Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Author Topic: Antenna for 4G LTE  (Read 1167 times)

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Antenna for 4G LTE
« on: October 13, 2019, 01:29:51 AM »

I dropped my DSL service in favor of a 4G LTE hotspot.  The speed difference is incredible (1mbps -> 30+mbps).  The only downside I've experienced is a low signal strength where I want to install the hotspot.  Even high in the home, I only see 1-3 bars whereas my phones see 3-4 bars.  The hotspot cause an external antenna via a TS9 connector.

What I'm not sure about is how to set up an antenna in my attic that runs to the basement. The majority of LTE antennas are either SMA or TS9 connector and either 1 or 2 pigtails that are up to 6ft long.  I either need to run a new cable or two to the attic or repurpose the RG6 that has F connectors (currently on my DirecTV satellite).

If anyone has any experience configuring something similar I'd appreciate any insight.

petera

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 21
  • Posts: 1688
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2019, 09:52:28 AM »

What model router are you using for the 4g LTE. Is your signal passing through concrete walls
Logged

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2019, 12:20:28 AM »

The modem is a Netgear Nighthawk MR1100.  Its MIMI 4x4 internally, but with low signal strength I would drop that to MIMO 2x2 since there are only 2 antenna ports.  The other thing I've considered is installing a cell signal booster such that all equipment could benefit. But, the price difference is pretty striking.

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2019, 05:44:05 PM »

I was just looking through different antenna and cable options and had a thought that seems like a valid option, but I'm not sure if it would work.  I already have a X10 antenna installed in my attic connected to a RG6 cable.  Is it possible to use multiple antennas on the same cable run?  Since 310MHz is well outside of the band cell phones use it seems like I should just install a splitter on either end of the run and be able to share the run.  It might not actually work since I have an online amplifier.

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 138
  • Posts: 6110
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2019, 06:25:46 PM »

Is it possible to use multiple antennas on the same cable run?    It might not actually work since I have an online amplifier.
Yes but your splitter will attenuate your signal (3 to 7 dB per tap is typical). Plus won't you need an adapter(s) to go from F connector to SMA? There is another loss. If you have all the parts, and a line amp, I would try it, but I don't think the results will be pleasing.

A long coax run from attic to basement at 4G with out an amp at the antenna may not be of great benefit either. Use a loss coax like RG11 which is common so fairly inexpensive. $0.02
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2019, 11:59:24 AM »

I have a smaller cable run most of the way that was for CB (probably RG58 or smaller) which would probably have too much loss for GHz signals.  Heck, I don't know what kind of shielding it has so it might be terrible.  From what I've read, line loss on RG59 or smaller will be debilitating over a long run.  RG6 appears to be a decent compromise in relatively low loss and much MUCH cheaper than Wilson 400.  I'm guessing I need a 50' run so I may just run a new line should testing on the ground prove acceptable.  And yes, I need an adapter. 

I don't know in practice how much difference impedance matching makes for signal transmission.  Most antennas are 50 ohm.  RG6 is 75 ohm though.  I have found some antennas are designed for 75 ohm so I was planning on getting a 75 ohm antenna and using a RG6 run I have in my extras box for a test.

petera

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 21
  • Posts: 1688
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2019, 12:53:38 PM »

Not sure if you rely on WiFi but will this external antenna affect your internal WiFi signal.
Logged

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2019, 04:24:40 PM »

I don't expect it to because the antenna (if connected to the hot spot) won't broadcast anything. If it picks up 2.4GHz I. The antenna, the hotspot won't care since it's outside the band cellular uses.  If I used a signal booster I imagine it could affect cell signals if the indoor transmitter were too close to the antenna picking up from the tower.  I haven't read anything that suggest 2.4GHz/WiFi would be affected.

