DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review (Updated with comparisons)

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swwifty
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by swwifty » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:33 pm

ph34rful wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:04 pm
Ya I'll definitely go with a 700-2700mhz antenna. They're on AT&T. Although strangely enough when I was there band 30 seemed to be the only band that performed well at all. Which is counter intuitive since it's a higher frequency (2300mhz). Band 2,4,12 all performed at generally less than 3mbps where as band 30 seemed to be able to hit 15mbps on speedtests. Weird stuff. I was also troubleshooting signal dropouts at the time (I think they're resolved now) so I didn't have time to investigate optimizing cell signal etc. I'm going to try band locking to band 30 when I return and see if that helps things. I'd even consider buying a band 30 specific antenna if I could find one without a custom order. The house is kind of in a small valley up against woods so there is definitely no LOS and without actually knowing for sure I think the nearest tower is 3-4ish miles away.

The system is pretty basic although it took me a while to figure it all out at the time, ltehacks forum was not online then for some reason. I spent sooo many hours googling for answers. This forum would have made things so much easier! Anywho, it's the basic USB enclosure with a EM7455 in it and a TP-Link Archer router that I happened to already have laying around. Luckily, GoldenOrb 12-15 had just been released, so I was able to flash it. I bought the Netgear antenna not knowing any better because I was pretty sure the little ones that were included with the enclosure weren't going to be enough. https://www.amazon.com/Netgear-6000450- ... 00DN3J03O/

Unfortunately the Netgear antenna ended up not really being any better than those included with the enclosure and left me uninterested in further pursuing antennas at the time. My relative is a very basic PC user so it has worked well enough for their usage. I'd love to be able to get HD Netflix working consistently for them, but it may not happen with my inability to experiment due to the distance. I usually only see them a couple times a year, and they're not technologically adept, so whatever I do has to pretty much be set it and forget it. Certainly not ideal. Remote access would allow me to monitor signal conditions but I'm not sure how to set that up on the router without a static/public IP. We occasionally use TeamViewer if they need PC assistance. I'm only still thinking about how to make their connection better because I like making things work and it's gotten under my skin haha. I apologize for hijacking your thread!
No worries on the thread hijack. This is all good info. It's interesting that they'd be getting band 30 out there. I think a good quality antenna will make all the difference. That "remote it" link I shared, is a reverse proxy, you can run on the router. You wouldn't need a public IP, cause you use a tunnel to get to the router with it, I'd recommend checking it out more.

In other news, I ran some more tests with these antennas today, and had some interesting results. I'll share more in the AM, when I'm rested and can do a full detailed write up.

swwifty
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by swwifty » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:04 am

Update: with some interesting info

Yesterday afternoon, I had some time to play around with these antennas some more, and discovered some interesting things. My goal for this time was to test a few things.

1. Check signal strength and speed again (as compared to my previous test).
2. Test both band12 and band2 independently by locking the modem to each separately, and comparing signal/speeds.

I first started with checking the signal strength.
Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 4.35.00 PM.png
To my surprise, band 2 had been selected as the primary, and band 12 was the secondary (when in my original test, B12 was primary, and B2 was secondary). I've actually seen this happen when I drove close to the tower (to confirm the tower I thought I was connecting to, was the same one), and I've seen this when I tested up near the top of my mountain (my property backs up to the top of a small mountain that is about 200 feet higher than my house).

I was actually hoping that these antennas would allow me to get good enough signal strength on B2 at my house, for that to be the primary. My reasoning for this is B2 has 20mhz of bandwith, but because B2 is at around 1900mhz at my house the signal has always been much weaker than B12 (which is 700mhz). I have a few theories for why this swapped.

1. The day before I posted the original tests results, it had been raining. I suspect that this caused some signal attenuation on band 2, and now that things are more dry, it's coming in better.

2. I also had some trees cut down, between when I ran the original test, and this test. They weren't in the way of the antennas, but they are very close to my house, and I suspect it could be related (although this is surprising to me).

