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Old 07-07-2014, 09:33 PM   #1
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Question In Vehicle Wifi/Antenna Suggests for Pantech Mifi

So this weekend after picking up our new tow vehicle we decided to do a test run to see how well my wife could do her job on the road.



*Background, my wife left the secretive intelligence community after the birth of our daughter and switched to a customer service gig with the wonderful online project management company Basecamp and now works 100% remotely. She works a fixed schedule unlike me where I work project to project at any time I want. So we will need internet on the road when traveling during her working hours.

Her company has provided her with a with Verizon Jetpack Mifi (aka the Pantech MHS291L)

While we didn't' have any problems cruising over the Skyway Bridge and down 275 to 75 here in Florida with the Jetpack on the dash, I'd ideally like a more fixed solution for all the highways we'll cover across this land were reception might be spotty.

I had looked over the Wilson sleek, but the reviews are spotty at best. So I'm unsure about it.

My thoughts are to get the Wilson Electronics WA-1145 antenna adapter and then just get an external roof mount antenna.

I was considering something like the Laird Phantom low profile antenna since it's got a nice range in the 700mhz band which puts it right in prime LTE.

The other thing I considered in place of the Wilson Sleek would be Cellphone-Mate 3-Watt Verizon 4G LTE Direct Connect Amplifier.

I was wondering if anyone has an in vehicle setups or ideas they could share that aren't related to the usual Airstream setups. As I am currently focusing on our tow vehicle at the moment.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:22 PM   #2
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New boosters have started to ship. These meet the new FCC requirements. I changed from a Wilson Sleek Verizon only to the new Wilson 4G mobile which covers nearly all of the carriers. Multiple devices can use it at the same time in the car. Evenings or when I am working from the trailer it's easy to disconnect and move (bought an extra power supply, inside and outside antenna so am only moving the booster).

Check out the blogs at Technomadia | Adventures in Nomadic Serendipity and Could RV Living Be Your Dream? Let's Find Out!! for a wealth of information on tech on the road.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:26 PM   #3
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Look at the Wifi Ranger, for your Wifi in area needs! It creates its own secure Hot spot for both your trailer and TV. It's amazing to me how well it picks up stuff from far away. It does have to be a open net work, however I can pick up a Starbucks wifi over a mile away that is free from my office... I also have the Wilson 4G with a Laird Technologies external Omni antenna, The antenna that comes with it is the weak link in the system, my guess for FCC requirements. I plug the 4G through a data card into the Wifi Ranger USB port and feel for data I get a better stronger reliable connection and again it"s through a secure router.... all together over $1,000 but in this day in age it pays to be connected if your livelihood requires it!
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:08 AM   #4
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Thanks, I already follow Technomadia and bought their ebook, it was pretty insightful, but a little watered down for myself. I'm a pretty technical person. I'll have to look at Wilson's new 4G Mobile, it looks interesting. Curious if this covers all the bands in the 700MHZ range, because Verizon has broken up uplink and downlink bands, they're not just on 700MHZ alone.

I plan on the using the Wifi Ranger for our Airstream setup, but that won't work for the truck in move. I'm building a system to plug our mifi into when inside the truck, because we may be using it hitched or unhitched.

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:18 AM   #5
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Wilson 4G Mobile works great with Verizon.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:59 AM   #6
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Verizon is on the 700mhz band for most of their LTE but earlier this year started to rollout in their AWS (1700mhz) LTE in some major metro markets. The Wilson unit covers that. From the specs the 5 bands covered by the Wilson are:

BAND 17-700 MHz, BAND 13-700 MHz, BAND 5-850 MHz, BAND 4-1700 MHz, BAND 25-1900 MHz with this description "including 4G, 3G, and 2G data downloads – for subscribers of all U.S. cellular networks (except Clearwire). By also boosting all major carriers’ legacy voice and data services, the Mobile 4G provides the user a strong, reliable signal, even where 4G services are unavailable. All cellular devices connect to the system wirelessly, and the Mobile 4G supports multiple simultaneous connections."

The Sleeks are single cell company only. Also only one device at a time since the device needs to be in the cradle. This new product, and there are competitors on the market as well, allows me to run my Jetpack, iPad and iPhone simultaneously. Finally able to boost voice while another device is doing data.

Was camping last week and on the edge of coverage at Carter Lake in Colorado. 1 bar maybe of LTE often dropping to 3G. Exterior antenna on the AS with the booster and saw 3-4 bars on the JetPack. Rates of 4-6mb. And that was with just the short stubby antenna. I also put up my Wilson Trucker antenna on a pole and was surprised that it didn't seem to make a measurable difference.

Technomadia sells an iOS app called 'Coverage?' which works well and I have found it to be pretty accurate for planning where I might camp.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
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The back of my Jeep GC has a 12 volt outlet which is always on. I simply leave my Jetpack (Verizon) plugged into it 24/7 when camping and use an external antenna from Wilson, about 9" long. That way there is always a good signal inside my trailer, with the Jeep parked close by, and when I go anywhere the WiFi is automatically with me.

The power requirements of the Jetpack are tiny and there is no danger of running the Jeep battery down. The signal it puts out is strong, so no need to move it into the trailer.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:26 PM   #8
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Interesting ideas, thanks.
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