the

Whitefish Lake, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Flying back to British Columbia on October 17th.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Installed our new Winegard RV Internet Antenna

They were calling for a nice day yesterday and our Boondockers Welcome host Sally had generously offered to let us stay a second night, so we decided to take a day off from driving. We'll have to make that up though with a couple of longer driving days because we want to be back at Cabri Regional Park for Sunday, giving us only four driving days to get there.

I took advantage of the beautiful day to get up on the roof and install our new Winegard Connect 2.0 RV Internet Antenna.

It's a really easy installation, however the most difficult part is deciding where to run the cable. There is only one cable and it only requires a 12 volt power source... but where to run it? And once you run the cable, there is an on-off switch that needs to be installed. And, we're going to be installing the weBoost cellular booster as well, and it needs to have cables run also.

The box.

Here's what's in the box.

I read the instruction manual to see what's involved. It comes with 30 feet of cable, so you could mount it pretty much anywhere on your roof and still have enough cable to reach your 12 volt source.

Problem is... Sherman's roof is getting full! And this thing has to be mounted preferably in the center line of the roof running front to back, and at least 12" from the roof edge, and 12" from any other object on the roof. Keeping in mind that other objects on the roof could impact performance because clear line of sight is always best.

I decided on the rear of the roof, with the cable running down into the wall between our bedroom and the bathroom. There's a 12 volt outlet there, as well as a 120 volt outlet for what used to be the bedroom television.

Then, it was time to drill the hole in the roof! I hate doing that... you definitely want to measure twice!

While up on the roof, I took a minute to enjoy the view!

There's a hole in Sherman's roof!

I fed the cable into the hole.

You see two cables in the photo above because I am also installing a weBoost cellular boosting unit. It only made sense to use the same hole to feed that cable as well, and at the same time.

You need to have some RV roof caulking handy.

The installation kit comes with a nice cover plate to put over the hole. 
I was not shy with the sealant!

Yes, I did also affix the cable to the roof but it doesn't show in this photo.

Next step was to install the on-off switch. A simple two wire installation where I hooked into the 12 volt wall outlet and installed the switch beside it.

Finished!

All done.

Now, what does this thing do, you ask?

Well, because it's mounted high and outside, the theory is that it should be able to pick up wifi signals from further away. The unit also contains it's own router so that you can use an unsecured signal (library, McDonald's etc) and route it through this system to make it secure.

This model also contains a cellular modem and it comes with a SIM card already installed. The antennas (both cellular and wifi) are supposed to have higher output so that you can connect where you normally wouldn't be able to. The SIM card came with 300 MB of data included, and then you can buy whatever package you need...


Not great prices, but better than Verizon's pay as you go. I believe this operates on the AT&T network in the U.S., and it works seamlessly across the border in Canada on the Rogers network. The manual says it will not work in Mexico.

When you buy a package, it expires in 30 days. Which is crap in my opinion... if you paid for it, why would it expire?

Anyhow, I activated the 3 GB plan and we will see how it works over the next few days. It came up with a usable 60% signal where we were parked, so far so good.

And so, over the next several weeks we will try it out. This model sells for $349, and they have a non cellular (wifi only) model that sells for $189.

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Record low price on the popular and highly rated Nutri-Ninja Pro Blender... 


And in Canada...




13 comments:

  1. Nice install job! Are you seeing many more available WIFI signals with this unit than you were without it?

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    1. Yes... much more. However seeing them and using them are two different things. It shows them all, yet says only to use them if the signal strength is better than 50%. I guess seeing them could be handy if maybe there is an open signal and you know where it's coming from so that you can maybe drive a little closer to it.

      First impressions are not out of this world, however I have an open mind and will write about it again as time goes on.

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    2. Only time and testing will tell!

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  2. I wonder if it is compatible with a Mexican Telcel SIM? My Cradlepoint unit is not although it works with American and Canadian networks.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know, but I am going to try. :-)

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  3. Will be very interested in the results. We, like other RVers are always in pursuit of good cell and wifi signals. Is the device locked into AT&T or can you use other providers in the US?

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    Replies
    1. No, the device is not locked at all. The unit is currently "approved" for use with both AT&T and Verizon, although I'm fairly confident it will work with other provider. I'll be testing it over the next few months.

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  4. Good luck with testing that system interested to d]see how it works for you.

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    Replies
    1. I'll be posting updates along the way.

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  5. Great write up. Very interesting and we can't wait to see if it will work in Mexico. Sherman's roof still looks good!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris. Yes, I look forward to trying it with a Telcel SIM card. Sherman's roof needs cleaning!

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  6. We ditched the Pay as you go Verizon MiFi and went with the Unlimited plan which we are presently using. The system at the park continually goes out and we would still have to pay the Verizon so why not use it. It also works off the Cell Phone Towers so we only need the WeBoost Antenna. Interested on seeing the results.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I'll be posting about the weBoost antenna as well.

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