Clear WiMax Follow-up

I have decided to keep Clear; the final decision to cancel my DSL is now in question (do I really need two 6Mbps+ lines to my house?).

I am disappointed that Clear does not offer a reasonably priced Static IP option ($10/month is not acceptable). However, it does appear that my external IP as remained unchanged since I started using the service about a week ago. The DHCP lease time is 24 hours- so perhaps as long as I do not go offline for more than a day I will continue to renew with the same IP (which makes sense if it is typical DHCP). The Dynamic DNS options offered are very inadequate (DynDNS, Dyns.cx and ZoneEdit) as well.

That said, I ran into my second issues with Clear: They do not have a SMTP server. The two email addresses provided with each account by Clear are actually Google Mail accounts- so if I need to send a message out from an application on my server (Such as GeoVision alerts), I need to authenticate and send it out to the Google SMTP server: the problem I have is that Google only accepts SSL SMTP (on TCP port 465) messages and my application cannot use this. As a work-around, I am using a legacy Yahoo account (which had POP/SMTP before Yahoo started charging) to route my out-bound email alerts.

Configuring the modem to co-exist with my current router (D-Link DGL-4500) was fairly easy: log in to the router (default at http:\\, password is ‘motorola’), disable the firewall:


and setup a DMZ IP address for for the one your router picks up from the modem:


The above two steps will take any traffic from the external IP address and forward it to the WAN interface of your internal router.

This configuration allows me to control external port access/forwarding for my GeoVision camera system, access my internal webcams, monitor/control my home alarm system and RDP to my desktop from remote locations (most of them from my G1 Android phone).

An alternative would be to configure the port forwarding in the router to the system you need in-bound access to from the internet:


I need a wireless router for my wireless devices- and I want to keep them on the same subnet with my PCs and servers- so I chose to use the router behind the WiMax modem (double-NAT is not THAT bad).

I am still trying to find the 5 bar Nirvana to see what speeds I can obtain. I have found that an unsteady 5 bar (i.e. toggling between 4 bars and 5 bars of connectivity) is much worse than a solid four bar. The router appears to need to re-negotiate each time the signal strength changes- causing large dips and spikes in download bandwidth.

Unlike the XOHM Zyzel WiMax Modem, the Clear Motorola WiMax modem does not have any connectors (SMA, TNC or N). I purchased the WiMax modem, so I decided to take it apart to see if there are any antenna interfaces. The modem has no external screws; the bottom held on exclusively by plastic snaps:


Careful use with a plastic putty knife was all that was needed to open the bottom an reveal the router board:



A careful inspection found what appears to be two SSMT Mini Coax connectors in the top of the board:



I am not sure if this was designed for an additional antenna, but I am toying with the idea of finding two SSMT Mini Coax to SMA (or N) male connectors and making some holes in the modem casing to mount these through. Once I have accessible antenna connectors, I could then order an external antenna to see if I get a better signal. :)


  1. Excellent!

    I've been trying to get an external Antenna on this bad boy for a LONG time. Let me know what you find, and if you set it up correctly. I'm actually leasing my mode right now so I don't dare open it or make holes.

    That makes sense with the 4 1/2 bars..

    I'm toggling between 3 to 4 and i'm noticing some ping spikes here and there.. My quest is for a solid 4... would be nice to get 5 if that antenna works for you.

    Keep me posted!!

    1. i have the antenna your looking for
      email me at tec-1@live.com

    2. i have the antenna your looking for it has a range of 5km.

  2. Where did you buy the connector?

  3. Thanks for the posts about this subject. I just purchased the Wimax modem yesterday and got it to work fine when plugged directly into my computer last night.

    However, I ran into a snafu when trying to plug it into my wireless D-Link router. The router was still setup for my Comcast cable modem. Know I need to change the configuration, so I'll try some of the things you mentioned tonight when I get home.

    If I get Clear working through my router, I'll probably get rid of cable like you did DSL. Any other websites you found for router configuration with WiMax? My searches have yielded not much so far.

  4. jim12bas5:29 PM

    I also just got clear a good deal but I am only getting between 2 and 3 bars let us know how the external antenna works out

  5. Hmmm... the connectors do not seem to be Micro Coax- or MMC. I picked up a MMC connector from Fry's (yea- I was surprised they had them as well!) and it is a different connector. I took some additional photos that I will post later.

    I have been looking through www.mouser.com and www.jameco.com and there appear to be different flavors of this connector- none of which exactly matches the port on the CPEi 150...

    I am now looking to get a used router off of eBay that I can take apart (and keep apart) for more experimentation.

  6. Broo, I suspect that it might be the same connector as on my cell phone. I have the Samsung Upstage and I believe the connector is a FME. I will go home and compare connectors with my modem to confirm.

  7. Geoff3:40 PM

    Follow up on my comment if anyone is interested. Once I disabled the firewall on the Motorola router, and assigned my D-Link router to the DMZ like you described, it almost worked.

    I had to do one more thing - I had to disable wireless N on my test D-Link router and only use B/G. But that's because I'm using WEP security which is not compatible with N. All of my wireless adapters are older 802.11 b/g anyway so I'm OK with that.

    This had nothing to do with Clear however. Now I'm working on consistently getting higher bars. Getting 2 bars downstairs, toggling between 3 and 4 upstairs. Problem with having the Clear modem upstairs near a window is my WiFi router would not be centered in my house like it is now, so I'd have to run permanent Cat5e/Cat6 downstairs to keep the WiFi router centered which is not going to be easy, but now I'm really digressing from the point.

  8. Ok, my first guess was way off because of a mislabeled cable. Broo, do you think this might be a SWG connector? Google image search "SWG connector"

  9. "The SWG series is high durability, with a lifetime of more than 100 mating cycles." Uh oh, looks like this was designed just for testing.

  10. Pepsi- thanks for the info; the connector looks like a match for SWG.

    the '100 matings' rating is normal for small coax cables- they are designed to be connected and left alone (like the MMC connector in a laptop that connects the antenna to the WiFi card).

