Question

External Antenna Makes Massive Difference For Me!!!

  • 6 October 2021
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35 replies

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There is nothing bad in my post and all I have done is try to help people keep and get their TM can working better.

Uh oh, I’ve been consorting with a suspected GW alterator? I didn’t do it! Don’t they know you’re with MI6? I read the terms of service about the gateway  when I got it and when it worked well by itself it was a relief. No outlaw activities for me.

On one hand, the people doing this to the gateway have the potential of being loyal customers in years to come, and just want the service to work for them, and by sharing information are just trying to help some truly desperate people, who may be crushed that they can’t get the speed they hoped for. But...it is against their rules. And this is the TMO discussion board set up by the company. You know what I mean?

I was thinking about the reason they might not have included an external ant port to begin with, and other than saving a few dollars, it might have something to do with lightning strikes damaging the gateway when connected to something that is going outside. Or, too many people getting doubly frustrated that they went to such lengths ordering an antenna, and having to return it when it didn’t work, and it just makes them madder at T mobile. 

On some equipment you buy, sometimes there’s a seal on it that if broken, the warranty is violated, but they aren’t even charging for this gateway, so you can understand why their policy is to not allow its disassembly or alteration.

In ancient times, Ma Bell used to charge for phone rental of a Bell phone, calling it an “instrument.” I had an uncle that got their new touch-tone phone and paid something like $5 more a month than a rotary dial phone would cost. When the phone plug was modular and companies started selling cheap phones that worked very well, Bell made threats that anyone caught using an “instrument” which was not one of theirs could be prosecuted. Their claim was one of these cheap phones could damage their network, which was not true at all. All it would do was cut into the profits they made from the absurd prices they used to charge for a phone. Eventually, Bell’s monopoly was broken up, and you could get any phone you wanted, and even sign up for other long distance services. 

Anyway, I think TMO is being reasonable about their policy compared to Bell, and it’s not about profits. It’s that they know that they would get customers leaving and wanted to have as many undamaged gateways as possible to recycle.

Looking at your photo attachment, I’m assuming the can is in the window still and oriented a certain way because the 1 and 2 antennas in the gateway are operating as usual and their position/orientation still plays a role in your signal?

Yes sort of. Originally I wanted to use 1 and 2 since the ethernet is on the left but it was much more easy to use 3 and 4 as no further disassembly was needed. As you now see I had to install a home run to the Google puck so I put that on the right side now. Back to you question it does not seem to make a difference. No matter how I move the can nothing changes. I even wrapped the can in foil for 5 min no change in any signals so seem it is not using the internal ant at all. I assume the large outside is so powerful it overrides the inside one. I still like having it just in case who knows.

Because of your stupendous experience, I watched a video again showing the detailed installation. Between not wanting to do that -- my luck would be that as I was unplugging the little connector, I’d break off a pin or something -- and my average speed of 200 being great for me, so much better than the single-digit speeds of my former DSL provider, I can’t see myself removing the sim card cartridge, removing the battery -- both which you have to do to get to the area to attach the pigtails -- going through all that and risking that I might have to return the antenna because either it does nothing or my speed is only marginally better.

I did not have to remove the battery just 2 screws on the bottom then 4 inside, slide out, pop off and snap on the new leads put back together 10 min job. I would say if you have an n41 antenna near you it is worth it as you can get over 500 but if you have a n71 I don't think you will gain anything.

 

Before my gateway arrived four months ago, I was looking at the possibility of an external antenna, because I thought I might need one, given my distance of 5 miles to a tower.

I have an advantage over some people regarding antenna use, in that living on a few acres where I do, I could even hoist the antenna in the air, using that 30 feet of cable that comes with it, if I had to. However, my experiments with trying the gateway on the roof, and holding it up and how disappointing my speeds were there, makes me think, getting the gateway higher, or an antenna higher, would not help me, and might even make it worse, because I have medium-duty power carrier lines on that side of my property between me and the tower. They aren’t the giant power towers and lines, but they are bigger than ordinary neighborhood telephone lines. Anyway, it’s possible getting closer to the level of those wires is not going to help me.

As they note on the site that sell the ext ant height is not always best. As you see with me I gained tremendous signal power but also my SNR is worst. So going outside and ext gives you more of the signal you do want and also more of what you don't want. In my case higher would hurt me as I don't want to get that n71 tower. So where I am I point at the n41 tower, I now get the B66 since it is just to the W, and my roof blocks the closer n71 tower to the NW. So if I was higher I would have a worse SNR as the signals from the N would now compete on the antenna.

I would recommend that anyone considering trying this, try to read (or watch videos) of the experiences of all the people who have done it that you can find, especially those in comparable situations to your own.

