Altelix AD5G23M2 Antenna for C5c


#1

So we have been on the lookout for a reasonably priced antenna for the C5c, we use several different antennas, but we needed a replacement for our Blunder on the AirFiber front. (Bad research, things are setup at 45 degree slant making the antenna worse then a C5). Basically it filled in the range of 2.5 and 4 mile shots that were too hard for a C5, but not quite worth a $350 radio + antenna install.

The trouble is that we wanted an entire package, ~23 DB Gain, Dish (Flat Panel antennas were not isolating enough), Under $120 and an all important Radome (wind and hail kills more of our antennas then most anything else). Not many options, especially because higher then 23 DB and the Radome comes separate and increases the cost.

After months of fighting and hunting, I came across this little bugger.
http://www.altelix.com/Ubiquiti-Mimosa-Mikrotik-23dBi-Dish-Antenna-5GHz-p/ad5g23m2.htm

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For the low low price of $60, less then the AirFiber, we are getting a simple antenna that hits all the bullet points. At least in theory.

Here is what we have seen after setting up 2 of them.

Scale: 1-5
Assembly: Rating: 2. There are no instructions and the only part that is assembled it the horn, it’s not too complicated to figure out where everything goes, but it defiantly takes trial and error. Hint: rotate the horn 90 degrees in any direction from vertical and your life will be easier.:sunglasses:

Look and Feel: Rating 1. I knew I was ordering cheap antennas, but geez, if you like your antenna connectors to be protected (especially the RP-SMA connectors on the C5c) this is not the antenna for you. We are fiddling with various ideas for adding protection, but at the moment we are relying on a liberal use of mastic tape. Overall this is a cheap antenna and one of the dishes arrived pretty well banged up (superficial, but we are still unhappy). We are looking at RMAing it, but are not terribly hopeful.

Alignment: Rating: 3. I have spent a good portion of my life playing with radios, aligning antennas is one reason I know I wont ever be fired. This is better then many Ubiquiti antennas I have had to deal with, but no where near a nice alignment job.

Performance: Rating: 4. So far we are seeing 10 - 15% better RSSI on antennas that we replaced an airFiber antenna with one of these. We have a 3.4 mile new client who we connected at -61 and so far all has been good.

Overall, a 10/25. For the price it is hard to expect better, but if you need the extra bit of isolation and gain over the C5 then this is probably the antenna for you. Otherwise, don’t be a cheapskate like us.:wink:

We have had these antennas up for ~2 weeks so far, if stuff hits the fan I will do a followup post, but I think we have a new ~3 mile antenna.


#2

Thanks for this @william5!

I’ll have to get a couple in here and test them myself.


#3

We have been using Cambium ePMP Force 110 antennas (C050900D007B) for these situations. They are 25 dbi and about $60 + shipping (can come in 4 packs for better shipping). They require some minor modifications to mount the radio to the plastic shield, but it can be done in the field easily enough.


#4

@Kenten

We saw them, and I have tried getting approval for picking a couple up for testing (I really would like the extra 2 dB) but the lack of a cheap Radome (at least that I could find on Baltic’s store) killed it for us. Which leaves me chuckling when I am setting up a Ubiquiti Powerbeam 400, none broken yet, but we have only been using them for a year now…

I always thought the braces were a good idea, what has your experience been with them? How much modification do you need to do? We were using a hand saw on the airFiber antennas to make a couple cuts, so that would not be a problem for us…


#5

They are fairly durable but we don’t have the sorts of trouble you are having with wind and hail. I don’t believe they made radomes for them. We have had some in operation since January with good luck.

I don’t have any in the office at the moment, I think a new shipment of antennas should be here today or tomorrow. I’ll get you a photo once they are in.

Basically we just drill a small hole on both sides of the radio cover, then stick zip ties or cord through the holes and the hose clamp hole on the C5c. It holds it tight and does not flop or rattle.


#6

My customers use the antennas from Wireless Instruments, exactly this model: http://wireless-instruments.com/en/products/antennas/wibox-pa-m64-26x-slim-for-mimosa-c5c

Apart from 26 dBi, you are getting also IP67 enclosure. See a short footage on YT:


#7

The trouble with the that Wibox antenna is the same as the airFiber antennas, they are at a 45 degree slant so you are loosing 3-5 dB unless you are going to another slanted antenna. (great for PTP, but not so great with the current PTMP sector antennas on the market at the moment)

There are others, but are only 24 dB and we are already frustrated with previous flat panel experiences, so we probably wont be giving Wibox a try, though if somebody does have good experience with them do let the community know.

But I do like the enclosure for the C5c a lot, that is my biggest worry and the most significant change that I miss, a cover for the RP-SMA connectors on the C5c.


#8

We got the new batch of antennas in. Here are a few photos. they are not perfect, but they get the job done for us.