I’ve been using the Rogers Rocket Hub (aka Ericcson W35 Broadband Router) for almost 4 months now.  I’ve written about it over on HubPages as well as here at Ramblings.  One thing that has come up quite regularly in the discussion is the issue of an antenna to boost the signal.

The Issues

There are 3 basic questions that come up:

  1. Do I need an antenna?
  2. Will an antenna boost my speed?
  3. Where do I get an antenna?

Since I have no need for an antenna in my situation, I don’t really have the experience to answer these questions fully.  However, I can give you my take on the first 2 questions and give you a resource for #3.  I’ll also give you a contact where you can get more information.

Do I Need an Antenna?

Ericcson W35 signal indicatorsIf you are getting a consistent 3G signal to the hub, even if it is only 1 bar, then the quick answer is “no”.  I get a consistent signal with my hub located in the basement.  It is usually 1 or 2 bars (remember that the unit shows the signal in 1/6th of a bar) and often less than 1.  I still get consistent connections and speed.

However, if you’re getting an intermittent signal (or no signal at all) then an antenna may help.  Before shelling out for an antenna you might want to try moving the hub to different locations (especially higher in the house).  If you still have trouble, you might want to test what kind of signal you can get outside if the weather is co-operating or if you have a Rogers 3G cell phone.

There are indoor and outdoor antennas available although you’ll need to make sure that you have a good quality cable and the proper adapters to connect to the W35.  If your signal is really bad then an outdoor antenna is the best choice.

Will an Antenna Boost My Speed?

This question is harder to answer.  I get faster than advertised speeds with a relatively weak signal, so I’m not convinced that this will make a difference.

As long as the connection is consistent then the speed you get will likely depend more upon the amount of use the cellular tower you’re connecting too gets.

However, I’ve not tried an antenna and I’m by no means an expert, so take this answer for what it’s worth.

Where Do I Get an Antenna?

I’ve heard from others that Rogers and the Rogers Store personnel are not really up to speed on the antenna issue.  They have contracted with another agency to sell and install antennas for clients.

However, was recently contacted by Scott Hampton.  Scott is the Marketing/Communications Manager of Powertec Communications.  They are responsible for the distribution of the W35 in Australia, the U.K., the U.S. and Canada (and perhaps other parts of the world as well).

He provided me with some links to their web sites to get more information on antennas and other accessories.  He has also graciously offered to answer any questions via email.

Resources

Check out the official Ericcson W35 Broadband Router page and follow the link for Accessories.  Or email Scott directly.  And make sure to share your new found information in the comments!

I’ve also written a HubPage about this.  The information there is similar to this page, but there is a growing community of commenters there that often share some great information, so it will be worth checking out as the comments come in.

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5 Comments on Antenna, Antenna, Antenna — Anybody Need an Antenna?

  1. Adventures in Internet Access says:

    [...] As you may be aware, broadband internet is finally in use at the Wolf’s Den.  If you missed the news, check out Finally.  Some of you may be wondering how I settled on Rogers and the Rocket Hub (aka Ericsson W35 Broadband Router) vs. other cellular options available, so I’ll do a quick run down of what transpired.  I’ll also add in the factors that affected the decision to use cellular rather than the satellite or wireless technologies. Update If you have questions about using an antenna with the Rocket Hub then check out my article on antennas. [...]

  2. LMR says:

    An antenna will not improve your speed. A good antenna and coaxial cable to your router will improve your throughput. More date will get through on the first try without retransmission of packets.

  3. Alastair says:

    Re. (remember that the unit shows the signal in 1/6th of a bar)
    My Bell Ericsson W35 has 4 vertical lines per bar and there is a single LED behind each group of 4 lines. The display is cute but left and right halves are identical and really indicate a maximum of 4 bars whereas the Bell Overview shows 5 bars. The image on the site shows 6 vertical lines per bar; different incarnation of the W35!
    Great site.

  4. Alastair says:

    Re. (remember that the unit shows the signal in 1/6th of a bar)
    My Bell Ericsson W35 has 4 vertical lines per bar and there is a single LED behind each group of 4 lines. The display is cute but left and right halves are identical and really indicate a maximum of 4 bars whereas the Bell Overview shows 5 bars. The image on the site shows 6 vertical lines per bar; different incarnation of the W35!
    Great site.

  5. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Alastair. I never noticed that there was only a single LED in there, but you’re right about that.

    As for the dual display it is rather redundant (unless they are showing the signal for each of the antennae independently). But it is visually balanced which makes the unit look much nicer than some others I’ve seen.

    Thanks for the visit and I hope you’ll be back to share further adventures with your Bell unit. I like to hear how people are faring with them as well.

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