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Standard User pewe
(newbie) Thu 22-Dec-16 01:02:39
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Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


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Does anyone know if the aerial extension cable used for wifi-routers is the same cable as would be used to connect and external antenna to a mobile broadband (4G ) router??

Thanks
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 22-Dec-16 05:54:29
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: pewe] [link to this post]
 
If identical connectors then yes should work, but BIG note of caution long extension leads (known as pig tails) due to the low levels of signal can mean what you gain from the antenna is lost in the cable, hence why the longer ones are generally of a thicker construction, i.e. more metal so less attenuation of the signal

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User pewe
(newbie) Thu 22-Dec-16 11:00:53
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for that - and I appreciate the cautionary note regarding thickness.

The external antennas usually come with 2m or 5 m of cable, which in our case would be a bit short.
Looking at extension cables I did notice that some appeared to be quite thin - so I'll watch out for that.

Is there any way to determine the loss on cables by thickness and length - or would it be a case of trusting the supplier to have and give that info?

The length of cable required will depend on the location of the antenna on the house which will, in turn, be determined by the location of the nearest mast.

The problem is that trying to find the mast locations will be a bit trial and error as it appears Networks no longer supply this information (apparently it's 'commercially sensitive' whatever that means).

Thanks again.

Edited by pewe (Thu 22-Dec-16 11:06:25)


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 22-Dec-16 11:20:54
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: pewe] [link to this post]
 
http://www.solwise.co.uk/3g-pigtails.htm shows the loss, so worth a look and hopefully they will be helpful with specific questions and offer a custom cable making service if you know exactly what length is needed

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User eckiedoo
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 22-Dec-16 11:35:44
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: pewe] [link to this post]
 
Regarding having cable made, remember to measure carefully, including wall and floor thicknesses, verticals as well as horizontals; and allow some extra - better Slightly LONG that than too short.
Standard User pewe
(newbie) Thu 22-Dec-16 14:07:14
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
Interesting - looking at the Solwise link

Only one standard SMA extension cable is offered which is 2 metres and carries a loss of 1,2dB.

Antennas usually have two cables so I guess 2.4dB total cable loss would have to be deducted from the gain offered by the antenna for those cables - but they are not long enough

Longer cables are available - but apparently not with the connections attached - and the cable loss is either 0.5dB/m or 0.2dB/m depending on the cable spec, and I would need to use at least 8 metres of cable to place the antenna in a useful position and connect it back in to the house where the wifi router would need locating.

Solwise offer various antennas - there are a number offered as 3G units and a couple of 3G/4G, all of which have 2 tails, and all their units specify an average 10db gain.

If I'm understanding all of this correctly, the net gain using their antennas would be approximately 5 dB (ie 10dB gain from the antenna and a loss of 4.8dB for a pair of 6m extensions using their best quality cable).

In our area the only people offering 4G are EE and 3.

I have not yet got a 3 sim to measure their signal level, but using an app on my tablet the EE signal is showing as -95dBm indoors and outdoors (but as the tablet is not 4G this measurement is for 3G RSSI).

With Solwise 3G/4G antennas costing between £150 and £200 the total potential net gain becomes very expensive and would not even take my current EE 3G signal out of the 'fair' signal category (FAIR = 86 - 100 dBM).

What slightly confuses me is that other suppliers offer higher gain (35dBi) combined 3G/4G antenna units at a much lower cost. So something is not quite right, either in the way I am interpreting all of this, or the specs of the antennas on offer are being misrepresented by the suppliers !!!!
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 22-Dec-16 17:46:30
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: pewe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by pewe:
I have not yet got a 3 sim to measure their signal level, but using an app on my tablet the EE signal is showing as -95dBm indoors and outdoors (but as the tablet is not 4G this measurement is for 3G RSSI).


3G is measured using RSSI, and 4G (LTE) is measured using RSRP. You will often find that 4G numbers are 'better' than 3G for the same reception in the same location. The protocol is more robust.

For 3G, both Three and EE use 2100mhz only.

For 4G, Three and EE both use 1800mhz for the bulk of their capacity, and they both have some 800mhz which is very minimal capacity (maybe 5mbps speeds) but does travel much further. Designed really for 4G voice calls. EE also has two allocations of 2600 which is good for capacity.

So any hardware you buy should be capable of handling 800mhz, 1800mhz, 2600mhz to get the best out of UK 4G allocations for all four of the networks. 800 is known as Band 20, 1800 is Band 3, 2600 is Band 7. Also check for 2100, which is Band 1.

plusnet unlimited fibre 80/20 since 2 Jun 14 - Sync as of 7th Aug 16: 55,355/10,291 kbps with G.INP
17 years of UK broadband since 1999 ntl:cable modem trial -Router: Asus RT-AC68U with HG612 - BQM
Standard User pewe
(newbie) Thu 22-Dec-16 18:29:00
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Thanks JC.

Very useful info.

The best value package for 4G at the moment appears to be a 3 package which offers a free Huawei wifi router and 40GB data per month for £20 on a 12 month contract - so the router must obviously work with their network.
Should an antenna be needed (and I won't know until I have the router) I was looking at

- a 35dBi 3g/4g antenna from A1techstore which covers frequencies of
"791-821MHZ, 832-862MHZ, 1710-1785MHZ, 1805-1880MHZ, 2500MHZ-2570MHZ, 2620-2690MHZ " - so that should be OK.

or

- a Solwise Outdoor 3G/4G LTE 2dBi antenna from Broadbandbuyer which covers frequencies of "Frequency Range - 790~960, 1710~2170, 2300~2400 and 2500~2700 MHz bands"

As with all these sort of projects, there's no certainty of it being acceptable until you try it. However, as buying online entitles you to 14 days return policy, I was considering ordering the 3 package and both the antenna, test them all out and return what isn't needed or doesn't work at no financial loss.
Standard User pewe
(newbie) Sat 31-Dec-16 16:59:29
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: pewe] [link to this post]
 
I have found a better answer than experimenting with antennas and long extensions for the antenna cable.

The problem I was having was finding a suitable location for the router so that it would pick up a decent mobile signal and transmit the wifi to all parts of the house - because our house is a 200 year old cottage with a modern extension on the side. The kitchen/family room is in the old part and the lounge and snug is in the new part - both separated by an 18" stone wall..

Last night I remembered that I had a couple of old spare routers that I don't use - a Netgear DG834 and a TalkTalk branded D-link as well as a long network cable that I used years ago to connect a computer in my garden office to a non wifi router in the house.

So I took the Huawei, supplied by 3, and positioned it high in the attic above the new part of the house.
In that position it picks up 4G at over 20 Mb/s.

Whilst the wifi signal reaches all parts of the new side of the house from there it is very weak in the old part.

So I connected the network cable to the Huawei and fed it through the wall to the attic of the old part of the house, connecting it to the Netgear which was configured on the same network - and that feeds all the old part of the house.

This all seems to work well - although the Netgear does drop the connection to the internet occassionally - which needs further investigation.
Standard User john_32
(newbie) Tue 03-Jan-17 15:27:20
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Re: Suitable extension cable for 4G Router


[re: pewe] [link to this post]
 
Would this be an alternative?

http://www.zyxel.com/uk/en/products_services/lte7400...

Getting the LTe Router up the pole you will only need a network cable feed to it.

John
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