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Author Topic: Maximum Signal cellular amp update  (Read 1416 times)

docj

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Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« on: January 10, 2017, 01:40:10 PM »
I've been using a MaximumSignal cellular amplifier for ~six months. However, my "winter home site" happens to be in an area with exceptionally good Verizon coverage so it's been difficult for me to test the effects of the MaxSignal amplifier. The unamplified signal is so strong that it has been hard to see the difference with the amp on or off.

Well, that's been the case, but it isn't any longer, now that MaxSignal has loaned me one their brand new Super Max indoor antennas. The system is now a beast!

According to the app Signal Check Pro my signal is typically in the -104-109dBm range and my download speeds vary from ~10 - >50Mbps. With the new antenna at distances of ~10' from it I'm seeing RSRP strength of ~-100-104dBm which may not sound like much of an improvement but at these signal strengths not much amplification is needed. My SNR (signal to noise) is running 15-19dB.

What's really wild is when I walk the phone over to the immediate vicinity of the antenna (<2'). At that range you can see an enormous spike of 25-30dBm in signal strength with numbers in the -70dBm range. However, as it is supposed to, if you keep the phone at this close range you can see the system "hunting" and it will eventually restore it to the same -100-105dBm. The system is designed to use only that degree of amplification necessary for maintaining an excellent connection and this is what is being observed. There's no need for the phone to see a -70dBm signal in order for it to perform effectively.

As for measuring download speed, this morning my connection is having an "off day" and I'm seeing speeds of 12-14Mbps using Speedtest.net (through my WiFiRanger GoAC). With the amp running I think I'm seeing a small but statistically significant speed improvement on the order of 10%. It's the sort of small variation that is difficult to measure given the normal variability of the cellular system from moment to moment. Anyway, even as an off day it's well above what's needed to stream HD video!

I hope this helps others who are considering purchase of a Maximum Signal amp--amplification of 25-30dBm is pretty impressive IMHO. It's my understanding that the Super Max antenna is just entering production and should be available well before next camping season.

BTW, the new antenna is rather heavy and I would be reluctant to mount it with Velcro if the coach were moving. At present it is stuck magnetically to my refrigerator door and what I plan to do is attach a small piece of ferrous metal to a spot on the ceiling where it will be permanently mounted. I happen to have several decorative wooden strips on the ceiling and it will be easy to put the metal plate on one of them. It has a very powerful magnet and I'm sure it will be quite secure with it as its attachment mechanism.

Joel (AKA docj)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 01:49:46 PM by docj »
Sandie & Joel

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SargeW

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 04:25:39 PM »
Good report Joel, what amperage is the amplifier?
Marty--
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docj

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 05:11:43 PM »
Good report Joel, what amperage is the amplifier?

I don't know exactly; I know it pulls 12V at a couple of amps.  It's now being shipped with a dual 12V/120V power adapter which is very handy.
Sandie & Joel

2000 40' Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton--425 HP/1550 ft-lbs CAT C-12
2014 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L with ReadyBrute tow bar/braking system
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 08:43:37 PM »
https://www.maximumsignal.net/store/max-amp-rv/   

Looks a bit expensive but if you need signal it'd be worth it.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 09:38:21 PM »
Our Max Amp RV has kept us online with good data speeds in a number of places so far, where we previously had either a poor or no signal. The Max Amp has even given us 4G/LTE speeds where the best our previous WeBoost Drive 4G-M could do was a 3G signal. And our Max Amp doesn't limit us to only using our devices within 3 ft or so of the inside antenna like the WeBoost. With the Max Amp, we get the boosted signal from end to end in our motorhome and even in the awning area outside. The new SuperMaxx antenna, when it's available, will only make it better.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 09:41:37 PM by NY_Dutch »
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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SargeW

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 02:21:17 PM »
What about the watts boost, do you know what the wattage boost is?
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
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docj

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 03:01:29 PM »
What about the watts boost, do you know what the wattage boost is?

I don't quite understand what you're asking; I've never heard anyone ask about a wattage boost for an amplifier.  The performance improvement is usually spoken of in terms of dB of signal strength.  In this case, as I noted in my post the instantaneous signal improvement near the antenna is 25-30dB (until the amp automatically cuts it back).    Since 10dB is a factor of ten improvement, 30db is a factor of a 1000 increase in signal strength.
Sandie & Joel

2000 40' Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton--425 HP/1550 ft-lbs CAT C-12
2014 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L with ReadyBrute tow bar/braking system
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 07:31:17 PM »
What about the watts boost, do you know what the wattage boost is?

Marty, first we would have to know the output wattage of the transmitter at the tower and how much loss there is at the incoming antenna end. And then there's the wattage needed to transmit back to the tower including the losses. As I recall, those numbers are capped by the FCC, although I don't know at what levels or if it's the same on every band. As Joel said, the dB number increase, as well as the RSSI/RSRP numbers are the more interesting numbers. As well as the resulting data speed changes of course.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

SargeW

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 12:33:17 AM »
I may have not been making myself clear.  Here is an example of the type of amplifier I thought you were talking about.  This is a cellular signal booster from the 3G Store. It lists the the specs under the detail section of the booster as having a 15db gain, and a max power output of 1 watt.

