Max BR1 Mini and Wilson Booster

Hoping you can provide some advice to optimize the set up of our Internet gear in our Airstream. It worked really well for us over the last 15 months, but I’m wondering if it could be better. I was recently doing some research to do a write up on our gear and I stumbled across some information regarding MIMO and signal boosters…and they should not be used together.

We have a Pepwave Max BR1 Mini router as the base of the system. On the roof we have a Mobilemark 4-1 omni antenna. 2 of those lines are cellular, and one is labeled “Main”. The “Main” line has a WilsonPro Signal Booster in line with it. The booster can be turned on separately. We primarily use the omnidirectional Mobilemark WITHOUT boosting it. Boosting it has seemed to help us out in the past.

We also have a Wilson Electronics Wideband Directional Antenna that we can patch in (manually) as the “Main” cell, with the booster inline. This only comes into play in dire situations.
The booster shows significant improvement when the Wilson directional gets deployed.

Based on what I’ve been reading, it seems that boosters add a lot of noise when using MIMO, and they should be out of the signal path. Is this correct?

  1. Would we be better off removing the booster from the MIMO configuration altogether?
  2. If that is the case, we would still want to boost the directional antenna in remote areas. If we do that, should we disconnect the secondary cellular running from the Pepwave?

Hope this makes sense! Thanks for your help!

Below is a diagram of our set up.

Most will suggest not introducing a booster. See how the signal is without the booster. If you have a garbage signal to begin with, a booster might not help or make it worse. There is no WiFi available for Wifi-as-Wan in areas where you have little-to-no cellular signal?

Thanks for the response!

We don’t have WiFi-as-Wan enabled as we are primarily out boondocking somewhere away from any WiFi signal. It was a tempting feature when purchasing the router, but we realized we might only use it for moochdocking at a friend’s house, since, if we do go to a campground, the WiFi is so saturated with people streaming all kinds of things.

The way the current set up works is far better than our phone’s cell reception. We can be out somewhere and have no signal on our phones, but we are able to stream video on the router’s network using the omni-directional antenna and no booster.

So, overall we are very pleased with our set up, but we’re wondering if it could be better. And we’re also trying to avoid doing anything wrong with the booster/router combo.

As for testing it, we are currently visiting family on the East coast and our trailer is in Arizona, so we won’t have access to it till after the holiday.

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I travel by boat a fair amount and marina wifi can stink but some times there is also public hotspot or local ISP offering outdoor WiFi hotspots and I find it can be more reliable than cellular. I would maybe try testing different antennas. The puck antennas aren’t always the best.

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We find the puck nice in terms of convenience, we don’t have to worry so much about set up if we’re traveling a lot. The directional does give us a better signal if we point it though, so we’re glad we have that when needed.

We’ll definitely do some further experimentation with antenna and booster placement when we get back to the trailer in the new year.

Just trying to get some solid info on having the single booster in-line with our dual cell set up at the moment. Are we doing more harm than good?

Hello @Jay_Rogan,
Connecting boosters/repeaters have been addressed many times before in the form, you can see a selection on this here in the previous post.

You may like to ask your local authorised Peplink Partner for a copy of the Antenna Selection Guide available to them from the Partner section of this Forum.

Your local Certified Peplink Partner can help you with a copy of the Antenna Selection Guide for Peplink Partners , this is a detailed guide and is only available to the Peplink Partners so to ensure that you are helped in working through it to get the most suitable antenna solution to your application.

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

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