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Old 02-15-2016, 04:50 PM   #15
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One situation where it may be advantageous to have the directional capability would be where a closer tower may be providing a lower signal strength (because of shadowing) but your device is attaching to the stronger but farther away tower. By pointing the antenna towards the closer tower you may succeed in lowering the delay time to an acceptable number. Here in the Minnesota area we probably will never see such a scenario as it isn't all that flat. I expect to see great use in my directional antenna in improving my internet speeds by having greater signal strength (installing it in April).
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Old 02-15-2016, 05:29 PM   #16
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I work full time from my Airstream. 100% of the time on the phone with Internet.

We use a trucker's antenna (comparable & recommended by Wilson) mounted on a 35 pole from Lowe's connected to a Wilson 4Gx WiFi booster which then routes (wirelesses signal) to my cell phones an my Verizon Jetpack. Works great in almost all but the most remote locations. The line of site is greatly increased. And of course if you also had a directional antennae too then, "Bob's your uncle".
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tvoneicken View Post
> I am going to recommend you match the directional and omni to a WeBoost Drive 4G-X without that you are kind of wasting your money.

Why??? I have an antenna connector on the JetPack as I mentioned. External omni plugs straight into the Jetpack. Why would I get a WeBoost?

> We've been boondocking for the past 3 months nonstop and I've had to use the directional twice.

Mhh, doesn't sound like a great ROI to me, but to each their own... What was the improvement of using the directional over the omni?
Doesn't sound like great like great ROI? I basically wouldn't of been able to camp in about 90% of the places we've been the past year without the WeBoost. Most of the time I use the Omni, occasionally I use the Directional.

But I almost ALWAYS use the WeBoost. But yea, to each their own. You're getting a small uptick with the antenna plugged directly into the mifi.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:58 PM   #18
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I work full time from my Airstream. 100% of the time on the phone with Internet.

We use a trucker's antenna (comparable & recommended by Wilson) mounted on a 35 pole from Lowe's connected to a Wilson 4Gx WiFi booster which then routes (wirelesses signal) to my cell phones an my Verizon Jetpack. Works great in almost all but the most remote locations. The line of site is greatly increased. And of course if you also had a directional antennae too then, "Bob's your uncle".
I must not have been clear in my initial post. I have the same omni antenna you have, just connected directly to a JetPack/Mifi. Works great. In fact, works so well that I even have signal when the tower is too far to actually connect to due to timing issues. Hence my pondering whether a directional antenna actually does any good over the omni. I mean, what's the point of pulling even further away towers in if I can't connect to them anyway.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:01 PM   #19
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Doesn't sound like great like great ROI? I basically wouldn't of been able to camp in about 90% of the places we've been the past year without the WeBoost. Most of the time I use the Omni, occasionally I use the Directional.

But I almost ALWAYS use the WeBoost. But yea, to each their own. You're getting a small uptick with the antenna plugged directly into the mifi.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I think you're not actually reading what I write. The external omni plugged into the Mifi works so well that I wonder why bother with a directional. I had planned to upgrade to a directional, but the reality I see is that the omni on its own pulls in towers that are so far away that they won't let me connect. Hence, I'm doubting that adding a directional has any benefit. You are actually confirming that literally, so thank you!
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:04 PM   #20
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Amazing. That hasn't been my experience. You should share these amazing boondocking locations with wonderful LTE coverage. The omni alone for me was fine on the east coast, out west, useless.

Don't buy one. Save your pennies.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:09 PM   #21
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Amazing. That hasn't been my experience. You should share these amazing boondocking locations with wonderful LTE coverage. The omni alone for me was fine on the east coast, out west, useless.

Don't buy one. Save your pennies.
Interesting. Can you give a sample location out west where your omni did *not* work but the directional did?
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:23 PM   #22
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Sure I'll give you a several. Pole Mountain area west of Cheyenne WY. With the WeBoost 4G-X and the omni Trucker, while Voice worked no data. Went to the Yagi, and to a usable 4mb/s data connection.

Medicine Bow National Forest just west of Centennial, WY. Good view to the east in the valley. Again nothing with the omni other than voice. Yagi had 3.6mb/s.

Encampment, WY city park. No joy with the omni, 6mb/s with the Yagi pointing to a tower to the northeast.

