Any one use a WIFI Cradlepoint antenna yet?

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Has a anybody ever tried using a WIFI antenna with an SMA connector yet?

I came across one that was thrown out and decided to try it out on my Uniden 396XT. The antenna is a Universal 3G/4G/LTE Modem Antenna made by Cradlepoint, part # 170649-000
This antenna works really good in the 851xxx to 853.xxx frequency range (The system I mainly monitor). The gain is 2dbi for 698-960MHz and 3dbi for 1700- 2700MHz.
I did a comparison with my Watson-801, and with the Watson I would pick frequencies that was 30 miles out with only 1 bar and with the Cradlepoint I would get 3 bars total.

As far as picking up the weather frequencies, it would pick up the local weather OK, but the other out of the area weather frequencies forget about it.
 

n3obl

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a lot of wifi antenna with sma seem to use the sma without the pin on the cable end so you would need adapters to mate to scanner. Probably work fine on 800.
 

br0adband

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Wi-Fi RF hardware typically uses SMA connectors whereas the kind of hardware we use in the casual (and even professional) monitoring community would use RP-SMA (Reverse Polarity-SMA) connectors so you'll end up using an adapter of some kind. Also, considering that Wi-Fi hardware is designed to operate at/around the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz ranges these kinds of antennas don't really work very well in the frequency bands most of us care to monitor.

They'd be almost absolutely useless for anything under 100 MHz, and for things above 100 MHz up to about 940 MHz or so they would function but not very well with pretty severe signal loss due to it being so far off the tuned frequencies the antenna hardware is designed for.

Your particular testing methodology is exactly what I'm talking about:

That Watson antenna is actually designed for 2m (144-148 MHz) and 70cm (420-450 MHz) so for reaching into the higher frequencies in the 800 MHz range it's technically way out of tune just as those Wi-Fi antennas would be.

Contrast that with the one by Cradlepoint you're talking about which is designed to operate in the 1700-2700 MHz cellular bands by default and the 800-900 MHz bands are practically a half-wavelength of those frequencies (ok so the math isn't perfect but the concept holds) so obviously with it being tuned to a point in the middle of those ranges it's going to perform MUCH better receiving those actual frequencies than the Watson is - the Watson is basically a clone of the very popular Diamond RH77CA antenna which too is actually designed for 2m/70cm operation but can receive frequencies over a wide band like any antenna actually can.

So, while technically using one of those Wi-Fi antennas might get you a signal - it's a piece of wire or metal which is what an antenna is, after all - the actual signal strength you receive is suffer because it's so far "off-frequency" in terms of the tuning. Yes it'll get a signal since again it's a piece of metal or wiring but most of the time the performance is easily bested by an antenna tuned to the frequencies you're hoping to monitor or close to it.

But hey, if it offers you improved performance over the Watson (which it obviously does), that's the bonus. ;)
 
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Thank you for your informative input. :)
Like you said if it works where I want it to work, that's a bonus. I probably won't be using this antenna for too much longer though since I am on a FD and we'll be switching to two new systems P25-P1 starting maybe this summer when the last of the three towers are completed.

The first system will be: Organization of Affiliated Secure Interoperable RF Subsystems (OASIS) Organization of Affiliated Secure Interoperable RF Subsystems (OASIS) Trunking System, Milwaukee & Waukesha, Wisconsin - Scanner Frequencies That'll be in the same system I monitor already.

The second system is: Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications (WISCOM) Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications (WISCOM) Trunking System, Statewide, Wisconsin - Scanner Frequencies which the frequencies will start in the 139.xxx to 155.xxx range.
 
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