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Old 11-02-2018, 11:27 AM   #1
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Cell and WiFi booster

Hey everyone, Iím in the market for a booster(s). I know the new airstreams have this built in already but for all us outdated models, what do you guys use or does anyone know of 5g capable cell boosters yet? Secondly, is there a cell and WiFi booster in one or is it mainly just one for each?
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
Hey everyone, Iím in the market for a booster(s). I know the new airstreams have this built in already but for all us outdated models, what do you guys use or does anyone know of 5g capable cell boosters yet? Secondly, is there a cell and WiFi booster in one or is it mainly just one for each?
Several folks seem happy with the one that comes standard now in the Classic models...I was told this morning AS bought that company and has worked a deal with ATT. I believe there were some posts on this earlier on the Forum. I would surely check this out. Think ATT is offering AS owners a discount also??
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:13 PM   #3
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More than you'd ever want to know can be found at www.rvmobileinternet.com. This is run by the legendary full time RV/Boat folks at Technomadia. They really know their stuff. As a place to start, the vendor everyone has heard of and few have beaten is Wilson Electronics and their weboost line. I have a Drive 4G-X RV currently. In my previous RV I had a Drive 4G-M. Both work great. They'll add a bar or two your reception.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:05 AM   #4
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We are planning on installing a booster in our 2017 Classic. After much research, WeBoost was the clear winner for some time. However SureCall 2018 is the winner for 2018. We are waiting for 2019 to see who is best. Both WeBoost and SureCall are priced pretty much same.


Best regards and safe travels
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:08 AM   #5
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I wasn't clear on my earlier post regarding the new wifi which comes standard now on the 2019 Classic's; anyone have any info on the company AS bought and the standard system now offered vs the Wilson mentioned above? Also, good to understand the ATT deal for AS owners; does it apply to existing owners of older rigs vs 2019 models also?
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:28 AM   #6
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Hi

There are a number of threads on the magic package that comes with the 2019 Classics. It's made up of various bits and piece from companies not owned by Airstream. At this point the basic answer is "not quite ready for prime time yet".

Quick rundown on various "boosters":

WeBoost (from Wilson) gets a lot of press and we have one. It does a fine job if your cell phone is within 6" of the inside antenna. Once you get several feet away ... not quite so useful. How good is "fine job"? It will get you slightly better coverage than your cell phone gets outdoors. It will take data speeds that will not quite stream and turn them into data speeds that will stream. It will not turn a "no bars" signal into super duper streaming. It does nothing at all for WiFI.

WiFi Ranger is a gizmo that will grab campground (or Starbucks) WiFi and rebroadcast it inside your trailer. It will do a pretty good job of extending the range of a WiFi signal. The gotcha here is that most campground WiFi systems are pretty poor. If you are trying to stream decent video .... not so much. With a lot of them, email may not even make it through.

External Modem: This is just a very normal cellular modem mounted outside your trailer. You do something to get the data from the modem back inside. It's not the same as a modem with an outdoor antenna. They seem to do as well as a WeBoost and generally cost less. Typical units do not play with campground WiFi.

The magic AS gizmo is trying to take a external modem and get it to play nice with campground WiFi. So far, reports are that it's not (yet) up to the task.

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Old 11-03-2018, 10:38 AM   #7
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Been using all generations of the WiFiRanger.
It works great!
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:09 AM   #8
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For several years I have been using the Wilson amplifier - an older one for 3G. It does make a difference when in a fringe area. Have been thinking of the WeBoost, but so far my coverage is acceptable.

As for cellular providers, the best overall coverage is Verizon. This is especially so in the west. Boondocking in the Sonora (SW AZ), Verizon is markedly better.

Back in 2005 (before using data plans), to capture a wi-fi signal I used a "cantenna". This simple device successfully picked up wi-fi signals at remarkable signals. Once I was having work done on my 1994 LY moho, and was able to pick up a useable wi-fi signal about 1/2 mile away to get my email. See https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Cantenna for plans on making one.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:29 PM   #9
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we have both in our sport 22FB

this is our inside equipment and roof ANT setup
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:58 PM   #10
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Make sure you maintain at least 20 feet between the interior and exterior cell booster antennas. Many installers still don't understand the need for the separation to minimize interference between the two.. Also make sure that you place your interior "candy bar" antenna in reach of a table or somewhere that your cell phone or wifi puck can have direct contact....for maximum effectiveness.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:13 PM   #11
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There is no 5G booster as of yet as 5G is just now being implemented. 5G is a significant change that will take a long time to roll out. They will obviously start in heavily populated areas....meaning that the places we camp will be the LAST to get 5G. So look for a good 4G booster as 4G will be around for a very long time. Most like the Weboost.
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:41 AM   #12
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I have a 2018 Classic 33, and I use the WiFi Ranger as well as the WeBoost cellular booster. Both work wonderfully well...

