USB Modem amplifier & antenna shows no improvement?

By macx
Mar 30, 2010
  1. Have a Verizon USB modem (Pantech) on my laptop at work, get 3 bars out of 4 and it works fine.

    Took the modem home, just 5 miles away, and having problems on my desktop. So I got a Wilson cell phone amplifier and antenna and absolutely no improvement from the 2 bars I was getting before.

    I can unplug the amp & antenna and I still get 2 bars just with the modem, no change.
    And Firefox is crashing every couple minutes.

    Could I be doing something wrong, or is the Wilson amp no good, or are there better amps & antennas?

    Thanks for any help!

    Oh, so far I don't have the antenna outdoors, just in front of a window where AntennaSearch says there's a Verizon tower not too far away, although I am down in sort of a low spot. Got a 10 foot wire from the antenna to the amp so going to put it on a pole outside the door at a little higher elevation on the tower side of the house and see if that helps.

    EDIT: Something strange - I had the USB modem plugged directly into the motherboard while I was having the above mentioned problems.
    Just to try it, I plugged it into a USB extender card (right term?) that adds additional USB ports. Now it seems to be responding better and
    hasn't crashed at least in the last 30 seconds while typing this. Just the opposite of what I thought would make sense.

    Well, whatever works.
  2. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    For now, I'll add just one thing, ensure that the antenna is at the right angle with regard to the tower (verizon in this case), to ensure that you are getting maximum signal strength. I had similar issues with Huwaie USB wireless broadband modem, however, once i got the antenna angle sorted out I get 90%+ signal strength which is very good; never get any disconnections etc. Regards
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,123   +982

    Understand your intent here BUT ...
    RF is very particular in 'wire' lengths, types and angles as mentioned by Archean.
    Each frequency has a specific wave length (basically 1/freq) which creates harmonics that
    distrube the 'wave propagation' down the wire. That 10ft wire should be a coax type with a
    good earth ground near the modem end. The ISP signal could be at any frequence, but is likely
    to also be a wifi 802.11 2.4ghz and that 10ft wire may not be the correct length to
    avoid negative harmonics -- talk to the ISP about your setup.

    And if you're going to put up a lightening rod like this,
    it needs a lightening arrestor attached too.
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