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Adding a WIFI and a Cellular Amp to my RV Part 2: Cell Amp

August 25, 2015
Adding a WIFI and a Cellular Amp to my RV

The main reason for me wanting to add a cell amp to the RV was simply because nature, peace and quiet never seem to go hand in hand with 4G LTE cell towers.  The quieter you want the farther you get from good cell service.  The first part of my selection process was the brand.  It was easy, I choose Wilson Amplifiers.  They have been well known in the commercial amplifier market for years but home use is a fairly new thing in the US and Canada.

The second part is the the style of amp.  There are 2 main choices.  First is a cradle style.  This works for a single device that must sit in the cradle.  This is a cheaper option, but one warning from the manufacturer is the cradle is a big amp, so putting a phone in the cradle and then picking it up to place a call is a really bad idea.  The cradle makes most sense for a dedicated MIFI hotspot or if you are going to use a phone in it, you would only be able to use it as a hotspot or use a Bluetooth headset to make phone calls on it.  The other style costs more money, but it is like having your own mini cell tower in your RV.  These will allow multiple phones and hotspots to connect to it via cellular.  The only disadvantage to this is that they cost more money and the range is limited, I have heard reports of about 6′ range, which is a lot smaller than most medium to large RV’s.

The third part in my decision was the specific model.  I chose the Wilson Sleek 3G +26dB Amplifier Kit – 460106.  There were a number of reasons for my logic:

  1. A cradle was fine for me as I have a dedicated hotspot that would sit in it permanently and I was not planning on using it for voice calls.
  2. It was on sale 🙂
  3. The 3G cradle has +26db of gain vs the 4G cradle which has +23db
  4. A moderate to strong 3G signal will still deliver moderate DSL speeds, which is more than enough for most any application, other than media rich content like YouTube, Netflix or many simultaneous users.  Since I cannot afford the data rates for any of these scenarios, 3G is more than enough for me
  5. Many carriers are so over subscribed that even customers with LTE service are only getting 3G to 4G speeds anyway and do not realize it.

Wilson Sleek 3G on Amazon.com

Wilson Sleek 4G on Amazon.com

Part 3

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