    The SWG connector also looks to be made exclusively by Murata Manufacturing- so now I am trying to see if they make any kind of SWG-to-SMA adapter that could be use to connect to an external antenna:


  11. Anonymous5:50 PM

    I'll be watching this thread closely. I really like Clear, but it's obvious that I need an antenna boost of some sort to get the service to the level it should be. Thanks for the research.

  12. We're all behind you Broo.

  13. First of all, I suck with networking. I was trying to port forward port 8000-8001 (SHOUTCast) on my DLink but it wasn't working, so I figured it had something to do with the Clear router. I googled and found this blog post. I disabled the Firewall and put my IP on the other thing. I also have the ports forwarded on my Dlink which I did by following the guides on portforward.com. Now when I try to navigate to my external IP with port 8000 attached to the end, it still says "Problem loading page".

    Oh and another thing, I don't want people to be able to login to my router by navigating to my external IP, I noticed a setting on the page where you can disable the firewall, but it's uncheckable. Is there any way of making it so others cannot access it?


  14. Please keep us updated on this subject. I'm only getting 1 bar on my CPEi 150, and it drops every 5 minutes.

    A Clearwire tower is only 1/2 a mile away from my house, but I live in a very wooded area, and the trees are blocking the signal. An external antenna hack sounds like the way to go to solve this problem.

    I lack the skills to figure out a hack on my own, but can probably follow along, step by step, if someone can figure out all the correct connections needed. I don't know the difference between the SWG, MMC, FME, etc. connectors.

    Please post if anybody figures this out, and where to buy the connectors and antennas. Thanks!

  15. Anonymous11:52 AM

    I read about someone who tried taking it apart, and he soldered the connections into the supposed external antenna spots. It would appear they are not active in the firmware so no luck on adding an external antenna to this bad boy. Rumor has it they are working to get the XOHM (which does have an external antenna connection) working on Clear's network in the very near future.

  16. Can anyone tell me the URL to get the Google map of Clear's towers?

    Txs, Rick

  17. "soldered the connections into the supposed external antenna spots"

    Do you have a link or pictures? I don't see why he wouldn't just solder to the internal antenna since it's right there too. If mounting an direct connection to the antenna doesn't work, could it be possible to create a dish or cantenna around the internal antennas? I noticed that merely placing my 2.4ghz (not quite the right frequency) cantenna behind the antenna, I get 1 more more signal.

    Here's a link to their 3g coverage. In a few months they'll have 3g/4g modems.


    I used the live chat option and just asked the person where the closest tower was. Then I used google streetview to find it.


  18. Here's the web page where the guy talked about soldering to the modem: http://www.howardforums.com/archive/topic/1463547-1.html; search for "burnin240sx".

  19. FYI: Clear tech support says any modem configuration other than default is not supported, and if bricked by user configuration it will be $200 the replace modem. (leased) This is from Tier 2, still no documentation regarding integrating into existing LAN setups that were otherwise setup with transparent WAN IP's. Beware.
    I disabled DHCP, UPnP, with no port forwarding, attempting for transparent bridging, and changed the access name to "clear" and am not able to get any ip assignment, even though modem connects to WiMax.
    I made the mistake of not noting my modem/wimax ip, subnet,
    & DNS to see if I have WAN ip access. If anyone knows a hard reset (i.e. power sequence) method please post.
    Will update as I find out more info. I'm in Portland.

  20. PS:
    see this blog about 10M provisioning

  21. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Very nice! I just got my new Clear modem and, being at the edge of coverage, am deeply interested in the antennas.

    I see that J15 (Transmit 1 and Receive 1) and J16 (Receive 2) are the main antenna connections (the 5-connection connectors near the SSMT connectors, J10 & J11). I see filters, I see LOTS of stuff (Like how there's twice as much antenna devoted to RECEIVE as their is to TRANSMIT! Hmmmm).

    I'm working with a putty knife, though with limited success.. did you, by chance, dismount the board to look at the other side and take pictures?

    I'm aiming to make an external signal amplifier, like the small parabolics on my WiFi router and seeing what the antennas look like (the old modem had a 4 element patch antenna) would really help! So if you happened to take, but not post, the OTHER side of the board, please do.

    (I'm doing this anonymous, I don't know how the "OpenID" and "Name/URL" things work)

  22. Anonymous12:13 AM

    To anyone who doesn't want to put the antenna near a window for the concern that their wireless wont be centered... I suggest you go by some HomePlug adapters.

    I keep my wireless router centered in my house and plugged into my normal net via homeplug adapters which run the lan over my internal electric grid. Works great for me and I can put my WiMax antenna anywhere I want.

  23. Yeah, I purchased my modem for this exact reason. Taking it apart was no problem. Once I had it apart, finding where to attach an antenna is how I found your post… Thanks for doing so! TX1/RX1 is going to be the transmit and receive (duh) and the other, RX2, may be our second antenna. I have an external MIMO Omni-directional antenna that I am going to strip the wires and solder onto the board. There are 3 wires on the EX3(external MIMO) but the inside of the wire is only 2. One that is the shield, and then the other is data TX wire. Very similar to a co-ax cable. I do not see why pairing them up (2 on the RX2 side and the left over one on the TX1/RX1 side wouldn’t work. I am going to hold out and wait for your next post to see how far you got with this, and in the mean time I will keep doing my research. I am a network engineer and am surrounded by techies all day long, so If I get any ideas from them I will definitely share.
    Thanks again for the post, and if you have any interest in networking information check out www.tcsusa.com there is a blog that we just started www.tcsusa.com/data-bits that needs to grow. Also, if you’re a zombie fan, of course I am, check out H1N1Zombie.blogspot.com.

  24. As a new customer of Clear WiMAX Internet I feel each and every one of you.

    After countless attempts to increase my signal I finally found a position that allows me to get 4 bars 90% of the time.

    Really looking forward to anything you write about Clear in the future.

    Here's my results so far.

