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Further 4G + 4G+ testing in regards to my post
That's great that it now does the 800MHz band as previously it only covered 1800-2100MHz.  This means it should give 4G+ with Three.

The gain figure only applies on the 1800MHz band.  With 800MHz, I reckon it would be no more than about 8dB (like a panel antenna) as the UHF band doesn't focus very well due to the much larger wave length.  For example, I have tried the MicroTik LHG "Dish" LTE antenna a year ago due to its 17dBi rating as I was hoping to improve the weak signal I get on the 800MHz band.  After having no luck getting a signal at home, I took it to my workplace where there's good 4G+ Three reception just to make sure it works.  On the 1800MHz band, the RSRP was at least 10dB stronger than my phone, but on the 800MHz band the reading was the same as my phone.  I checked with MicroTik and indeed the 800MHz band had something like 2dB gain, like an omni-directional antenna!

As your 800MHz signal on Three is quite strong with the LOG antennas, the dish should still give a good usable signal on that band in addition to the much greater 1800MHz gain. 

Your main challenge will locating the signal with the dish as there's no sat beeper to assist and the router of course takes several seconds to show a network once it picks up the signal.  As a start, you can try setting it to the 800MHz band since the larger wavelength means the dish can probably be out by 20-30 degrees and still pick up the signal.  Then switch to the 1800MHz to fine tune the signal. 

As for the range limit (the suspect issue with Vodafone), unfortunately no amount of gain can overcome the round trip time limit, unless you can figure out how to make the signal travel faster than the speed of light. Big Grin  The cell radio measures the round trip to determine the timing advance for the modem in your router.  That allows it to transmit at the precise time to be in sync with the transmissions of other users on that cell.  If the timing advance measurement exceeds a certain value configured by the operator, the site will refuse access. 

Hopefully the dish works out for you.  Just make sure it's well secured to a strong wall bracket as storms are a pain for moving them off alignment.
Yeah the issue is now where do I mount it, do you think the scaffolding pole in the treee would be a bad idea? I guess it is cuz even the log antennas catch enough wind to make them point in the wrong direction when its very windy, its easy to adjust them back to where they were though. so the dish is probably going to catch even more wind Big Grin
The side of the house isn't as high up as the tree. Going to be a tough one to figure out.
To give you can idea of how much wind an 80cm dish can catch, we had an 80cm Metronic transparent dish mounted on our shed roof.  We originally purchased it as it was described as being able to withstand coastal weather conditions as our previous dish had rusted to pieces.  While we're in a valley, it does get quite stormy here at times.  

I think we had it up for maybe a year and after a nasty storm our satellite receiver said no signal.  The following morning I thought I'll grab the spanners and meter to reposition it only to look outside and see this . . .  Cry


I tried contacting Metronic about it and they never responded, so replaced it with a Sky dish.  I figured if another storm breaks this, at least it's tiny fraction of what the Metronic dish was.  Apart from the odd nasty storm blowing it off alignment, it's already outlasted the Metronic dish. 

If you attach it to the scaffolding pole, make sure it's very well secured (with guy-wires if possible) to the ground.
Cry  Oh nooo thats what I'm afraid of. It gets  very windy here too not that far from the coast and up high on the hill.  I wonder could I attach it to the tree itself without it being blown out of alignment every time. They still havent even dispatched it yet and I ordered it Saturday night... Thought it'd be sent out this morning. Really looking forward to trying it out since I've kind of run out of options otherwise I think Big Grin.
So dish finally came and I got some help to try find a place to put it, tried putting it on the pole where my 2 log antennas are like this even cut away a lot of branches.
[Image: 69n1j0a.jpg]
Unfortunately I couldn't get the signal for 1800 Mhz to work, I tried using 800 Mhz as a guideline to try  adjust it toward the mast, best reading I could get on 4G @ 800Mhz was about -98 or -97 dBm. [I can get at best -87 dBm with the current LOG setup on 800] I think it picked it up initially for a minute i think it got about 2 bar on 1800 Mhz but lost it immediately and tried to get it back but I couldnt at all , felt pretty hopeless  Cry  I tried tilting the dish up and down , depending on what way the aerial was mounted , tilting up would make signal better , then if i mounted it the other way, tilting dish down would make it improve. We ended up just taking it down since couldn't seem to get it to work and since it'll catch a lot of wind it's just gonna move my current log antennas around probably. Kind of gave up with it atm and since they were probably fed up moving the antenna around at that stage since it took so long to setup  Big Grin . With these antennas I got  , purchased them from here  to see specs :

[Image: oxnr0uq.png]
On 1800 Mhz with those antennas, this is what I get... Its pretty great download wise but I'm lacking the upload that I need , Do you know of any other antenna option I can try that'd possibly improve the signal strength on band 3?
That's a real pity and unfortunately, this is what I meant about it going to be a real challenge.  With the 800MHz band, the dish acts more like a flat surface, so can be way out.  Even with the Mikrotik dish antenna I've used, it performs no better than my phone in the spot on 800MHz.

