Cell phone/Wi-Fi Antenna Installation - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-22-2017, 06:02 PM   #1
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Cell phone/Wi-Fi Antenna Installation

For those folks who have installed their own antennas aftermarket, what kind of weatherproof grommets and hardware have you used once the hole is drilled? And where do you get such hardware?

Apparently, ETI no longer will install antennas, as of August 2, on new orders. So, those of us who want to add an antenna need to install them ourselves. So what's the best weather protection we can get?
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:05 PM   #2
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See here for info Best WiFi and Cell Equipment currently (9/2017) Available?
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:21 PM   #3
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I should be more specific: I think I have the electronics properly covered. It's the mechanics I do get: I drill the hole and then what? I need a port of some kind to keep out the weather, like what is used from the solar panels. What are those weather proof hole covers? The other Forum thread covers the cell & WiFi booster devices, not the hole.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:56 PM   #4
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The detail to the electronics should tell you the hole size as well as the type of mount??
https://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Co...oof+port+in+rv
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:59 PM   #5
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On my 2011 17, Escape used a Strain Relief Power Cord Connectors. As the link shows, they come in a number of sizes, & I've used them on antennas I've added myself. The only difficulty (besides getting up the nerve to drill a big hole in your trailer) is to compress the vinyl liner enough to get the nut on the body of the feedthrough. I had better luck cutting away the liner around the feedthrough. I put a dab of ProFlex on the outside surface as well as fill the space between the wire & hole in the feedthrough. Be sure the size you order fits the smallest connector, not just the wire...

I had Escape install a cell antenna on my new 2017 21, and they simply drilled a hole & ProFlexed both inside & out. I prefer the feedthrough.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:14 PM   #6
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Or you can drill a hole in the floor for a mag-mount antenna then put a small piece of metal on the roof. I sling my wire around the bumper and the antenna sits on the bumper unless I need it.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
On my 2011 17, Escape used a Strain Relief Power Cord Connectors. As the link shows, they come in a number of sizes, & I've used them on antennas I've added myself. The only difficulty (besides getting up the nerve to drill a big hole in your trailer) is to compress the vinyl liner enough to get the nut on the body of the feedthrough. I had better luck cutting away the liner around the feedthrough. I put a dab of ProFlex on the outside surface as well as fill the space between the wire & hole in the feedthrough. Be sure the size you order fits the smallest connector, not just the wire...

I had Escape install a cell antenna on my new 2017 21, and they simply drilled a hole & ProFlexed both inside & out. I prefer the feedthrough.
Exactly what I needed, Jon. Thanks! Sometimes you just need the right jargon.

Unfortunately, ETI will no longer install cell antenna so I need to drill the hole myself and insert the appropriate connectors, running the antenna cable through the hole. I think I can handle connecting the cable to the booster, as long as ETI will cable the inside antenna.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:06 PM   #8
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I didn't drill the trailer, glued up a block out of PVC board using 3m 5200, I think. carved/cut it to mate with the roof line near the fridge vent and glued it on. Mounted an antenna 90 degrees bracket to it. Antenna goes down the fridge vent and into the adjoining cabinet.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:36 PM   #9
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I didn't drill the trailer, glued up a block out of PVC board using 3m 5200, I think. carved/cut it to mate with the roof line near the fridge vent and glued it on. Mounted an antenna 90 degrees bracket to it. Antenna goes down the fridge vent and into the adjoining cabinet.
Bob,

Did you have any difficulty in "fishing" your line down the vent and finding it at the other end?
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:29 AM   #10
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Bob,

