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Old 03-23-2021, 08:39 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
2007 27' International CCD FB
San Diego , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
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External Yagi Cellular Antenna on Winegard Mast

Got an external Yagi antenna mounted for my Weboost Reach. Re-purposing the old VHF winegard antenna mast for this purpose. Now I have a nice high mounted antenna with the ability to slew a direction yagi, to maximize transmission gain.

1) Hacked off the old VHF antenna off its plastic mount, keeping the base part that holds the uprights of the mast together.
2) Bolted Yagi right angle antenna mount to upper mast
3) Run short 10ft low loss cable through fridge vent

This should give me some serious 40db+ gain over just using the cell phone inside the tin faraday cage.

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Key parts:
1) Yagi antenna: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J14YEHQ
2) Low loss cable: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P12XW3J
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Old 03-23-2021, 10:15 PM   #2
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
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Good job! Like the idea to repurpose the mast.
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Old 03-23-2021, 11:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RivetED View Post
Good job! Like the idea to repurpose the mast.


let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:31 AM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
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Excellent!

Too bad that your through-roof flue/vent, for the fridge's propane exhaust gas, is an historical dinosaur . . .

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Old 03-24-2021, 09:26 AM   #5
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1988 29' Excella
Lorena , Texas
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I did something similar. Mine was on older mast that did not survive disassembly so the yagi is just above the roof attached to the rotating mast mount. I also reused the RG 59 antenna cable. For 10 feet it’s not much loss and it beats running another cable down

It adds between 1 and 2 bars. My hot spot does not show signal level so I’m not sure what that equates to in dB.

But there are two definite advantages. One is the outside antenna. The other is the ability to point it at the tower.
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:40 PM   #6
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I did the same w/ a Waveform MIMO panel. I kept the Winegard antenna, too since the MIMO is on an extension made from 1 1/2” aluminum angle.

One possible enhancement for you to consider... since the Winegard base is on a slightly curved roof section, your Yagi will point below the horizon when it’s pointy end is aiming street side and above the horizon curbside. If you remount the Yagi to only the forward bar of the Winegard (with or without an extension... doesn’t matter, just don’t mount it to the original Winegard bracket that’s attached to both bars) and have it pointed slightly below the horizon when the Winegard is raised you will be able to get azimuth control with the control wheel inside the trailer and elevation with the crank. Lowering the antenna a half crank or so will point the Yagi up. I assumed that Winegard locked out the rotation function except when their antenna was fully raised. They didn’t, at least on my trailer’s Winegard.

Whether the Winegard worm gear will hold up with the extra with and leverage of the MIMO is still an open question for me.
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Excellent!

Too bad that your through-roof flue/vent, for the fridge's propane exhaust gas, is an historical dinosaur . . .

A historical appendage at this point, but glad I could take advantage of both the mast and the flue. Not sure when the last year of ASs came out of the factory with flues or masts, but I would imagine there's still more trailers running around with these than not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lemley View Post
I did something similar. Mine was on older mast that did not survive disassembly so the yagi is just above the roof attached to the rotating mast mount. I also reused the RG 59 antenna cable. For 10 feet it’s not much loss and it beats running another cable down

It adds between 1 and 2 bars. My hot spot does not show signal level so I’m not sure what that equates to in dB.

But there are two definite advantages. One is the outside antenna. The other is the ability to point it at the tower.
Good call and I debated re-using the RG59 cable route. In the end, it came down to maximizing performance with short cable runs to where I needed the cable routed to. It was easier to wire through the flue as I did with solar. The cupboard above my refrigerator in the 27FB is where I ran the short cable to, and is where I have the booster located. I added a 12V outlet there, making it my wiring cupboard for this.

I actually have a Weboost Reach that is generally mounted in my tow vehicle. With a trucker antenna as I like to explore the backcountry. Typical performance is impressive, greatly expanding coverage, and easily 25+ db or about 2-3 bar, measuring with Network Cell Info Lite Android app. There are times boondocking or camping, that even that is not enough, hence adding another antenna set to the AS with directional Yagi capabilities. I can move the booster easily now between the two vehicles and should enable a rather huge 35 dB level boost performance of a cell phone in the trailer, hopefully enabling comms where even omni antennas cannot.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I did the same w/ a Waveform MIMO panel. I kept the Winegard antenna, too since the MIMO is on an extension made from 1 1/2” aluminum angle.

