Dumb/Easy Amp Question

Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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You might experience some oscillation but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try. The Surecall amp should be able to handle all of your wireless connection needs but having two isn’t unheard of. I’ve completely abandoned amplifiers and have moved towards 2x2 and 4x4 MIMO antennas to enhance my signals. I have two Jetpacks that each have two external antenna port connections on board. One is a Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 with AT&T service and the other is an Inseego 8800L with Verizon service. This method seems more consistent to me and fits the storm chasing use case very well, in that we’re generally on the move.
 
Mar 5, 2010
321
48
11
Cascade, CO
You might experience some oscillation but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try. The Surecall amp should be able to handle all of your wireless connection needs but having two isn’t unheard of. I’ve completely abandoned amplifiers and have moved towards 2x2 and 4x4 MIMO antennas to enhance my signals. I have two Jetpacks that each have two external antenna port connections on board. One is a Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 with AT&T service and the other is an Inseego 8800L with Verizon service. This method seems more consistent to me and fits the storm chasing use case very well, in that we’re generally on the move.


Mark,

Could you post pics of your setup?
So you dont need to amp anything coming in? I am guessing you feel you have all the signal you need?
 
Sep 7, 2013
656
484
21
Strasburg, CO
Hey Eric - off topic, but i had an old wilson cradle (4gV IIRC)and decided to replace it because it started to suffer poor performance in eastern CO. New cradle has much better connectivity.

IE...old cradle had zero signal in Last Chance...new weboost has signal.

Just FYI.
 

Mark Blue

Owner
Staff member
Feb 19, 2007
3,105
647
21
Colorado
I'm waiting on some custom coax cables to arrive from China and my VZW 8800L is arriving today. Basically I'll have two hotspots that I mentioned above. I also have two roof mount antennas that I can use if I deploy my Wilson direct connect booster. The newest antenna is of the 2x2 MIMO flavor and it's omnidirectional. The brand is a Mikrotik mANT50. It really helps to have all options available in your toolbox because eventually we'll all end up in a cellular data hole and that's when an amplifier saves the day, especially when the signal is really weak. LTE in the advanced flavor takes advantage of MIMO which increases speed. If your modem uses a more advanced chip (for example Cat 16/18 capable) it'll really slow down your speed to constantly stay connected to a booster or even an external antenna in certain cases. If you have all of the options available you can greatly improve your signal enhancement when it's needed.

I think you have a really nice setup and the only thing I'd add is a MIMO antenna if your modem is capable. You also have the only intelligent booster currently on the market so I'm interested in how it'll perform for you. Once I have the new equipment I'll snap some shots for you but my booster isn't anything to write home about compared to yours.

Edit: I mixed your booster up with the CelFi model which is intelligent. Your model I believe has the antenna that has boosting built into it. Low bands are boosted within the antenna electronics vs high bands which are boosted within the amp. Sorry about that!
 

Mark Blue

Owner
Staff member
Feb 19, 2007
3,105
647
21
Colorado
Here’s some great reading on cellular modem specs, 4G and 5G technology, MIMO, and so forth. It goes into more depth than I could ever fit into one post.
 

Drew Terril

Staff member
Mark, I'd glad that Nighthawk has worked for you. My regular service is via Verizon, but I've been meaning to pick up an AT&T hotspot for when I'm chasing (cover my bases and all). The Nighthawk has been on my short list, so I'll probably pick one up at some point. You're the only one I know who actually has one, so your endorsement carries a lot of weight.
 
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Mark Blue

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I appreciate the faith you have in me @Drew Terril but I’m certainly not the only person who thinks the Nighthawk MR1100 is the cat’s meow. There’s a newer version, the MR5100, that just launched last week that is even better but I’m not ready to pay more for 5G yet when the LTE model works just fine. Not to mention AT&T’s terrible caps on hotspot data that someone could blast through in no time, especially on 5G. I’m going to wait until the terms are better since 5G is still in its infancy.

Here are the pictures of my setup that you asked about @ericjkelly. I surely would prefer the amp/booster that you have but the last couple of years I haven’t found a need to run mine or even one of the external antennas. I’ve gotten along great just using my Nighthawk by itself or our iPads and phones with built in cellular on VZW until they lose signal, then I quickly connect to AT&T on the Nighthawk via WiFi. No more data holes that I’ve found but my chasing has been limited to eastern CO over the last few years. I plan to use the new VZW hotspot and MIMO antenna (if needed) this year as an added safety valve. Let me know if you have any questions.

F32F31F0-D51A-48F3-BE18-B03522B73F6C.jpeg 54B288FE-9EC6-4E76-9D6C-B665EADCCC82.jpeg A1C3DAE6-A2CA-47FA-B2D6-ECCCC70E49B5.jpeg 135C0A8E-97B9-4FF6-8C42-9F9D149BFE48.jpeg 186E04DF-A294-4997-95D9-F070EC9821A0.jpeg 20BA64F6-E329-4C52-8A40-E6E1CFAA039F.jpeg 2C91BBF0-998A-4720-88FA-B55860E9698D.jpeg B4D7DF04-4E20-46A2-9A96-C46A626D9CD3.jpeg
 
Mar 5, 2010
321
48
11
Cascade, CO
Hey Eric - off topic, but i had an old wilson cradle (4gV IIRC)and decided to replace it because it started to suffer poor performance in eastern CO. New cradle has much better connectivity.

IE...old cradle had zero signal in Last Chance...new weboost has signal.

Just FYI.

Marc,

Believe it or not I didnt get to Last Chance this season chasing. Crazy! I have the new Surecall Max. Its amazing.
 
