Outdoor antenna works wonders, YAY!

biometrics

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
71,861
Thanks V3G for installing the outdoor antenna. It's making a BIG difference. Got 4/5 to 5/5 bars. Very few disconnects. Downloads and even my uploads are looking good ...

Will give more feedback in a few days, but this is looking very positive.

For the curious, see this picture (it's the bottom one, not the grid at the top which is my wifi antenna): http://www.biometrics.co.za/3GAntenna.jpg

PS: There was no charge, double yay!
 

grubsner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
375
Peter

please give us some more info...

From the pictures I can gather that you're using the Broadband antenna from Poynting code LPDA-A0020.

What type of coax are you using between the ant and card? And how long is it?
Did you manage to get a suitable edge connector to fit the Novatel card?

What was you signal strength with the Vodafone OEM ext antenna?
 

biometrics

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
71,861
Vodacom supplied and installed it. They cut the connector off an external antenna. Cable length I'd guess is 10 meter. Don't know much about cables but the following is printed on it: ANDREW(R) CINTA(R) TYPE CNT-240 G83785-5 0384m*

Signal strength with external was 1/5-2/5 bars. Now 4/5-5/5.
 

biometrics

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
71,861
Updated picture to show cable connected to tail to card with cable tail connection zoomed up.
 

Tazz_Tux

Linux Guru
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
622
Hey Biometrics,

From what I can gather that wifi ant. is pointing in the same direction as the 3G. Are you sure the two are playing together nicely or did I mis judge those. I know the freq. are diff. but I have seen some (not that I say you have) dodgy wifi stuff (2.2 and 2.4 arnt that far apart)

Just a thought :)

Laterz !

biometrics said:
Updated picture to show cable connected to tail to card with cable tail connection zoomed up.
 

biometrics

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
71,861
3G is around 2 GHz and Wifi 2.4 GHz (I think). So it shouldn't. But at the moment my wifi is off anyway. I used to bridge through a high point to the office 30 km away.
 

vodacom3g

Vodacom Representative
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
12,065
Biometrics (as our willing Guinea Pig :) ) did get one of the new Poynting external antennas. Thee are going through their final lab certifications and in due course will be available.

There are two external directional antennas available and Poynting is developing a desktop directional unit.

Here's a question for the forum:

1) Should these antennas be made available to the general public to purchase directly? (For you bunch, a rhetorical question!, but think broader...)
2) If so, how would they install and align them? These are high gain, directional units. I have visions of people trying to set up their DSV satellite dishes, guy on the roof, wife in the study....
3) Maybe someone offering an installation service with proper meters, etc. Could be Vodacom, but probably an outsourced effort.

Let me rephrase the above: "If you get one of these antennas, how would you install and align it?"

(For example, Get the tower(s) GPS co-ords and use Google Earth...)
 

v3gout

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
367
Maybe the DSTV way would be best: include the cost of installation in the price, and outsource the installation to someone with the right equipment and knowledge.
 

vodacom3g

Vodacom Representative
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
12,065
Doing an outdoor directional installation probably will be a once off, so these models could work.

What happens when we get an indoor directional antenna? How do you know which way to point it....?
 

vodacom3g

Vodacom Representative
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
12,065
I guess that's the obvious answer, but we'll need to check how quickly the signal strength meter reacts and by how many degrees you need to turn the antenna at a time.

Let's assume 10 degrees at a time and you need to let it stabilise for 5 seconds. Thats a potential 3 minutes of antenna turning, excluding potential elevation. Although it does not sound like a long time, try it for yourself.

I can see a lot of frustrated calls to the call desk, but then, by the time your call is answered, you probably have got it set up....
 

bb_matt

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
5,616
Oh yeah man !

Nothing quite like a portable internet solution - fantastic.
So, biometrics, does that Outdoor antenna fold up and fit in your laptop bag ?

Only in South Africa !

Vodacom understands the need to work on the move, the need to be in touch and informed at all times, which is why we bring you the Vodafone Mobile Connect Card, keeping you up to date with all the latest developments.
 

biometrics

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
71,861
Oh no, that's a permanent installation! Got a long enough lead inside to sit at table our couch (which 3G was meant for) ...

If the new directional antenna V3G mentioned is small enough, I'd carry it with me. I already take the external with me anyway and use it as standard.
 

bb_matt

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
5,616
Oh, ok. Just doesn't seem logical to me - the fact that you need to have your laptop connected to a big aerial on the roof in order to get decent reception. The whole concept of portability is lost ?
 

vodacom3g

Vodacom Representative
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
12,065
Vodacom 3G's main claim to fame is Mobile Broadband. We all understand this and most people will use it this way.

However the network is new and some areas will have no coverage yet and some areas will have patchy coverage (as in Biometrics case).

So we've got a choice here.

1) Use the built-in antenna when you're mobile in areas with good coverage. When you're out of good 3G coverage, but still mobile, use GPRS.

2) Use the built-in antenna when you're mobile in areas with good coverage. When you're out of good 3G coverage, but fixed, use GPRS.

3) Use the built-in antenna when you're mobile in areas with good coverage. When you're out of good 3G coverage, but fixed, use external 3G antenna.

Not going to take a rocket scientist to figure which one forumites will go for :)
 

vodacom3g

Vodacom Representative
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
12,065
bb_matt, that's actually the small external antenna!

I'll try and find a photo of the larger one, it's about a meter in length.
 

Radimpe

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2005
Messages
15
I'm seriously considering dumping my vodacom contract since i still cannot get the 3g speed. After speaking to Vodacom project engineer, we were supposed to get 3g around may. now we still only have gprs. This antenna however could really have me reconsider my options. Q: will it help me to get 3g. or will I just have better gprs?
 
Top