Barndominium Life Simplified with high-speed connectivity

Increased speed and stability

At a customer site in Celina, Texas, cellular network speeds were between 1.4 and .3 mbps. The Internet service provider was satellite and promised speeds of 12mpbs but tended to be on the 8 to 9.1 range. A typical household with someone watching Netflix, another on a Zoom call, and kids on games and TikTok need 12mpbs minimum.  The standard for broadband is 25mbps. The client required VPN for work which halved these speeds. Latency was high and so Zoom meetings were either out of sync or dropping frames, sometimes just locking up entirely.

Rolling out to the scene

Our company van is equipped with a Cradlepoint IBR900 and a Panorama antenna. Upon rolling up at the customer site we were getting 33mbps of 4G-LTE.

The customer wanted to provide wifi across the entire property which was densely covered with Live Oak trees. The large Barndominium was uphill of the main house. The barndo had direct line of sight to a Verizon tower 2.5 miles away. The house was at a lower elevation and the cell tower was not only out of line of sight but was blocked by the bardo completely.

Installing the antenna

On the barn we put an externally mounted Panorama WMM4G-6-60 4×4 MiMo 4G/5G Directional Antenna.  MIMO technology utilizes multiple antennas for both transmitting and receiving data.

We chose a Cradlepoint IBR1700 as the receiver since it supports 4×4 MiMo and can be upgraded to 5G when the time comes. Additionally, it is particularly rugged and will do well in Texas weather extremes without and issues.

Directional antennas focus the transmitted and received signals in specific directions, increasing the effective range and coverage in those directions. In scenarios where coverage needs to be extended in specific areas, such as rural environments or point-to-point connections, directional 4×4 MIMO can provide a significant advantage over omnidirectional antennas. In a 4×4 MIMO configuration, there are four antennas at both the transmitter and receiver ends. This spatial diversity allows for the transmission of multiple data streams simultaneously, which significantly increases the overall data throughput. More data can be transmitted in the same frequency band, enhancing the network’s capacity.

Basically, we made the cellular antenna connection as strong as it would be at a rural fire station or drug store.

Connecting between buildings

To connect the barn and the house we opted to bury Cat6 ethernet cables in plastic pipe as the oak trees made a point-to-point wireless solution between buildings impractical. Cat6 is more reliable and faster than wireless with speeds. Since it was under 300 ft we did not need any signal application for ethernet. To distribute wifi across the property we selected the excellent Asus AX89X router. Each one provides approximately 250ft circles of wifi6 and the ASUS AiMesh WiFi system for seamless whole-home coverage. 6000Mbps WiFi speed to handle even the busiest network with ease.

Dual 10G ports for10X-faster data-transfer speeds for bandwidth-demanding tasks with 10GBase-T and 10G SFP+ networking technology port. 8 antennas + 8 LAN ports to support more clients at the same time. Commercial-grade Security – AiProtection Pro, powered by Trend Micro™, blocks internet security threats for all your connected smart devices. This made lightning fast 10gbps connections between the two main buildings for sharing large data files like movies and created a wifi bubble to allow for wifi calling anywhere on the property.

Unlimited High-Speed Verizon Data

The last piece of the puzzle was the data plan. Digital Navigator’s Barns and Mobile solution is designed to be a simple, all in one, month to month, turnkey solution combined with an easy-to-understand Verizon data plan with no surprises or hidden fees. $55 per month for speeds up to 100mbps and 100GB of data per month. $199 gets you unlimited data and the maximum speed your tower can provide. In the case of the Celina customer, AT&T was delivering 171mbps, but the plan was much more expensive with a data cap at 500GB so the customer with the Unlimited Verizon plan at $199. No long-term contract, cancel at any time with 30 days’ notice.

The customer has enjoyed continual connectivity with an occasional reboot of Cradlepoint being the only maintenance. Final speeds were 91 on Verizon, averaging 70-77. Slowest speeds in bad weather were 24-32.  VPN reduced speeds substantially and multiple VPN users simultaneously were problematic in periods of slower service like ice storms or other “rain fade” events. Latency was consistently below 30ms.

Contact us for more information on a custom install for your Barndominium