For the 1800MHz band which can be focused, it is going to take a lot of trial & error to get a lock.  It reminds me of the days when we had analogue satellite TV and spending an hour or two up the ladder trying to find the right satellite despite knowing roughly where the dish needed to point. 

From what I could tell online, offset dishes have a 22 degree offset.  This means for the dish to be pointing level, the front of the dish needs to be tilted down by 22 degrees.  If you don't have a bubble level with an inclinometer, there's an App called "Army Knife" (link) which has a bubble level utility and this shows the angle the phone is tilted at.  You can place the left or right side of the phone against the middle of the dish (centre of the bolt heads) and it will show the current inclination angle.  Tilt the dish down until this reads + or - 22 degrees.  The following is a rough drawing I made to give an idea:


With the dish tilted down 22 degrees, you can then try turning the dish a few degrees at a time checking if the router will switch to 1800MHz and repeat.  If there's no signal after trying left/right ~20 degrees, you can then try increasing the inclination by 3-4 degree increments, e.g. 18 degrees, then 14 degrees.  

The only other band 3 antennas I can think of would be a pair of the following.  This proscan-antenna seller previously sold these as a pair complete with the spacing bracket, so may be worth contacting to see if they still have it:
Ill have to give it one more proper go going by the graph before I give up on it. Ill take a picture of the aerial itself now and show you , theres some arrows on it , i think its something about vertical and horizontal polarization thing, to see if you can explain it, there was a sheet of paper in the box talking about 20-25 degree angle as well, ill try find that.
The front of aerial:  not sure if its mounted right way?, tho it can only be mounted one other way anyway I think

[Image: gEkmtqR.jpg]
Dish from the side , cat got in the way  Angel

[Image: tX59rRk.jpg]

I just left in the shed till I try it again tmoro with the app to get angle and stuff.
If you can think of any other aerial/antenna solution, regardless of price since I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to get the most out of my connection especially upload wise since band 3 seems to be the best.  and 4G+ even better. If theres some higher gain versions of the current antennas I have or anything. I was watching some videos on youtube by poynting and he was talking about the vertical and horizontal polarization thing. I noticed in all his videos, he had the antennas  the opposite way around to what I have 
[Image: GhrFarX.jpg]
In his videos the horizontal one is always on top and the vertical one below, he also speaks about some 3 dB gain by having 2 mounted at 45 degrees or something. 

Another thing he was talking about was 4x4 MIMO , It was pretty complicated to try get my head around but it was as if he was saying to use 4 antennas or maybe im misunderstanding it  Big Grin. Maybe you know more about that stuff.  thanks again
From looking at the two pictures, your dish and antenna all appear correctly installed.  The dish also appears a lot better built than what we've gone through in the past for our satellite TV. 

I'm sure the cat is wondering... Wow!! Is that my new food dish? Tongue

I am not sure how turning them 45 degrees will give a 3dB gain on the downlink, but this does make sense to me on the uplink.  The mast transmits collinear signals 90 degrees out of phase, where each signal rotates as it transmits.  When the rotating signals reaches one antenna, the other antenna picks up the second cross-polarised signal.  This means mobile phones can pick up the two signals across most orientations.    

While turning the antennas 45 degrees may not do much for the downlink, it will certainly influence the uplink, where its signal does not rotate.  Transmissions from your router will reach the mast polarised whichever way your antenna is aligned.  If the mast has its antennas cross-polarised at +/- 45 degrees, then in theory this would provide a 3dB gain on the uplink over a vertical or horizontal polarised signal. 

From having another look at the Dipol website listing, I see that your antennas can be mounted at 45 degree angles.  Before you change the angles, try seeing if there is any difference in the upload speed with the antenna leads swapped as the router only transmits on port #1.  Then try remounting the antennas 45 degrees to the left and right, making sure any moisture drainage hole is facing downwards.  Finally try swapping the leads to see if one gives better upload performance over the other.

