26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Topics related to wireless broadband antennas
Post Reply
swwifty
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by swwifty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:59 am

xdavidx wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:32 pm
I was saying the cable company could try to create problems (even if there weren't any FCC rules being broken) on the RF front through the long range wifi network being set up. And it wouldn't be reselling of a cable connection. I'm sure they'd *really* love that!

How are you getting the carrier grade wholesale connection? Cellular or some form of wired?


Trust me, that has been discussed in the past with one neighbor. Then they got their DSL upgraded. Mine was upgraded a few days after that. It worked for a month with fewer issues than I had previously. Then it all fell apart. The phone company tech couldn't figure out how to fix it, so I had to have them put me back to a slower speed that has issues now and then.
The cable company is setting up a wireless network? That seems odd.

Carrier grade connections are almost always fiber. I'll have a 500-1G connection at first, and then add multiples for redundancy upstream.

If you give it away for free, shouldn't be a contract violation, just sayin.

swwifty
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by swwifty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:12 am

xdavidx wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:46 pm
Good point. Generally, not as much gain is needed for the lower frequencies, since they travel farther. The antenna this thread started with has the following gain for the low frequencies:

14-17 dBi
600-960 MHz

That would be fine. I'm just not quite ready to give up on the dream of having the lower frequencies available for carrier aggregation too. It might be a foolhardy dream, however, since as @swwifty pointed out, they like to withhold those bands. In my case, I'm not given the 700MHz bands unless it is late at night, when the towers aren't busy.

I even found a tower that has at least 4 bands: B2 20MHz, B30 10MHz, B12 10 MHz and B66 10MHz. It won't give me B12 until late at night. It will give me B2 and B30 all day long, and then adds B12 at night. The only time I got B66 is when I aimed away from the tower enough that it couldn't pick up the higher frequency B30. Then it would give me B66! I haven't tried locking out B30 to see if it will give me B66 when aimed correctly, but that's on my list of things to try. But what is weird is that it will give me B12 if I am physically right next to the tower.

My only guess at their algorithm is that it it will give 3 bands if you are close and have really good signal strength, since they want to maximize the resources for people who can make the most out of them. The rules change when you don't have as strong of a signal. In that case they seem to want to reserve the lower frequency bands for people farther out (except for B2, which is always the primary and has the most bandwidth, with 20 MHz).

In theory, the towers can use your distance in (estimated by a round trip ping time), to determine which resource blocks to give you vs other users on the same band from another, approximately equi-distant tower, in order to reduce interference for those users in the overlapping coverage areas between the towers. In practice, I'm really not sure how much that is utilized.

Thinking about this more, *if* they are only using signal strength and not using the estimated distance, then if I can get my signal strength high enough, it might treat me like I'm right next to the tower and give me the lower frequency bands, even during prime time usage hours. If it will do that, then it might make sense for me to try a grid antenna, if it could get my signal strength high enough. My problem isn't being too far away from the towers. My problem is having too many towers around and too many people. So even if I only get the signal strength high enough for the primary antenna, that might be good enough, since they probably only look at that, not at some average of the two. My panel antennas get good enough signals for reasonable speeds. I just "need" (want) more bands, so that I have more bandwidth, hence more speed.

Lots of "ifs" here, but if the above works out, I *could* use a cheaper grid antenna that doesn't go down to 700MHz as my primary and, either use one of my panel antennas as secondary, or use the second MIMO connection of the horn style antenna that @coldknob is using. Since I only have a 3CA modem currently, B2 + B30 + B66 would give me as much as I can use anyway, and I wouldn't need B12.

It is a price difference of about $150 between the wide band grid antenna and the feed horn variant. Of course, if someone doesn't have secondary antennas, or needs a very high gain for the secondary antennas to get MIMO, then the feed horn antenna is a greater bargain vs buying 2 of the wide band grid antennas.

