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Old 05-03-2015, 10:25 AM   #1
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LTE and WiFi connectivity - router options

Anyone used one of these?

AirBox X1n | WAAV, Inc.

It's a high end (read expensive) cellular and WiFi router that uses a SIM card for your specific cellular provider. Based on an email exchange with the company you can use your existing data plan but will pay about $20 a month to add this as another device to your plan, similar to a JetPack. This seems like the way to go so you can use data on the road without having a separate plan. We currently use our iPhones to surf etc but often struggle with signal.

It will pull in campsite or other WiFi or cellular so you can use local WiFi if available and save cellular data. It allows connection of a 5 way antenna, 2 cellular antennas to take advantage of MIMO, 2 WiFi antennas and a GPS antenna. There are single unit, through roof, 5 way antennas available, again not cheap.

It will set up a local WiFi network for your Airstream which will be connected to the internet via cellular or WiFi depending on what is available. I plan on running a few Apple TV's and a Network Attached Server attached to one of the LAN ports which holds a ton of movies and music.

It would be a considerable expense over say a JetPack but I believe it would provide a very nice integrated solution for all my needs.

Anyone used this or something similar? Thanks.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:56 AM   #2
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How "expensive" is this? I added an iPad with LTE to my cellular service for an extra $10 a month.
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Old 05-03-2015, 04:13 PM   #3
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That's silly expensive, and there are easier more cost effect solutions. If you really want to jam a sim card into your router, buy a Cradle Point.

It will also do wifi as WAN like a the over priced Wifi Ranger: CradlePoint MBR1400 3G/4G Router, 50 Reviews : 3Gstore.com

But honestly, the best solution, is to just get a mifi and tether it to a Soho.
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:43 PM   #4
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Why would someone in this day and age put up a website and not list the MSRP for the item they would like to sell? That said there are other alternatives including getting a WEBoost (Wilson Electronics new name) that can be used in the car and the AS. Easy to move and you can use a choice of antennas. Doesn't help with the WiFi but campground WiFi, with a few exceptions, is a marketing myth. When they announce "Free WiFi" it is basically meaningless. I have a WiFi ranger and seldom bother to put it up anymore.
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
That's silly expensive, and there are easier more cost effect solutions. If you really want to jam a sim card into your router, buy a Cradle Point.

It will also do wifi as WAN like a the over priced Wifi Ranger: CradlePoint MBR1400 3G/4G Router, 50 Reviews : 3Gstore.com

But honestly, the best solution, is to just get a mifi and tether it to a Soho.
Can the CradlePoint be used with external cellular antennas? Looks like WiFi antennas only from what I can see. The JetPack I was looking at has the facility to run an external antenna but I think it is a single only. I camp in areas with weak cellular signals, sometimes just x1, a bit of 3G if you are lucky hence the need for an external cellular antenna.

Thanks.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:08 PM   #6
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How "expensive" is this? I added an iPad with LTE to my cellular service for an extra $10 a month.
About $1000 for the router, 5 way antenna's are about $250. Obviously there are cheaper ways to do this....curious to see if anyone had dropped the cash and gone this way.

This is the article that got me thinking (scroll down a bit to the Moovbox article).

Riveted: Technology

The Moovbox is only sold with a separate data plan so you would be shelling out another $100 or so a month for this ontop of your phone contract. The Moovbox hardware cost is similar to the WAAV, maybe a bit cheaper.

We currently use iPhones each with 4G LTE hotspot capability which we have been using to connect WiFi only iPad's. Cellular signal strength is the issue hence the need for external cellular antenna(s). From what I understand 2 cellular antennas allow for stronger signal strength potential and greater speed compared to a single.

I also looked at the JetPack which has a port for an external antenna but only a single. This would be a cheap option, the JetPack is free on Verizon if you have a contract and just $20 a month to add it to the plan.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:08 PM   #7
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You should investigate a booster. Sounds like you have the tools but need a better signal. Adding an external antenna will help, if the device supports it, but a booster can make all the difference in the world.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:38 PM   #8
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Yes, the Cradle Point works with external antenna's. You have 3 wifi's and 2 carrier antenna's, you can connect any type of antenna.



Anyhow, I still wouldn't go the all in one solution, you'll be disappointed, sorely.



I have to have LTE for my job or my lifestyle full-time comes to a halt.

I'm a running a Verizon LTE Mifi on unlimited data plan, Wilson booster, tethered to the SoHo, internal wifi antenna, external wifi antenna for Wifi as WAN, the booster is connected to KV switch, with LMR400 cable to Omni and Directional antenna's on the roof. Depending on circumstance, I can use the omni most of the time, or switch over to directional and aim directly at a cell tower for longer than than the omni.

