LTE 4G Aerial Installation on a Motorhome

The moment I’ve been waiting for, for a few weeks now, came today.

I have been testing the system over the last week or so and been getting some good throughput  but my son ( a tech person) suggested last weekend that if the router supported two aerials, get another one and install it. I think he’s right as the throughput is amazing.

The aerials and bits all over the table
The aerials and bits all over the table before starting.
The Truma panel with the TV wiring behind
The Truma panel with the TV wiring behind

I took the van up to Vantage RV at Silverdale this morning and Phil got right onto it. Using the TV for a power source as the wiring was easily accessible and installing a Dethleff switch to match the others in the van.

The switch all done
The switch all done

Then on went the aerials. The aerials need to spread apart if you have more than one so they don’t interfere with each other. Something to do with the wave they have and the rule of thumb is 1.5 times the height of the aerials apart minimum. Ours are much more than that anyway.

Click on the images to see Hi Res or a slideshow

After a couple of hours of running conduit, screwing it onto the roof and setting it up, we fired it up and in the industrial part of Silverdale, this was the result:

Test Date: 27/04/2016 10:39 AM
Download: 29.91 Mbps
Upload: 17.48 Mbps
Ping: 46 ms
Connection Type: Wi-Fi
Server: Auckland
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&q=-36.626536,174.676301

Later when I got back to Milford and parked up. I tried again.

Test Date: 27/04/2016 12:02 PM
Download: 34.55 Mbps
Upload: 17.77 Mbps
Ping: 56 ms
Connection Type: Wi-Fi
Server: Auckland
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&q=-36.767335,174.765883

Both tests showed only 3 bars out of 5 for 4G reception so it can only get better but given that ADSL mostly averages around 5 – 6mbs download and we’re getting 34 mb plus, its pretty impressive all the same.

Phil on the roof setting up the aerials
Phil on the roof setting up the aerials

Now the data package.  After searching high and low for weeks looking for someone who could do mobile cellular without any geographic constraints (like Skinny) or being in a fixed position, (like RBI), I got onto Netspeed in Dunedin.  They were happy to provide me mobile data as long as I used one of their routers which they provided by courier. They assured me it worked at 12v and there would be no problem with the fluctuating voltage from either the solar panels or the alternator and this has all worked faultlessly.The whole thing was setup in a blink (by me) and there were no issues at all.

The day after I received the router, we were meeting friends up at Mahurangi West (Sullivans Bay) and even there where you can’t get a cell phone signal, Fiona was able to watch Netflix movies on her Ipad with no issues and that was without an aerial.
See the Blog I did on Sullivans Bay.

The end result
The end result

So we’re all setup for fast broadband on the road.
I’m impressed and very happy with the setup.

11 thoughts on “LTE 4G Aerial Installation on a Motorhome”

  1. What plan/ where on NetSpeed do they say you can be ‘locationless’ as this seems great for us, but I can’t seem to find anything on there website to show what plan I need to be able to move around on.

    Also, what modem do they supply, and which network (Spark or VF) as I have recently bought a Skinny modem and it’d be great to repurpose this and just add aerials?

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    1. They don’t say on their website but trust me, they do do it.😎
      Vodafone and the router will probably be the same.. It’s a Huawei. See my earlier blog for a picture of it on Sullivan’s Bay.

      Like

  2. Thank you for your helpful advice about Netspeed. I’ve signed up and they are sending me the router.
    It comes with a 3 pin plug they tell me. What can I do to make it 12 volt please?
    I really appreciate you sharing this. I will go up to Vantage for the aerials too.

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    1. Hi Dianna
      Call Netspeed and make sure they are sending a 12v cable with the router. Vantage can then install with that 12v cable.
      You’ll need to buy the aerials to take to Vantage. I got mine from Jaycar. 5dbi multi frequency, they only have one model about $60 each.
      Good luck with it. I’ve yet to find a place where I haven’t received a signal strong enough for Netflix!

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  3. Just want to say Thank You for sharing all this information. It has made our transition from home to being mobile a breeze. From your information we were able to switch to Netspeed internet prior to moving into our mobile home and having a landline operating through the modem was a very big plus The aerial will be put on tomorrow but internet has worked well so far,even without it. Your advice and information made so much difference I can’t thank you enough. Linda

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