I have found that a true computer network is the key to some sanity when things are complex and you need the ability to log into devices to fix things. Thus, my mobile setup includes a wired + wireless network centered around a Pepwave Pepmax BR1. This is a professional level LTE router commonly used in tour-busses etc. Some of the features are:
- Dual Sim with configurable auto-switchover.
- Priority and auto select WAN source from ethernet, WiFi source or LTE.
- 2 Ethernet LAN ports (WAN port can become 3rd LAN) used for;
- SharkRF OpenSpot DMR Hotspot
- WX3IN1 APRS I-Gate
- External antennas – used a mag mount Browning multi band NMO mount on the roof for Verizon and a short cheap mag mount in the rear window for AT&T.
- Lots of routing features.
This was the first time I installed a second Sim and configured auto switch over from my primary of Verizon to AT&T in case of lack of data coverage. After some tuning to get the system to initially log in to the primary source (Verizon) the system worked flawlessly. To my knowledge the signal never dropped to where the secondary service kicked in. Routinely, when I would see 1 bar on the cell phone I would check the signal level on the router and it would be at the equivalent to 4 bars. What a difference an external gain antenna makes!
The internal network worked flawlessly. I would routinely log into the SharkRF Openspot to monitor DMR activity. Although the system was running DHCP, most of the standard items will retain the same IP Address. However, the Client List was a simple convenient way to find my equipment.