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Old 05-29-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Wifi antenna and Cell phone question

Greetings

I have been working on a solution to communication for some time, at least the last few months. I finally have come to some conclusions based on advice from the 3G store tech help and Wilson, Inc.

My solution:

I was told that I can buy a single antenna to work both cell service and wifi depending on the need at the time. Happy Happy.

Also, I have discovered, thanks to a lead from a member here, about the Wilson Sleek. What is new news though is that next month they are scheduled to release a new updated version that adds 4G band 13 compatibility. Although I have an iPhone 4s (3G phone) the future can change things! I found that I can mount the antenna to the Wingman antenna! So, the antenna, the sleek and service should provide what I need for both improving Wifi when available and then augmenting that with cell phone service when needed. The iPhone will act as a hotspot too so it acts as a router to share Internet per se. It sounds like a plan that has been confirmed as a good one by both people who use the stuff as campers and also those who sell these items.

QUESTION:

Those familiar with the Airstream roof, what is one of the best ways to get wiring to the inside? I have to go from the Wingman to the interior with a coax-like wire. Also, I am going to do something about my backup camera different so this is an important concern that I look forward to some ideas on solving.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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What are your goals? I am an RF Engineer with both cellular and Wifi experience.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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I believe I have a solution for service (see post) but I am not sure the best way to bring the wiring into the coach.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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If you have an external TV antenna, then you need to determine where the wire terminates inside the AS. Use that wire to pull in another. If that is not possible then you could use a splitter to add the Wifi signal to the TV cable.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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You must be careful because the TV cable is 72 ohm while the cellular /Wifi is 50 ohm. What is the outside antenna spec for your suggested solution? If you have a manufacturer for the device, I can check it for you to be sure it is compatible.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:14 PM   #6
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I looked at the specs for the sleek. I believe you will see some improvement in cellular service in weak signal areas but you will not see any improvement in WiFi signal because the sleek's bandwidth on the 1900 side does not cover the 2.4Ghz Wifi frequency range. To get an improvement in Wifi signal you must overcome the signal loss because of the shielding from the Airstream construction. I have found that an external antenna is the only way. An external patch antenna and separate cable would be required. you need two antennas and two cables.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:18 PM   #7
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Hey 2ndflats,
We're going to be hitting the road next year and I'm in the market for a good wifi solution. Since you have much experience, can you recommend one? Thanks!

Mike
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:45 PM   #8
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Yes, the plan is to use the Sleek 4G V for cellular service but use the external antenna for both the sleek and for an internal wireless repeater. That way, I can use one antenna for both depending on need - check local wifi first then move on to cellular mifi when needed.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:22 AM   #9
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I just purchased a PepWave SURF On The Go (SOTG) mobile router from the 3Gstore, and a Novatel MiFi 4510L with a 4G/3G, 10GB/10GB data plan from Millenicom. My original plan was to use campground or other free WiFi as WAN whenever possible, and the MiFi for secure communications and when boondocking. However, I now think that the MiFi and PepWave can be used almost exclusively, due to the ease of setup and Internet speed.

I am currently testing this setup at home and have modified the overall implementation plan. I am now testing the MiFi as the primary WAN source that feeds the PepWave SOTG via WiFi; and the SOTG feeds the WAN signal to our home D-Link router via CAT5. We have 4G service in Phoenix, and the MiFi/PepWave combo is two to three times faster than the DSL line previously connected to our home router.

I estimate our data usage to be less than 10GB per month; so if everything works out, at the end of June, I plan to cancel the DSL and two land lines for a savings of $35 per month. (We already have two cell phones for voice calls.) Then, the MiFi and PepWave will be the primary Internet source at home.

When we travel, the MiFi and PepWave SOTG will be moved to our pickup or Airstream for use as the mobile hotspot and router for all of the devices we use on the road.

As a backup plan for boondocking, I am looking at a Cyfre CA-819 amplifier/external antenna kit for the MiFi. However, all of our favorite boondocking spots have cell phone service; so the amp and antenna will wait until experience dictates their need.

