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Post Info TOPIC: 4G and Voice Booster


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4G and Voice Booster
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Looking for a booster that will work with Verizon here in Texas.  The location were heading to has 4G but only at 1-2 bars at best.

Our equipment is 2 smartphones and the Millenicom MIFI jetpack 4620L.  

I know in the past before the 4G speed that a Wilson SOHO 60 worked well as an all around solution for phones and internet.  So whats good now?

Somewhere down the road we will update the jetpack to the pantech so that would need to be considered.  And also while we are in middle Texas right now, later this spring we will probably be headed to south Texas were Verizon is weak anyway.  

 



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There is no wireless amp solution for 4G that is viable in RV use. Your best bet is to use a Wilson Sleek to boost your data for the Jetpack. If you need a voice boost then you will have to use the phone on speaker or BT headset and put it in the cradle.

You should not have any issues with 1-2 bars as long as it is aa steady 1-2. I often run on only that with no issues.

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X2  The Wilson Sleek, we got one for ~$100, works very well for a cradle amp.  An excellent interim solution till the 4G hard wired amps come down in price.  The commercial versions are just a tad bit high for our taste at this time.



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Bill and Linda wrote:

 

X2  The Wilson Sleek, we got one for ~$100, works very well for a cradle amp.  An excellent interim solution till the 4G hard wired amps come down in price.  The commercial versions are just a tad bit high for our taste at this time.


 Not only are they high priced but the wireless ones have antenna spacing requirements that are typically either impossible, or hard, to meet in an RV. My advice is to stick to the Sleek until the new amps come out and are PROVEN.



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Jack Mayer wrote:
Bill and Linda wrote:

 

X2  The Wilson Sleek, we got one for ~$100, works very well for a cradle amp.  An excellent interim solution till the 4G hard wired amps come down in price.  The commercial versions are just a tad bit high for our taste at this time.


 Not only are they high priced but the wireless ones have antenna spacing requirements that are typically either impossible, or hard, to meet in an RV. My advice is to stick to the Sleek until the new amps come out and are PROVEN.


 

Indeed – For what they cost you would think the isolation filters could do better rather than just requiring wide antenna spacing for isolation.  They’ll get better just like 3G did.



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Bill and Linda wrote:

Indeed – For what they cost you would think the isolation filters could do better rather than just requiring wide antenna spacing for isolation.  They’ll get better just like 3G did.


 And by that time you'll have a new, 5G phone, and another totally worthless amp. 



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Mark V wrote:
Bill and Linda wrote:

Indeed – For what they cost you would think the isolation filters could do better rather than just requiring wide antenna spacing for isolation.  They’ll get better just like 3G did.


 And by that time you'll have a new, 5G phone, and another totally worthless amp. 


 

Probably so



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Actually, I'm finding less and less need for an amp these days. Not that it is not required at all - but FAR less than 5 years ago.

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Mark V wrote:
Bill and Linda wrote:

Indeed – For what they cost you would think the isolation filters could do better rather than just requiring wide antenna spacing for isolation.  They’ll get better just like 3G did.


 And by that time you'll have a new, 5G phone, and another totally worthless amp. 


 Hardly worthless,  good amplifier will handle any protocol . What the new amplifiers have to cover is all the new frequencies that are now in use. For years all the frequencies in play were 850 , 1900 and 800 for iden. Now you have 700, 750 , 2600 and 800 is being reused now for Sprint LTE since iden is obsolete. We have been going back and for trying to get our Grant our new amplifiers that will cover all these new frequencies  for 9 months now. But the FCC keeps changing the rules . We will get products out just taking a lot more time and money than ever anticipated.



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Jack Mayer wrote:

Actually, I'm finding less and less need for an amp these days. Not that it is not required at all - but FAR less than 5 years ago.


 

Jack:

Interesting you should say that.  The Verizon 4G coverage has been pretty amazing in the last year.  In fact, as a temporary plan I was actually going to just use the Sleek as my installed amp for the 4G 290 air card that feeds our Wifi system.  Especially since I stole you idea and the coax run to the roof will only be about 5 or 6 feet so there is not too much loss.

We were just pleasantly surprised at the Verizon 4G coverage on our trip from the east coast to Washington State, back down to Arizona and then back across I-40 via Kansas, etc.

Nonetheless, I’ll be putting in the 3G amp “just in case.”  Won’t need it for long based on what we’re seeing.



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And the Wilson Sleek 4G for Verizon will also boost an AT&T 3G signal. We've been in a few areas where we used my AT&T 3G phone in the cradle and it worked.

