How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

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tonydobbs
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by tonydobbs » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:00 pm

Your slower speed is probably due to B12 only being 5MHz where B2 is 20Mhz.
That's what I was thinking, probably makes more sense to stay on B2.

And, the tower you are pointed towards, is an AT&T tower?
I believe so, but my methods were exceptionally crude. Do you have any recommendations on how to be sure?

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JimHelms
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by JimHelms » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:10 pm

I generally use antennasearch.com and download the "antenna" spreadsheet.

I then locate the tower/antenna that I am interested in, and the plot the Lat/long on all the antennas on google earth along with the location where my antenna will be mounted.

I then connect them with lines that reference the degree heading of each tower.

I then use a compass to aim the antenna at that heading, and use the AT!GSTATUS? to tweak them.

Here is a simple example:

Tower.jpg

Also notice the elevation readings which may favor using omni-directional antennas over a directional panel.

tonydobbs
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by tonydobbs » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:27 pm

Oh that makes much more sense than what I was doing... and just to be clear you're downloading the antenna spreadsheet not the tower spreadsheet? I was checking towers before...

Selecting antennas seems to give me almost 60 results, most of these I'm assuming are not LTE towers for me to connect to.

tonydobbs
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by tonydobbs » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:51 pm

I'm going to have to play with this some more later... I plotted my location to the tower and realized my antenna was off by ~8*, so I adjusted that and my stats have not changed outside of typical variance... The only other thing I could think of is if this is not my tower, and I'm picking up some tower in the distance that is not appearing on the antenna search... that seems crazy though.

Edit: After watching the stats for a few minutes they did get slightly better! But then I did a speed test 3 down .7 up... it's black magic, must be!

tonydobbs
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by tonydobbs » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:17 pm

Final update of the night... I can definitely say that both my average signal values and peak values have gone up since the aiming adjustment, albeit only slightly. With that being said I used the FindTower app on my phone, and it says that I'm aiming at a Verizon tower, and that the AT&T tower is in a completely different direction. I guess the next step is to take the antenna down, go into the middle of the field where there are 0 obstructions of any kind, and take some measurements to confirm which tower is correct.

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JimHelms
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by JimHelms » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:09 am

tonydobbs wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:27 pm
Oh that makes much more sense than what I was doing... and just to be clear you're downloading the antenna spreadsheet not the tower spreadsheet? I was checking towers before...

Selecting antennas seems to give me almost 60 results, most of these I'm assuming are not LTE towers for me to connect to.
I generally have better luck with using the antenna results. It is not uncommon for two carriers to lease space on the same tower which is owned by a third party.

The only downside to using antenna search is their database if often not current.

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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by JimHelms » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:14 am

tonydobbs wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:17 pm
Final update of the night... I can definitely say that both my average signal values and peak values have gone up since the aiming adjustment, albeit only slightly. With that being said I used the FindTower app on my phone, and it says that I'm aiming at a Verizon tower, and that the AT&T tower is in a completely different direction. I guess the next step is to take the antenna down, go into the middle of the field where there are 0 obstructions of any kind, and take some measurements to confirm which tower is correct.
That may well be the issue. There are also a few more tools mentioned on the STORE that may assist in locating the tower.

tonydobbs
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by tonydobbs » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:56 am

JimHelms wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:14 am
That may well be the issue. There are also a few more tools mentioned on the STORE that may assist in locating the tower.
I'll have a play with some of the other tools and see what shows up. If I've been pointing to the wrong antenna that would be
pretty damn funny... Probably am.

swwifty
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by swwifty » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:00 am

I have a few thoughts, and a few questions.

The antenna you're using has a really wide beamwidth, so to be honest, I doubt making slight little adjustments in the aiming will make a big difference. Should you still aim it as accurately as possible? yes, but the different will likely be subtle unless you are totally pointing the antenna 90 degrees off from the tower, or even 180 degrees off.

As Jim stated, the speed difference is due to band 12 having such low bandwith, vs band 2.

Here's the questions I have:

1. Did you lock your modem to band 2 only? I see in the first signal stats you shared, that there was no carrier aggregation (CA), and only band 2. I would unlock if you have locked it to only band 2, to see what signal stats look like, and share those results.

