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Old 01-07-2018, 06:19 AM   #1
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Question Cell phone antenna + wifi booster to cable inside?

Hey Folks,

I've been reviewing the posts, including BoldAdventure's about mounting an antenna on the roof, but many of these posts are pretty old. I'm wondering about new tech. I do not travel in the trailer in question, it stays put, so I don't need a lot of the complications that come with fancy equipment for moving RVs.

Here's what I'm trying to accomplish:

1) Bring a strong cell phone signal into the Limited
2) possibly also mount a wifi booster with it
3) bring the signals inside with cables and use cables inside, although I may later add a wifi unit inside if I'm not happy with living with the cables

I'm considering whether to try to use the existing roof-top antenna for the installation, or just to make an ad hoc kind of arrangement, maybe even just a pole mount.

What is the best value in recent equipment for this?
And how would you recommend doing it? Is using the existing antenna not worth the trouble for my application? I've never tried anything like this before.

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:12 AM   #2
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There are plenty of threads on your question in the forum. Search using their terms in your post. Also, search weboost install, 4G-X install, etc. You should find all the information you need.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:25 AM   #3
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Not much has changed..

Not a lot has changed over the last few years regarding wifi and cell tech for RV's.

For a stationary trailer, you could skip mounting a directional antenna on the trailer and place it on a flag pole or other tall post. You'd face the directional (Yagi) antenna toward your nearest tower and leave it there. That simplifies the installation quite a lot. With a config like this there would be no reason to use an omni antenna. And in all likelihood, you wouldn't need to boost unless you are a long ways from the tower. Look into a Pepwave MAX BR1 or a Cradlepoint IBR router to turn this cell signal into a wifi signal.

Adam
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:31 PM   #4
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Keeping the set-up simple

Quote:
Originally Posted by afk314 View Post
Not a lot has changed over the last few years regarding wifi and cell tech for RV's.

For a stationary trailer, you could skip mounting a directional antenna on the trailer and place it on a flag pole or other tall post. You'd face the directional (Yagi) antenna toward your nearest tower and leave it there. That simplifies the installation quite a lot. With a config like this there would be no reason to use an omni antenna. And in all likelihood, you wouldn't need to boost unless you are a long ways from the tower. Look into a Pepwave MAX BR1 or a Cradlepoint IBR router to turn this cell signal into a wifi signal.

Adam
Thanks Adam,
That is eggZACTLY the kind of info I was looking for! I will check those out.

Jennifer
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afk314 View Post
Not a lot has changed over the last few years regarding wifi and cell tech for RV's.

For a stationary trailer, you could skip mounting a directional antenna on the trailer and place it on a flag pole or other tall post. You'd face the directional (Yagi) antenna toward your nearest tower and leave it there. That simplifies the installation quite a lot. With a config like this there would be no reason to use an omni antenna. And in all likelihood, you wouldn't need to boost unless you are a long ways from the tower. Look into a Pepwave MAX BR1 or a Cradlepoint IBR router to turn this cell signal into a wifi signal.

Adam
Thanks for answering Jennifer's question Adam vs. replying "search". Much appreciated.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphonse View Post
Thanks for answering Jennifer's question Adam vs. replying "search". Much appreciated.

OK, so here is my long answer instead of “Search”, Alphonse. All of which I discovered in my “Search”. Just another take on putting together a Cellular and WiFi solution:

Airstream Internet, Cellular and Satellite Solutions



Here is the list of the equipment used in my Internet and Cellular setup:



I recommend the 3GStore.com to purchase all this stuff. They are extremely helpful and I find their prices are pretty competitive.



•WeBoost 4G-X Cell booster (not the trucker version) $479

•Sure Call Omni Antenna for outside $57.99

•Wilson Flat Plate Indoor Ceiling Mount Antenna $89.99

•Wilson Ultra Low Loss 400 cable (at least 20 ft.) $41.99

•WeBoost adapters N to SMA $7.99 and Wilson SMA/N extension cable



From amsolar.com:



•L-Foot 5 hole mounting brackets normally used for mounting solar panels. Get the tallest they have. You will use these to mount the Omni SureCall Antenna. They come with VHB tape on the bottom. Once stuck in place, cover the foot with SikaFlex 221. It will never go anywhere!

•1 inch X 1 inch stick down zip tie attachment points. $2.00 each. These are used to hold the antenna cables in place across the roof. They come with VHB tape on the bottom, then add a little SikaFlex 221 around them for insurance. Probably need 8 to 10 of them for both the WeBoost antenna and the WiFi Ranger antenna wires. 4 to 5 for each antenna wire run.



From wifiranger.com



•EliteAC Pack FM $749. This comes complete with all the cabling you will need.