This is another MIMO feed horn that is priced less, but it is made for parabolic dishes. Not sure if it could be made to work with a grid: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-polarity- ... 2797598911

I'll add to my list of tests to see at what signal strength, physically getting farther and farther from the tower, it stops giving me Band 12 and 66. Using the gain specs on the panel antennas vs the grid antennas might allow me to do the math to figure out if I'll be able to get to a high enough signal strength to fake out the tower into giving me the lower frequency bands. I'll also need to see if it will give me B30 and B66 at the same time if I lock out Band 12 and I'm close to the tower. They could have some other rule about not giving those 2 bands to the same user, or not support all the allowable CA combinations (of which B2+B30+B66 is one).

The variables never end with this stuff. :shock: :lol:
I think you have it a bit reversed. LTE is a very complex protocol, and the UE (Mobile phone or modem) and the Cell are always providing feedback in a loop to make very complex decisions about band connections/transmission modes and such. Resource blocks in LTE are assigned based on feedback as well and utilized OFDMA (I recommend reading about this very interesting) It's not only signal strength, but that is for sure a big factor. I'd recommend reading the following article, it's quite technical, but will help you understand one aspect of how complex LTE really is:

http://www.sharetechnote.com/html/Handb ... nMode.html

Carriers almost always want the UE to connect to the higher frequency bands for a few reasons.

1. They are typically wider bandwith, and less congested.
2. Preserve usage on the lower bands, so they can be used for customers with devices with poor antennas (think cell phones) or devices that are far away or shadowed by obstructions such as inside a building and such.
3. They paid a lot of money for the lower frequency bands, so the less utilized they are the better. This means less network density (they don't have to build out as many towers) and customers are not complaining about coverage and performance.

Typically I don't want to do CA with lower bands cause they are almost always congested especially in rural areas because they cover large areas and theres typically a lot of obstructions. This is why I originally used some band 2 specific yagis to lock only onto that band. I found later that band 2 had a lot of multipathing that was causing poor performance, so I opted to swap out for some antennas that covered 700-2700mhz, so I could band 12 signal in better to help CA with that. Fortunately where I live AT&Ts band 12 isn't super congested, so I can still get 40-50mbps just on that band. Combined with Band 2 i typically get 65-80mbps down.

I recommend now almost always using wide band antennas so you can use all available bands, and let the logic in the LTE modem / cell decide what you should use. Antenna diversity is a good thing which LTE provides, but frequency diversity through different bands is also good as well. It's what makes LTE work quite well in very difficult RF situations.

xdavidx
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:04 pm

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by xdavidx » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:02 am

swwifty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:59 am
The cable company is setting up a wireless network? That seems odd.
No. What I am saying is that in my situation, if a competitor sprung up that was taking away cable customers, they could face harrassment from the cable company. The form of that harrassment could be trying to create legal problems on the RF front. That doesn't mean they would have anything legitimate to complain to the FCC or local government about, but they could still do it. They've (cable companies) been known to aggressively target competitors before.
swwifty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:59 am
Carrier grade connections are almost always fiber. I'll have a 500-1G connection at first, and then add multiples for redundancy upstream.
That is great you are able to get that type of connection in the mountains. I figured you meant fiber, but didn't know you could get that to your house. Unless you are getting it to some other location and setting up the wifi equipment there? Sounds like the start of a fun adventure.
swwifty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:59 am
If you give it away for free, shouldn't be a contract violation, just sayin.
The policies are different per provider. Some are no sharing and some are no reselling and no sharing. I know AT&T has a no reselling policy. I'm not sure of the sharing policy. But what is policy and what people do aren't necessarily the same thing. :-) Either way, my main neighbor has a fast enough connection now, even though it is only 22 Mbps, that he wouldn't be interested in setting up a wireless link between houses. There are many who are stuck with 6 Mbps or less DSL that has reliability issues too. It will be a happy day when that crooked phone company (Frontier Communications) loses out to some other, new technology (cellular or low earth orbit satellite).

