Thursday, September 24, 2015

Magellan Roadmate 3120 review - "retro" review challenge in 5 minutes or less

Here's the results of a "5 minute review challenge" a lot of people are doing lately:

I did this when I was on my tablet with limited connectivity on a extensive 10 hour road trip.

The challenge was to get it done in 5 minutes while also taking pics of certain areas of a product that's typically hard to review and think of on the spur of the moment. Also the "retro" reviews are getting quite common specially with stuff that's off the beaten path like GPUs units, old consoles, old networking hardware, phones, etc...

Enough with the intro and here we are at the actual review! Note: from this point on nothing has been alltered from a raw notepad file typed on my tablet since the 3G was cutting out a lot (backwoods west virginia can do that to yah lol)

Magellan roadmate 3120

the magellan roadmate 3120 is a great midtier gpus unit that has a great ui, fast signal, decent amount of features, and is affordable and fun to use.

accuracy on eta decent

fast ui
great routing engine
ok voice
very fast with signal acquisition
very good on battery
very easy to use
very clear ui that looks great

persistent night mode ui saves battery and is easier to see
loud speaker
voice is clear

charging port location is wonky and cable attatch is flimsy
no ability to keep detailed stats on screen without tapping distance counter
no physical volume button
map updates are pricey at 89$USD

overall 8/10

screenshot gallery:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Aerohive Showdown! AP230 VS 370

Here’s the custom report that actually made it to the main blog! I hope you enjoy this quick showdown between the Aerohive AP230 VS 370!
Please note: if you’d like to view details such as in depth features, please see respective reviews [1] [2]. Also check there to get detailed test specs and sys specs.
Please also note: the main difference is the 230 uses a Broadcom chipset/radios and the 370 Uses Qualcomm Atheros chipset/radios.
The other features are the 370 has redundant PoE Links and higher Xmit power.
First adapter is the Asus AC53 USB 801.11ac adapter in 5Ghz 802.11ac mode:


Now, let’s see the same adapter in 2.4Ghz mode!:


Very drastic performance differences there! The AP230 performs much better in 5Ghz mode! Much higher throughput!
Now let’s take a look at the Ra-Link based laptop adapter for what most laptops have which is a 1x1 N150 chipset.


As you can see it’s much slower and not as stable!
On to the next adapter: The Edimax AC600, a cheap solution to add 5Ghz to a laptop that has a whitelist.


Again you can see that the throughput and signal is not as stable in the 370 as the 230. I only had one cutout on the 230 when the laptop had a CPU usage spike.

Roku TV and audio system streaming notes: The AP230 had far less issues with video streaming on the Roku TV than the AP370.
Winner of the showdown for stability and speed is the AP230. Much more stable connectivity and radios. The 370 might have higher range and power, it does not perform as well as the 230.

Aerohive AP370 review

4)Wireless configuration
5)Throughput tests (Wireless/Wired)
6)Closing Notes

Intro: The Aerohive AP370 is a enterprise level wireless access point that is somewhat affordable for small to medium businesses, has lots of features and can tolerate a lot of heavy usage that enterprises require. 
Review Note: I have been provided two APs  to test the really cool roaming features. 
Review Note 2: The only difference with this one is it uses an Atheros Chipset vs the 230’s Broadcom one
Review Note 3: There are a little bit of other differences like higher transmit and dual PoE

Features: The AP370 features the following:

1) Dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz operation with 3 x 3 MIMO connectivity at up to 1200Mbps
2) Remote mgmt with HiveManager
3) 2 wired Gigabit LAN port (PoE/ ETH) with Link aggregation
4) 4 3x3 mimo  x 5dBi  dual band internal antennas with 20dBm output power for great wireless coverage
5) SSIDs with configurable VLANs for each one providing more security then standard guest networks
6) Full VLAN configuration 
7) Full and extremely detailed traffic shaping (QoS) and firewall controls
8) Full client connectivity details and monitoring. 
9) Fixed and DHCP client address assignments
10) Fully customizable user/group policies
11) Full Intrusion Protection Services
12) SNMP
13) And lots more


