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  • will this work?

    ok so here is my dilemma..... i moved into a new house last year and the ONLY option i can get for internet is stupid 1.5meg DSL..... recently i got an EVO on sprint. In our area there are 2 of clearwires "spectrum protection sites". The other day i was sitting on my deck and decided to turn on 4G and see if i could get a connection, much to my surprise it connected! i know where the two towers are and using google maps i figured out i'm a little over 6 miles from one tower and 7 miles to the other. now i do have 2 scenarios here i want to see if it will work out as i can get connected to the towers at my work as well.

    sidenote: i was doing all of this signal checking with my evo, so i have no idea if the numbers would be better or worse with an actual USB modem with a better built in antenna, i'm hoping yes but thats why i'm asking (if this is all feasible i would be getting a mobile broadband plan with a USB modem with an antenna port to do this with)

    scenario 1 home;
    ok so i went all around my house and up on the roof trying to find the best spot for a signal. i was in the field test menu on my phone looking at the RX POWER field. the best i could find was low 80's sometimes it would hit 79. doing speedtests i could hit over 2 meg easily and one time almost made it to 5meg down. so question 1 would be, based on those numbers, is that a good enough signal to start out with to be boosted by an antenna? also my wife doesn't really want a giant antenna on the roof, so the grid antenna would be out of the picture, unless you think it could pick up the signal in my attic? i don't have a ladder tall enough to get me up into the attic so i can't test to see if my phone would pick up a signal in there or not. the other issue would be cable run length. if i did put an antenna on the roof or in the attic i would be running the cable down to my PC in the basement (its a ranch house) so i would probably be looking at close to 100ft cable run. i did find the weirdest spot on the side of my house about 5ft high off the deck were i was getting a low 80 signal, i might be able to use this spot and it would reduce my cable run to probably a 50ft run.


    scenario 2 work;
    so at work its a little different i can get connected to the tower inside the building but only over by the window. there i can get a around an 83 signal. if i were to put an antenna up somewhere and run a cable and hook it to this http://www.rfwel.com/shop/Universal-...ta-Modems.html would it allow my evo to connect to 4G? i'm assuming i would need to use my EVO at work because i don't think you can get two USB modems on one plan, but i haven't checked all the way into it yet as i want to makes sure it will work at home before i get it.

    anyway, any input on if you think any of this would work out would be much appreciated!!!!!

  • #2
    i was doing all of this signal checking with my evo, so i have no idea if the numbers would be better or worse with an actual USB modem with a better built in antenna, i'm hoping yes but thats why i'm asking
    You are right - typically yes.

    scenario 1 home;
    ...i did find the weirdest spot on the side of my house about 5ft high off the deck were i was getting a low 80 signal, i might be able to use this spot and it would reduce my cable run to probably a 50ft run.
    This looks like the most optimal place to put an 18dBi directional panel antenna. After cable/connector losses your effective RSSi should be in the high -70's. While this is likely not going to give you the fastest speeds, depending on what your CINR turns out to be, you could get stable intermediate speeds -You would probably see better results than predicted because the EVO RSSI may not be accurately reporting the received signal level (RSL) as would a USB device.

    scenario 2 work;
    so at work its a little different i can get connected to the tower inside the building but only over by the window. there i can get a around an 83 signal. if i were to put an antenna up somewhere and run a cable and hook it to this http://www.rfwel.com/shop/Universal-...ta-Modems.html would it allow my evo to connect to 4G? ...
    Sadly the inductive patch coupler cannot work reliably with the EVO (or many other devices for that matter). Too much coupling loss (and loss of MIMO diversity too). Another problem with this approach would be what antenna would be available to you at work. Would it be possible to mount a 15" x 15" 18dbi directional panel or would you rather have a lower-profile antenna such as the 4.5" x 4.5" wifi/wimax 8dBi indoor panel antenna. You can find other low-profile antennas here: http://www.rfwel.com/4g-data/wimax-antennas.php.

