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WTF? The Wilson Electronics 801245 SOHO Amp Fails Again!

With a title like this, you would expect a rant against Wilson Electronics. Not the case today folks, read on to find out the circumstances.

My one year old Wilson Amp failed and Wilson  replaced it quickly.  3 weeks ago, the Wilson Electronics 801245 SOHO Cellular Amplifier sent as a replacement failed as well — after less than a week in service.  It got very hot and then all the status lights went out and it would not power up.  WTF right?  Another call to Wilson Electronics Tech  Support in St. George, UT was in order.  I was getting way too familiar with these guys.

So the Tech Guy asked me to check the power supply with my multi meter and it checked out correctly.  I was debating on ‘fessing up that this amp was a recent replacement for a failed product.  I was afraid perhaps two back to back failures would somehow push me past the line and they would refuse to replace the amp.  I figured I might as well be painfully honest and just spill the beans.  I told Tech Guy the sordid story and immediately the conversation shifted.  He informed me that failures of this type were usually related to antenna or cabling problems — like a bad connection.  Well, I am thinking to myself   “No way dude!  My cabling and antennas are in superior condition.”    Dammit!   I could feel the call going downhill as he asked me what kind of antenna  (Wilson Trucker)  and what kind of cable (LMR400) I was using.   My cynical mind was imagining him informing me that they could not replace the second 801245 amplifier because of the cabling and/or antenna failure.   I was already getting steamed just thinking about it.  I mean after all, I had bought that expensive LMR400 cable.  Now, if truth be known, the Wilson Trucker Antenna was not in pristine shape.  I had broken off two of the radials sometime back and re-attached them with JB Weld.  I was not about to tell Tech Guy that however.  Rat Bastard!   So there I was preparing my rant mentally  when Tech Guy said “How many feet of LMR400 cable?”

Oh ok, I get it.  He was going to get minute details of the entire installation so he could blow me out of the water.  Double Rat bastard.

“30 feet of LMR400” says me.

TG says “You realize the Wilson Trucker Antenna comes with 10′ of cable.”

Oh man, this guy really IS covering all the bases.  “Yes, I still have to use 30′ of  LMR400. The antenna is quite a ways in the air on the rear of  my RV.”

TG perks right up and says ” This is installed in an RV????”

Uh oh–sounds like some sorta demerit to me.  “Yes it is.”   This is not going well.

I am beginning to boil at a slow roll.  TG says sorta to himself   ” …. and you will need the connector for the Wilson Trucker to the LMR400 cable.”

What. Stop the presses!  ” Are you saying you are replacing the 801245 amp AND the

The "goody box" from Wilson Electronics

Wilson Trucker Antenna AND the LMR400 cable?”

TG replies ” Yes sir , That is the only way I can be sure your problem is taken care of.  Just make sure and replace all the current parts with the new ones.”

Holy cats!  I could hardly believe my ears.   If any one reading this doubts the stellar reputation of Wilson Electronics equipment and their superior customer service, those doubts should be laid to rest forever more.  Nobody that I have ever dealt with even comes close to touching Wilson Electronics. Nobody. Wilson Electronics Customer Service is stellar. No doubt about it.

The box arrived in good time and contained all the replacement parts as promised  –somewhere north of $450 of brand new stuff gratis.  I knew I was going to replace that Wilson Truckers Antenna – that JB Weld thing you know- but I was not sure about the LMR400 cable.   I mean, the cable wasn’t a year old and why replace something that was still entirely serviceable????  Didn’t make sense to me.  The I got to comparing the Wilson LMR400 cable vs. the cable I had ordered online from Custom Cables USA.  ( I intentionally did not make the Custom Cables link clickable –read on)

The failed LMR400 connector

Price drove me to Custom Cables USA and a side by side comparison showed the Wilson Cable to be a little thicker — a better covering was my conclusion. So I figured why not replace it. I could always sell the old cable or just keep it in reserve as a spare. I was disconnecting the old cable when one of the connectors literally came off in my hand. Obviously, it had not been crimped correctly.  So no clickable lint to Custom Cables USA – they don’t deserve it. Even more obvious was the reason for my 801245 amp failure. Tech Guy was right – I did have a bad connector. Well, I’ll be damned!

I got everything hooked back up in short order  – making double sure all the  cable connections were double tight.

The new Wilson Truckers Antenna High in the air over Calvert, TX

I had been enduring an abysmal aircard connection since the Wilson Amp failed. -95dbm to -105dbm; just marginal and I mean MARGINAL as far as usable connections go. As soon as I fired the Wilson 801245 SOHO amp up, the signal strength immediately improved to -79dbm to -85dbm. Damn right! I was back in business in the Old Girl!

End Note: Pontiac By Fred Eaglesmith from the Lipstick, Lies and Gasoline album. Been listening to alot of Fred J. lately. He is genius, pure genius.

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3 comments to WTF? The Wilson Electronics 801245 SOHO Amp Fails Again!

  • CJ

    Any objects in the mirror are precisely their own size.

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  • Don

    Thanks for this article. I have a wilson booster I was about to install with a Laird antenna. I think I’ll make it all wilson instead.

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  • Rockin Rog

    I just purchased a Wilson SOHO Wireless 801245 Dual Band amp and am squirming like a school girl on a swing. Went from 2 Bars at best with my Yagi outside to Full Beautiful Bars on my 3G+ Ericsson (Rogers Canada) Rocket Hub Internet device!

    As a bonus I can now use my Cell Phone in every room of my house where I had to stand at the back door before.

    Reading your story and about Wilson service made my day!

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