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Old 02-09-2017, 08:34 PM   #1
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Cellular booster antenna

Curious where people installed a cellular booster antenna on their Newmar to simplify where the cable comes in and for the location of the router and who installed this for them.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:26 AM   #2
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Not a NEWMAR but on my coach if you crawl under the back side you will see a GAP between the rear of the "House" and the rear cap of the motor home.. In truth a very good design.

Well that means you have a wall that is weather protected

I drilled into the GAP from inside and sent a fish line through (Fish as in Electrical fishing,, It is a pilot cable you use to pull a larger cable)

Then a hole near the top of the cap and pushed the coax into that, it fell down to the ground (The connector on the coax for Cell boost is very small) Pulled that through the hole into the bathroom under-sink cabinet (Sealed all holes) and connected to my booster amp. a 2nd cable then goes back out,,, runs under the chassis to a handy entry point and comes up, eventually, in the Kitchen,, Just behind where they stuck my Euro Chair,, and the inside antenna is hidden in the cabinet there.

Nothing visible save the antenna.

I need to upgrade.. Found a WE-BOOST for under 400 at Love's will likley use it or there is a competitor, not sure which yet, Not sure if they will be a bolt in replacement or if I need new antennas either, More research needed.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezy2006 View Post
Curious where people installed a cellular booster antenna on their Newmar to simplify where the cable comes in and for the location of the router and who installed this for them.


You can PM me if you want. Been through a lot of tough lessons with this. Too much to type out tonight on my IPad. I can talk or reply tomorrow.
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Old 02-11-2017, 12:42 AM   #4
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Tobias7000 - I'd love to share in you're experience too. I have spent too much already on two weboost options that seem to do very little for improving or strengthening our cell service. Now looking at other options like PDQ connect but more expensive and still not certain that we will see much gain internally.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:48 AM   #5
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Cellular Booster Antenna

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Originally Posted by Breezy2006 View Post
Curious where people installed a cellular booster antenna on their Newmar to simplify where the cable comes in and for the location of the router and who installed this for them.
I installed my booster antenna (the shorter version of the Weboost with the spring base) about 6 inches in front of my front AC. The cable then goes straight to the site above the driver where my satellite cable enters the front cap and goes down into the entertainment cabinet above the drivers seat. I have the Weboost amplifier mounted to the side of the entertainment cabinet in front of all the wall plugs. Then I ran the inside antenna over to the front TV cabinet where the candy bar antenna is mounted to the outside of the cabinet just below the TV. Power is supplied from 12 volts under the dash and run up the drivers front frame post to the entertainment cabinet.
In testing, this improved my cellular reception substantially.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:56 PM   #6
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I had Newmar techs run my Weboost antenna cable through the roof straight into the 12V cabinet in the half bath of our 4369. Also had them add a 120V outlet there (fast and easy because the house main fuse panel is also in that cabinet). Then I just put my router, inside antenna and hotspot in that cabinet. The router is mid-coach, so reception is great everywhere.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:23 PM   #7
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Tobias7000 - I'd love to share in you're experience too. I have spent too much already on two weboost options that seem to do very little for improving or strengthening our cell service. Now looking at other options like PDQ connect but more expensive and still not certain that we will see much gain internally.
In the end, the weboost is a good unit. Here is my story:

The dealer installed ours and had no idea what they were doing. Months later with support from weboost tech I modified the dealer install and it works great for most of the time. It all depends on how strong the cell tower signal is.

Lessons learned:

1. Don't mount the weboost amplifier near any other electromagnetic components like all of the equipment in the stereo electronics cabinet above the driver. When that equipment is on, I got instant feedback on the weboost resulting in 1 or 2 red bars (these indicate reduced performance). My dealer did this and I wish they did not.
2. Don't mount the inside antenna in the said electronics cabinet right above the weboost amplifier (like my dealer did). This causes 4 bars of feedback and the unit is basically worthless when you have 4 red bars indicating total RF feedback for the weboost amp.
3. Follow instructions closely for where the inside antenna mounts (this is if you have the mobile option of the weboost like I do). You want a place that you can put your hot spot close to the inside antenna as the ideal range according to the manual is 12 to 16" (I'm recalling from memory but close enough).
4. The relative position of the outside and inside antennas are critical. Distance and position matter. Especially if you don't have a metal roof. My dealer mounted the outside antenna on the front left corner of the coach right above the stereo electronics cabinet (fiberglass front cap of the coach). This was too close to the weboost amp and inside antenna as the stereo electronics cabinet is right below it by about 2 feet. This alone was the killer for me: outside antenna mounted too close to inside antenna which was mounted right next to the weboost amp.

My solution. I left the outside antenna mounted where it was. Cable was already run. I left the weboost amp in the stereo cabinet as I don't use the stereo equipment at the same time as the weboost amp. I moved the inside antenna down to the top of the driver dash in the small space between the window and console/dash. This put six feet of distance between the outside and inside antenna in a most ideal situation -- directly below it. Weboost says this makes it very hard to form a feedback loop between the antennas. I ran the wire myself down behind the plastic that covers the windshield frame.

Hope this helps. Now I usually have all bars green, I put my cell phone in hot spot mode right next to the inside antenna, and all our laptops and iPads have a strong wifi signal inside the coach connecting through my cell phone. The weboost can give me up to 30db or more of gain which is significant. So I always get better wifi than what the park provides as I use my own hotspot.