    The problem comes in because the smaller the antenna the lower the gain so even if you did get a device that had an external antenna port (such that coupling losses were not a concern) the gain would be too small to see any appreciable performance boost.
    KF7RCQ

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    • #3
      Originally posted by thuor View Post
      You are right - typically yes.



      This looks like the most optimal place to put an 18dBi directional panel antenna. After cable/connector losses your effective RSSi should be in the high -70's. While this is likely not going to give you the fastest speeds, depending on what your CINR turns out to be, you could get stable intermediate speeds -You would probably see better results than predicted because the EVO RSSI may not be accurately reporting the received signal level (RSL) as would a USB device.



      Sadly the inductive patch coupler cannot work reliably with the EVO (or many other devices for that matter). Too much coupling loss (and loss of MIMO diversity too). Another problem with this approach would be what antenna would be available to you at work. Would it be possible to mount a 15" x 15" 18dbi directional panel or would you rather have a lower-profile antenna such as the 4.5" x 4.5" wifi/wimax 8dBi indoor panel antenna. You can find other low-profile antennas here: http://www.rfwel.com/4g-data/wimax-antennas.php.

      The problem comes in because the smaller the antenna the lower the gain so even if you did get a device that had an external antenna port (such that coupling losses were not a concern) the gain would be too small to see any appreciable performance boost.
      Thank you for the response!

      so if i was sitting at -82dbi (average) on my EVO in that spot, and i add an 18dbi antenna and subtract for connectors/cable loss shouldn't i be upper 60's low 70's? and if so would that be a good enough signal for a stable connection? obviously the faster the speed the better but as long as its over 2meg down then its better then what i have.

      after thinking about it a bit i do have enough computer parts and CAT6 cable laying around i wouldn't necessarily have to run the LMR-400 cable to the basement, i could setup a PC up somewhere closer and use it for an internet hub..... or maybe the overdrive pro hotspot and have it be an extension of my wireless router.... so many options!

      and going with that line of thought, would the 24dbi grid antenna, stuck in my attic, with a shorter cable run, lets say 25ft be a better option? i haven't been able to use my phone to test in the attic yet but i did *almost* get connected inside my house in the back corner of one room. it started to say "connecting to sprint" but would never fully connect. so being up in the attic would remove some of the barriers and getting the higher gain antenna could be better then the 18dbi one setup outside?


      now onto work :-) the ceiling in here is a drop ceiling and there should be enough room i could put the 18dbi panel antenna in the ceiling right above the window i got connected by, then it would be somewhere between a 30-50ft cable run to my desk where my phone is. would that be enough signal boost to make the coupler thing work with my EVO?

      thanks again for all your help, i like to try and get every angle figured out before i take the plunge on things

      Comment


      • #4
        so if i was sitting at -82dbi (average) on my EVO in that spot, and i add an 18dbi antenna and subtract for connectors/cable loss shouldn't i be upper 60's low 70's?
        Yes. Due to nonlinearities it will not exactly display the dB sum (or power products) exactly as calculated but you have the right idea.

        would that be a good enough signal for a stable connection
        Equally important to the stability of the connection is the CINR value which this doesn't affect/predict.

        and going with that line of thought, would the 24dbi grid antenna, stuck in my attic, with a shorter cable run, lets say 25ft be a better option?
        Don't overly worry about cable lengths unless you are anywhere above 100ft or so. The attenuation loss between 25ft and 50ft is less than 2dB (not insignificant but not so critical when you have an 18dBi antenna).

        Problem of any antenna in the attic is distortion of radiation pattern (since might be unable to provide sufficient separation with other structures). Furthermore putting these CPE devices in the attic might be problematic due to rated operating temperature (unless of course it's climate controlled).