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What is the best antenna to pair with the Sleek?

For boosting 3g, 4g and voice.

Thanks,

Al



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I thought I'd give this thread a bump since it may be of particular interest to us soon.  We're about to start a 2-month volunteer gig near the Outer Banks, NC and according to the Verizon coverage map we will be in a kind of "fringe" area where we can expect 4G LTE Extended (whatever that is), with "certain conditions" causing us to be connected to 3G.  We don't have an amplifier right now and will wait until we get on site to determine if we really need one so right now I'm just doing my homework.  In the event that we do need an amplifier, I have in mind the new Wilson Sleek #460107. What I'm concerned about though is if the little rubber antenna that's supplied is sufficient.  It appears to be a bit minimalist and having a magnetic base won't do us much good on a fiberglass roof unless we mount a metal plate up there somewhere. Would I be better off ordering one of the "Trucker" antennas that Wilson offers?

What do you guys use for an antenna?



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I have the wilson Trucker

www.amazon.com/Wilson-Electronics-Trucker-Mirror-Antenna/dp/B001DTZ25A/ref=sr_1_1/183-8734077-4348246


I mounted mine to a fiberglass painter pole and just extend it off my ladder for max height..(also had a cable extension made).......works well .....bought mine at Radio shack for around 50......works real well!!!

you should also be able to pick one up at any big truck stop!!



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Thursday 15th of May 2014 01:09:28 PM



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Thursday 15th of May 2014 03:33:54 PM

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Thanks for the quick reply Mike!  I saw that antenna on Amazon and didn't know for sure if it was compatible with the frequencies that Verizon uses for 4G LTE:  700, 1700 and 2100 MHz.  That was another question that I had... does the antenna need to be "tuned" for the best reception on the freqs that I want to receive?



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I cannot tell a lie.......on this one

I just put it together and raised the stub mast 1/8 of an inch ......but it made a big difference compared to the little duck antenna it came with....almost doubled the signal at the same site when I switched between the 2

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Ron:

Actually the Wilson Trucker is not specifically designed for 700 MHz that Verizon LTE uses.  It will "work."  But you asked about tuning and no, you can't tune it. It "works" mostly because it's outside the rig as far as the 700MHz frequency specific use is concerned.

I've purchased a 700 MHz LTE specific 5dbi antenna and plan to use it for the 4G air card. 

You can search Amazon and come up with several choices.

I'm sure the trucker will work as such, but, according to specifications it is not a 700MHz. tuned and "load" antenna for those frequencies.

YMMV

Bill



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Thanks Mike and Bill.  From what I'm hearing, ANY bigger, taller antenna will be better than the little rubber antenna.  Bill, I'd be interested to hear how your 700 MHz - specific antenna works compared to the "trucker" style.  We are moving to the new site today and I'll know where I'm at with needing this stuff before the day is out!



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Bill, I'm also interested to hear of your experience with a specific-frequency tuned antenna..... And don't forget, Verizon is moving their LTE to all of the frequencies.

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Jack Mayer wrote:

Bill, I'm also interested to hear of your experience with a specific-frequency tuned antenna..... And don't forget, Verizon is moving their LTE to all of the frequencies.


 My response to the OP question concerned the fact the trucker is not specified / tuned for 700MHz. I know we've all used the trucker for Verizon  LTE but in response to Ron's question, it is not a 700MHz antenna as such.  I've used 3db 700MHz antennas with the Wilson Sleek and they seem to work fine.  Never had one on an antenna range naturally where those numbers could be verified. 

Yep, LTE will be moving to all the other frequencies commonly in use for 3G, etc.  But to my knowledge that hasn't happened yet. Anxious to here when that will come about but I know it's going to be a phased installed.

I got a new 700MHz antenna for the LTE air-card in the rig but haven't installed it yet.  That's next week's project after I repack the rig.  The little Pantech 295 modem, on an extension cable to the Cradlepoint up in the IT closet, thank you again for that closet idea, was working so well on our trip back to NC, via Elkhart naturally, I didn't bother to climb on the roof yet to install the antenna.

But to the point, while antennas tuned for specific frequencies work best, as you know, sometimes just getting any antenna outside the coach will make an improvement.  But you can have "negative gain" on some antennas in receive applications depending on the tuning of that antenna for other frequencies.  I.e. you would actually be much better off with a simple quarter wave antenna for the needed frequency.



