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Thread: Any Aerial Experts out there?

  1. #1
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    Any Aerial Experts out there?

    I appreciate this is a bit of an obscure question, but thought it was worth a try given the very broad spectrum of knowledge demonstrated regularly on this forum.

    After a short trial period, we have decided to move from a traditional wired broadband line to a 4G home broadband system. We now have a 4G (unlimited data) contract and TP-Link 4G home router and all is well so far. Our 4G signal is pretty good, but I have been toying with the idea of installing an external aerial to improve the signal further. My research into 4G external aerials shows very similar products to something which is already installed on the outside of my home already. We have only been here for a short while, so this is something the previous owner must have had installed, I therefor have no idea what it is. The coax cable from the aerial currently goes into an external workshop/barn, which is even more confusing.

    Can anyone tell me from the attached photos if this is/may be a 4G aerial which I could potentially reuse?
    If I just try it on our 4G router, would it do any damage if it was the wrong type of aerial?
    Any idea what I could look for on the aerial to confirm either way what it is?

    TIA.





  2. #2
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    If you search for "4G LTE Omni-Directional Antenna" (which is what yours rather looks like), you should get a lot of useful info.

    i.e.

    https://kenstechtips.com/index.php/m...dband-antennas

  3. #3
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    My hunch is/was that it is an omni-directional 4G aerial.

    Our house is very remote with poor broadband speeds, so it would make sense that someone else had had the same thoughts as we are now having about switching to 4G.

    Sounds like the ladders are coming out this weekend.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    My hunch is/was that it is an omni-directional 4G aerial.

    Our house is very remote with poor broadband speeds, so it would make sense that someone else had had the same thoughts as we are now having about switching to 4G.

    Sounds like the ladders are coming out this weekend.
    Have you checked the connector will fit? It looks a bit like a standard F type used for TV satellite receiver cabling whereas the 4G connector on your TP link will be an SMA (maybe SMB, I forget), which is much smaller.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/f-type-sma/s?k=f+type+to+sma
    Last edited by Mr Pointy; 14th June 2019 at 17:13. Reason: Amazon link

  5. #5
    If I had to guess I'd say it's not a 4G LTE. Looks like a fibreglass whip for PMR or UHF amateur band.

  6. #6
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice chaps. It is much appreciated.

    After a lot more reading on the interweb today and a few trials, the plug is indeed too large (well spotted Mr Pointy) and the cable required for my 4G modem/router sounds like it needs to be a twin cable, so this old beast is going in the bin anyway and being replaced with a proper 4G LTE directional antenna, as I am fortunate to be able to clearly see the 4G mast from our 1st floor bedroom windows.

    Even with an internal aerial we managed 80.6mbs download today at one point - not bad for the middle of nowhere!

  7. #7
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    If I had to guess I'd say it's not a 4G LTE. Looks like a fibreglass whip for PMR or UHF amateur band.
    Any clue what the likely use may have been for it with that in mind?

    The cable runs into a cold/damp external workshop, which is the bit which has me confused.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    If I had to guess I'd say it's not a 4G LTE. Looks like a fibreglass whip for PMR or UHF amateur band.
    Looks like it could be 4G to me:
    https://www.3grouterstore.co.uk/3G/F....html#SID=1234

    But it's getting replaced anyway.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    Any clue what the likely use may have been for it with that in mind?

    The cable runs into a cold/damp external workshop, which is the bit which has me confused.
    Interesting yes, which is a good question whatever it is. Is there any power nearby, assuming whatever it is connected to will need power of some sort. Are there any oil tanks nearby that might have had a battery operated sender for the level? We’re using much smaller dipoles (about 180mm long) for 4g connections today, backing up a phone line for alarm monitoring. We’re in a weak signal area too.

  10. #10
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    Interesting yes, which is a good question whatever it is. Is there any power nearby, assuming whatever it is connected to will need power of some sort. Are there any oil tanks nearby that might have had a battery operated sender for the level? We’re using much smaller dipoles (about 180mm long) for 4g connections today, backing up a phone line for alarm monitoring. We’re in a weak signal area too.
    A diploe or monopole antenna needs to be a fraction of the wavelength it's designed to receive (typically half wave or quarter wave). It looks like the various UK mobile operators transmit on a few different frequencies between 800Mhz and 2600Mhz, so would you need an antenna of appropriate length for your provider's frequency?

    It's been a long time since I studied radio frequency stuff, so I might be a bit flaky here.

  11. #11
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    Interesting yes, which is a good question whatever it is. Is there any power nearby, assuming whatever it is connected to will need power of some sort. Are there any oil tanks nearby that might have had a battery operated sender for the level? We’re using much smaller dipoles (about 180mm long) for 4g connections today, backing up a phone line for alarm monitoring. We’re in a weak signal area too.
    Yes, there is power and an oil tank nearby, but the tank is very close.

    All of the power sockets in the workshop have been run in shielded cable which adds to the mystery.

    There is an old cow-barn attached to the workshop, so it may have been some sort of alarm monitoring or radio link I guess?

  12. #12
    I have an aeriel like this for picking up 1090mhz flight data. We have a raspberry pi feeding data to flightaware.com

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