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Old 07-30-2017, 04:48 PM   #1
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Wifi Booster Questions

We are finalizing the options on our 17B. Thanks go out to all here and our local friend for help with decision-making.

I think the only question remaining now concerns the wifi booster.

First, I know that signals in RV camp grounds depend on some factors including signal origin distance, how many active other users, and interfering objects. From reading comments on the Escape forums I conclude that a wifi booster will help often enough to make it worthwhile. Comments on this conclusion will be appreciated.

Am I correct that the components of a wifi booster system are (a) outside antenna, (b) cable between outside antenna and (c) inside router/hotspot. I assume the cable linking the outside antenna and the inside router should be Cat5. I assume for any portion of the run exposed to weather the Cat5 should be rated for that use.

I liked the idea of using some sort of home-made mast (PVC, etc.) or a ham radio telescoping unit. I am handy, including welding, so I plan to make a mast bracket and attach it to the rear bumper or wishbone. I believe from what I have read here, is likely to give better performance than a roof mounted antenna. Comments on this belief?

So if I proceed with a DIY mast, I only need to figure out (a) how to get the Cat5 through the hull of the trailer and (b) where it should terminate inside. Correct?

My wife and I are heading over to Escape in a couple of days to deliver some fabric and a Formica sample so I think I can look over the unit again and decide where the Cat5 should terminate inside. (I donít know if Escape terminates Cat5 for customers. I can do Cat5 terminal ends, male/female, so all I would need is enough length to make the receptacle, if they donít do that sort of thing.)

I would really like some thoughts on how to get the Cat5 through the trailer hull. I donít know that much about this type of cable routing. Are there external, weather proof Cat5 jacks? There must be.

Thanks in advance for comments and suggestions.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Todtman View Post
We are finalizing the options on our 17B. Thanks go out to all here and our local friend for help with decision-making.

I think the only question remaining now concerns the wifi booster.

First, I know that signals in RV camp grounds depend on some factors including signal origin distance, how many active other users, and interfering objects. From reading comments on the Escape forums I conclude that a wifi booster will help often enough to make it worthwhile. Comments on this conclusion will be appreciated.

Am I correct that the components of a wifi booster system are (a) outside antenna, (b) cable between outside antenna and (c) inside router/hotspot. I assume the cable linking the outside antenna and the inside router should be Cat5. I assume for any portion of the run exposed to weather the Cat5 should be rated for that use.

I liked the idea of using some sort of home-made mast (PVC, etc.) or a ham radio telescoping unit. I am handy, including welding, so I plan to make a mast bracket and attach it to the rear bumper or wishbone. I believe from what I have read here, is likely to give better performance than a roof mounted antenna. Comments on this belief?

So if I proceed with a DIY mast, I only need to figure out (a) how to get the Cat5 through the hull of the trailer and (b) where it should terminate inside. Correct?

My wife and I are heading over to Escape in a couple of days to deliver some fabric and a Formica sample so I think I can look over the unit again and decide where the Cat5 should terminate inside. (I donít know if Escape terminates Cat5 for customers. I can do Cat5 terminal ends, male/female, so all I would need is enough length to make the receptacle, if they donít do that sort of thing.)

I would really like some thoughts on how to get the Cat5 through the trailer hull. I donít know that much about this type of cable routing. Are there external, weather proof Cat5 jacks? There must be.

Thanks in advance for comments and suggestions.
We have the removable power cord but we had Escape put in an electrical hatch near it (same type as for the fixed power cord). We will use it for a portable solar panel, wifi booster or cell booster.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:08 PM   #3
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Here is what Jefa Tech recommended and Escape is installing for us: https://www.jefatech.com/collections...oducts/rj45-bh
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:17 PM   #4
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While I didn't have Escape install it, this is the feedthrough I'm using.

On edit - Linda or Ray is using the same one I'm using. You do have to have the nerve to drill a 1" hole in the trailer if you do it yourself!