In the first week of testing, the MiFi disconnected one time. Otherwise, use of the MiFi and PepWave have been transparent; and the only difference noted is faster Internet speed. Our first boondocking trip is coming up, so we'll see how much slower the 3G connection is. However, I do not anticipate any problems with the new setup while mobile.

(Edit: Sorry, if I hijacked this thread. If necessary, please move this to a separate topic.)
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:57 AM   #10
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I use a Wilson cell booster setup with the antenna on top of my flagpole. The wire enters the trailer through the "fuzzy" window arm slot in my front window. I make sure some of the wire hangs lower than the point it enters the window slot in order to make sure water doesn't come down the wire when it rains. So far it is working very well. If I were doing it again, I would purchase the interior phone cradle instead of the interior antenna. My phone works best when in direct contact with the antenna instead of being able to walk around inside the trailer as I had intended to.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike91208 View Post
Hey 2ndflats,
We're going to be hitting the road next year and I'm in the market for a good wifi solution. Since you have much experience, can you recommend one? Thanks!

Mike
Theres some good info here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...ead-90596.html on topic, and directly addressing the "no new wire issue."
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:15 AM   #12
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My solution, which works well for me, is:

1 - I have a 1/4-wave antenna mounted on the roof (just in front of the fan/vent). The aluminum skin is a great ground plane for the Wilson 1/4-wave antenna. The co-ax wire feeding the antenna is inside the wall and exits just under the street-side gaucho cushion.

2 - The antenna co-ax is attached to a Wilson amplifier which rests on the floor under the street-side gaucho cushion. I had a 12-volt socket mounted on the side under the gaucho cushion where I plug in the power plug from the Wilson amplifier. The power plug has a switch with a small red LED to indicate that I have switched the amplifier on. The "pickup" antenna for the amplifier is attached to the small portion of wall just under the window and above the folding table - it can hardly be seen.

3 - I use a Cradlepoint router that I place on the ledge of the window just above the Wilson "pickup" with a Verizon aircard.

This setup provides me with both connectivity in marginal areas (for example, at the Lake Mead NRA campground I had no service until I switched on the Wilson amplifier) and a wireless network in my trailer which allows me to use both Windows and Linux notebooks and connect wirelessly to a printer.

The pickup antenna had a range of about 2 feet, so in marginal areas, I have my cell phone within the 2-foot limit and use a bluetooth connection to it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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Ok I am revisiting this again. Some of you asked about specs. Here is the antenna that I want to mount. Note that it has broad applications. Also, I thought about mounting it on the Winegard antenna rod below the TV antenna. My issue is that I need some advice on how to get the new antenna wire into the stream. I have not found how the TV antenna enters and where it goes so any help on that would be great. Here is the site on the antenna:

http://3gstore.com/product/2875_wils...na.htmlhttp://

Here is the new booster model that a forum member recommended for mifi boosting:

Wilson Sleek 4G #815326

The 3G store told me that I can use the same antenna for wifi boosting since it also covers the 2400mHz range.

Anyone have a clue as to how much cable is needed to get from the roof Wingard antenna area to the front right roof locker? I just have no idea where the coax stuff is in the wall.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #14
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Why do you want to reinvent the wheel?
WiFiRanger has done all the engineering on this and results in a simple install on any Airstream or any other brand.

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Ok I am revisiting this again. Some of you asked about specs. Here is the antenna that I want to mount. Note that it has broad applications. Also, I thought about mounting it on the Winegard antenna rod below the TV antenna. My issue is that I need some advice on how to get the new antenna wire into the stream. I have not found how the TV antenna enters and where it goes so any help on that would be great. Here is the site on the antenna:

http://3gstore.com/product/2875_wils...na.htmlhttp://

Here is the new booster model that a forum member recommended for mifi boosting:

Wilson Sleek 4G #815326

The 3G store told me that I can use the same antenna for wifi boosting since it also covers the 2400mHz range.

Anyone have a clue as to how much cable is needed to get from the roof Wingard antenna area to the front right roof locker? I just have no idea where the coax stuff is in the wall.
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