Looking for the best setup for my rural area

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Sexyjesus
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Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by Sexyjesus » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:36 pm

Hey guys, new to the forum but have been doing a LOT of research on this topic. Essentially I purchased a house in a rural area and was told by our ISP that service was available - turns out that couldn't have been further from the truth.

My satellite connection is iffy at best and the 1mb/s or less we get has finally drove me to looking at whatever other options available. The issue I'm running into is that we also do not receive signal inside the house, and what we have outside, albeit 4g LTE most times is still a very weak signal.

Prior to finding you all, I was looking into the MOFI4500, but see now that there's other options using the Sierra Modems for a fraction of the cost. My issue is, before I jump into the 4g Broadband bandwagon, I'm not sure if I need an actual signal booster for signal in my area, or if I use the EM7565 with something like the WE826-T2 OR WG3526 with an external antenna/enclosure. Why go with the 7565 in the WE826 when it's obviously not going to benefit from CAT12? 3xCA?

From my outside signal strength testing, I find a fair amount of noise and weak signal (from -5 to +5 RSNNR and -100-115 dbm respectively). We're using AT&T, and if I can avoid spending $1000 on a booster such as the Cel Fi Go X and instead add external antennas connected directly to the modem/router, I'd rather do that. I'm willing to spend the money to make it work, but saving money never hurts my feelings. :lol:

I'd love any recommendations you might have as I'd like to order something asap so we can have a real connection back and get rid of the fairly useless satellite that's been making me pull my hair out since it was installed. I apologize if I this is in the wrong sub forum, as I couldn't really decide the best place for it! Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

swwifty
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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by swwifty » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:19 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by signal booster when talking about the various Sierra modems? I assume you mean for cell service? If so, you can just use wifi calling, once you get a better 4G setup for your internet.

If you are going to use AT&T I'd recommend spending the extra 50 bucks and getting the 7565. AT&T typically supports 3xCA on all their towers. It's always better to have more options then less.

Additionally, I'd highly recommend outdoor external antennas. You can start by building a simple setup, without external antennas if you want to just test and make it portable. It's easy to always add external antennas later. The 3dbi rubber ducky antennas in the ltefix store are leaps and bounds better than the antennas in your cell phone, for what its worth.

Sexyjesus
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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by Sexyjesus » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:26 pm

Also worth mentioning, I'm considering doing something like a conventional gigabit router or mesh home network for the wifi, but if I could get a very strong router combo, I'd much rather have just a single device. In this case, would it be better to just use a M.2 to USB 3.0 enclosure vs something like the we826?

As far as antenna, I'm considering 2 of the 700-2700MHz 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna. Although from my research I was recommended LMR400 for those, I only see LMR200 here on the site. Would I benefit more from the LMR400?

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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by Sexyjesus » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:31 pm

swwifty wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:19 pm
I'm not sure what you mean by signal booster when talking about the various Sierra modems? I assume you mean for cell service? If so, you can just use wifi calling, once you get a better 4G setup for your internet.

If you are going to use AT&T I'd recommend spending the extra 50 bucks and getting the 7565. AT&T typically supports 3xCA on all their towers. It's always better to have more options then less.

Additionally, I'd highly recommend outdoor external antennas. You can start by building a simple setup, without external antennas if you want to just test and make it portable. It's easy to always add external antennas later. The 3dbi rubber ducky antennas in the ltefix store are leaps and bounds better than the antennas in your cell phone, for what its worth.
Well originally I was going to use a cell phone repeater/amplifier in my setup, but it seems with just the use of external antenna, everyone is getting fairly reasonable speeds. I was going to use a Directional antenna + booster to get signal in the house (I get literally no service inside the house unless near a window) then use a dome antenna on the ceiling to send that service through the house. Then use a SIM 4G LTE router to use as home internet. We use AT&T now for our cell service, so it's a win win - regular signal for phones even without being connected to the network.

After realizing you can just use external antenna for the routers themselves, I can save myself the booster nonsense and just use the wifi calling. Sorry if my explanation was a little backwards :lol:

As far as modem, I definitely decided to go with the EM7576 as I think it will outperform the nighthawk everyone keeps raving about with the use of external antenna. Id rather go with the external antenna at the same time as Im sure I will need them to get any kind of decent speeds. I doubt even the slight upgraded 3 dbm won't help get through the walls and get a strong enough signal to be consistent since I get 0 indoors right now.

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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by swwifty » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:36 pm

Sexyjesus wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:26 pm
Also worth mentioning, I'm considering doing something like a conventional gigabit router or mesh home network for the wifi, but if I could get a very strong router combo, I'd much rather have just a single device. In this case, would it be better to just use a M.2 to USB 3.0 enclosure vs something like the we826?

As far as antenna, I'm considering 2 of the 700-2700MHz 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna. Although from my research I was recommended LMR400 for those, I only see LMR200 here on the site. Would I benefit more from the LMR400?
I don't have any experience with the WE826 acting as an access point, as I have internal dedicated APs.

In my experience all in one devices typically don't perform as well as separating the functions. Plus sometimes you need the AP to be in the center of the house and that doesn't work when you have a 4G router on the roof, heh.

And yes, go with LMR400 if you are going to bother to setup external antennas. Anything else is typically a waste at these frequencies, unless its only like a 4-5ft run.

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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by Sexyjesus » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:51 pm

swwifty wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:36 pm
I don't have any experience with the WE826 acting as an access point, as I have internal dedicated APs.

In my experience all in one devices typically don't perform as well as separating the functions. Plus sometimes you need the AP to be in the center of the house and that doesn't work when you have a 4G router on the roof, heh.