I have considered approaching the city to see about setting up some sort of coop for a wisp. That's about as far as I've ever gotten. That, and looking into the equipment a bit. My main concern, since it is a populated area (semi-rural, but still enough affected people), is interferring with personal wifi networks. Strategically placed links that go through area with fewer houses might mitigate some of this. Setting up towers or finding existing structures to use (no mountains here) seems problematic as well.

It will probably never happen, but fun to think about when your DSL service is out. :-)

xdavidx
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:04 pm

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by xdavidx » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:56 am

swwifty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:12 am
I think you have it a bit reversed.
All I can say is that theory is fine, but it doesn't trump what is done in practice. If you are saying they won't give out lower frequency bands to those users close to the towers (those with strong signal strengths), that isn't the case here. I have physically been to the towers and been given low frequency bands, during prime time.

How providers dole out resources is not a standard baked into LTE. It is up to the providers to implement resource allocation in whatever way they want. And that can vary from one area to another, even with the same provider. So what happens with the towers near me may not happen for other people.

I am not claiming that everyone will be able to use higher gain antennas and band locking in order to get their towers to give them extra bands. I am stating that my towers appear to give out lower frequency bands to high signal strength users and low signal strength users, but not give them out to medium signal strength users, during times of congestion. I intend to empirically test this further, and if testing proves it out, I may opt for using one or more higher gain antennas.

Regarding not wanting to use lower frequency bands... I would rather have 2 higher frequency bands aggregated with a congested lower frequency band than only have 2 higher frequency bands. I am dealing with a 3CA modem, not 2CA.

If someone has to pick between a lower frequency band and a higher frequency band of the same bandwidth, then it would generally make sense to *pick* the higher frequency band, as you said. That assumes there aren't other users camped out on the higher frequency band, with LTE modems, downloading torrents 24x7. :-) There will always be exceptions.

But *adding* a low frequency band where no other band exists, for a higher carrier count, with carrier aggregation, can only increase speeds.

At the end of the day, the name of the game is to get the highest average number of resource blocks assigned to your modem during daytime hours, assuming that is when most people generally want to use their lte modems. And, in general, the most likey way to maximize resource blocks is to have access to more aggregate bandwidth, with carrier aggregation.

There is a cost to higher gain antennas and tweaking modem settings, both in terms of price of the equipment and time investment. Most people will opt for and be overjoyed with one of the options you laid out in your great reviews and comparisons of antennas and leaving all bands open in the modem. What we are discussing in this thread is hot-rodding. :-)

coldknob
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by coldknob » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:58 pm

xdavidx wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:56 am
What we are discussing in this thread is hot-rodding. :-)
Hot-rodding! I like it.

You're right that the vast majority could care less what their highest speed is as long as they can stream Netflix, etc.

swwifty
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by swwifty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:38 pm

coldknob wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:58 pm
Hot-rodding! I like it.

You're right that the vast majority could care less what their highest speed is as long as they can stream Netflix, etc.
And honestly now days thats all we really need. Video conferencing software typically uses less than 5mb/sec.

The average household only uses about 10mb/sec at peak times.

swwifty
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by swwifty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:49 pm

xdavidx wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:02 am
No. What I am saying is that in my situation, if a competitor sprung up that was taking away cable customers, they could face harrassment from the cable company. The form of that harrassment could be trying to create legal problems on the RF front. That doesn't mean they would have anything legitimate to complain to the FCC or local government about, but they could still do it. They've (cable companies) been known to aggressively target competitors before.


That is great you are able to get that type of connection in the mountains. I figured you meant fiber, but didn't know you could get that to your house. Unless you are getting it to some other location and setting up the wifi equipment there? Sounds like the start of a fun adventure.


The policies are different per provider. Some are no sharing and some are no reselling and no sharing. I know AT&T has a no reselling policy. I'm not sure of the sharing policy. But what is policy and what people do aren't necessarily the same thing. :-) Either way, my main neighbor has a fast enough connection now, even though it is only 22 Mbps, that he wouldn't be interested in setting up a wireless link between houses. There are many who are stuck with 6 Mbps or less DSL that has reliability issues too. It will be a happy day when that crooked phone company (Frontier Communications) loses out to some other, new technology (cellular or low earth orbit satellite).

