# Thread: Off-topic: Measuring ISP's signal strength

1. ## Off-topic: Measuring ISP's signal strength

I am in an isolated rural area. My ISP uses Motorola Canopy 900 Mhz
equipment. There's a tower ( actually, a wooden utility pole ) with
their antennas about 1.8 miles away from my house.

I have a long Yagi antenna on the roof with the Canopy receiver-modem
on the antenna and Cat 5 cable running into the house.

My connection drops from time to time and the ISP tells me it's a
signal strength issue. Their contractor has climbed all over my roof
and lawn. Where the antenna is now located the signal strength ranges
from -78 dBm to -81 dBm. There's one spot in the lawn where he gets
-68 dBm but we can't put a tower or antenna at that point.

The Canopy receiver has a nominal signal floor of -90 dBm -- so -- I'm
getting close to the point at which the Canopy drops the signal.

The Yagi antenna is installed horizontally -- that is, with the
elements parallel to the horizon. I can't find in the Canopy
specifications whether it operates with VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL antenna
polarization and the installer simply does not understand the
difference between a vertically-polarized and a horizontally-polarized
antenna.

If the antenna on the ISP tower is vertically-polarized, and my Yagi
is horizontal, then, I'm losing 12 - 15 dB of signal strength -- which
is substantial.

Two questions:

1. Does anyone know what antenna polarization the 900 Mhz Canopy
system uses -- vertical or horizontal?

2. When the contractor comes out here, he connects the receiver-modem
on my antenna to a device of some kind that is connected to his laptop
and he reads the signal strength and other signal parameters on the
laptop. Where can I get whatever it is he's using to measure the 900
Mhz signal strength from the ISP tower? I want to turn my antenna
vertical and move it around my roof -- I think I can get better signal
strength by playing around with it.

Thanks.

2. ## Re: Off-topic: Measuring ISP's signal strength

Hi
His tool is probably a propriety hardware/software specifically to the ISP
equipment.
You can try to search for terms like Signal Meter + the name and model of
Example,
I am not very hopeful, but try, you never know.
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking).

"Captain America" <the_captain@america.com> wrote in message
news:diq0h5h3hdom5i8qdgsdsraoq74e8okbf8@4ax.com...
>I am in an isolated rural area. My ISP uses Motorola Canopy 900 Mhz
> equipment. There's a tower ( actually, a wooden utility pole ) with
> their antennas about 1.8 miles away from my house.
>
> I have a long Yagi antenna on the roof with the Ca nopy receiver-modem
> on the antenna and Cat 5 cable running into the house.
>
> My connection drops from time to time and the ISP tells me it's a
> signal strength issue. Their contractor has climbed all over my roof
> and lawn. Where the antenna is now located the signal strength ranges
> from -78 dBm to -81 dBm. There's one spot in the lawn where he gets
> -68 dBm but we can't put a tower or antenna at that point.
>
> The Canopy receiver has a nominal signal floor of -90 dBm -- so -- I'm
> getting close to the point at which the Canopy drops the signal.
>
> The Yagi antenna is installed horizontally -- that is, with the
> elements parallel to the horizon. I can't find in the Canopy
> specifications whether it operates with VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL antenna
> polarization and the installer simply does not understand the
> difference between a vertically-polarized and a horizontally-polarized
> antenna.
>
> If the antenna on the ISP tower is vertically-polarized, and my Yagi
> is horizontal, then, I'm losing 12 - 15 dB of signal strength -- which
> is substantial.
>
> Two questions:
>
> 1. Does anyone know what antenna polarization the 900 Mhz Canopy
> system uses -- vertical or horizontal?
>
> 2. When the contractor comes out here, he connects the receiver-modem
> on my antenna to a device of some kind that is connected to his laptop
> and he reads the signal strength and other signal parameters on the
> laptop. Where can I get whatever it is he's using to measure the 900
> Mhz signal strength from the ISP tower? I want to turn my antenna
> vertical and move it around my roof -- I think I can get better signal
> strength by playing around with it.
>
> Thanks.

