Rocket HUB external antenna

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 76

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

I think that should work providing you can connect to an LTE service. I have no expertise in this area so am just going from the videos, reading, conversations I had with others and the results of my installation.


Perhaps others can comment on this:


The Canadian Cell tower map does not appear to list all the frequencies. I say this because from my conversation with Rogers support I connect to LTE at 700 MHz, and that frequency is not shown for the tower serving me on the Canadian Cell towers map.


There is another government site which you can search for frequencies licenses. It is likely more current and it contains many options which I don't understand.


I wonder if there is a way to put in a request to Rogers to ask for 2nd level assistance to determine the tower and frequencies most likely to be successful at your location.


As a start you could try the MF275R with the rabbit ear antenna to see if it gets LTE service and then record the signal level and download speed.. Then try your single Wilson antenna in place of one of the rabbit ear antennas and see if the signal level significantly improves and check the download speed. For comparison, you may want to check the download speed at a location with a very good signal, and closer to the tower. That will give you an idea as to the best speed that can be expected. The MF275's battery backup is quite good so it is not a lot of trouble to try it in other locations.


If you have a weak signal that improves with a single external antenna, adding a second antenna may double your speed when you add a second antenna.


Your old Wilson antenna may be a model 304411 which was rated for 800-2500 Mhz. It has been superceded with model 314411 which covers 700-2700 MHz. I don't know how significant that change is if one wants to receive a 700 MHz signal.


The 700MHz frequency is more capable than higher frequencies for handling distance and obstructions such as hills and trees. So Rogers may be planning to deploy it in wooded, remote locations.


Your best bet may be to do a few tests with the MF275 and your existing antenna, and go from there.

If testing shows you need to improve the signal the best bet is to try to get recommendations from Rogers technical people. I find the Rogers support people helpful and sincere but the coordination between different resource groups could be improved. What has worked for me twice when all-else failed was to send a specific request to Rogers Share a Concern. In your case I think you would want to include your account number, the exact location for your service with a request as to which tower and frequencies Rogers support personnel recommend to improve service. The person who helped me knew the terrain and tree cover for my area. His help was the key for my getting reliable service.  Before he helped I was assuming my signal came from a visible tower that does not even serve my area. 


Perhaps a Rogers person monitoring this thread could get some information as to which tower and frequency is most likely to give the best service.


But the first step is likely to do some testing to determine if an external antenna is even necessary and, if so, a rough idea of the improvement your old Wilson antenna gives. If you do need to buy an additional antenna it would be nice to get some help from Rogers technical people.

I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 2

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna



Was wondering if I could get some advice, from anyone, but I'v read through alot of the posts here(not all of them yet but alot them) and KCO you seem like you might be able to give me some good advice.


My situation is, I have the rogers rocket hub, up untill today I just had the old netcomm 3g model, but today I upgraded to the MF 275R. Wow what a difference! I did a test on my old modem and then tested new modem a minute later and old modem was Ping:80ms DL: 2.62mbps UL: 1.04mbps, which is about average, i could get up to 4.5 on a good day. New modem was Ping:30ms DL: 23.09mbps UL:1.74mbps.


So download is almost like 9x better and about 75% better upload, ping is very important to as i play video games.


My signal strength 96db


Anyways, while this is all good I want to make sure I am getting the best possible signal/download. The antenna I am using is somewhat old now, and while I think its still in good condition I'm wondering if there is better, aswell as from what I'v been reading in this thread, I'm wondering if I should be adding another antenna.


This is the antenna I'm using:


The external antenna I am seeing on amazon for the mf275:


Looks similiar but they are somewhat different, not sure if they are much different but, if the new one was better I would consider buying it, aswell as buying a second one to point at + - 45 degree angle if it would improve my download rate.


Other information is, I'm 2.2km from the tower I'm using. There is another tower closer, but I am about 700' higher then it and it is blocked by both tree's aswell as the horizon ground level. Basically the closer one has alot in between it and me. The 2.2km one is about 150-200feet higher then me, the ground level between me and there is fairly level and the tree's arn't to high along the path except for some tree's on my propert about 100' from my house, that I might cut down(they arn't to thick, although they are about 60' tall, I can see the sky through them).