And yes, go with LMR400 if you are going to bother to setup external antennas. Anything else is typically a waste at these frequencies, unless its only like a 4-5ft run.
That's what I figured on the cable - I considered doing everything in one of the roof mounted enclosures like it sounds like you did but honestly got lost on what PCBs and APs and everything needed. Lol just learning one thing at a time right now.

My main concern was even outside the signal is weak with a lot of noise which is why I considered the cell booster/repeater first that is up to a 100 dB gain. If I can get good increase with just the antenna, I'll be happy. What I'd LIKE to see is in the 50-70mb/s down club and I'll be tremendously happy.

Currently in my cart I've got the WE826/Em7576, cables and adaptor, and 2 of the antenna I mentioned earlier. I just want to make sure they will all mesh like I hope they will.
swwifty wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:36 pm
I don't have any experience with the WE826 acting as an access point, as I have internal dedicated APs.

In my experience all in one devices typically don't perform as well as separating the functions. Plus sometimes you need the AP to be in the center of the house and that doesn't work when you have a 4G router on the roof, heh.

And yes, go with LMR400 if you are going to bother to setup external antennas. Anything else is typically a waste at these frequencies, unless its only like a 4-5ft run.
I know there can be issues with the length of the run, so is there a certain length I should keep the LMR400 under, or just shortest runs possible? May I ask what exactly you run?

swwifty
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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by swwifty » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:45 pm

Sexyjesus wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:51 pm
That's what I figured on the cable - I considered doing everything in one of the roof mounted enclosures like it sounds like you did but honestly got lost on what PCBs and APs and everything needed. Lol just learning one thing at a time right now.

My main concern was even outside the signal is weak with a lot of noise which is why I considered the cell booster/repeater first that is up to a 100 dB gain. If I can get good increase with just the antenna, I'll be happy. What I'd LIKE to see is in the 50-70mb/s down club and I'll be tremendously happy.

Currently in my cart I've got the WE826/Em7576, cables and adaptor, and 2 of the antenna I mentioned earlier. I just want to make sure they will all mesh like I hope they will.



I know there can be issues with the length of the run, so is there a certain length I should keep the LMR400 under, or just shortest runs possible? May I ask what exactly you run?
100db of gain has got to be false advertising. Never heard of that :)

Sounds like you have the hardware you need to get started with a basic setup. Probably only need a sim card and some cables.

I would only worry about lengths of cable of you are NOT using LMR400. LMR400 can go a long ways, but generally its a good idea to keep any cable run you do as short as possible, if possible.

I have LMR400 on my roof. Only a 10ft run, that goes to some cheaper coax that is only 4ft long (I have lightening arrestors and a high pass filter in line)

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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by Sexyjesus » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:42 pm

swwifty wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:45 pm
100db of gain has got to be false advertising. Never heard of that :)

Sounds like you have the hardware you need to get started with a basic setup. Probably only need a sim card and some cables.

I would only worry about lengths of cable of you are NOT using LMR400. LMR400 can go a long ways, but generally its a good idea to keep any cable run you do as short as possible, if possible.

I have LMR400 on my roof. Only a 10ft run, that goes to some cheaper coax that is only 4ft long (I have lightening arrestors and a high pass filter in line)
I know that 100 db increase sounds too good to be true. Lol. I'm not sure how well the amplifier in a booster setup (the 100db claim is due to it being a sole provider boost, allowing them allegedly to have more power than an all carrier booster) I just don't see the amplifier creating a good signal without even more noise issues.

But my problem is, I don't want basic! Haha I'd like a damn good system to see as much speed as possible, and if that takes better equipment, I'll happily spend the money as I see it as an investment! So if you have any recommendations for a very strong setup, I'd be interested! I've even considered a couple of these bastards:

https://www.signalboosters.com/bolton-t ... l-antenna/

26 dbm gain, but not sure if it's overkill. If there's a way to get a solid 100mb/s+ out of a 4g lte network, I'd love to get the right equipment the first time!

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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by swwifty » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:23 am

Maybe they meant a 100x increase in signal strength? That would be 20dbm, which I think could be possible.

Like I said before, forget the signal booster and just setup a connection for your internet, and use wifi calling.

The problem with high gain antennas is they are very directional. If you don't have clear LOS (no trees and no hills) in the way, this is fine, but if not I'd suggest lower gain antennas that cover 700mhz-2700mhz. Multipath is a real issue if you don't have LOS, and high gain antennas can make that worse.

I think you'd be fine just using some of the 11dbi "yagi" antennas that have a radome cover in the LTE fix store. That's what I use, and I've got over 100mbps with them.

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Re: Looking for the best setup for my rural area

Post by Sexyjesus » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:56 pm

swwifty wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:23 am
Maybe they meant a 100x increase in signal strength? That would be 20dbm, which I think could be possible.

Like I said before, forget the signal booster and just setup a connection for your internet, and use wifi calling.

The problem with high gain antennas is they are very directional. If you don't have clear LOS (no trees and no hills) in the way, this is fine, but if not I'd suggest lower gain antennas that cover 700mhz-2700mhz. Multipath is a real issue if you don't have LOS, and high gain antennas can make that worse.

I think you'd be fine just using some of the 11dbi "yagi" antennas that have a radome cover in the LTE fix store. That's what I use, and I've got over 100mbps with them.
Will do! Thanks again for the help! My last question would be, any recommendations for LMR400 and where to find it? Trusting amazon is iffy, and Id rather buy the bulk cable (50ish feet) with my own connectors so I can make custom length runs if needed. I guess I could just order one 50ft and the connectors needed. Should I get one side N and one side SMA to avoid needing a jumper from the lmr to the Modem or will a small jumper really matter for performance?

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