    Clear High-Speed Internet tips and tricks index

  25. Hi Guys.
    Here is the hardware spec for CPEi 25150. It will help you to hack inside. Good Luck!!! Bye..

    Motorola CPEi 25150 Rev. A, (0509)
    MCU: TI TNETV1061
    Flash: Spansion S29GL256P (32MB)
    RAM: Micron MT46V32M16 (BN?-5B F) (64MB 200MHz DDR SDRAM)
    XCVR: Beceem BCS200 (IEEE 802.16e/WiMAX/WiBRO, 2.3/2.5/3.5GHz, 33Mbps)
    LinkCom LAN1052 (10/100Base-Tx Magnetics Module)
    Realtek RTL8201CP (10/100BaseT Ethernet interface)
    Atmel AT25256AN-10SU-2.7 (256K Serial EEPROM)
    TI SN74LV126A (Quad Bus Buffer Gates with 3-State Outputs)
    Sirenza Microdevices SZM-2066Z (2.4-2.7GHz 2W Power Amplifier)
    Microchip TC620CCOA (Temperature Sensor IC)
    Under Shields:
    SH1 BBIC: BCSB200 & 16MB? RAM: Micron (5VFI 8XA41 D9FQN)
    SH2 RFIC: BCSR200
    SH3 TX1 (N3? SOT-86 Gain Block MMIC Amplifier)
    SH4 TX1 (SZM-2066Z & TC620CCOA)
    SH5 RX1 (70ID)
    SH6 RX2 (70ID)
    SH7 2 Crystals (for TNETV1061)
    SH8 RTL8201CP & 25MHz Crystal
    SH9 40MHz crystal (for BCSR200)
    SH10 2x LAN1052
    J3 Power (FoxConn DC Power Jack Connector)
    J4 Telephony (2x RJ14)
    J5 ??? (6 pins, near NotPlaced telephony parts)
    2 VCC
    6 GND
    J6 EEPROM write enable/disable? (Molex:0683011054 Harwin:M20-8770246 FCI:54201-S0802LF)
    1 Bus Buffer 3OE--|>-,
    ---|>--3Y -> AT25256AN SDI (Serial Data Input)
    2 GND
    J7 Serial Console (Molex:878980426 Harwin:M20-8770446 FCI:95293-401-04LF Tyco/AMP:1241150-4 Samtec:TSM-104-01-S-SV)
    1 VCC
    2 GND
    3 TX
    4 RX
    J8 EJTAG (Molex:15912140 Harwin:M20-8761446 FCI:95278-101A14LF Tyco/AMP:1241050-7 Samtec:TSM-107-01-S-DV)
    J9 RF TX1 U.FL connector pads (Hirose:U.FL-R-SMT(01) Molex:73412-0110 Emerson:128-0711-201)
    J10 RF TX1/RX1 Murata SWD switch connector (MM8430-2610) (order test cable: MXHS83QE3000)
    J11 RF RX2 Murata SWD switch connector (MM8430-2610)
    J12 RF RX1 U.FL connector pads
    J13 RF RX2 U.FL connector pads
    J15 RF RX1/TX1 7mm (SMA?) ext ant pads
    J16 RF RX2 7mm (SMA?) ext ant pads
    J17 ??? (8 pins, near BCSR200)

  26. Anonymous5:14 PM

    I think I found what most people are looking for:


    it list it for the usb modem but also states it could work for the home modem.

  27. Could someone point out the internal antenna? I'm going to try to mount the modem at the focus of one of my 23dB grid dishes ... old Clearwire signal is great, new Wimax signal sucks.


  28. Never mind, I looked more carefully at the photo and found the two slot antennas near the LEDs.

  29. Hi everyone! I'm very new to this blog and I apologize for my lack of experience. I'm not nearly as educated in IT as everyone else. With that said, I'll be happy to answer any questions on Clear's Wimax. Before everyone decides to rip apart their Motorola modems, please be aware that Clear will be releasing new hardware this month. I will try to keep everyone updated on a regular basis. I would appreciate any advice on making our service better. Thanks!

  30. Hi there C. Rep -- is that new cell-site hardware or new client hardware? I already received the new wimax modem and I'm not giving up my "old modem" until you can give me the same huge 5-bar signal on wimax (or until you pry the old modem "out of my cold, dead fingers) ;-)

    What I want is a Clear wimax modem with an external (i.e. REAL antenna) that I can mount outside in the elements, with power over the ethernet cable.

  31. Hey Michele, I wish I had the specs for you, still working on it. This is all I have for now, and I will be passing along your concerns to our tech channel. I think Clear realizes they need to improve quickly, and I actually believe their trying. However, it's taking too long!!!

    •New Modem G & M expected launch date is 1/11/10 (Vegas has G only and & Portland has M only)
    •4G Mobile USB (Ubee)expected launch date is 1/18/10 (Vegas only)

  32. The rumor through the grapevine....Samsung will be manufacturing Clear's new modems. Hopefully, better modems will equal better service. Also, to any Portland/Salem customers: Clear has some great promos for your area this month. Anyone have any advice to lower latency? So far the only game that doesn't lag is Halo. I know a major issue is our lack of servers, but there must be another way?

  33. Rick P, what market are you looking for? I have Vegas and Chicago's google map.

  34. Clear Rep:

    I was under the impression the latency was due to the cellular nature of WiMax; I get very similar results with Verzon EVDO and AT&T 3G signals.

    You indicated that Vegas is B and Portland is M; is the Atlanta area also B (I used my Clear WiMax USB modem in Vegas and it worked Ok); does this also mean that the new modems will work in Atlanta?

  35. Broo:

    Personally, I'm confused about different markets receiving seperate equipment. As far as I know, all modems will be

  36. compatible with every market. I will look into this later this week. I can't get my hands on the new equipment for a few days, but I'll post the specs for everyone as soon as I know. There is a rumor that someone found a way to reduce latency, (specifically for Clear) but he will not tell anyone how he did it.

  37. Finally got 5 bars, but I had to climb to the peak of my roof to do it. I think can see Clear's antennas through binoculars at 2 of the locations the Clear support tech gave me.

    Also, I had to turn the modem on its "side" to go from 3 bars to 5. Looking at the circuit board photo, those slot dipoles near the LEDs will be horizontally polarized with the modem upright on its stand. However, the antennas on the towers appear to be vertically polarized to me. This would certainly explain why I got 2 more bars when I matched the polarizations by turning the modem 90 degrees. Comments?

  38. My antenna engineering handbook corrected my analysis, the slot dipoles are vertically polarized when the modem is sitting on its stand. Time to go do more experiments!

