Cell Phone Booster (Resurrected Thread From March 2014)

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Arks's picture
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My building has foot-thick brick walls, and while my AT&T iPhone gets a good signal all over the building, I've had guests who use other carriers say they have to go outside to make and receive calls. I have a land line they can use, but of course people would prefer to be able to use their cell phone if they want to.

I had a 3-night guest this week (in town from corporate headquarters of a factory here) who e-mailed me after he left that he'd be happy to help me set up a cell signal booster in my building. He said he's the IT person for his company and he's done this for some of their factories around the country.

I've told him sure, please help. I didn't even know it was possible to boost the signal! I'll share what I find out if anybody else is interested. I know most of you have wood walls and no problem, but maybe some of you have old thick-brick buildings like I do.

While he was writing, he also said his stay was fabulous, night and day better than staying at the local hotel on past visits, and he can't wait to come back to town next month! He said he's in town 3 or 4 nights every month. I'm starting to accumulate several repeat guests. Nice!

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Arks's picture
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OK, got the cell booster installed today. Remember that mine is a flat-roofed 1902 downtown commercial building with 2 ft. thick solid brick walls, in the middle of a block abutting similar brick buildings on both sides.

I have AT&T and without the booster on get 4 bars all over my building, and my friends with Verizon get 1 bar in most of my building, and no connection in the basement. And they found out even though they both got 1 bar, they couldn't make a call to each other while inside the building.

It's the Verizon people I'm installing the booster for. All my Verizon guests have to go outside and stand across the street on the sidewalk to get a connection and use their phone.

So the result: with the booster on, I get 5 bars (up from 4) on AT&T and my Verizon friends get 3 bars (up from 1) everywhere in the building, except in the basement where they get 2 bars (up from none).

We went up on the roof where the antenna is, and they got 3 bars up there too. So the system is doing what it can do, giving all it can, because it cannot give them more bars than are available in this part of town.

But my next plan is to put the antenna up about 10 more feet on a pole to see if there's a stronger Verizon signal up there (right now it's just mounted at roof level).

I'm happy with it, because it's delivering the full outside signal into the depths of my building now, and people can make and receive calls where before they couldn't.

Arks's picture
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It arrived today, but it will be Saturday before I can install and test it.

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I have images of someone on the roof, holding it up during a lightning storm for test purposes.  People who saw Ratatouille (with his mushroom) would appreciate that...

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PhineasSwann's picture
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What are these "cell phone signals" of which you speak.

/Rural Vermont

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Arks's picture
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RESURRECTED MARCH 2014 TOPIC ALERT!

I finally got around to ordering THIS $600 cell phone booster. They say this one will handle about 3500 sq. ft., 1 or 2 stories. They make a $1000 model that will do a larger multilevel house, but this one should be sufficient for me.

It uses an outdoor antenna I mount on the roof to get the strongest signal it can, then it boosts it and sends it to an indoor transmitter antenna I'll put in the attic over the center of the building. It says it boosts cell signal, including 4G LTE, for all major U.S. and Canadian cell carriers.

It's supposed to arrive this week, so I'll install this weekend and report back on whether it's worth it or  not.

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Tmobil seems to be the odd man out based on coverage maps. But no booster will bring that from 40 miles away.

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undersea wrote:
Tmobil seems to be the odd man out based on coverage maps. But no booster will bring that from 40 miles away.

But I love the fact that they have wifi calling, it takes care of my needs in this area.  

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I use Republic Wireless.  Unlimited calling/text, 5Gb data for $30.73 monthly.  And it always searches out wifi first.  Works well for me.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I hope yours works better than mine. angry

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I hope yours works better than mine. angry

I'll let you know. It had good reviews. We all know how important those are!

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Arks wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I hope yours works better than mine. angry

I'll let you know. It had good reviews. We all know how important those are!

When!? demands the needy innmate

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Arks wrote:

RESURRECTED MARCH 2014 TOPIC ALERT!

I finally got around to ordering THIS $600 cell phone booster. They say this one will handle about 3500 sq. ft., 1 or 2 stories. They make a $1000 model that will do a larger multilevel house, but this one should be sufficient for me.

It uses an outdoor antenna I mount on the roof to get the strongest signal it can, then it boosts it and sends it to an indoor transmitter antenna I'll put in the attic over the center of the building. It says it boosts cell signal, including 4G LTE, for all major U.S. and Canadian cell carriers.

It's supposed to arrive this week, so I'll install this weekend and report back on whether it's worth it or  not.

Will you adopt me?

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Will you adopt me?

Your DH reported that you're high maintenance.

Or maybe it was Jon Sable who said that.

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I plead the 5th

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Arks wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Will you adopt me?

Your DH reported that you're high maintenance.

Or maybe it was Jon Sable who said that.

Neither of those would say that, so now I know you are making excuses. crying

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Well it should work at that price!

