kco has the right information in his post above.
To verify the tower you are pointing at is indeed Rogers' and LTE you can use this map:
If the panel antenna you have is the one like this:
The gain on this antenna is only 4-7db, so as kco points out, the cable loss with LMR200 can almost negate the gain of the antenna. Thus explaining your observation of no real improvement in signal strength and speeds.
I did a quick calculation and the comparative losses of the two cable types over the 30 foot run you currently have is:
Loss: 5.7db (includes connector losses)
Loss per 100 feet: 16.9db
Loss: 2.3db (includes connector losses)
Loss per 100 feet: 6.8db
If you verify that you are pointed at a "good" tower, I would think that just switching to LMR400 coax might get you improved signal without raising the antenna height. If it's easy to raise the antenna to give it a clearer line of sight to the tower, then I would do both the height change and the LMR400 cable.
Thanks for the info everyone!
I am connecting at LTE from what the router page says. Its at 3/5 bars usually and -108dBm now.
There are 2 towers about 4km from me. They are:
Tower 1 - 850/1900
Tower 2 - 850/1900/2100/2600
Neither are really in the line of sight but ther aren't any large hills between me and them.
I'm assuming that its the 2600 tower is the one I'm connecting at LTE to.
That is the antenna I have.
Any suggestions where to find some LMR400 cable that is preterminated with the correct connectors?
I got my 50' LMR400 cable at infinitecables.com:
Connectors were N-male and SMA-male for $96.95. I also got a 1' RG174 SMA male to SMA female jumper to connect from the large cable to the router--cost was $11.20. Total cost with taxes ($6.72) and shipping (to BC-$26.11) was $140.98. It looks like you will need SMA connectors (male and female) on both ends of your LMR 400 cable if you want to stick with your existing panel antenna.
I already had one 50' cable. You will need two for LTE. They can put whatever end connectors you desire on the cable. I went with the small SMA on one end so I could drill a smaller hole through the house wall.
It looks like I was mistaken about the cable ends you will need when I replied yesterday. Reading more about the antenna it looks like it may has FME male connections rather than SMA connectors as I stated.
I have very limited understanding (close to none) of antennas. My comments are just from my research and experience with my installation. It seems -108 dBm is weak for being just 4 km from the tower. Before spending significant money on cables it may be wise to do more research.
One thing to check on the cell tower map is the antennas' directions. You can see them by clicking on the different frequencies. It shows the antennas and azimuth (direction from true north) for each frequency, but it does not give the aperature (angle for coverage of the signal). As stated in earlier posts, my service is fed from a tower 31 km away and behind trees. Luckily the line of trees is not too close to my location. I was surprised to discover which Rogers installation was serving me. I had assumed it was a tower visible on a high ridge. However, the tower I was seeing was a microWave tower with no cell services. I had mistaken it for one on the cell tower map which is on another ridge behind the one where I see the microWave tower. There IS one other Rogers cell tower I can see on the closer ridge, but it only feeds the Silver Star ski hill which is the opposite direction from me. It has no antenna feeding my direction.
I do have another Rogers tower about 4 km directly to the east of me. But I am behind a huge hill and get no signal. I can get a great signal if I walk 1/4 mile south so it is not so badly obscured by the hill.
It took five calls; but Rogers was a great help when I finally got a contact with 2nd-level support. That person was able to quickly find the which tower was serving me by checking the telephone number assigned to my HUB. He was well prepared. He had checked my address and told me that the tower I thought was serving me was behind the intervening ridge. It was after our discussion that I discovered Google Earth Pro(which is free) actually has a function that lets you see the ground profile for a path between two points, and I could see it for myself. The contact with the Rogers 2nd-level support person also revealed that the cell tower map is not completely up todate. He says Rogers has 700 MHz in my area in addition to the ones shown on the cell tower map. He also told me of 2016 upgrades in my area (North Okanagan), none of which will help me. He suggested an external directional antenna would help improve service--and it did.
Your best bet might be to try to get a conversation with 2nd-level support. Before calling, give them your address, equipment you are using, your Rogers hub account number and phone number associated phone number, and signal levels you are seeing with the MF275 rabbit ears. Hopefully they will help.
Your antenna is an omni-directional one which is good if you have multiple possibilities for cell signal sources. But if you have just one possibility, a directional antenna would be more effective. (my choice is obvious--I'm surrounded by hills on three sides). The person may also know if the speeds you are seeing are reasonable considering congestion, etc.
Before spending a lot of effort and money, it may be best to try to get some help from Rogers. I found it a bit of a struggle but it paid off in the long run.
One other thought about download speeds. If possible, check them through a wired ethernet connection with only one computer connected to the hub so as to rule out WIFI problems, etc.
Another Canadian source of the LMR400 cables would be:
They have the pre-made cables at the link above and you would need 2 of the adapters below at the antenna end to convert N male on the coax to the FME male end that it needs to connect to the antenna:
A couple of notes for you:
- Gap Wireless can make you the correct cable so you don't need the adapter. Just call them.
- I'm not sure the above adapter is the correct one. The Amazon page for your antenna says that the coax with the antenna has SMA Male and FME Male as the ends, but the picture (it's pretty blurry) looks like it's SMA Male to FME Female. Please double check this before ordering.
I am feeling very fortunate that with the stock mf 275 right out of the box , I get 32 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up.
My previous ZTE mf 271 could only muster 5-7 down and 1-2 up!
cousinjerry, message 48 in this thread will give you readings I had for 30 km from the tower and the improvement when adding a high gain yagi antenna. Message 47 has links to some videos about antennas and to some antenna suppliers' sites.