Bond’s situation is on the extreme end of success, but for some people who got only a few Mbps speed, and this boosted it to 35, they are pleased with that. Well, one guy whose video I watched did that, but he was using the antenna in the window instead of outside, maybe because he lived in an apartment.

My case is very unique and I put a lot of research into my plan. Plotting towers and angles mapping antenna locations on towers, measurements with my cell, holding the can outside for testing. Also I think unique since the 4G tower is to the W .5 miles, the n71 is 2 miles to the NW, and the upgraded n41 is 3 miles to the SW. So in my case I need want the faster n41 but due to can logic I need to also have the B66 and I don't want the closer n71 to the NW.

So each person needs to do their own homework and see if adding an ext ant will help. The company does have a money back guarantee so there is not real $ risk.

Yes this is 007BondMI6 I tried to reply to you but for some reason it says I cannot post until moderators approve me posting no idea why as I cannot even reply to anything. There is nothing bad in my post and all I have done is try to help people keep and get their TM can working better. So no idea why my account needs to have approval. Anyways I think this is as close to my original reply as I can remember.

 

 

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Odd I just posted a reply seen a typo so I changed the one typo and it said my post now needs to be approved by the moterators? I had typed hole and wanted hold both are not bad words.

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Looking at your photo attachment, I’m assuming the can is in the window still and oriented a certain way because the 1 and 2 antennas in the gateway are operating as usual and their position/orientation still plays a role in your signal?

Because of your stupendous experience, I watched a video again showing the detailed installation. Between not wanting to do that -- my luck would be that as I was unplugging the little connector, I’d break off a pin or something -- and my average speed of 200 being great for me, so much better than the single-digit speeds of my former DSL provider, I can’t see myself removing the sim card cartridge, removing the battery -- both which you have to do to get to the area to attach the pigtails -- going through all that and risking that I might have to return the antenna because either it does nothing or my speed is only marginally better.

Before my gateway arrived four months ago, I was looking at the possibility of an external antenna, because I thought I might need one, given my distance of 5 miles to a tower.

I have an advantage over some people regarding antenna use, in that living on a few acres where I do, I could even hoist the antenna in the air, using that 30 feet of cable that comes with it, if I had to. However, my experiments with trying the gateway on the roof, and holding it up and how disappointing my speeds were there, makes me think, getting the gateway higher, or an antenna higher, would not help me, and might even make it worse, because I have medium-duty power carrier lines on that side of my property between me and the tower. They aren’t the giant power towers and lines, but they are bigger than ordinary neighborhood telephone lines. Anyway, it’s possible getting closer to the level of those wires is not going to help me.

I would recommend that anyone considering trying this, try to read (or watch videos) of the experiences of all the people who have done it that you can find, especially those in comparable situations to your own.

Bond’s situation is on the extreme end of success, but for some people who got only a few Mbps speed, and this boosted it to 35, they are pleased with that. Well, one guy whose video I watched did that, but he was using the antenna in the window instead of outside, maybe because he lived in an apartment.

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Ok things are still going well both of the tower I want are holding till now and still speeds are 600+/100+.

 

Some updates seems now that I have speed much more speed then I ever had with Comcast I am finding other issues not related to the can.

  • Speeds off my Google Wifi are not the full can speed. Main puck 200 other pucks 50. However when testing in the Google app speed is 400+/100+.
    • The network cable that runs from the can to the main puck was patched to the wall then in a patch panel in the basement then to the main puck. Replaced this cable with a single run from the can to the main puck CAT5e (had it around and it supports 1G) Now same speeds wireless from the pucks but Google app shows 500/100 so new cable improved things 100.
    • Mesh test shows pucks connected at Good (IMO this was better and with updates Google has made the connection worst so you upgrade to the new Nest) anyways decided to run cables to each puck now speeds wifi off pucks is 200 main and 97 remote pucks. So pucks are now connected to main puck via ethernet but they go through a 10/100 switch. I have ordered a new gig switch should come tomorrow. This should put the other pucks at the same as the main puck.
  • OK those crazy long 30 foot cables between the can and ext ant. Wanted much shorter and was hoping thinner so ordered a few off Amazon and installed them. They are not as low loss as the original cables but since they are only 3 feet long they are actually better. All readings on all bands have improved at least 1db with the shorter cables. So this shows that you really should only used as long of a cable as you need.

Still thinking how to get the cables from outside to inside. I really don't want to drill or modify the window itself. I was thinking drill a 1 inch hold from the side of the window to outside next to the ant. Need a hold large enough for pass those large connectors. Fill the outside with dum dum and put a plate on the inside. When I move this all is a easy patch.