  39. well using that pelican box that 'just fits' the modem i am going to do a POE to the outside since we've noticed Clear doesnt like rain (like most high frequency stuff, or underground dsl lines)

    the link to the POE is here http://www.nycwireless.net/projects/poe-power-over-ethernet/

    till i do the wiring i am just hanging it out the window (im not putting drop all over the house for this thing)

  40. dam.... the pelican case doesn't work well with the modem...

    but here's the photos and a terrible HowTo. (but there's links posted on where i sourced the info from)

  41. Double nuts.... forgot the link. (sorry for reposting.)


  42. Clear, you should offer those of us with marginal signal strength an external modem that we can mount up in the "clear" out in the weather. I don't get 5 bars unless the box is at the peak of my roof, and we customers shouldn't be forced to mess around with weatherproofing and power-over-ethernet kludging.

  43. Michele, I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time trying to get full signal. I can try to get you a coverage map of your area if you would like. Perhaps the closest tower to you is not on yet? I agree with the not so plug and play set up. I find myself out in the field everyday helping my customers with issues. In time, Clear will fix its problems. Did I mention that starting Feb 1st, Clear's new voip system launches. They made a smart move partnering with Ring Central. Yay! Our voips will finally work! LOL

  44. Hi Rep, thanks for the reply. Actually I know where the 3 closest antennas are, and I can see two of them visually from my rooftop. The problem is I'm in a really hilly area and there are houses in the way that attenuate the signals unless the modem is up on the roof with a clear shot at your antennas.

    The "old" modem has a solid 5 bars; it's also outside, protected from the weather.

  45. Hey Clear Rep,
    First, thanks for responding and participating in these post comments. I hate to go off topic but do you know if Clear has any plans on letting iPads connect to their wireless service?

  46. Pepsi,

    Since WiMax and 3G use different radio hardware, I think it would be more of Apple needing to design an iPad with WiMax compatibility... :)

    Sadly, Apple neglected to put a USB port on the iPad- just their @%^$!$# proprietary Apple connector.

    Hopefully Apple is working more on an iPad/iPhone with a Verizon/Sprint radio before they dedicate a project to WiMax- which is only available in a few cities at the moment (and can use different hardware in different areas).

    For another option, a ClearSpot with the Clear USB modem provides a WiFi spot (where-ever you can get WiMax).

  47. Clear Rep,

    If you are following this blog, what is up with the terrible speeds over the past few days? I cannot even hit 4Mbps since the weekend.

    I thought it was just me, but a neighbor and a co-worker (from a completely different part of town) have seen similar issues.

    More info in another post:

  48. I live in Portland and just picked up a Motorola CPEi 725. It's taken me from the inconsistent 2ish-sometimes-1-sometimes-3 lights of my old modem to a rock-solid 3 lights (77/13), delivering up to 3.5MB/sec down.

    When I read about it on DSLReports and called Clear to get one, the rep I talked to didn't even know it existed until I told him.

    So ye with poor reception, take heart and if you're in Portland, try out the new modem.

  49. Pepsi,

    I was amazed that there is no usb for the ipad. Without an embedded wimax chip, or usb, I don't see a way for the ipad to connect. Like Broo said, you could use a clearspot, but that thing is a piece! I'm not impressed and do not recommend it to anyone.

  50. Broo,

    The problem is everywhere! I'm currently in Chicago and I haven't hit 4 at all. After twisting some arms, I finally got the "real answer." And I quote, "we are converting to microwave." "There is no definate timeline, but it should take about 1-2 weeks." "After the conversion is complete, customers will have higher consistent speeds." The people I talked to are claiming 6-10mbps consistent with spikes up to 15mbps. My question to them was, "if we are switching to microwave now, what the hell were we using before?" I will keep everyone informed, as I receive updates. Please try to be patient guys and gals, it's being fixed right now.

  51. ok, so should i order for a cpei 725, before tearing my 150 apart? cause imma gonna !

  52. The Towers Need to be Public or Customer Information

    I'm tired of this. I'm tied into a one year contract but I'm sitting between two towers so i get the lower part of two bars on my modem regardless of what window they're in.

    We even had techs come out only to tell us that there would be another one turned on a lot closer to us soon. They said it's already their so it just needs to be turned on. Whatever that means.

    I asked them when will that be and they could only tell me soon. I asked if I could see a map of the towers in my area so I can actively monitor it and when it comes on I will make the appropriate adjustments. I was told no, that's for techs only and I would have to call periodically and check the status.

    Now I call once a week to see if the tower the techs that came out and told me would come on soon was on yet and if so where so I can face my modem at it. Each phone call I have to reexplain that I'm only getting 0.8 meg download and not even close to a meg upload. Of course they want to go through all kinds of talking before I get the same information. "Yea, I think your current location is the best location."

    I hate having to call anytime I want to see which tower is the closest. Also, when a tower is down or something I have to call again. Why isn't this information available to us on the web so we can do the work ourselves with out any hassle?

    If there is and I just can't find it and the people on the phone refuse to give it to me I'm sorry and please feel free to disregard this message provided you give me the link.

    Here's three speed tests from three servers:



    Also, I want something i can hook a damn yagi to. This thing is pressed up against a window and has nice pretty lights for any would be thief to salivate over. With an external antenna I would be able to aim it, have better signal and have a few more security options (removing the lights from the window).

    /End Rant

  53. @AMP, you should be able to find the location of the antennas here:

  54. This web site did not show my 2 closest Clearwire antennas/towers. I have verified that they are Clearwire antennas by walking up to the equipment boxes and finding the ones marked "Clearwire."

  55. AMP,

    What city are you in? I can try to get you the map. I have Vegas and Chicago.

  56. Everyone,

    updates are currently in progress. Unfortunately, we will all be stuck with terrible speeds until the conversion is complete. I wish I had better news, but.....I don't. :( I promise the speeds will be fixed and I will keep everyone updated.

  57. I'm in chicago. you can email me at rob [-at-] ampprod [-dot-] com

    anyway to get a better modem or something i can attach a yagi to in chicago?