Your are correct in that 4x4 MIMO involves 4 antennas!  Wink

With 4x4 MIMO, it has two antennas cross-polarised just like 2x2 MIMO.  It also has two more antennas cross-polarised, spaced a half wavelength apart.  As the four colinear signals arrive, a combination of constructive and destructive interference results in one pair of antennas picking up two of the colinear cross-polarised signals and the other antennas picking up the remaining two signals where the constructive and destructive interference alternates each half wave length apart. 

There is also massive MIMO that takes this to the extreme.  5G uses phase array transmissions to effectively transmit narrow beams directly towards the user's devices, mainly 2x2 or 4x4 MIMO per device.  This lets it reuse the spectrum many times around circumference of the mast, which gives 5G its vast bandwidth capacity.  As each person receives transmissions that's only intended for their (and nearby) devices, 5G technically delivers less radiation exposure despite what the anti-5G scaremongers claim.

At present, the only step-up from your current pair I'm aware of that's 4G+ capable are these pair, which you may have seen me suggest before:

If you would like to do your own hunt for other antennas, the main thing that's important is that size matters.  The only way to get a smaller antenna is to go band specific (band 3 or 1710MHz+) as this cuts the antenna size to around a 1/3rd for the same gain.  Each doubling of the antenna size gives 3dB additional gain for the same frequency range coverage.  This is also why antennas with crazy 20+dB ratings are fakes, apart from parabolic dish antennas.
I think i'll order those antennas too to give them a go, I'm up to try anything at this stage, do you think / know of any 4x4 setup I could do that I'd benefit from? Or is the current stuff im trying is best option there is Big Grin . I think I'll give adjusting the dish another go too to see if I can get it to work . It'll just take a long time to get probably, I bought a ratchet strap to keep the pole secure to the tree and its much stronger like it doesn't budge now at all so thats good
I don't think any operator is using 4x4 MIMO yet in Ireland. I am also not aware of any router that has 4 antenna inputs. Even routers that are 4x4 MIMO capable have just two antenna inputs, likely due to the complexity of properly spacing apart the antennas.

I saw a post on Boards that MikroTik has a new 4G+ capable outdoor dish and router in one unit, the SXT-LTE6. Going by the technical specifications, this offers 13-15dBi gain on band 3 and 3-5dBi gain on band 20. The 18dBi rating is for band 7 (2600MHz) which is currently not in use here in Ireland. It's a pity I didn't come across this ealier as I would have mentioned above as an alternative to the satellite dish, especially since it has the "LNB" in the centre and can be aimed directly, unlike the offset satellite dish which needs to face 22 degrees down. As the MikroTik has the router in the antenna, this eliminates any cable losses, particularly on the higher 1800MHz band. Instead, it uses an Ethernet cable to run the connection inside and gets its power with an indoor PoE injector:

With a previous MikroTik SXT-LTE model I tried a year ago, it performed very well on band 3, but no better than what my phone could pick up on band 20. One issue I had is that I couldn't connect to sites over a certain distance as it seems like LTE category 4 (and lower) devices are limited to a shorter range limit than LTE 6 devices with sites that don't enforce a short range limit. This is the reason I didn't suggest the earlier MikroTik model as you are picking up masts from quite far away. The SXT-LTE6 probably doesn't have this limitation (like 4G+ capable phones), although I'm unable to confirm.

From my experience with configuring the earlier MikroTik, it has a very technical web interface with a vast hierarchical array of menus. It does however have a wizard to quickly configure the APN and band # selection as I recall it taking a good while to work out the main menus having no experience with MikroTik equipment before. The SIM card goes into the "LNB" part of the antenna.

One limitation with the MikroTik SXT-LTE6 and the earlier model is its Ethernet port is limited to 100Mbps, i.e. not Gigabit capable. This means that although its modem is technically capable of 300Mbps (225Mbps to 262.5Mbps with Three), the 100Mbps Ethernet cable will become a bottleneck during off-peak periods when over 100Mbps of bandwidth is available.
I ordered the thing, worth a try since the speeds have been awful for me trying to stream, upload seems to always die out randomly and drop to 2.4 mbps ish so my stream starts lagging and dropping frames, and ping goes up to the unplayable 200-500ms level. Its very stable on 1800 mhz but its just not enough bandwidth currently, like its maxed out on bitrate about 3500 and only 4000 ish available, so ping is unstable from 60-180 , but its very consistent compared to 800 mhz which seems to be super heavily loaded now (-16 RSRQ) ever since the whole pandemic thing., it just needs better signal strength I guess, -113 dbm on the signal on band 3.
the tree is about 10m away from my window where i run the cable inside, any accessories i should buy with that kit? like i dont know how it works power wise etc, and does a cable come with it.
The MikroTik comes with a PoE injector and a pipe clamp to mount the dish to a pole. You will need an weatherproof Ethernet cable to run from inside to the dish and a short ordinary Ethernet cable for the PoE injector.

