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Rocket HUB external antenna

BeerHunter125
I'm a Trusted Enthusiast

I'm wondering if Rogers will ever introduce a Rocket HUB with external antenna capabilities again. My trusty old NetComm is getting aged and limited to 3G.

 

***Edited Labels***

 

96 REPLIES 96

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

ManicMechanic
I Plan to Stick Around

I have the MF275R and through testing and reading determined that you do need 2 antennas for the unit for LTE it uses MIMO (Multi-in, Multi-out) signaling.

 

It appears based on my testing, the right port (when viewing the back of the unit) is the receive antenna and the left port is the transmit.  Through further testing it seems (at least in my location) that the receive is vertical polarization and the transmit is horizontal.  The polarization means that if you use a directional antenna (like a yagi) the transmit one should be horizontal and the receive one should be vertical.

 

Hope this helps.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Geezer
I Plan to Stick Around

Thank you for that. Now we are getting somewhere.

 

So looking at the hub from the front with both rabbit ears removed, the antenna connector which shows on the right (left if viewing from the back) should be polarized so that it connects to the vertical component in a MIMO antenna array and the opposite (horozontal) for the other side.

 

Sorry, but it gets confusing when you speak of looking from the front and or/looking from the back. Maybe we should refer to the SIM card side (right from the front, left from the back) and the non-SIM card side.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

ManicMechanic
I Plan to Stick Around

Based on my testing, it looks like the SIM card side antenna should be horizontal polarization and the non-SIM card side should be vertical polarization.

 

This is based on my changing the antenna polarization and running speed tests.  Since MIMO can use reflected and bounced signals, this may be unique to my installation.  So it may be case of "your mileage may vary".

 

I would try your directional MIMO antenna connected as I have suggested and run some speed tests.  Then switch them and run some more tests.  Connect it in whatever way yields the best results.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

So I have an existing Yagi antenna with only one direction (vertical I presume).  Can I use it on an MF275R on the receive side  and then use the built-in antenna for horizontal (transmit)?  

 

Related question - is there an advantage to the MF275R over the MF970?  I don't need it for travel purposes, and do not need the phone option.   It would be continuously plugged in so that I can have remote wifi control for my thermostat and security camera.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

ManicMechanic
I Plan to Stick Around

mmax, you can certainly hook up your existing Yagi to the receive side which is the right SMA antenna connector when viewed from rear or the "non-SIM card side", whichever way is easier to orient yourself.

 

I ran like this for a while until I hooked up two antennas as I had a Yagi for the old HSPA rocket hubs.  You will get good download and OK upload that way depending on your signal strength etc.

 

One thing to note is that some older wide band Yagi's don't go up to the 2600Mhz that I think Rogers uses in some areas for LTE.  Since it's on the receive side it won't matter too much, but you probably won't get the full gain rated on the antenna.

 

Related to the comparison of the MF275 and the MF970, I don't have experience with the MF970 but in looking at the info online, it looks to be geared toward being a portable device (small, large internal battery, no exposed antennas...) where the MF275 is geared toward a somewhat more permanent installation.

 

Hope that helps.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Thanks... it looks like my existing antenna doesn't hit 2.6 Ghz, which is what I can get at our cottage.  Any suggestions on a good antenna and where to find it?

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Geezer
I Plan to Stick Around

I just experimented with my Wilson triangular plastic looking Yagi antenna that I have had on a pole beside my house for awhile. I used it to good effect with the Erikkson W35 Hub, so I thought I'd try it with the MF275R. I attached it to the non-SIM side antenna connector. It did not go particularly well. The interface showed three bars of signal strength but I get four bars without it and my Internet was noticeably slower with it attached. So, I am back to the rabbit ears that came with the Hub. It actually gets pretty nice results (23 Mbps Down and 8 Mbps Up). I am pretty satisfied with that considering that I got less than 5 Mbps down and 2 or 3 Mbps up with the MF28B which could only connect to the standard 4G network.

 

I don't really think that an external antenna is going to improve my speeds on the MF 275R that much.

 

Anyone want a used Wilson white plastic Yagi antenna free? I'll throw in the pole

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

mmax
I'm Here A Lot

Geezer -  that's pretty encouraging news.  I'd be very satisfied with that level of connection speed.  I've got the same Yagi that you do, with the same results on a 763s Aircard that I'm replacing with the MF 275R.  Will let you know how it looks.  I'm hopeful as we do get very good signal strength at our cottage.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

ManicMechanic
I Plan to Stick Around

I also found the "rabbit ears" worked surprisingly well, but external antennas really improved speed and repeatability/stability.  I had about -100 to -110 dBm signal with the standard antennas and went to -67 to -80 dBm with the external antennas.

 

I used 2 of the following antennas, one horizontal one vertical about 1m apart:

http://www.citywireless.ca/product_info.php?product_id=BMVBR1210CLPYAGI

 

There is also another more compact and less expensive option that I have not tried, that doesn't have the same gain as the Yagi's and may work well if you already have reasonable coverage:

http://www.amazon.ca/Indoor-Outdoor-Antenna-NETGEAR-MBR1516/dp/B016V2IWZA/

 

There are also several other similar options on Amazon.ca.  Searching for "wide band Yagi" or "LTE MIMO antenna" gets several "hits".

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Thanks.  I found the same seller on ebay... less $

 

Newbie question - is the "transmit" antenna for WiFi?  If so, am I better off keeping that antenna using the single rabbit ear inside our cottage or using both in the combo antenna on our roof?

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

ManicMechanic
I Plan to Stick Around

Hi mmax,

 

Based on my testing and observations both the external antennas are used for the cellular LTE connection.  I think the wi-fi antenna is internal to the base unit.