From Amazon:



•12-volt plug to mount in your entertainment box to have power for the WeBoost and the WiFi Ranger. https://www.amazon.com/FENGWANGLI-Ma...+power+adapter

•90 degree and 270 degree angle HDMI adapters. They come in packs but I cannot remember how many of each I used. Monoprice customer support may be able to answer that question. About $6.00 per pack of 4.



From monoprice.com:



•Blackbird 4k 4x2 HDMI Matrix with Slim Mountable Case and Remote Control $39.99. This allows you to have up to four inputs (Satellite, Cable TV, DVD player and Apple TV and play different inputs on your two TV’s in the trailer) THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CELL OR WIFI SETUPS. JUST AN EXTRA DEAL IF YOU DECIDE TO PUT IN APPLE TV. The one that is in the trailer only supports two inputs which you already are using…DVD player and Cable/Sat TV.



That’s a bunch of stuff I know but it all makes sense once you have it in hand.



Here’s the installation description:



•Mount the WiFi Ranger antenna and the SureCall Omni antenna at the far ends of the trailer. You decide which you put in the front or the rear. The SureCall Omni needs to be at least 12 ft. from the Wilson Indoor Ceiling Mount antenna to prevent oscillation. My cell antenna is at the rear of the trailer and the Wilson is in the center, in front of the refrigerator and I get no oscillation at all.

•Run your antenna cables across the roof with the 1 inch by 1 inch zip tie attachments.

•Remove the refrigerator roof vent and run the antenna cables down the vent and over into the cavity between the refrigerator and the entertainment cabinet. There is an opening into the entertainment cabinet.

•Clean the surface underneath the refrigerator vent really well then put VHB tape on the mounting surface of the vent and reattach to the roof. Then SikaFlex 221 around the vent mounting surface.

•Remove the cabinet holding the DVD Player (3 screws). Drill the correct size hole for the 12 volt receptacle and mount the receptacle. Drill another small hole to route the WiFi Ranger power wires through.

•Clamp the 12 volt wires to the radio leads for power then clamp the WiFi Ranger power wires to the 12 volt leads.

•Find the Satellite cable that is under the box and route it out of the box for future use. That way you don’t have to remove the box again.

•Remove the old HDMI splitter and install the monoprice splitter.

•Route your Apple TV cable up from the TV cavity into the entertainment cabinet. A little patience here and a coat hanger with duct tape will do the trick.

•Install the correct HDMI angle connectors to the monoprice splitter then reinstall all your HDMI cables. BE SURE TO MAKE A NOTE OF WHICH INPUT YOU PUT WHICH DEVICE. THESE CORRESPOND TO THE NUMBERS ON THE REMOTE TO ENABLE YOU TO SWITCH BETWEEN INPUTS AFTER YOU REINSTALL THE CABINET.

•I mounted the Wilson Indoor antenna, the WeBoost device and the WiFi Ranger router with Velcro Command Strips so I didn’t have to drill any holes.

•Turn everything on and follow the setup instructions and you should be good. Call me with any questions.

•Lew’s email is 4rvsolar@gmail.com if you need any technical advice beyond what I wrote here. This is his install to the letter.

•GOOD LUCK!
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:03 AM   #7
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:24 AM   #8
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This is what I did:
1) I bought the WeBoost system that I can also use in my car. The only negative is that the inside antenna will require you to be close to the antenna for a better signal. You can also get a WeBoost System that is for the inside of houses and put in AS. But then you can't use in vehicle. Pros and Cons.
2) I did not want to drill holes etc in the outside and have to mount the antenna. So I bought an antenna that I could easily attach to a holder that has a suction cup on it. Then I suction it to a window of the AS on the outside where the signal is the strongest when parked. Then I run the antenna wire through the back of the AS where the back storage space is. (I have rear bedroom) and then ran it inside (drilled very small hole to get through wood of bed frame) to where the WeBoost was. When we travel I just put the antenna and the wire where the storage compartment is in the back. Works great. By the way the wire is thin enough that I can pretty much close the back storage compartment. It's a bit tight, but there's enough space between the seals for the antenna wire. No drilling except for small hole in the wood. took me about 30 minutes to put it all together.

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Old 01-08-2018, 12:29 PM   #9
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Here is what I did with no holes drilled through the aluminum or getting on the roof. Only $200 total cost.

I installed the WeBoost Home 4G. I bought a refurbished unit from WeBoost with a one year warranty for $200. I mounted the external antenna on a tri-pod I have for LED work ligfhts (Home Depot) so I can easily aim the antenna at the strongest signal/cell tower and also I can maximize the separation from the internal antenna. I ran the wires for the external antenna from the back storage unit under my bed to the kitchen where I mounted the amplifier and internal antenna. WeBoost will ship you a thin, flat coax cable to run the external antenna cable under a door or window. I ran it out through the storage access door to another 25 feet of coax cable.

