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Altern8

join:2013-02-24

Concerning Antennas

I want to go with the hotspot plan, so before I make my purchase I want to do some research. I borrowed a Verizon jetpack from a friend to test with. Sitting on my computer desk it reverts to 3G. Only when I move it to a window will it receive two bars of 4G. Really, I'm wondering about antennas. I want to purchase one at the same time as the hotspot, will the basic antenna on the website do the job, or should I look for something better?


Max Signal
Premium
join:2008-03-07
Buffalo, NY
kudos:1

said by Altern8:

I want to go with the hotspot plan, so before I make my purchase I want to do some research. I borrowed a Verizon jetpack from a friend to test with. Sitting on my computer desk it reverts to 3G. Only when I move it to a window will it receive two bars of 4G. Really, I'm wondering about antennas. I want to purchase one at the same time as the hotspot, will the basic antenna on the website do the job, or should I look for something better?

You won't find a better antenna package for anywhere near that price . That antenna rocks !

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
reply to Altern8


stenman

join:2007-03-07
Salinas, CA
reply to Altern8

The antenna sold by Millenicom is designed for ease of use while driving down the highway where your signal reception is likely to be better than at home. With any antenna its height above the horizon is key to signal gain. You may be able to get by with one of these mobile antennas or you may be better off and get a better signal consistently with a 4G antenna designed for fixed mounting on a building.

You can see if the signal varies at a location around your house that has a higher elevation or by going to an upstairs room or onto the roof - whatever works.

At my house which is 0.75 miles from the Verizon tower I need a roof mast with special 4G antenna and a RF signal booster to get a 60 RSSI at the Novatel. At this signal strength performance is terrible with speeds that are no better than I had with 3G.

If you plan to go to 4G get the antenna setup ahead of time and then you have the short trial period with the Novatel to see if it works well enough to keep and stay on the plan.

The Millenicom plan is the better way to go at 20GB for $70 as compared to Verizonwireless with its 10GB for $80 plan. 20GB from Verizon costs $150 a month. Tech support is non-existant whether you go with Millenicom or Verizonwireless.


Max Signal
Premium
join:2008-03-07
Buffalo, NY
kudos:1

That antenna works fine in a home application without a huge investment . All you are speaking of will cost 8 to 10 time of what that antenna does. Not saying it is not worth it , but most are just not willing to lay out that kind of investment if they do not have to.


stenman

join:2007-03-07
Salinas, CA
reply to Altern8

The greatest signal gain will come from placing the antenna as high as possible as the 3G/4G signals are line of sight. Even a 10' higher antenna location can make a big difference in some situations. My antenna is attached to a pole that is attached to a satellite rack on my roof and this put the antenna 30' above the ground. It makes all the difference in the world. It also makes it possible to aim the antenna directly at the tower to get the best possible signal strength.

I bought a Wilson 4G Yagi type in a plastic enclosure for $60. Spent more bucks on a long length of LMR-400 cable to go from the antenna to inside the house. My neighbors who live on the top of the hill had 1-2 bars and kept losing their connection. In their case I was able to get them a $25 antenna that was sufficient to get a good signal though we relocated the router to the side of their house nearest the tower and to an upstairs room.

Highly recommend the people at wpsantennas.com for advice and parts for putting something together. With all the types of connectors being used in male and female form it is much easier to ask them to provide you with what you need to get from the antenna to the 3G/4G device you are using.

With 2 bars or RSSI of 50 my connection is not stable. I need to see 3 bars and a signal strength of 60 to have a usable connection.

Be aware that there are serious problems with the Novatel 4620L reported by many Verizonwireless users that have seen their reported usage increase by 400% or more immediately after switching to the hotspot. With Verizon making lots of money off the problem they have not bothered to correct it though it has been a widely reported problem going back more than 8 months.


chrisd11

join:2009-05-18
Hernando, MS
reply to Altern8

FWIW, the Wilson yagi that davidhoffman posted is $30 cheaper at 3gstore.com. Same antenna.