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Re: Hotspot that can run with battery removed

Dryforkcc
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Hotspot that can run with battery removed

Hi - looking for advice on running a hotspot at a second home that frequently looses AC power. Hotspot gets signal from an AT&T cell tower. Want to connect a wifi thermostat to control from home.  If I have a 50,000 mAh power brick w/passthrough charging connected to AC, and supply power to hotspot with battery in, the power brick will shut down when device fully charged. Is there a Netgear hotspot that could be operated with the battery removed and get its power from the brick which is plugged into AC? If this would work the hotsppot and thermostate control could run at least a few days off the power brick if the AC went out.  

 

Thanks for any advice  

Message 1 of 6

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UK-based
Luminary

Re: Hotspot that can run with battery removed

P.S. My reply above assumed that your power brick is a type of UPS with an inverter, into which you could plug an upgraded AC mains charger to power the M1. If your power brick provides only a DC output with USB-compatible connection, I guess this should still work provided that the amperage of the output is at least 2.4A. However, please don't rely on my guess - you would need to do your own experiments at your own risk.

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Message 3 of 6

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UK-based
Luminary

Re: Hotspot that can run with battery removed

In theory, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 (MR1100) should satisfy your needs. Its manual states that it can be powered solely by its AC mains charger, without its battery installed. However, if you've had time to read some of the messages in this forum, you will have discovered that there are some issues with this theory.

 

First of all, the mains charger that up to now has been supplied with the M1 has a 2A output. This is fine for charging the battery but the M1 runs unreliably on only 2A without the battery installed. Users have established that a good-quality 2.4A mains charger is required to prevent the M1 from rebooting when under "pressure" (dual-band WiFi, long range WiFi setting, Ethernet port usage, etc.).

 

3rd-party websites indicate that the M1 incorporates the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 chip, so it seems logical to purchase an upgraded mains charger that is compatible with this charging technology. While the use of non-standard mains chargers could affect your Netgear warranty, and bearing in mind that cheap, badly-designed chargers can damage the equipment they're connected to, I decided to purchase this Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 charger (backwards compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0). And here's more detail about the problems and solutions. Prior to installing the new charger, my M1 rebooted many times each day. Now it runs for days without a reboot. There are no doubt many other reputable mains charger companies, so please do your own research before following my choice.

 

So having solved the reboot issue when running solely off an AC supply, the next problem is that if you are hoping to connect to the M1 via its Ethernet port, this currently goes to sleep after a period of inactivity to conserve battery power - the firmware/software doesn't take into account the fact that there is no need to sleep when connected to an AC supply. It is also switched off by default after the M1 reboots. To wake up the Ethernet port, it is necessary to either tap the power button once (Ethernet connection is re-established after a few seconds) or disconnect the Ethernet cable and reconnect it. Unfortunately, there are currently no settings in the GUI to allow this Ethernet port sleeping after inactivity or reboot to be switched off. There are plans to implement these options in a forthcoming firmware release due in Feb. according to this Netgear moderator.

 

The M1 auto-updates its firmware/software, probably downloading this from a hidden location on the Netgear website. It seems to me that the reason for Netgear not providing publicly-accessible firmware downloads for the M1 is that each carrier in a specific country has a customised version. I'm in the UK and my carrier is EE. My firmware update numbers appear to differ from say Telstra in Australia or AT&T in the States. It's therefore hard to know when the specific features referred to in posts on this site will appear in my version. However, here's a post from the same Netgear moderator indicating that the Ethernet port sleep functions have been improved in version 10.16.04.04 firmware, which I think is either a Telstra or an AT&T release. And in this post he claims that the Ethernet port remains active for a longer period of 2 mins after reboot.

 

My M1 is currently on firmware release NTG9X50C_10.22.03.00 (build date 22nd Nov 2017), which installed itself a couple of weeks ago. Prior to that update, the Ethernet port went to sleep a few times a day. Now it seems to stay awake. There are still no options in the GUI to allow the Ethernet sleep function after inactivity or reboot to be completely disabled when running solely on a mains charger. I hope that these options will be implemented early this year. However, if the firmware available in your area complies with that referred to in the above Netgear moderator's posts, the Ethernet port mode of operation should satisfy your needs.

 

If you intend to connect to the M1 via WiFi instead of its Ethernet port, there is already an option in the GUI to disable the WiFi sleep function so in that case, the M1 should be fine for you.

 

Personally, I'm now very happy with the M1 - it's essentially a very good and fast hotspot that wasn't primarily intended to be used for 24/7 internet access by an extensive home LAN, but this is what it's succeeding in doing in my case.

 

One of my failings is the length of my replies to requests for help but I hope this is of some use to you Smiley Wink.

Message 2 of 6
UK-based
Luminary

Re: Hotspot that can run with battery removed

P.S. My reply above assumed that your power brick is a type of UPS with an inverter, into which you could plug an upgraded AC mains charger to power the M1. If your power brick provides only a DC output with USB-compatible connection, I guess this should still work provided that the amperage of the output is at least 2.4A. However, please don't rely on my guess - you would need to do your own experiments at your own risk.

Message 3 of 6
Dryforkcc
Aspirant

Re: Hotspot that can run with battery removed

UK - based:

 

Thanks for your advice, it has pointed me in right direction to evaluation.  One of my neighbors has a small UPS unit I can probably use to test this out and see how long it would power the Nighthawk with battery removed.  I'm also looking into the power bricks to see if there is one that would supply the 2.4A needed to runw/out battery.

 

Do you (or anyone) know if the Nighthawk will reboot and connect to internet when running w/out battery w/2.4A wall charger without having to manually push the "on" button?  Seems I saw something suggesting this, but can't find where I saw it now.  If that is the case I could just skip all the battery/UPS backup and reconnect when the AC came back on.

Model: MR1100|Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot Router (US)
Message 4 of 6
UK-based
Luminary

Re: Hotspot that can run with battery removed

You're welcome Dryforkcc. And thanks for the Kudo Smiley Wink.

 

Regarding reboots, the M1 will reconnect to the internet without having to press the power button, so WiFi connections should be re-established. However, until recent firmware releases, which hopefully have reached all countries/carriers, it was necessary to press the power button to turn on the Ethernet port after a reboot (it was off by default after a reboot). As I mentioned above, Netgear moderators state that in the recent firmware releases the Ethernet port turns on after a reboot and stays on if there is a terminated connection with activity. Mine seems to be working in this fashion.

Message 5 of 6
Dryforkcc
Aspirant

Re: Hotspot that can run with battery removed

UK Based- excellent, this info really helps.  I think I'll get one since it seems to be best on market these days.  I can try it out both ways, w/battery and rely on it's claimed 24 hr battery that would help me monitor it in conjunction with info I can get on outages either through local power co. or my neighbor up there, or w/out battery and if power goes out just watch it till it reconnects.  If run w/out battery a relatively inexpensive UPS would give some extra "on time".  I don't have anything in that location I would be plugging into the ethernet port so I could let that go to standby.

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