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Ext antennas and cell amps - how to improve GotW3 performance

dishstaller

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Jeff, I just noticed your pm this morning and figured I'd answer what I could here in the forum so others could read as well. On the GotW3's dashboard you'll see both signal strength and signal quality. Personally I've found that signal strength is VERY important but signal quality will determine how good the data connection is. You can have good strength but lousy quality and barely get Google's homepage to load. You can have sub-par strength but good quality and everything will pop very quickly even though speed test might show a number you would think would point to sub-par service. T-Mobile seems to require better stats than the AT&T does.

You asked about cell amplifiers and if they help an LTE unit's performance. In my experience, 90% of the time it does. I've had situations where the cell amp made ALL the difference in the world with how the GotW3 performed. I've had a few, rare cases where the cell amp brought both numbers right in line but performance still was sub-par, which points to a bad tower....not all towers have good data performance.
 

dishstaller

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BTW, signal quality is the SINR...how clean the signal is. Think back to the analog TV days...you could put up a good antenna and pump up the signal with an amp but if something was causing interference, you'd still have static in the pic even though your signal level was through the roof.
 

Antenna Man

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The example I used I installed a WeBoost 4G Connect. Customer called about boosting his "bars". He said he was getting 2-3 everywhere in his house. I wondered why he wanted to spend that kind of money if he was getting pretty good signal. He didn't mention dropped calls or Internet. I did the job, I had a mid -60s signal at the antenna and he got his "5 bars" throughout the house, the way he wanted. Toward the end was when I noticed the Fire Wire(?) LTE Internet modem/router. I hadn't plugged in the amp yet, so I had him do a speed test, 11ish. Plugged in amp, speedtest, 11ish. Before I messaged you I was thinking it was a quality thing, but still not having had my hands on a GotW3 yet, I know nothing of the settings. I did see one yesterday when a NH dealer I'm setting up to sell various things through us, pulled one out of his truck. Now the big question is, how do you get better quality and not just better signal? I'm thinking centering on the transmission, like we have to with DTV for the Ka sats, and not being happy with the initial good signal? I believe the Weboost outside antennas have a 30 degree angle of reception?

As for the antennas, have you found any good ones for inside and outside, that perform at least as well as the Wilsons, but lower priced? Always looking to save if it doesn't affect performance. Some of these bigger houses need multiple indoor panels.
 

dishstaller

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You were probably aiming that antenn for the 4G Connect at a Verizon or AT&T tower. His LTE modem was most likely pulling from another tower...like t-mobile.

If someone is having me install a cell amp and they have a Verizon phone but their GotW3 is pulling from an AT&T or T-Mobile tower and they are something like 20 degrees from each other, I ask the customer what they want me to maximize....cell phone or data, they usually pick data.

As for how to get better signal quality. You have to have your phone or tablet connected to a working GotW3 modem and use the numbers you see on the dashboard. Remember, if you are just putting an ext antenna on a GotW3 unit, you must go into the unit and tell it to look at the ext antenna. When you get your first one in give me a call and I'll walk you through it....very easy.
 

Barricklow

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May 9, 2002
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You guys seem to have the GotW3 thing figured out. We are just getting started. Don't have a clue about any of it yet. RS&I is the only player with it in this area, so I guess that is what we are doing. We worked with DSI but now of course P-10 for Viasat. I was waiting to se if DSI was going to deal with GotW3 but tried of waiting. Does this pay seem about right??? • Urban America Plan: $5.00 • Rural America Plan: $5.00 • Total Secure: $5.00 • Router Protection Plan: $0.75 • Identity Guard: $0.75
We will need to get a unit and play with it a bit. We did cell repeaters years ago when we were in the cell business but drifted away from it. I think there is some great potential with this and now that they have some limits on data, I think they are viable. Thoughts???
 

dishstaller

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You'll definitely want to set up both a Rural and Urban test unit. The resids really start to add up....QUICKLY!! You can power your test unit with a battery pack (like you'd use to charge your cell phone) and a USB to USB cable. The really nice thing about this setup is you can carry it around the customer's house and check different locations for signal and watch the numbers live rather than plugging it in over and over and having to logon each time.

