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Old 04-02-2018, 11:23 AM   #85
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All that to say, try sweeping for best signal next time. Take your time. Some units can read out directly, some require computer interface.

Mark
FWIW, we *did* sweep. LB_3 physically moved the directional incrementally, with me inside the van reading the resulting gunk that the Netgear was spitting out in real time. The exercise was a complete goat fornication. It only confused the matter.

Here is what we are pursuing at the moment - whether a small repeater would be feasible and economical (both being important points). Not to hijack this thread with user-specific info, but this is an idea that certain directional antenna owners (particularly private landowners) should know about if they are not getting good results with their existing equipment. Our boondocking site is perched on a ledge about 22 feet above the lake frontage. The lake is within 1 to 2 feet of sea level because there is a drainage nexus from the lake complex directly to the ocean. The lake shore elevation is what is giving us fits, but before we proceed down to the boondocking pad, our private road passes across a knoll which is probably 70 to 90 feet high depending on the geographic reference we use. If we could put a small repeater up there, it might alleviate the need to think about antenna masts, balloons, and other ideas for gaining directional line-of-sight.

The construct looks like this image from Wiki:

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Old 04-02-2018, 01:01 PM   #86
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that tower may be OK now, but if its gets overloaded then the signal from the next best tower will be to weak and you wont hop over. That why the ant needs to be Omni directional.
I agree. Especially if the tower you see is not your carrier. You may be on it, but you'll be kicked to the next if a real customer makes a call.
I saw this all the time at NASCAR. When Sprint was the main sponsor, they'd bring six or seven portable cell towers built in semi's. They wanted Sprint customers to have service. So my Verizon phone would be fine until just before the race, then I'd see 5 bars, but if I attempted a call I'd get "No service".
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Old 04-03-2018, 05:32 AM   #87
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I agree. Especially if the tower you see is not your carrier. You may be on it, but you'll be kicked to the next if a real customer makes a call.
...
Reportedly, deprioritization was more true in the past than it is now. For example, when I go to Canada, I'm at the mercy of the local carriers (Bell and Telus most prominently) which have a reciprocity agreement with my carrier Verizon. Part of my troubleshooting last summer involved going to visit a Telus store to speak with Customer Service rep in person about potentially "buying up" Canadian access - the theory being, OK, Verizon's reciprocity gives me Service X, but I really want your superior Service Y and I'm willing to pay for it, so how do I arrange that with you? If I need a sim card, whatever, let's talk about it.

It turns out that I was already being given better access than the CSR whose own personal phone contract was with Telus directly. We put our phones side by side and compared the access and performance. My foreign phone was clearly given priority. Verizon is so huge that it maybe the small cellular fish want to keep it happy - I don't know.

That anecdote represents one of many uncontrollable variables in the cell phone game. Not only is it complicated, but conditions change so fast that, even if we start to constrain what is wrong with any given situation, by the time we figure out how to deal with it, it's different all over again.
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Old 04-04-2018, 08:51 AM   #88
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When I was still working, I read a notice that Cell repeaters were supposed to be registered. I don’t recall the details at this time- even mobile ones were under the rule if I remember correctly (always suspect).
I have no idea of Industry Canada and rules they may have implemented for this.

Of course, it may never cause any issues and likely not to in your location. But it may not hurt to know what the rules are (and the penalties).

We used ‘passive repeaters’ from time to time. It can be as simple as two directional antennas (could have a Yagi toward the cell tower, a dish toward your location) and a low loss cable between. It is actually a lot more effective than you may think.
Of course, it is critical to have the proper frequency-the higher gain antennas typically have a narrower frequency acceptance to get that gain.

Something at the rear of each antenna may be a good idea (metal sheet or even foil covered sheet)- although a higher gain antenna usually has a null at the rear.

Mark
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:33 PM   #89
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Yagi antenna has its own null, if I remember correctly. Meanwhile our empirical use of a Yagi on our rotatable TV antenna worked again last night like gangbusters when we fed that un-amplified signal straight into our Cradlepoint router. Can't say enough good things about this setup.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:13 AM   #90
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When I was still working, I read a notice that Cell repeaters were supposed to be registered. ...
Hopefully I will be able to comment on that soon. I'm emailing inquiries to vendors who sell this kind of equipment, to see if they have anything that might fit applications similar to mine.
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