Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Misc Mini PCI-E and M.2 Modem Card Topics
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tambutso
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Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by tambutso » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:11 am

Hello all. I am thinking of getting the Fibocom L860-GL M.2 modem, and looking at the pictures there are 4 antenna ports. To maximize the use of this modem, do I need to attach 4 LTE antennas (one on each)? I wanted maximized carrier aggregation, thus hopefully faster speeds. Referenced below is a picture of the said modem with 4 antenna ports. Any input s appreciated. Sorry for the noobish question. I am fairly new to this.

Image

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BillA
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by BillA » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:38 am

tambutso wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:11 am
Hello all. I am thinking of getting the Fibocom L860-GL M.2 modem, and looking at the pictures there are 4 antenna ports. To maximize the use of this modem, do I need to attach 4 LTE antennas (one on each)? I wanted maximized carrier aggregation, thus hopefully faster speeds. Referenced below is a picture of the said modem with 4 antenna ports. Any input s appreciated. Sorry for the noobish question. I am fairly new to this.

You could probably get away with just two antennas for about 70% performance (connect the Main (M) and Diversity (D/G) only), or maybe use a splitter working off of just two antennas (connected to all four inputs) for about 80% performance. But for true 100% performance you'll have to drill two extra holes and connect four separate antennas.
Notice how they blurred out the letters "HP" below the "IMEI", which stands for Hewlett-Packard, reportedly these modems run custom firmware, which may or may not work fully in your particular setup. The only way to tell is by actually trying it. ;)
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tambutso (Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:30 am)

tambutso
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by tambutso » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:31 am

Thanks always for the advice Bill. 👍
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BillA (Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:05 am)

jstever8
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by jstever8 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:50 pm

I have one. Really didn’t have good luck getting it working. There are about 15 USB modes selectable via an AT command, but none seem allow the modem to connect. I did find a few with MBIM, but the modem would disconnect completely while trying to connect.

Later firmwares also removed the USB mode switch AT command.

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BillA
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by BillA » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 am

jstever8 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:50 pm
I have one. Really didn’t have good luck getting it working. There are about 15 USB modes selectable via an AT command, but none seem allow the modem to connect. I did find a few with MBIM, but the modem would disconnect completely while trying to connect.

Later firmwares also removed the USB mode switch AT command.

The problem is that most of these branded Fibocom modems have been manufactured for HP, as you can see on the last line in the picture next to "P/N", they have erased the "HP" logo. I've heard that generic versions exist (not just generic firmware but generic hardware too), but those are hard to find and more expensive than the HP version.
The first step in getting it to work successfully, is to try to find at least a generic firmware (if it's even flashable on branded hardware).

For more manual control, try mounting it into an external M.2 to USB enclosure, connect it directly to a pc in order to be able to test it a little easier. Once you get it working on a pc, it's probably better to just tether it to a router via USB rather than mounting it internally for greater control.

Since these branded modems seem to work better when connected directly to a pc, you could run a software hotspot on the pc like Connectify to turn it into a soft-router. Connectify can be set up to output the internet through the pc's ethernet port, which in turn can be connected to the routers WAN input for full internet functionality.

jstever8
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by jstever8 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:12 am

BillA wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 am

For more manual control, try mounting it into an external M.2 to USB enclosure, connect it directly to a pc in order to be able to test it a little easier. Once you get it working on a pc, it's probably better to just tether it to a router via USB rather than mounting it internally for greater control.
Yeah mine is HP branded. I do have it in an external enclosure and the disconnect issue is present on Windows as well. With Windows, it essentially goes into a boot loop.

I did flash firmware from a Lenovo card onto the device as well. Didn’t really help.

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BillA
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by BillA » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:44 pm

jstever8 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:12 am
Yeah mine is HP branded. I do have it in an external enclosure and the disconnect issue is present on Windows as well. With Windows, it essentially goes into a boot loop.

I did flash firmware from a Lenovo card onto the device as well. Didn’t really help.

I've read that some branded modems are "keyed" to the motherboard's ID in the BIOS, so that could be an issue. It's also possible that it's just defective based on the constant rebooting, OR not enough power on the usb bus. Try powering the external modem/enclosure through a high powered usb hub or a "Y" cable adapter with extra power. If still not working, you might want to search on a bit more technical forum such as Whirlpool > https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/search?q=fibocom

jstever8
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by jstever8 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:48 pm

I actually started that discussion over at WP :)

I did use a Y cable to confirm it’s not power. I’ve seen computers reject modems that aren’t whitelisted, but a modem rejecting the computer is an interesting thought...

I’m probably moving down a rabbit hole, but I found a Dell DW5822e driver/firmware file that I’ve found some interesting things in. There is a Fibocom firmware flash tool that appears to have a config file option to keep or erase firmware while flashing. Keep being default.

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BillA
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Re: Fibocom L860-GL Antenna setup

Post by BillA » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:52 pm

jstever8 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:48 pm
I actually started that discussion over at WP :)

I did use a Y cable to confirm it’s not power. I’ve seen computers reject modems that aren’t whitelisted, but a modem rejecting the computer is an interesting thought...

I’m probably moving down a rabbit hole, but I found a Dell DW5822e driver/firmware file that I’ve found some interesting things in. There is a Fibocom firmware flash tool that appears to have a config file option to keep or erase firmware while flashing. Keep being default.

Let us know your adventures with this modem, and if you found any specific solution for it.

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