PDA

View Full Version : Cell phone signal booster


delisle
12-30-2010, 1:16 PM
Where I live I rarely get above 2 bars and I want to fix it. I have looked at a few boosters on Amazon made by Wilson. I have zero knowledge about this stuff and was looking to see if anyone here uses anything similar?

To be clear I want something to boost my cell signal that is in no way shape or form connected to the internet. I am not asking for a technical break down just some advice from fellow calgunners that might be using one.

:)

stphnman20
12-30-2010, 1:17 PM
Who do you have? If you have ATT, check out the micro cell.

Nose Nuggets
12-30-2010, 2:41 PM
just make sure you have a full understanding of the limitations in passing the call off between the boosters/micro cells and the actual cell towers. it can cause more dropped calls depending on your circumstances.

delisle
12-30-2010, 4:32 PM
Who do you have? If you have ATT, check out the micro cell.

Hey thanks! That is what I asked about.

delisle
12-30-2010, 4:32 PM
just make sure you have a full understanding of the limitations in passing the call off between the boosters/micro cells and the actual cell towers. it can cause more dropped calls depending on your circumstances.

Not at all what the thread is about.

shoupdawg
12-30-2010, 8:00 PM
Who do you have? If you have ATT, check out the micro cell.

+1.

delisle
12-30-2010, 9:11 PM
I do have ATT and micro cell would be perfect, except I dont have cable or dsl connection. My internet is built into my computer and it is Verizon. So any more suggestions?

Cokebottle
12-30-2010, 9:14 PM
except I dont have cable or dsl connection. My internet is built into my computer and it is Verizon.
It has to get in there somehow.
Is it Verizon cellular, WiFi, or do you have an ethernet cable plugged into the computer?
If you have an ethernet cable plugged in, then you do have either cable, DSL, or FIOS (unless you have ISDN, which I doubt).

delisle
12-30-2010, 9:26 PM
It has to get in there somehow.
Is it Verizon cellular, WiFi, or do you have an ethernet cable plugged into the computer?
If you have an ethernet cable plugged in, then you do have either cable, DSL, or FIOS (unless you have ISDN, which I doubt).

When I said built in I meant yes it is cellular. There are no cables or wifi at all. I covered that in post #7.

nukechaser
12-30-2010, 9:37 PM
Responding to your original question...

Many cell signal boosters are "bi-directional amplifiers". One antenna goes outside your building (pointed at the "donor site... the nearby cell tower) and the other is inside. The important thing is signal isolation between the two antennas, otherwise they feed each other (basically feedback) and the good amps will reduce power until the levels are low enough to not feedback. This defeats the purpose of having it.

So if you decide to go with a "BDA", make sure you can isolate (RF-wise) between the two antenna ports by placing them as far part as possible and with as much vertical separation as possible.

Mini-cell devices (aka-femtocells) provide a small-footprint cell-tower-like coverage within your house. They require a broadband connection. If you're using an "air card" for your Internet connection, you might be able to use (assuming a PC, and not a Mac or Linux) the "Internet Connection Sharing" function of Windows.

Basically, it makes your PC an Internet gateway. Your air-card is the Internet service provider and you'd connect your femtocell to your computer through the ethernet port (RJ-45). The femtocell would then see the broadband connection via your PC and would then provide cell coverage in the house. Your cell call would then be a voice over IP call to the phone network. Success depends on how much bandwidth your aircard can provide. Streaming a youtube video while talking on the femtocell might consume more bandwidth than the aircard can provide, causing the voice stream to break up (latency)

Hope this helps...

choprzrul
12-30-2010, 9:44 PM
I think that the ones that really work are kinda expensive. Basically an antenna on the roof with cabling to a signal booster/amplifier/transmitter. I have seen one work great, and one not worth a crap. Probably another instance of you get what you pay for.

.

delisle
12-30-2010, 9:55 PM
Responding to your original question...

