We are often asked why we have chosen to sell the Dovado range of mobile broadband routers from among the many brands of 3G and 4G routers on the market. There are several factors that make the Dovado products stand out for us, including the high level of customer satisfaction, Dovado’s proactive style of customer support and, not least, the frequency of their firmware updates to extend the range of supported modems and introduce many new exciting features.
This (very long) article aims to comprehensively document the rapid and feature-rich progression of Dovado firmware since the UMR’s launch in June 2008. The most recent firmware releases are listed first.
Some of the stand-out innovative features over the years include: Continued…
Posted in Dovado, FAQ, News, Products, WiFi.
– 7 June 2013
We use the Royal Mail AirSure service to deliver goods to the Republic of Ireland. Royal Mail aims to deliver AirSure items throughout Western Europe in just two working days after posting. Sometimes they manage to do this, but quite frequently Royal Mail deliveries to Ireland seem to be inexplicably delayed, sometimes for up to a couple of weeks. Very frustrating for customers at the receiving end.
I used to live in Co. Clare, so I’ve experienced this frustration at both ends. The AirSure tracking rarely sheds any light on these mysterious delays, typically stating that the item has progressed overseas, when it’s actually stuck somewhere in the Royal Mail system and has not been passed to An Post yet. Afterwards Royal Mail can offer no specific explanation for the delay and no compensation is available for delays on AirSure items.
How it works
Parcel Motel now offers Irish consumers a cheaper and more reliable alternative for online deliveries. The Parcel Motel shipping process would work as follows: Continued…
Posted in FAQ.
– 7 June 2013
EE (Everything Everywhere), the UK’s first 4G/LTE operator, released their data plans and pricing today. Although the pricing was generally received as reasonable, there was some dismay at how low they have set the monthly data usage limits. There is a suspicion that the initial data plans have been positioned like this to milk the market during their monopoly period. However looking around the globe at other established 4G offerings, I fear that these pricing structures will be here to stay even after the UK 4G market opens up to competition. Continued…
Posted in News.
– 23 October 2012
Dovado are currently advising that the latest Telstra firmware for the Sierra Wireless 320U 4G/LTE modem will cause the modem to stop working with their TINY, 4GR and DOMA routers. They will release a fix for this interoperability issue in the next Dovado firmware release, presumably Dovado firmware 6.1.4, which I’d estimate will be available in a matter of days rather than weeks. (The Dovado firmware version at time of writing is 6.1.3.)
The Telstra Sierra Wireless 320U firmware to avoid until the fix is available is labelled
X1_4_5_0AP R5267 CNSZXD00000140 2012/07/02 13:48:56
Posted in Dovado, FAQ, News.
– 6 October 2012
Customers with the Dovado TINY are advised to use the RESCUE utility to upgrade the router’s firmware beyond version 5.0.16. For this reason, you may notice that the usual ZIP version of the firmware is missing for 5.0.17 on Dovado’s firmware page (see above).
Firmware 5.0.17 addresses an issue causing some but not all TINYs to repeatedly power cycle a few types of USB modems, namely:
- ZTE 110,
- ZTE 190 and
- Option Icon 505
These could be described as “cheapo” modems typically offered on pay-as-you-go deals. Dovado have explained that the power consumed by these modems can be particularly “spiky”, so an upgrade to the TINY’s bootloader was required to make the router more tolerant of this. Upgrading the bootloader is eqivalent to a BIOS upgrade on a PC, so the regular firmware upgrade is not enough. Continued…
Posted in Dovado, FAQ, News.
– 26 March 2012
By my reckoning, Tweetdeck has been the most popular desktop Twitter client for some time. It has been my tool of choice for my Twitter interactions for nearly three years now. If we compare Twitter to tea, Tweetdeck would be my big old favourite mug. I can drink tea from other vessels from time to time, but it’s never quite the same. Tweetdeck makes it possible to operate multiple accounts and make sense of the constant stream of information flying past.
Earlier this year, Twitter acquired Tweetdeck and about a week ago they launched a complete redesign of the Tweetdeck desktop application, abandoning the Adobe AIR platform in favour of HTML5. So my favourite mug has been replaced with something which looks similar but feels subtly different in the hand. These are my initial observations of Tweetdeck 1.0. (The Adobe AIR Tweetdeck had versions numbered 0.x.) Continued…
Posted in News.
– 13 December 2011
GAME have an incredibly frustrating centralised automated phone system, making it very difficult to speak directly to a particular store. I wanted to find out which particular stores had a working “scratch repair service” and wasted far too much of my time these last couple of days shouting “NO”, waiting on hold and then being hung up on on the central automated GAME customer service phone number 0871 594 0066.