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2019, 11:44:56 AM »

The only consistent part of my setup that I hadn't tried changing was the F to TS-9 adapter.  I ordered 2 new ones that arrived last night.  After trying many configurations, it looks like the original adapters were broken.  Regardless of RG6 length (5', 50', 75') or number of antennas attached (internal, 1 or 2 external) I was able to get consistent download and upload speeds.

The only thing I'm concerned about now is that the TS-9 plug is extremely fragile and doesn't seem to have a retaining feature.  As a result, the plug slides on and, since the wire is fairly heavy compared to the hotspot, things feel like they will be pulled off the table.  When I get the final mounting location, I'll definitely have to retain the RG6 carefully so it doesn't pull on the connection less it will unplug itself.

One interesting thing I found was related to speeds.  When I use my phone (Samsung Galaxy A10e) I get speeds in the range of 35-55Mbps download when connected with either 2.4 or 5GHz (so I assume 802.11n or 802.11a).  But when I use my laptop (an old Dell with 802.11n) I consistently see speeds in the range of 22Mbps maxing out at <30.  Those seem more consistent with 802.11g real world speeds I've seen quoted.  I need a new laptop anyway, but I'm curious if there's some reason a device that can run at n speeds would throttle down to g unless the protocol says "only work with the speed of the slowest device on the network".  I know the old routers (first generation g) had settings to allow b devices to work but the network would run slower.

petera

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 21
  • Posts: 1688
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2019, 01:23:04 PM »

Not familiar with your router so Im assuming you have an Ethernet socket. Have you tried to connect your laptop to your router via Ethernet. If so what download speeds are you achieving
Logged

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2019, 04:53:39 PM »

It's a AC router so it claims up to 2300 or something speeds.  I haven't tried wired yet but that would obviously be faster.  The final installation will have the router connected to my existing wired network via a gigabit switch but for now it's just sitting on its own.

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2019, 10:30:23 AM »

I ran a 75' cable and ended up with over 25' extra so I'll be running a pair of 50' RG6 this week. I installed the 2 antenna last night and found that initially I was getting the best signal strength I've seen so far.  But, I checked a few hours later and the signal strength dropped back to the average/low values I have seen with the antenna in the past.  It's peculiar that nothing was touched and the signal strength changed.  On the up side, when I tested speeds initially I found 10Mbps+ upload speeds.  The download was about the same, but when I hook up the second antenna I'm assuming that I'll get back to ~20Mbps downloads I've been seeing.

The thing I'm still unclear of is when using a pair of yagi's, most people recommend rotating them 45 from vertical to help with polarization.  I'm not clear how this helps.  It seems that if there are 2 antennas and they each can see the tower with the same basic location, then I'd have 2 connections to work with.  Why do I need to worry about rotating unless they are each trying to connect to the same channel or something?

petera

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 21
  • Posts: 1688
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2019, 12:09:08 PM »

It's a AC router so it claims up to 2300 or something speeds.  I haven't tried wired yet but that would obviously be faster.  The final installation will have the router connected to my existing wired network via a gigabit switch but for now it's just sitting on its own.

I was thinking you could bridge the router with a second router that may have better wireless performance. Again just an idea.
Logged

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 22
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Antenna for 4G LTE
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 04:45:57 PM »

Ahh, I see.  This is a new router I just purchased to update my extremely old WRT54G setup.  That one was very reliable and plenty fast for my old 1M DSL connection.  With the new router I will be finally getting gigabit to all parts of the netowrk as well as much faster WiFi.  The old system had the issue with 802.11b devices potentially slowing the network.

My old setup had 2 routers to help boost the signal.  I don't know if I'll need a repeater yet or not since the router was just moved to the basement.  At this time, I'm assuming that the new setup will cover pretty much the entire house without needing the second unit.  If so, I'll just use a switch to replace the AP.

My main concern is the LTE signal.  I found a site this morning that explained the 45 angle as apparently LTE towers have 2 antennas rotated the same to allow more connections/speed.  I'm not an antenna person, so I'll just do what they suggested and hope it helps.
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.