Many cell signal boosters are "bi-directional amplifiers". One antenna goes outside your building (pointed at the "donor site... the nearby cell tower) and the other is inside. The important thing is signal isolation between the two antennas, otherwise they feed each other (basically feedback) and the good amps will reduce power until the levels are low enough to not feedback. This defeats the purpose of having it.

So if you decide to go with a "BDA", make sure you can isolate (RF-wise) between the two antenna ports by placing them as far part as possible and with as much vertical separation as possible.

Mini-cell devices (aka-femtocells) provide a small-footprint cell-tower-like coverage within your house. They require a broadband connection. If you're using an "air card" for your Internet connection, you might be able to use (assuming a PC, and not a Mac or Linux) the "Internet Connection Sharing" function of Windows.

Basically, it makes your PC an Internet gateway. Your air-card is the Internet service provider and you'd connect your femtocell to your computer through the ethernet port (RJ-45). The femtocell would then see the broadband connection via your PC and would then provide cell coverage in the house. Your cell call would then be a voice over IP call to the phone network. Success depends on how much bandwidth your aircard can provide. Streaming a youtube video while talking on the femtocell might consume more bandwidth than the aircard can provide, causing the voice stream to break up (latency)

Hope this helps...

While that is alot of great info it does not help at all regarding my original question

Chief-7700
12-30-2010, 10:25 PM
http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/

Been using one in my truck for a couple of years now.

nukechaser
12-30-2010, 11:51 PM
While that is alot of great info it does not help at all regarding my original question

Before editing your original post, you asked, "I have zero knowledge about this stuff and was looking to see if anyone here uses anything similar?

Yes, I have used both a femtocell (Sprint AIRAVE) and have installed and used many bi-directional amplifiers for both cellular and trunked radio systems.

You expressed "zero knowledge about this stuff". I merely wanted you to understand the difference between the "boosters on Amazon made by Wilson" (which is a bi-directional amp) and the AT&T microcell mentioned in post #4 that you said, "...That is what I asked about." You seem to be asking about two different things: a BDA and femtocell.

How my explanation of the difference between the two devices and how they operate doesn't "... help at all regarding my original question" seems confusing. You went back and edited your original post to clarify what you wanted, which helps, but your reply in post #4 caused some confusion about what you were looking for.

The device in your original post and your reply in #4 are two entirely different animals, which I why I tried to help clarify what you might want by explaining the differences and how to use them.

Hope you get your coverage improved.

Best of luck to you.

GoBruins
12-31-2010, 12:26 AM
I do have ATT and micro cell would be perfect, except I dont have cable or dsl connection. My internet is built into my computer and it is Verizon. So any more suggestions?

You are correct, since you don't have cable or DSL you can't use the microcell. But, for the record, I have the microcell and it is a great situation WHEN it works. However, the range of it is pretty poor... reception covers one room well and the two adjacent rooms decently. And it cuts out pretty regularly (in fact it has not been working for over two weeks). However, I have done some research on this and part of it has to do with my particular model of phone so your experience may be different than mine.

Calls can be transferred from it (so you can leave the house and continue a conversation) but can not be transferred to it (if you are already on the phone, a call will not transfer to the microcell).

Overall, it is an improvement to be able to make phone calls in at least part of my house, but it is far from perfect. I'm looking forward to the next version of the microcell (hopefully a new one comes out soon).

-Chris

JDay
12-31-2010, 3:23 AM
To be clear I want something to boost my cell signal that is in no way shape or form connected to the internet. I am not asking for a technical break down just some advice from fellow calgunners that might be using one.

:)

So you want to buy some snake oil? None of those so called "signal boosters" do anything for your signal. Your best bet is to find out what carrier has the best signal quality in your area, and switch.

Cokebottle
12-31-2010, 11:03 AM
Your best bet is to find out what carrier has the best signal quality in your area, and switch.
Which is quite possibly, none of them.

I've got Verizon, last job had T-Mobile, last job before that had AT&T.
Inside of my condo, I've got zero-1 bars on all of them downstairs, no more than 1 bar upstairs. The phones still ring and I rarely drop calls.
When I step outside, the signal jumps to 2-3 bars.