Today, I discover that certain Edinburgh shopping centres helpfully list the direct dial numbers for the GAME stores therein, so I thought it would be useful to list these for future reference, hopefully saving somebody some time.
||0131 317 1707
|Ocean Terminal GAME
||0131 555 4796
|St. James Centre GAME
||0131 557 8160
|127 Princes Street GAME
||0131 225 3453
|Cameron Toll GAME
||0131 666 1661
|Fort Kinnaird GAME
||0131 669 3129
It bamboozles me why corporate types think it is helpful to customers to list only a centralised number on their “find a store” listings, especially when it is very time-consuming and in my experience not always possible to be put through to a particular store.
I’ve tested some, but not all, of the numbers above, so please leave a comment if you find any errors.
Posted in News.
– 7 December 2011
UPDATE (11 Nov 2011) This article was written with the (now discontinued) Dovado UMR in mind. However, the same AU-style adapters (12V 1A) will also power the Dovado 3GN. The Dovado 4GR, on the other hand, requires a 12V 2A psu and uses a Blackberry-style power adapter which takes detachable “clips” for different socket styles. Currently we have a stock of AU, EU, US and UK-style clips available. The latest and fastest-selling mobile broadband router from Dovado, the TINY, requires a 5V 2A supply with a much smaller barrel type jack plug and we are currently trying to source a suitable AU-style adapter to power the TINY. Since the arrival of 4G/LTE from Telstra in Australia in late September 2011, the whole family of Dovado routers are proving popular with Australian customers. We’ll do our utmost to provide AU-style power adapters for the 4GR and TINY as soon as possible. Read the discussion of the Dovado TINY on forums.whirlpool.net.au.
UPDATE 2 (21 Feb 2012) Attempts to source manageable quantities of the Dovado-approved power supply for the TINY did not succeed, however Dovado themselves have placed a large order with the manufacturer. Unfortunately there is a long lead-time measured in months rather than weeks, so in the meantime, any TINYs shipped to Australia (as of 21 Feb 2012) will by supplied with tight-fitting travel adapter as a workaround.
A batch of Australian-style power adapters (Type I) arrived with today’s shipment of Dovado UMRs. The 12V power adapters are suitable for both the Dovado UMR and Dovado 3GN, so we can now supply customers in the following countries: Continued…
Posted in Dovado, FAQ, News, Products.
– 10 November 2011
The ar670w router from Airlink101 is a relatively cheap Chinese-made router, which can easily be flashed with the extremely powerful and flexible dd-wrt open-source firmware.
If you enter AR670W into the dd-wrt router database, it currently states that the latest version supported is v24 preSP2 [beta] Build: 14896. However testing this configuration produced very unsatisfactory results exclusively with Apple wifi clients used: a Macbook, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch. Wireless connection from these clients was successfully established and maintained, but the internet connectivity would stop functioning after a period measured in minutes. Stopping and re-starting the WiFi interface on the clients restored internet connectivity until the next interruption.
I tried a few configuration adjustments to resolve this show-stopping issue, namely:
- Reduced the beacon interval from 100ms to 50ms
- Changed the channel from Auto to a specific channel with least interference in my environment
- Experimented with different wireless modes: Mixed, N/G-mixed, G-only
- Toggled the Use DNSmasq option on and off for DHCP
None of these modifications made the slightest bit of difference.
Several posters on the Airlink101 thread on the dd-wrt forum alluded to experiencing similar problems, but there wasn’t really a coherent solution put forward until pages 44-45 of the thread where the consensus coming through is to upgrade to a later build of the firmware: Build 16214.
Happily this build works a treat – no more frustrating outages.
Posted in Products, WiFi.
– 4 November 2011
In July 2011, the BBC invited Android phone users to participate in an experiment to gather data on mobile broadband coverage. Around 44,600 people contributed to the crowd-sourced data gathering by granting an app permission to track the level of their data signal over three weeks.
The results are published as an interactive map showing tiles approximately 200m x 200m in size coloured green for 3G, purple for 2G and dark grey for no coverage. You can filter the map by mobile operator. Given the self-selecting nature of the sample, you will find many areas with no colouring signifying no measurements were taken and in some areas some of the operators may not be represented.
The Android app used was provided by Epitiro, the independent firm used by OfCom to provide data on mobile broadband provision in the UK. In Sep-Dec 2010 Epitiro conducted a much more systematic analysis of mobile internet provision in the UK and OfCom published the results in their report Measuring Mobile Broadband in the UK. The reports tells us what we already know: mobile broadband is extremely variable and not as fast as fixed broadband. The quantitative detail in the report may be of more value than the BBC’s crowd-sourced experiment.
Posted in News.
– 25 August 2011