Radio Onboarding

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Customer Support
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FreedomFi Indoor CBRS Small Cell 

Note: The Bobber 500 is designed to be compatible with all FreedomFi certified plug-and-play radios. This information applies to both the FreedomFi and Mosolabs indoor radios. Instructions for onboarding a Baicells Nova 430i outdoor small cell can be found here

STEP 1 – Placement

To start, make sure you select a good place for the Small Cell as obstructions will decrease coverage. CBRS signals have less range than LoRa. Similar to Wi-Fi they can be weakened or blocked by obstacles like walls, trees, and buildings. To capture the most data you can, you want your Small Cell to point towards a populated area, a place with a lot of people and phones.

Here are some tips for good locations for your small cell:

  • Coffee Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Indoor malls or gathering areas
  • Near a street facing window of a home or small business

STEP 2 – Connect GPS

Connect the GPS Antenna to the back of the Small Cell labeled GPS. The other end should be placed near a window to help secure a GPS lock.

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STEP 3 – Connect the Ethernet cable to Small Cell

Connect the ethernet cable to the port labeled WAN on the SmallCell.

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STEP 4– Connect Ethernet cable to the Gateway

Connect the other end of the ethernet cable to the port labeled eNB on the Bobber 500 Gateway

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STEP 5 – Connect Power to the Small Cell.

Connect the Power cable to the back of the Small Cell.

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STEP 6 Verify Led Status

If all goes well, you should see the leds come online. The SYNC, PWR, and WAN leds will be solid green after 10 minutes. The LTE led may take up to 24 hours and should be blue/ it may blink during connectivity. The small cell is now ready to use.

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Check the Radio dashboard locally at http://bobber-gateway.local/ to see the connectivity status. The 'On Air' status will change from Off to On anywhere between 10 minutes and 48 hours

NOTE: In order to access the dashboard, the device you're using must be on the same network as the Bobber 500 gateway. This includes disabling any active VPN connections and if on mobile, joining the WiFi network of the router that is serving the Bobber 500. If the dashboard site still will not load, wait 5 to 10 minutes and try again - the Bobber 500 may be performing a firmware upgrade and will need time to process this before the dashboard will be available.

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When first connecting, it is normal to see Spectrum Access display in orange and On Air display in red. The orange 'Connected' indicator means that the radio is connected to SAS (Spectrum Access System), but it's currently waiting for spectrum allocation. At this stage, there is nothing a user can do other than wait.

Once spectrum access turns to 'Success' and On Air status turns to 'On', you're ready to connect. Now it's time for you to connect your mobile device

DPA Events

A DPA event occurs when a higher priority CBRS spectrum user's equipment (US Military RADAR for example) determines it needs other lower priority user's equipment to stop broadcasting temporarily. You may see a message in on the Radio dashboard similar to the following:

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Wait and DO NOT reboot. Suspension can last from a few hours to days for DPA Event. Contact support if you have been suspended for more than 48 hours. This is more prevalent if your location is within 150km of DPA Regions

This sometimes occurs due to the nature of CBRS spectrum allocation - certain users are given higher priority over the spectrum while others are allowed free use of the spectrum. Helium 5G falls under Tier 3, or General Authorized Access and as such, must cease transmission if interfering with a Tier 1 or 2 user. See the below chart for a breakdown:

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The most common place for DPA events to occur is near coastal areas, however this can also occur anywhere there is a US military RADAR system or any other Tier 1 or Tier 2 equipment is in use.

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