If the hole in your wall is large enough to pass an Ethernet cable plug through, I suggest buying a pre-made cable such as the following example:

To pass the cable through a smaller hole (e.g. 8mm hole), you will need a length of outdoor Ethernet cable (Cat 5E UTP preferably. Cat 6 and STP require special plugs and are trickier to crimp), two RJ45 plugs and an RJ45 crimping tool (around €15 on eBay).

The Ethernet cable length doesn't really matter as long as it's less than 50 metres. One end plugs into the MikroTik (port under a removable flap) and the other end plugs into the PoE injector inside. The PoE injector plugs into a wall socket and provides power over the Ethernet cable to the dish, so it doesn't need a separate power lead, i.e. just the one cable.

You will need a Wi-Fi access point to provide Wi-Fi inside. Alternatively you can reuse an existing Wi-Fi router that has a WAN port, although this will lead to a double NAT, which may cause issues with port forwarding if your games require this. These just require an Ethernet cable to the PoE injector.

To configure the MikroTik, you can connect your PC or laptop directly to the PoE injector with an Ethernet cable. This page shows how to access the web interface:

To start with, point the MikroTik dish roughly the same direction as your antennas and configure the MikroTik for band 20 to make sure everything is working (e.g. registers on network and have web access). Set it to band 3 only and fine tune the aim to get the highest RSRP and SINR values. These figures auto-update every couple of seconds.
Okay so the MikroTik was dispatched from their czech warehouse , says it should arrive in 4-5 days. I also ordered the 15m cable you suggested , I actually was just running the 2 external antenna cables through the window , the window kind of closes on it on one side and theres spaces for the cables still to come in Big Grin and the it plugs into the router sitting on the window sill. at the moment I just run ethernet cable from my PC to the b525. Im just a bit confused with the how the PoE injector works and does the current ethernet cable i have in my pc have any use etc. Also is there wifi broadcasting from the router itself on the dish? and how would I setup the wifi access point so my phone can connect too etc.

This in theory should have better gain/signal than my current LOG antennas on band 3 right?
The MikroTik doesn't broadcast any Wi-Fi.  This is what I meant by needing something else to provide Wi-Fi for your phone, tablet, etc. 

Having just thought about another way to provide Wi-Fi, you could use your current Huawei router and disable its DHCP server.  Without DHCP, the Huawei router will effectively turn into a passive Wi-Fi access point without providing any other purpose, i.e. network devices will receive the DHCP configuration from the MikroTik instead, causing all network traffic to flow through the Huawei (like a network switch) out to the MikroTik router. 

The PoE injector goes in-between the MikroTik dish and the access point.  This doesn't do anything other than provide electric power on the Ethernet cable, which the MikroTik uses to power itself as shown in this rough diagram I drew:


To turn off DHCP on your Huawei B525 so it does nothing more than providing Wi-Fi:
  1. Connect your computer to the Huawei B525, but don't connect the MikroTik to it yet.
  2. Go into the Huawei's web interface, i.e.
  3. Go into the Settings menu at the top, then into DHCP on the left.
  4. Tick Disable for "DHCP server" and Apply.

Unplug your computer from the Huawei B525, then plug the Ethernet cable from the MikroTik's PoE injector into the Huawei router.  Finally plug your computer into the Huawei B525.  It should now pick up the DHCP configuration from the MikroTik router instead.

If you need to turn DHCP back on with the Huawei B525, disconnect the MikroTik from it and follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the network icon in your task bar and select "Open network & internet settings"
  2. Click "Change adapter options"
  3. Go into Ethernet (the icon that's lit blue).
  4. Click 'Properties'
  5. Double-click "Internet Protoccol Version 4"
  6. Tick 'Use the following IP address'.
  7. Enter for the IP address and click 'OK'.
  8. Follow the above steps for turning off DHCP, but tick "Enable" for step 4.
  9. Repeat steps 1-4 here, then tick both "Obtain an IP address automatically" and "Obtain DNS server address automatically" and click "OK".
Alternatively you can wipe the configuration on the Huawei B525 by poking a pin in its reset hole for 10 seconds.  This will also turn DHCP on.
The diagram makes it much more simpler, thanks Big Grin
That'll be perfect then for wifi, at least the b525 has some use still . I'm optimistic for this one , I actually wonder how much signal/speed I lose over the 10 meters of cable I have atm ... never really thought of that. This one has holes in it like a grid so it should be less affected by wind. it seems like it'll be easier to setup compared to the dish i tried to do already. (which i still didnt get to setup Cry . It has more gain than whats listed for my current log antennas which says 9.5 dbi on 1750+mhz . so thats good.

