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Old 05-30-2015, 11:26 AM   #1
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4G antenna?

Hi All...

Hey, I noticed that some people have had ETI install a 4G antenna.

I use an Android phone as my hotspot for internet access... and I'll be working from the Escape so internet coverage is critical for me.

Can anyone tell me how effective the 4G antenna is? Also, how does it work... do you have to hook the phone to the antenna somehow? Approximately how much $$ is it to have ETI install?

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:16 PM   #2
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Some gain can be had by plugging the outside antenna into the phone (assuming that your phone has an antenna connector). A better solution that provides far more gain is to purchase a WeBoost (formerly Wilson Sleek) amplifier, and plug the external antenna into the booster. You will need to either provide a ground plane (a pie plate sized piece of steel) to hold the antenna if you use the one that comes with the WeBoost amp, or purchase an antenna that includes or doesn't need one such as the Wilson Trucker Antenna or a WirEng antenna.

There are systems that don't require placing your phone in a cradle (required of the linked model above) that use an outside antenna, an amplifier, and an inside antenna, but because our trailers are relatively small, it is difficult to get enough separation between antennas to provide good gain. They are more expensive, but do have the advantage that you can amplify more than one device at a time, and don't have your phone stuck in a cradle. I had one in the past and found that I had to be within 3' -5' of the inside antenna to get any gain; with my current cradle amplifier I get more gain that I could with the old system.

As to cost, I can't help. I believe mine was the first one that Reace did (back in 2011) and was told there would be no charge because I had already added every option they offered. I doubt that is still the case!
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:21 PM   #3
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I second Jon's recommendation. A Wilson Sleek (now called a WeBoost) and a Wilson Trucker 4G roof mount antenna (has a built in ground plane). Works very well with both my Verizon Mifi Hotspot or my wife's phone in the cradle. I sent the antenna before the build and Escape only charged me $25 to install it. Had them install it so the antenna cable entered inside an overhead cabinet. I also had them run a 12V drop in the same cabinet. Making it work was simply a matter of powering the cradle via the drop and a 12V socket I picked up at Radio Shack, and connecting the antenna cable to the cradle.

Here's a link to a thread I started about the whole setup:

Wilson Antenna Parts arrived
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:59 PM   #4
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You guys are AWESOME!

Thanks so much!
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallemann View Post
Hi All...

Hey, I noticed that some people have had ETI install a 4G antenna.

I use an Android phone as my hotspot for internet access... and I'll be working from the Escape so internet coverage is critical for me.

Can anyone tell me how effective the 4G antenna is? Also, how does it work... do you have to hook the phone to the antenna somehow? Approximately how much $$ is it to have ETI install?

Thanks for your thoughts!
Right now it's $100.00 cad to have the antenna installed.
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:45 PM   #6
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Right now it's $100.00 cad to have the antenna installed.

Really? Ours was $25.
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:51 PM   #7
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Really? Ours was $25.
It used to be 50 then went up to 100.00.
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:54 PM   #8
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It used to be 50 then went up to 100.00.
Wow. I think I'd be picking up a 1/2" drill bit and a utility knife and do it myself.
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:02 PM   #9
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Wow. I think I'd be picking up a 1/2" drill bit and a utility knife and do it myself.
Exactly!!! Lol
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:40 AM   #10
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Another question: can I use this setup without actually mounting the antenna on the top of the trailer? Could I use it with the antenna in the trailer... or suction-cupped to the outside of a window or even to the top of the trailer?

I'm trying to reduce the number of holes in the fiberglass.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallemann View Post
Another question: can I use this setup without actually mounting the antenna on the top of the trailer? Could I use it with the antenna in the trailer... or suction-cupped to the outside of a window or even to the top of the trailer?