Did you have any difficulty in "fishing" your line down the vent and finding it at the other end?
I only went down far enough to get to the upper cabinets, I should have been more explicit. I did cut the screening in the vent so I could reach in, reconnected it with wire ties. Little globs of caulking to keep the cable on the roof in place, help it down with qt paint cans till it dried.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:23 PM   #11
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I cannot say how this works out, since I get my trailer in November. But yes, ETI will no longer install antennas. So, I what I ordered was "TV ready" twice. One I intend to use for a TV antenna. Second one for a cell booster, inside jack located above near dinette in 21. My idea is that both TV and cell booster will be mounted outside in a removeable fashion. Whether it is PVC pipe, or some other kind of extandable pole, I haven't figured out yet. Suction cups, under wheel base, etc. So, ETI is putting a coax jack inside and out. Then I will plug into that. I figure that the less "things" I have sticking out overall, the better for not snagging branches, getting broken off, decaying in the sun, etc. Plus, technology changes to fast that in 5 years who knows what sort of "thing" we will be putting on the roof. So, by making them temporary installs, using coax jacks that are permanent, I can only deploy them when desired, if they break easy to replace.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:28 PM   #12
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I like the modular approach. One potential pitfall to this, however, is that the impedance of the coaxial cable used in your installation might not match what you want to plug into it. 50 ohms vs 75 ohms etc. Perhaps a real electronics pro (not moi) can weigh in here?
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:53 PM   #13
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Was an industry veteran for 20 years...remember 3 Watt bag phones? We've gone backwards since 2014 when the FCC bowed to one carrier's demands and reduced amplifier strength to 1 W. That carrier was so desperate (and had tons of lobbying $$$$) that they persuaded the FCC on baseless grounds to reduce the signal strength of mobile amps. This needs to be changed!
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:23 AM   #14
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Keep in mind you cut signal strength at every connection, the less, the better.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:38 PM   #15
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Distance between antennas

Quote:
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Keep in mind you cut signal strength at every connection, the less, the better.
For cell phone booster the farther away the exterior antenna is from the interior one ("Hershey bar type") the better. Put the exterior way on the opposite end of the trailer and fish wire through cabinets to as far as to can get it from that antenna. You will need a 12 lighter type or another 110v power supply. Works best past 11'.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:15 PM   #16
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I have two older Wilson 3 Watt boosters with candy bar inside antenna. In the car the amp is behind my seat and the mag-mount antenna is directly overhead on the roof. You can see the lights on the amp; all 3 green OK and with a red one illuminating you've got oscillation. I almost never see any red light on. My point is you don't have to go to extremes in separating the two antennas.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:52 PM   #17
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Likely true for a metal skin car and the small antenna. I have the large Wilson trucker's antenna mounted to the 5.0TA and when within even 7' of the interior antenna it wouldn't work. Possibly because of the fiberglass hull and no metal mount plate. I called Wilson and was asked what lights were on. Their diagnosis was it needed more separation. I did put 5 more feet and I now get -77dB 3g HSDP signal and only get the poor -120dB without the booster.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Was an industry veteran for 20 years...remember 3 Watt bag phones? We've gone backwards since 2014 when the FCC bowed to one carrier's demands and reduced amplifier strength to 1 W. That carrier was so desperate (and had tons of lobbying $$$$) that they persuaded the FCC on baseless grounds to reduce the signal strength of mobile amps. This needs to be changed!
This is interesting, please elaborate. I was under the impression that a cellphone's signal strength was controlled by the tower, up to five watts. I assumed that a cellphone booster would mimic a cellphone's behavior from the perspective of a tower. You are saying that a booster is now limited to one watt. Is that true for cellphones as well? I never worked in the industry and haven't been keeping up, so pardon my ignorance.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:47 PM   #19
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This is interesting, please elaborate. I was under the impression that a cellphone's signal strength was controlled by the tower, up to five watts. I assumed that a cellphone booster would mimic a cellphone's behavior from the perspective of a tower. You are saying that a booster is now limited to one watt. Is that true for cellphones as well? I never worked in the industry and haven't been keeping up, so pardon my ignorance.
Handheld phones are maxed to 6/10 of 1 Watt. Original analog bag phones and mobile installed phones were 3 Watt. In 2014 the FCC changed the rules on booster amps reducing them to 1 Watt- and you are supposed to register any amplifier that you do use.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Handheld phones are maxed to 6/10 of 1 Watt. Original analog bag phones and mobile installed phones were 3 Watt. In 2014 the FCC changed the rules on booster amps reducing them to 1 Watt- and you are supposed to register any amplifier that you do use.
Hi Ross pardon my ignorance what is a bag phone ? Pat
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