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ckv



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# 208441 12-Feb-2017 14:10
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Hi all

 

We signed up for Spark's 4G Broadband last year and have been experiencing intermittent slow data speeds and poor quality voice calls.

 

The B315's home page indicates one to two bars and download speeds are 3 to 7Mbps. Not a lot better than ADSL.

 

Sparks coverage maps indicate we are within "fair" range of a 4G tower to our west and "Good" range of a 4G 700Mhz tower to our east.

 

Plugged the B315 into a portable battery pack and drove within 300m of the 4G tower. Signal strength = 5 bars, download = 31Mbps and upload = 18Mbps. When within 300m of the 4G 700Mhz tower signal strength = 5 bars, download = 32Mbps and upload = 12Mbps. A far cry from the "up to 150Mbps" on the B315 box but still a lot better than we get from our home location.

 

I am now in the market for an external antenna to improve home reception. Questions are, what is better:

 

     

  1. An antenna specifically designed and tuned for 700MHz LTE 4G e.g. Yagi AY12 4G LTE OR: a more general broadband 700-2700MHz e.g. Yagi AY15
  2. One or two antennas?

 

 

 

Thank you for any insights, shared experiences or advise.

 

Regards

 

Calvin.


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  # 1718919 12-Feb-2017 16:27
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I am not with Spark but I believe my situation can be compared to yours. I have the same Huawei device, small ISP reselling VF, long way from tower. My device was installed with an ANT0627Y11 antenna, which looks functionally identical or at least very similar to yours. Normally my signal is two or three bars on the Huawei, usually three. Average download speeds around 30 Mbps (both test and actual calculation) but this can vary.

 

After reading some things about the speeds others could get, I bought a second, identical antenna to see what that could do. With both antennas I could get  up to a maximum of 50 Mbps down. At one point, though, I started getting very poor speed and reliability. This lasted several months. My ISP worked with me to try to find an answer to this, but we never did figure it out. Eventually the speeds recovered somewhat, but they have never been as good. Now I am usually back to around 30 Mbps, with occasional jumps to 40 or so Mbps.

 

What is now quite clear, but did not seem to be a major factor then, is that my network performance is closely tied to school holidays. There is no question that the mast I am dependent on gets overloaded during these periods, though performance usually remains acceptable. At worst, my connection drops to around 7 Mbps, but usually averages higher.

 

I think there is no question that an external antenna would improve your situation, but I doubt a second one would add much more in view of your location. I am also surprised you can still only get 30+ Mbps with 5 bars of signal. I would expect it to go a lot higher than that. I don't know if Spark is throttling it or if the strong signal is swamping your device. Someone more expert might be able to tell you more.

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  # 1719067 12-Feb-2017 19:42
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I don't think Spark would throttle speeds. Maybe limit the amount devices that can be sold and attach to a tower.

 

I take it you have  the wireless broadband product, and not a full RBI product where by a yagi is in the install. Now I am not 100% sure as I don't work for Spark but it could be a case that if you have the wireless broadband service these devices are set to use the internal antenna and you would be able to use a yagi. When you go in the settings can you select aerial setting, there should/could be something like auto/inner/outer ?

 

if there are no options for the aerial then i suspect the device is locked to inner only as this product is plug and play as such. Many people have spent $ on yagi's to boast speed only to be let down.

 

 

 

Again I don't work for Spark but know enough about the b315 the different sw that can be on them. The only wat to know for sure is to get Spark to advise if a yagi can be used on the wireless broadband option.





Anything I suggest or say is my own thoughts and not provided by anyone else unless stated

 
 
 
 


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  # 1719075 12-Feb-2017 20:04
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You need 2x of these: https://www.gowifi.co.nz/antennas-700-900/ant-205.html 

 

Plus cables.

 

 





Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


ckv



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  # 1719118 12-Feb-2017 22:12
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Thank you all.

 

The ANT0627Y11 identified by Rikkitic as provided by some ISP's looks like the same specs as ANT-205 coffeebaron provided links to. The gain of these is one third of the Yagi AY15 (11dB vs 33dB) as is the price. Given I'm only 4Km from each tower presumably the lower gain will be sufficient.

 

I'm still wondering what the benefit of the single frequency 700MHz Yagi AY12 4G LTE would be (if any). Are those using ANT0627Y11 or ANT-205 type antennas in areas offering 700MHz LTE? If you do have access to 700MHz LTE would a 700MHz specific antenna more beneficial?

 

NZFINEST - yes, we have standard wireless broadband with no yagi included. The B315 settings do have an antenna auto/inner/outer setting which is currently set to auto. Spark docs for the device describe attaching short rabbit ear like antenna so presumably an external one will also work. As suggested, I'll see if we can get hold of a Spark guru to confirm the ANT-205 will work in our case.

 

The ~30Mbps max download is also curious. Given we currently have 3 to 7Mbps then 30 would be a huge improvement but I do wonder why this appears to be the max achievable. I'd like to think Spark wasn't throttling but shouldn't we get more when moving closer to the tower and obtaining 5 bars signal strength? I guess there are a many other potential bottlenecks but I expected the LTE link to be the limiting one. When taking the router walkabout I did switch to wifi when measuring download but 802.11b/g/n should do 50Mbps (g) or 100Mbps (n). Measurements at home used a gigabit ethernet.

 

Regards


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  # 1719223 13-Feb-2017 09:03
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If you are very rural with poor 700 signal and nothing else, then you may benefit from a higher gain 700 antenna. Where there is a mix of frequencies and this mix will increase over time, then you are better going with an antenna like the ANT-205 that will cover a wide range of frequencies.

 

 





Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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  # 1724255 22-Feb-2017 09:12
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@coffeebaron

Potential silly question, but is there similar utility in the antenna you referenced in urban settings - specifically in increasing signal strength (therefore ideally speed)? Due to the nature of my accommodation, I'm in quite a built up area with a lot of walls/buildings etc between the modem and the nearest Spark cell tower, getting approx. 2 bars of signal (sometimes three - I have rabbit ears for the B315 at present).


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  # 1726675 26-Feb-2017 21:19
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Yes you can install that antenna in an urban area for better performance.

 

 





Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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