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sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA

Determined to get data access - will my plan work?

Click for full size
downloadMFO Broadban···ject.pdf 1,377,951 bytes
Project maps and diagrams
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downloadRepeater Hig···gram.pdf 90,928 bytes
repeater concept diagram
Hi,

This is my first post and I'm posting here as I've come across quite a few threads while googling that were in this particular forum.

Problem:
The remote location I like to camp in does not have cell coverage, it is blocked by a steep rock canyon wall. If I could obtain broadband at this location I can spend a week plus there and telecommute. This would make me very happy.

Proposed Solution:
Last week when I was in this canyon I was hiking the opposite canyon side with a friend that had an AT&T iPhone in his pocket. All the sudden it started blowing up with email notifications and he enthusiastically announced "I have 3 bars of 4G!" - After years of thinking about how to solve my data problem and ultimately giving up I now had renewed hope!

From my research and analysis it appears the signal is coming from a tower on Cerro Gordo peak in Inyo county, CA. This is the only tower in the area and is quite far away. As I mentioned, the camp site has a significant mountain blocking line of sight so the solution seems to be to get the signal around the mountain somehow.

I'm not an RF guy, I know VERY little about how all this stuff works, although I'm learning more every day. What I came up with was to setup a repeater using two yagi antennas and a 3watt amplifier. The amplifier can easily be powered by a battery with a solar pannel setup to charge it. The yagis can point to the tower and the other to the cabin. Then at the cabin I would pick up the 4G signal on my USB modem, MiFi - whatever.
I'v done quite a bit of research and from what I can understand this should be possible to do.

I have attached a PDF with maps, elevation profiles and other data that should help you understand what I intend. I will also include a basic diagram here in case you are PDF-adverse.

Question/Problem:
Can this work? Really, I need to know if this is feasible. I have one person I'm in contact with who is very stingy with his words and detail, but basically said "don't waste your money, it won't work" - well... that's no fun! Why not? I'm a newbie so I appreciate that I could be missing something, but what is it?

I've seen posts on here from smart people who are doing path loss calculations, antenna gain calculations, etc. I'm hoping some of the eyes attached to those smart brains will read this post here and give me some advice or guidance. I'm stoked and ready to do this, but I also don't want to waste my time and $$$ if it's doomed to fail.

Thanks for reading,
Steve


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

In theory, yes. In actuality, no.

Then there is this:

»FCC: You Now Need Carrier Approval to Use Signal Boosters
--
Nothing makes an American want to do something more than telling them they can't.


sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA

I'm not worried about the FCC at this point, but it's good to mention it.

Now... "In actuality, no" - why not? Can you expand or explain a bit?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to sklett

Your question is totally off-topic for our forum. Perhaps our MOD can move it somewhere more appropriate.


switchman

join:1999-11-06
reply to sklett

This is made to do exactly what you want. Best of all, it is not subject to vanishing like any equipment you stick on the side of a mountain as a relay.

»www.groundcontrol.com/Hughes_9202_BGAN.htm



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

The data use rates are ~$5 per MB.



WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5
reply to sklett

If push came to shove and shove came to get the hell outta the way...

You could use a 4G USB dongle plugged into a Cradle Point and a small access point like the Ubiquiti NanoBridge M to shoot a signal to your location's client radio, and then have another AP there for local wifi access. Solar power the whole thing.


sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA

@robbin: I apologize, I don't mean to post off-topic and I realize it very well may be.

@switchman: I looked at BGAN and more seriously, iDirect with their mobile options. They are attractive in that they can work anywhere (that I go) and have month to month plans. However the hardware is in the ~$15k range. I'm not there yet

@WHT - you clearly understand what I want to do and I did consider the 4G>WiFi router option at the "repeater location" but I came to the conclusion it would be simpler to have two antennas and an amp. Here's my logic: Modems, routers and WiFi can crash or require a reboot sometimes for various reasons. Considering the location of the repeater site I wouldn't want to hike up that hill every time I had a connection issue. With that said, if this is the only option than I'm absolutely willing to go through the work.

The question I still have, the one that I need to have answered (by somebody, somewhere) before I drop this is WHY my two yagi with an amp solution won't work. Why an active repeater wont' work for me.

I appreciate your replies and tolerance of my off-topic post, I know that can be annoying sometimes when a newb comes along and posts in the wrong area.

-Steve


wirelessdog

join:2008-07-15
Queen Anne, MD
kudos:1

said by sklett:

The question I still have, the one that I need to have answered (by somebody, somewhere) before I drop this is WHY my two yagi with an amp solution won't work. Why an active repeater wont' work for me.

Because as you were told early on, it would be illegal. No technical answer matters. Illegal is illegal and not allowed here.

sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA

1 edit

said by wirelessdog:

Because as you were told early on, it would be illegal. No technical answer matters. Illegal is illegal and not allowed here.

I'm not asking for anyone to tell me how to do something illegal. I'm asking of there is a technical reason it wouldn't work. If it's illegal then I won't do it, but at this point I'm just curious if my idea is technically possible and are my theories and assumptions correct.

Also, the post you are referring to says:
said by John Galt:

In theory, yes. In actuality, no.

Then there is this:

»FCC: You Now Need Carrier Approval to Use Signal Boosters

I don't read that as "you can't because it's illegal" I read that as "it's possible in theory, but there is a something that will be a problem. Oh, and BTW the FCC also ruled that repeaters are now illegal". Point being the legality comment was secondary to the initial statement that it won't work.

