Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Topics Related to Cell Towers, Frequencies and Bands
Viper67857
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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by Viper67857 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:38 am

I would keep the cable runs as short as possible... Yes, high quality cable has less loss, but there's still loss that can be avoided. If the wifi doesn't reach everywhere from the location the LTE router needs to be in to keep the cable short, then just run ethernet cable to a normal router... No unnecessary LTE signal loss and ethernet cable is much cheaper and easier to route (lmr400 is thick as hell and not very flexible).

Also, I don't know much about the router you're using, but if it's at all possible I'd open it up and see if the modem has standard connectors for pigtails (like mhf4), and if so get 4 SMA bulkhead pigtails so you can run 2 mimo antennas with proper connections for 4x4 instead of getting 2x2 with those problematic ts9s.

Diebog
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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by Diebog » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:20 pm

So I'm confused. You has said go with mimo antennas, but you went with non - mimo? Whats the difference? Is one for line of sight to tower? Again I'm in the hills of grass valley CA. elevation 2700 feet, there are many trees and canyons/hills. I get ok signal now (18-20 mbs) but I know with a better antenna I can get more. Also is the lightning adapters necessary? I don't have many lightning strikes where I live.

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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by shoulin333 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:59 pm

Sorry to be clear two non-MIMO antennas gives you MIMO. 1+1=2 sort of thing but two antennas allows them to be positioned apart, even towards two different towers in some cases.


Also if you hear the term Carrier Aggregation (CA) that can happen (automatically in mist cases) with just a single non-MIMO antenna and has nothing to do with MIMO.

When it comes to the lightning protection I see it like this. If you are going to put a lightning rod on the top of your house (an antenna) it should be grounded. Technically not needed but I would recommend.

Diebog
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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by Diebog » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:49 pm

Ok thanks for clearing that up. I guess I need to do some research on this. So is Carrier Aggregation good or bad? Ive never herd it before. I wish I could just have someone say get this this and this and it will work perfect! My mind is very scattered with all of this. I know a decent amount about electronics but this LTE stuff is beyond me. Living in the hills ( not sure where your located for the antennas to work as well as they do) I just want to get the best setup for this location. I assume there is antennas more suited to hilly woods area vs the city? I guess again I still need to do more research. Any suggestions of a good site to read over? If not ill just google it.

My router is an Asus RT-AC68U. I chose that because someone had recommend it with the use of the Mifi and usb tethering which is how I have it connected right now. I don't see any external antenna ports on it. Vipers post above was talking about taking it apart and looking for standard connectors for pigtails (like mhf4), and if so get 4 SMA bulkhead pigtails so you can run 2 mimo antennas with proper connections for 4x4 instead of getting 2x2 with those problematic ts9s. I don't quite understand the 2x2 and 4x4 lingo (more research again needed) Or was he talking about taking the Mifi apart? I don't understand how using antennas on the router itself boosts the signal for the Mifi. There are 3 moveable antennas on the top of the Asus router but I thought they were to broadcast the wifi signal in the home and not to pickup the Mifi signal?

Thanks again!

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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by shoulin333 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:18 pm

How about this for start. Take the MIFi 8000 up to the top of your roof and see what kind of speeds you can get. After that if speeds are way better up there then look into antennas.

The MIFI 8000 has two antenna ports on the bottom. You have to pry off those two plastic caps. In the manual they are advertised as “test ports” or something but they are just TS-9 connectors hidden so they don’t have to explain what they are actually for.

Diebog
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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by Diebog » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:27 pm

That’s a good idea. Why didn’t I think of that. So if it doesn’t improve I’d just be wasting my time? In the window I have the Mifi in I get better signal with the window open. When it’s hot and air conditioning is on I have it closed and loose a little bit. So just getting an antenna outside should be a plus I would think. I’ll try it on the roof and see. What are good SNR RSRP values I should try to get. I don’t quite understand them. I’ve read the lower the RSPR number the better. And higher the SNR the better? Is that correct. My Signal strength now is (RSRP) -111 dBm
SNR: 8 dB. Is there a optimal sweet spot.?

Also just looked up my router and it’s a 3x3. Is that not a good one to use? RT-AC65U

shoulin333
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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by shoulin333 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:53 pm

Well RSRP should be higher the better as it is a negative number. -89 is higher number than -111 and -89 is much better. SNR is a positive number so lower the better. Easy way to think of it is get all the numbers RSRP, RSRQ, and SNR as close to zero as you can get.


In real world practice in my location I find that RSRP of -102 or higher gives me a good signal. On some bands/towers/cells you can get faster speeds even if the RSRP is worse so make sure to do speed tests and don’t just look at the signals.


As to your router the MIMO there is for the WiFi signal as you mentioned is unrelated to LTE signal.

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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by Diebog » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:18 pm

Ok. I thought the 2x2 and 4x4 talk was about the router. Man this stuff is confusing to understand. Lol.

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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by Diebog » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:03 pm

So I just went on the roof and got some exciting results. My base line was 20 down .8 up. This is with the Mifi in the window. Up on the roof I got better and better results as I walked around and messed with angling it up/down. Next I got 29 down and 2.56 up, moved some more and got 36 down 2.96 up, Then to 40 down 3.7 up. Then as I was looking at the signal meter on the Mifi and had the Mifi 192.168.1.1 info on my iPad I saw the band switch from 25 to 41. I was then able to get all5 bars lite up on the Mifi and did a speed test and got 102 down and 4.12 up. Never sever een those speeds! Still on 41 I moved around even where I had only 3 bars not 5(full) and did a speed test and got 87 down and 2 up.

Why does band 41 make such a huge difference? Is there a way to lock on 41? I know you talked a little about that in the first post. If I angle the Mifi one way I can pickup band 25, and if I turn 10-15 deg to the left I find band 41. Hopefully if I get the antenna set on 41 it will stay there? I also found right above my bedroom up on the ridge of the roof pointing the same direction when I found band 41 and 101 download speed I can still get those results. I don't have a crawl space or attic, which makes it difficult to run wires. Direct tv is ran on the sidling, not ideal but only option. So Ill just poke out the wall where the direct tv comes in and run it up to the roof which keeps the length down quite a bit. Maybe 30_40 feet.

Given these results I am definitely going to get an antenna. Just need to decide on which antenna or antennas to get. Is it worth doing the 4x4 thing? Wish there wasn't so many options to have to choose from. LOL

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Re: Need help finding tower locations for Mifi 8000 (Sprint)

Post by shoulin333 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:04 am

Wow that is awesome!

With the MiFi 8000 you won't be able to lock on to a band but when positioning an antenna you will want to find the strongest location and then move about 1 degree at a time around your mounting pole. So if you can get to a real strong band 41 signal it would likely stay there unless the wind starts blowing hard or there is congestion. In that case in the future you could look at a different type of device where you could band lock.

The MiFi itself has 4X4 MIMO built in but the best you can do using external antennas will be 2x2 because there are only two antenna ports. (unless you preform surgery and open the thing up) You may not get quite as good of speeds that you are with the MiFi actually on the roof but you should be able to get close

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