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Standard User ConsumersFriend
(committed) Fri 09-Oct-20 14:48:58
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LTE cable & antenna advice


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Hi - had to resort to 4g/LTE internet due to ongoing problems with FTTC - Vodafone mast is approx 4km as crow flies but is probably not line of sight unless on top of roof!
Have bought a Netgear 2120 to link to WAN2 on Draytek VDSL router, and this is working better than mobile phone wifi hotspot to the router.
Inside the house the signal is OK, but I have found significant differences depending on location, and that modern low-E glass & walls seems to spoil signal, whereas standard double glazing does not! Outside is also better but I dont have a weatherproof aerial just a Netgear external MIMO one.
Speeds are currently max at 25 down / 12 up & often around 15/8 (perhaps contention?)
Any advice on external aerial - have looked at Mikrotik LTE50 and also Poynting (more expensive) and have ignored the £20 Chinese imports. I think an omnidirectional is best?, but what model?!
Also, will need 5m of cabling to locate at head height outside, or more if higher - but again, any thoughts on cable type/lengths - most seem to be 2.5mm RG174 cable but have found some CS29 5mm cables (more expensive). What has the most impact on the signal?
Thanks.
Standard User Pheasant
(member) Sat 10-Oct-20 16:19:46
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Re: LTE cable & antenna advice


[re: ConsumersFriend] [link to this post]
 
It’s been a while since I’ve used my 4G connection in anger, having setup my rooftop antenna about 5 years ago now, but these are my thoughts.

1. If you’re rural - with long distance to the nearest mast, then opt to use a high gain cross polarised directional or Yagi type antenna, rather an omni. The latter are better when there are a variety of masts in closer proximity and you want the router to pickup the strongest signal.

2. Thin coax is [censored]. In a nutshell. Boxed antenna manufacturers, use thin stuff because it’s easy to pack into a retail box and is cheap. That’s it.

Once you’ve ID’d the coax it easy to lookup the loss per metre @ 2100 MHz or so to see that any precious antenna gain is lost, very quickly beyond a few metres of regular coax - anything RG thinner than 5mm or so OD. The choice then is simple - keep the coax to the radio in the router etc. as short as possible or move to a larger/thicker less lossy 50-ohm coax. with adapters at either end.

I have no hands on experience of external grade combo antenna/routers like some of the Mikrotiks etc so won’t pass comment, especially in marginal signal areas. There are some obvious advantages but also disadvantages in my mind to this approach, rather than the typical separate antenna combo. However seeing as you’ve bought a router already, that chat is academic.
Standard User Tjeerd
(newbie) Wed 14-Oct-20 16:39:45
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Re: LTE cable & antenna advice


[re: ConsumersFriend] [link to this post]
 
HI,

I am Tjeerd, from Poynting, the first think you would need to look at is if you have line of sight of the base station of your provider. If you have not, then the omnidirectional antenna is the better choice. If you do, you can consider a directional antenna, but keep in mind that if the tower fails, you will not have internet.
If you are more remote, the choice would be to go for an antenna which performs better on the lower frequencies. In case of Poynting, the larger the omnidirectional antenna, the better the performance across all bands. If you do not have a problem with size, go for the bigger one. Two separate installed antennas (min. distance between each other should be 60cm or more) will work better than one housing with 2 antennas. The choice will be yours the installation with 2 antennas is a bit more complex.
As I requested not to refer directly to type numbers I do not. But you can send us a message via our website to get more details.
Kind regards, Tjeerd


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Standard User ConsumersFriend
(committed) Thu 15-Oct-20 20:49:30
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Re: LTE cable & antenna advice


[re: Tjeerd] [link to this post]
 
Hi Tjeerd - thank you very much for that input.
2 questions:-
The gain on Poynting omnidirectional aerials I've seen appears to be (only) 2.5db - yet many others advertised online claim to be 10+, in some cases even 2 x 23db! - Can you explain the effect in real life of the difference gain figures?
Also, many aerials appear to be imports - often low cost Chinese items - where are Poynting antennas manufactured?
Thanks!
Standard User Tjeerd
(newbie) Wed 21-Oct-20 14:52:52
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Re: LTE cable & antenna advice


[re: ConsumersFriend] [link to this post]
 
Hi,

Apologies for the late reply. I am not always online....

There are various YouTubes that can answer the OMNI gain question. Most recent webinar (https://youtu.be/v24MqUQMxXI) explains it from the 19th Minute. I have added time stamps to the webinar that breaks it up into chapters and makes it easy to find:
19:38 Why are antenna patterns and Beamwidth important

Mr. Andre Fourie (founder of Poynting Antennas) also explained it in this YouTUbe:
Explaining gain: https://youtu.be/D1tHPMf3sRE
Why do you need lower gain in small (or omni-directional) antennas https://youtu.be/A3imAiA6CGc

I hope this gives you more insight.

Regards,
Tjeerd
Standard User ConsumersFriend
(committed) Thu 22-Oct-20 14:26:35
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Re: LTE cable & antenna advice


[re: Tjeerd] [link to this post]
 
Excellent advice thanks Tjeerd - those videos are very informative, would thoroughly recommend them to anyone needing to gain an understanding of antenna patterns & gain. Thanks!
Standard User Tjeerd
(newbie) Fri 23-Oct-20 09:56:10
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Re: LTE cable & antenna advice


[re: ConsumersFriend] [link to this post]
 
thank you for your compliments. I suggest to subscribe to our newsletter to get regular updates and tips on www.poynting.tech.
Best regards,
Tjeerd
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