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Thread: DAS Repeater Question

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    DAS Repeater Question

    Hello,

    I recently purchased a 698-2700MHz Wide Band Directional Log Periodic Antenna (with N Female Connector) for use with my Nighthawk MR1100. (I also purchased a male N to TS-9 adapter). When using the antenna which has a very short cable, I see a considerable improvement in my LTE signal.

    My question for the experts here is this: Do I need to buy a DAS repeater if I want to mount the antenna outside my home which will require running a 25 foot cable from the antenna inside the home? If so, which one(s) would you recommend? I am hoping for something cheaper than the Wilson ones I am finding...

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    DAS Repeater Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Billbraskey420 View Post
    ...Do I need to buy a DAS repeater if I want to mount the antenna outside my home which will require running a 25 foot cable from the antenna inside the home?...

    I would try just running the feedline directly from the antenna to the Nighthawk MR1100. Are you using LMR-400 feedline?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billbraskey420 View Post
    Hello,

    I recently purchased a 698-2700MHz Wide Band Directional Log Periodic Antenna (with N Female Connector) for use with my Nighthawk MR1100. (I also purchased a male N to TS-9 adapter). When using the antenna which has a very short cable, I see a considerable improvement in my LTE signal.

    My question for the experts here is this: Do I need to buy a DAS repeater if I want to mount the antenna outside my home which will require running a 25 foot cable from the antenna inside the home? If so, which one(s) would you recommend? I am hoping for something cheaper than the Wilson ones I am finding...
    If you don't mind me asking what kind of speed improvements did you see?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    I would try just running the feedline directly from the antenna to the Nighthawk MR1100. Are you using LMR-400 feedline?
    Cool. Thanks. I have not purchased the cable yet. I was thinking that if I needed an amplifier, the connection type might change based on the amplifier and was trying to minimize any expenses for adapters, cables, etc. Would you recommend the LMR-400 cable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orlimar1 View Post
    If you don't mind me asking what kind of speed improvements did you see?

    Ill get back at you on speeds, I noticed the signal went from -107 to -87 when I connected the antenna indoors.

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    DAS Repeater Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Billbraskey420 View Post
    ...Would you recommend the LMR-400 cable?
    Yes, I would.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    Yes, I would.
    Thanks. OK to use N-male and N-Female on the two ends? And other suggestions? Do you know how I should go about grounding the antenna? TIA

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    I have been there and done a lot of work to pull in a LTE signal at a rural site. At our site we get zero service inside (no voice, text, or data). Outside we get between no service to spotty voice and text (more off than on), and no reliable data. At the top of the hill we get slightly better voice and text, but a LTE signal around -120 to -125 (maybe worse, going by memory), so still pretty bad. As far as I can tell the closest tower is 7-10 miles away over slightly hilly terrain. I put up a 40 foot tower with a yagi, Wilson amplifier and internal antenna. Now we get LTE inside the house with a signal between -50 and -80 depending on the band and if you want to quote RSSI or RSRP. This equates to anywhere between 10 and 25 Mbps depending on congestion. It is a very rural area, so as far as I can tell not a lot of bandwidth which is what keeps the speeds relatively low regardless of signal.

    So a couple of pointers. Since your antenna uses n-type connectors, it is a 50 ohm antenna. Stay with 50 ohms all the way. Don't mix with 75 ohm (cable TV coax) stuff unless you absolutely have to. So stick with LMR-400 (or better) and N-type connectors. The lower the outside signal, the longer the run, and the higher the freq you want to pull in, the bigger the cable may need to be. I would use nothing less than LMR-400. In my case that would not be enough. On the tower I use 7/8" cable (WIR-FXL-780) and from the tower to the amp I use 1/2" hardline LDF4_50A.

    Your signal seems good enough outside that I don't think you need the 7/8 stuff. I would possibly recommend the LDF4_50A over the LMR-400 as the LDF4_50A is significantly better (lower signal loss), but also more expensive. Having said that, your signal may be strong enough, and if you are only looking at 25 feet, that the LMR-400 may be fine.

    If you can get -87 with the antenna indoors, you may not need an amp with the antenna outside and raised. I would try it an see. If you need an amp, just get a 50 ohm type and you can plug it into your 50 ohm setup. Note that the lower cost, lower power amps are more marketing than actual performance. I have seen a lot of reports/reviews where you really have to get into the higher range before you get real significant improvement. You might be better off with no amp rather than spend $200-300 for little gain. I just went straight for the lower end of the Wilson commercial line (~$800 if I remember correctly) and it works great. But that is a steep price and if you can get away without it that is obviously a good choice.

    Grounding is a huge subject that can't be well covered here. There is a lot of info out there on grounding ham radio towers. At a bare minimum you want a thick copper cable or copper straps. Wide straps are better though as lightning travels on the surface of the conductor (or so I have read) and a strap has more surface area. Connect your wire or strap to a grounding rod, or several grounding rods depending on the situation. You may want to consider an inline Rf surge protector. I use PolyPhaser's for example (I don't remember the exact model). There is really no way to tell you what you need to do for grounding other than you do need to ground some way. You need to assess your situation, your risk tolerance and decide what to do.

