SM signal sensitivity loss?

Hello folks. I am down to the last 2 900 SMs in box before I order another round. I tried both of these out today at 4.3 miles. NLOS, but mostly over farmland with few trees. Using software on AP and SM. Also using Maxrad panel antennas (9db).

Anyway, I could not get any kind of usable signal. I tried on top of the house, and about 30ft up on their TV antenna tower. I actually moved down the tower a foot or two and got a better signal, but still not good. I know higher is supposed to be better, but it did nothing in this case.

I have tried both of these out several times before - they just don’t seem to pick up signal as well as all the others…

Now I know I should try a different and more powerful antenna. With the maxrad I was getting -87 to -90 at best.

Any ideas? Would a reset to default of the SM help anything?

One more thing - I am NOT running any of my SMs at 2x. Should I disable this feature on my APs?

are you adjusting your output power according to the antenna you’re using?

No, not at all. Didn’t know I was supposed to do that. Its on 26db default.

Well, I take that back, I have “levelized” all of my SMs, as documented somewhere in this forum.

But this particular SM, I have not adjusted.

its wise to run a spectrum analyzer in these scenarios to see if there is any interference.

the max db of output power & antenna db should equal 36.

so 9db for the antenna & your output power should be 27 to meet fcc requirements.

if there is no interference i’d recommend a yagi antenna since you’re using connectorized equipment. we use & have had good luck with M2 17db purchased from CTi (

we mainly use integrated 900 units @ 12db & reserve the yagi’s for far distances & dense foliage.

you could just disable 2x on the AP instead of all your sm’s if you dont want to run it. although 2x is much better imo