Best practice Marine Antenna Installation HD4 MBX


I am looking to install an HD4 MBX (MAX-HD4-MBX-GLTE-G-T) or 5G HD4 MBX (MAX-HD4-MBX5G-T) on a seagoing vessel. I need to populate 16 QMA connectors, but due to space I cannot install 16 individual SISO antennas. Instead, I am opting to go with 4 high-gain long range SISO antennas and 6 lower-gain 2x2 MIMO antennas. Firstly, would this be a sound solution or is there a better way to populate the 16 connectors? If this setup would work, what is the best practice in connecting up all the antennas to the respective modems, i.e connecting connector Main A of each modem to the long-range SISO antennas and the rest divided to the MIMO antennas? What issues may arise when connecting one modem’s connectors to differing gain antennas?

Thank you in advance.

Best regards,

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Hi @5GMBXMan

Which antennas are you considering?
We have a 4x4 high gain maritime antenna which will be available towards the middle of the year.
With this antenna, you would only require four antennas to fully populate a CAT18 or 5G HD4 MBX.

To answer your question about how to connect different antennas, I recommend that you use the same type of antenna for all connectors on a particular modem.

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Hi Sam,

Thanks for the reply.

I am considering four 10dB+ SISO antennas (AX200) and six 7dB 2x2 MIMO antennas (Poynting 402). Unfortunately, I have to install them soon so cannot wait for those 4x4s! What will the gain be of these 4x4 MIMO antennas?

In this case, would you recommend I connect all 4 SISOs to modem A and the 2x2 MIMO’s to modems B, C and D?

Our vessel does not roll more than 3 degrees so I can utilize very high gain antennas.

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do you have any pictures? even draft form! 1x14 thread mount? antennas like poynting or dome?

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@mystery send me an email @ and I’ll send you a copy of the draft.
They are 1x14 standard Maritime mounting and are a rod antenna rather than dome

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email sent! thanks

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My first comment about using such a high gain antenna would usually be about the roll of the vessel but I know your vessel so roll especially underway while at the longer ranges wouldn’t be an issue but also remember that when located in an area where there are hills close to the vessel and the cell towers might be higher up, your high gain antennas would be focused on the terrain around the vessel rather than above it (think of Monaco and Portofino). This is where using a mix of antenna has its advantages.

The major gain of having a 4x4 high gain antenna is that you can have just four physical antennas (containing four elements each) to provide for a CAT18 or CAT20/5G HD4 MBX.


Thanks, well noted on this. I will definitely go with a mixture of antennas.

To go back to my previous question. If I use a mixture of 4 SISO antennas and 6 2x2 MIMO antennas, would you recommend I connect all 4 SISO antennas to modem A and the 2x2 MIMO’s to modems B, C and D? Or could I connect each SISO antenna to connector Main A of each modem and populate the rest with the 2x2 MIMO antennas?

Lastly, what is the release date for the CAT20/5G HD4 MBX?


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I would recommend that antennas of the same type are used on each modem so as you explained above;

connect all 4 SISO antennas to modem A and the 2x2 MIMO’s to modems B, C and D

For 5G MBX availability, please contact your Peplink Parter.

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Thank you, Sam.

Last question, is there any other use of the GPS other than tracking?

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The GPS is used for the following;
-WAN Quality Report (Shows signal quality on a map)
-Event location (WANs online/offline etc - great for understanding cellular environments)
-FusionSIM Cloud - SIM Allocation depending on current country of router

GPS is not essential for the router to function but it does generate some useful information.

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Much obliged, Sam, thank you.

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Hello @Sam_Norris
Remember too that GPS can (when using the higher end router models with firmware 8.1.0 & later) can also be used for NTP Timing Reference as a NTP Server, this very useful in the broadcast and security industries, as well as being useful on larger vessels for synchronising timing from a common reference point for various systems.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile: