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Post Info TOPIC: 4G Mobile Antenna


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4G Mobile Antenna


I currently have the Wilson 4G cradle.  Any recommendations for a good external antenna for use with my RV.

 

Tom



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Search " trucker antenna" .. I have one on a pole, tie wrapped to my ladder.. Works great. Cost like $40

I have the wilson 4g amp as well.

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From what I have read the trucker antenna is not tuned for the 700 MHZ band (LTE).  I actually have the Wilson Trucker antenna and it doesn't seem to perform well for me.  I have heard that some of the smaller mag mounts perform better at 4G frequencies.



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Correct.. the current trucker antennas on the market only have marginal gain in most of the current LTE bands. The mag mount stubby antenna that comes with the Sleek/4G-S, when installed with a proper grounding plane will generally perform better.

The BoatAnt is the current omni-directional antenna recommended and reviewed by Jack Mayer as an upgrade. Hopefully other options come to market.

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Cherie (and Chris) / Our blog: Technomadia.com

Full time since 2006 as Gen-X 'technomads' (technology enabled nomads)

RV Mobile Internet Resource Center (unbiased information by RVers for RVers)

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Thanks.  I looked on Amazon.  They certainly aren't cheap.  Amazon has several listed which I am guessing depends on the required connector. The descriptions on Amazon were not very good so it is hard to tell which one comes with the appropriate connector for the Wilson Sleek which I believe is SMA.



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Technomadia wrote:

Correct.. the current trucker antennas on the market only have marginal gain in most of the current LTE bands. The mag mount stubby antenna that comes with the Sleek/4G-S, when installed with a proper grounding plane will generally perform better.

The BoatAnt is the current omni-directional antenna recommended and reviewed by Jack Mayer as an upgrade. Hopefully other options come to market.


Tom:

X 2 on all comments above. The trucker was never designed for LTE - ~750MHz, but it sort of works OK.  In fact the little short antenna that comes with the Sleek now was actually improved for LTE (~700-800 MHz). By improved I mean the antenna had less negative gain then its predecessor.  There is a chart somewhere if I could find it.

The “BoatAnt” mentioned has the best omni-directional gain specifications over all the bands.  But yes, it is expensive as designing and testing multiband antennas is neither easy nor inexpensive.

Keep in mind the BoatAnt will require a solid mount and, IMO, should be on a “spring” or the like to allow it to contact something and give way.  It does not require a ground plane (metal surface) and therefore that gives one flexibility in mounting.

There are two versions of the BoatAnt, one with a lessor cost and naturally with less gain.  However, in this old RF engineer’s opinion, if you are using a good booster, it should make up for the small differences in gain if height above the roof or cost is an issue.  Should you want to check out the “mini” version:

http://www.wireng.com/boatant-mini/

The gain specifications across all bands are pretty good for this mini BoatAnt.  Worth the consideration, IMO.

Bill



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And.. looks like they are coming out with a 'RVAnt'. We've written for details and a test unit to review :)

Jack Mayer actually wrote a review of the BoatAnt, and a guide to selecting an antenna for our membership site: www.rvmobileinternet.com/resources/selecting-and-installing-a-cellular-antenna-overview-of-the-boatant-by-wireng/

He also wrote a chapter in The Mobile Internet Handbook on antennas & installation that goes into lots of details (www.rvmobileinternet.com/book).

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Cherie (and Chris) / Our blog: Technomadia.com

Full time since 2006 as Gen-X 'technomads' (technology enabled nomads)

RV Mobile Internet Resource Center (unbiased information by RVers for RVers)

zephyr_pixel.jpgRV: 1961 GM 4106 Bus

Toad: 2009 MINI Cooper



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Technomadia wrote:

And.. looks like they are coming out with a 'RVAnt'. We've written for details and a test unit to review :)

Jack Mayer actually wrote a review of the BoatAnt, and a guide to selecting an antenna for our membership site: www.rvmobileinternet.com/resources/selecting-and-installing-a-cellular-antenna-overview-of-the-boatant-by-wireng/

He also wrote a chapter in The Mobile Internet Handbook on antennas & installation that goes into lots of details (www.rvmobileinternet.com/book).


FWIW, let me recommend this book as someone with a bit of radio frequency engineering background.  It’s simple enough to be understood by most but detailed enough to actually be useful.  This is technology and so detail is important. 

Jack’s section on antennas is quite useful including mounting methods which are especially important for RVs.  He also explains things like “antenna gain” and “directionality.”  Very important to understand; for example one can actually have too much antenna gain / output power.

It’s 194 pages and contains a lot of very useful information especially to those just trying to figure out the terms.  You must start somewhere.  Try this, IMO.



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I noticed the RVAnt is already on their site.  I am an extra class ham radio operator so I know just enough to be dangerous about antennas, gain, ground planes, coax, etc.



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Will look into a better antenna .. if I need one ever again.. The trucker took me from 3g to 4g with the amp..

It must be booming with one of the expensive ones.

Past 3 months I've been in strong 4g areas, and the property I just bought has a tower in a farm field, just down the road..

May just end up selling mine down the road..My "big sky too".. never use it.. Verizon seems to be great everywhere.. so far.

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The RVant has been around for awhile now. It has less gain than the Boatant, but is likely better suited to the roof of an RV. My Boatant has been my primary antenna for awhile now and works quite well. For an omni on todays 4G market it is my first choice. I've tested it (now) against all the antennas I've owned and it mops the floor with them.

I'll update the Boatant article with some additional mounting methods sometime in the next couple of weeks. I'll make that available outside the subscription site, but I want to make people aware that most of my stuff goes to the Technomadia group of sites first, and sometimes only there. I do not post most of my stuff to my own website any more, choosing instead to publish it via the very excellent Technomadia sites. The subscription site is well worth the money and you get some good benefits from it. Go check it out if you have a need/interest in mobile communications technology.

I get not a dime from the site or the book...so I'm fairly unbiased on this topic. If you want the best info available that is the place.

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Thanks Jack.  The Boatant looks great.  I am trying to find the appropriate cables.  I did not see cable listed on their website.  Do you know what cable is needed to go to a Wilson sleek or the 4G mobile?  Is it a type N connector to an SMA for the sleek?  It looks like the 4G mobile uses N type connectors.  Amazon has several antennas for sell but the description does not say what the connector are but just that it goes to a particular amplifier.

 

Thanks,

Tom



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Jack:

Hope you find the time to compare the BoatAnt-Mini with its big brother.

http://www.wireng.com/boatant-mini/

While the gain is less so are the height, clearance and in some cases mounting issues. 

As I commented above, with the gain of these new amplifiers I sort of doubt the reduced gain of the mini will be noticed, especially at ~750MHz LTE frequencies.  But we won’t know till you test it.  Again, an option for some with really tall rigs or concerns about “branches.”  (You mounting solution for the larger antenna is “creative.”)

The RV version of this antenna also offers some advantages, as you commented, as to form factor and the specifications look nice, especially the VSWR which sometimes is not too good across this many bands. It does not appear to require a ground plane.  

http://www.wireng.com/rvant/

While the RV version is on the WireEng site I haven’t found a place to actually purchase it. It’s “out of stock” the last time I checked. And on the purchase subject, like the larger BoatAnt, it is a bit more expensive.

Many options available to choose from.



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What about a yagi Antenna? We are in the process of setting our Wilson booster up and running the wires. A couple of people we have met suggested a Yagi Antenna. Similar to this: 800/900MHz Outdoor Wifi Yagi Antenna for Mobile repeater booster they are less than 50.00 bucks. We are going to start with the antenna provided and then see if we need more.

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The issue with the yagi is multi-fold. First you have to aim it. That may or may not be a big issue. Many of them are fairly "wide" so are relatively easy to aim.

The bigger issue is that they tend to be a single frequency, or at best two frequencies. That may not cover all towers, and you will not know what the tower is using until your are there to test it.

There is a place for yagis, but mostly if you are in a long-term fixed location and have no other options. My recommendation is to try other, "friendlier", solutions first.

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Jack & Danielle Mayer
PLEASE USE EMAIL TO COMMUNICATE

http://www.jackdanmayer.com,
2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2015 New Horizons 45'Custom 5th, smart car
New Horizons Ambassadors - Let us help you build your dream RV.....

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