        We never recommend the coupler at all for the EVO for any reason. We just have never found it to work reliably even with powerful antennas. You could give this a try and let us know how it works for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks for the reply! so it sounds like i'm out of luck with getting 4G on my evo at work unless of course i want to go and do this http://androidforums.com/evo-4g-tips...tenna-evo.html

          with the sprint mobile broadband plan i can try it out for 30 days and see how it works. would you recommend going ahead and getting the plan and USB modem and using it to get more accurate signal strength and quality numbers before ordering an antenna? or just go ahead and get everything and go from there?

          in the spot i'm planning on putting the antenna i did a speedtest on my evo and was able to pull almost 3meg down and a little over 600k up, which going off that sounds like i should have a decent signal based on the distance i am from the tower and the fact that its an evo with a crappy antenna. i did go sit across the street from the tower the other day and got almost 7meg down and 1.4meg up.

          thanks again for the help.
          Last edited by thuor; 09-02-2011, 11:02 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            with the sprint mobile broadband plan i can try it out for 30 days and see how it works. would you recommend going ahead and getting the plan and USB modem and using it to get more accurate signal strength and quality numbers before ordering an antenna? or just go ahead and get everything and go from there?
            We have a 30-day refund period as well so recommend getting everything at once so you have a longer time to test it (need to make sure that your signal is consistent over several days).

            Yes from what you say it seems very likely you will get good results with a USB modem and an external antenna at the same place where you are getting these results.

            Comment


            • #7
              woot! posting this on my new 4G connection went to the sprint store and picked up the overdrive pro hotpot and used a 3M velcro strip to put it in the spot i will have the antenna, did a speedtest and got just over 4meg down!!! (remember 1.5meg DSL connection previously) and test downloading a large file is going close to 250k/s. according to the 4G stats page i'm been sitting at a -83dBm signal and 13 CINR and it hasn't fluctuated at all. only time it moves is if i move the device. TX power is around 22-24.

              So now all i need to do is get the antenna and adapter and cables ordered and i should *hopefully* be all ready to go with faster internet!!!

              thanks again for all your help with this!

              Comment


              • #8
                ok, so i got the antenna in and hooked up, signal went to around -75db and CINR is at 25, from what i can tell from other people that have clear internet these should be good numbers.

                the problem i'm having is i keep getting time outs on the 4G side. so if i ping google.com it will reply for 10-15 seconds and then have 1-2 timeouts. doesn't matter if there is internet traffic or not. i thought it was maybe a bad overdrive pro so i took it back to the sprint store and swapped for another one and while i haven't hooked it up at home yet i did try it at work and it is doing the same thing.

                the weird thing is there were a couple of days when i first hooked it up before i got the antenna that it was working great and i didn't notice any timeout issues. then it started doing it so i figured once i got the antenna in it would take care of it with a stronger signal but since its still doing it i'm not sure what it could be.

                could it be something MIMO related? the overdrive itself does not have a 4G signal, it is only getting it from the external antenna. or maybe i got 2 bad devices in a row? my next option would be to try a 250u USB modem. or maybe a tower issue?

                any guesses or things i could try would be appreciated

                Comment


                • #9
                  i thought it was maybe a bad overdrive pro so i took it back to the sprint store and swapped for another one and while i haven't hooked it up at home yet i did try it at work and it is doing the same thing.
                  This is an important data point and the fact that a totally different modem is doing the same thing seems to suggest that this has nothing to do with your setup at home. It is very unlikely that you have a defective modem.

                  the weird thing is there were a couple of days when i first hooked it up before i got the antenna that it was working great and i didn't notice any timeout issues.
                  This could happen. Have you had a chance to try and debug this with Clear support?

                  could it be something MIMO related? the overdrive itself does not have a 4G signal, it is only getting it from the external antenna. or maybe i got 2 bad devices in a row?
                  . Very unlikely it is MIMO related or device related. Also unlikely that this is a signal strength issue (unless you are seeing drastic variations in RSSI/CINR numbers). Unfortunately any network or BTS related issues are out of our scope.
                  KF7RCQ

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks for the reply, after doing tons of testing i've determined that it is 99% a tower issue. i've got a ticket opened with sprint tech support but i'm not holding my breath that they will fix it since its just a spectrum protection site

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