I'm trying to reduce the number of holes in the fiberglass.
The antenna needs a metal ground plane to function; you could put one anywhere as long as it has that built-in or you place the antenna on one. The 6 inch car stick-on antennas use the car roof for their ground plane.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by sallemann View Post
Another question: can I use this setup without actually mounting the antenna on the top of the trailer? Could I use it with the antenna in the trailer... or suction-cupped to the outside of a window or even to the top of the trailer?

I'm trying to reduce the number of holes in the fiberglass.
Here was Myron's solution: (some good possible ideas!)
Escape Trailer Owners Community - MyronL's Album: HomeBoy Modifications - Picture
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallemann View Post
Another question: can I use this setup without actually mounting the antenna on the top of the trailer? Could I use it with the antenna in the trailer... or suction-cupped to the outside of a window or even to the top of the trailer?

I'm trying to reduce the number of holes in the fiberglass.
I tried it without an antenna, no improvement in signal. Tried the magnetic one that comes with the cradle just sitting on the table, also no improvement. I'll need to spring for a trailer antenna.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:55 PM   #14
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We have iPhones, and I used the Field Test service feature to determine if my combo (cradle + roof antenna) was better than just the cradle before I installed the antenna. Definitely works better. The not-obvious part of this routine is that instead of just the reception indicator bars on the phone you will get a numerical dB measurements to quantify how much better (or worse) your reception is.

Use Field Test Mode to See True iPhone Signal Strength as Numbers Instead of Bars | OSXDaily
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:48 PM   #15
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I use the small suction cup antenna attached to the outside of one of the back windows and run the antenna wire into the trailer along the electric cord. My phone shows one bar without the antenna and three with it. I talked to a techie at Wilson when trying to figure out the whole antenna thing. He told me that suction cup one would do the job and it has. It has been on my list to check the numerical dB measurements but that hasn't happened yet.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #16
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The Alaska highway is the first good test for my we boost 4s with magnetic antenna on truck roof. Definitely turns a 1bar signal into 2, 3 or more bars. The testimonials are true. Ron
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallemann View Post
Another question: can I use this setup without actually mounting the antenna on the top of the trailer? Could I use it with the antenna in the trailer... or suction-cupped to the outside of a window or even to the top of the trailer?

I'm trying to reduce the number of holes in the fiberglass.
If you have the extra insulation option, the aluminized bubble wrap will cause some signal loss. In addition, Wilson publishes some safety distances that humans need to be from the antenna.

As to sticking the antenna to the fiberglass, the magnetic one that comes with the amplifier requires a ground plane. The steel roof of a typical vehicle provides that, but fiberglass doesn't. A 6" diameter piece of metal will provide one that works at the frequencies used by the cell system.

The antenna will not receive signals quite as well without the ground plane, and while I have not seen anyone post a problem, it is possible to damage the transmitter in the amp if the antenna does not have a ground plane.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:46 PM   #18
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We recently purchased a Wilson Sleek 4G because of recommendations from this forum. We just returned from Vermont where cell coverage was bad in most areas. In the campground we could not make a call because service was going in and out. I hooked up our Wilson Sleek

Amazon.com: Wilson Electronics Sleek 4g Kit - Retail Packaging - Black: Cell Phones & Accessories

and using the in home kit with suction cup mount just stuck the antenna to the inside of the window.

Amazon.com: Wilson Electronics Home/Office Accessory Kit for Wilson Sleek, C-Boost: Cell Phones & Accessories

Our cell signal went from -120 to -90 or about 3 bars. I was able to make calls and use data. I then mounted the antenna on the roof of the truck and tried it again. Was about the same single at -90 that I was able to get in the camper using just the suction cup bracket on the home kit. I was kind of surprised I did not get a stronger signal with the antenna attached to the truck roof. The vertical rod on the suction cup mount must have something to do with making it work without a large ground plane.

Wilson 901128 Window Mount for Magnet-Mount Antennas

I also tested it while driving around in the mountains with antenna attached to the truck roof and always seemed to gain about 30 while in the field test mode using the Sleek. Overall I was quite happy.
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