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I am traveling through Florida and having trouble with voice and data at the national campgrounds we are staying at. I am looking at two options from Wilson. I have the Straight Talk phone and hotspot that uses the Verizon towers. Below are the links to what I am looking at.

www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HWX16GU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1

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reubenray: I would not buy an amplifier until the new FCC approved ones come out. Don't spend much money on something available today, it will probably end up not being legal or working in the future. These are both over $300.

The first one has this disclaimer:
"This is a CONSUMER device.

BEFORE USE, you MUST REGISTER THIS DEVICE with your wireless provider and have your providers consent. Most wireless providers consent to the use of signal boosters. Some providers may not consent to the use of this device on their network. If you are unsure, contact your provider.

You MUST operate this device with approved antennas and cables as specified by the manufacturer. Antennas MUST be installed at least 20 cm (8 inches) from any person. You MUST cease operating this device immediately if requested by the FCC or a licensed wireless service provider.

WARNING. E911 location information may not be provided or may be inaccurate for calls served by using this device.

Please note, the four largest carriers - AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint - and more than 90 regional carriers have given blanket consent for use of all boosters certified to the new FCC standards."

The second (from Amazon) requires setup at every stop, which includes aiming the antenna and adjusting the gain.

Better to find a Wilson Sleek 4G and use it for now.  An example - http://3gstore.com/product/4736_wilson_sleek_4g-universal_amplifier-460107.html.



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Thanks for your quick response.

I looked at this model at the beginning, but had several concerns about it.

Doesn't the phone or hotspot have to be in contact with the cradle to work? I have a Samsung Note which is to big to fit in the cradle. Plus the DW will not like using the phone if she has to hold the phone and cradle to her ear. Is the 12v setup the only type of power source for it?



-- Edited by reubenray on Friday 16th of May 2014 07:14:11 PM

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the phone needs to be in the cradle to work with a wilson cradle... most use a bluetooth headset or a hard wire handset for voice with this type.

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So the Wilson booster works if you are using the cell phone as a hotspot, right? Would it also work with the Millennium devices? To boost both a cell phone and data if we're using both cell and data on different devices, wouldn'the we need 2 boosters?


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Ruth: Now you know why I say to wait. The real amplifiers that do what you want, boost everything at once, are not selling yet. Blame the FCC and lobbyists.

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NWescapee wrote:

So the Wilson booster works if you are using the cell phone as a hotspot, right? Would it also work with the Millennium devices? To boost both a cell phone and data if we're using both cell and data on different devices, wouldn'the we need 2 boosters?


 If both devices are on the same carrier, the Sleek can be used for both devices in many cases. Just use a rubber band to keep them both attached and close enough to the cradle. :)

 

 



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bjoyce - Is the below link what you you talking about.?

www.zboost.com/solutions-products/home-office/zb570-v.html

 

Also will any of these help any if I have only 1 or no bars?  We are currently at Salt Springs National Forest and the phone signal strength is very weak.  We have even walked all over the CG trying to get a signal.  My hotspot is working better, but it is still weak/slow.



-- Edited by reubenray on Saturday 17th of May 2014 04:15:28 AM

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Reubenray... We have been in Salt Springs and know exactly what you're talking about with the lack of cell signal! I don't think we ever found a spot that had a decent signal... just not enough population there to warrant another cell tower, I guess.  I was thinking about your situation with the Samsung Note being too big to fit in the Sleek cradle.  If you put your hot spot (or phone used as a hot spot) in the cradle of the Sleek could you not then use the Note on wi-fi? 

We are set up on our site on Roanoke Island and seem to have a pretty steady 1-2 bars of 4G LTE on the Mi-Fi so for the moment we're OK without the booster.  It's amazing that it works with such a seemingly weak signal but so far, so good. The phone seems to switch between 1 bar of 4G and 2 bars of 3G but at any rate it does work.  Even phone calls seem to be possible with a weak signal... better than I expected.



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RVRon wrote:

Reubenray... We have been in Salt Springs and know exactly what you're talking about with the lack of cell signal! I don't think we ever found a spot that had a decent signal... just not enough population there to warrant another cell tower, I guess.  I was thinking about your situation with the Samsung Note being too big to fit in the Sleek cradle.  If you put your hot spot (or phone used as a hot spot) in the cradle of the Sleek could you not then use the Note on wi-fi? 