Here's the speed test I ran with both bands enabled.
Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 4.37.04 PM.png
Pretty impressive still. (this is the fastest download speed I've ever gotten, even when I tested less than half a mile from the tower. My house is about 5 miles away from this tower FYI.)

I decided to lock bands, and test the results at this point. This is the B12 signal strength, and speed test.
Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 4.49.09 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 4.50.17 PM.png
B12 looks really good, and the interesting thing is upload speed is better while only locked to B12. I suspect this is because the signal strength is better. Also, signal to noise ratio looks MUCH better on B12 (if you compare with screenshots below on Band 2) I still don't fully understand how uplink works in LTE, but from what I understand there is no carrier aggregation in uplink, and only MIMO with a 16QAM modulation? If this is true, that explains why B12 upload is better than B2 upload, as the primary cell is only used for uplink. Maybe someone can clear that up for me?

Anyways, the B2 signal speed and test.
Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 4.45.09 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 4.46.29 PM.png
Pretty similar results, but upload speed is slightly slower (although download is faster than B12).

I'm thinking of buying some band specific high gain Yagi's to try, and compare with these antennas. I'd buy a B2 and B12 specific yagi, and run some more tests. What does everyone think of that idea? I'm still not sold on it, cause I still have to spend a lot of money on getting this setup in a permanent fashion. I do like the fact that this current setup allows me to isolate to either band if I want, or if performance requires so.
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dajmanjt
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by dajmanjt » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:01 am

Thanks for the update! Great info and conversation. I am going to throw even more options at you that I have experimented with lately lol.

Make your primary antenna a band 2 specific antenna and then your secondary antenna a multi band antenna (use one of the 15 DB ones you already have). I have a client using a band 30 specific sector antenna as his primary and a regular multi-band antenna as his secondary. His results have been that the modem keeps band 30 as the primary frequency and band 12 as the secondary, with no band-locking implemented or needed. The speeds were the best out of all the tests I ran with other antenna setups in that area, including using only band 30 yagis in pairs. The results could be similar for you, worth a shot experimenting since you would only need to buy one 17 DB band 2 yagi to try it out. If you get a band 2 specific antenna that boosts your band 2 signal enough to make it the primary frequency all the time then the multi band antenna is simply supplementing with band 12 for speed. You MUST connect the band 2 antenna to the primary antenna sma connection for this type of setup to work, it must be recognized as the primary antenna. The downside is that on your band 2 antenna your band 12 reception will be less, because the antenna is tuned specifically for band 2. However I have seen this system work great in the past being that band 30 was the better band and any supplementation that was needed came from the multi antenna connected to the secondary antenna sma port.

Also a quick side note I have several band 12/13 specific yagi antennas I have bought through ZDA in the past and they are WAY BIG. The lower the frequency the bigger your antenna has to be to get a high DB out of it. The band 2 antennas are nice and small, about half the size and weight of a band 12 antenna with the same DB output. In fact the 16 DB band 13 yagi I bought came in 2 pieces because it is too big to ship assembled. Just know that ahead of time if you decide to experiment with band 12 specific antennas.

Cheer!
LTE solutions & research is my favorite past-time and hobby

swwifty
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by swwifty » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:38 am

dajmanjt wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:01 am
Thanks for the update! Great info and conversation. I am going to throw even more options at you that I have experimented with lately lol.

Make your primary antenna a band 2 specific antenna and then your secondary antenna a multi band antenna (use one of the 15 DB ones you already have). I have a client using a band 30 specific sector antenna as his primary and a regular multi-band antenna as his secondary. His results have been that the modem keeps band 30 as the primary frequency and band 12 as the secondary, with no band-locking implemented or needed. The speeds were the best out of all the tests I ran with other antenna setups in that area, including using only band 30 yagis in pairs. The results could be similar for you, worth a shot experimenting since you would only need to buy one 17 DB band 2 yagi to try it out. If you get a band 2 specific antenna that boosts your band 2 signal enough to make it the primary frequency all the time then the multi band antenna is simply supplementing with band 12 for speed. You MUST connect the band 2 antenna to the primary antenna sma connection for this type of setup to work, it must be recognized as the primary antenna. The downside is that on your band 2 antenna your band 12 reception will be less, because the antenna is tuned specifically for band 2. However I have seen this system work great in the past being that band 30 was the better band and any supplementation that was needed came from the multi antenna connected to the secondary antenna sma port.