I will add a few notes to this. The WiFi Ranger doesn’t provide any benefit if you’re in a place with no available wifi nearby, which applies to most of the state parks and recreation areas where I typically stay.

I carry a Verizon Jetpack with me for WiFi, and set it next to the WeBoost interior antenna. This improves the signal and speed of the cellular connection for the Jetpack, thus improving the WiFi throughput.

I will also note that my phone shows no change in cellular bars (I have an iPhone Xs) even when placed right next to the WeBoost interior antenna. However, the Jetpack actually has a gain meter on it, and there is a significant improvement on the signal even though the “bar” meter on the phone doesn’t change.

Regarding the AT&T package being offered in the new Airstreams (and also as a retrofit for older Airstreams), I was originally very excited about this since I use my trailer to work remotely while taking extended hunting trips. However, on my most recent trip to North and South Dakota, a friend joined me for part of the trip and his service (AT&T) was non-existent, while mine (Verizon) was fine... The AT&T package won’t work for me if I can’t get reception when I need it most, so I’m sticking with my Verizon Jetpack, even though I’m limited to 15gb.
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:49 AM   #13
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Here is that earlier thread with good discussions about the various AS/ATT/Verizon issues:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...ms-187354.html

A new post in that thread would re-energize it, and allow a thorough discussion in one location IMO.

The Electronics and Connectivity forum is also a good place for further info:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f317/

. . . as is the following sub-forum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451/

Peter

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Old 11-04-2018, 07:11 AM   #14
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Thanks for the responses everyone! Confirms a lot of what I have already found. I have been tethering my phone for WiFi everywhere we go which has been mostly effective. The challenge most recently has been getting cell signal in the tin can occasionally.
Iím excited for the future 5g technology. Maybe will wait to install this stuff to let the tech catch up to our desires and needs.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
Thanks for the responses everyone! Confirms a lot of what I have already found. I have been tethering my phone for WiFi everywhere we go which has been mostly effective. The challenge most recently has been getting cell signal in the tin can occasionally.
Iím excited for the future 5g technology. Maybe will wait to install this stuff to let the tech catch up to our desires and needs.
If guess it depends on where you camp. Out where we go Iím often times connecting to towers that havenít even been upgraded to LTE. It will be a good five years before 5G is prevalent.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hibby View Post
I have a 2018 Classic 33, and I use the WiFi Ranger as well as the WeBoost cellular booster. Both work wonderfully well...

I will add a few notes to this. The WiFi Ranger doesnít provide any benefit if youíre in a place with no available wifi nearby, which applies to most of the state parks and recreation areas where I typically stay.

I carry a Verizon Jetpack with me for WiFi, and set it next to the WeBoost interior antenna. This improves the signal and speed of the cellular connection for the Jetpack, thus improving the WiFi throughput.

I will also note that my phone shows no change in cellular bars (I have an iPhone Xs) even when placed right next to the WeBoost interior antenna. However, the Jetpack actually has a gain meter on it, and there is a significant improvement on the signal even though the ďbarĒ meter on the phone doesnít change.

Regarding the AT&T package being offered in the new Airstreams (and also as a retrofit for older Airstreams), I was originally very excited about this since I use my trailer to work remotely while taking extended hunting trips. However, on my most recent trip to North and South Dakota, a friend joined me for part of the trip and his service (AT&T) was non-existent, while mine (Verizon) was fine... The AT&T package wonít work for me if I canít get reception when I need it most, so Iím sticking with my Verizon Jetpack, even though Iím limited to 15gb.
AT&T in Montana (some areas- East Glacier area) is terrible also...other areas in the state are fine. I considered moving to Verizon for that reason, and likely would if I could get similar pricing on my plan with them I just went through that "discussion" with folks at BestBuy, and turned out I was better off staying with AT&T for now due to cost difference. I will check again when 5G is up and running...
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:45 PM   #17
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Just a bit of clarification . . .

The WeBoost and it's predecessor (3G data which I have) deals only with the data portion of the signal - telephone voice stays the same. The AS is an almost complete Faraday shield, the signal from within is usually spotty (unless you are sitting right beside a window). However, this same aluminum provides a magnificent ground plane for a vertical antenna, which is what I use as the exterior antenna with the cellular booster. When JC was doing some work on my AS back in 2011, they has to remove the front Fantastic fan. This was a perfect opportunity for them to drill a hole through the exterior skin about 6 inches in front of the front vent and install the cellular antenna, snaking the wire down in between the interior and exterior skins.
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