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MacBook Air and EVDO (3G Modem)

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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6207
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: MacBook Air and EVDO (3G Modem) Reply with quote



This thread will discuss your mobile broadband options for the new MacBook Air.

Since the MacBook Air doesn't have an ExpressCard slot (or PCMCIA), but does have one USB port, there are basically 2 options for MacBook Air usersw:

- a USB modem
- a Router + USB or ExpressCard modem

For customers getting the MacBook Air, it is unlikely they would want to carry around any more than they would have to, so must may not like the router option. However, with a small CradlePoint CTR350 or battery operated CradlePoint PHS300, you would then only use Airport to hookup to the router and that would leave your USB port open.

Check out this article for info on which aircards work well with the MacBook Air and which ones do not: 3G / 4G Aircard Compatibility With Apple's MacBook Air

If you are new to EVDO, be sure to let the EVDO Experts at 3Gstore.com help you before, during AND after the sale (yes, we know Macs), just
contact us.
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Last edited by Michael on Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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3Gstore1
3Gstore Employee


Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 818
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone already put in a pre-order for an MBA?

Tempting, but I'm going to wait for a little while, see how well the SSD drives work Wink
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bobevdo
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Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ME I DiD!!!!!! :WOOTERCAKES:
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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6207
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like we will have to do a lot of testing with all the EVDO USB Modems.


Engadget is reporting that the USB727/U727 doesn't fit in the MacBook Air, see:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/24/adding-insult-to-injury-usb-3g-modems-wont-fit-in-the-macbo/



BTW, there may be a way to get the U727/USB727 to work - we will know more in a week or two.
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rayphone
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Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Valley Park, Missouri

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Belkin Flexible Adapter Reply with quote

If anyone has their MBA, have you tried connecting the Belkin Flexible Adapter to the side of the computer? If it works, we'll be able to have the 727 run parallel to the side of the computer. it only costs $10.00, but shipping is almost as expensive. How about a break on shipping these small cost items?
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jackrodgers
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Joined: 23 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't the U727 ship with a Y cable? The Y cable can greatly improve performance of the modem by allowing you to position it so as to get the best signal which may not be achieved by direct connection to the usb port, even if you can swivel the modem.

Endgadget should make that point.
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3Gstore
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Joined: 19 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, this is a good sign:



Om Malik got his MacBook Air, and successfully got his Sprint U727 working with it.
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jdgmd
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Joined: 14 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sprint U727 works fine with the y cable on my MBA.
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Nosix
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just received the Verizon USB 727 modem and am testing it with my MacBook Air. A few observations:

1. It is a tight fit inserting the USB connector into the port on the MBA, but the USB727 powers up OK. Since the USB connector is not completely seated, it sometimes pulls loose and disconnects. There is also too much tension on the connector door. I don't have a swivel adaptor yet but I tried a short USB extension.

2. I Installed the device using VZAccess manager after entering the ESN on the Verizon website. Activation went OK. I was able to connect via VZAccess. After the Activation process, I could also configure the Novatel Wireless CDMA Device to connect without using VZAccess (be sure to set "Ignore dial tone when dialing" under advanced properties.

3. Speedtest results were affected by the configuration. I was only able to get full Rev A speeds (here in Orlando, FL) when connecting from the Native OSX Network control panel, and when no USB extension was used. When connecting with VZAccess, Download was intermittent and <200kbps. The short USB extension I tried also seems to reduce the speed test results, so I'll need to try ether a swivel adaptor or another cable for comparison.
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3Gstore1
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nosix wrote:
so I'll need to try ether a swivel adaptor or another cable for comparison.


3Gstore carries a good USB Swivel Adapter I haven't tested it on the MBA, but it looks like it should easily fit in the connector door of the MBA. Not to mention you can put the modem in just about any position (see the video on the product page).
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freshaire
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: MacBook Air and EVDO Reply with quote

Michael wrote:


This thread will discuss your EVDO options for the new MacBook Air.

We will know more once we get our hands on one to test.

Since the MacBook Air doesn't have an ExpressCard slot (or PCMCIA), but does have one USB port, there are basically 2 options for MacBook Air usersw:

- a USB EVDO modem
- an EVDO Router + EVDO USB or ExpressCard Slot



A third, but probably less preferred option would be to use the AirBook's built in WiFi and connect to an EVDO router.

Edit: nevermind... I gotta learn to read... Confused
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jackrodgers
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Joined: 23 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been a Mac Consultant for over 22 years and yesterday visited the Boca Apple Store to replace a MacBook battery.

Toyed with a MacBook Air for a bit and thought about the 22 year path and how I was one of those who brought the use of the Mac to the public and solved the system problems, etc. long before the Internet and the Genius Bar. How sad it was, there was no red carpet for me. No parade. No cheers. In fact neither Apple nor Filemaker has ever recognized the consultants and teachers who made their success possible. (Talk about off thread...)

Anyway, the AirBook is all about wifi. If you can pay the price for one add on the cost of a Cradlepoint.

Cradlepoint should also add a model with the card built in, it's kinda tiny and with an input for the antenna.

Apple should also have an option for the built in EVDO card.
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Nosix
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Torrey wrote:
3Gstore carries a good USB Swivel Adapter

Unfortunately, I didn't see the swivel adaptor when I ordered the USB727 from the 3GStore site ... my swivel is coming from another vendor.

However, if the male USB portion of the adaptor is anything like the connector on the Belkin USB swivel hub, It may require modification to clear the case of the MaBook Air. More info when I try it.

Update: The Belkin USB swivel adaptor works well. There are no problems with clearance at the connector door, and the USB727 can be repositioned for best signal strength.


Last edited by Nosix on Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:31 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Michael
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Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an interesting thought.

Last year, we ripped apart a Mac Mini, removed the BlueTooth module, ripped apart a Novatel 720 modem, took out the EVDO module and placed it inside the Mac Mini. Guess what? It worked, we had a Mac Mini with built-in EVDO.

See:

Current Intel Macs Already Support 3G / EVDO - EVDOinfo.com

Does anyone (that has ripped apart their MacBook Air) know if the BlueTooth module is the same as in other Macs? If so, it may be possible to embed EVDO in the MacBook Air - how cool would that be. One issue would be built-in antennas.

I may have to get a MacBook Air to see, but I don't know if I would want to rip it apart.
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jackrodgers
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Joined: 23 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are tear apart sites. Maybe they would be receptive to your idea and save you some bucks.

The Air Book didn't seem to run as hot as the MacBooks but then the Apple Store was way cool-cold unlike the warm temp of last year. The books have always begun heating up over 72 degrees or so.

It is one of the few products that seem made 'just right'. My poor MacBook Pro seems old, fat and ugly now. It didn't two days ago...
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