My Experience with the Motorola CPEo 400 Wimax CPE

Where I live we have no proper DSL (512Kbps max), GSM signals are weak. Sometimes I have to stick my head out of the window just to be able to make a call. Even when I got my Wimax account the indoor CPE kept disconnecting every few minutes. I finally managed to get my hands on an Outdoor CPE which made things much better. Typical for someone living at the edge of the world (West Amman).

The Motorola CPEs act as network gateways, they connect to the Wimax network and do NATing for you. That’s nice for a home network, less stuff to configure and less clutter.

The indoor CPE worked well when it had coverage, but when I switched to the CPEo 400 I started running into all sorts of problems; DHCP and DNS stopped working, Connection drops, signal losses, and CPE restarts for no apparent reason.

Calling customer care for a week didn’t help, as you know it’s useless if your problem is a bit different. Oh believe me, Orange’s customer care is much worse, at least with Zain they tell you if they’re experiencing technical issues, with Orange it’s always your indoor wiring.

Turns out there are some bugs in the OS running on the CPE, I’m assuming it’s some sort of Linux distribution gone horribly wrong (Software version 02.01.90-02/11/2009). If you turn on UPnP all Hell breaks loose. I thought I should share this because of the lack of documentation and support for this particular unit.

You have 2 solutions, choose whichever fits your technical skills and/or your time.

Solution 1 (simple): This was the first one I went with, just connect the CPE to the WAN port of your aDSL router. Configure a static IP address and DNS on the router so it won’t use the CPE and use that IP as the DMZ. This will have the CPE forward all traffic to the router and have the router handle all the UPnP issues. This, however, you’d end up with double NATing, something not everybody likes.

Solution 2 (A bit technical): Install dd-wrt on your aDSL router and have it take of DHCP and DNS, then configure the default gateway as your CPE. You won’t have UPnP here but you can set up port forwarding on the CPE which should work fine.

 

Note, 15/8/2012: I no longer use this device and I do not recommend using it for anybody. My ISP (Zain Jordan) had very horrible customer support. I have switched to ADSL more than a year ago and would recommend everybody to do the same. Stay away from any ISP that uses this hardware

24 thoughts on “My Experience with the Motorola CPEo 400 Wimax CPE

  1. Nice post Shami. I am a reseller of CLEAR’s WiMAX service in the US and we also have issues with trying to use the indoor CPE in some fringe locations. Currently, CLEAR doesn’t support or sell an outdoor solution. I am doing research to find out if there is a solution I can use as an outdoor solution with CLEAR’s WiMAX service. CPEo 400 may work for us but I am not sure about how to go about getting one. What was the cost on this device versus the indoor solution?

    • I originally leased the indoor unit. When it didn’t work they wanted to charge me extra for the outdoor unit but after discussions with the manager I got it for the same price. No clue how much it costs to buy, sorry.

  2. Hi, Mohammed, thanks for the post.
    But I need more information of how to configure dd-wrt.
    I have Linksys WRT54G2, and I install dd-wrt on it successfully. The internet is working but I have some problems from time to time, that did not happened before (When I use the wired direct connect from the outdoor motorola CPE), I believe there are some problems in my dd-wrt modem setting.
    I searched the net for the best setup but I couldn’t find something similar.
    I will really appreciate your help in this.
    Thanks alot.

    • Hi Hesham,

      Sometimes the CPE also stops doing DHCP and DNS, that might be your issue. What kind of problem are you facing exactly?

  3. It is slow compared to the direct connection from Motorola CPE in Both Browsing/Downloading, Sometimes it stop the service and I turn dd-wrt modem off and turn on again.

    I believe there is a problem in my dd-wrt setting.
    When I go to the motorola CPE page it does not have many options thats why there is nothing to change, currently the Motorola CPE settings is left as it is even when I put the dd-wrt.

  4. No its not that mohammed, I have utorrent.
    The problem mohammed that I do not know what setting is right, But for sure I am not in switch+DNS/DHCP mode .

    when I go to the basic setting I found it :
    Setup -> Basic Setup -> WAN Setup -> Automatic Configuration – DHCP

    What I need is to make it switch + access point, So I can connect directly to the Motorola CPE.

    I am working on something now and I will let you know what is the result.

    • Yeah utorrent is a bittorrent client, so that might be your issue :)

      Go to “Setup” then “Basic Setup”, set “WAN Connection Type” to “Disabled” and check the box next to “Assign WAN Port to Switch”. This will make dd-wrt act as a switch/access point. Of course you need to disable DHCP. You can find that in the “Services” tab.

