I thought I would share this is case it helps someone else trying to solve their internet connectivity.
I recently installed the Winegard 360+ antenna. It does a good job pulling in TV signal. For internet connectivity, we are not full-timers and won't suffer much if we end up somewhere where neither LTE nor WiFi are available. My goal was to be able to capitalize on connectivity availability when we could for as little investment as possible. I knew up front that I could just buy the Winegard router that easily attaches to the 360+ antenna. However, I had 2 other goals in mind.
- Try not to spend $300.00
- Try to use my Xfinity account as a hotspot
I found that there were a number of WiFi boosters available and I discovered that the King WiFi Max Router
was a good solution since it is made for RV travel and also has the ability to connect an exterior antenna via a standard SMA connector.
I really wanted to try to use Xfinity, which uses Verizon towers, for my cell coverage for a few reasons:
- I already have our phones on their service
- Adding a line doesn't cost anything
- I only need to pay for the data when I use it since I can use that line on our shared data or turn on "unlimited coverage" for just that line when we are traveling and turn it back off when we're not.
I called Xfinity Tech Support and confirmed that if I had a hotspot specifically made for Verizon that it could work on their network. However, since the hotspot device itself is not supported by Xfinity I would need to have a phone with a live SIM card that could then be put into the hotspot. I bought a broken phone that could be used on Xfinity and I found a decent price on a Verizon (Netgear) AC761L hotspot. I got the SIM card and the hotspot works like a champ on Xfinity network.
My antenna location is in the bedroom, near the TV cabinet. I was able to cut a 2" hole through the top of the cabinet and ceiling and route the wires from the antenna into the cabinet.
: figuring out all of the various adapters needed to get from the 360+ to the 2 devices was difficult. The Winegard wires are MCX Male leads. I needed to use cable with SMA connectors to have enough length to get into the cabinet. The hotspot has TS9 connectors. I ended up buying more adapters than I needed in the process of figuring it out. You have to pay attention to Male and Female as well as Male RP (reverse polarity) and Female RP.
The net result accomplished my goals. I now have the connectivity that the 360+ provides and I saved more than $100 over the Winegard router. I also now have a portable hotspot that isn't limited to just my trailer. Only time will now tell if it's been worth it. Below are the pics of the install as well as a roadmap for the different adapters/connectors I used in case someone else wanted to tackle it and save the trial and error headaches.