 

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 Even on there site they say if your in the -90’s you many not see much improvement. For me 5G towers were over -100 and 4G tower was high -90’s so I could use the boost.

All the stuff you wrote is good for people to know. Both my signals, B2 and n41 are between -90 and -98.

I have only the one tower 5 miles away to deal with, but it surprised me with the gateway alone, it’s the same inside the window as it is outside the window, and I get no better signal on the roof, like I do with my 4G phone.

But inside my house, there is only the one window, facing the tower, where I get the best signal, and a lot of places inside the house where the speed drop really low.

Probably you would see improvement with the ext ant, worst case you don't and you return it for a refund.

 

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 Even on there site they say if your in the -90’s you many not see much improvement. For me 5G towers were over -100 and 4G tower was high -90’s so I could use the boost.

All the stuff you wrote is good for people to know. Both my signals, B2 and n41 are between -90 and -98.

I have only the one tower 5 miles away to deal with, but it surprised me with the gateway alone, it’s the same inside the window as it is outside the window, and I get no better signal on the roof, like I do with my 4G phone.

But inside my house, there is only the one window, facing the tower, where I get the best signal, and a lot of places inside the house where the speed drops really low.

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Seems like your lucky day is here finally. Going from 75 to 650 is incredible! Is this the biggest leap anyone has gotten with an external antenna on this or what?

A couple of them I’ve watched or read about, it hasn’t helped at all. Or when it did, it was marginal. But I think people in your situation between towers should pay attention as it might do the trick for them also.

I wish they put an external antenna jack on the gateway to make this easy. Even I would try it, although I’m very  happy with my 100 to 350 speeds, and getting over 200 most of the time. I just think you might as well have as much speed as you can get. It’s not like there’s a speed limit.

So does this antenna need an external power supply, or just hooking it up to the can the way Nater Tater did is it? I’ll have to re-watch his video now and take the antenna situation more seriously.

Agreed I am lucky as in my situation with the location of the towers. Also the fact that this can needs both 4G and 5G to operate at high speeds from the 5G network. Since the 4 and 5G towers are not the same being in different directions that causes the issue for me.

I so far am shocked I did not expect the results I have. I mean yes I thought I had a shot at improvement but wow not this much. Real reason is before I could not hold any of the 5G towers so really I was getting only 4G service and speeds so the big jump is to 5G Ultra vs 4GLTE.

An external ant jack would be great but really so easy to hook this up takes like 10 min to take it apart and put it back together.

Lots of pre-planning mapping towers, taking speed reading, noting position of the n41 antennas, using Google maps to plot angles, finding the best angel and placement to catch the towers antenna. I tried moving the ext ant around to see if it got better and my original position was the best so planning and investigation pays off.

No power supply just hook it up to the leads and you are done. There is a guy on youtube that takes the Waveform ant apart its just looks like some big circuit boards with foil. But he says it is the design and placement inside that makes it what it is.

I think you have to have the right situation for there to be an improvement. If you already have a good signal there is not much to improve. I guess it could not hurt but may not help. Even on there site they say if your in the -90’s you many not see much improvement. For me 5G towers were over -100 and 4G tower was high -90’s so I could use the boost.

That guy Tater is a bit all over and not sure his testing is accurate. He put all the test antennas in his window or on the desk chair. That’s just not a fair test as you need to put an external ant well outside and aim it at the tower you want improvement from. So this test of all those antennas is flawed and inaccurate.

In my pre testing to see if an outside ant would improve things I held the can outside that window. While the can was just 1 foot outside that window there was a huge improvement. I cannot keep the can outside so an ext ant is the answer. If I just put this ant on the inside of the window it does not work because I do not get the 4G tower good. So once outside the window the ant has both angles SW and W to get both when inside there is a wall and roof blocking the W so that’s why not 4G inside. This proved that the only way to test an outside ant is outside.

 

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Seems like your lucky day is here finally. Going from 75 to 650 is incredible! Is this the biggest leap anyone has gotten with an external antenna on this or what?

A couple of them I’ve watched or read about, it hasn’t helped at all. Or when it did, it was marginal. But I think people in your situation between towers should pay attention as it might do the trick for them also.

I wish they put an external antenna jack on the gateway to make this easy. Even I would try it, although I’m very  happy with my 100 to 350 speeds, and getting over 200 most of the time. I just think you might as well have as much speed as you can get. It’s not like there’s a speed limit.

So does this antenna need an external power supply, or just hooking it up to the can the way Nater Tater did is it? I’ll have to re-watch his video now and take the antenna situation more seriously.

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Still holding strong the next day things are looking good still getting 600+/100+.