Since I rarely use campground WiFi, I designed the system to be completely removable. The mount is a Flagpole bracket from Lowe's, one of their 4' - 8' paint roller handles, the above feedthrough, a Ubiquiti NanoStation M2, a Ubiquiti airGateway-LR airMAX Wireless Access Point, and since the Wireless Access Point is 120V powered, a TYcon Power TP-DCDC-1224 Power Over Ethernet power supply to run directly on 12V.

The 12v POE supply plugs directly into the air Gateway, but since it doesn't snap in place like the Ubiquiti 120V supply, you need to use a rubber band to keep it plugged to the air Gateway. I've put it together here at home & everything works.

For a YouTube video of how to set up the system, check this "Outside Our Bubble" post (scroll to the bottom for the video).
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:18 PM   #5
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Here is what Jefa Tech recommended and Escape is installing for us: https://www.jefatech.com/collections...oducts/rj45-bh
I don't quite follow. What are you going to use the RJ45 for? And when you say Escape is installing it, are they just installing the connector or terminating some CAT5 or CAT6 behind it?
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:19 PM   #6
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Here is what Jefa Tech recommended and Escape is installing for us: https://www.jefatech.com/collections...oducts/rj45-bh
That is what I am installing in a cable entry hatch for connecting the antenna.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:42 PM   #7
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I don't quite follow. What are you going to use the RJ45 for? And when you say Escape is installing it, are they just installing the connector or terminating some CAT5 or CAT6 behind it?
The Ubiquiti NanoStation is not a USB based WiFi amplifier, but a complete WiFi Radio. It is powered by the Ethernet cable. Check the link in my post to Outside Our Bubble for an explanation of the system.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:44 PM   #8
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The Ubiquiti NanoStation is not a USB based WiFi amplifier, but a complete WiFi Radio. It outputs over ethernet & is powered by the Ethernet cable. Check the link in my post to Outside Our Bubble for an explanation of the system.
Ah, thanks for the explanation.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:16 PM   #9
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The Ubiquiti Nano Station is not a USB based WiFi amplifier, but a complete WiFi Radio. It is powered by the Ethernet cable. Check the link in my post to Outside Our Bubble for an explanation of the system.

And mine (NSM2) has successfully locked onto WiFi that the giant rig next to me with his ( he said ) $500+ WiFi booster could not do.
I did have to lie though and tell him mine only allowed one hook up. I did not want him streaming video since he mentioned that's why he wanted to use theirs instead of his Jetpack.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:24 PM   #10
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David,
Did you get the roof mounted solar panel option for your trailer? If it were me, I think I would mount my antenna somewhere on the front of the trailer. I say that without seeing your antenna plans because of concerns due to shading your solar panels with the antenna apparatus. It doesn't take much shading to reduce the efficiently of your solar output. Some antennas are multi legged wire forms and may not produce much shading but perhaps the pole could.

Just a thought to complicate your installation .... sorry

Tom

An interesting test would be to hook up a digital voltmeter to the output of your panel on a sunny day.... then hold up a broom handle and create a shade crossing over the panel. What happened? Please report.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:05 PM   #11
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I just used my Jefatech set-up on a long trip and I'm very happy with it.

Antenna: I don't like travelling with the antenna above the roof line. I welded a socket tube to the top of the spare tire holder. I have two tubes. I could just leave the antenna on the first tube, about level with the back window and it'd be fine for most uses. With the second tube it's well above the roof line for optimum range.

If I see an inexpensive collapsing tube the right size I'll probably replace the two tubes.

Cable: comes in underneath, drilled a hole large enough for the end fitting to fit through and sealed it up. No special fitting etc. It's a 19, the cable runs under the bed, up forward behind the cabinets and bathroom so the antenna can mount in a convenient location by the table. It has indicator lights so it's nice to see at a glance that's it's working. It basically could have been mounted anywhere but there's lot's of cable.

Router: It has two power possibilities; 12 and 110 volts. I only use 12 volts so I removed the 110 volt module as it's not needed.

Performance: Way better than expected. It's kind of like DX'ing in shortwave. Seeing how many "stations" you can pull in. We don't normally have phone plans with much data so it really does the job for us. Even with the source wi-fi at a distance we can stream NetFlix to our TV.