3. ## Re: Off-topic: Measuring ISP's signal strength

You can always rotate the Yagi to the vertical mode and see what happens. I
would think you could also look at the transmitter site and note the
orientation of their antenna. If its a vertical, which I would guess it
would be since the interest is serving more than one customer (omni
directional) Also try to set the antenna pointing directly in the direction
of the tower, making small movements and recording the signal strength.

"Jack [MVP-Networking]" <jack@discussiongroup.com> wrote in message
news:OtcJTt9bKHA.1648@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
> Hi
> His tool is probably a propriety hardware/software specifically to the ISP
> equipment.
> You can try to search for terms like Signal Meter + the name and model of
> Example,
> I am not very hopeful, but try, you never know.
> Jack (MS, MVP-Networking).
>
> "Captain America" <the_captain@america.com> wrote in message
> news:diq0h5h3hdom5i8qdgsdsraoq74e8okbf8@4ax.com...
>>I am in an isolated rural area. My ISP uses Motorola Canopy 900 Mhz
>> equipment. There's a tower ( actually, a wooden utility pole ) with
>> their antennas about 1.8 miles away from my house.
>>
>> I have a long Yagi antenna on the roof with the Ca nopy receiver-modem
>> on the antenna and Cat 5 cable running into the house.
>>
>> My connection drops from time to time and the ISP tells me it's a
>> signal strength issue. Their contractor has climbed all over my roof
>> and lawn. Where the antenna is now located the signal strength ranges
>> from -78 dBm to -81 dBm. There's one spot in the lawn where he gets
>> -68 dBm but we can't put a tower or antenna at that point.
>>
>> The Canopy receiver has a nominal signal floor of -90 dBm -- so -- I'm
>> getting close to the point at which the Canopy drops the signal.
>>
>> The Yagi antenna is installed horizontally -- that is, with the
>> elements parallel to the horizon. I can't find in the Canopy
>> specifications whether it operates with VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL antenna
>> polarization and the installer simply does not understand the
>> difference between a vertically-polarized and a horizontally-polarized
>> antenna.
>>
>> If the antenna on the ISP tower is vertically-polarized, and my Yagi
>> is horizontal, then, I'm losing 12 - 15 dB of signal strength -- which
>> is substantial.
>>
>> Two questions:
>>
>> 1. Does anyone know what antenna polarization the 900 Mhz Canopy
>> system uses -- vertical or horizontal?
>>
>> 2. When the contractor comes out here, he connects the receiver-modem
>> on my antenna to a device of some kind that is connected to his laptop
>> and he reads the signal strength and other signal parameters on the
>> laptop. Where can I get whatever it is he's using to measure the 900
>> Mhz signal strength from the ISP tower? I want to turn my antenna
>> vertical and move it around my roof -- I think I can get better signal
>> strength by playing around with it.
>>
>> Thanks.

>

4. ## Re: Off-topic: Measuring ISP's signal strength

On Sat, 28 Nov 2009 10:30:24 -0500, "Meebers" <Iwork@topposter.com>
wrote:

>You can always rotate the Yagi to the vertical mode and see what happens. I
>would think you could also look at the transmitter site and note the
>orientation of their antenna. If its a vertical, which I would guess it
>would be since the interest is serving more than one customer (omni
>directional) Also try to set the antenna pointing directly in the direction
>of the tower, making small movements and recording the signal strength.
>

That's probably what I'm going to do. We've had several days of rain
and high winds and I've got to wait for the roof to dry and wind to
stop, then, I'm planning to rotate the antenna to vertical
polarization.

What you say about omni-directional makes sense.

Thanks.