We are set up on our site on Roanoke Island and seem to have a pretty steady 1-2 bars of 4G LTE on the Mi-Fi so for the moment we're OK without the booster.  It's amazing that it works with such a seemingly weak signal but so far, so good. The phone seems to switch between 1 bar of 4G and 2 bars of 3G but at any rate it does work.  Even phone calls seem to be possible with a weak signal... better than I expected.


 I have two issues with the sleek and 1) the phone or hotspot having to be in contact with it and 2) having to use a 12v power source.  The note can be use as a hotspot, but I have the Straight Talk plan.   Straight Talk frowns on using the unlimited plan as tethering.  that is why I bought the Straight Talk hotspot.  We are now at Ortona South COE campground and I have great service here.



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Bill Joyce -exactly why we continue to wait!

Cherie, due to feeling the need for options plus different plans my employer pays for vs. Our own paid for plans we have 3 carriers between our cell and data plans so the rubber band idea is not feasible most of the time for us.

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Being I now have a good wifi/phone connection I have been reading up on the new FCC requirement and what equipment has been approved for it. Do ya'll suspect the prices will come down some as more products get the FCC approval? I should be able to get by with my unboosted wifi/phone for this trip. But we are going to declutter and put up the S&B for sale in a few months and I will need a better wifi/phone setup then.



-- Edited by reubenray on Sunday 18th of May 2014 09:32:21 AM

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I guess the real question is what are your travel plans......a booster is not needed everywhere you go unless you plan on being in the south western regions and western regions away from civilization.....this is the only time it is really needed......an outside antenna will on its own get better signal...

...many will argue the point, but think campground wifi ...the reason most wifi in parks dont work correctly is the customer abuses it...........how long after you buy a cellular amp do you think its going to be before people dont turn them off and abuse the towers before it will cost you extra to use it or they just shut you out of the system because your over powered?

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Jack Mayer wrote:

Bill, I'm also interested to hear of your experience with a specific-frequency tuned antenna..... And don't forget, Verizon is moving their LTE to all of the frequencies.


Jack:

A little update: The specific antenna I am now planning to use on the Wilson Sleek, dedicated to the Verizon / Pantech UML295 modem specifically, will be a 5db multiband antenna.  It was specifically listed for Verizon LTE service and the appropriate bands including 3G which, as you know, both the Sleek and the modem will support if required in a particular area.

http://www.maxmost.com/KGH5SMA-MMP.php  $29.95

(Amazon has this same antenna and it includes an adapter to go directly into the UML295 modem if you don’t want to use the Sleek. $39.95)

It is specified for 690-960MHz, 1.71-2.17GHz and  2.5-2.7GHz – 5db gain

You can get this with either SMA or FME connectors depending on your application.

It’s a magnet mount with 5 feet of cable which should make it from the roof to the Wilson Sleek in my “IT cabinet" if I mount everything “creatively.”

I think this should work just fine till better solutions come about.  We’ll see.

Bill



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Lucky Mike wrote:

I guess the real question is what are your travel plans......a booster is not needed everywhere you go unless you plan on being in the south western regions and western regions away from civilization.....this is the only time it is really needed......an outside antenna will on its own get better signal...

...many will argue the point, but think campground wifi ...the reason most wifi in parks dont work correctly is the customer abuses it...........how long after you buy a cellular amp do you think its going to be before people dont turn them off and abuse the towers before it will cost you extra to use it or they just shut you out of the system because your over powered?


 On several of our trips which has always been in the SE corner of the USA I had wifi issues.  One was at a state park in north Alabama.  On this trip I had issues with Eastbank COE at Bainbridge, GA. and Salt Spring National forest.  We usually stay at state or national parks which are usually out in the boondocks.  Having phone service is more important than wifi for emergency calls.  We was at Buffalo Point National Park in Arkansas which had no service at all.  We missed a call about a family member passing away.  Being our family and friends know when we travel if we get a phone call it us usually an emergency.



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then a Wilson sleek and an external antenna.....simple to install ....short money .....works 3g & 4g........you can leave your phone in it to use as a wifi hotspot.....or use your phone via bluetooth or hands free....simple solution


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Lucky Mike wrote:

then a Wilson sleek and an external antenna.....simple to install ....short money .....works 3g & 4g........you can leave your phone in it to use as a wifi hotspot.....or use your phone via bluetooth or hands free....simple solution


X2 as to Mike's suggestion.  You will need a headset / earpiece-mike for the phone.  Either wired of Bluetooth.  Don't put the phone up to your ear with the Sleek connected and powered.  This is a minor precaution.  You won't fry your brain or anything like that but it's just not a good idea. 

