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Resolved Question


by LRICCI04 / October 24, 2012 3:24 AM PDT

Is there a device that plugs into your wall outlet that can utilize the wiring in your home to boost a cell signal?

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by LRICCI04

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 24, 2012 5:25 AM PDT

The reason why is very simple so I won't duplicate the web or try to condense a course in antenna theory here.

There are however cell phone boosters from the usual companies (Samsung, Wilson, etc) and run a few hundred or less.

Some folk forget to ask simple questions like "does your cell phone work outside your home?" and the buyer is very upset when the booster fails.

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by LRICCI04 / October 24, 2012 5:40 AM PDT
In reply to: No.

Thanks Bob, all my research had pointed me to that answer as well, had to ask though as I've been told they exist.

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There are boosters that work IF and that's a big IF
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 24, 2012 6:04 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

If your phone works OK outside these (good) boosters have an antenna in the window and another in the home or mini-base station. Because your AC lines are not, well not an antenna that we can quantify, we can't use that. But for folk with a STEEL BUILDING these are needed.

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There are some great products
by Pepe7 / October 25, 2012 1:19 AM PDT

Give me your carrier and phone make/model and I can recommend something specific. As Bob said though, Wilson makes some decent stuff, but you will have to spend a little $ to make it worthwhile. IME some of the cheaper versions only cover a single room/office in a typical home or apartment. And also like he said, it truly depends on if the outdoor signal is adequate. Some folks also fail to understand that an outdoor antenna can make a world of difference in what you can expect indoors w/ such systems. I've put up a few in attics that still didn't quite cut it.

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cell phone signal booster
by rcwolin / December 2, 2012 9:53 AM PST


my carrier is us cellular. phone is a galaxy s3, model # SCH-R530U. i live in an area of very poor signal strength.
just purchased the galaxy s3. signal strength inside and outside is -120 dBm 99 asu. i also have a motorola m800 bag phone connected to a wilson yagi outside antenna, which gives me a strong signal. i know very little about cell phones and cell phone reception. can you recommend something that will allow me to use the s3 at home?


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Look at the Wilson products mentioned earlier in this thread
by Pepe7 / December 2, 2012 10:17 AM PST

They offer everything from single room or office to whole home solutions. Since you live in a very poor signal area, this will require an external antenna to be mounted on top of your residence. Attic solutions aren't always good enough IME. Since you are with US Cellular and need CDMA, you will need a dual band 800/1900 MHZ product. Keep in mind this will not give you the LTE network with this phone that you could get if you lived closer to a major metropolitan area w/ established LTE service. If the CDMA signal is adequate enough outside though, such a repeater/amplifier system should give you at least a couple bars indoors. YMMV, though. With radio waves of any kind, there is some trial and error involved.

Example of what you might consider from Wilson:

Keep in mind you can possible source some of the parts of the above kit from different places to reduce cost.

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Signal Booster recommendations
by dm237 / December 3, 2012 12:19 AM PST

A -120 dB signal is very weak! It's a good sign that your Wilson Yagi is working for your other phone though and I would definitely stick with a directional. Like Pepe7 mentioned, the signal coverage inside is directly related to the signal strength outside so when looking at signal boosters, you'll probably end up getting half or less coverage area than they advertise because of your very weak outside signal strength. So then it really depends on how much area you need to cover inside.

I would start by looking at a Wilson DB Pro Directional Kit. That's rated for 5000 sqft so I would expect between 1500 and 2000 sqft in your situation. If you need more than that, you'll need a larger amplifier.

Also as Pepe7 mentioned, this only does the 2G and 3G networks. For 4G LTE, you'll either need a separate LTE amp, or you'll have to wait until Wilson releases the Tri-Band 4G-V 805165 which is expected to be early next year.

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Re: LTE coverage
by Pepe7 / December 3, 2012 12:56 AM PST

My gut feeling tells me to advise the OP to not worry so much about not being able to receive an LTE signal at home. If there's not currently much in the way of a CDMA signal (the technology that most widely covers the United States currently), they are most definitely unlikely to get LTE anytime soon, esp. considering LTE will be using many of the same cell sites. A better (long term) strategy might be to find a home broadband/repeater solution instead, provided broadband service is available at this residence of course.


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by rcwolin / December 6, 2012 12:20 PM PST
In reply to: Re: LTE coverage

thank you and all the previous responders for your help. before i take this route, i was advised to swap my phone for another s3. us cellular agreed. when it arrives, i will post with the results.

also, the boosters that were suggested are expensive. i would be satisfied with a cheaper alternative that would allow me to get reception in one place.

again, thanks for the help.

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It's all about what's *outside* your home
by Pepe7 / December 6, 2012 11:25 PM PST
In reply to: thanks

If there's no signal outside, you are SOL. Period. All the handset swaps in China will not change that fact. Don't let USCC customer support take you on a BS ride. (This is what they are doing, btw)

If there's a weak signal, you may be able to bring it inside, but usually only with the correct directional antenna. Preferred equipment in order would be- 1) outdoor antenna on top of residence. 2) In attic antenna, 3) Window based antenna that faces somewhat distant cell site.

Look at the Wi-Ex system too ($149), which may be enough to get you a weak signal in a small office or room. Normally though, most folks don't want to be limited to calling from one single room ;).

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CellPhone Mate Cell Boosters
by techy77 / January 19, 2013 11:43 PM PST

I've tried the Wilson brand boosters with mixed results. One of the problems being that many of their lower price models work on 75ohm RG6 cable. Which is great because it is cheap and readily available, however 75ohm transmission is not the best for voice calls. It is great for video but is lacking in voice.

For relatively similar pricing I would look at the Cellphone Mate product line. Theirs systems are all 50ohm and have worked for us perfectly for years in multiple locations. It is important that there is at least marginal signal but these devices will work like a charm. They also are completely FCC approved.

Here is a link for your convenience:

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Good example of spam. Notice they didn't note the tests?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2013 4:03 AM PST

This post is your typical spam post. Notice they talk it up without telling you what you need to do first?

I'm leaving this spam in place because you need to see what to avoid.

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What a load of bs
by Pepe7 / January 21, 2013 4:24 AM PST

In the real world, 50 vs 75 ohms won't amount to a hill of beans. What matters for the OP is getting the correct directional antenna mounted and aligned, and hopefully there being enough raw signal present to bring indoors.

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by Luke_B / January 25, 2013 3:47 AM PST

You know radiation is very very danggerous and it's better to have weak signals than being exposed to strong radiations.

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You're actually wrong on this point
by dm237 / January 25, 2013 5:15 AM PST
In reply to: Caution

When your cell phone has a weak signal strength, it uses maximum power to try to communicate with the tower. When using a cell phone signal booster, your phone can use the lowest power setting. Since that's the thing you hold up next to your head, I'd prefer it to be using its lowest power setting and not the highest.

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False info.
by birdmantd Forum moderator / January 25, 2013 7:14 AM PST
In reply to: Caution

Before making such a claim, please offer some proof. There is no definitive study to confirm any negative health effects using cell phones, only speculation.

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by Pepe7 / January 27, 2013 12:44 AM PST
In reply to: False info.

From what read on the matter, there's still not enough long term data on this subject (yet) to prove it either way.
The less informed will continue to believe otherwise though <sigh>.

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