  58. AMP,

    I emailed you the map. Sorry, I've never used a Yagi antenna. I'd be happy to help and try to figure out a way to make it work. :)

  59. Everyone-

    I'm happy to say that do to my team's quality of service and respect for customers, we will officially be a midwest master agent for Clear starting Feb 1st! I hope this opportunity will allow me to feed more info and deeper access to answer questions about our service. I've tried my best to keep everyone updated with Clear, and I hope you agree. If there is anything else we can do to help, feel free to contact me. If you feel like I've been a positive resource, I would really appreciate any referrals to help expand our operation. Thanks again for having me, and I will continue to help as much as possible.

    P.S. I am recruiting sub dealers asap in the Chicago market!

  60. Does anyone have any information as to where these "NEW" modems are going to be available? I talked to a Clear rep and was told that they had no knowledge to anything new. I just bought my equipment in December and would really like to make sure I have the best there is.

    Currently, I am working on building a reflector for my USB modem, something that I can setup when I have a marginal signal. Still working on the specs, but it will be similar to the Military Grade Collapsible Parabolic. I plan on using the USB modem as the feedpoint so that I have the option of using with or without the parabolic.

    Has anyone figured out a way to "turn on" the external antenna ports on the board? If I can do that it would be really awesome. I had to mount my modem in an external Square D type housing (plastic, fiberglass). The apartment manager hates it, but I told her it was my Satellite Dish. Hihi


  61. KD7CAO-

    Depending on which market you are located in, new equipment may already be available. I'm in Chicago and will be receiving new gear tomorrow or Thursday (hopefully.) I will post specs and pics as soon as I get them. Most of the mature markets already have their new gear. Specs are available at 4G info. Hope this helps, let me know if I can be of further assistance.

  62. Atlanta and Portland-

    Are you guys getting your speed back yet? The conversion should already be in effect in your markets.

  63. @KD7CAO:

    The new modems are currently available in Portland and Vegas. The Motorola unit in Portland and the unit in Vegas.

    I have no info on when they might be made available elsewhere, but since a clear modem should work in any clear territory, if you could convince Clear that you're now in Portland (or Vegas, or maybe you already are), you could get a new modem sent to an address there and proceed to use it anywhere.

    FYI the rep I spoke to when I purchased my new Motorola CPEi 725 had no idea they existed either. He had to put me on hold and do some research to figure out what to do.

  64. Tad-

    Have you experienced a major improvement with the new modem?

  65. Depends what you mean by 'major'.

    I've only been running the new modem for almost a week, but here's what I've noted so far:

    Better throughput - up to about 4.8MB, but usually more like 2-3ish. During peak times as low as .6-.8, but I attribute that to congestion.

    More and more consistent lights and CINR: on the old modem the lights and CINR tended to fluctuate quite a bit(usually 2 lights but sometimes 1, sometimes 3), but the new one seems pretty solid on 3 lights and about 13 CINR.

    Overall, better.

  66. Password is simple, don't know why it had to be changed.

    My modem is mounted up on a 100' tower, so remote admin is especially important.

    OLD Password may work in some instances: motorola

    NEW Password if you have auto update enabled and your coverage area has been updated is: CLEAR123

  67. Tad-

    Thanks for the feedback!

  68. CR - no problem.

    KD7CAO - 100 foot tower at an apartment?? wow. You must be working well outside of the normal performance parameters? :)

    Re: the password - when I got my new modem, the printed documentation said the password would be CLEAR123. Of course it wasn't, it was motorola.

    I updated the PW to something else, but then a day or two later the update came down that changed it to CLEAR123! So I changed it again... and a couple days later, once again it was CLEAR123.

    We'll see if my PW sticks this time, or if it will continue to revert back to CLEAR123.

  69. Well I have my modem mounted at my apartment, I am also administering another modem for a friend. His is mounted on a 100' tower since he is outside the Clear coverage area.

  70. I am getting a consistently solid 5 bars yet i am only seeing speeds up to 3 and occasionally 4Mb down. This is great compared to many out there but I am able to see the tower several hundred feet from me on top of a 20 story building. Could I be too close??
    The towers apparently push signal in to 3 triangular equispaced regions. That is to say of the 360 degrees of coverage, only half of this is focused on. so every 60 degrees is a "Hotter" area. You can be close to the towers but not in that "zone". I have reviewed the tower maps carefully with a Clear rep in person and I am in this "Hot" zone. Yet.....I am very close (direct line of maybe 1000 ft. yet I am not seeing bursts of 10+Mb which I would expect. Any ideas why this is so? is it current tower improvements which have the network running slower than expected. I am in Dallas,TX and haven't heard any news of tower upgrades here?

  71. @Sal

    There is a potential that you are actually over driving the front end of your modems receiver. This can be caused by pumping far to much power into the device.

    I would recommend that you experiment with placement of your modem. Directly at the site is not always the best solution, as a Ham Radio Operator, I know that sometimes the best signal may be the reflection off another object such as a wall, barn, water tower, stadium, the moon, etc... All of course depending on frequencies and antennas being used.

    The antenna in the modem is just a pc board type antenna, it is generic and made cheaply for mass production. Whereas the antenna at the site will be a commercial grade panel type antenna with between 12 and 27 db of gain (most likely).

    If db of gain is confusing, take the power of the transmitter we'll say the site has a power of 1 watt just for simplistic math and let's say the site has a 12 db gain antenna. Now then, remove the loss from feedline and connectors (most likely the highest quality is used and the shortest lengths). Every 3 db is double the power, so (((1 x 2) x 2) x 2) = 8 Watts of ERP Effective Radiated Power.

    I've probably digressed but, essentially your modem at only 1000' from the tower is probably over driven, try moving it to areas that are less than ideal and see if you have an increase in speed.

    PS. Where were you able to get a hold of the maps??? I've been asking for a while and they won't share.

  72. Sal - Our ham friend may have a point, but I'd suspect that you're just seeing the effects of shared bandwidth. In other words, you're sharing the available 'speed' with all of the other Clear users talking to that particular tower.

    Have you tried your speedtest during an off-peak time, such as middle of the night or middle of the work day? I'm at home today (9:15 AM here). I just ran a test and hit my all-time record speed of 5.5 MB. Yesterday at around 7PM I wasn't even breaking 1MB - more like .4-.6, I assume due to congestion.

