First, the kit arrived very quickly via Priority Mail and was well packed in a plain white box 11.5 x 3 x 6.5 and weighed about 4lbs.
All the contents were individually packaged and inside was a myriad of cables, connectors, the amp, a antenna, and documentation.
The amp itself measures 6.25 x 5.25 x 1.25” and weighs 1.25 lbs. It appears to be well constructed with a even finish and nice heft. Definitely a feeling that quality materials were used. It has three connectors – antenna in, antenna out, and power. Pretty simple.
Documentation was straight forward – some do’s and don’ts along with a few warnings – more on that later.
Before continuing, a little background. I have two modems a Franklin CDU680 for Sprint and a Pantech UM175 for Verizon.
I have excellent coverage with Sprint and only use a parabolic grid to connect – don’t need an amp. Verizon is a different story. “Can You Hear Me Now”? – NO! Although Verizon completely blankets the area with EVDO RevA , I live in a RF hole which has very poor signal. It shows up as white spaces on the coverage map – and I’m in one.
I did a simple setup on my desk facing a window. For tests that used the dual-band magnetic base antenna, I placed it on a pie tin. Remember – if you are using a magnetic base antenna off –vehicle, it requires a ground plane. The pie tin accomplishes this.
Signal and speeds – no amp, no antenna - look like this :
Just the antenna that came with the kit – no amp attached:
Now, with the antenna and the amp:
The improvement was obviously dramatic, full bars and a –28 dBm improvement, and this was with the antenna indoors. Outside on the roof the results, I’m sure, would be even better. That is a tremendous jump in signal strength.
Now, a note on the warnings included on the install sheet. This amp must be used with a dual-band antenna. Not having one attached and powering on may cause damage and void the warranty. This means that those of you with single-band directional antennas (panel or grid), cannot use this without a splitter that connects a dual-band antenna or 50 ohm terminator along with your single band antenna.
That said, antenna splitters are widely available and are easy to attach, so you can indeed use that parabolic grid we are all so fond of. Just use the included antenna on one side of the splitter and the directional antenna on the other side.
Conclusion: This amp/antenna kit works very well as evident by the testing. Its not a scientific test by any means, and doesn’t have to be. It’s how well it works when you open the box and plug it in that most people care about.
I have no hesitation recommending this product for those who have a weak signal in a fixed location, want a stronger signal while traveling, or are in remote areas. It is easy to setup, comes with everything you need (be sure to order the right adapter for your modem), and really delivers. If you want one – get it at WWW.MaximumSignal.Net …its worth it.
Due to the popularity of the CA819 Amp, Cfyre ran out of the silver cases and is is currently stocking the very same amp in black cases.
There is absolutely NO functional difference between the two other than the color.
All of the input/output ports, LED, and power port are exactly the same:
I have tested both of these side-by-side and they have identical performance.
So … its a color thing man! That’s all!