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M380 (Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your M380 model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.....list your M380 Parts here too.

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  #11  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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The only non-directional Satellite antennas are phased arrays, huge in size, and too expensive to use for anything except things like commercial aircraft. The antenna you have rotates full 360, and changes elevation in the 45 degree range.



Only worth doing what you are talking about if you just want to tinker, not because it would be a good WiFi solution. Directional antennas for Wifi are good when you have a lot of distance to cover between two fixed locations, like across a valley. Otherwise you don't need anything better than the typical RV park will use to provide the signal - an outdoor access point. For receiving you need one that can be used as a client router, and you can get one with horizontal and vertical antennas for under $100, Power over Ethernet. I paid $89 for mine many years ago, and they are a little cheaper today. If an RV park has working WiFi, I have WiFi.
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Current: 2004 M380 Double Slide
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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  #12  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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I do have situations where a directional antenna would help, but I'm interested in how you are set up. Do you connect your antenna to a router and rebroadcast into your RV for connecting phones and laptops via WiFi?

I have an old router that will run open source firmware, such as DD-WRT or Tomato. I can run them in Repeater Bridge mode, which will do what I want. The router can connect to an external antenna directly.

I know some people just use a USB external antenna on a tall pole and connect the USB to a Windows laptop, but I need to have WiFi within the RV so phones and other WiFi devices can connect.
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2007 Double Slide M380 "Bertie"
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  #13  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Having the transmitter inside and antenna outside works - I did that for awhile with my 90 before I got the client router, using a large antenna on the tall mast that is standard in that era coach. The problem is line loss. At 2.4GHz, the loss is 3.2dB for each 10 feet with RG-58a. You can get that down to 1.5dB per 10 feet with RG6, but that still is a lot. The problem being mostly on you low-power transmit side. Back in the day I had an internet provider that connected to my business from several blocks away using directional patch antennas. I had to use LMR600 for the 50 foot run I needed in order to get decent signal. That stuff is 6.8AWG solid center, about like bending small copper pipe!


Put the client router on the roof, with just a single run of Cat6. When you get it inside, do whatever you want. You have zero line loss. I run mine into an RV042 VPN router (my business has RV042G models for the other end of the pipe). That is hard wired to my main computer and goes to a simple WiFi router to provide access for the other devices.


These days my AT&T unlimited is better than most RV park WiFi connections, so when that is the case I just pick up the AT&T mobile device with the external client router. Not as efficient as directly connecting to the mobile device, but I like the hardware VPN.


For awhile before I got my outdoor router I used a standard bridge like you are talking about in a waterproof box on the roof, but I had to supply power to it.
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  #14  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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You make some good points about cable loss, but I was thinking about putting the router inside the old satellite dome with the directional antenna. As for power, while POE is convenient, I assume there is 12v inside the dome, and there are many 12v powered routers available.

I didn't realize the cost of outdoor units was as low as it is. Some units come with a directional antenna or a weatherproof antenna connection allowing an antenna choice.
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