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.
There are 3 basic questions that come up:
- Do I need an antenna?
- Will an antenna boost my speed?
- 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?
If 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.
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.