      Good luck

  5. Done. It worked fine with me now, as you mentioned

    I am now connected directly to the Motorola CPE, with filling other information as well

    Setup -> Basic Setup -> Network Setup -> Router IP
    Local IP Address : IP in the Motorola IP pool
    Subnet Mask : 255.255.255.0
    Gateway : My motorola IP
    Local DNS : My motorola IP

    Setup -> Basic Setup -> Network Setup -> WAN Port
    Assign WAN Port to Switch : Checked

    Setup -> Basic Setup -> Network Setup ->Network Address Server Settings (DHCP)
    DHCP Type: Disabled

    This will be useful for others as well

    Thaks alot Mohammad

  6. Hi Shami
    I am using Motorolla CPEo400 out door device at my Home. It works fine the only Issue that I am facing is that the port forwarding does not work properly.
    what I have done, I enebale the UPnP and enetered the Local IP Address of my computer in the DMZ and then on the Forwarding Page I enetered the same IP Address and LAN & WAN ports are set to 80. It works only if access my machine from the same Machine, I mean if I use the Public IP and try to access a website that is hosted on my Home PC it works fine. but when I try to access that Public IP from My office it does not work. can you please let me know where is the problem and how can I resolve it. I am in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and the service is provided by http://www.go.com.sa .

    regards

  7. You don’t need to place your IP on both the DMZ and port forwarding. What I’ve seen is that you need to restart the CPE after changing port forwarding settings.

    My CPE fried last week, I should check with maintenance tomorrow inshalla. Can you tell me which software version you have on yours?

  8. @Mohammad Al-Shami
    Hi
    Thanks for your reply. I erased the IP address from DMZ but the port forwarding stopped working at all even from the same machine. I re- eneterd the IP address it started to work from the same machine. But I not working from other network.
    the software version of my device is : Device Software Version: 02.02.09 (04/29/2009)
    is there any update available if from where I can get this
    regards

  9. Qaisar Nadeem :@Mohammad Al-Shami HiThanks for your reply. I erased the IP address from DMZ but the port forwarding stopped working at all even from the same machine. I re- eneterd the IP address it started to work from the same machine. But I not working from other network.the software version of my device is : Device Software Version: 02.02.09 (04/29/2009)is there any update available if from where I can get thisregards

    Part Number: 0114695D01
    Model ID: CPEo35400
    Hardware Version: D02R05
    Serial Number: TQ098S01C8
    WiMAX MAC Address: 00:1C:11:27:C4:BE
    LAN MAC Address: 00:1E:5A:AB:79:EC
    Service Provider ID: Atheeb
    Device Bootstrap Version: 10
    Data Provisioning Version: 10

  10. I have that exact version. Haven’t seen any updates after that so I guess it’s the latest version.

    It’s buggy IMHO. What you need to do is disable UPnP and just use DMZ or port forwarding.

    If I’m not mistaken, you shouldn’t be able to access the forwarded ports using the public IP address. Try accessing them from another network. I once tested it with my Xbox; The Xbox needs 6 ports to be forwarded. Using DMZ worked as well as forwarding those ports individually. But you need to reboot the CPE before that takes effect.

    • Sorry for the late reply.

      Check the port forwarding menu in the CPE control panel, it won’t work until you restart it

  11. I have motorola cpe0 400 and indoor unit as well.My indoor unit authenticates on my ISP’s server on the base of its MAC.I use to face signal problem while using indoor unit.Is it possible that my ODU act as proxy and gets authenticate on network by using the MAC of indoor unit.Can any body have any idea how to do this.

    • Sorry but I don’t think so, but you could try something.

      If your CPE has the Engineering panel installed, try clicking on it’s icon in the status page, right next to the signal. If you get into a hidden menu, try to see if you can change the MAC address there. Someone from my ISP logged in and deleted the panel so I can’t check it myself, sorry.

  12. Salam, Muhammad AL-Shami….I am using Motorola CPEo35400 outdoor for Wateen internet….but the internet speed is slow…Can u tell me that how can i boostup my internet speed…with this motorola device…..?

    • Salam,

      There are a few factors that determine the speed of your WiMAX connection, check the signal strength and the signal to noise ratio. The only thing you could do is realign your CPE to get a better signal. Now that my area has proper ADSL coverage I switched and never looking back to WiMAX, I suggest you do the same.

  13. Dear Al shami
    Some more information about my devicebasic properties of the device.

    Part Number: 0114695D01
    Model ID: CPEo35400
    Hardware Version:D02R05
    Serial Number:TQ098Y03LG
    WiMAX MAC Address:00:1C:11:28:03:C6
    LAN MAC Address:00:1E:5A:AB:FD:92
    Service Provider ID:Atheeb
    Device Bootstrap Version:20
    Data Provisioning Version:20

    Device Software Version: 02.02.17 (07/13/2009)

    Installed Add-On Software Packages
    cneomi: 02.02.17
    l2tpv3: 02.02.17
    lang-de-web: 02.02.17
    lang-es-web: 02.02.17
    lang-fr-web: 02.02.17
    lang-pt-web: 02.02.17

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