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Appropriate high gain antenna for this 4G LTE turbo hub

Posted on 2013-06-14
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I have one of these:

http://www.bell.ca/Mobility/Products/NETGEAR-MBR1516-Turbo-Hub

It's a 4G LTE Bell turbo hub, for providing 4G Internet in rural areas.

I'm not getting very good cellular signal strength for the 4G/LTE connection, so the Internet is pretty poor. The device reports that the cellular internet connection is around -87DB, and it really should be better than -70DB for optimal performance.

The manual says I can attach 2x external antenna to the antenna ports on the back of the device, which will help boost the strength of the 4G/LTE connection

So I'm trying to find an appropriate 4G/LTE external antenna I can use on this hub.

Note: This is NOT the Wifi signal strength, this is for the cellular 4G/LTE Internet connection to Bell's cell towers.

Here's the user guide for the device, it discusses using an external antenna on page 12:

http://support.bell.ca/_web/Guides/user-guides/Mobile/NETGEAR/NETGEAR-En/4G_LTE_NETGEAR_MBR1516_Turbo_Hub_user_guide.pdf

The problem is that the connectors for the antenna look a little weird - it's different from a typical wireless router which has a threaded connector with a pin in the middle. This connecter does not have a pin, instead it has a receptacle, so all of the high gain wifi antennas I have floating around won't work.

This leads me to believe that it needs a specific kind of 4G/LTE antenna, not just any old 802.11 wireless antenna.

See this picture of the connector:

Antenna connector on netgear turbohub

What's the best antenna to get?
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Question by:Frosty555
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by:terencino
terencino earned 500 total points
ID: 39249423
The Yagi antenna are great for boosting reception, a bit of a pain to install but might work for your situation. This one from eBay has the adapter to suit your model. But if you already have some high-gain antennas you just need to search for an adapter which has an SMA Male end to match the SMA Female on your hub. The adapter would cost probably less than $10 online. Depends what you have on your own antenna though, possibly FME but there are a few different types.
Hope that helps
...Terry
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by:Frosty555
ID: 39250363
Hi terencino,

The antenna that I have are basically some high-gain antennas that I pulled off of old wireless N routers. So, for example, I have the antennas from a TP-Link router like this one

http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?categoryid=238&model=TL-WR841N

Is this antenna different from the type that would be used for 4G/LTE signal on the Netgear? Or is an antenna is an antenna is an antenna?

Would it be valid for me to get an adapter such as this:  http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Regular-SMA-Male-Reverse-Polarized-SMA-RP-SMA-Female-Coax-Plug-Connector-Adapter-/360624451168?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53f6e46e60&_uhb=1, and then use a high gain WiFi antenna? Would there be too much signal leakage out of those adapters? Or would the whole thing just not work at all because those are the wrong kind of antenna?
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terencino earned 500 total points
ID: 39250893
I would be surprised if your antennas are any different to the Netgear antennas, other than the adapter perhaps, and the one you selected looks like good quality. You need to switch the mobile broadband settings from internal to external antenna apparently. It is worth trying, very little to lose, and potentially much improved gain!
...Terry
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