All that gear and here I am in Vogel State Park and only 3G is the best I can manage. But the park has wifi, so I'm repeating it back to my Airstream.

Like another said, ignoring the booster is doing you no favors. Without booster there isn't even 3G here where I am at.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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Thanks guys - looks like I have more research to do....
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:58 AM   #10
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To be honest, the Moovbox looks pretty interesting. But I don't see how I'd get a booster inline.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:23 PM   #11
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Bold how do you like the Yagi booster antenna. Any issues on getting it pointed at a tower if you don't know where the towers are located?
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
Why would someone in this day and age put up a website and not list the MSRP for the item they would like to sell? ........When they announce "Free WiFi" it is basically meaningless. I have a WiFi ranger and seldom bother to put it up anymore.
ghaynes - I agree on the lack of prices on the website. I traded emails with a sales rep and he made a quip at other websites where you can "add items to your cart" indicating you might not get a fully integrated solution if you go that route. Personally, researching and selecting a solution is half the fun! On WiFi - I also agree that campsite WiFi is mainly a pipe dream. I typically camp at State Parks - I have not camped anywhere with WiFi yet (that I could get a signal). Having said that, if I can get WiFi WAN functionality for little incremental cost then I'll go that route.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:48 PM   #13
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I'm camping at Vogel State Park, surprisingly the WiFi is useable. As I've only got 3G, but it also helps that this is a weekend warrior park and is completely empty right now.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:06 PM   #14
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I currently use a Surecall 9.5" omni-directional antenna mounted to our Airstream's roof along with a Wilson 3G direct connect booster amp (3g/4g amps were not available when I bought mine). From the amp, I plug the antenna connection into my Verizon MHS291L Jetpack which gives me wifi throughout the trailer. The Jetpack uses shared data from our Verizon 30gb plan. I pay $20 per month while using the Jetpack but only for the months I use the trailer (but at least 6 months). At other times I keep it deactivated.
The combination of the external antenna and amp greatly improves my 3g signal and I plan shortly to purchase the new Weboost 4g M2M Direct Connect Cellular Amp to allow boosted 4g LTE as well.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:50 PM   #15
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Consider getting a different model from Weboost. The M2M is a 15db gain while many of the others do 50db.
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:15 PM   #16
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Bold... how do you get unlimited data from Verizon? We have a commercial account and when we hit 40GB had to open a second commercial account with them to get to 80GB. At that time, I think we were paying about $800 a month. (about two years ago). What does Verizon charge you for unlimited data?

To save from doing a lot of research, can anyone recommend the top choice in an external antenna for the Airstream and a booster to attach to our JetPack?

We need as much LTE/4G as we can get when traveling.
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:08 PM   #17
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Weboost,com (formerly Wilson) and the Drive 4G-M or Drive 4G-X (not yet available). Jetpack will 'connect' while in proximity to the inside antenna. External it will ship with a short stubby which works but if you are in real fringe areas you may want to get a better omni or in really bad spots a Yagi antenna. I use the stubby a lot, have a trucker omni which I mount to a painters pole and stick it in my flag pole holder.

3gstore.com can answer questions and put together a solution for you.

I have it setup in the truck while driving and simply unplug the unit and move it to the AS when I get parked and camping. Separate antenna and power supply for the AS.

Verizon had unlimited data plans in the past. Think they are no longer offered.
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #18
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They are no longer offered. They changed me out of mine when I went to Mexico last fall and would not give it back when I returned. To say I was upset would be an understatement.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:14 PM   #19
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Fascinating discussion, thanks! I'd love to see photos of all of Bold's gear mounted and working, with details on running the wires and mounting the antennae, how one knows which way to orient a directional yagi when the tower isn't where it can be easily seen, and whether an omnidirectional 3/4G antenna (looks just like the wi-fi antenna from the outside) might be a good substitute for the yagi.

As of now, we very occasionally get campground wifi (oxymoron!) to work, and have reasonably good luck with a Wilson Sleek 4G booster along with its little home office antenna kit. However, we must admit to some level of frustration since all antennae are inside the trailer where they do the least good. We're pretty sure we'd bet better results with a configuration like Bold's - just not sure where to run the wires and and mount the gear, both internal and external, without making too many new holes.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:24 PM   #20
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Sorry, I didn't mention it, but I have a grandfathered plan.

I have pictures on Instagram, but haven't recently taken shots of everything finished.

Like for example, I have an internal wifi antenna I mounted in the ceiling


There are several sites that let you search out cell towers and radio repeaters, and you can put your phone into test mode to help locate the nearest tower for pointing your YAGI. It's rather simple really.
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