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Standard User keith969
(member) Mon 10-Feb-20 13:23:50
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Is an external antenna worthwhile?


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I'm exploring using 4G broadband instead of my long standing BT FTTC.

Reason? Well the speed I've got using the landline has never been better than about 50Mbs down / 7mbs up, due to distance from the cabinet and possible some aluminium along the route. Recently it dropped to less than 30mbs, and I had to get BT and then Openreach out only to find this was DLM limited and needed resetting. Also, I'm paying about £77/mo for line rental, phone, broadband (to be fair that does include anytime calls).

I've just picked up a Huawei B535 off ebay and, with a Three sim, found I can get 50-70mbs down, 20 up with the router placed by an upstairs window, no antenna. So I'm wondering if an external antenna would make a difference, something like a Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0002 (the mast is 1Km away). Without the antenna, I'm getting 4-5 bars showing on the router, so would the antenna make much difference?

BT Infinity 2, 43mbs down 9mbs up
Standard User kams19
(newbie) Mon 10-Feb-20 13:57:16
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: keith969] [link to this post]
 
The external antenna would give you stable signal, lower latency and possibly higher speed, Have you checked if you put the sim in your mobile, how much speed you get outside?
Standard User jabuzzard
(committed) Mon 10-Feb-20 14:56:34
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: keith969] [link to this post]
 
External antenna's are tricky and frequently not a good idea. The issue is a weak mobile signal being sent down a long length of coax cable which has losses itself. The end result is you don't come out ahead and may in fact end up worse off.

The better option is usually to look at something like the Mikrotik SXT LTE6 kit which is placed externally and has the modem in it, and then uses ethernet to bring the network connection back inside. This keeps the modem right next to the antenna, for minimal loss and the network connection then goes over twisted pair ethernet which is good for ~100m with no loss whatsoever. Generally you use power over ethernet to power the device over the same ethernet cable.


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Standard User gary333
(committed) Mon 10-Feb-20 16:21:00
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: keith969] [link to this post]
 
Could you open the window and hang the B535 out (obviously being safe). This would give you an idea if there is any point. However, as above many people have had no luck with external antenna's some of this is likely to be the 5m length of coax that seems to be hard wired to most antennas.

The SXT is a great device however, your B535 can aggregate bands 1 and 3, and if these are the ones it's been using then the SXT likely won't perform as well as it cannot aggregate those two bands. If it could, it would be handing off my house right now smile
Standard User keith969
(member) Wed 12-Feb-20 13:24:28
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: kams19] [link to this post]
 
So I checked with mobile phone outside and the signal is slightly better than inside. Then I tried an external directional antenna feeding into the B535. Speed increased to up to 70 down / 30 up. SINR on router reading 18dB now and packet loss reduced.

BT Infinity 2, 43mbs down 9mbs up
Standard User bobbyboyuk
(member) Wed 12-Feb-20 13:26:05
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: keith969] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by keith969:
So I checked with mobile phone outside and the signal is slightly better than inside. Then I tried an external directional antenna feeding into the B535. Speed increased to up to 70 down / 30 up. SINR on router reading 18dB now and packet loss reduced.


Which antenna did you try>?
Standard User keith969
(member) Wed 12-Feb-20 14:18:17
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: bobbyboyuk] [link to this post]
 
The Poynting one. Bought on Amazon and would have returned if it made little difference - but it did.

BT Infinity 2, 43mbs down 9mbs up
Standard User buggerlugs
(learned) Wed 12-Feb-20 18:10:45
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: keith969] [link to this post]
 
I wouldn't think the cost would justify the improvement. The speed down being more to do with bandwidth available from your local mast to you. When the kids get home from school locally and everyone is on their phone downloading data you will see it drop a lot lower, more so when different Telco's share masts.
Standard User onthenet
(member) Wed 12-Feb-20 18:32:11
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: keith969] [link to this post]
 
I have the 4G-XPOL-A0001 connected to a B310.

It comes with a 5 Metre cable, so the increase in signal strength is negated by the loss in the cable, so I ended up with the same speed.

The advantage for me was that I could have the router in the main house instead of up in the roof space.

Three 4G 100/30 Mbps

Edited by onthenet (Wed 12-Feb-20 18:39:18)

Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 12-Feb-20 19:13:31
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Re: Is an external antenna worthwhile?


[re: buggerlugs] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by buggerlugs:
more so when different Telco's share masts.

That is not normally the case now for 4G. The sharing is normally physical location and often the panels on the tower/mast.

VirginMedia 200/20 (22 Nov 19). Was FTTC for 7 years (55/12 to 46/5)
20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
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