The WI-FI/Cellular Experiment

As I mentioned back in January that one of the major projects for 2021 is to instal the ability to connect to WI-FI.  When I say, having the ability to connect to WI-FI is the goal, I’m not talking so much about “Cell Phone Usage”.  However, to achieve the level of communication we desire means some sort of “Cell Signal Boost System” to boost data coverage.  So, WI-FI connection then is the ability to turn Blue Streak into a roaming “Hotspot”.

The following is the installation of the system from Outboard Antenna to Inboard Router. We are now moving into the age of connection so Mo can have all around communication for her coaching practice while we’re travelling all summer. For the Brickster, this just mean one more things to attend to so they keep running while retired (ya right) 😏

Let’s begin with a list of parts – working from the Roof of Blue Streak down:

  1. The Outdoor Antenna
    1. Wilson Electronics 19-inch 4G Truck and RV Spring-Mount Antenna w/ 14 ft RG58 Cable, SMA Male Connector + SMA Female to N-Type Male adapter.  The goal here is to mount the Antenna to our existing Winegard Batwing TV antenna.  This way we can raise and low it.  We expect to achieve a height of 14-16 feet off the ground.
    2. Wilson Electronics WSN951147, RG58/U Low-Loss Foam Coaxial Extension Cable, 10-Feet.  The 14′ that comes with the antenna is not quite long enough.
  2. The Cell Signal Booster
    1. Anntlent Cell Phone Signal Booster – All Canadian Carriers – Up to 1500 sq ft – Bands 2/4/5/12/13/17 – ISED Approved.
    2. In order for this to work in Blue Streak we need to be able to have it run off our 12v system.  My research tells me the signal booster require 5v@2a and I found the perfect Car Charger DC 5v@2a Power Supply Adapter for RV Cellular Signal Boosters.
  3. Netgear Nighthawk M1 mr1100 Mobile Router Hotspot.
    1. Superfast mobile Broadband Internet to deliver incredible download speeds up to 1 Gaps and upload speeds up to 150Mbps.
    2. Media streaming from Micro SD, USB or external hard Drive to all connected devices.
    3. Jump Boost feature for charging smartphones and small portable USB devices.
    4. Reliable, always-on connection you can count on AND share with up to 32 WI-FI devices on-the-go.
    5. Increase network performance and reduce interference with 802.11AC and Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5GHz dual concurrent WI-FI.
  4. Misc Bits and Pieces.
    1. I will be adding a Wide-Band 2 Way Splitter-3db N Type Female 50 Ohm Cellular Signal Splitter for 4G/LTE Systems.
    2. This will enable us to have an internal antenna at both ends (front & rear) of Blue Streak.
    3. Additional 10-Feet of Wilson Electronics WSN951147, RG58/U Low-Loss Foam Coaxial Extension Cable to run from splitter to rear of Blue Streak.
    4. N-Male-N-Male 3′ RG58 jumper (Booster to Splitter)
    5. RP-SMA Male – N-Male 3′ RG58 jumper (Splitter to forward internal Antenna)
    6. Will Require several different connectors for this installation:
      1. Ancable RP-SMA Female – N-Female
      2. Ancable SMA Male – N-Female
      3. Ancable N-Male – SMA Male

The Instal in picture form.  😎

The Antenna was easy (Ha, Ha, Ha).  As you can see in the picture above that it was attached to the existing “BatWing” TV Antenna with cable ties.  Then, when extended, makes it almost 5 metres (16 feet) off the ground.  This enables us to raise and lower as required for travelling. The cable runs through the existing flex-split loom tubing cable cover which the solar panel wiring was runs through on the roof of Blue Streak. Then drops down the refrigerator roof vent (easy-peasy)😋. Then drilled a small hole through the wall into the cabin behind the dinette bench – up the wall in the corner into the upper storage cabinet to the Cell Boaster (see below).

The “Cell Boaster” is located in the upper storage cabinet and attached to the wall with a strip of Velcro (fantastic product for permanent but removable items).  The picture is self-explanatory. Power is supplied via an existing 12v outlet which you can see in the picture below.  What’s nice about this is the boaster can be unplug when not in use, therefore reducing the draw on our 12v battery system.  😁

The Interior Antenna is located directly in the middle of the dinette above the table.  I choose this type of antenna because it can be adjusted (pointed) towards the rear of Blue Streak.  Since the WI-FI system is completely portable, we just place Netgear Nighthawk Hotspot on the table and it picks up the boasted cell data signal. Later I may add a second interior antenna at the rear of Blue Streak in the “bedroom area” via a splitter if the coverage is not adequate.

How does it all work you ask?  As fine as Frog Hairs …. 😎

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