Question

G4AR Gateway external antenna use

  • 3 January 2024
  • 24 replies
  • 1050 views

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I’ve been trying to use the G4AR gateway with my external antennas but see little improvement when connected. I have been using another provider’s cellular modem with a T-Mobile sim (so same tower and provider) for 3 years with no reception issues.  I called tech support and was told the antenna ports are for wi-fi reception in my house, not cellular.  Can anyone confirm or refute support’s statement? 


24 replies

Userlevel 5
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I’m almost certain the support person was wrong.

The best resource for this is Nater Tater on YouTube.

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I’ve seen his videos.  He would lose a lot of antenna sales commission :)

I’ve placed my 3rd request for support to get an official response as I can’t find it on their site.  I really want it to work because I’m paying more than twice as much for what I have now,

Userlevel 5
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@bmorgan99 NC1037 is correct, you received some inaccurate information. 

 

 

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Agreed.  On my last attempt, the tech started with the same notion, until I led her to the add-on 4x4 mimo they sell for it.   My goal was to know which bands were associated with which ports, but was immediately shut down as she had no further knowledge.  I thought I had tried all possible permutations but will go another round.

Thanks

Userlevel 2
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Yeah, the antenna doesn't really help much. You did switch to external antenna on the Gateway? For the $100.00 I didn't get much improvement, but did get a little more stability. Oh, by the way, I'm less than 3 miles from three cell towers.

The Gateway is for WiFi, not cell. While they say the Tmobile Gateway and Tmobile CELL SPOT (for boosted cell) are not compatible, it works for me. 

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Installed a 4x4 yagi mimo setup and tried a second G4AR from T-Mobile:

Good News: wi-fi reception in my yard is much better

Bad News:  the modem couldn’t see my tower at all.

 

Now to figure out why so many YouTubers are convinced otherwise.

 

Userlevel 4
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Not this is helpful to anyone, but I always thought...perhaps...the reason the original gateways didn’t offer antenna ports was because the internal antennas where already Spec’d to the FCC maximum permissible transmission power for the band.  Adding an external antenna , which you can do but really isn’t “approved”, would put you over the FCC limits.  Just a speculation, but maybe the “legal” ports on the new model are power-restricted to keep you within limits and don’t really offer an advantage (maybe other than better positioning).  Just a theory anyway to think about over coffee.

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My attennas are totally passive as I expect most are, so I don’t think that’s the issue.

Userlevel 4
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Yes the antennas are "passive", but they have efficiency ratings, and bigger external antennas are more efficient...which is why you want them in the first place. The problem then becomes, for a given input power, the radiated output power will be higher...and possibly over the FCC limit.

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I don’t see how the FCC could or even would want to ban efficient antennas.   Excessive power, definitely.

Userlevel 4
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I’m no expert, but the FCC regulates power outputs for about everything...WiFi, Bluetooth, CB radios, etc., because of concerns about interference with your neighbors, particularly in dense areas. If there was no limit, you could drown out your neighbors. 

It stands to reason that Gateway’s radio amplifier is “sized” to the internal antenna array, so that the radiated power is at whatever the spec limit is.  If you put on a more efficient antenna, then the radiated power will go up and over the limit.  In other words, the radio amplifier should be putting out less power when using this new wonder-antenna to maintain the limit on radiated power.   As I understand it, the TM app requires you to set a “switch” to enable the antenna ports (I could be wrong)...it may be that this “switch” not only enables the ports, but cuts back on the power of the radio amplifier.

None of this may be correct.  But it would explain why the new antennas don’t seem to be doing much.  A potential hack would then be to by-pass the TS-9 connectors, don’t enable the switch, and connect to the internal antenna connectors directly. 

Again, this is just morning coffee banter...I have no direct experience with any of this.

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I got a third modem and it works well.  Getting 150-200 down which is double what I got before, but as I said that modem only accepts 2 antennas and I have 4 now.  Probably a coincidence, but the working modem is a G4SE and the others were G4ARs,

Userlevel 2
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I’ve been trying to use the G4AR gateway with my external antennas but see little improvement when connected. I have been using another provider’s cellular modem with a T-Mobile sim (so same tower and provider) for 3 years with no reception issues.  I called tech support and was told the antenna ports are for wi-fi reception in my house, not cellular.  Can anyone confirm or refute support’s statement? 

Yes, it is not for cellular.  Frankly its not for anything at all except lightening your wallet of $100.00.

I have been told by two techs, (after buying an antenna) that its only function is to "aid placement of the gateway ".  It will not boost your signal.

People!  Save your money.

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I’ve been trying to use the G4AR gateway with my external antennas but see little improvement when connected. I have been using another provider’s cellular modem with a T-Mobile sim (so same tower and provider) for 3 years with no reception issues.  I called tech support and was told the antenna ports are for wi-fi reception in my house, not cellular.  Can anyone confirm or refute support’s statement? 

Yes, it is not for cellular.  Frankly its not for anything at all except lightening your wallet of $100.00.

I have been told by two techs, (after buying an antenna) that its only function is to "aid placement of the gateway ".  It will not boost your signal.

