Can't connect to SDR using reverse proxy after using a hotspot on a smartphone [not a Kiwi problem]

edited May 2019 in Problems Now Fixed
Step by step what I did:

1. KiwiSDR on local UTP cable connected internet AND proxy -> PERFECT.
2. I want to get the SDR in a forest area so the noise levels will drop enormous.
3. The people where I can install the SDR use fiber internet but it's not convenient to drill about 5 holes to get the UTP cable to the SDR. The WiFi signal is too weak, a range extender in the middle is also no option because I have still to drill holes to get outside.
4. So I got this idea, I brought a data SIM only plan, use it in an old smartphone and organize a hotspot, no problem.
5. The smartphone has of course no UTP connection so I configured a range extender as UTP data transfer unit. The speed is about 10 Mbit/sec down (not interesting) and 1 Mbit/sec up (3G) in the forest. When I want I can switch to 4 G and have a quicker connection but most of the time this consumes much more data (strange but true).
6. Laptop connected to the range extender, UTP works fine to connect to internet, WiFi works fine as well.
7. Now it’s getting important, how to connect to the SDR!?
8. Range extender connected via UTP to the SDR, “can’t find server” (of course because the IP is wrong for the proxy).
9. Log in kiwisdr.local:8073/admin. No way. To be 100% sure but ridiculous, connect from laptop via WiFi to the smartphone hotspot and try to get through the range extender to the SDR, no way.
10. Of course I am dropped out of the SDR.HU listing, I am invisible because not connected anymore to the proxy. Of course http://kiwisdr.local:8073/ doesn’t work either.
11. What is the problem, why it is not possible to get into the SDR and re(register) to the proxy? When I have no access, I can’t re(register).
12. Back to the old connection, plugged out the UTP cable from the range extender and back in the fiber modem, within a few seconds a working SDR and Admin pages. After a few minutes my link on SDR.HU was operational again.
13. I’m lost right now. No options left insight my limited network knowledge.
14. Is it not possible to set up a proxy with another parameter, let’s say on a unique MAC address?
15. What should I do, please HELP!!!

Best regards,

René / The Netherlands (PE0RBE)


  • Is the range extender in bridge mode? (taking the hotspot wifi and bridging that to the LAN port) if so, is it in single client or full on bridge mode (more than one client).

    I'd start by putting the laptop on the same network as the Kiwi (use a non-managed network switch after the range extender if only one port), find the kiwi on there using something like Angry IP scanner (cos it's very quick). That is assuming the bridge does more than one device. If the bridge is single device power it down then back on with nothing connected, then connect and power up the Kiwi.

    The issue to me is that you don't know if the Kiwi is up and fully routed, there are a few things that could be stopping it once up but you do need to find out what condition it is in.
    I'd not worry too much about finding it by name, find it by IP address then work towards the net. There are a few points where this could fail but bridges can be a bit awkward depending on what MAC they present upstream and what mode they are in.
  • No idea if the range extender is in bridge mode, I have to access and look. The laptop connects perfectly to the UTP port and Wifi, no problems to get the hotspot signal through to the laptop and have a good internet connection. As I said, when I connect back to the wired house network, the proxy works perfectly and of course I can access the SDR (local & admin). I have made already so much costs, I hoped this would work easily and no need to buy an expensive MiFi with UTP port for such a simple task. The rest you are writing is a bit of abacadabra for me. Why has it always be so difficult to set something up!?
  • The issue may be as simple as the wifi bridge is only serving one item and it has that single item locked to the laptop, that is why I suggested power off the extender/bridge (and Kiwi) then power on the extender first with then the Kiwi.
    Without knowing the extender and few more details it's hard to know at a basic level if the link should work and when it does work if other things like the laptop will be able to connect from the wireless side.

    1. what make/model is the extender (so I can look up the instructions)
    2. what brand of mobile is providing the wifi
  • The WiFi extender is a NetGear WN3000RP and the old smartphone is a HTC One+. I will try to power things down and up again, see what happens. In the menu's of the range extenders I don't see anything about bridged modes.
  • edited May 2019
    Looks like it is a single device through the lan port. It is important to ensure the link is good via that route (as you have) but I would then power cycle the extender so it sees the Kiwi as the only device. Power cycling the Kiwi as well is just ensuring that when it boots the extender is ready to serve it an IP address.

