Life En Route

4G/LTE Upgrades

We’ve been struggling with poor Internet connectivity since arriving here. It was especially terrible when we were down in section H, and marginally better now that we’re up in G. The struggle for decent Internet is not limited to here, as it’s something we’ve been working on for years.

When having the enclosure for the AC Unit built, I requested some 2″ ID pipe sleeves be added to the rear corner. The sleeves are about 4″ long, one at the top, and one at the bottom to hold a mast in place. I bought a collapsible, carbon-fiber, 34′ mast to use in it, and drilled a hole through one of the sleeves and the mast and use a 1/4″ D-pin to hold it in place. That pin also prevents anyone from removing the whole mast, as they can’t (easily) reach it to remove when the enclosure is closed and locked.

I positioned the mast around 27′ tall (height can vary, but this seemed like a good compromise between height and stability) and attached two log-periodic 4G/LTE antennas to it a few feet apart. Then I used 50′ of LMR400 cable to connect to a pair of bulkhead connectors that lead into the RV, and connect to my Cradlepoint router. I coiled up the remaining wire with velcro straps, used more straps to loosely attach the wire to the pole, and then aimed it roughly at a nearby cell tower. I’m actually not sure how close it is, but may go back and make some finer adjustments later.

Before
After

Our download speeds are now almost 24x faster and uploads 3.5x. That’s a massive improvement and is making a huge difference in how the Internet “feels” to use – it is much more responsive as well as much faster.

Using this kind of system should also increase the range of usable Internet, and we can use one of these antennas to feed our WeBoost cell booster if needed for even more difficult to reach areas.

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