model which doesn't work well on 5G due to missing some NSA bands) in a WG1608 and SimpleMobile service. I ran this test at 3am in the morning with no congestion, about half a mile away in a line of sight from the tower with full signal strength. Note, the <1ms ping is incorrect (it's between 10-20ms), but the IP address is from Tmobile/SimpleMobile.
Bing Speed Test > https://www.bing.com/widget/t/speedtest


Image

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608

Post by Didneywhorl » Tue May 12, 2020 11:49 pm

The modem it comes with is a Fibocom FM150-NA.

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608

Post by BillA » Wed May 13, 2020 9:54 pm

Didneywhorl wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 11:49 pm
The modem it comes with is a Fibocom FM150-NA.

Figured some cheesy modem lol... The Fibocom FM150-NA only has the US Sprint 5G band n41 + LTE bands, therefore it's very limited and you're better off going with one of the other models.

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608

Post by aaron.brisendine » Wed May 20, 2020 7:39 pm

I purchased one and got it in today. It comes with stock OpenWRT. Problem is there is no where to input an APN so as of now its just an expensive piece of metal.

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608

Post by Didneywhorl » Wed May 20, 2020 8:20 pm

That sucks. Not even under ->>network-->interfaces?

Mine just got picked up by DHL in Hong Kong

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608

Post by BillA » Thu May 21, 2020 7:04 pm

Didneywhorl wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:20 pm
That sucks. Not even under ->>network-->interfaces?

Mine just got picked up by DHL in Hong Kong

If the firmware has a startup script available, then you can manually enter the APN as a command, something like this: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","<apn>","",0,0
As more people get this router, there's a better chance that a custom firmware would be released.
In the meantime you may want to check with Dairyman on the Whirlpool forum, he's the guy who makes the GoldenOrb firmware. https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/thread/3vx1k1r3

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608

Post by BillA » Wed May 27, 2020 1:11 am

Great news!! GoldenOrb firmware is now available for the WG1608
https://www.ofmodemsandmen.com/upload/

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608 + GoldenOrb firmware

Post by gscheb » Fri May 29, 2020 7:33 pm

Hello,
Is anyone using a WG1608 router with success? Or is this product a gamble currently?

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608 + GoldenOrb firmware

Post by BillA » Sat May 30, 2020 12:39 am

gscheb wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 7:33 pm
Hello,
Is anyone using a WG1608 router with success? Or is this product a gamble currently?

I was a gamble till the GoldenOrb firmware was just released. The key is to get a good 5G modem which will set you back between $500-$1,000 bucks.

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Re: New ZBT 5G-ready router WG1608 + GoldenOrb firmware

Post by gscheb » Sat May 30, 2020 7:09 am

BillA wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 12:39 am
I was a gamble till the GoldenOrb firmware was just released. The key is to get a good 5G modem which will set you back between $500-$1,000 bucks.
Hello,
Planning on using maybe Quectal EM20-G. Don't think that is a 5G modem. Thought was has the holes drilled for the 4 4G antennas and don't need an key adapter.
Is this a mistake? It will work for that right?

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