dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
416
share rss forum feed

CJ51980

join:2013-11-22
US

[Troubleshooting] Cellular and Broadband Availability

CELLULAR / BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY ISSUES

I have a river house in the panhandle of FL. It’s only accessible by boat. It’s along the edge of a river with thick / dense trees and wetlands. The trees are very large with thick vegetation and leaves as well as being very tall…

Cellphone service down there is very spotty at best. Sometimes you can get a text message to go through. Better service in the winter months when there is less foliage. I have spent a lot of time and money purchasing BDA’s, both 800/1900 Mhz combo’s as well as single 65db 800Mhz / 1900 Mhz amplifiers.

I have placed them at the highest point of the property with antenna masts that still don’t come close to reaching over the tops of the trees. I have used yagi and omni directional antennas. I have worked with both Wilson and Cellphone Mate engineers to verify the equipment was installed correctly and to maximize the systems effectiveness.

I have used antenna search websites and Google maps to verify and locate my nearest cellphone site, approximately 10 miles by the way the crow flies, to make sure I was pointing the yagis in the correct direction.

I have had no luck trying to work with Verizon engineers…I have tried to open tickets with them to discuss possibilities with absolutely no luck. No calls. No emails.
The house is in a remote location. There are other houses along the river. No phone lines have been ran nor will they be. I tried to work with the local phone company and pay at my expense for 1.8 miles of phone line to be installed. They emphatically said, not no, but hell no. And it will never be an option.

There are no cable lines ran either. The only lines are power lines. And the local electrical Cooperative does not and has no plans to offer any type of internet via power line.

I have tried to find some type of antenna tower that may get above the trees, but run into a limitation of not being able to get any type of equipment or truck down there to raise a tower that would be tall enough to work. This appears to be my only reasonable hope. Ideas ?

The goal is to get some type of service there. I do not have to stream movies. I would like to be able to install a security system and view video remotely when necessary.

I have done a lot of reading about satellite internet, which would be my simplest and best solution. It appears that no matter what satellite service you select, they all are terrible. My friends and family have all confirmed this with their systems. And yes, even the new Gen4. I wouldn’t necessarily need lots of bandwidth because it’s essentially a vacation home and would schedule the video ftp to upload during the times of unmetered data, i.e., 12 am to 5 am.

Plus, if I am going to try and use a Verizon Network Extender with Satellite internet, it will be pointless because of the latency. I actually tested making a receiving a phone call with the Range Extender and DishNet. It was a spectacular failure. It may help with text message sending and receiving though.

I am really at the end of my ideas. I have tried and tried to get internet and cellular service with very little luck or success.

I know this Is a lot of info to digest. And a lot of reading. I wanted to provide a thorough background.

The ultimate goal is to be able to make and receive phone calls / text messages as well as internet access for security system.

Ideas / Comments / Suggestions ???


pete1980

join:2013-01-16
Hamburg, NY

It certainly sounds like you're doing everything correctly. As you have figured out, the trees blocking line of sight is the biggest obstacle.

I'm rather surprised you got a NO from the local phone company. There are carrier of last resort requirements put in place by the states so that no home would be without phone service. You might be able to research what these laws are in Florida and use it to push the issue with the telecom carrier, although it may not get you more than POTS. If you got that, POTS + Satellite internet may be the best possible solution.



xrayman

join:2008-12-09
Kansas City
kudos:1
reply to CJ51980

I would try a grid parabolic antenna. It is better for pulling signals that don't have a clear line of sight to the tower. You do need to find what frequency the tower is using and buy the antenna made for that frequency. Around my area 1900 Mhz is used but get out of town and Verizon will use 800 Mhz.
You do need to get it as high as possible, have the clearest line of sight as possible and use low loss antenna cable that is short as possible to feed the amp. Take care when pointing the grid antenna, a little change will make a big difference and give it time between each change to get an accurate signal reading.
You can find the grid antenna at ZDA Communications / excel-wireless and l-com. and others.
The 2.4 GHz 24 dBi Die Cast Mini-Reflector Grid Antenna that l-com sells works good for pulling in the 1.9 Ghz signal, I have install many of them in my area.
See Jims site for help installing the grid antenna: »evdotips.blogspot.com/2008/10/pa···nna.html


CJ51980

join:2013-11-22
US
reply to pete1980

I did so much research on the issue with the phone company. They used to be required to provide a landline to everyone that had a 911 address. Because of the remote location, it took a couple of additional years to get one assigned. By that time, the state of FL was one of the few that dropped the legal requirement of providing landline service.