Also a quick side note I have several band 12/13 specific yagi antennas I have bought through ZDA in the past and they are WAY BIG. The lower the frequency the bigger your antenna has to be to get a high DB out of it. The band 2 antennas are nice and small, about half the size and weight of a band 12 antenna with the same DB output. In fact the 16 DB band 13 yagi I bought came in 2 pieces because it is too big to ship assembled. Just know that ahead of time if you decide to experiment with band 12 specific antennas.

Cheer!
It's funny you say this, cause I thought of trying this previously, but this was a good reminder. I think either way I'm going to try some antennas that are band specific. I just went and did a test much higher up on my property, and the results were very interesting (I'll post them here in this thread in a few).

And yes, I'm aware the band 12/13 anntennas are huuugee, but i kind of like that, lol.

swwifty
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by swwifty » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:05 pm

Another update, climbed to the top of my mountain with these antennas

I'm off this week, so I'm trying to constantly stall my property chores :lol: Anyways, i had previously tested my omni antennas up at the top of the mountain that is behind my house (about 200 feet higher or so). I wanted to try these antennas up there, so I walked up there with my little portable setup, and the results are very interesting.

I started with both bands, then locked to B2 and then to B12 to test. The results are below.

Signal Strength Both Bands
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.10.00 AM.png
Speed test both bands
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.12.42 AM.png
Signal Strength Band 2
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.16.59 AM.png
Speed test band 2
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.18.32 AM.png
Signal Strength Band 12 (Can't get better than 100%! lol....)
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.22.39 AM.png
Signal Strength Band 12
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.23.01 AM.png
Speed Test Band 12
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.24.21 AM.png
A picture of my test setup, and location. You can see there is a minimal amount of trees to shoot through at this location. I was able to spot the tower today with my binoculars. I can see about 150 feet of it or so, above the ridge line I have to shoot over. I'd been previously aiming the antennas with a compass based on calculations I did online. It was neat to visually confirm that was correct.
5650598260960065142.jpg
The results are fascinating to me. It seems almost to me that carrier aggregation isn't helping in over all bandwith at this location, while my previous tests at my house it did. When I locked to just band 2, the speeds were just as fast as when I had both bands available. It also seems that I've probably reached the limit of band 12 on these antennas. I think the next step will be to try some band 2 specific antennas and play with that configuration.

Any thoughts anyone has, please do share :)

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dajmanjt
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by dajmanjt » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:32 pm

Dude those band 2 speed tests are super sweet. The best band 2 speeds I got were on a tower down the road from my house. I'll post the speed test results here from that test.

https://imgur.com/a/y8LVoKZ

Question: how are you going to run the internet connection back to your house? Very interested in how you are going to do your final setup. Keep us posted!
LTE solutions & research is my favorite past-time and hobby

swwifty
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by swwifty » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:52 pm

dajmanjt wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:32 pm
Dude those band 2 speed tests are super sweet. The best band 2 speeds I got were on a tower down the road from my house. I'll post the speed test results here from that test.

https://imgur.com/a/y8LVoKZ

Question: how are you going to run the internet connection back to your house? Very interested in how you are going to do your final setup. Keep us posted!
Wow, that download speed is sick!

Well, I hope I didn't confuse you. Most of my tests have been at my house. This one I just posted later in the day today (not the test from yesterday) was up on the mountain. I've given some serious contemplation to running power up the mountain to that location (in the pic) and mounting a raspberry pi/modem there in a waterproof box along with the antennas. I'd then get the connection back to my house using a PTP wireless bridge (like with a ubiquiti nanostation or something along those lines). That's a lot of work for this connection, so I'd really like to just mount it on my roof at my house for ease of maintenance, setup, etc.