1) Power brick was a POE injector. Allows for just one cable into the AP.
2) Instant setup was done with the cloud management system and was easy as the Meraki one was. Took a bit longer to configure itself, however. 
3) Also These are known for thier VLAN issues, however none of mine had that issue :)

Let's take a look at the really helpful status page that tells us all our status. (Hive MGr Cloud)

Wireless Configuration: 

Here’s the WLAN config screens:
Radio Settings (HiveMgr Cloud):

The AP370 supports WPA/WPA2 and supports PSK and Enterprise authentication types that can be different for each SSID. Selecting “Enterprise” allows you to use RADIUS Authentication, which allows you to define a username and password rather then a static key, allowing for more fine control over your wireless network. User based controls allow you to define limits PER USER so that if let’s say, they get fired, you just delete thier user account and not have to change the ENTIRE NETWORK’S encryption key.

Aerohive also has a “PPSK” where you can have different PSK keys for the same SSID without having to deploy a RADIUS server

The roaming works ok, however, the band steering does not work very well. I have several devices I have struggled to get to force to 5ghz and they do not unless I hit the “deauthenticate” button a few times. Very annoying. 

I do have sticky client issues with a media device. 

I have presented my config to let you know:

Throughput Tests: (Wireless) 

I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc. 

Test environment: (Set 1)

Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places. 

Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as theAP370): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client: (remote machine in other room 16 ft away 3 walls and thick chimney and dresser): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/6GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Asus AC53 USB WLAN (note: The Amped ACA1 does not work in that machine anymore and is unfit for tests till further notice and is no longer a recommended adapter)

5Ghz 802.11ac mode: Channel 44+ -69dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -59dBm 
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 10Mbytes/sec or 80Mbits/sec
Signal Notes: On a TCL Roku TV (40 inch) at the wifi scret screen at the same time of the cutoff had about 600glitches per second. This was while a microwave is in operation. I’ve never really had extreme cutouts like that while someone was using the microwave. It seems the radios are more sensitive to interference than other access points I’ve tested. 

Test environment: (Set 2) 

Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the AP370 is located. 

Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theAP370): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client (16 ft away thru 3 walls and a door): HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/300 GB HDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -40dBm

LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 4Mbytes/sec or 32Mbits/sec

Test environment: (Set 2a)

Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theAP370): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client (16 ft away thru 3 walls and a door): HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/300 GB HDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/Edimax AC600

5 GHz 802.11anac mode: Channel 44+ -67dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 9Mbytes/sec or 72Mbits/sec

Test environment: (Set 3)
Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as the AP370): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client (Same Room as AP370): HP /Core 2 Duo/4GB DDR2 RAM/320GB HDx2/Intel GMA/Windows Server 2012 R2 /NETGEAR A6200 WiFi USB3.0 Adapter
5Ghz 802.11an mode: Channel 44+ -37dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 20Mbytes/sec or 160Mbits/sec


Ø Excellent management software with lots of options
Ø Lots of RF tools to configure the WLAN radios to your needs
Ø Decent coverage and throughput 
Ø Very robust security controls and options

Ø Pricey
Ø No external antennas
Ø Sticky client issues
Ø Band steering issues
Ø Not as high throughput as AP230
Ø Not as stable connectivity as AP230
Ø Unstable 2.4Ghz performance

Rating:  5.5/10 
Recommended: Maybe

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

AMD denies TechpowerUp a review sample and all hell breaks loose.

AMD denies TechpowerUp a review sample and all hell breaks loose.

AMD announced thier R9 nano GPU. Of course the widely popular enthusiast site Tech Power Up wanted thier paws on a review sample so they can add it to thier ever growing list of very in-depth GPU reviews. AMD denies them the sample and now amd_roy on twitter is even gloating about how they can't by stating thier reviews as "unfair". has the scoop

This is sort of the deal I got with amped wireless but not as public. That company refuses to give me samples, even though I'm the one that's tested thier stuff the most thoroghly. (Note: I have removed the reviews for their stuff in the mean time till the launch of my new forums as well as to give them time to fix things with me and other reviewers.)

