Mobile Boost

I’ve mentioned before that I have a mobile (aka. wireless but not to be confused with wifi)) broadband modem I use when I am out and about. It is very useful for things like meetings and when travelling. One problem I have found though is that there are some areas that don’t have good coverage. I often use it at a friends place and there the signal is quite variable. Sometimes it will work but usually it won’t maintain a connection there.

In an attempt to solve this I recently purchased an antenna for the modem. Some modems have a port to plug in an antenna and fortunately my Huawei E169 does. It arrived in a couple of days which is great service. I plugged it in and the signal strength seemed higher and steadier. It has a desktop base and a clip that will clip to the netbook’s screen. It fitted well without touching the actual screen too.

The real test came a few days later when I was at my friends place again. I was able to connect and maintain a workable connection. A great improvement. I don’t use it all the time but in the places I need it it is invaluable.

I don’t say it will allow a connection everywhere but in areas where there is a signal but it isn’t strong enough to use the antenna will make a difference.

Wireless Broadband on Fedora – an Update

I thought I would add a few more comments after my previous post on setting up wireless broadband. I have had the chance to try it on other computers and have learnt a few things. Both the Fedora systems were Fedora 8 but as the NetworkManager is almost the same in Fedora 9 these comments apply there too.

First it is necessary to have NetworkManager running and up to date for it to work as easily as I reported earlier. I had been using wifi so I had NM loading and updated. On another machine it was necessary to turn on the NetworkManager service and restart it for it to work. The earlier version of NetworkManager did not handle Mobile Broadband, if your’s has the Mobile Broadband tab when you right click on the NetworkManager icon it should work.

Second as I mentioned in the previous post SELinux must be set to permissive mode (or off altogether). It will generate a warning but still work.

That’s really all that is needed.

I did try it on a Ubuntu system too but that was a nightmare. Took downloading scripts and setting up config files but it finally worked. Reminded me why I use Fedora though.