My main goal, that got me started down this whole road, is to have a secondary internet connection. I currently have a DSL connection that is currently very reliable, but I can only get 18-20mbps down, and about 1.5mbps up. Ultimately, no matter where I mount it, I'll use the 4G connection as a second active connection that is load balanced with my PFsense firewall.

The other thing is, the county I live in has really poor internet overall, and I'm very fortunate to have a good stable DSL connection. I started on this project, cause I didn't want to have to learn all of this when/if my DSL connection went down or became unstable. I work full time remote, so my internet connection is highly critical. I already had a situation where one of my DSL pairs went down, and I lost half my speed. Turned out the crappy DSL modem failed on one of the phone lines, so they had to replace it, but it took nearly a week to do that.

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dajmanjt
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by dajmanjt » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:08 pm

No worries on the confusion, you have been very clear so far and I have followed your train of thought on the two different locations throughout the experimentation process. My question was specifically on if you decided to mount the system in that remote area how you were gonna get the internet back to your house, since I assumed you would not be hard lining it back. You answered that question by talking about using a PTP bridge which makes sense, however I am with you on simpler is better. If you can find a spot at your house where you can get band 2 to be reliable and fast you can save a bunch of money and get great results as well. Your speeds already look great at your house except the upload.

That's awesome that you have fast DSL. Where I live at the best I can get from ATT is 1 Mbps down and .5 Mbps up. No other options besides satellites internet, which isn't an option really cause satellite internet sucks. My journey into the world of LTE internet as a home solution started many years ago out of necessity and then branched out from there as I found out I love the experimenting and exploring. Now it's def my favorite past time at the moment, a hobby I really enjoy.
LTE solutions & research is my favorite past-time and hobby

swwifty
Posts: 457
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by swwifty » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:33 pm

dajmanjt wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:08 pm
No worries on the confusion, you have been very clear so far and I have followed your train of thought on the two different locations throughout the experimentation process. My question was specifically on if you decided to mount the system in that remote area how you were gonna get the internet back to your house, since I assumed you would not be hard lining it back. You answered that question by talking about using a PTP bridge which makes sense, however I am with you on simpler is better. If you can find a spot at your house where you can get band 2 to be reliable and fast you can save a bunch of money and get great results as well. Your speeds already look great at your house except the upload.

That's awesome that you have fast DSL. Where I live at the best I can get from ATT is 1 Mbps down and .5 Mbps up. No other options besides satellites internet, which isn't an option really cause satellite internet sucks. My journey into the world of LTE internet as a home solution started many years ago out of necessity and then branched out from there as I found out I love the experimenting and exploring. Now it's def my favorite past time at the moment, a hobby I really enjoy.
Ah gotcha :)

I'm going to order some B2 yagis today to try and see what that looks like.

Ouch on that DSL speed, i'm preparing in advance for that scenario :)

I'm also investigating starting my own WISP. My mom has a house on my property, and I currently share my internet with her via two 2.4ghz nanostations. Her house is about 500 feet away through trees no LOS. That setup is also what got my started on this journey! It sure is fun!

ph34rful
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Re: DP727L15 - 15dBi 4G LTE Directional Antenna Review

Post by ph34rful » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:37 pm

swwifty wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:33 pm
No worries on the thread hijack. This is all good info. It's interesting that they'd be getting band 30 out there. I think a good quality antenna will make all the difference. That "remote it" link I shared, is a reverse proxy, you can run on the router. You wouldn't need a public IP, cause you use a tunnel to get to the router with it, I'd recommend checking it out more.

In other news, I ran some more tests with these antennas today, and had some interesting results. I'll share more in the AM, when I'm rested and can do a full detailed write up.
Can the remote.it service be utilized on devices other than a pi? I signed up but don't see how I can use it with the setup I'm working with, or maybe it's outside my skill set.

Also, this thread is making me wish I could actively tinker with this stuff, very nice results!

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