    In my case I have a 40 foot metal tower that is higher than the trees and my house with the base grounded with three 4" copper straps buried in the ground that go outward in a radial pattern (each for 20-30 feet) and attach to 6 total (maybe more, I forget exactly how many I sunk), 8 foot copper grounding rods driven into the ground. The antenna cable is connected to a PolyPhaser N-type RF surge protector with the case also grounded to two other grounding rods. I have had this setup for about 10 years now, and yes, I actually blew the inline surge protector once. I don't know why because it is at a location we don't live at 100% so I was not there if or when something happened that caused it to blow. There was no other damage, so who knows. There was a storm that blew through a week or two before we went up and found that the surge protector was blown, but again who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PHMT View Post
    I have been there and done a lot of work to pull in a LTE signal at a rural site. At our site we get zero service inside (no voice, text, or data). Outside we get between no service to spotty voice and text (more off than on), and no reliable data. At the top of the hill we get slightly better voice and text, but a LTE signal around -120 to -125 (maybe worse, going by memory), so still pretty bad. As far as I can tell the closest tower is 7-10 miles away over slightly hilly terrain. I put up a 40 foot tower with a yagi, Wilson amplifier and internal antenna. Now we get LTE inside the house with a signal between -50 and -80 depending on the band and if you want to quote RSSI or RSRP. This equates to anywhere between 10 and 25 Mbps depending on congestion. It is a very rural area, so as far as I can tell not a lot of bandwidth which is what keeps the speeds relatively low regardless of signal.

    So a couple of pointers. Since your antenna uses n-type connectors, it is a 50 ohm antenna. Stay with 50 ohms all the way. Don't mix with 75 ohm (cable TV coax) stuff unless you absolutely have to. So stick with LMR-400 (or better) and N-type connectors. The lower the outside signal, the longer the run, and the higher the freq you want to pull in, the bigger the cable may need to be. I would use nothing less than LMR-400. In my case that would not be enough. On the tower I use 7/8" cable (WIR-FXL-780) and from the tower to the amp I use 1/2" hardline LDF4_50A.

    Your signal seems good enough outside that I don't think you need the 7/8 stuff. I would possibly recommend the LDF4_50A over the LMR-400 as the LDF4_50A is significantly better (lower signal loss), but also more expensive. Having said that, your signal may be strong enough, and if you are only looking at 25 feet, that the LMR-400 may be fine.

    If you can get -87 with the antenna indoors, you may not need an amp with the antenna outside and raised. I would try it an see. If you need an amp, just get a 50 ohm type and you can plug it into your 50 ohm setup. Note that the lower cost, lower power amps are more marketing than actual performance. I have seen a lot of reports/reviews where you really have to get into the higher range before you get real significant improvement. You might be better off with no amp rather than spend $200-300 for little gain. I just went straight for the lower end of the Wilson commercial line (~$800 if I remember correctly) and it works great. But that is a steep price and if you can get away without it that is obviously a good choice.

    Grounding is a huge subject that can't be well covered here. There is a lot of info out there on grounding ham radio towers. At a bare minimum you want a thick copper cable or copper straps. Wide straps are better though as lightning travels on the surface of the conductor (or so I have read) and a strap has more surface area. Connect your wire or strap to a grounding rod, or several grounding rods depending on the situation. You may want to consider an inline Rf surge protector. I use PolyPhaser's for example (I don't remember the exact model). There is really no way to tell you what you need to do for grounding other than you do need to ground some way. You need to assess your situation, your risk tolerance and decide what to do.

    In my case I have a 40 foot metal tower that is higher than the trees and my house with the base grounded with three 4" copper straps buried in the ground that go outward in a radial pattern (each for 20-30 feet) and attach to 6 total (maybe more, I forget exactly how many I sunk), 8 foot copper grounding rods driven into the ground. The antenna cable is connected to a PolyPhaser N-type RF surge protector with the case also grounded to two other grounding rods. I have had this setup for about 10 years now, and yes, I actually blew the inline surge protector once. I don't know why because it is at a location we don't live at 100% so I was not there if or when something happened that caused it to blow. There was no other damage, so who knows. There was a storm that blew through a week or two before we went up and found that the surge protector was blown, but again who knows.
    Very helpful! Tthank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billbraskey420 View Post
    Hello,

    I recently purchased a 698-2700MHz Wide Band Directional Log Periodic Antenna (with N Female Connector) for use with my Nighthawk MR1100. (I also purchased a male N to TS-9 adapter). When using the antenna which has a very short cable, I see a considerable improvement in my LTE signal.

    My question for the experts here is this: Do I need to buy a DAS repeater if I want to mount the antenna outside my home which will require running a 25 foot cable from the antenna inside the home? If so, which one(s) would you recommend? I am hoping for something cheaper than the Wilson ones I am finding...
    personally i would use lmr400, short as possible from antenna to nighthawk. put nighthawk in attic if you have to, run cat6 to another device closer to where you have your network equipment.

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