Remember, some of the antennas that work with the Sleek are magnetic.  They must be placed on something metal as the metal actually becomes part of the antenna.  (It's the "ground plane" for those that are curious.)  So unless you affix a metal plate to the roof of the rig, which is very fine to do by the way, they won't work.  A 1 foot square piece of metal is more than enough at these frequencies. Any thickness is fine.  Just has to something a magnet will stick to.



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Bill and Linda wrote:
Lucky Mike wrote:

then a Wilson sleek and an external antenna.....simple to install ....short money .....works 3g & 4g........you can leave your phone in it to use as a wifi hotspot.....or use your phone via bluetooth or hands free....simple solution


X2 as to Mike's suggestion.  You will need a headset / earpiece-mike for the phone.  Either wired of Bluetooth.  Don't put the phone up to your ear with the Sleek connected and powered.  This is a minor precaution.  You won't fry your brain or anything like that but it's just not a good idea. 

Remember, some of the antennas that work with the Sleek are magnetic.  They must be placed on something metal as the metal actually becomes part of the antenna.  (It's the "ground plane" for those that are curious.)  So unless you affix a metal plate to the roof of the rig, which is very fine to do by the way, they won't work.  A 1 foot square piece of metal is more than enough at these frequencies. Any thickness is fine.  Just has to something a magnet will stick to.


 Will the magnet stick good enough to keep the antenna up on the roof while driving?



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most of the time yes......or just to insure it will stay put , place the magnet on its metal suface and position it then seal it to the metal along the front with a good Silicone RTV caulking!!.....works well and is still removable later.


as bill said.....it must be placed on a magnetic surface for it to get a ground plane.......if you have no metal I would suggest the wilson ant that has the ground plane built in.....that is the one I use

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We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Lucky Mike wrote:

most of the time yes......or just to insure it will stay put , place the magnet on its metal suface and position it then seal it to the metal along the front with a good Silicone RTV caulking!!.....works well and is still removable later.


as bill said.....it must be placed on a magnetic surface for it to get a ground plane.......if you have no metal I would suggest the wilson ant that has the ground plane built in.....that is the one I use


And following on to Mike's excellent suggestion, you can use the RTV or a product called Dicor, to "stick" the cable to the roof in a few places  That keeps it from flopping around.  Dicor is a product used to seal "rubber roofs" and is a good friend to have around.  Available at Camping World or on line.  It is a self-leveling sealant / caulking compound and is used extensively on a lot of RV roof material for sealing around roof penetrations.

Bill



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If I continue to receive decent signal strengths on this trip (still about 3 weeks left) I will wait until we go fulltime to buy a booster if necessary. At that time I will be switching the wifi portion to a Millenicom system. I am assuming if I need to boost my signal the Wilson products will work with it also.

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Tiffin Allegro 31SA



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After two campgrounds with very weak signals (phone and wifi) I ordered the following items from Amazon that will be delivered to me tomorrow. Hopefully it will help.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I9I67Z2/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003NQ5EWC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01

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Tiffin Allegro 31SA



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I dont see an antenna in your order? .......do you have one or are you planning on a trip to Radio shack....biggrinbiggrinconfusenobiggrinbiggrin



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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Hey Mike, you had to scroll down on the Amazon site to: "What's in the Box"

Sleek 4G all-in-one cradle, outside vehicle magnet-mount antenna, cigarette-lighter power adapter, and installation guide

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I thought about the antenna, but I figured to check out the standard one first.

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Tiffin Allegro 31SA



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biggrinThat part was below my Bi-focalsbiggrinwinkbiggrin



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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Lucky Mike wrote:

biggrinThat part was below my Bi-focalsbiggrinwinkbiggrin


 LOL!



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Joe and Dodie and Furkid, Maggie

2012 Cedar Creek 36CKTS

2015 F350 Dually Lariat

http://joeanddodiesrvtimes.blogspot.com/

 



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Good news on our front . We have cleared another major Hurdle and should have our FCC approval sooner rather than later.. Technomadia and Jack Mayer will be receiving production units to revue for everyone when we finally get to do our production runs.



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I got my new toys and it works. The cell phone went from no service to two bars. The wifi is considerable faster and web pages load up now before I get tired of waiting. The antenna is stuck to the inside of one of windows. After we upgrade to another MH I will get an exterior antenna to put on the roof.

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Tiffin Allegro 31SA



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LIKE!!!!!  biggrinsmilewinksmilebiggrin

It's always nice to see a plan come together!!

 



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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!

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