Best antenna connection setup in my situation


That’s my first post, please be gentle.

I have a nooby question about the best way to connect antennas to the Pepwave BR1 Pro CAT 20.

It allows me to connect 4 antennas.
I simply want to know if connecting 4 x SISO antenna (Omnie 493) units will be a better option than connecting two 2x2 MIMO Omni 402 units.

Omni 402:
1 dBi @ 410-470 MHz
6.2 dBi @ 698-2700 MHz
2.5 dBi @ 3400-3800 MHz

Omnie 493:
6 dBi @ 617 - 960 MHz
6 dBi @ 1427 - 1517 MHz
9 dBi @ 1710 – 2700 MHz
8 dBi @ 3400 -3800 MHz

Given the fact that I only care about the frequency between 1710-2700MHz, going with four SISO units makes more sense as they have higher gain and I can locate them around the modem increasing the Field-of-view.

I guess my question is… Can I connect 4 SISO antennas with higher dBi to a single CAT20 modem and expect better performance than if I would have connected one 4x4 MIMO unit with lower Dbi.

Thank you very much for your time!

Look at the antenna patterns/polarization as well. Where is it being mounted? On a building? RV? Yacht?

Both Omni 402 and Omni 493 have the same polarization and very similar pattern according to the documentation.

The setup will be mounted on the very top of the mast (vessel)
You can imagine the base to be a square with a circle in the middle (chimney exhaust, 5cm tall).

I’m trying to decide between mounting 4 SISO antennas items on the corners, vs one 4x4 MIMO item in the middle.

I’ve read “Are two SISO antennas for MIMO better than a single MIMO antenna?” on quora.

Apparently I would need to mount those 4 SISO antennas in a specific configuration to achieve MIMO performance, and going with a 4x4 MIMO item is a better option.

From another hand, SISO antenna appears to have higher dBi in a freq range I care for.

I’m confused, and your advice will be apprecieated.

So you posted the SISO and MIMO 2x2 options but what about the Omni 414 which is 4x4?

Not really, but my question is very similar.

Given the available CAT20 modem and three types of XYZ Omni products:

  • SISO 9 dBi @ 1710 – 2700 MHz
  • 2x2 MIMO 6.2 dBi @ 698-2700 MHz
  • 4x4 MIMO 6.2 dBi @ 698-2700 MHz

identical if it comes to patterns/polarization.

Will it make sense to connect four SISO antennas instead of two 2x2 MIMO or one 4x4 MIMO, if I’m only interested in the 1710 – 2700 MHz range, and SISO tends to have the best dBi.

As mentioned, it’s a very nooby question.

It might be a moot point regarding dBi if your signal is fine? Mounting four separate antennas on a boat is not always easy, practical, or aesthetically pleasing…

How far of a cable run to top of mast? Look at signal loss for the cable. I would suggest it might be better mounting the antenna lower or looking at the Dome instead.

In this particular scenario, esthetics doesn’t really matter, I don’t care about it.

Mounting a single Omni XYZ will be as easy as mounting four of them, the mount point is very convenient.

The highest possible gains are what matter and are relevant to the current situation, as the boat will be mostly used to cruise along the shore 4G/5G will be the only source of the internet.

Look at the signal loss per foot for cable for the specific cable you plan to use. Many would recommend LMR400 which is pretty thick/bulky. You might not like what you see if you have a 50-80 foot run up the mast, in terms of signal loss.

Also, depending where you are cruising, you might not like to see many signal gaps along the shore. Signal is only getting worse over water as cell companies use higher frequencies, have denser areas to cover on land, etc.

Higher is not always necessarily better. Many sailboaters I know do just fine mounting slightly elevated above their stern/cockpit. Much shorter cable run.

I’m aware of the substantial cable loss and was planning on using the Omni antenna without any LMR extenders (standard 2m length).

Using ePoynt-2 (EPNT-2) or ePoynt-1 (EPNT-1) antennas that allow me to mount my Pepwave BR1 Pro CAT 20 inside the antenna is also an option.

From what I’ve learned, the most important things are to:

  • keep the LMR cable short
  • mount the antenna in a way that maximized the field of view.
  • use mostly omnidirectional antennas, as it makes more sense, unidirectional can be used if I decide to stay in one place for the extended period of time.

I believe that I know the basics.

Neverthelss, my question mentioned above:
“Will it make sense to connect four SISO antennas instead of two 2x2 MIMO or one 4x4 MIMO?”

Stil remains, so some guidance on this subject will be apprecieated.

Yes, you can use 4 single dipoles for MIMO… the spacing should be regular (square).

but the problem is that you are putting it on a mast. The higher the gain in a omni antenna the smaller the horizontal elevation lobes are… They are designed for fixed building installations or vehicles without much tilt. You need to look at the elevation gain plots from the technical specs. By the time you are tilted at 15-20° you will will be down 6db from that 9db maximum. A 4db antenna will have a wider elevation lobe, and is therefore better suited to vessels that can list. Compare the elevation diagram of the Omni 414, the 414 will be 4db for most of its operational range.


Thank you for the elevation related advice