The Long RangerNot Your Grandpa’s Log Periodic Grid Antenna

Written by Alex Baker
Expert Review by Sadruddin Currimbhoy
May. 19th, 2021

Log Periodic, But Definitely Not Brolic - It's The Long Ranger, by Bolton

The Long Ranger is Bolton Technical’s flagship cellular antenna, and here we’re going to show you why. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated until the end, promise.

The Long Ranger captures all cellular signal in a very thin, 10-degree directional beam. You can then run it to a cell phone signal booster system, or wherever it’s needed.

Here's what you need to know: if you have very weak cellular signal outside, The Long Ranger is the best antenna for your signal booster, period. We’re talking barely functional, can’t make a call except once in a blue moon weak signal. You may be the type of person who believe cell phone signal boosters are a piece of junk, or that companies which traffic in boosters are selling snake-oil. If you can’t get your booster to work even with The Long Ranger attached to it, either that booster does not work, or you have absolutely no cell signal in a 10+ mile radius.

Here's what you need to know: if you have very weak cellular signal outside, The Long Ranger is the best antenna for your signal booster, period.

What The Long Ranger Can Do

The Long Ranger is the most powerful cellular antenna on the market, both in terms of power and range. The name isn’t for show: The Long Ranger can reach over 10 miles to find usable cell signal and can capture from anywhere inside that distance. It is highly directional, meaning it will take some effort to set up and point properly. However, when installed and pointed at the nearest cell tower for your carrier(s), you can expect to receive up to +28 dBi of gain. We’ll go into the specifics of how much that is in a bit, but just know for now that you won’t find that much gain on any other antenna.

The Long Ranger works across the 600-6500 MHz bandwidths, which include 4G, 4G LTE, and 3G cellular for all carriers worldwide, including but not limited to: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Rogers, Bell, Telus, Telcel, Movistar, AT&T Mexico, NTT Docomo, AU, SoftBank, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C, and 8ta. It also covers T-Mobile 5G.

However, with such a wide range, The Long Ranger isn’t limited to cellular: it covers GSM, ISM, CDMA, UMTS, WiFi, WiFi 6, Homeland Security, Wi-Max, GPS, Military, Satellite, Aerospace exploration, Radio Telescope and more.

It can also be used as a MIMO antenna if a second grid is purchased.

In other words – it'll work for you if you install and point it properly.

Installing and Pointing The Long Ranger Properly

Every Long Ranger comes with a handy dandy installation manual which goes over in great detail the finer points of setting up The Long Ranger, but there are a few highlights and things to keep in mind for best results:

For Best Results:
  • Use minimum cable length for minimal loss. Be aware that The Long Ranger natively has an N-Female connection, so you’ll want cable terminated with N-Male connectors or an adapter.
  • Maximize antenna height. This is a general rule for antennas – you'll want to place them as high as possible. The Long Ranger can be a challenge to place on a rooftop, but that’s where it should live if possible. If not...
  • Find a clear line of sight, or as clear as possible. You may not be able to see your nearest cell tower but try and keep obstructions away from the line of sight of the antenna.
  • Do not bend the cable or connectors. Should be pretty self-explanatory why this isn’t a great idea.

As for pointing the antenna, the best way to “see” improvements in signal is with a spectrum analyzer. If one is not available, you can use a “rough indicator” like the bars on your phone or speed tests on your devices. As you aim better or worse, you will see the difference in your device. This requires it to be hooked up to a signal booster and is best done with multiple people: one indoors by your inside antenna, and the other on the roof aiming The Long Ranger. It may take up to 1 minute for your phone to update the signal strength reading with the bars. For real time readings on your phone, manually change to show signal in dBm.

If possible, use a lower gain antenna with a larger spread to locate the general direction of the tower. If not available scan with the grid 2°-4° at a time to find it. Most signal booster systems come bundled with a Yagi antenna, so use that if necessary. When aiming the grid, be aware of the narrow signal beam. The grid can only “see” within the signal pattern for a given frequency. Once the best position is found, secure the grid firmly to ensure performance.

Technical Aspects of The Long Ranger

Here it is, the complicated stuff. If technical jargon isn’t your cup of tea, you can probably skip this section. However, if you want to know a little bit about what’s going on under The Long Ranger’s hood, read on.

The Long Ranger is a log-periodic grid antenna. As a grid antenna, The Long Ranger consists of a reflector made up of a grill (or grid) of parallel bars oriented in one direction. These bars act as a polarizing filter, as well as another reflector. It only reflects linearly polarized radio waves between the 600-6500 MHz bandwidths, with an electric field parallel to the grid. This range is determined by the spacing of the grid elements.

The Long Ranger is designed to be paired with coaxial cable, though the type varies depending on preference. For long cable runs, we recommend Bolton600, but if your run is shorter, Bolton400 is more flexible.

This grid antenna is like a satellite antenna, which gives it both its range and its name. You can also use it for point-to-point relay.

For all the technical details of The Long Ranger, please see its Geek Sheet.

The Long Ranger
The Big Dog, the Flagship, the Boss Antenna. This thing is the real deal.

How Do I Get The Long Ranger?

Sounds like a simple question, right? But that depends on how many you’re looking for.

If you just want one or two, that’s easy. You can purchase these bad boys via Amazon or our partner site, Signal Boosters. If you’re having trouble, just call us at 1-888-987-2658 Monday-Friday, from 8AM-5PM Central Standard Time. We can help.

Now, if you’re looking to stock The Long Ranger in your retail store, as a distributor, or use them in your integration products, that’s a different animal. We’re always looking for partners to bring The Long Ranger and our other full range of RF accessories into the homes and businesses that need it. So, please, partner up with us, and you’ll get great reduced rates and pricing.

Who wrote this article?
Who wrote this article?
Alex Baker
Senior Copywriter – Bolton Technical
Alex has been studying all things Signal Boosters for the past 5 years. He knows things and he likes to write about them. He’s also a best selling author of fiction novels and an avid video game player. He will take you to the mat with his WWE facts. He cooks a mean fried rice. He dislikes driving very much.
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