>
>"Jack [MVP-Networking]" <jack@discussiongroup.com> wrote in message
>news:OtcJTt9bKHA.1648@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>> Hi
>> His tool is probably a propriety hardware/software specifically to the ISP
>> equipment.
>> You can try to search for terms like Signal Meter + the name and model of
>> Example,
>> I am not very hopeful, but try, you never know.
>> Jack (MS, MVP-Networking).
>>
>> "Captain America" <the_captain@america.com> wrote in message
>> news:diq0h5h3hdom5i8qdgsdsraoq74e8okbf8@4ax.com...
>>>I am in an isolated rural area. My ISP uses Motorola Canopy 900 Mhz
>>> equipment. There's a tower ( actually, a wooden utility pole ) with
>>> their antennas about 1.8 miles away from my house.
>>>
>>> I have a long Yagi antenna on the roof with the Ca nopy receiver-modem
>>> on the antenna and Cat 5 cable running into the house.
>>>
>>> My connection drops from time to time and the ISP tells me it's a
>>> signal strength issue. Their contractor has climbed all over my roof
>>> and lawn. Where the antenna is now located the signal strength ranges
>>> from -78 dBm to -81 dBm. There's one spot in the lawn where he gets
>>> -68 dBm but we can't put a tower or antenna at that point.
>>>
>>> The Canopy receiver has a nominal signal floor of -90 dBm -- so -- I'm
>>> getting close to the point at which the Canopy drops the signal.
>>>
>>> The Yagi antenna is installed horizontally -- that is, with the
>>> elements parallel to the horizon. I can't find in the Canopy
>>> specifications whether it operates with VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL antenna
>>> polarization and the installer simply does not understand the
>>> difference between a vertically-polarized and a horizontally-polarized
>>> antenna.
>>>
>>> If the antenna on the ISP tower is vertically-polarized, and my Yagi
>>> is horizontal, then, I'm losing 12 - 15 dB of signal strength -- which
>>> is substantial.
>>>
>>> Two questions:
>>>
>>> 1. Does anyone know what antenna polarization the 900 Mhz Canopy
>>> system uses -- vertical or horizontal?
>>>
>>> 2. When the contractor comes out here, he connects the receiver-modem
>>> on my antenna to a device of some kind that is connected to his laptop
>>> and he reads the signal strength and other signal parameters on the
>>> laptop. Where can I get whatever it is he's using to measure the 900
>>> Mhz signal strength from the ISP tower? I want to turn my antenna
>>> vertical and move it around my roof -- I think I can get better signal
>>> strength by playing around with it.
>>>
>>> Thanks.

>>

>

5. ## Re: Off-topic: Measuring ISP's signal strength

On Fri, 27 Nov 2009 19:19:38 -0500, Captain America
<the_captain@america.com> wrote:

>I am in an isolated rural area. My ISP uses Motorola Canopy 900 Mhz
>equipment. There's a tower ( actually, a wooden utility pole ) with
>their antennas about 1.8 miles away from my house.
>
>I have a long Yagi antenna on the roof with the Canopy receiver-modem
>on the antenna and Cat 5 cable running into the house.
>
>My connection drops from time to time and the ISP tells me it's a
>signal strength issue. Their contractor has climbed all over my roof
>and lawn. Where the antenna is now located the signal strength ranges
>from -78 dBm to -81 dBm. There's one spot in the lawn where he gets
>-68 dBm but we can't put a tower or antenna at that point.
>
>The Canopy receiver has a nominal signal floor of -90 dBm -- so -- I'm
>getting close to the point at which the Canopy drops the signal.
>
>The Yagi antenna is installed horizontally -- that is, with the
>elements parallel to the horizon. I can't find in the Canopy
>specifications whether it operates with VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL antenna
>polarization and the installer simply does not understand the
>difference between a vertically-polarized and a horizontally-polarized
>antenna.
>
>If the antenna on the ISP tower is vertically-polarized, and my Yagi
>is horizontal, then, I'm losing 12 - 15 dB of signal strength -- which
>is substantial.
>
>Two questions:
>
>1. Does anyone know what antenna polarization the 900 Mhz Canopy
>system uses -- vertical or horizontal?
>
>2. When the contractor comes out here, he connects the receiver-modem
>on my antenna to a device of some kind that is connected to his laptop
>and he reads the signal strength and other signal parameters on the
>laptop. Where can I get whatever it is he's using to measure the 900
>Mhz signal strength from the ISP tower? I want to turn my antenna
>vertical and move it around my roof -- I think I can get better signal
>strength by playing around with it.
>
>Thanks.

After more 'net research I discovered that the Motorola units used by
ISP are horizontally polairzed. Their reasoning is that the 900 Mhz
band is used by all sorts of devices, most of which use vertical
polarization and Motorola elected to use horizontal polarization to
reduce interference from other services. Makes sense.

Still, I'd like to find someway to monitor the signal strength.

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