I've been using OpenWrt for about 12 years across dozens of different device types over the years but I've never used it for cellular or outdoors before. I'm looking for recommendations for an OpenWrt based outdoor LTE router, must be PoE capable and work with modems like a SierraWireless MC7455. I've tried an EZR30 from www.outdoorrouter.com but so far I'm striking out and can't get reliable connection with it and looking for alternatives if we can't get it to work.
My mom lives out in the middle of nowhere and her only Internet is cellular. She has an indoor LTE modem but because of where her house is on the property she doesn't get reliable signal anywhere in or near the house. We've tried signal boosters and outdoor antennae but there just isn't much signal at the site of her house for them to "boost" or pickup on. My brother and I have done extensive signal tests around her property though and have found a rise within Ethernet/PoE range where we want to put a weatherized outdoor LTE device on a mast and then pipe it back to her house. Our speeds at the location have been quite good even from the ground, and from the top of our mast we think we can get line-of-sight to a couple of towers.
Greenpacket OT-350 devices have Barrier Breaker by default installed. It has its own GUI, is LTE capable (3,7GHz). It is configurable even via command line.
Rather than have it be a router, just have it be an access point (ie. not do any of the "smarts") then use a purpose built access point with LTE, like the Mikrotik wAP LTE or something similar.
Run the ethernet back to the house, and put the router with OpenWrt there.
My setup is a Mifi like LTE device (provided "free" from the phone company) on the hill, several extension cords to bring it power, and a Nanobeam M5 as its client at the house.
The power connection is the biggest source of trouble. I'm thinking of going to solar power instead. If you put in Ethernet it should be a good quality underground rated cable, and buried the whole way.
Would another solution possibly be an indoor router plus USB LTE modem, to be mounted outside by a USB extension cable?
you could do that out on a pole but it would require a special weatherproof enclosure.
That's a fine thought, I had completely forgotten and not considered MicroTik but they have several suitable options. I'll look into the MicroTik RBwAPR-2nD with either their own R11e-LTE-US modem, or a SierraWireless MC7455 (if it's supported) to get a few extra bands for flexibility.