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  • Inside antenna

    I am not an electrical engineer, I am and IT person. I have a XOHM ZyXel's MAX-206M2 that I am using to access the internet at a client building. Their firewall policies are strict, and I need access to internet resources blocked by their firewall.

    I sit in a cube within a massive building. The ZyXel modem does get WiMax signal, but it is on the edge. There are times that it's fine (with throughput around 1.5Mbs download) but there are times when it seems to drop off. On the device itself the signal indicator with vary betwee 1 to 2 (out of 3 bars).

    Question: Is there some external antenna(s) I could purchase that would give me consistently better signal within my cube. I cannot setup and external antenna on this building. I would probably have to just set the anntenna on top of the cabinets in my cubicle. The less obtrusive the antenna the better.

    Is there a reasonable solution here, or do these constraints mean I should just keep using the internal antennas?

  • #2
    xohm wimax antenna for in-building use

    Yes we do have high gain directional and omnidirectional antennas that can boost the received signal strength and EIRP (effective isotropic radiated power) of your Xohm Zyxel modem.

    The most popular antenna kit is here and you can find other antenna styles here. The first antenna kit includes a 16dBi directional panel and this is typically best suited for outdoor application although you can definitely use it indoors as well. It clearly is not as discreet as you might like but usually this is hard to achieve for higher gain antennas although this can easily be mounted on a cube wall. It also comes with a 10ft or 20ft low loss cable. The idea is to keep this cable as short as possible to minimize losses which would couteract any benefits from the high gain antenna. Also the omni antennas work better for in-building applications but do check with our sales dept before ordering to confirm availability and leadtime.

    One interesting thing about Xohm WiMax which has not been seen in many other radios (with the exception of the recent 802.11n radios) is that it integrates a MIMO (Multi-Input, Multi-Output) transceiver. MIMO's primary objective is to combat multipath fading effects and to use the spatial domain (space) to provide a performance boost (redundancy, increased capacity etc). It does this quite different from radios that have simple antenna diversity (radios with two antennas). For inbuilding applications such as your case MIMO plays a key role which is why the Zyxel modem has two antenna ports. To make a long story short you may benefit from having two external antennas as opposed to a single external antenna but it's very difficult to tell since each multipath environment is different. Furthermore you may get a maximum RSS/max bars (received signal strength) with one or two antennas but still have suboptimal throughput due to SINR (signal to interference+noise ratio and dynamic bandwidth allocation in response to this) -- we do have a 30day return policy with no restocking fees so this should not be an issue just need to be aware of it.
    KF7RCQ

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