On a sidenote ... Do you think there will be any chance of something like 5G in rural areas like this in the future? or is it not going to be possible because of the higher frequency not travelling very far, from what I can see like this is the only hope for now Cry
I figured it probably wouldn't work that well Cry Is there any hope for 5G / something that can reach those kind of speeds to reach these rural areas or do you think we're stuck with the current 4G indefinitely? I heard about something called starlink , low orbit satellites for lower latency and speeds for rural areas but I dont know how long away that will be.

I also saw some articles about providers "re-farming" spectrum to make more bandwidth and speed available. Since I can pick up 2100 Mhz 3G with a strong signal like -85 it says, how come the 4G 1800 mhz signal is weaker ? and would I pick up 2100 Mhz 4G at the same strength as the current 3G 2100 if it existed or is there some differences in the two . just curious / trying to understand it all Big Grin
I moved the posts about the channel bonding / load balancing into a separate thread. Someone asked me about this via e-mail also, so this will let me link to the thread if anyone else asks. Smile

I reckon the providers will roll out 5G across rural areas over the next year or two, especially with the large amount of spectrum each bought on the 3500MHz band, particularly with Three purchasing 100MHz. For comparison, Three operates band 3 on 20MHz and band 20 on 10MHz, so that's well over triple the bandwidth of Three's current 4G+ across both bands. 5G uses 4x4 MIMO, so in theory that doubles the bandwidth again.

The current 5G implementation across Europe does have one drawback in that it currently uses 4G for the upload. This means that even if Three suddenly upgraded that mast you use to 5G, your upload speed will remain the same. When 5G is finalised to where operators can set up the connection and upload on 5G independent of 4G/LTE, I'm not sure whether this will involve upgrading the hardware or if a firmware/software upgrade to the current 5G hardware is sufficient.

ComReg has temporarily released spectrum in the 700MHz and 26000MHz bands for all three operators to use, including re-purposing 2100MHz for 4G for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Huawei B525 supports both 2100MHz and 2600MHz on 4G, so if Three temporarily offers 4G on either on your mast, you should pick it up. Smile The catch of course is that this will likely disappear after the pandemic is over.

As for the signal strength, Three is probably operating the 3G radio on higher power. It's similar in my area where the 800MHz 4G signal is much weaker than their 900MHz 3G signal. Eir's mast here on the other hand has a much stronger 4G signal on 800MHz than 3G on 900MHz, so my Dad's GoMo phone picks up 4G in places here where he can't make/receive a call as the phone can't pick up the 3G signal.
(Hope im not too annoying with all the questions Big Grin ) Is there a specific reason they operate them at different powers or is it just a hardware limit thing? I read that 5G has really poor penetration + distance travel, How would they overcome that for people that are kind of far from a mast like myself? I'm still unable to find out what mast I actually connect to its driving me crazy Big Grin , the vodafone sim test makes no sense to me , im 100% sure i tried it before and got 5 bar signal with just the round router sitting on the window, when I tried it recently (first page of the post) it just shows no signal at all, unless I point at the mountain which would be gweedore , nowhere near the current signal I get from three. Its a shame cuz they have 4G+ in the licencing you linked , probably a lot less congested than three's too, Dont know why they'd enforce such a range limit as thats probably the only explanation.
Generally they set the site's operating power to balance between providing maximum coverage and minimising interference with other masts on the same band.

With 5G, the poor penetration / distance mainly affects the millimetre wavelength band that operates at 28+GHz. The Irish and most European operators currently only have licenced spectrum on the 3.5GHz band, which has the same propagation capability as what the Imagine LTE network currently has. It is however much more sensitive to any obstructions in the line of sight, so poorly penetrates buildings. This is why built-up areas require more 5G masts. On the other hand, it's nothing like the 28+GHz implementation the US has where the signal barely travels 100m and unable to penetrate most objects.

I am curious to see what bandwidth 5G will achieve on the 700MHz band as that should have similar propagation to 800MHz 4G band, assuming both operate on the same power. Assuming that band is capable of massive MIMO (64x64), that should in theory provide a big improvement over the 4G 800MHz band as the mast can reuse the spectrum across multiple users with narrower beam forming.

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