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Old 12-16-2014, 08:42 PM   #1
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Running wire between WIFI repeater and external antenna

I want to install a WIFI repeater in my 2009 Winnebago Vectra. I am planning on putting the repeater on the shelf under the flat screen TV mounted in the middle of right side slide out with the external antenna being mounted up on the side of the rear ladder. The antenna wire would be routed down the ladder and then into the back fiberglass cap. From there it would be routed down to the frame rail and forward into the basement compartments.

I am trying to find out how to get the wire routed out into the slide and up to the TV shelf area. All of the TV antenna and satelite wiring comes into a floor cabinet under the TV where it goes to a distribution box before being routed up to the TV through the closet wall next to the TV mount. I am not sure if these wire come in from above in the slide or from below in the floor or from somewhere else.

Does anybody have any knowledge on this that would be helpful?
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:45 PM   #2
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All wires would come in from under the slide. There is a coil of wire under the slide that coils and uncoils as the slide is extended or retracted
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:11 PM   #3
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Any idea where this coil might be. I have looked in all of the basement compartments and around the rear axle and farther back in the engine compartment area and do not see anything obvious. There are tanks in between the frame rails in couple of the compartments which limit the view and access.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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Can you come from the antenna down the ladder, under the rear of the coach, and into a rear most storage compartment? The wifi access point sits in the rear most storage compartment. This is how I have run for my ham radio and wifi equipment. Easy to to.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
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That is a LOT of wire.

Why not just mount the repeater inside one of the air conditioner housings?

What do I mean by a lot of wire.. At the frequencies used, the line loss from all that coax may exceed the gain from the added height of the antenna, This is why I use a 2-part repeater, the part that connects to the park, the antenna is mounted on it, the part that connects to my computer has an internal antenna, and the wire between them is Cat-5 (Lan Cable), the line loss is .. not a factor (under 300 feet that is)
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Old 12-24-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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I don't have roof mounted A/C units (basement air). I have already connected the unit running it thru a window for a temp set up and everything worked great - now just want to get the wire ran up into the TV component area sitting out in the slide.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:03 AM   #7
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Are you talking about Ethernet cable or coax? What is that; 40-50' ?
If you're talking about coax, you couldn't afford the price or space that much Heliax would cost or occupy. If Ethernet, you are essentially limited to 300' of CAT-5E but could probably run much farther.
At 2.4GHz the losses of any 1/4" coax will far outweigh any gains of an external antenna.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCVJeff View Post
Are you talking about Ethernet cable or coax? What is that; 40-50' ?
If you're talking about coax, you couldn't afford the price or space that much Heliax would cost or occupy. If Ethernet, you are essentially limited to 300' of CAT-5E but could probably run much farther.
At 2.4GHz the losses of any 1/4" coax will far outweigh any gains of an external antenna.

The comments here about the length of the coax being an big signal loss issue are exactly right. To keep coax cable length minimized is why I mount an access point in the rear storage compartment and near the antenna on the ladder. Also why the two piece setup as mentioned above is another good way to go. A long run of coax from the ladder mounted to an access point located forward inside the coach negates the added signal gain of the external antenna.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:07 AM   #9
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All the comments about the cable loss are dead on. What do you have for a WiFi antenna? Is it perhaps an antenna with built in WiFi bridge with POE over Cat 5 cable?
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:52 AM   #10
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I am very glad to see that this thread went off on a tangent....as most of them do!

The issue has nothing to do with the coax length...it has to do with the routing of the coax out into the slide.

To answer the some of the tangential questions....
1. the unit is a JEFA RV repeater
2. the antenna is 8.5dBi 2.4 GHz 22 inches long
3. the 35 ft. cable is made of RG-8x coax

and the unit has provided an excellent improvement at our current location boosting the WIFI strength.

My wife is just not that excited about the current red-neck appearance of having the coax come in through the window in the bedroom, run down the hall to the living room and up onto the shelf where the repeater is setting under the TV.

I am glad that I was able to give everybody out there a chance to enlighten me about signal loss and cable lengths. Maybe I need to start a new thread about Signal loss and cable lengths so that someone will chime in about ways to run the cable into a slide???

What do you think?
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #11
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It is important to let people thinking about WiFi antennas to think about the shortest path. With your combination you end up with about 2.5dB of gain, almost doubling your signal strength. If you had used RG58 you would have lost 2.5dB, effectively almost cutting the signal strength in half. The RG8X is a lot bulkier cable.
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:27 PM   #12
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Why does the repeater need to be where the TV is? Can't you mount it in the basement? Your computers will get a signal from the basement-mounted repeater, and you will have a shorter cable and won't have to run the cable up to the TV..
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRUSA14 View Post
Why does the repeater need to be where the TV is? Can't you mount it in the basement? Your computers will get a signal from the basement-mounted repeater, and you will have a shorter cable and won't have to run the cable up to the TV..

Exactly.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #14
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The main reason is to hard wire the smart TV to the repeater to maximize streaming.

Not sure about the RG-58 versus RG-8X....RG-58 is about .24" in diameter is RG-8X is about .26" in diameter. I agree that RG-8 is much larger in diameter from my memories of ole CB days.
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