 

On the antenna on eBay, just make sure that it comes with the coax cables to lead from the unit to the outside antenna.  I found some antennas on-line that you needed to buy the cables separately, so the price wasn't quite as good as it initially looked.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Geezer
I Plan to Stick Around

I checked out the MiMo antennas listed in Amazon and the small indoor/outdoor ones seem to be identical although the listing mentions specific Hubs targeted for their use. The antenna listed for the MF275R is this one:

 

http://www.amazon.ca/Indoor-Outdoor-Antenna-MF275R-Rocket/dp/B0182ISUX0/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A3...

 

It appears to have a double ended pigtail connector and comes bundled with two low-rent 30' cables which I would probably want to replace with heavier low loss cables.

 

I just have to consider whether the small boost in performance would be worth the $135 price tag

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

I just bought this external antenna for the subject Rocket Hub.

 

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00VTQKQ3A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

The instructions say "When the adapter is placed over the internal antenna of any hotspot, hubs, USB modem or data card the it will divert its signal to a more powerful external antenna."

 

Has anyone had any luck with this device?  I have tried placing this adapter all over the MF271 with no luck.

 

I am pretty sure my External Yagi antenna is pointing to the proper tower.

 

Thanks for any input,

Boomer

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

ManicMechanic
I Plan to Stick Around

Hi Boomer13,

 

The MF271 is different than the MF275 that was the unti that I provided the information on.  The MF275 has actual female SMA antenna connectors on the base unit, so the external antenna connects right to it.

 

I can't comment on that passive patch for the MF271.

 

Hopefully someone else on the forum can help.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Geezer
I Plan to Stick Around

There is a dealer somewhere in Quebec who used to sell something like that in a full kit (antenna, amplifier, and a passive thing that looks like the picture of the Amazon thingy). He was asking something like $500 for the kit and I don't think he got many orders for it. It was for the ZTE MF28B that has no antenna connectors either. I think the site has disappeared. I have been looking for it but have come up empty.

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Thanks for the comments.

 

I started a new thread with this question for this particulat Hub and it was moved to this one.  I am assuming because it was very similar.

 

Anyways, I did get the following reply back from the supplier.

 

The Question was:

Q

"Where on the rogers zte mf271 lte rocket hub is the internal antenna located? i tried all around it and the signal did not change."

A

"The is passive adapter which doesn't work as good as adapter which can plug into the device directly. Normally, it's back of device at the bottom or along the side edge. You can attach adapter and wait for a while to watch signal change, You can also move device to different places to test. Rogers has new hub available now, the model is ZTE MF275 which has antenna port, it's better than ZTE MF271."

 

I have not have a chance to try this yet (wait a while longer), but I will this weekend and I will share the results.

 

Thanks

 

Boomer

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Just a follow up to my last reply........

 

I tried using the passive adapter this weekend for a while and did not get any results.

 

Thanks

Boomer

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

ManicMechanic
I Plan to Stick Around

Hi Boomer13,

 

Not sure if you still have warranty on the MF271 or how much of a DIYer you are, but I would be tempted to open up the MF271, find the lead that goes to the internal antenna(s) and solder an external connector onto it. Then you should essentially have the MF275 as they look pretty similar just don't have the external antennas.

 

BTW, what is the signal strength you currently have on the MF271?  Is adding the external antenna really required?

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Spoiler
 

Thanks Manic:

 

No, adding an external antenna is not vital for me, but I have to put the MF271 at a certain place in my house to be able to get an LTE signal and the associated speed.   This place is far enough away from where we ussually use the connection that I require a wifi extender.  Not a big deal, but I would perfer the signal right from the Hub itself.

 

I believe the best signal strength I can get is around 92 to 95 dB (as read by the hub) while where I would perfer to put the hub it is about 10 to 15 dB more than this and drops the signal to 4G.

 

Like I said, it is not a big deal, I just like playing around to find the best signal.  I am out in the country and this hub with the 100 GB package is the best I can find for my location. 

 

Boomer

 

 

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

mjl4111
I've Been Here Awhile

I just purchased and installed that kit exactly for my new Rockethub ZTE MF275.  

 


@Geezer wrote:

I checked out the MiMo antennas listed in Amazon and the small indoor/outdoor ones seem to be identical although the listing mentions specific Hubs targeted for their use. The antenna listed for the MF275R is this one:

 

http://www.amazon.ca/Indoor-Outdoor-Antenna-MF275R-Rocket/dp/B0182ISUX0/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A3...

 

It appears to have a double ended pigtail connector and comes bundled with two low-rent 30' cables which I would probably want to replace with heavier low loss cables.

 

I just have to consider whether the small boost in performance would be worth the $135 price tag


 

 

The cables are something I would definitely consider upgrading (the end at the hub already pulled out once, while trying to screw it on)

I extended mine with an additional 30 ft of cable, and mounted it on a mast that was already on my roof. (about 30ft off the ground)

 

Before I installed the external MIMO antenna, I was consistently getting 5-8Mbps down, and 1-2Mbps up, with the standard antenna's and sitting in a window facing the tower)

 

With the new antenna, my speeds are in the 20Mbps down, and 5Mbps up.  The fastest has been 27.63Mbps down, 6.73Mbps up  (speedof.me & speedtest.net)

 

My signal strength did not seem to improve,  but the speeds are well worth the investment in my installation.

 

ZTE MF275

approx 6Km from tower

Signal Strength -113 dBm

 

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Geezer
I Plan to Stick Around

It is good to see someone beating the bushes on the antenna front. I too picked up the identical antenna kit from Amazon, but have not gotten around to installing it yet. I think I'll have to hire someone to do the work since I am not as agile on the roof and on a ladder as I used to be. I'll keep in touch and report on how thing go when I decide to go ahead with the work.