OK, what antenna do I need?

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OK, what antenna do I need?

Post by daniel.maxim » Tue May 22, 2018 3:00 pm

I'll outline my situation and part of it concerns antenna discussion, but a lot of it doesn't, but there's no global topic area. Anyway, currently all that's available at my address is dsl at 3.5 Mb/s. My lot is wooded and at an elevation of 500 ft. Add 25 ft to the roofline and another 15 ft to the top of my soon to be antenna. I got a ZTE hotspot from Calyx Institute. The tower I would connect to is 2.25 miles away at an elevation of about 800 ft. Standing on my roof I get 1 bar and 0.5 Mb/s. I mounted a yagi antenna due west towards the tower 5 ft up on my TV antenna and got 1 Mb/s.
So maybe I should buy a 800 MHz antenna because of all the foliage? Also I would like to have Ethernet and be able use the coax that goes to the first floor and basement. Also I just sharpened my chainsaw and I'm not afraid to use it. Daniel

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Re: OK, what antenna do I need?

Post by JimHelms » Tue May 22, 2018 7:18 pm

Your distance of 2.5 miles is within acceptable limits although foliage, if heavy, can complicate applications. In heavily wooded areas, I generally hear the best results using Omni-directional antennas. You can search the forum to locate a few topics on Omni-directional antennas.

Lately, we are hearing customers using the 700MHz to 2700Mhz wide-band 15dB gain flat panel directional antennas in wooded areas and/or NLOS (None-line-of-sight) applications with surprisingly good results. One user on the Hacks facebook group recently discussed being 8 to 9 miles NLOS from the tower with good results.

As a general rule, especially in foliage conditions, try to install whatever antenna you use as high off the ground as reasonably possible.

Calyx is running on the Sprint network which uses Band 41 (at 2500HMz), Band 25 (at 1900Mhz) and Band 26 (at 850MHz). I do not believe I would use an antenna in the 800MHz as you would be restricted to band 26. Ideally, and at present time, you would like to get Band 41 followed by Band 25. This is the advantage of using a wide band antenna.

Unfortunately, there is no one shoe fits all antenna solution. What works well for one, may not at all for others. A lot of the best results I have witnessed was obtained by trial and error. I would ask the question on the facebook group and get recommendations.

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