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15 miles away from tower, any hope even with LOS?

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  • 15 miles away from tower, any hope even with LOS?

    Hello! I live in a very rural home and we are 15 miles away from the nearest sprint/clear tower, however, we are elevated enough that beyond the first set of trees it is LOS all the way to it. I wouldn't be opposed to installing a tower on my property to reach above the trees if need be...but is there a solution (maybe even a personal tower like that as a part of it) that could bring in Clear wireless?

    I've thought about getting an amplifier and an antenna for 1.9Ghz Sprint to do the unlimited Millenicom data package, but recently checked and my town is a clear roaming town? (green in coverage but not a "Clear city," which I guess means that they basically do not install home products here but do offer 4G for travel and on Sprint phones, etc.)

    Anyway, thank you very much! I have other options I am looking at...LTE will be in town soon enough and at&t has already upgraded the 3G towers here to be at the faster "near 4g" speeds, however, there are the data caps with both At&t and Verizon. I also have the option of the new viasat exceed 12m satellite service, but again, data caps. I would also like to run VOIP eventually and I think this would be problematic with any of the 3G/CDMA/WCDMA or satellite solutions. There is a WISP in the area, but the data speeds are not nearly as fast...I've even thought about going with the WISP for VOIP and satellite or 3G for data. However, Clear seems to be my only option for fast, unrestricted internet that could do it all without a bucket or caps, so I am wondering if it would even be possible at that distance (being about 15 miles from the tower and 10 or so from being labeled "in-coverage") to build a system to bring it in. I've heard that even 1.9Ghz LOS with an amplifier from that sprint tower might be at least a little difficult to bring in due to the Fresnel zone, but think I might could because I get decent signal outdoors from an At&t tower running @ 800mhz and is about 12 miles away and some signal from a 1.9Ghz at&t tower in another location about 12 miles away also where I am at now, probably do to the elevation. This is just standing on the ground while holding a phone. However, I thought I would ask you guys if it would even be possible or worth trying to build something for Clear wireless about 3 miles farther away and at the 2.5Ghz. The lack of amplifiers available for it and the 2.5Ghz range itself makes me wonder. Thank you very much!

  • #2
    is there a solution (maybe even a personal tower like that as a part of it) that could bring in Clear wireless?
    This is really a hard question to answer. The surest way to get a definitive answer would be to test out your modem at various places outside your home where you could potentially mount a high gain outdoor antenna. If you find a sweet spot outside your house where you get decent performance then you can mount an antenna around there and run a low-loss cable into your house and you would then have about the same performance inside your house. If you have absolutely no useable signal outdoors then it is unlikely that you can solve your problem using antennas.

    Same goes for the LOS question: If even with LOS you can't pick up a decent signal (even a very weak one) then an antenna will not do you any good.

    I've thought about getting an amplifier and an antenna for 1.9Ghz Sprint to do the unlimited Millenicom data package, but recently checked and my town is a clear roaming town? (green in coverage but not a "Clear city," which I guess means that they basically do not install home products here but do offer 4G for travel and on Sprint phones, etc.)
    That's a bummer. Yes with 1.9GHz PCS you have more options because you can use an amplifier which can bring in the signal from much further away.

    Clear seems to be my only option for fast, unrestricted internet that could do it all without a bucket or caps, so I am wondering if it would even be possible at that distance (being about 15 miles from the tower and 10 or so from being labeled "in-coverage") to build a system to bring it in.
    With LOS it seems doable but again the surest way is to actually test it out because RF signal propagation can be quite unpredictable and highly dependent on your unique topology and radiation environment.


    I've heard that even 1.9Ghz LOS with an amplifier from that sprint tower might be at least a little difficult to bring in due to the Fresnel zone, but think I might could because I get decent signal outdoors from an At&t tower running @ 800mhz and is about 12 miles away and some signal from a 1.9Ghz at&t tower in another location about 12 miles away also where I am at now, probably do to the elevation.
    Unlike other long distance point-to-point PtP links, we are less concerned about Fresnel Zone clearance or even achieving clear LOS for these broadband type protocols WCDMA, EVDO, HSPA, WiMax etc, that are really designed with mutlipath propagation in mind (Antenna diversity and MIMO in particular for Wimax). For Sprint PCS or Wimax the concern is how strong the signal is and for Wimax how good your CINR is (in rural areas your CINR is more likely to be better than many urban locations). So if you measure good RSSI/CINR then don't worry too much about achieving LOS. In fact, in many cases MIMO will work better in a nLOS scenario (because you get good spatial redundancy).
    KF7RCQ

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    • #3
      Wow, thank you thuor! I think my next step is to get on the roof with a device to see if I can even get a skip of signal. Thank you so much for explaining all of that...and about the Fresnel Zone and all of those things as well! I really learned a lot and think that will really help me with this! Thank you, I have some things to test and try now and won't rule anything completely out until I give it a test!!! Thank you!!!

      -Bradley

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      • #4
        Diggs, have you had any success with this? I'm in a very similar situation: 15 miles from 2 different clear towers. I already have a 75 foot tower available, so my only question is whether having a high-gain antenna and good LoS allow clear service to work, or not?

        What I'm considering putting on my tower is a parabolic antenna connected directly to a USB modem. The modem would talk to an ethernet router, which would then convert to ethernet. That way all my RF is short runs and I can run power up the tower and ethernet down.

        Does anyone else have experience with a setup like this? Anyone have a modem/antenna combo they suggest for this sort of thing?

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