Mar 5, 2010
321
48
11
Cascade, CO
I'm waiting on some custom coax cables to arrive from China and my VZW 8800L is arriving today. Basically I'll have two hotspots that I mentioned above. I also have two roof mount antennas that I can use if I deploy my Wilson direct connect booster. The newest antenna is of the 2x2 MIMO flavor and it's omnidirectional. The brand is a Mikrotik mANT50. It really helps to have all options available in your toolbox because eventually we'll all end up in a cellular data hole and that's when an amplifier saves the day, especially when the signal is really weak. LTE in the advanced flavor takes advantage of MIMO which increases speed. If your modem uses a more advanced chip (for example Cat 16/18 capable) it'll really slow down your speed to constantly stay connected to a booster or even an external antenna in certain cases. If you have all of the options available you can greatly improve your signal enhancement when it's needed.

I think you have a really nice setup and the only thing I'd add is a MIMO antenna if your modem is capable. You also have the only intelligent booster currently on the market so I'm interested in how it'll perform for you. Once I have the new equipment I'll snap some shots for you but my booster isn't anything to write home about compared to yours.

Edit: I mixed your booster up with the CelFi model which is intelligent. Your model I believe has the antenna that has boosting built into it. Low bands are boosted within the antenna electronics vs high bands which are boosted within the amp. Sorry about that!


Mark,

hey thanks so much for your help!

quick question, did you say that speeds will diminish to stay connected to an amp? How is that? I have so much to learn!
 

Mark Blue

Owner
Staff member
Feb 19, 2007
3,105
647
21
Colorado
It depends on your proximity to the cell tower. If you're really close having your amp on can decrease your speeds significantly. I'll try to find something this evening for you to read up on.
 
Mar 5, 2010
321
48
11
Cascade, CO
It depends on your proximity to the cell tower. If you're really close having your amp on can decrease your speeds significantly. I'll try to find something this evening for you to read up on.

I found a really good video on it thanks

Last question at least for now. Can you use both? Could you have a mimo antenna to your jetpack and still just a wireless cell amp?
 
May 25, 2014
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If you are connecting those sort of NMO-mounted MIMO/LTE antennas directly to your Jetpack, you are getting anywhere between a 3db and 5db boost, on antenna alone.

My hotspot is a W-Plus 4G LTE Mobile Network Radio that has the always-on hotspot feature, with a permanent rooftop antenna. It runs on T-Mobile. I haven't had any dead spot issues with it yet.
 
May 25, 2014
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@Mark Blue - What combination did you go with for the custom coax cables? I hate having to order stuff from China direct, as it can either take less than a week, or several months.
 

Mark Blue

Owner
Staff member
Feb 19, 2007
3,105
647
21
Colorado
My Nighthawk (NH) has 2 TS-9 female ports for external antennas. They're under those rectangular dust covers on the edge-view picture above. The external LTE MIMO antenna has two female SMA connectors. The two cables are TS9 male to SMA male. The NH has 4x internal antennas and allows for 4x4 MIMO, so just connecting the external antenna takes it down to 2x2 MIMO, but it's a necessary evil in areas where advanced LTE isn't installed on the local towers and MIMO doesn't exist.

I'm curious as to who currently runs an amplifier in a set it on and forget about it fashion? I used to during the 3G era but not anymore.
 
Feb 20, 2018
94
19
6
Temple, Texas
Mark,

For what it’s worth, I actually have the 1100 and just upgraded to the 5100. So far in my tests the 5100 has been better than the 1100 as far as reception and speed goes. I use the WeBoost (formerly Wilson Electronics) Sleek OTR cradle system and haven’t had any issues. 0147839A-8B3B-400E-96A2-A67037EC17CC.jpeg
 

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May 25, 2014
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TBF, There seemed to be a lot of set-and-forget amplifiers in the 2G/3G eras, but fewer during the 4G era that proclaimed that in the literature.

I'm not sure how things are going to go with amps and boosters, leading into the 5G era, likewise. Depending on carrier, we're looking at frequencies from 600MHz, well up into the microwave range.
 
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May 25, 2014
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@Mark Drees I see the control head for a Yaesu FTM-100DR, so another man of culture!

I formerly had one of those, and now have an FTM-7250DR. If Yaesu would make one with zones/banks, like they did with their FT-70DR, it would be perfect.
 
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Feb 20, 2018
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Temple, Texas
WeBoost states that their boosters are 5G ready and I was assured that they would be compatible with the sub6 standard that AT&T uses before purchasing the 5100. So far so good as I’ve seen my 5G amplified when in low areas. As for the FTM-100, I’ve been happy with it. My only complaint (not really a complaint as it was my fault) is that I lost the SCU-39 cable that came with it when I moved, so I have to pony up the $75 for a new one if I want to partake in Wires-X.
 

Drew Terril

Staff member
@Mark Drees I've been thinking of mounting my FTM-400XDR in a similar manner on my laptop mount and am glad to see it works. My SKYWARN stuff is on my Kenwood (VHF) and Moto (UHF), organized into zones, but I keep my APRS beacon running on the Yaesu during chases, and run the YSF stuff when I can. I'm looking into seeing if Oklahoma ARES can leverage APRS like we're trying to leverage DMR.
 
May 25, 2014
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This might be a totally different type of thread drift, but I'm just at the point where I keep various states' worth of repeaters in different files on my RT software, then dump it in if I'm going to travel to/through an area. I'm actually thinking about giving up the Kenwood TK-5820 and getting a Connect Systems CS800 dual-band just for the DMR, zones, and remote head. None mounted on the laptop mount, though, as I like to keep my stuff in the car all the time.
 

Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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Colorado
There you go @Drew Terril!

Glad to hear you're receiving good signal Mark and if you hit some incredible speed realm somewhere I'll look forward to a speed test here. I sure wish AT&T had bigger caps because right now it's expensive for 15GB at $60 per month.