The phone company initially wanted to high cost me. I informed them of me willing to pay a substantial installation fee and that there would be other subscribers along the river. I assumed the way people are fleeing home phones and landline installs, they would have jumped at the chance.

I gained some momentum with the local phone installation manager and engineer as they were willing to work with me. But as soon as the regional manager became aware, he stopped it immediately. He said it would cost too much to maintain and that it would be a nightmare to service. Plus he threw out a substantial number of $30,000 plus to run the line.

Due to the location, I had the local power company agree to let us use the existing right of way / servitude free of charge and they agreed to wave any attachment fee, $28 per pole per year. All was a go til I got to a narrow-minded individual who couldn't have cared less.


CJ51980

join:2013-11-22
US
reply to xrayman

Previously using wirelessadvisor, it says the closest tower is 800 /1900mhz. I have individual BDA's for each band as well as yagi's for each one.

I never tried the grid antenna, but will research further. Thanks for the idea. I am going down there for the 4th to estimate tree height. I think that I will have trees between the tower and my house the will prevent line of site, so having an antenna that can work with potential obstructions will be helpful.

I am hoping to be able to get over the trees, even if it means installing a tower, or maybe I can use an existing tree as a tower and fasten a pole along its side.

I do have low loss cable from my previous installs and know that there needs to be reasonable separation from the outside antenna to the inside.


CJ51980

join:2013-11-22
US

I just got off the phone with the VZW engineer for that area. And I have been trying to run him down for months!

According to him, I am pointing at my closest tower, and that tower is 700 LTE Data / 850 Voice. And that its approximately 10 miles away.

So the 1900Mhz BDA is of no use...good to know I guess. He says the 800Mhz should help, providing I can get over the trees.

I will look further into the Grid Antenna. Is there a way to future proof this, meaning that I find a combo 700 / 800Mhz antenna, or should I use two seperate ones?



xrayman

join:2008-12-09
Kansas City
kudos:1
reply to CJ51980

Well the good news is Verizon my have voice over LTE in the future.
As for now I find the grid antennas will cover a wider range of frequencies than just the one you buy it for. The gain will drop off some outside of the range they are cut for. In general they are a lot more forgiving than a yagi is. In the world of parabolic antennas larger is better but larger gets to be more costly fast. Also the larger the antenna the more care is needed in pointing it.
Verizon 700 MHz LTE would be covered by this antenna: 746-806MHz, »www.excel-wireless.com/700-mhz-g···a-16-dbi
I don't know what exact frequent range Verizon is using in your area for the 800 Mhz band, you could contact the engineer again to find out. But I think you should find an antenna in this list that would cover that band. »www.excel-wireless.com/images/st···-1.2.pdf


CJ51980

join:2013-11-22
US

Thanks for the info!!!!

He mentioned 850MHz....I will text him to confirm.


pete1980

join:2013-01-16
Hamburg, NY

said by CJ51980:

He mentioned 850MHz....I will text him to confirm.

You might want to confirm when voice over LTE might come to that tower. If it's within the next few months, you might not even want to deal with 850, and instead focus on 700 and possibly upgrade to a device that is VoLTE capable.

CJ51980

join:2013-11-22
US
reply to CJ51980

I confirmed with the Verizon tech...its 850MHz on voice. He was not sure about the LTE Voice part, but since its so rural, I am sure it will be low priority.


chisel
Premium
join:2009-09-01
Henderson, KY

1 edit
reply to CJ51980

Have no idea of your budget nor tree height, but I wonder whether a crank-up tower would get above the trees?


CJ51980

join:2013-11-22
US

I am going down this weekend to get a better idea of tree height. Also, I am having difficulties locating a ROHN tower installer in the area. It's Gulf County Florida, in the Panhandle close to Panama City.