Let me know if you have more questions as this short text may not be that clear due to some tasty red wine earlier.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeGriffin View Post
I had Newmar techs run my Weboost antenna cable through the roof straight into the 12V cabinet in the half bath of our 4369. Also had them add a 120V outlet there (fast and easy because the house main fuse panel is also in that cabinet). Then I just put my router, inside antenna and hotspot in that cabinet. The router is mid-coach, so reception is great everywhere.
This is the smart way to go: mid coach. Do you get all 4 green bars? If so, outside and inside antenna are well separated.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:56 AM   #9
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Yes. The outside plate and antenna were placed centerline on the roof.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:32 AM   #10
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Probably going to take heat for this post, but I am curious of two things:

First is why the Cell boost at all, these are normally only used to relay cell signals from outside of a building to the inside structure of the building. Your MH shell is primarily fiberglass, which have little RF attenuation effects. If you wish to get advantage from the booster, the most import item would be to use a directional antenna that is aimed in the direction of the cell tower in question. This works fine for fixed buildings, but as far as I know there are no cell booster antennas that have automatic signal strength pointing like the Winegard Traveler does for satellite.

Second if you really see a need for this, just put the antenna and all in the cabinet over the driver. Most if not all MH are made primarily of fiberglass, which provides almost minuscule attenuation to the cell signal. Fiberglass is the material used to protect outside communication antennas you see on towers. In fact some of the 'fancy' cell tower posts you see use similar material to protect the antenna from the weather. I only have 30 years of experience with this subject and while there is some slight advantage to poking holes in you MH, it would be analogous to going 120MPH in a car and poking a hole to go 121MPH.

Again, I suspect I'll be getting heat for this.....
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:32 AM   #11
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No heat, Boomer. But RV walls also contain metal framing and wires. Inside, there are steel microwave ovens and refrigerators, On the roof are air conditioners and satellite TV antennas. All of these can degrade cell signals inside of the coach. Ask just about anyone who has installed a booster and you'll hear that the signal with a booster is better - often much better - that without one.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:23 PM   #12
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No heat, Boomer. But RV walls also contain metal framing and wires. Inside, there are steel microwave ovens and refrigerators, On the roof are air conditioners and satellite TV antennas. All of these can degrade cell signals inside of the coach. Ask just about anyone who has installed a booster and you'll hear that the signal with a booster is better - often much better - that without one.
My main point wasn't to boost or not to boost, the main point was debating the advantage to poking a hole in the roof (and putting it near air conditioners ....) and just locating it within the MH where there are limited obstructions, which in my coach is cabinet above driver.

As far as the metal framing of the MH, as long as the framing is not closer that 12 inches (11.811 to be exact) there is no attenuation. That leave wires in the wall/ceiling and major object (as you said microwave, fridge, Tv ...) which is why it is important to have the booster antenna above most of that, however, if you put it on the roof, depending on the path to the tower there is more chance of roof top items (Dish, Air, Solar panel...) getting in the way. This is one reason most of the Digital TV antennas are raised above those items. Since the cellular signal is terrestrial based it might actually be possible that locating the antenna at upper cabinet height could eliminate interference from Air conditioners ....

I think what people are probably noticing is that the booster actual increase the power output of the cell signal. Typical cell phone/myfi device operate at about 300mW (.3 Watts) while output power of abooster will actually operate in many times that power (Some even do 3 watts which is close to the FCC limit).

A really good technical presentation, if one is inclined to investigate, is provided at the following link. No advertising here, just noticed good explanation.

https://www.weboost.com/uploads/file...r_Training.pdf

Anyway, while I am not disagreeing with the use of a booster, just the 'requirement' to put the antenna outside the MH. Compared to the overall gain the booster provides, placement (in or out of the Fiberglass box) really doesn't attribute much to over gain the booster provides.

One last thing, most recently I was at a facility in the middle of the Mojave Desert, nearest cell tower 20 Miles as the crow flies (yes, unviewable from the ground due to earth curvature). Cell service was horrible, added cell booster (nothing fancy, no directional antenna) and significant improvement, added directional antenna pointed at cell tower, fantastic performance. All of this was inside a steel framed (16" center) fiberglass shack.

I believe the only difference between the shack and the MH's exterior shell was lack of foam insulation, which unless Newmar is filling the foam with metal, has pretty much 0 attenuation.

Just a few more cents than 2, and trying to contribute information.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:29 PM   #13
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Great writeup and lots of good info there, Boomer! I certainly don't know the technical details as you seem to know; I just know that many people who have installed rooftop antennas or cell boosters have posted reports of positive improvements to their reception and performance. Maybe it's due in large part to height, because I've noticed that those who mount them on extendable antennas or flag poles seem to get fantastic improvement. Of course, as you say, there are not as many obstructions as the mounting height increases.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:53 PM   #14
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The reason for outside antenna is partly the separation between the inside and outside antennas. (See the oscillation slide in the deck). We buy a booster so that we can get a signal in fringe areas where boosting is the difference between a usable signal and no signal, especially data. I like off grid locations and makes that possible in many situation since I need to be connected for work.

See some of the booster testing on the Technomadia | Adventures in Nomadic Serendipity or www.rvmobileinternet.com sites.

If you only park in metro areas absolutely no need. Out in the western US it does make a difference.

A note on oscillation. I had a competing brand to Wilson/Weboost a few years ago. Knock on the door and it is the AT&T frequency police. Unknown to me the unit I had was oscillating and shutting down the AT&T towers within about 4 miles of my house. With the antennas and gear all over his truck it was a matter of moving the exterior antenna on my truck about 4 inches and all was good. If you get those red flashing lights do something about it. It can lead to an FCC fine in the worst of cases.
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