About two weeks ago I fixed the wireless black hole that was my new home by installing SoftBank Mobile’s “Home Antenna FT” femtocell adapter. It provides indoors mobile phone reception for my family, connecting the small mobile phone cell to SoftBank’s network via my FLET’S Hikari Next broadband connection.
Yesterday I noticed that the antenna had stopped working and my Android had no reception. It had been shipped to us with a “Hikari BB Unit” broadband router.
When I first installed the Home Antenna FT I found that I could get it working by simply hooking it up on the LAN side of my existing broadband router. No luck this time. Wherever I connected it inside the LAN its status LED turned red and I didn’t give me any signal. As far as I knew nothing had changed in my LAN.
After some fruitless poking around and a half hour phone call to SoftBank’s hotline I had little alternative but starting from scratch, following the supplied Home Antenna FT setup instructions precisely. This involved connecting the following to an Ethernet hub (I used the four port hub on the LAN side of a spare router with its WAN side disconnected, but any cheap 4-port hub will do):
- one of the Ethernet ports on the FTTH ONU
- the WAN port of the “Hikari BB Unit” broadband router
- a PC (I used an ancient notebook running Windows 2000)
Then I popped the CD-ROM that came with the FLET’S ONU into the latop’s drive and followed the SoftBank configuration steps. It involved installing some software for PPPoE, which Windows theoretically doesn’t really need, rebooting and then accessing a FLET’S website and entering a CAF ID and access key.
Not sure why, but after that the “Internet connection” LED of the Hikari BB Unit turned green and the Home Antenna FT started providing a signal after it was hooked up one of the LAN ports of the Hikari BB Unit. I could then remove the hub and laptop, directly hooking up the WAN port of the BB Unit to the FLET’S ONU and everything still worked.
Out of curiosity I once moved the Home Antenna FT back to my other router, but still no joy: It only worked with the Hikari BB Unit. So I moved it back there and it will stay there.