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Old 07-30-2017, 11:13 PM   #12
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Hi. I'll be picking up our 17B on August 14 and have been through much to rig it out both for a cell phone booster as well as a wifi booster. I plan to do a detailed posting of what I ended up doing after we get home from Banff, Glacier, and Yellowstone, but first I'm going to road test everything thoroughly. Better half needs to talk with clients occasionally when we're in RV sites so I needed to cook her up (hopefully) a better connection!

Here's where I started. This guy's explanation is fairly technical, but he is really careful to go over things in detail. He's trying to make an effective, cheap solution. I have gotten pretty much all the equipment he's recommended, set up and home tested the access point/wifi antenna and the associated router. Ubiquiti is an industry standard; solid stuff that hospital and big company IT departments use. Still, price is reasonable.

https://outsideourbubble.com/secure-...for-under-100/

Instead of going with the bumper mast, Reace agreed to install a small Ubiquiti access point mast on the rear driver's side edge of the roof. Snakes a CAT5 around the back inside the upper cabinet, and I'll keep the router/access point power booster (to create a secure wireless network in my trailer) in the upper cabinet beside the microwave cabinet, passenger side.

Pix later. Good luck to us all!


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Old 07-30-2017, 11:18 PM   #13
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OOP! Didn't see that earlier post fully describing Outside Our Bubble and Ubiquiti solution!

(◔̯◔)

Safety in numbers! Well, still will post how we did with antennas and all later (unless I got mud in my eye!)
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:12 AM   #14
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If I see an inexpensive collapsing tube the right size I'll probably replace the two tubes.
Ron
I saw one of these on a big fifth-wheel parked at an RV park in Sequim, WA:

Poles and Holders :: Poles :: PNH-22-Deluxe (**NEW** and MOST Popular!) Flag Pole - Your place for Flag Poles, Flags and Mountings

It's meant as a flagpole, but I bet it would make a nifty antenna mast. It is half the price of my aluminum mast and several feet taller. You go first.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:42 AM   #15
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They are installing the port and routing the Cat 5 cable inside to the shelf above the dinette in our 19'. We will plug our antenna into the exterior port and the booster will go on the shelf with the Cat 5 cable plugged into it.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:51 AM   #16
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Wifi Booster Questions

This is the Ubiquiti mount we've installed driver's side rear roof corner.

CAT5 ends near this mount. Will attach the Ubiquiti Nanostation access point to this small mast with a Velcro strap. Leaving site I'll take down the access point, fold down mast, and cover the end of the cable with a baggy against moisture.




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Old 07-31-2017, 01:32 AM   #17
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Looks like a clean mounting solution. What port are you having installed to pass the CAT5 cable through the roof?
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:49 AM   #18
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When I used the Nano stations building out the access points and bridges at the Boy Scout camps in AZ we didn't really need them up on masts. Most of the Nano stations in the outlying buildings we just screwed to the wall on the interior of the building and were able to get good signals at 300+ yards through trees as well.
I think I'll probably start with the Nano window mount and use it on the front window in the interior of the trailer same as the fellow in Jon's video is doing. The Nano's are fairly robust and should do a good job in most if not all campsite WiFi situations. If down the road it isn't robust enough then I'll look at adding an exterior mast setup.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:08 AM   #19
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It's meant as a flagpole, but I bet it would make a nifty antenna mast. It is half the price of my aluminum mast and several feet taller. You go first.
I'll probably buy an inexpensive boat hook when they're on sale. It only needs to be a bit above the roof line.

But I've come to the conclusion that your way of carrying the TV antenna is more easy to use and practical. In that case, you went first.

Ron
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:28 AM   #20
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Reace has a method which he uses to being in cable from external antennae (TVs, etc) which he says is pretty leak proof and durable. I've got an external cell booster near this wifi mast with the same arrangement for its cable.

Yes, and it may be that having an external mast for wifi at all is overkill. The Ubiquiti units are very sensitive and probably could have just gotten away with attaching to the inside of a trailer window. I wanted to avoid cable in the cabin, and as this extremal unit is attached to a circular mast with a strap, I can rotate it until the best signal is received to lock onto.
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