Shiny makes an excellent Faraday Cage. That’s not good if we want to use our cell phone for accessing the internet or making a phone call from inside our aluminium acropolis. There is only one option that I can think of to alleviate this electromagnetic impediment and that is an external antenna.
First I needed to decide what type of antenna to get. Then I got thinking if I was going to go through the trouble to mount an external antenna I might as well boast the signal while I’m at it. After hours, and I mean hours, of research I decided to go with a weBoost 4G-X system. I went with the regular car/truck model. They do make a weBoost kit for RV’s but the antenna mounts on a ladder which Shiny does not have.
I could think of some problems that I was going to have with this installation. How would I mount the magnetic antenna on Shiny’s aluminum roof? How was I going to run the cable along the roof and tie it down? The weBoost comes with a 12 volt power cord and requires a 12 volt power supply (cigarette lighter) which Shiny is without. And finally how was I going to get the antenna cable inside of Shiny without drilling a hole in the hull.
Here’s the accessories I ended up buying to accomplish these tasks:
1/2 inch grommet (from the local hardware store)
To be honest, I was really dreading this installation. In reality Sue and I performed the installation in under and hour and with ease.
The first job we tackled, and the hardest, was the antenna. Hardest only because someone, namely poor Sue, had to get up on the roof. Being a big guy I was certain that if I tried to get up on Shiny’s roof there was going to be a hole much bigger then 1/2 inch.
In any case, after seeing how other people solved the problem on Airforums, I decided to run the antenna cable down through the refrigerator vent. One not so warm day we got to work. From the ladder I drilled a 1/2 inch hole in the side of the refrigerator vent on the roof. I then went inside and drilled a 1 1/2 hole with a hole saw in the cabinet above the refrigerator. Back up on the ladder I pushed the cable down through the 1/2 inch hole while Sue pulled the cable in through the 1 1/2 inch hole in the cabinet above the refrigerator with a bent wire. It worked slick!! Sue then got up on the roof and using the two sided Gorilla tape found a nice spot for the antenna and using the adhesive mounts and tie downs ran the cable neatly along the roof to the refrigerator vent.
Here’s what it looked like after we were done on the roof.
The tie downs I bought worked nice. Disregard the pine needle. 🙂 We used a little Gorilla tape for added support where the cable entered the vent.
We then drilled another 1 1/2 hole through the cabinet wall just above the TV. I ran the inside antenna and power cord. Then I mounted the inside antenna above the TV.
Mounted the booster on the inside wall of the cabinet with Gorilla tape.
Guess what? It works! Before we plugged the weBoost in we had just one bar on our cell phones. After putting juice to the booster we had 4 bars. We’re happy Streamers.