2. Can you share the results of the modem command 'at!lteinfo' ? This shows all the cells in your area, and we can see if there are more around, and if they are interfering and reducing your SINR (LTE is a interference limited system).

3. Can you share the signal stats of when you were using the omni antennas? Also, were you using the omnis inside or outside?

tonydobbs
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Re: How much of an effect does the cable choice have on the signal strength

Post by tonydobbs » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:46 am

swwifty wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:00 am
I have a few thoughts, and a few questions.

The antenna you're using has a really wide beamwidth, so to be honest, I doubt making slight little adjustments in the aiming will make a big difference. Should you still aim it as accurately as possible? yes, but the different will likely be subtle unless you are totally pointing the antenna 90 degrees off from the tower, or even 180 degrees off.
I had thought this as well, which is why I was so surprised to be having issues aiming it, although now I'm starting to think that's because I'm trying to aim it at the wrong tower.
As Jim stated, the speed difference is due to band 12 having such low bandwith, vs band 2.
Yea, that part makes perfect sense to me, which is why I'm now wondering if I should have gotten an antenna optimized for a narrower range of frequencies. I didn't notice any speed gains from having CA between 12 and 2 as opposed to just band 2.
Here's the questions I have:

1. Did you lock your modem to band 2 only? I see in the first signal stats you shared, that there was no carrier aggregation (CA), and only band 2. I would unlock if you have locked it to only band 2, to see what signal stats look like, and share those results.
For all the stats I posted the modem was unlocked. I only locked it to band 2 afterwards because it was trying to stay on band 12 exclusively for some reason.
2. Can you share the results of the modem command 'at!lteinfo' ? This shows all the cells in your area, and we can see if there are more around, and if they are interfering and reducing your SINR (LTE is a interference limited system).
Sure, here are the current results. (not too bad all things considered, a bit better than last night)

Code: Select all

at!lteinfo
!LTEINFO: 
Serving:   EARFCN MCC MNC   TAC      CID Bd D U SNR PCI  RSRQ   RSRP   RSSI RXLV
              800 310 410 35590 0A15ED09  2 5 5   1  56 -10.7 -106.4  -75.1 --

IntraFreq:                                          PCI  RSRQ   RSRP   RSSI RXLV
                                                     56 -10.7 -106.4  -75.1 --
                                                    421 -16.7 -113.0  -87.0 --

InterFreq: EARFCN ThresholdLow ThresholdHi Priority PCI  RSRQ   RSRP   RSSI RXLV

GSM:       ThreshL ThreshH Prio NCC ARFCN 1900 valid BSIC RSSI RXLV

WCDMA:     UARFCN ThreshL ThreshH Prio PSC   RSCP  ECN0 RXLV

CDMA 1x:   Chan BC Offset Phase Str

CDMA HRPD: Chan BC Offset Phase Str


OK
3. Can you share the signal stats of when you were using the omni antennas? Also, were you using the omnis inside or outside?
Sure, here are the omni stats. They are the tiny ones that come with the device and are indoors, which makes their performance against my panel, all the more impressive, although right now they're

Code: Select all

at!lteinfo
!LTEINFO: 
Serving:   EARFCN MCC MNC   TAC      CID Bd D U SNR PCI  RSRQ   RSRP   RSSI RXLV
              800 310 410 35590 0A15ED09  2 5 5  -10  56 -17.0 -111.3  -68.4 --

IntraFreq:                                          PCI  RSRQ   RSRP   RSSI RXLV
                                                     56 -17.0 -111.3  -68.4 --
                                                    421 -16.9 -110.8  -85.3 --

InterFreq: EARFCN ThresholdLow ThresholdHi Priority PCI  RSRQ   RSRP   RSSI RXLV

GSM:       ThreshL ThreshH Prio NCC ARFCN 1900 valid BSIC RSSI RXLV

WCDMA:     UARFCN ThreshL ThreshH Prio PSC   RSCP  ECN0 RXLV

CDMA 1x:   Chan BC Offset Phase Str

CDMA HRPD: Chan BC Offset Phase Str


OK
Thanks again for your assistance, I still have a lot to learn!

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