Can trucker antennae be placed on houses?

Posted by on July 16, 2015

Yes. Although designed for mobile use, a truck mounted antenna will provide the same signal improvement if mounted on a stationary structure (a.k.a., a building or house). However, we recommend a Yagi directional antenna for all building and home installations because a Yagi antenna has more gain and can compensate for signal loss through the cable.

If you had this question, you were probably in one of two situations:

1) You have bought a truck mount antenna before for your large vehicle (such as an 18 wheeled truck, RV, or boat) and it has been working great so you’re wondering if it will work for your home too.

2) You were interested in a signal booster kit and you needed an outside antenna for your home, and you noticed that the trucking antenna was priced lower than other outside antennas.

Let us break it down more clearly how it is possible to choose a truck antenna for your home, but better to choose a Yagi antenna?

What is a Trucker Antenna?

A Trucker antenna is an antenna designed to be used as an outside antenna for large vehicles.

Trucker Antenna

What is a Yagi Antenna?

A Yagi antenna is an antenna designed to be used as an outside antenna for homes or buildings and comes as a high-gain antenna version (usually priced in the $40s) and a wide-band version (usually priced in the $60s). The wide-band versions are newer, a little better looking, and work better with 4G, which is why they are priced higher.

Yagi Antennae

The high-gain Yagi antennas work just as well, but since they are older models, they are priced lower.

Yagi Filament Antenna

Trucker Antennas versus Yagi Antennas

Since a Trucker antenna is an outside antenna, it can be used on a home or building. However, you might run into some issues.

High-Gain

On our site, you can see that the outside building antennas include one Trucker antenna (https://cellphonesignalbooster.us/wilson-311101-dual-band-mirror-mount-trucker-antenna-w-10-5-coax/) for around $32 dollars as compared to the $42–$60 Yagi antenna options. However, though the Trucker antenna option is cheaper, it does not offer the same gain as the Yagi antenna.

In a previous article, we explained that gain “is the ability of a device to increase the power of a signal. Gain is measured in db (Decibles). It is the power added to the signal by the amplifier” (“How Does a Signal Booster Work?”).Therefore, you have to have a high-gain antenna to be able to better reach weak signals (signals that are weak because of distant cell phone towers). Put simply, the Trucker antenna has 6.12 dB of gain, while the Yagi antenna has a gain of anywhere between 8–10 dB for the wide band version, and anywhere between 8–14 dB of gain for the high-gain version.

Signal Loss

The Trucker antenna also doesn’t make up as much for signal loss as the Yagi antenna. In the same entry mentioned before, we explained that loss “is the reduction of signal strength” (How Does a Signal Booster Work?”).

How Signal Loss Occurs

Signal loss naturally occurs whenever you use a cable to connect your devices together. “Signal loss through a length of coaxial cable is primarily a function of two things: [l]ength and [f]requency. The longer the length of a piece of coaxial cable, the more signal is lost. The higher the frequency of the signal passing through the coaxial cable, the higher the loss over a given length. Coaxial cable loss is normally specified in dB loss per 100 feet of cable” (“How Much Signal Do I Lose Going through Coaxial Cable?”). More signal is lost for longer cables (such as 100 feet) and less signal is lost for shorter cables (such as 50 feet or less). Yet either way, you’re still losing signal so you need a higher gain to make up for the loss.

So if you have a Trucker antenna with 6.12 gain and your cable/frequency creates a 2.8 gain signal loss, you’re going to be left with 4.4 gain remaining. That may be enough if you have a moderate to strong signal already, but might not be enough if you have a weaker signal. In comparison, if you have a Yagi antenna with 14 gain and your cable/frequency creates a 2.8 gain signal loss, you’re going to be left with 11.2 gain remaining. So when we say the Yagi antenna compensates more for signal loss, we mean that compensation is huge in comparison.

Direction

A huge difference between these two antennas is that the Trucker antenna is omni-directional and the Yagi antennas are directional. Omni-directional means that the antenna can receive signals from any direction. Directional means that the antenna must be facing the direction of the cell phone tower in order for it to work properly.

Omni-directional antennas and directional antennas have pros and cons that fit different homes, depending on signal strength, obstructions, and installation differences.

Omni-directional Antenna Pros and Cons

Pros

An omni-directional antenna for your house or building is a good choice if you’re in an area with moderate to strong signals because it won’t need as much strength to get a signal. Secondly, it will draw signal from all carrier towers in the vicinity instead of just one carrier's tower. It is also less of a hassle to install because you won’t have to spend time figuring out the direction of your cell phone tower, and can simply face it in any direction you choose.

Cons

An omni-directional antenna cannot pick up a cell phone tower’s signal from as great a distance as a directional antenna.

Directional Antenna Pros and Cons

Pros

A directional antenna for your house or building is a good choice if you’re in an area with a distant or weak signal. The directional antenna picks up and powerfully focuses on the weak signal better than an omni-directional antenna.

Cons

Directional antennas must have a clear line of sight (no sign of obstructions) and be facing the direction of the cell phone tower (therefore, improves signal for phones only operating on that carrier's network). Since they need to face the direction of the cell phone tower, directional antennas do not work very well in mountainous areas.

What to Know When Choosing a Yagi Antenna

When choosing the Yagi antenna that is right for you, it is important to pay attention to three things:

• Band type

• Gain

• Connector type

Band Type

Yagi antennas come as either multi-band or dual band. Dual band means that the antenna works on two frequencies. Multi-band means that the antenna works on multiple-frequencies, upto five. By paying attention to this, you can make sure that the antenna will work on the frequency you have (a.k.a., your carrier’s frequency).

Gain

Yagi antennas all have a decent gain (8 to 14 dB), but some have a higher gain than others. The higher the gain you choose, the higher chance you have of having a very strong signal even with signal loss.

Connector

It is very important to pay attention to what type of connector that comes with it. In some cases, an N connector might come with the antenna when you need an F connector to connect to your signal booster. In that case, you can either A) Choose to get the antenna that comes with an F connector or B) Get the antenna with the N connector, but purchase an adapter that connects N to F.

Conclusion

Yagi antennas and Trucker antennas are both currently on sale for lower than the price featured in stores. Both antennas come with a 60-day refund policy, a guarantee to work, and lowest price guarantee. You can see our selection of Yagi, Trucker, and other outside antennas at https://cellphonesignalbooster.us/outside-building/.

Questions? Call us for a FREE product recommendation. Need a cell phone booster installer? We offer installation services by a certified installing team that installs boosters nationwide across USA and Canada. Submit your details for a quote to have your amplifier kit installed by professionals.

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