Revised Othernet Antenna Siting for Maryland

Today, I revised my Othernet antenna connections. Previously, I connected to my in-house located Dreamcatcher over 500 feet of RG-6 FTA feed with a 20 dB in-line amplifier at the base of the LNB mounted on an 80 cm offset fed dish.

Now, the Maverick LNB (with its 4x2x8 inch aluminum wave guide) is clamped to a simple wood block on a fixed pole mounted on the FTA antenna support. I have placed the 20 dB in-line at the base, and am running it over 100 feet of RG-6 cable to my Dreamcatcher located in an intermediate shed location, and thence on to my Wifi Router thru the Dreamcatcher’s Wifi dongle.

Performance is excellent although my SNR has dropped to from +8 dB to -9.75 dB, but well above Skylark’s -14 dB cutoff. Ken


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Very nicely done, Ken!

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How did you make that horn?

The horn is made of 4 pieces of aluminum flashing cut into 2" x 4" x 8" trapezoids. The four pieces are taped together with aluminum duct tape. I spread a layer of clear DAP sealant under the top and side interior edges to hold the horn onto my wood block. I left the bottom edge unsealed as a weep hole.

This type of horn improves my SNR by about 4 dB over a bare Maverick LNB. It does not change the Rssi level, but the SNR is the important level to be concerned with. Ken

Did you use to get a +8 SNR because you were using the LNB mounted to the dish. Why the
SNR drop from +8 to a -9 SNR?

The drive from the LNB is quite high so there is not a lot of benefit putting the amplifier on it, best to have it half way down the feed line assuming its phantom powered.

Yes guys - - to sum it up, I put an amp at the LNB and at the receiver. That’s allot of gain, but the system worked well. The SNR drop from +8 to -9 dB was due to going from my FTA dish to a bare Maverick LNB (which horn attached). Not to my liking, but the Dreamcatcher seems to work at Rssi levels above -100 dBm and SNR above -14 dB.

Unfortunately now, because of rain fade today, I reverted back to my FTA dish (again with an amp at the LNB and an amp at the Dreamcatcher). In this mode, I get really good performance for Othernet; and my FTA works great too. Only issue on the FTA side, is I can’t run the Dreamcatcher through my motor, so in the FTA mode I can’t rotate the dish unless I go out the base of the dish and reconfigure it.

Not to fear thou - - the only interesting FTA channels here in Washington are on SES-2 from the live CNN news feeds SES-2 carries. Quite a sight to see your prominent news anchors pimping themselves before they go on air! So using my A-B switch I can easily look at FTA or Othernet. (Not at the same time - boo hiss). Ken

Great experimenting Ken. It’s all about antennas and the stuff connected to it that makes it all work. And ingenuity that’s not in the book.

USB Cable Extensions

Has anyone tried USB cable extensions on the Dreamcatcher’s Wifi dongle? I see on line one can extend USB connections up to 150 feet with 5 30 foot USB 2.0 cables in tandem.

This approach would shorten the length of RF cable to the LNB yet provide additional connectivity closer to your router’s Wifi. Ken

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An interesting discussion here, I have found some sites with information as to why USB lengths can be restrictive:

Here is an interesting (pricey) solution up to 100 Meters:

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Depending on whether the situation allows line-of-sight, Ubiquiti or MikroTik offer some inexpensive wireless devices in 2.4 and 5.8 Ghz that are fairly easy to configure for moving data longer distances. Nano-Stations, NanoBridges, etc. can be had in the $40-$50 price range, and only require a power adapter at each end, plug in your UTP and configure the station how you want it to work via its own firmware, or if you have it, mesh networking firmware.

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Late to this party i know, but improving the network connection to your shed would be what I would do. I run these throughout my rented house over the existing CATV cabling and it gives me gbps speeds everywhere. The only “proper” CAT6 cabling I have is around my office and workshop (everything else is WiFi anyway)

After installing something like this in your shed you could then add a WiFi access point or even go wired? This would solve all sorts of connectivity issues.