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The Ultimate RV Internet Access Project – Snake Oil and Mirrors – Part 8


Well, this may be the one installment of The Ultimate RV Internet Access Project that would been better off unpublished but then I think back on my readers like Mel or Hector .  I assume they are like the majority of us, they bought an RV and they are getting along with the steep learning curve associated with the RV lifestyle.  Propane/electric, generators, black/gray/fresh water tanks and then Internet Access???? Christ, will it never end?  It reminds me of those Bing commercials on TV right now where the individuals are search overloaded and turn into blithering idiots.    So, I can safely tell you right now this installment is not headed in a good direction.

“predator ( ) n. An organism that lives by preying on other organisms. One that victimizes, plunders, or destroys, especially for one’s own gain.”

I am talking about  internet predators here folks.    People who prey on the uninformed and unwary.  Snake oil and mirrors. Smoke and lies.  It just makes me angry.

So this story is going to take some telling and the best place to start is at the beginning.   When I started the Ultimate RV Internet Access Project back in the early winter of 2009,  I was ahead of the curve quite a bit.  I had been fulltiming in the Old Girl for a few years and part of the equipment was a Wilson Amplified setup so I knew the basics.  Moving up to the next level of performance took days of research, hundreds of Google searches, multiple phone calls and pleas for help on several internet forums.

Dividing the project up in to separate components made it easier to achieve the goal of an upgraded recreational vehicle internet access system.  One of the main components was the external antenna.  My omni-directional Wilson Trucker’s cell antenna was just not going to cut the mustard at these extreme ranges. I soon discovered that a Yagi directional antenna was what I needed.  Specifically, a dual band Yagi directional antenna. The problem was that some of the people selling these antennas were cut from the same cloth as the spammers that fill my email trashbox every day with promises of super human lovemaking ability,  making a bazillion dollars from home without ever changing out of my pajamas or the startling revelation that I have won 900 million EURO in the Slovakistan Lottery without even buying a ticket!!!   Holy crap, am I a lucky guy or what?  The sad truth is these internet predators will get a few responses out of every 100k spam emails they send out and those uninformed, unfortunate souls will be fleeced.

So it started with this blog post I really wanted this Yagi Antenna  – Caveat emptor!.  I summed it up in an internet forum begging for help and the thread is interesting…..

ME:
I am upgrading my current internet access equipment which has been in place for 2 years because I need more range and performance and need some help on a specific external antenna question I use the AT&T network and settled on a yagi dual band antenna as being preferable over the other choices. Information on yagi antennas for cell phone and data use is not a s widespread as it is on the omni directional antennas in common use so I have had to do some digging.

The way I understand a yagi works (Iam not an engineer or a techie, ok? ) is that performance is purely related to length and the number of elements. No whiz bang secret squirrel stuff. I also understand that a dual band yagi will not have the gain numbers associated with a single band antenna. As a reference point, I found many single band yagis in the 3′ length range that promised 13db gain. One single band yagi promised 15db gain but it was over 5′ long. The dual band yagi antennas all fell in the 10-11db gain range at about the 3′ length.

The I ran across this Cyfre Dual Band Yagi that is advertised at 19db gain and I just do not understand how that is possible? It is 34″ long and looks just like the other dual band yagis and the specs are the same as many other dual band yagi offerings. In my untechnical mind, I am thinking a 19db dual band yagi would have to be 10 or 12′ long or something? I have emailed and called Cyfre for confirmation and explanation of these claims and I have received no coherent response. I really would like to have this yagi with double the gain of anything else that is available on the market.

Could someone clarify this for me? Am I just missing something?

Oddly enough, someone known to me who sells the Cyfre Product line responds:

I am not going to even get into the Yagi numbers. I publish what I get from my supplier . Just keep in mind a few things about yagi antennas . They have a 5% variance so they take a great deal of time , expertise, patience and knowledge to aim. They require direct line of sight and flat terrain between you and the tower for proper operation . If the tower you are aimed at has problems , you are in trouble with no signal as they only pick up signal from the tower you are aimed at. Because of all these factors they are not condusive at all for RV’rs and are only good for a permanent installation The easiest and best solution to increase performance is a good direct copnnect amplifier and omni directional antenna . You are set up in minutes with no muss and fuss.

(OK,OK, while you are digesting this inane thread, check out this picture of the Yagi antenna that is no good for RVs in actual use by ME.)

Huh? Let me try again.
ME:
Thank you -name deleted-.