If we can, let's move this to the "hypotethical" realm for the remainder of the thread?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

Basically the answer is that you need to discuss this with AT&T. They use licensed frequencies and they are responsible for them. That's why I suggested the topic be moved from the WISP providers forum (it is now in the Wireless Users forum). WISPs do not provide AT&T service nor do we operate on their frequencies nor do we use the type of equipment that they use.



Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Metrocast Commun..
reply to sklett

why not just go with a satellite connection rather than spending (which could be hundred's) of dollars on a "possible" system that in the end would not work at all?
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/


sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA

said by Jim_in_VA:

why not just go with a satellite connection rather than spending (which could be hundred's) of dollars on a "possible" system that in the end would not work at all?

Satellite is much, much more expensive. For example, an iDirect MotoSat with .98m dish starts at $10k with data plans starting around $200 for a wimpy 64kbps link. I've beat the satellite option to death, no matter how I approach it the cost is just too high.

sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

That's why I suggested the topic be moved from the WISP providers forum (it is now in the Wireless Users forum). WISPs do not provide AT&T service nor do we operate on their frequencies nor do we use the type of equipment that they use.

OK, understood. I thought I was in the provider forum but I see you are absolutely correct that I'm in the users forum.

@moderator: Can you please move this thread to "Forums > Industry Forums > Wireless Service Providers"? I don't see a way for me to move it myself.


Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Metrocast Commun..
reply to sklett

A Hughes Gen4 connection is a whole lot less than 10K, or WildBlue Excede for that matter. Satellite connections have their place, like yours, for locations unreachable by any other tech.
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to sklett

said by sklett:

@moderator: Can you please move this thread to "Forums > Industry Forums > Wireless Service Providers"? I don't see a way for me to move it myself.

No, you don't understand. You have already been moved out of the WISP forum -- we have nothing to do with AT&T or cellular service.


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
reply to sklett

If you're really serious about this, you need to talk to someone who can evaluate your situation and provide the proper equipment. Be prepared to spend some money to make it work.

There are others available, but I would start here: »www.solidsignal.com/cview.asp?mc···Boosters

Expand your moderator at work

sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA
reply to Jim_in_VA

Re: Determined to get data access - will my plan work?

said by Jim_in_VA:

A Hughes Gen4 connection is a whole lot less than 10K, or WildBlue Excede for that matter. Satellite connections have their place, like yours, for locations unreachable by any other tech.

If it was a perm. location for me I'd agree with you, but this is just a place I camp at for a few days at a time so the cost is prohibitive.

sklett

join:2013-02-22
Orange, CA
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

said by sklett:

@moderator: Can you please move this thread to "Forums > Industry Forums > Wireless Service Providers"? I don't see a way for me to move it myself.

No, you don't understand. You have already been moved out of the WISP forum -- we have nothing to do with AT&T or cellular service.

You're right, I don't understand. I didn't realize it was moved.


Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Metrocast Commun..
reply to sklett

you can put the service "on vacation" ... you want it or not, otherwise enjoy you vacation without having to be connected ... which is the way I go ...live life without wires
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/



Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4
reply to sklett

and yet you want to setup a solar station and a yagi , etc etc etc . Just enjoy your vacation with no noise.
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/



superdog
I Need A Drink
Premium,MVM
join:2001-07-13
Lebanon, PA

1 edit
reply to Anon

said by sklett:

If we can, let's move this to the "hypotethical" realm for the remainder of the thread?

After this comment, all of us professionals now understand what you mean by it. You want us to explain how to do it under the pretense that you wont do it and you are just curious how it would work. Since none of us were born yesterday, we all know you WILL use whatever information we give you and try to make something illegal work.

While you may not care about FCC rules? We do. The FCC dictates a set of rules that we must follow as professional wireless operators. They also dictate what you the individual must follow. The last thing that any of us want is to help you break the law, no matter how insignificant you may think those rules are.

I do understand what you want to do and why you want to do it. I was in your position myself many years ago. I solved my problem by starting a WISP. I also followed all of the rules when doing it.

If everyone just did whatever they wanted with radio gear, it would be chaos and nothing would transmit or receive. AT&T paid millions of $$ for the frequency that got that 3G into the location your friends phone picked it up at.

With that in mind, your experiment with an amp and 2 yagis may cause enough issues to crush the entire CO your location is at. If what I have posted here about your intentions are wrong? My apologies. If they are correct? I am asking you nicely to please reconsider trying any crazy ideas. It could get you in some serious trouble if it causes problems and is found. If you think that AT&T wouldn't sue you for interrupting their licensed frequency and stopping their customers from using a paid service? you would be wrong.

I am NOT trying to anger you. I am just trying to make you understand why none of us will help you and why you are getting some very ugly responses.
--
»www.wavecrazy.net

kf6ytc

join:2002-03-26
Turlock, CA

1 edit

did you guys even read the link provided??? it's not illegal, just MAY require prior authorization...


wirelessdog

join:2008-07-15
Queen Anne, MD
kudos:1
reply to sklett

Apparently we did read it and you did not.



Gordo74
Premium
join:2003-10-28
Monroeville, PA
reply to sklett

Hmm... What about if you have phone, get DSL and just us ea normal Wifi network? Much cheaper.


65589721

join:2013-04-24
Australia

It could get you in some serious issues if it causes issues and is discovered. If you think that they can sue you for disturbing their certified regularity.