Another thing is my antenna tower that I installed attached to the house, goes about 50' up, and has an extension that can go another 10'. My antenna is basically just using the cable it came with, which I think is 30'... so basically all things together I think the antenna is about 35-37' up, and it could go another 15'-20'. Raising it higher is obviously the lowest hanging fruit at the moment, I am looking at ordering a longer cable but want to figure out if I should be ordering 2 cables instead, and another(or two) antenna's.


Thanks for your time.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 76

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

I don't have expertise or any real knowledge about cell/radio coverage. My posts reflect the videos I referenced in this thread, advice from Rogers 2nd-level support, and the results of following his recommendations. Other than descriptions of my installation and observations of the signal improvement my comments are just opinions that my be incorrect.


I think 96 db is a good signal for LTE and your upload/download speeds are about what I get with a -92 dBm signal. My downloads are usually 20 to 25 Mbps. The odd time it goes to 28 or even 30 Mbps and at other times it goes to 15 Mbps. My signal is always -92 or -91, so I think (just musing again) the speed variance is due to the varying activity on the Rogers system. I notice the download speed is consistently 15 to 20 Mbps range in the early morning (04:00-05:30) when one would expect this system to be very quiet. So I wonder if it is large backups or system maintenance activities, etc. Perhaps once you have a good signal, the main limiting factor for speed is the system loading and configuration (again I don't know). I imagine (again don't know) that the MF275R's antennas are using the LTE dual-path capability at -96 dBm.


The MF275R's battery backup is quite good, so perhaps you could use it to see if a stronger signal improves speed for your area. You could try it at home and then go to an area where you have a fantastic signal from the same tower and see if there is much difference.


You could try to get an opinion from 2nd-level support, but I suspect it may be tough to get through seeing as you already have good service. I was able to get through (with a good amount of determination) because my service was marginal.


Is your 96 dBm signal with an external antenna, or is it with the hub's rabbit ears? If it is with the external antenna and the rabbit ears have a very poor signal, I imagine adding a second external antenna and cable would improve service. But if the rabbit ears get a good signal you may be getting full LTE anyway(again--just a thought with no expertise).


Sorry I can't help. Perhaps someone with technical knowledge can.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 9

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna



I wanted to follow-up with some results from my research and previous posts from a number of weeks ago. 


Thanks to the help and info provided by people in this thread I have successfully implemented an internet solution that is working very well for my situation.  Speeds vary throughout the day but range anywhere from 7Mbps to 40Mbps (that was at 2:00am one time so it's rare).  Usually speeds are in the 'teens' such as 12 to 15 Mbps. 


I essentially followed what others have done which is using the MF275 but with 2 simple Yagi external antennas angled perpendicular to each other as others have suggested (thanks kco!). 


I needed to implement a VERY long cable run at 175 feet so I used LMR400 cable with the antennas up high on an old TV antenna tower.  There is a cell tower only 5 km away but through Rogers support I was able to confirm that that tower is pointing in the wrong direction (away from me).  I generally got about 6 or 7Mbps from this tower and decent signal strength at just under -100dBm.  Surprisingly, when I point at a cell tower that is 11km away with terrible signal strength (-118dBm) I generally get those higher speeds I mentioned above. 


I would say a couple key observations or lesson's learned for those wondering if they should try this are:

1) Just because you rarely or never get an LTE signal on your phone, doesn't mean you won't get one with the MF275 and external antennas and then get great internet speeds

2) You can still get really good speeds even if your signal strength isn't great.  I think the external antennas must make this possible

3) It will still work with a really long cable run (which is likely contributing to my low signal strength) as long as you use good cables

4) You can still get good speeds with cheap Wilson Yagi style antennas ($60 to $75) even if the tower is a decent number of km's away.  The really expensive antenna that kco bought may be necessary for really long distances but likely it's better to try the cheaper ones first if you can


Thanks again for all of you who have contributed to this thread! 

I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 2

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Thanks for a great thread & everyone who contributed.


I'm in a similar situation as most of you; rural area with weak LTE signal. Recently got the ZTE MF275 from rogers. From inside the house I couldn't get the LTE signal, was stuck with the 4G signal (yellow light on the D indicator of the modem).