People!  Save your money.

Sorry, I wasn’t very explicit in my last message.  The 3rd modem I tried does indeed work with my external antennas.  The first 2 had to have been faulty, as this one gets plenty of signal strength with them attached and next to none without them.  Hard to believe that failure rate,  but I’m glad I didn’t give up.

I have been helping a friend get better internet access at a fairly remote lake house in upstate NY.  Over the last year, we were using a Cudy P5 5G cellular router with a T-Mo 5G hotspot SIM.  The router was locked onto band N71 for 5G, and we saw download speeds of 80M with uploads of 8-10M.  This was working very well, except for the monthly data cap that they kept hitting last year.  When this new T-Mo router came out with the external antenna connectors, we jumped at the chance to get the unlimited Home Internet service for them to use.  I just installed it, with the same 4x4 MIMO antenna array that was connected to the Cudy router.  But I only see 18M download speeds and 1-2M upload speeds.  This device is not connecting via 5G on band N71.  It is only connecting via LTE on band b12, despite nothing being changed with the antenna array.  Does anyone have internal connection ID’s for the Ant 1-4 external connectors?  Typically they are labeled on the main circuit board as d, m, m1 and m2.  I would like to not have to try 16 different combinations of cable to port settings to get the optimal one (that might allow the device to start using 5G service?).

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I searched for the same connector assignment but found nothing. I begrudgingly tried all possibilities and didn’t see a difference.  I didn’t check to see what band or tower was chosen each time.  Wild guess here, but if your antenna setup is omnidirectional, maybe a different tower is being chosen?  It should be an intelligent selection, but maybe it’s off.

FYI: I’ve gotten a max of 380 down and average low 200s since my switch.

Userlevel 4
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This may or may not help you, but here is the connection guide from Waveform…

T-Mobile 5G Internet Gateway (Arcadyan TMO-G4AR) External Antenna Guide (waveform.com)

Thanks for the link to Waveform.  It is helpful when using their specific antennas, but I created my own 4x4 MIMO setup using a pair of 2x2 MIMO antennas that are mounted about a meter apart from each other, and clocked to 45 degree offsets from each other.  I had read in some antenna design lit about the offset giving possibly another 2-3 dB of improvement.  So I spent a couple of hours last night (trying to have a time where traffic to the cell tower might be minimal), and went through all 24 possible combinations of antenna hookups for the 4x4 MIMO array.  Documented what connections were established, and what down/up speeds were achieved.  Turns out that this TMO-G4AR box is only connecting to the B12 LTE band on the same tower, not trying to connect to the 5G n71 band that the Cudy P5 was locked onto.  I could see this using the third party HINT app.  I did find a group of about 4 antenna connection combos that seemed to give optimal LTE service (now getting about 30-35M down and 5M up).  But it is only about half the bandwidth in either direction of what I was getting the the 5G service.  TMO needs to fine tune the firmware on this router to allow it to do a better job of searching for the 5G service.

Userlevel 4
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So one more thing….you do realize that in the G4AR control panel (in the TM Internet App), you need to set the switch to “external antenna”, or you will be using just the internal one.  I’m sure you know this, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it.

Yes, thanks.  I actually used the front panel of the device to make that change over.  Where we are located is so remote that without the external antennas you won’t even get one bar of service.  The issue I am seeing now is really just one of the device not wanting to search for the 5G service.  I have read that the G4AR does not utilize the 5G-SA mode, which would force it to use the 5G service exclusively, so that may be a big part of the issue.  And that is something that they could resolve with a firmware update for sure.  Having enough control of the device to be able to set it to SA mode, and be able to do band locking would make a huge difference.

Userlevel 5
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If you’re willing to consider paying big $$$, there are options.  See Peter Carcione on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/gMRfklUD_E4?si=6I1nwgaocPGLKK-y

Thanks for the link.  That is similar to some of the devices that have been talked about on the Nater Tater YouTube channel.  The only issue I see with the device you are linking to is that it doesn’t appear to support 5G-SA on the n71 band, which is what I would need for the T-Mobile setup that I am currently working on.

Thanks for the link to Waveform.  It is helpful when using their specific antennas, but I created my own 4x4 MIMO setup using a pair of 2x2 MIMO antennas that are mounted about a meter apart from each other, and clocked to 45 degree offsets from each other.

 

All the 4x4 and 2x2 MIMO antennas I read up on are direct line of sight.  I know when I had mine off by just 5 degrees signal dropped big time. 

Until a recent tower update I only got 50 down and 5 up internal antennas,  that jumped to 150 down and 15up with my 2x2 MIMO.   then jumped again with the Waveform 4x4 and got 300+ down and 50-60 up.

After the tower upgrade I get 200-250 down and 5 up with internal antennas and 400 down and 40 up with the waveform.   I dont know what happened to my upload after the tower upgrade.

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After the tower upgrade I get 200-250 down and 5 up with internal antennas and 400 down and 40 up with the waveform.   I dont know what happened to my upload after the tower upgrade.

 

Same here in the same ratio.  Lengthy explanation here

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