If you sell in a small community, like a lake with a bunch of houses along the shore, ask the customer if they have a Next Door app that they use. If so, ask them to post about the great internet they've found....it is not unusual to sell several dozen from just ONE sale's referral.

The KING of the GotW3 retailer world is Eric aka totallyunwired. I'm #2 in sales for the country....he's #1. I feel like the horse behind Secretariat :D
 

Antenna Man

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I think it would be great if someone would make an FAQ for GotW3 and pin it to the top of this forum.
 

dishstaller

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I think it would be great if someone would make an FAQ for GotW3 and pin it to the top of this forum.
There's too many things that are still changing...they are a rapidly growing company and what is doctrine today might very well be heresy tomorrow.
 

SkyNet

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Jul 23, 2019
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I splurged and purchased a Wilson Pro Signal Meter. I have read the directions, been all through the menus, studied the operating bands for A.T.T and T-Mobile. I'm stuck.
Here's where I'm at. I have a Router setup in the store with an AT&T sim. I'm connected to a tower about a mile away from here. The cell I'm connected to shows an UL of 709 and a DL of 739. Signal Strength is -116. On the meter on LTE Band Using the "Channel Power" I have Bands 12,13, and 17 and I know 12 is T-mobile and 17 is AT&T, and I think 13 is verizon. So on 17 the meter shows -78. I don't understand the difference. Thanks
 

dishstaller

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On that GotW3 dashboard, what channel does it show you are on?
 

SOUNDSTATION

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Apr 24, 2001
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i have seen the GotW3 modem locking onto ch 2 AT&T with a low signal . I changed the modem to use only 12/17 and the signal & speed where better.
 

CyberDish

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Jul 23, 1999
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i have seen the GotW3 modem locking onto ch 2 AT&T with a low signal . I changed the modem to use only 12/17 and the signal & speed where better.
In my area, Ch 2 is almost ALWAYS the faster channel... 17 is usually better signal, but IF i can get 2 that's usually faster.
 

dishstaller

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You can try forcing it on different channels and see what you get. AT&T also uses ch 5 on some towers.

You'll spend a LOT of time getting to know the ins and outs of these things and even THEN you are going to be left scratching your head once in a while.
 

SkyNet

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I reconnected the router to the AT&T tower this morning and it connected on a cell that is on Channel 17. According to cellmapper.net, UL and DL are the same 709 and 739. My signal dropped from -116 down to -104. The meter shows -77 on LTE Band 17 (734-746). So going forward should I just assume that the meter has so much more power that it will always show about -25 better signal than the router?
 

dishstaller

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Cellmapper isn't totally accurate. That's why I mentioned ch 5. According to cellmapper, there IS no ch 5 on any of our towers. Some towers it shows only ch 4 but I have found that 12 is active as well.
 

SkyNet

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So do you find the meter to show a signal strength that is normally about 25 points better than what the router shows?
 

dishstaller

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I honestly have never compared the two. When I'm using the Wilson meter I'm installing a cell amp. When installing an ext antenna for the GotW3 I use the modem's dashboard numbers. I can tell you this....there is NO way a cell phone would work if you had a signal above -90db whereas that would be kick-butt signal for the GotW3 unit so I guess your observation of the numbers being calculated differently would be correct.
 

SkyNet

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Understand now. I thought you were using the Wilson Meter for both. I guess I should look into getting involved in cell amps so that I have a purpose for the meter. :LOL:
 

Antenna Man

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Just got back from my friend's house "installing" my first GotW3. The battery pack I ordered hasn't arrived yet, so I brought in an extension cord to locate the modem. She was at work, so I had free reign. I already had an idea where I was going to put the modem, because when I was there a couple of days ago I wandered around doing speed tests with my Opus iPad with the free ATT data, figuring it'd be similar. Wasn't impressed with the predetermined spot. Ended up in a window and took the metal screen out. Signal on the dashboard was -98, qual -7/8. Now I used the same iPad, with the same speedtest. Connected through WiFi to GotW3, I was getting about 11 down. Turned off the iPad WiFi so I was connecting to the tower with the iPad's data connection, I was getting 32 down. Repeated numerous times through both connections with the 2 devices nearly touching each other. What's up with that and what adjustment can I make in the GotW3 modem to bring up the speed I've proven with the iPad exists at this site?
 
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