Without the 4G-X none of these locations would work.

Bottom line use what you have and if it isn't working try something else. And the add ons do start to add costs. And some times you simply need to move. You did ask if it was worth it didn't you?
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:34 PM   #23
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:15 PM   #24
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Gary, thanks for the examples. I looked at verizon and AT&T coverage maps (dunno which service you're using) and it appears that all the sites you mention are "supposed to have LTE coverage" (I know, coverage maps...). But that tells me that most likely the issue is more about attenuation due to foliage than a distance issue. Food for thought for sure... Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:26 PM   #25
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Amazing. That hasn't been my experience. You should share these amazing boondocking locations with wonderful LTE coverage.
You were in Anza Borrego recently, I find that the boondocking sites in the Borrego Springs valley have good coverage (haven't been back in 2 years, I hear some things have changed there).

Mojave Preserve has good coverage around Cima Dome. A few years back I had great signal on the south slope of the main valley coming down cedar canyon rd but couldn't connect due to distance. I found a spot along the road where I got a connection and then walked less than 50ft and lost the connection while seeing the same signal strength. The phone would just cycle trying to connect and failing in a loop.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:35 AM   #26
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Maybe I missed it but how much would a set up like this cost?
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:37 AM   #27
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Rockhouse Trail Road in Anza Borrego has terrible service, not great coverage. It's also over loaded. Directional was needed to go from 0.25mbps which is unusable to 1.45mbps which is still pretty bad. Ken's Lake in Moab required it, nothing on omni. Hole in the Wall at Mojave Preserve required it too. Singal was weak on the omni. But way better speeds on the directional. Talking a 5mbps difference. Looking through my speed test account we went from 2.34mbps down to 15mbps down with the directional.

Mitry Lake, Yuma AZ was better boosted on the omni, 1 bar unboosted. Loy Butte Rd, Sedona AZ was better boosted too. Madden Peak, San Juan Nat'l Forest, CO - Sand Flats Recreation Area, Moab UT - Lower Teton View, WY overloaded tower and 1-2mbps on the omni. Unboosted was 3G and non-usable. We actually moved after two weeks here because of the slow speeds. Piney Campground, MT was 3G unboosted and 4G LTE usable boosted. Galena Gulch BLM, MT was 3G unboosted and 4G usable boosted.

I actually have been keeping a spreadsheet, and adding all this to my reviews on Campendium.

So it's a toss up. I think the ROI is worth it.

BTW, I was originally replying to this:

Quote:
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For example, I was in the south of Death Valley last week ~38mi from Furnace Creek, where the cell tower is as far as I know. I saw 3 out of 4 bars for 1xRTT and could connect. For 3G I saw 2/4 bars but could not connect, the JetPack cycled though connecting...disconnecting, which typically indicates that it's beyond the range that the cell tower accepts.

This experience is very typical for me: I have signal but am too far out. If I'm within range the JetPack usually works even without external antenna. In what circumstances have you found more antenna useful?
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:17 PM   #28
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I’m sure you probably know most of this, but adding to the fray…

My internet search turned up some interesting facts. I speak as a ham who is interested in this technically, and as a remote user (15 linear miles) from a Verizon tower. I looked into this some 7-8 years ago when I set up my system using a Wilson amp and a very high gain Yagi antenna.

The maximum range of a mast (where it is not limited by interference with other masts nearby) depends on the same circumstances. Some technologies, such as GSM, normally have a fixed maximum range of 35 kilometers (22 mi), which is imposed by technical limitations. CDMA and IDEN have no built-in limit, but the limiting factor is the ability of a low-powered personal cell phone to transmit back to the mast. As a rough guide, based on a tall mast and flat terrain, it is possible to get between 50 to 70 km (30–45 miles).

I was unaware that there was a distance limitation. Your estimate of 38 miles would put you way beyond that limitation – if – you are using GSM, but not CDMA. Interesting…

AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technology. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA.
These two technologies are incompatible. Also different carriers use different frequencies, which means that unless your antenna is tuned for that frequency, it may, or may not work.

All of this is quite interesting (to me}. However, I think that a phone call to a tech at Wilson (or some other cell phone amplifier company) would be a quicker and perhaps simpler solution…
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