It was my hope you could offer an explanation re: the claims made by your supplier. Does Cyfre manufacture this dual band yagi or is it supplied by a third party? I am just looking for the best application for my specific need.

The Cyfre guy tap dances good! He says:

Cyfre has their Antennas manufactured for them to thier specs by contract manufacturer. I am sure you will find the best solution to be a direct connect amplifier and a good Omni directional antenna . I know Cyfre engineers as per my request are developing a dual band parabolic grid. The parabolic grid antennas seem to get amazing results but at this time all that is available are single band units

But I am resolute and decide to soldier on.
ME:
Thank you once again. I am trying to keep this thread focused on my original post. Is there any chance of clarifying the numbers on the Cyfre Dual Band Yagi? I am at the end of my rope trying to get the information direct from Cyfre and will not expend further energy in that direction.

And Cyfre guy proves that he IS the true Master of Obfuscation:

Those are the numbers that came out of the labs a few years ago when this antenna was released. I doubt I will be able to get any further explanation than that . Lots of options out there . If you are looking for maximum gain out of an antenna without using an amplifier . I would tell you to get a single band parabolic grid . Again being a directional antenna all the factors I stated effecting a Yagi will apply.

Cyfre guy maybe has an attention disorder because I am certainly having trouble keeping him focused. I have no choice but to politely retire from this battle.
ME:

Thanks once again.

I cannot remember the last time I worked so hard trying to give my money to a company. I will close my posting in this thread and I do appreciate your help but the result was less than I had hoped. Nothing lost but my time I guess.

FWIW,
I have been using bi-directional cellular amplifiers since 2005. We currently have 3 in daily use in varying extreme applications. I am well past the capabilities of an omni-directional antenna with no amplification – or even with amplification in this location. This location is 26 miles away from the only cell tower available and I am pulling the signal in with a 10db dual band flat panel mounted on the feedhorn of an old DirectTV dish. This backyard concoction is ungainly and heavy and does not make the transition to a 30′ mast very well. The closest location I can get a signal from the same tower in the amplifier equipped mobile units is around the 19 mile mark.

Thanks once again for your help.

That was the end of Cyfre guy in this thread. Now fast forward 5 months to NOW and I am reviewing the entire Ultimate RV Internet Access Series and I decide it would be a good idea to reference the blog posting about the Cyfre 14 Element Dual Band Antenna which I entitled I really wanted this antenna – Caveat emptor! Imagine my surprise when I clicked the link for the Cyfre antenna and I got this:
Unavailable product
This product is unavailable or temporary disabled.

Go ahead and try it yourself — Cyfre 14 Element Dual Band Antenna See what I mean? So immediately, I say to myself Holy Crap!  did I dream all this stuff up?  Surely not, it just can’t be.  One of my pet peeves is all the misinformation available on the internet, could I have been guilty of adding to the misinformation bloat? Well, they say Google is your friend and in this case it certainly was. The page was still available in a previous cache of the website so it was there at some point in recent history.  The picture on the right will prove my sanity in perpetuity.

So I figure two things happened (and this is entirely hypothetical postulation on my part)…..

The antenna is simply out of stock.

OR

It has been removed from their product list.   If this is the case, I hope it is forever removed from their product listing because I truly believe the stated specs for the antenna were false and misleading and I will definitely call it as I see it.

So on the positive side, the Yagi dual band antenna I received from Cellantenna.com performed exactly as promised, was shipped economically and promptly and costs $20 bucks less than the Cyfre Dual Band.  I have no problem endorsing the Cellantenna.com Yagi antenna and let me assure you this is an uncompensated endorsement.

On the negative side, You could not give me a Cyfre product, I would never buy anything from Cyfre Guy and I will take him to task re: culpability whenever I see him post on an internet forum because I do believe he is an internet predator in every definition of the phrase. Snake oil and mirrors folks.  Smoke and lies.

So let me ask you now, in these difficult and trying times, which is the best business model?  Do you base your business on integrity, value and exceptional customer service which  always results in long term, repeat customers.  Or do you base your business on misinformation and the fast, easy money?

You don’t have to be a Rocket Scientist to figure that one out now do you?  It is just senseless to base your business on greed and misinformation but these are the times we live in.  Caveat Emptor!

Read the previous entry  –  The Ultimate RV Internet Access Project – Part 7

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1 comment to The Ultimate RV Internet Access Project – Snake Oil and Mirrors – Part 8

  • steve bowers

    wpsantennas.com

    CM-meter-01

    little pricy but works ..

    Steve

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