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Re: Antennas - Yagi or Grid?
Update: I purchased high gain yagi and grid antennas from ZDA. After testing them, I did not see much if any, difference between them. But I could use some opinions as to where to place the antenna...or any other advice. I plan to connect the antenna to a Jetpack 4620L with a Cradlepoint MBR95 router set up in WiFi as WAN mode to feed my desktop computers.
next hill over
Best readings with antenna 4' off ground - RSSI SINR:
Next to house: -92, 16
100' from house in a sweet spot: -78, 28
10-20' from sweet spot: -91, 16
180' from house, other side of tree line: -74, 30
Next hill over: -76, 30
My main concerns with the 100' sweet spot are that it will get a much poorer signal once the trees have leaves next spring, and that the sweet spot is a small area. Also note the electrical lines that may cause some interference...I don't know for sure, but about 32' up on top of the chimney with antenna pointed in the same direction the signal was -85, 16.
1st pic: view from sweet spot
2nd pic: view from 180' but will cut limbs and small trees to get a clear LOS
3rd pic: view from next hill over.
I am considering putting the antenna 180' out. Mainly because it will be on the other side of the trees and the signal there is as good as I can get in this area. The small area of the sweet spot 100' out concerns me as well. Would an amplifier help the signal loss due to the cable length? Thoughts?
Take it from a guy who tried very hard for a very long time to get a long wireless link to work: higher antennas function better in all circumstances, and amps usually help when dealing with external antennas. If you can elevate the antenna so it goes through an area that's only 60% as dense as on the ground, do it because that's another 40% more signal that can get through. I'd use a parabolic dish or a parabolic grid with an amp and high quality low-loss cable as high as you can get it. If it's feasible, go for above the treeline, but with LTE being below 2GHz, line of sight isn't such a huge deal. You might be able to get away with a large omni or sector/panel antenna and a really high powered amp, as it'll be less difficult to aim and an omni will be best for wind-resistance.
I agree about height, but that didn't help on top of my chimney because of the trees and possibly the power lines. Going higher than the treetops was cost-prohibitive (I looked at crankup/crankover towers) so I put up a 4.5" diameter 16' pole approx. where I'm standing in the second pic. Will need to cut some small trees and larger limbs, and at 16' up, the antenna will have nothing in the way except maybe distant tree tops. I might even be able to see the tower but haven't been to the top of the pole yet.
Along with a high-powered amp., I purchased 1/2" coax and have trenched in the ground wire and conduit, but haven't finished the installation yet because I ran out of good weather...about 4" of snow on the ground now but next weekend the high is supposed to be 40 so maybe then.