With this maximized separation of the two antennas, I get great boosting of the signals.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Slimmed down, low-interior-radiation version

Wow, this is quite a range of alternatives! Great! Thanks.

Here's why I asked my question the way I did. I thought about it before I asked.

I am trying to avoid an ambient signal inside my Faraday cage (read: tin can; read: Airstream). There is increasing medical research that suggests that the radiation is bad stuff to live with. I no longer use a microwave oven. I won't go into the medical details here, because I don't remember them off the top of my head, but I have spent most of my adult life in healthcare, I am a professional, and have good reasons to be concerned. The bottom line is I would like to take advantage of the protections that my rolling Faraday cage gives me from external frequencies and I'd like to generate as few, myself, as possible, inside it. Call me nuts, but it's my trailer and that's my choice.

I don't have to travel with this rig, so I can use something that is not dedicated to RV use.

I am making a strenuous effort to keep my costs and complications down. I could well do a set-up of the kinds some of you are describing – in heroic length and detail (wow, MoJoe!) – in our Airstream moho for traveling, when/if I am ready to reconcile myself to living with the radiation ricocheting around inside the coach; however, this set-up is for our Airstream Limited in Baja. So I can keep it reeeeeal simple.

I did talk with the folks at Weboost and they did suggest the cradle version for the phone which I considered, but it is limited to one device, so I decided to pass on it.

So what I'm still shooting for is a simpler set-up that draws service into the RV with a cable and that bring it to my devices with a cable. I have to say, I don't really understand the electrical aspects of the tech very well, but it seems that I don't need separation between two antennae because I really only need one for my application? I just need something to bring in the signal, which is sometimes 3G, other times 4LTE. If I turn out to need a boost too, I'll have to invest in more equipment. I may also look for a way to bring in the campground wifi, but that has been unreliable in high demand, despite the best efforts of the campground management. There's a limited amount of bandwidth coming into our town and our town is growing fast.

In that case, I probably don't need to put the antenna on a terribly tall pole unless that's necessary to reach the signal from the tower. I don't need the height for separation.

So I think I'll start with Adam's solution and see how far I get. I may have to try some of what the others here have suggested if it doesn't work!

Thanks again!
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:13 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Suction mount for antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
This is what I did:
1) I bought the WeBoost system that I can also use in my car. The only negative is that the inside antenna will require you to be close to the antenna for a better signal. You can also get a WeBoost System that is for the inside of houses and put in AS. But then you can't use in vehicle. Pros and Cons.
2) I did not want to drill holes etc in the outside and have to mount the antenna. So I bought an antenna that I could easily attach to a holder that has a suction cup on it. Then I suction it to a window of the AS on the outside where the signal is the strongest when parked. Then I run the antenna wire through the back of the AS where the back storage space is. (I have rear bedroom) and then ran it inside (drilled very small hole to get through wood of bed frame) to where the WeBoost was. When we travel I just put the antenna and the wire where the storage compartment is in the back. Works great. By the way the wire is thin enough that I can pretty much close the back storage compartment. It's a bit tight, but there's enough space between the seals for the antenna wire. No drilling except for small hole in the wood. took me about 30 minutes to put it all together.

Hey Daquenzer,
I'm realizing that your solution may be good for my situation because I will need some height on the antenna but I don't want to clutter the surrounding area with a pole. I'm using the AS in a storage area as a studio. The storage area isn't used that much, but I don't want anyone else to have to worry about the positioning of a pole that may have to be moved. I'll look for either a magnetic attachment or a suction solution, like you have. Very helpful video, BTW.

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:43 AM   #12
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I would seriously consider talking with Lewster, a member here on the forum, before you spend any money. He is a professional who does these type of Airstream installations all the time. Many members have been very satisfied with his work and his solutions. Describe your situation and I bet he will recommend a cost effective solution for you and maybe save you the trial and error. He’s a super nice guy to boot.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:04 AM   #13
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fall-back to wifi

Hey Mojoe,

I agree, a talk with Lewster may be just the thing. He is so helpful.

Now an unexpected development: my neighbor is no longer using his wifi antenna and has offered to let me use it in the storage area. So I'll try that first. That could answer a lot of questions and he may want to sell his used set-up to me if it works. He no longer needs it because the campground erected more poles and his service is now as good as it's going to get. But the storage area is still in a dark place.

I'm happy to try this because I have a lot on my plate right now. The less assembly I do on this project, the better. If it doesn't work, back to the drawing board.

Thanks again.
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