    It seems to me that the Clear network is more susceptible to congestion than wired networks, because each tower covers a relatively larger (and more difficult to regulate) area than DSL or cable.

    If you look at your modem's homepage ( in your browser, default password is probably CLEAR123 or motorola) you can see something like this:

    WiMAX RSSI: -77 dBm
    WiMAX CINR: 14 dB

    Those numbers together give you a better picture than the 5 lights as to how your reception is looking. I believe smaller is better for RSSI and bigger is better for CINR. The above is what mine looks like with 3 bars, and as we just demonstrated I can pull 5.5MB over that link if the back-end network can handle it.

  73. Hmmm and rereading your post, I noticed what you said about being very close to a 'tower' that is also atop a tall building. This is a good recipe for multipath conditions, where the signal is bouncing around alot before it gets to you, which can result in reception problems. So as KD7CAO recommended, changing the placement and orientation of the modem could help - although I've read that the Wimax protocol is highly resistant to multipath issues.

  74. Sal-

    I agree with Tad and KD7CAO. However, I also think that most of the speed issues have to do with tower conversions. As I said earlier, we should see improvement in the next couple weeks.


    Which market are you in? I can try to get you the map. You might be able to answer this question. If Clear is converting to microwave now, what were they using before?

  75. @Clear Rep

    I am in the DFW market, more specifically Denton County.

    Some of Clear Wireless was on 800 MHz and 900 MHz in the early days. The company is trying to standardize and also make room for the rebanding projects happening due to the big boys of Sprint (owns Clear). Clear operates in the frequencies of 2500 MHz to about 2570 MHz (2.5 GHz to 2.57 GHz). At least that is what I can find in the FCC Database.

    The other issue is that it is a marketing scheme, the confusion of people thinking that 2.5 will interfere with 2.4 is not something they want, so by calling it microwave they can move away from the public confusion.

    Microwave actually covers between 300 MHz and 300 GHz. So UHF, WiFI, etc are all in the Microwave bands. Microwave has always been synonymous in households as being faster, less energy needed, etc...

  76. Now I'm confused... I know that 2.4GHz is 'microwave' (after all, our microwave ovens use that freq), but I thought we were talking about microwave being used in the backhaul from the towers? Interestingly, when I look at antennasearch.com (which I think queries the FCC DB), it shows the Clear sites as licensed for 10 GHz! I assumed this was the freq of the microwave backhauls.

  77. KD7CAO-

    Thanks for the info! I made some phone calls and tried twisting some arms, but have been unsuccessful with getting you the Texas map. I will continue to work on it and will post as soon as I have it for you. Sorry....

  78. I am interested in Dallas area coverage maps as well. Sick of 2-3 bars as my best signal strength.

  79. when are the new chicago modems in? i'm dieing over here. i might have to switch back to the dreaded comcast. :(

  80. Does anyone know how to change the ip address on Clear? It says I have a dynamic ip and using dsl & cable or even 3g I could easily change it. I need to get a new ip at will anyone have any luck?

  81. why do you need a new IP if you don't mind me asking? did your IP get banned for somewhere for doing something shady?

    just wondering.

  82. No! It has nothing to do with anything shady. I just like to have a "fresh ip" for when I am online. Similar to using dial-up & 3g mobile internet. Everytime you connect & disconnect I would get a fresh ip... It's just what I like. So if anyone knows how please let me know thanks.

  83. DHCP reservations are managed by clear. It looks like they are giving a 24 hour DHCP lease when you connect.

    You would need to leave your modem off for more than 24 hours. If someone else gets the IP you were given initially, you will get a new one (the device will try to request the old IP address it had).

    The only other option would be to contact Clear and request they make changes to allow you a different IP address.

  84. I just got some info for you modders.
    I will try it first and tell you how it went. I am going to buy a 2.5 gighz directional antenna and aim it at my towers clearwire antenna. i will have to connect the antenna to the modem ,I will be soldering a rg174 cable directly to the board where the antenna begins. (the short one is the antenna ,the long one is a reflector) I will terminate the rg174 into a chasis mount sma female jack. I will let you know how it went.

  85. oh this is going to be cool... looking forward to reading your results.

  86. So I was just surfing around on Clear.com and noticed a new product I've never seen before.

    Details are sketchy and just to view the product you have to login to your account, so the link I had isn't going to work. But, I found another page with just as much vagueness... http://www.4ginfo.com/index.php/clear-performance-dock-for-mobile-usb-wimax-modem-pxu1900.html

    So, the question I have is this adapter just basically a panel antenna for the USB modem? Must be either passive (reflector) or Inductive Coupled. I would really like some detailed specifications, because this could be the product that solves my issues and prevents me from needing to build a portable parabolic antenna that my USB modem clips into. :)

  87. KD7CAO,

    I just passed the Clear kiosk in Lenox Mall and saw that device. I wasn't sure what it was and I didn't have a chance to ask.

    Looks like it works with the 'new' USB modems (PXU1900) that are now on Clear's site ($60 without a contract).

    I may stop by the Kiosk and see if they have one of the newer USB modems- and check the price of the matching dock.

    I wonder if this configuration would still work with the ClearSpot? :)

  88. I just got the parts in ,the 2.5 gig directional antenna was 100.00 bucks ! I dont know what frequency your local towers use ,but I would find out before ordering an antenna. If it works i will go back through the steps and take photo's.

  89. I bought the connector off of ebay ,from rfconnections i think out of china. it took a few weeks.

  90. I guess this would be to Clear rep: I get 2 bars and asked if I would be allowed to get the new equiptment and was told no. Only can go for new customers.
    I'm starting to feel like the Vegas customers aren't being handled well and sorta remind me of another company in town..."metropcs"; which prey on the poor and lack services and support for their clients.
    Thank you all for the info and advice. Hope you all will fare better than I have.

