I was a little sceptical when I was first offered the Helium Hotspot to review; it just sounded like an expensive piece of tech that wouldn’t take off.
I have been mostly proved wrong, I still stand by my reservations and would still advise that you only buy it knowing that it may not earn your money back. However, it has proven to be more profitable than I had imagined.
I have been lucky in that Blackpool appear to have one of the highest numbers of hotspots in the country, and the actual density of hotspots seems to rival London.
Anyway, most users will be aware that you need to try and optimise the position of your hotspot to increase its range and maximise earnings.
A lot of people on Reddit upgrade their aerials. When I looked into this, finding an appropriate antenna in the UK didn’t seem that easy.
There is the Fiber Glass Antenna Kit for Helium Hotspot sold by RAC, who also make the RAK hotspot miner. I have sure when I first checked this site I couldn’t buy it, but it now looks like you can order it shipped to the UK for $65.00.
I ended up trying to be cheap and buying a generic outdoor 4G antenna from Amazon. I later learned that not all antennas work quite the same. Than antenna did seem to improve things a little, at the very least it allowed me to place it outside my window.
More recently, I tried to find an alternative solution and came across the MikroTik 824-960MHz 6.5dBi Omni Antenna, which is available via msdist.co.uk for a bit over £50 after shipping.
This comes with just enough cable to run outside my window, but you may need to extend this further.
This covers the frequencies of 824 – 960 MHz which is compatible with the EU Helium Hotspot.
It has a higher gain than the option sold by RAK, but I think theirs is specific to the region so could potentially offer better performance.
With the MikroTik you will have to buy an adaptor, I ended up going for this 15-piece pack which guaranteed I had the right adaptor.
Previously I was connecting to just 4 hotspots, all within a few streets of me, since installing this antenna, this has increased to 15 hotspots with some around 2.5 miles away as the crow flies.
Recently my earnings appear to have slumped a little, but with the new antenna, it looks like things have shot up considerably. I have only had it two days, so I will give it a week and see how much the graph shape changes and report back.