One possible enhancement for you to consider... since the Winegard base is on a slightly curved roof section, your Yagi will point below the horizon when it’s pointy end is aiming street side and above the horizon curbside. If you remount the Yagi to only the forward bar of the Winegard (with or without an extension... doesn’t matter, just don’t mount it to the original Winegard bracket that’s attached to both bars) and have it pointed slightly below the horizon when the Winegard is raised you will be able to get azimuth control with the control wheel inside the trailer and elevation with the crank. Lowering the antenna a half crank or so will point the Yagi up. I assumed that Winegard locked out the rotation function except when their antenna was fully raised. They didn’t, at least on my trailer’s Winegard.

Whether the Winegard worm gear will hold up with the extra with and leverage of the MIMO is still an open question for me.
Good thoughts and I considered some too. It's indeed only mounted to the forward bar but perpendicular to the mast upward and downward motion to minimize aero load in transit. Not sure how much impact azimuth will have on the yagi as it has a generous 55* to 65* vertical half power beam width. The yagi is lighter and lower profile than the original bat wing antenna so I did consider leverage and wind loads. Should prove to be good but I will watch. You can see how the bracket is attached here with blue outline showing where the yagi antenna goes.

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Old 03-24-2021, 03:42 PM   #8
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
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Great new details thanks. Our 1985 Sovereign 25' had the same flue vent, and, yes, you are probably right about many still being around.
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Excellent!

Too bad that your through-roof flue/vent, for the fridge's propane exhaust gas, is an historical dinosaur . . .

I love your whole idea.

But if you let me go a bit off-topic for a second, I might take a small issue of Pete's characterization of the fridge vent being a historical dinosaur by postulating that the fridge vent may yet see a comeback, especially if ammonia absorption fridges remain popular, as they indeed are for boondockers.

It's true AS eliminated the roof vent due to it being a primary source of water intrusion into the trailer which would tend to rot the plywood subfloor. AS has also of late started to replace absorption fridges with compressor fridges, which need no venting and are more energy efficient.

However, compressor fridges do require electrical energy to run and if you are boondocking without an expensive solar/lithium set up or do not wish to run a noisy, polluting generator all the time, then quiet ammonia absorption fridges running on propane are more ideal. And since these fridges run best with a roof vent, and since AS has switched to a composite sub floor which will never rot, the roof vent may indeed not be as extinct as our reptile friends after all.
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Old 03-25-2021, 04:31 AM   #10
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Talking

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Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
. . .
. . . the fridge vent may yet see a comeback . . .
. . .


You mean Airstream might do something sensible, even though it will reduce Thor's corporate profits?

Right!
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Old 03-25-2021, 06:42 AM   #11
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Well, you raise a good point Pete.

If only airstream buyers knew beforehand what they learn after a few years of extensive camping, they would be less distracted by the shiny aluminum or trendy interior design and more focused on the more practical structures and systems that would truly enhance the whole experience, or at the very least, not suck all the joy out of owning and camping in these trailers. I would be willing to pay every penny of the exorbitant price of these new trailers if they truly had thoughtful, clever, and well-engineered design and were solidly built with precision craftmanship. But then, where would all the fun go that comes with fixing them right?

The good and hopeful news is that airstream appears to be making some genuine progress.
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:49 AM   #12
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At Lake Powell and the yagi is working like a champ. Network Cell Info light on android conveniently has a map with location of the cell tower which helped confirm the pointing of the antenna. I pointed it blind at first based on signal db which wasn't very hard, first to quadrants, then half quadrants. Seemed to do the trick with optimal signal ~30 degrees of the cell tower.

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Old 03-30-2021, 08:57 AM   #13
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Incredibly scenic out here. I see at least 9 airstreams. Every backdrop looks like a painting to take advantage of ASs nice picture windows.

Yagi with clear line of sight.

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Old 03-31-2021, 09:41 PM   #14
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Awesome!
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Old 04-04-2021, 01:31 PM   #15
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Don't be too concerned that the WeBoost antenna is not perfectly parallel to the ground. The height above the ground is approximately 13 ft. and a vertically polarized yagi will not impair signal levels to the horizon or slightly beyond since the cell site antennas at 200 ft. HAAT have a slight "down tilt" pattern. You should experience a very usable signal to a cell tower at least 12-15 mi. distant. I use a painter's extension pole plus a suction cup glass carriers on the side of my AS to get 20 ft. height. Ball bungee cords around the pole and handles of the glass carrier work nicely.
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