  91. @Freedrinx - what's this about "allowed"? Do you own or lease your modem? If own, you'd probably have to pony up full price for a new one, and if lease I hear there's some fee involved, but I don't see why you wouldn't be allowed to change out equipment. Worst case, your modem could get "broken". ;)

    However the info I've read online indicates that the new Motorola model is only (for now) available in Portland. The same article said that there's a different new modem made by Gemtek available only in Vegas. See: http://text.broadbandreports.com/forum/r23639472-Equipment-Clear-Offers-NEW-Modems-high-gain-omnidirectional

    No offense to any Clear reps reading the blog, but you probably shouldn't take the first rep's word as gospel. When I called in to get my new Motorola unit, the guy didn't know it existed until I told him.

  92. @TAD - thanx man..I lease it and said I would probably need a replacement since it may have over heated after I hang up....LOL. I'm still going to try...

  93. Hey everyone!

    Sorry I just got back from visiting a future market....


    Who did you set up service with? It will be very difficult to swap your modem if you ordered online or through Clear's 800#. If you purchased at a store, go back to the store and threaten to cancel your service if they refuse to swap out the modem. It is very important that you speak with the rep that sold you your service, because they will not want the charge back to their commission. I know that Vegas has the new modems, and all it takes, is a quick call to customer service to do the swap. Especially since you're on the lease option. (No cost difference)
    Let me know if that doesn't work and I'll give you directions to the corp office. XD

  94. Tad-

    Unfortunately, I agree with you completely. A lot of Clear reps are either non educated or scum bag sales people. I wish Clear's brand police would shut down these distributors! On a daily basis, I'm fixing a customer's issue, that I didn't even get credit for! Anyway, calling CS is pretty much useless, unless you tell them what to do. Asking them questions is pointless......

  95. i got the new modem after 50+ phone calls. it makes no different. this thing sucks.

    i can't even stream youtube half the time.

    i'm trying to download a 2 gig virtual machine for a project i'm working on and it says it'll be complete in 46 hours. 46 HOURS!!! wtf!

    it was nice to dream but i feel i just fell victim to fancy advertising commercials.

  96. nelsmobile... Any luck? I have a friend in vegas that is having issues and I am trying to help...

  97. Surprised there is so little modifocation when there are such widespread problems...

  98. Ok ,sorry for the delay. I finished the project ,and it did not speed up ,but it did increase the range. sorry i got your hopes up.

  99. Broo,
    I cannot seem to get access to my geovision camera's from the outside. I have added the ip of the pc in the dmz and am trying to access the camera using the ip provided by ipchicken. Any help would be appreciated

  100. Anyone figure out how to get to the config screens for the new Clear "Series G" modem? I hassled Clear's local store about the horrid Motorola modem's problems until they exchanged it for the new "Series G" made by Gemtek. This solved one major problem but this new box forces my router to obtain a new DHCP lease every 30 minutes.

    I've just about had it with Clear, looking at other options. We had 3+ years of nearly perfect service with the "old" system and nothing but problems with this wimax junk.

  101. Follow-up: after a software upgrade, the new "Series G" modem has the same management interface as the old Motorola ( | CLEAR123).

  102. Looks like the G series might be able to have an antenna attach directly to it according to this webpage, http://www.wirelessgoodness.com/2010/03/19/teardown-under-the-hood-of-clears-wixb-175-series-g-modem/. Anyone know if this person is right in this forum? http://www.rfwel.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1592#post1592. Could be nice if it actualy works. Here is a link to an external antenna adapter for the new usb modem http://www.rfwel.com/shop/product.php?productid=1934.

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  105. I have the old home modem and want the newer M modem but the live chat rep said no and that they are both the same modem with no performance difference. I'm in the Chicago market but out in Aurora. I get 3-4 bars but only get around 2.6mbps on download. I'm on the fastest plan with Clear and am leasing the modem. I went into Best Buy and talked to one of the Clear reps and he actually entered my address and he showed me a site that he said that he doesn't show all customers. The site showed the around about speed that you will get at your actual address. I forgot what it was called but it only showed me getting 3mbps max for my location. Even though my plan calls for 6mbps+. If I knew that when I signed up for this slow service I would of never done so.

  106. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Hey Craig, I am a Clear Field tech for the Aurora, IL service area, what that chat rep told you was kind of accurate, unlike Chicago where the M would make a slight difference, in Aurora the M does not, however if you are a current clear customer, I would be happy to try it out for you as I have my own CI-M RSU, and if i see it improves I will do the swap. My email is ninoriff@metrostarr.com :)

  107. Now that Spring is here, I am seeing massively degraded performance in Atlanta, GA: Where I was getting 8-10Mbps throughout most of the Winter, my speeds have dropped to 2-3Mbps- and on some nights it will not get over 1.5Mbps (even before Clear starts capping my speeds).

    I was at 18-22db CINR on my modem (which I am told is a better rating of signal strength), but I am now getting 7-9db.

    The only thing that appears to have changed is the growth on the trees...

    Anyone else seeing similar results- or is it just me?

  108. I don't know if it's related to leaf growth (it may, come to think of it), but my signal, which had been a solid 3 bars, dropped to 2-sometimes-1 bars lately. I finally got around to playing with my modem orientation the other day, and I'm now getting 2-or-3 bars pointing about 90 degrees off from the previous direction(and I get 2 bars in almost any direction).

    I've noticed in the config screen that I'm 'hearing' 5 or 6 towers now, rather than the 1 I originally received, so I suspect I'm now hitting a tower that wasn't previously online.

  109. I sent you another email Robert.

  110. There are Two towers near me. I am in the DFW Market near 35W and 820. One tower is approx 6 blocks away and the other tower is about 4-5 miles line of site. My balcony faces the further tower. Inside my second story apartment I get 1 to none on bars. Placing the modem outside facing the furthest tower I get a stable 2.

    Now I placed the modem higher on a wooden table about 4 feet high, wrapped a flat band of aluminium foil taped where the antennas are located on the inside and made a 90 degree corner reflector out of wood and aluminium foil (shiny side out) and now I get 4 to almost steady 5 bars however when on a stead Download I still at best ever get 500kbs. The modem is upright and facing the furthest antenna. When I try to bounce of the buildings to hit the closer tower - I don't get any improvement. Any suggestions? if you would like pictures I can post some.

  111. I've had one of the "G" series modems for a few months. I live up high (30th floor), in a dense coverage area (Honolulu), but reception has always been challenging.