I have attatched some tweets from amd_roy and how immature he is being and such a bad move PR for AMD

And he says the same thing about another very repsected site as well

They then gave mommy tweeter type people that just mindlessly tweet how cute the card is and people like them aren't even reviewers... just tweeters

Amped did the same with me as well... they gave re/code a range extender and the reviewer didn't understand basic RF101, was a mommy blogger type, and didn't even bench. Also 3dgameman is just a shill and he doesn't go in depth and shows off a whole wall of thier stuff behind him in his videos.

These companies really don't know how to handle PR and it will bite them in the end.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pepwave 300M review

Wireless configuration
Throughput tests (Wireless/Wired)
Closing Notes

Intro: The Pepwave 300Mis a enterprise level wireless access point that is affordable for small to medium businesses, has a standard amount of features and can tolerate a lot of heavy usage that enterprises require.

Features: The Pepwave 300Mfeatures the following:

Dual band 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz operation with 2 x 2 MIMO connectivity at up to 300Mbps
2 wired Gigabit LAN ports
2 2x2 mimo  x 5dBi  dual band  SMA antennas
SSIDs with configurable VLANs for each one providing more security then standard guest networks
Traffic shaping (QoS)
Client connectivity details and monitoring.
Fixed and DHCP client address assignments
And lots more

Setup is very awkward and you have to manually connect with a static IP to the very different address and you can’t remotely provision it from a wired desktop like other access points like the xirrus arrays.
The peplink did not like having its IP address changed. I set to a static IP so I can remotely provision and it did not like it and required a reset. Also placing it into “router mode” freaked it out.
I reconfigured it and it still will not provide “internet access” status even with new SSID/VLAN/DHCP settings.
Support has been engaged
Support issue resolved, however unsatisfactory. The Valuepoint Networks 12-p PoE switch does not work with this. Had to use an injector and direct to router.

Let's take a look at the dashboard.

Wireless Configuration:

Here’s the WLAN config screens:
Radio Settings:

AP Main Settings:

The Pepwave 300Msupports WPA/WPA2 and supports PSK and Enterprise authentication types that can be different for each SSID. Selecting “Enterprise” allows you to use RADIUS, which allows you to define a username and password rather then a static key, allowing for more fine control over your wireless network.

Traffic Shaping:
You can do traffic shaping to make sure each client has equal bandwidth and also to make sure certain clients that are more important have more bandwidth then other clients like important servers, mission critical workstations, etc. Very useful. Not as robust as Aruba, Meraki, Xirrus, etc, however.

Throughput Tests: (Wireless)

I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc.

Test environment: (Set 1)

Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.

Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as thePepwave 300): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client: (remote machine in other room): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Amped Wireless ACA1 USB WLAN connection:USB3 via a PCI-Express addon card.

5Ghz 802.11ac mode: Channel 44+ -56dBm

LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 11Mbytes/sec or 88Mbits/sec

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 6 -51dBm

LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec

Test environment: (Set 2)

Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the Pepwave 300Mis located.

Specs of server (my machine in the same room as thePepwave 300): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/500GB SSHD /AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -59dBm

LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 3Mbytes/sec or 24Mbits/sec


Same system WLAN USB (Edimax AC600)

5.0Ghz 802.11an mode channel 161+ -64dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec

2.4Ghz 802.11n mode channel 1 -62dBm


The Pepwave 300MWireless Access Point is a decent cloud managed wireless access point. It has good 5Ghz connectivity, lots of features, and a nice cloud managed UI.
Decent management software
Decent interface
Upgradeable antennas

Unstable connectivity
Does not like certain PoE switches
5 Ghz OR 2.4Ghz, non concurrent dual band

Rating:  4/10
Recommended: no