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Thread: Boosting cell signal

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    #1

    Question Boosting cell signal

    I live in an older house and my cell signal is crap. Is there a way for me to boost the signal or use my wifi to boost the signal?
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    If you're on Verizon, go to Verizon Wireless Network Extender | Verizon Wireless. It's an up-front cost but NO MONTHLY charges.

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    Oooo. Well, do you have any old "car cellular antenans" and the cables for them laying around? Or do you have a friend in the Cellular phone business who used to do "install kits" for "car phones"? If so, a pair of those old roof-mount magnetic car antennas coupled together with a long cable can be an effective passive repeater. You mount one onto a metal plate that's at least 10" in diameter, such as a trashcan lid, sticking straight up. Position that on a roof, preferably in an area that faces the best coverage nearby. These antennas often have a hinge on them which allow them to be angled. Make sure that whatever angle the flat "lid" is (*even if flat against a sloped roof*), be sure the antenna is still pointing straight up. As an alternative, it can be mounted inside the house in the attic in similar fashion.

    Then take the cable and either run it through the roof and down to the main area of the home, or down the side of the house and in along side a window. Once inside, do the same thing you did on the roof, but use a small round disc, even an aluminum pie plate will work, but you'll need a magnet on the other side of the plate or glue to hold it on, and just like on the roof, mount the other antenna to the center, but this time mount the plate and antenna in a place where the antenna can point down, such as a ceiling in a hallway for instance.

    Using this passive repeater method, the signal from the distant towers will "see" your roof antenna, the signal will travel down the cable and out the antenna inside, and vice versa. It's not the best option but certainly the least expensive. If you don't have these antennas or the cable, you can find them real cheap on eBay and also check local Craigslist.org and Freecycle.org for people giving them away.

    Boosting cell signal-8-ant-cable-coax-large.jpg
    Last edited by FoxKat; 12-19-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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    #5

    Re: Boosting cell signal

    I just figured out a simple fix for my phone. I was having the same issue and I just went into the network settings and changed it from auto to 3g and boom full bars from none!

    Dave
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    Wilson electronics Sleek booster from Amazon for $85. Not free. Should give 18db +/- signal increase. Leverify ave phone near a window with strongest signal for free. Be sure to verify with the actual signal level. The bars tell very little.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcjeep View Post
    Wilson electronics Sleek booster from Amazon for $85. Not free. Should give 18db +/- signal increase. Leverify ave phone near a window with strongest signal for free. Be sure to verify with the actual signal level. The bars tell very little.
    Correct, the Wilson Cellular Repeaters are among the best out there, but like the "passive" method above, it requires installation of an antenna on the roof. The Repeater modules themselves have their own short "stubby" cellular antenna on them or built inside for mounting interior to the home. Also, the OP did say he was looking for a "free" solution, so I suggested the above. There are also ways to craft your own antenna, such as from a Pringles can or other container, to make a "cantenna". If you search on Youtube for them, there are plenty of DIY instruction videos.

    I saw boosters on Amazon for as low as $144.99 new and $124.14 used (Amazon.com: Wilson Electronics MobilePro Cell Phone Signal Booster for Car and Home / Office with 4" Magnet Mount Antenna – For Multiple Users: Cell Phones & Accessories), but am not seeing the one you mentioned for $85. Could you post a link for the OP?

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  9. Master Droid
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    #8
    My auto correct should've said Verify the window with strongest cell service. The Wilson sleek also has available accessories.

    The price can vary by $5 day to day. Today its $85 at Amazon.

    Amazon.com: Wilson Electronics Sleek Cell Phone Signal Cradle Booster for All Cell Phones with Mini Magnet Mount Antenna - For Single User: Cell Phones & Accessories
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    OK, so I originally saw the device you mentioned above but excluded it from my search since it only works while the phone is in the cradle. It would be fine for a car mount installation as it was intended, and yes - can also be used indoors as a speakerphone or bluetooth wireless phone, but the cradle makes it essentially stationary. I was trying to provide for the OP an option that would allow him freedom to move about the house and have better cellular service indoors in all locations than he has now.

    Also, you raised one point I should have mentioned - the antenna can be positioned indoors in front of a window where signal levels are sufficient, however its best results will be mounted either above or at roof line. The Magnetic Mount "car antennas" can be placed on a metal surface either inside or outside the window, so that the metal surface can act as a "ground plane". Without a ground plane, they will perform poor to average, possibly unacceptable.

    The ones I find are best are supplied with a YAGI antenna (directional antenna) which can be mounted on the roof antenna pole below your TV antenna (if you have one), or on a strap mount around a chimney or standpipe. Since they are directional, they can be pointed directly toward a tower and will provide impressive results. The best units use a separate indoor antenna and are designed to have the actual electronic repeater installed and powered in an out of the way place, such as the attic. See below.

    Boosting cell signal-images.jpgBoosting cell signal-nextelrepeater.jpgBoosting cell signal-wilson-ag-pro-70-install-diagram_1_1.jpgBoosting cell signal-bldg_diagram.jpg

    "Professor FoxKat"
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    Avatar is Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, from "Get Smart" (with his signature "Shoe Phone"), a SitCom TV series by Mel Brooks & Buck Henry, based on the spy thriller series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.".
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  11. Master Droid
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    #10
    There are better home solutions as you mentioned. OP mentioned free. The better home solutions can carry Upto 5 different devices at one time. They also allow roaming throughout a single room. They are also far from cheap. I didn't mention the yagi due to cost. For whole house solution a femtocell would be best. Cheapest room/multi device from Wilson is about $300. The sleek was closest to free. It can also be powered by battery pack for emergency while hiking.
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