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Old 01-24-2015, 11:26 PM   #11
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Well, I just discovered that there is an antenna for the 6620L, after all:

http://www.amazon.com/Novatel-Wirele...PTT1A7JK9D22CQ

It must connect to that port. So if this hotspot will take an antenna, I'll keep the one I used for the Pantech handy in case I need it.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:15 AM   #12
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Another solution for hotspots hat don't have an antenna connection is to use them with a Wilson Sleek. Far more gain available than with an external antenna alone. I use one, combined with Wilson's short trucker antenna, although I will be switching to a WirEng BoatAnt in the spring - it is easier to remove so I can put my cover on the trailer for the winter.

With the Sleek, I have been able to get as much as 23db gain over the hotspot alone. Makes a big difference when you are in a poor signal area.

As to the Pantech MHS291, the reason you don't see it advertised is Pantech filed for bankruptcy. I have the 291, and like it, although the battery has caused problems for me & others. It swells to the point where it pushes the back off the unit. I replaced mine & now have a spare.

The RV Mobile Internet Resource Center (run by a couple of RVers) has a posting comparing the Verizon Hotspots.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Another solution for hotspots hat don't have an antenna connection is to use them with a Wilson Sleek. Far more gain available than with an external antenna alone. I use one, combined with Wilson's short trucker antenna, although I will be switching to a WirEng BoatAnt in the spring - it is easier to remove so I can put my cover on the trailer for the winter.

With the Sleek, I have been able to get as much as 23db gain over the hotspot alone. Makes a big difference when you are in a poor signal area.

As to the Pantech MHS291, the reason you don't see it advertised is Pantech filed for bankruptcy. I have the 291, and like it, although the battery has caused problems for me & others. It swells to the point where it pushes the back off the unit. I replaced mine & now have a spare.

The RV Mobile Internet Resource Center (run by a couple of RVers) has a posting comparing the Verizon Hotspots.
There were several bad batches of batteries used on the MHS291. I lucked out and got the newer series and have had zero problems with it. They all seem to have the same part number though, so it's hard to tell if yours is affected unless you have problems. Mine is marked BTR291B, 3.8V Li-ion Typ 4040 MAh / Min 3900 mAh Typ 15.4 Wh / Min 14.8 Wh.

And a good point about the sleek. We had ETI install it and it's connected to the roof mounted Wilson Antenna. We won't be fiddling with the tiny antenna connectors on the JetPack itself. Also makes it easier to remove and take with you away from the trailer when you need a hotspot. Good to hear some real world numbers about the dB gain Jon. Maybe we made the right decision for once.
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:49 PM   #14
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The RV Mobile Internet Resource Center (run by a couple of RVers) has a posting comparing the Verizon Hotspots.
Thanks for that link, Jon, it's very useful. Their article on the Pantech reminded me to try to run my Novatel 6620L without its battery, with power coming only from the charger. As with the Pantech, this unfortunately didn't work. Oh well.

As for the Wilson Sleek, I was concerned its cradle might aggravate the Pantech's battery issues, so I didn't buy one. But since I have a new hotspot I might get a Sleek before my next trip. I'd rather have an amp in-line on the antenna line, but Wilson's in-line model is substantially more expensive than the Sleek.
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:09 PM   #15
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I previously had a 3G only 2 antenna system that used an outside antenna, a 3 watt amplifier & an inside antenna. It was 3G only, and while it had an advantage over the Sleek in that it amplified both my hotspot & phone (at the same time) it only covered an area within 3' - 4' of the inside antenna. It also had less gain.

Wilson is now offering a 4G version of the older system, but I still prefer the Sleek. I suspect you will have the same coverage limits for the internal antenna as the older system presented, and it is almost 3X the cost of the Sleek.
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:47 PM   #16
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Wilson is now offering a 4G version of the older system, but I still prefer the Sleek. I suspect you will have the same coverage limits for the internal antenna as the older system presented, and it is almost 3X the cost of the Sleek.
Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of; I was put off by the cost. It's good to know that the Sleek had better gain with the 3G version, it's probably true for this one as well. That's what counts, after all.

I have another issue that I wonder if other Millenicom -> Verizon hotspot customers have had: At the transition last fall my "data usage" meter quit working, both on the "my.verizon" hotspot webpage and the Verizon account page. Both consistently read 0.000 GB all through the month, though the end of the billing period is still shown. Has this happened to anyone else?
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:52 PM   #17
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We got the 4G/3G Sleek for around $99. Not that different from the older model.
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File Type: jpg wilson parts (1).jpg (330.5 KB, 7 views)
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:53 PM   #18
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I meant that the Sleek had better gain *than* the 3G version, not *with* the 3G version. Sorry.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of; I was put off by the cost. It's good to know that the Sleek had better gain with the 3G version, it's probably true for this one as well. That's what counts, after all.

I have another issue that I wonder if other Millenicom -> Verizon hotspot customers have had: At the transition last fall my "data usage" meter quit working, both on the "my.verizon" hotspot webpage and the Verizon account page. Both consistently read 0.000 GB all through the month, though the end of the billing period is still shown. Has this happened to anyone else?
Just about everyone that made the switch from Millenicom to Verizon and does not already have a Verizon account has had the "0" GB usage problem. While Verizon says they are trying to fix the problem, the consensus of users is it is because the phone numbers used by Millenicom are all tied to a single commercial user & Verizon has not figured out how to make them individuals. I find that hard to believe, I mean they ARE the phone company, but who knows. I've read that you can still go to the their billing website with your hotspot's phone number & find the actual usage there. Don't know for sure - I immediately went on still on "Vacation suspension" when I signed over to Verizon for 3 months (which ends in a couple of days) and was told I can extend it another 3 months until April, when I start traveling again. Unlike Millenicom where you could suspend for as long as you wanted, then pay a small restart fee, with Verizon you are only allowed 6 months of account suspension per year.

The problem with the two antenna & amplifier systems is feedback. Too much gain & the two antennas start oscillating. This can shut down an entire cell tower, so both the phone companies & the FCC frown on it. The newest amps have circuitry to prevent feedback, however that lowers the available gain. The specifications for the new systems show gains as high as 50db, however I doubt they can operate at that level, at least in a fiberglass trailer with a non metal roof.

Since the "inside" antenna for the Sleek is within small parts of an inch of the phone or hotspot, feedback isn't a problem.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:07 PM   #20
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Thank you once again Jon for the detailed info. Just so it's clear to me, the roof mounted Wilson Trucker connected to a Wilson Sleek with the Jetpack in the cradle- is there an issue with that setup?
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