  • Thanks for your effort Powernumpty, nothing worked! I spend hours at this thing. I just ordered a Huawei E5885 4G LTE MiFi for 32 users, enough I think ;-). When this also not works, I will send the MiFi back and sell the carbon mast, the KiwiSDR with metal enclosure and the Wellbrook ALA1530LN with M&P UltraFlex 5/7 cables. An expensive $ 2,000,- experiment but in the end useless at home, too much qrm everywhere "THANKS" to poweline adapters, solar panels and all other SH*TTY CRAP. Better listen to working SDR's somewhere in the middle of nowhere, much cheaper! The rest of the year I have a useless data SIM card till the plan runs out.
  • edited May 2019
    Sounds like a networking check needed not giving up! Especially if you have access to a rural location that just needs that last few meters of connection.
    Some of us on here would love that sort of opportunity.
    Just let us know how far you get and I’m sure there is a solution close by.

    Good luck with it.
  • First the MiFi, maybe it works.
  • jksjks
    edited May 2019
    I cannot debug a network setup this complex from afar. I don't even understand it fully.

    I spent two hours today trying to setup something similar (although simpler). I have a little tp-link wr802n wifi router with an ethernet port. I tried everything but was never able to pair it with my phone (iPhone 5S) in hotspot mode. I could pair it with my regular wifi router just fine. And the laptop will pair with the phone hotspot no problem. But the 802n and phone won't pair. I tried all the 802n modes (hotspot, range extender, client). Nothing works. My everyday Kiwi uses a different model tp-link wifi range extender to overcome cabling limitations. Works great.

    So I have no test environment in which to debug a possible Kiwi problem when using a wifi router/range-extender paired with a phone. But it's hard to imagine how this is any different from other range-extender setups that work. The phone is just a hotspot. Even if temperamental.
  • John,
    On the WR802N I'd reset it, restart the iPhone then try.
    I have one in use here (client mode) on the second Kiwi (to Microtik AP) and it does need to connect to the right router MAC, I.E. I can't set it up for SSID "HomeWifi" on one AP then move it to another access point with the same SSID, that caught me out while rushing, the MAC was almost the same.

    I assume the iPhone has the exact same MAC every time the HotSpot is enabled or that will cause issues.
    In client mode the single client behind it should be connected after the TP-Link is powered, they can take a while to route as it seems to sometimes initially show the AP the same MAC for TP-Link and the Kiwi. My TP-Link is set to get an address by DHCP, Kiwi fixed IP btw.

    Other issues I've had in the past
    Localisation, region set on wireless devices before they will work
    Password too complex/unsupported characters for some devices (yes in this day and age).
  • On the WR802N I'd reset it, restart the iPhone then try.
    Did that. Many, many times.
  • I will try with the slightly older model of tp-link we have at work where there is an iPhone (6) spare.
    One thing I have noticed on iPhone initial wifi setup is they are more distance sensitive than Android so I wonder if that could affect it as a hotspot.
    I see the hotspot needs 8 or more characters so I'll try simple characters and only 8, just in case the TP-link is in any way similar to my cameras here they have some stupid low limit.
  • So far hotspot set up on iPhone, TL-WR702N reset and details for hotspot entered.
    Bar on iPhone says item connected then not a few times, walked away for coffee and to find something to put on the lan side (someone has wiped my test laptop, well thanks...) blue bar now solid. Booted Live linux tested internet access.

    So TL-WR702N to iPhone 6 hotspot works.
    On the addressing I see the iPhone can give out only a few addresses (Network Range - so safe static useable address for a Kiwi should be something like, with gateway, broadcast

    Not sure if I can usefully try that on a Kiwi BBG without cape, might have a go when home.
  • I'M SO HAPPY :-)!! Today the Huawei Mobile WiFi Pro2 MiFi (E5885Ls) arrived. Micro-SIM (data plan only) in, did some adjustments (admin password) and connected the UTP cable to the Kiwi. I made a laptop WiFi connection, no problem whatsoever, could enter the Kiwi ADMIN page and (re)register...finished in about 30 seconds!! Many thanks John and Powernumpty for all the effort you put in and try several things for me. Obviously the problem was the Netgear range-extender. One last off-topic question, is it possible to enter the ADMIN page of the SDR when you are not close to the SDR and have no WiFi connection? It should be nice to modify time limits when the data usage is too much or e.g. change station labels. Grtz, from Holland. 73, Ren? (PE0RBE).
  • Not happy anymore :-(!! The Kiwi was connected in no time and now I realised why. I connected the laptop via WiFi to the MiFi and THEN I can access the SDR without problems (same network) and could (re)register with a different IP number. But now I'm not in range of the network anymore and experience the same problem, nobody can reach my SDR! It's a pity, finally I had a spot without any man-made noise but nobody can access the SDR.
  • edited May 2019
    The MiFi probably acts as a router, I might be wrong when using the proxy options but I think you still need to tell the MiFi to forward port 8073 (whatever port the Kiwi is on) to the Kiwi.
    If it has PNP enabled turning on the "Auto add NAT rule..." might fix that.