The FCC had lowered the allowable wattage output of a cellular booster to 1-3 watts. My current Wilson amplifier has a 5 watt boost max.  That is what inspired my inquiry.  https://3gstore.com/product/5454_surecall-direct_connect_4g_lte_amplifier.html
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

NY_Dutch

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 07:35:03 AM »
I'm sure Gord from Maximum Signal could give us better specs in that regard, but I think it's reasonable to assume the amplifier is capable of the maximum allowable signal strengths under the current FCC rules. How much those rules vary from band to band is well above my pay grade though. The Max Amp automatically adjusts its output to the minimum needed to maintain a reliable connection as required, so the max available number is likely somewhat meaningless. The digital cell age is a whole different world from hanging a KW on that $30 CB radio. ;)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 07:36:36 AM by NY_Dutch »
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

NY_Dutch

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 05:39:11 PM »
Those of us that are familiar with 16 year veteran fulltimer Jack Mayer's extensive knowledge of RV Internet access may be interested in this post he made today on the Escapees Forum about his experience using the Maximum Signal Max Amp booster:

Quote
Posted Today, 08:05 AM

User Experience. Consider this somewhat anecdotal.

I'm currently in SE KS out in the "hinterlands". Without assistance there is only 3G data here, and the phone barely works. That is a good phone (Note 5). Lesser phones do not work at all.

I set up the Mobile amp as a "house" amp (I'm staying in a house). The 13" mag mount antenna in a window on the "tower side" (on a pizza plate). The Super maxx is on top of the kitchen refrigerator at the front edge.  That gives me an average of 18 dbi of gain. It takes data speeds from 2 kbps (note the K) on 3G to an average of 3.8 MBPS. That is not screaming, but the tower is deficient to start with, since speeds near it are only around 5-6 MBPS.

Why do I only see so little gain? The way these amps work, after hundreds of tests, is that the gain bounces. It will crank the gain up, and then adjust it down until the connection is solid. Or at least that seems to be the way it works, empirically. The weBoost -M with its provided antennas averages speeds of 1.85 MBPS. So I'd say the the Maxamp  handily outperforms the weBoost in THIS set of circumstances, which I would call "challenging". To be fair, I have seen the weBoost outperform the Max in other circumstances. Mostly when it is closer to the towers. Id say the Max performs best when really challenged.

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
Living on the road since 2000

http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=119238&p=880243

In a follow-up post, Jack mentions that he is 10 miles from the nearest tower...
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

decaturbob

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2017, 06:47:19 AM »
I've been using a MaximumSignal cellular amplifier for ~six months. However, my "winter home site" happens to be in an area with exceptionally good Verizon coverage so it's been difficult for me to test the effects of the MaxSignal amplifier. The unamplified signal is so strong that it has been hard to see the difference with the amp on or off.

Well, that's been the case, but it isn't any longer, now that MaxSignal has loaned me one their brand new Super Max indoor antennas. The system is now a beast!

According to the app Signal Check Pro my signal is typically in the -104-109dBm range and my download speeds vary from ~10 - >50Mbps. With the new antenna at distances of ~10' from it I'm seeing RSRP strength of ~-100-104dBm which may not sound like much of an improvement but at these signal strengths not much amplification is needed. My SNR (signal to noise) is running 15-19dB.

What's really wild is when I walk the phone over to the immediate vicinity of the antenna (<2'). At that range you can see an enormous spike of 25-30dBm in signal strength with numbers in the -70dBm range. However, as it is supposed to, if you keep the phone at this close range you can see the system "hunting" and it will eventually restore it to the same -100-105dBm. The system is designed to use only that degree of amplification necessary for maintaining an excellent connection and this is what is being observed. There's no need for the phone to see a -70dBm signal in order for it to perform effectively.

As for measuring download speed, this morning my connection is having an "off day" and I'm seeing speeds of 12-14Mbps using Speedtest.net (through my WiFiRanger GoAC). With the amp running I think I'm seeing a small but statistically significant speed improvement on the order of 10%. It's the sort of small variation that is difficult to measure given the normal variability of the cellular system from moment to moment. Anyway, even as an off day it's well above what's needed to stream HD video!

I hope this helps others who are considering purchase of a Maximum Signal amp--amplification of 25-30dBm is pretty impressive IMHO. It's my understanding that the Super Max antenna is just entering production and should be available well before next camping season.

BTW, the new antenna is rather heavy and I would be reluctant to mount it with Velcro if the coach were moving. At present it is stuck magnetically to my refrigerator door and what I plan to do is attach a small piece of ferrous metal to a spot on the ceiling where it will be permanently mounted. I happen to have several decorative wooden strips on the ceiling and it will be easy to put the metal plate on one of them. It has a very powerful magnet and I'm sure it will be quite secure with it as its attachment mechanism.

Joel (AKA docj)


I saw a 20db+ gain when I fired my maxsignal unit and that was within a 7 to 8 ft radius of the internal antenna.....as for mounting the internal antenna...I used a 5x5 pc of sheet metal plate  I screwed to the ceiling and the mag base of the internal antenna plenty strong to keep it positioned on that plate
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John From Detroit

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Re: Maximum Signal cellular amp update
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 08:44:37 AM »
-104 to -100 might not sound like much.. but 3 db is double the power, and that's 4 db So that is quite an increase in power..  However in what we call "S" units, it is 1/2 of one S unit, now, this can be significant.  if that 1/2 unit is the difference between BELOW and ABOVE what we call the noise floor.

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