Got this antenna from Proxicast which I expected to help me achieve typical LTE Ping, Dl & Ul speeds.


I installed the antenna 10 feet over the roof of the house & pointed it towards the closest Rogers Tower (based on the Canadian Cellular Towers Map:


Managed to achieve some great performances, but these were far from consistent. I often lose the LTE "Green Light" on the modem, and it's associated performance.


Question: What tool, application or method do you guys use to measure dbm & adequately point the antenna? I've used the Ookla speed test, but it was labor intensive. I'm sure there's a better way to do it.


Thaks in advance.

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 76

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

I used my phone connected to the MF275 via wifi to check the antenna alignment.  You can see the signal quality by logging into the MF275. The signal is more important and indicative of what to expect for speed, etc. The upload/download speeds and pings have many variables such as tower loading and loading at the destinations, etc.


The cell tower map shows details if you click on the the Rogers name for the tower. It shows the frequencies, power, and direction of the antennas for each frequency.  However, there can be quite a delay before upgrades are shown on the tower map.


The closest tower may not provide the best signal for your location. The lower frequencies are better for long distances and obstuctions such as trees and terrain. 


You may want to request 2nd level help to determine where you should aim your antenna.  Give them the address for your service. They will also want the phone number assigned to your MF275. They can quickly find where, and the frequency for your connection.   It took some effort for me to contact 2nd-level, but well worth it. 




I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 2

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna


I managed to find time to climb back on the roof to try & align my Proxicast antenna a bit better. Logging on to the MF275's Information tab revealed a signal strength parameter which I based myself on.

I managed to achieve -116 dBm. This adjustment seemed to provide the best LTE stability, as the Hub didn't revert to the lower standard 4G connexion since.

Is -116 dBm an acceptable, or marginal signal strength? What signal strength shoud I achieve or at least aim for?

Is it still worth contacting Rogers 2nd level support is these circumstances?

Sincere thanks to kco for all the help he provided here!
Posts: 1,437

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Any community members out there able to help @SPEEDEM0N with his issue?



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 76

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Here is a link to an article discussing LTE signal strength:


which indicates -116 dBm is marginal.


Do you know the signal strength without the external antenna--i.e. with the MF275's rabbit ears? That would give an idea of your external antenna's effectiveness. What is the length of cable to the external antenna, and what type of cable are you using? If it is long consider using a low loss cable such as LMR400. There are online charts showing the loss per unit length for various cables. I have no expertise in communications technology. But from what I have read, what seems like small dBm improvements are significant. Signals are on a log scale, so a 3 dB improvement (e.g. -116 dBm to -113 dBm) indicates a doubling of signal strength.


It likely is a good idea to try for help from 2nd-level support. There may be towers which could provide a better signal. That was my situation. I thought I could see the tower serving me but I was mistaken.


I likely would not have solved my marginal service without 2nd-level support's help. You can likely get 2nd-level help if you make a clear request through the regular Help line. Provide details in your request to make it easy for 2nd-level support:


1. Location--give your exact street address and/or latitude/longitdue from Google Earth
2. phone # attached to your MF275 hub
3. make/model of your antenna. Provide a URL link to the antenna
4. signal with and without your external antenna


With your MF275's phone number they can easily determine the tower to which you are connecting and the frequency and quality of your connection.


Your request should be that you want advice that may help improve your signal quality. That is, you are not requesting they change anything or solve it for you.


The 2nd-level support was great when he helped me. He was able to see my exact location, trees, and profile of the terrain to the tower. He told me I should try to connect over 700 MHz with a true MIMO antenna. That's all I needed to significantly improve my service's reliability.



I've Been Around
Posts: 1

Re: Rocket HUB external antenna

Help with the ZTE MF275R Hub and the Wilson Pro 70 booster


I just installed a Wilson Pro 70 booster and it helped my phone go from -116 db to -65 db on the Rogers LTE band. But it did not have any effect on my ZTE MF275R Hub - stuck at -121 db signal strength.


Anyone know why my booster would not have any effect on my hub when my phone and hub are connecting to the same network and band?