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Author Topic: Hot Spot Antenna  (Read 1237 times)

Deano2002

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Hot Spot Antenna
« on: June 26, 2016, 08:45:13 PM »
Hi folks, we live out far enough that the only decent option for internet is a hot spot. We had internet with a small  company with the antenna on our roof but the speeds were mediocre and the dependability was terrible, so after 4 years I dropped them with pleasure. I then switched to a Verizon hot spot which had better speeds and was fairly dependable but the cost was expensive (100.00 for 15gb). I switched to Sprint within the last month which seems to have the same download speed but, I would like to get an antenna for when we move around in the motorhome. The antenna would be for the Sprint Zing. I have done some searching and see on that offers a gain of 11db. Is that a good amount of reception enhancement?
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 08:28:16 AM »
That sounds decent, but speed and reliability will probably depend more on where you are than the particular antenna. It can only do so much, and if there is no Sprint signal, or the quality is poor, the best antenna in the world won't help.

Any antenna designed to work with the cellular radio frequencies will do the job. It merely requires a suitable connector for the Zing box, or an adapter, all of which are readily available. Omni-directional antenna are more convenient (no aiming) but have lower gain than a directional. Typical cellular antennas range from 4-14 dB in gain, so 11 is pretty good, especially if that is an omni-directional type.

Here is one place that offers a variety of antennas and gives the gain for each:
http://www.digitalantenna.com/cellantennas_land.html
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

MikeFromMesa

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 03:22:11 PM »
That sounds decent, but speed and reliability will probably depend more on where you are than the particular antenna. It can only do so much, and if there is no Sprint signal, or the quality is poor, the best antenna in the world won't help.

Any antenna designed to work with the cellular radio frequencies will do the job. It merely requires a suitable connector for the Zing box, or an adapter, all of which are readily available. Omni-directional antenna are more convenient (no aiming) but have lower gain than a directional. Typical cellular antennas range from 4-14 dB in gain, so 11 is pretty good, especially if that is an omni-directional type.

Here is one place that offers a variety of antennas and gives the gain for each:
http://www.digitalantenna.com/cellantennas_land.html
It is interesting that this post is here because I logged in to ask a very similar question, although one a bit more generic.

I have a Verizon hotspot that I want to hook up on an RV. It is a magnetic mount antenna and, since the roof of the RV is fiberglass, I need to use a ground plane to have the antenna work properly. The only problem is that I have not been able to find anyplace that sells a ground plane for use with a magnetic mount antenna. All I need, of course, is something like an 8" washer but I have not been able to find one.

I have the antenna (purchased years ago) and all of the cables to hook it up to my (existing) 6620L hotpot. I know that I can use any suitable piece of ferrous metal, but if I am going to use this antenna while we are moving down the road I need something better than a simple piece of thin steel that will blow off the top of the RV when it is in motion. I have checked with perhaps a half-dozen local and online electronics stores and no one seems to sell a grounding plane. Does anyone know where I can buy one? Otherwise I will have to get a non-magnetic antenna and have the local RV shop do the repair.

Any helpful links would be appreciated. Thank you.

UPDATE:

I have found at least one online link for a grounding plane (called a grounding disc on the site) so I have made progress. Thank you to all of you who tried to help but did not know of any link.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 07:11:57 AM by MikeFromMesa »

Deano2002

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 09:29:56 PM »
never thought about a magnetic base antenna, I do have a metal roof but, don't need it going down the highway
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

Deano2002

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 09:35:02 PM »
That sounds decent, but speed and reliability will probably depend more on where you are than the particular antenna. It can only do so much, and if there is no Sprint signal, or the quality is poor, the best antenna in the world won't help.

Any antenna designed to work with the cellular radio frequencies will do the job. It merely requires a suitable connector for the Zing box, or an adapter, all of which are readily available. Omni-directional antenna are more convenient (no aiming) but have lower gain than a directional. Typical cellular antennas range from 4-14 dB in gain, so 11 is pretty good, especially if that is an omni-directional type.

Here is one place that offers a variety of antennas and gives the gain for each:
http://www.digitalantenna.com/cellantennas_land.html
what need for an antenna if if wont help you get a better signal? I cant get tv reception without my antenna and, if its amplified i can pull in more channels with better clearity
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

Larry N.

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 06:44:32 AM »
Quote
what need for an antenna if if wont help you get a better signal?

He didn't say you don't need an antenna, only that location is more important than the type of antenna you have. An antenna of any type can only do so much -- it has to have some amount of signal to work with. That's just the nature of radio signals, and WiFi is weak to start with, and the high freqs that it uses are very subject to attenuation, much more so than TV, even UHF TV, and TV signals are thousands of times as strong as WiFi.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2016, 08:25:16 AM »
What Larry says!  Most any antenna, especially one mounted outside and higher, will typically have a good effect on your cellular modem/hotspot reception. The difference for any given antenna, however, is likely to be harder to assess.  And the best antenna in the world can't help much when the problem is no signal or one that bounces around intermittently, and those problems are not all that unusual  around remote campgrounds.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Deano2002

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 09:29:37 PM »
kind of sound like the reviews are not true then, maybe a waste of money
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2016, 09:22:38 AM »
The reviews are probably true, but they probably do NOT address the situation where nothing helps very much. I am merely cautioning that using a higher gain antenna doesn't always help a lot. By all means, get a good antenna, and more gain is better. Consider carefully, though, directional vs omni. Directional will have more gain, but YOU have to fiddle around and tune it to the right direction at each location. You need a dB meter to do that effectively. If you aren't willing to do that, sacrifice a few dB of gain for the convenience of an omnidirectional antenna.

I'm in a mountain region right now, using a Wilson Weboost amplifier with a high gain directional antenna on an 18 ft mast and the signal is still barely usable and sometimes disappears altogether for a minute or two. I'm not even far from the cell tower, maybe two miles, but there is so much terrain and trees in the way that the signal is both weak and bouncing around (reflecting) a lot.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 09:24:43 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Deano2002

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016, 09:20:45 PM »
ok thanks folks, I'll be doing some more research before the purchase
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

NY_Dutch

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Re: Hot Spot Antenna
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2016, 10:00:26 PM »
I installed a Maximum Signal MaxAmp RV cell amplifier/repeater in our motorhome. The magnetic roof antenna is mounted on a 12" x 18" 14 guage steel plate that I secured to the roof with double sided 3M automotive trim tape, the stuff manufacturers use to install trim on new cars. I also sealed the edges with Dicor self-leveling caulk. The MaxAmp picks up signals even when our phones or hotspots see nothing.
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

 

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