We had been told we should go to our T-Mo bil e store to get a phone router for our wifi calling.  They claim it will broadcast the signal better for their phones as well as AT and T.  
DH installed it, piggybacking our cable internet router per directions and now the phones get a signal throughout the place.  yes  

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For those of you that have these in place, could you please post the brand and the model? 

I am looking at several right now.  I think my issue is like Arks, the walls prevent the waves to come in.  We have good signal outside, walk in the door and get zip!

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I have a wilson (sorry we are downstate and I don't have the model # here).  Every situation is different...we bought ours online at w ps antennas dot com.  They have a customer service number and were great at  helping us sort out what we needed.  You might want to talk to them about your situation.  Not related to them in ANY way...just happy customer.

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Como Depot's picture
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Scary thing is that these people get to vote, or more likely be voted for.

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Como Depot's picture
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I am not sure if I could keep a straight face is somebody said such a thing.

Next thing is you will be slammed for having 3G and not 4G.

Another child left behind.....

 

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Como Depot wrote:

I am not sure if I could keep a straight face is somebody said such a thing.

Next thing is you will be slammed for having 3G and not 4G.

Another child left behind.....

 

yes

Believe it or not, one couple refused to stay. All hell broke out when I refused to give them their money back.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Como Depot wrote:

I am not sure if I could keep a straight face is somebody said such a thing.

Next thing is you will be slammed for having 3G and not 4G.

Another child left behind.....

 

yes

Believe it or not, one couple refused to stay. All hell broke out when I refused to give them their money back.

I remember that one. angry

At a state park recently there was okay cell service, but no wifi. The cell service was one provider only, so many are peeved there, gee why getaway from it all if you can't really disconnect. I have used the terms disconnect to reconnect and more many times for this park. They say when someone complains "we do not SAY there is cell service, period"

People can be butt-heads. 

In fact, here is a story I wrote. I think I mentioned to you all that the park ranger was similar in task to innkeeping, except he carried a pistol. He said "if there is one piece of TP on the ground in the bathhouse people go to Yelp and Trip Advisor!" One guy complained because the fishing pier, smelled like fish. 

 

white pine's picture
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Love it!  We had some guests visit a bear ranch (the raise orphan and injured bears), they liked to see them, but said it smelled like BEARS!

Joey Camb's picture
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in the UK there aren't many places with terrible coverage (some chums of ours live in on its a nightmare for us when we visit!) but with Vodaphone you can get a sort of plug in so you always get excellent reception in your house.

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Como Depot's picture
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Being in the boonies I restrict my responsibilities to WiFi and borrowing my phone.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Como Depot wrote:
Being in the boonies I restrict my responsibilities to WiFi and borrowing my phone.

Yeah, that was my thinking too...until I got slammed one too many times on TA. As if I have any control over the placement of cell towers. We even have land lines in the guest rooms with free long distance. That just wasn't enough for some people.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Como Depot wrote:
Being in the boonies I restrict my responsibilities to WiFi and borrowing my phone.

Yeah, that was my thinking too...until I got slammed one too many times on TA. As if I have any control over the placement of cell towers. We even have land lines in the guest rooms with free long distance. That just wasn't enough for some people.

Because it has nothing to do with long distance or calling someone. It is all the other stuff...

Como Depot's picture
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I have not had a landline for a year, ditched it, horribly expensive.

I use VOIP, OOMA in my case as my 'landline'. My cell also piggybacks on wifi, cell service is flaky to say the least.

Reduced my costs by about 80%.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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VOIP is great for our own use, but it doesn't solve the problem we have of guests not being able to use their cell phones for calls.

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A repeater. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Our property has no cell coverage. We'll not anymore! We were able to capture some cell signal that was up high (above the roof) and through equipment, we now have cell coverage is the 3 guest rooms in our main house.  We used Wilson Cell Phone Signal Booster.

For us, it was quite a challenge because of our total lack of signal on the ground. We had to purchase extra booster boxes and have one in each room to be able to have cell signal in at least the guest rooms. We also tried 3 different antennas before we found the right one for us.

We were able to get pretty strong Verizon coverage for our guests, but the other carriers just don't have coverage strong enough for us to capture.

If you have some signal already coming into your building, then these boosters should work pretty well for you.

It cost us about $800 for all the equipment and it was easy to install ourselves. I'm still ready for guest complaints that we don't get "THEIR" carriers signal.

white pine's picture
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We used the wilson one too...actually they had several.  We only had one installed and ran it from an antenna in the attic down into an old phone booth in the lobby.  People can now use it as a hot spot to make their calls.  The bonus came that now cell phones seem to be getting better signal throughout the building!   Ran us about $300.00.  The extra long cable for us was a little over $100.00.  Easy peasy to install....screw the cable in and plug it in!

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I am VERY interested in finding out about these boosters.

I just switched from one carrier to another as the new carrier has WiFi calling.  It was suppose to be better coverage for me while at home where my coverage is spotty at best with my old carrier. 
Well sadly even that doesn't work as well as expected as guests arrived and said they had tried to call me twice.  Can you hear my frustration from there? 

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