I have considered approaching the city to see about setting up some sort of coop for a wisp. That's about as far as I've ever gotten. That, and looking into the equipment a bit. My main concern, since it is a populated area (semi-rural, but still enough affected people), is interferring with personal wifi networks. Strategically placed links that go through area with fewer houses might mitigate some of this. Setting up towers or finding existing structures to use (no mountains here) seems problematic as well.

It will probably never happen, but fun to think about when your DSL service is out. :-)
heh, I wish I could get fiber to my house, but that would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

I'll have fiber at a central location in downtown and backhaul it wireless to various towers in the area, which will then serve customers off of that.

While starting a WISP is not easy, I'm learning very quickly its not a technology problem. The main issue is spectrum, and competeing with the big carriers that want it all. Unfortunately, the government only makes this problem worse than it is buy making it hard for WISPS to effectively serve customers and be cost effective.

swwifty
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by swwifty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:51 pm

xdavidx wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:56 am
All I can say is that theory is fine, but it doesn't trump what is done in practice. If you are saying they won't give out lower frequency bands to those users close to the towers (those with strong signal strengths), that isn't the case here. I have physically been to the towers and been given low frequency bands, during prime time.

How providers dole out resources is not a standard baked into LTE. It is up to the providers to implement resource allocation in whatever way they want. And that can vary from one area to another, even with the same provider. So what happens with the towers near me may not happen for other people.

I am not claiming that everyone will be able to use higher gain antennas and band locking in order to get their towers to give them extra bands. I am stating that my towers appear to give out lower frequency bands to high signal strength users and low signal strength users, but not give them out to medium signal strength users, during times of congestion. I intend to empirically test this further, and if testing proves it out, I may opt for using one or more higher gain antennas.

Regarding not wanting to use lower frequency bands... I would rather have 2 higher frequency bands aggregated with a congested lower frequency band than only have 2 higher frequency bands. I am dealing with a 3CA modem, not 2CA.

If someone has to pick between a lower frequency band and a higher frequency band of the same bandwidth, then it would generally make sense to *pick* the higher frequency band, as you said. That assumes there aren't other users camped out on the higher frequency band, with LTE modems, downloading torrents 24x7. :-) There will always be exceptions.

But *adding* a low frequency band where no other band exists, for a higher carrier count, with carrier aggregation, can only increase speeds.

At the end of the day, the name of the game is to get the highest average number of resource blocks assigned to your modem during daytime hours, assuming that is when most people generally want to use their lte modems. And, in general, the most likey way to maximize resource blocks is to have access to more aggregate bandwidth, with carrier aggregation.

There is a cost to higher gain antennas and tweaking modem settings, both in terms of price of the equipment and time investment. Most people will opt for and be overjoyed with one of the options you laid out in your great reviews and comparisons of antennas and leaving all bands open in the modem. What we are discussing in this thread is hot-rodding. :-)
What kind of antenna were you using up close at the base of the tower? I've noticed while switching antennas, that just the internal UFL cables and SMA connectors act as an antenna that is good enough to pickup the 700mhz band, heh.

xdavidx
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:04 pm

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by xdavidx » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:01 pm

swwifty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:51 pm
What kind of antenna were you using up close at the base of the tower? I've noticed while switching antennas, that just the internal UFL cables and SMA connectors act as an antenna that is good enough to pickup the 700mhz band, heh.
I saw this both with some small omni antennas and the 15 dBi panel antennas. I got 3CA with both types, with one of the carriers being Band 12.

swwifty
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: 26 dBi ultra wide-band parabolic grid antenna

Post by swwifty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:14 pm

xdavidx wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:01 pm
I saw this both with some small omni antennas and the 15 dBi panel antennas. I got 3CA with both types, with one of the carriers being Band 12.
oh, but the PCC wasn't Band 12, right?

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post