    For a while I was getting 4 and occassionally 3 bars, but recently it went downhill to two bars, and my throughput literally dropped to ~30kbps (speedtest would actually fail, but you could see it on the modem status page).

    Anyhow, I finally cracked it open, and you can the antenna is definitely attached via two U.FL connectors. I just ordered an 2.5GHz-2.7GHz 14db panel from l-com (44.95 + s&h). Oddly enough, I have a U.FL to N-type pigtail lying around :)

    I'll let you know how it goes in a couple of days when the antenna arrives.

  112. so the new antenna is currently slightly better than the built in one (4-5 bars vs. 3-4), but I have a pretty crappy 3 foot cable I had to use as a temporary workaround (my pigtail has a female N, as does the antenna). A new pigtail is on the way that will eliminate that one, so hopefully I will see more improvement soon. It would be nice to stay over 20 dB on the CINR. I have spec'd out a cantenna and will probably build and try that as well.

  113. This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. The part is a Murata MM8430-2610. It is designed to be a test port, and not to be used as an antenna port. However, they sell a Measurement Probe with a sma jack on the end. Its kind of large and I am not sure how it would fit, or if it would stay.

    Probe Part #: MXHS83QE3000 -

    Check out this PDF -

  115. Oh and I tested the port with a short copper wire into the port and an antenna setup that was previously hooked up to Xohm router in Baltimore before the switch to Clear. The signal improved from around 2-3 bars to an instant 5 bars.

  116. Question about antenna mods: Doesn't MIMO require multiple independent antennas? So, is it possible to attach a single antenna and get imporoved performance?

    (On second thought, the MIMO could be multiple base-stations, with single CPE antennas.)

    Anyone know the definitive answer? What type of MIMO does Clear 4G WiMax use?

  117. I'm working with hsand on this and have successfully mated the murata testconnector 81-MXHS83QE3000 from mouser.com to an 18 dB panel antenna. My rssi went from -70 to -50 and my cinr went from 21 to 35. Details will be posted soon.

  118. http://www.instructables.com/id/Adding-an-External-Antenna-to-a-Clear-Motorola-CPE/

  119. I'm in an inner Salt Lake City suburb, and am about to toss Clear and go back to Qwest DSL. I've switched from the Series G to the Series M modem, but that has made no change in the 36h I've had it installed. Typical signal is 2 (occ 3) bars, and I get booted off about every hour, with the "fix" being to hardboot the modem (and wait 5 min for it to reacquire a signal *sigh*) Pings are 140ms+ with 40ms jitter, and data rates are generally sub-1.5 MBs

    Clear TS has not been much help (and don't get me started in the dumbos that tried to install the Clear equipment when I ordered it!). The most recent "help" I got was that I needed to have the modem, the VoIP box and the DLink 615 router each 3 feet away from the other, and that all three had to be plugged "directly into the wall, not into a power strip". This smacks of "voodoo electronics" to me, but hey, I'm only an IEEE member, what do I know?

    I would love to have an external antenna option, as I suspect that the metal roof on my house is not helping the signal strength or quality.

  120. OK... have just moved the Series M WiMax modem to on top of the router (which is on top of an external HD, which is on top of the computer ), and placed a hard placemat wrapped in aluminum foil underneath it. This has me up to 4 bars, and a Ping range (SLC to Denver) of 122-124ms, a DL range of 1.17-4.92Mbs, and an UL range of 0.12-0.19Mbs (5 sequential tests using speedtest.net on Firefox)
    Better but not great.

  121. @Hedgewizard- what function does the aluminum base serve?

    Also, here's some good discussion on external antennae:

  122. also: I have found that the modem placement indoors is *extremely* sensitive to position and orientation. In other words not only do you need to "aim" the modem, but moving it as little as an inch or two on any of the 3 axes will make a noticeable difference in signal strength.

    You'd think higher would be better, but I recently found that mounting high on the first floor gives better signal than high on the 2nd floor - I suspect because asphalt shingles are excellent at blocking high freq signals.

  123. The metal sheet acts as a baseplane and a reflector.
    I agree about the challenge of small changes in location or orientation having significant effects. That's part of why an external antenna is appealing.

  124. This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.
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  125. Broo, I'm trying to setup a FTP server and for the life of me I can't not set it up, I'd spent lots of time searching for solutions, I'm starting to think that the clear modem may be at fault or improperly setup, I'd applied the DMZ and firewall deactivation you suggested above,if you would share a tips it would be awesome.

  126. I did a mod on my Sprint cpe-25150 after seeing this blog. I had an old Netgear g router and took it apart. The antenna connector for the Netgear and the 25150 seemed to be compatible. I get much better service than I did before the mod. It has been 3 days now and my signal is much more steady. I have this sitting in a basement window at ground level, obviously not the most optimum location. Here's some pics of the modem with the antenna.


  127. Some info that may be helpful. I have found that clear unit that has built in local WIFI output works faster when the WIFI is shut off and an external router used instead. The WIFI output provided by the modem with that feature puts out an much stronger signal than usual routers have. The WIFI feature can be shut off by communication to the Modem via the ethernet connection.

  128. You might try this! I'm in the Clearwire market area, I'm in an disadvantaged geographical area. I was getting one bar on my modem, I simply made a dish from a coat hanger and aluminum foil, it gave me a steady three bars. So you should at least get one more. Hope it works for you.
    P.S. I'm just as frustrated as everyone else that I have to be concerned with antenna modifications and such!

  129. Broo, I have a random question. What are the differences between G Modem and M Modem?

    1. Anonymous7:29 AM

      Series M made by Nokia/Motorola, Series G made by Gemtek... If you are looking to add an external antenna then you are better off with the Series G Modem as it has u.fl connectors on board and you can use a common pigtail like the ones found at wimaxspot360.com

  130. I put my clear in the attic. When I had it in my kitchen I would get 3 bars and now I have 5 bars. I put it in my attic and connected a router at one end of the house and another router on the other side...its like a triangle. One of the routers has a static IP. Everyroom has full WiFo with 4G access...or what CLEAR calls 4G..LOL

  131. I have an Motorola outdoor WiMax modem. Does anyone know how to do a HARD reset. I think I may have changed a setting and I can no longer access the modem. Clear says it is online.