    For manual port forward setup the Kiwi should always be on the same (internal) address each time so there may be an option for doing that in the Huawei administration interface.
    Assuming you didn't use that admin interface to set it up looks like that may be on when you are in it's wifi.
  • Hi all, finally it's working! I didn't do anything since yesterday, somehow it worked right away as I refreshed at the alternative location, also enough 4G signal. I'm not sure how the data consumption will work out so I have put a 90 min 24 hrs cap and 30 min inactivity cap. You can listen to my SDR when you like, the password is my callsign pe0rbe. The Wellbrook ALA1530LN is 3 m above ground level but situated about 10 m from electric wire for cows, that's a big pity. Finally no powerline adapters anymore between 5.5 and 28.0 MHz! The dominant popping sound is the cowwire, maybe somebody knows a solution to get of it? The noise figures 0~2 MHz are about the same as at my home location (-110 dBm SSB) but the rest of the bands are much better except of the popping sound. In Holland we can start hobby radio legally at the unused AM band, low power AM (LPAM) max. 100 W PEP. I use the SDR as "control receiver" for my station at 4 kms away. You can receive my station Album AM at a temporary frequency of 1035 kHz, maybe next month I can opt for a better frequency (small garden, a higher frequency is better). This weekend I'm relaying Mi Amigo because of his 45 aniversary party (from the MV Castor ship in Blankenberge harbor Belgium) since they had to leave the Northsea as pirate. So from now till Sunday 00:00 hrs CET it's old fashioned AM radio :-)! Grtz, Ren?.
  • edited May 2019
    Glad it is working, Noise Blanker helps with impulse noise like the fence (seems to work well) something fired up while I was listening so you may have a small source of local switchmode.
    I'd be tempted to try rotating the loop to see if you can find it with the null, from your description of the location you should be able to fine tune the install.
    Here I live with my loop 98% of the time nulled on one house, took me a while work out the most useful orientation.

    Background noise level is much better than here, nice spot.

    Your AM radio is nice and strong there too, I had no idea that sort of thing was legal.
  • It's a pity that I can't move the antenna further away, the fence is only 10 m away. I tested with my Philips D2999 world receiver but also 50 m from the fence you hear the clicking noise, the SDR/Loop combination filters the click to a sort of plop but ideal is another thing, it is visible as horizontal stripes on the waterfall. I was very glad to locate the SDR about 4 kms away from my Tx so I can use it as a control Rx. Our Telecom Agency started a pilot a few years ago and it was a success, about 65 stations participated. You can choose 3 options, a 1 W test Tx (only @ 1485 kHz) and 100 W. The separation between stations are VERY strictly controlled (antenna register, exact location), it has to be minimal 5 kms for 1 W and 60 or more kms for 100 W. When 60 kms is not met, you can opt for 50 W when the separation is between 50 and 60 kms. The costs are about € 1.000,- per year but you can add multiple extra costs for advertisement, internet stream and so on. It is not monitored if you transmitting or not. The other frequencies are 675/747/828/891/1008/1035/1224/1251/1332/1584 and 1602. These are all the frequencies ever used by the government. Also the 1975 band plan is strictly followed, the "contour lines" (that is the reach of the transmitter) are leading so you can't op for the same frequencies all over Holland. Next week the Telecom Agency will publish about 10 extra frequencies because there are too many stations to give a license. The extra frequencies comes from Greece, the surrounding countries must agree and no frequency was ever used in those countries so it is a puzzle to get suitable frequencies. Also is auction is a pain, 2 seconds after the start you are number 35 and too late, one second before the given time or a double request will be thrown in the bin... Every license is granted for 5 years and extendable for another 5 years. Grtz, René.
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