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boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA

Antenna advice for my Virgin Mobile MC760? Overkill?

Antenna advice for my Virgin Mobile MC760? Overkill?
Hello all,

I've been doing a bit of research lately to try and get stable speeds on my mc760.

My current signals of -116 and -125 have been becoming an every day occurrence. I can still access the net but sometimes it is becoming impossible to connect or impossible to hold a steady network connection that isn't constantly spiking or stalling.

Sometimes I rarely get stable connections for long periods of time such as -96 to -100 (which usually happens after or during rain fall, maybe coincidence)

My connection seems to always stay on EVDO Rev.A, sometimes goes to 1xrtt but usually switches back to EVDO after a few moments.

According to research I have an ATT/Virgin Mobile tower 1.8 miles due West of my position.

I currently have the mc760 taped against a thin glass window and it is facing North West towards the tower. My current readings are:

RSSI: 89 (goes up to 93 sometimes)
EC/IO: -8.50 (jumps up to -10-11 sometimes)
signal strength: -110 (goes anywhere from -108 to -115 on average, used to hover around -100, but the past few weeks its been worse)

The mc760 currently has a forested area of large trees blocking the immediate angle & line of sight.

Site Surveying with the mc760 in my yard didn't give me a difference in signal gain compared to its normal position indoors.

Taking the mc760 on the near by roads sees steady growth in signal up to full bars.

I have shopped around for an antenna and I have been looking at the Wilson Outdoor Directional Panel Antenna.

Do you think this may be overkill for my situation? I am not sure if I should get a smaller/cheaper unit.

I am also considering trying out a Coffee can antenna, unknown if this would work due to all of the trees in the area though.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to boondockEVDO
One thing you have not mentioned is what speeds you are getting.

If you are sitting at those signal levels and are getting good speeds then don't bother... if you can get better speeds when driving towards the sprint tower, then an external antenna might help you out.

I've had good luck with parabolic grids (I pick up the ones that go for 39.99 on sale designed for wifi and mount them 90 degrees out of phase)... one thing to remember when you go with antennas like this is you are connecting to a single tower.

If you are in an area with multiple towers you might loose the advantages you gain with multiple towers... for example your mc760 looks at the towers around it and it connects to a tower that it thinks will be best... when you have an antenna aimed at a single tower, this can't happen. Note that this isn't perfect.. sometimes the presence of multiple towers causes issues that a aimed antenna can fix as well.

You need to research Jim's site for lots of good details.

»evdotips.blogspot.com/

The menu of topics is hard to spot, its on the right side and down a bit on the page... lots of good topics however.

The article about parabolics is here:

»evdotips.blogspot.com/2008/10/pa···nna.html

Good luck to you!

boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA
reply to boondockEVDO
Aye, have read quite a bit from Jim's blogspot, tons of great information there that is very easy to understand. I was really surprised with it!

I get decent speeds but the constant disconnections or pauses is what the problem is. I imagine it is because my signal is so poor it keeps dropping off?

I am going to try a coffee can antenna today. It seems I don't even need to attach it with an antenna cable? I can just put my modem inside of it, according to the photos on Jim's website.

Good call on the Parabolic antenna, it looks like it works better than the wilson directional plus it looks much cooler!

*EDIT* I wanted to add there is only one Virgin Mobile tower in my area. However, there are a couple of other towers intercepting or nearly intercepting my tower's line of sight.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
said by boondockEVDO:

I get decent speeds but the constant disconnections or pauses is what the problem is. I imagine it is because my signal is so poor it keeps dropping off?

Yes or the towers footprint shrinks due to high use...either way an antenna would help you.

I am going to try a coffee can antenna today. It seems I don't even need to attach it with an antenna cable? I can just put my modem inside of it, according to the photos on Jim's website.

Yup I've seen it work myself... make sure its a metal normal sized coffee can... a friend of mine told me they didn't work and he had one of those plastic coffee containers

*EDIT* I wanted to add there is only one Virgin Mobile tower in my area. However, there are a couple of other towers intercepting or nearly intercepting my tower's line of sight.

remember with virgin mobile and boost your are looking for sprint towers.

boondockEVDO

join:2012-09-25
USA
I have found the AT&T towers but none of the sprint towers are labelled in any of the maps nor in the additional details in my area. There is a cluster of about 4-5 towers to the west of my location and I imagine the sprint tower must be one of those.

I am attempting to use a cantenna right now with my wireless card inside as the conductor. I am not seeing any gains over simply taping the card to the window.

It is a light brass colored metal that is magnetic, a decorative tin that is 4.5 inches in diameter, the card's hole is 1.6inches from the rear of the can.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
said by boondockEVDO:

It is a light brass colored metal that is magnetic, a decorative tin that is 4.5 inches in diameter, the card's hole is 1.6inches from the rear of the can.

Coffee cans are a little over 6 inches in diameter... not sure that that would make the difference... you might not be reflecting the full wave with a 4.5 inch diameter... not positive however.