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Author Topic: Cell Signal Booster  (Read 257 times)

larrypowellnc

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Cell Signal Booster
« on: July 14, 2017, 04:13:58 PM »
This question is not really about RVing but about RV accessories.  I live in the middle of 5 acres of woods and when the trees fill in my cell signal falls off from 5 bars to 1 and sometimes no bars.  I have 3G phones and 4GLTE mifi.  I have looked into cell signal boosters but the setup instructions are daunting and involve mounting a directional antenna on my roof.  I am wondering about RV cell signal boosters which use an omni-directional antenna.  I this may be the answer Iím looking for.  What kind of experience have members had with RV cell signal boosters in wooded areas?

NY_Dutch

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Re: Cell Signal Booster
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 07:47:04 PM »
How large an area are you trying to cover with a good signal? Maximum Signal has the Max Amp 5K business/residential system that uses a roof mounted omni-directional antenna, and can cover up to 5,000 sq ft with an amplified repeater signal. We have a Max Amp RV system, and works really well for us, repeating the boosted signal throughout our coach.

http://maximumsignal.info/wp/wp-content/uploads/PDF/Sales_Sheets/MaxAmp5KSalesSheet.pdf
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Cell Signal Booster
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 11:50:52 AM »
Even most RV systems use directional antennas simply because they perform better [once aligned], but there are omni models like the one Dutch mentioned. It sounds as though you need the antenna moreso than the booster amp, just to get around the trees.

Whether omni or directional, you still have to get the antenna up where the signal is. In your case, that may mean high enough to get away from the tree shadow.

A directional antenna isn't a big deal to set up in most cases. Basically trail & error works as long as you can climb up & down OK or have a pal to check the signal reading as you turn the antenna. A smart phone app that shows signal strength in real time is easier to use than just the typical bars on the phone screen. The bars don't respond quickly are very accurately either. There are also cell locator apps that identify which direction the cell tower is from where you are, so you know basically where to aim the antenna. 

The other problem with booster is the typically limited re-broadcast inside the building. Most "home" systems have very limited range inside, so you need one of the larger commercial/office systems to get usable coverage inside.  Those claims of 5000 sq ft must be in some big open barn with reflective interior walls, cause few systems cover even a 1000 sq ft house very well. I had a so-called 1000 sq ft system in my 375 sq ft motorhome and I still had to stay within about 5 ft of the inside antenna. The effective range was more like 50 sq ft. and did not penetrate walls at all.  Buy the maximum inside coverage range you can afford!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tom_M

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Re: Cell Signal Booster
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 08:07:23 AM »
Here's a good article by Technomadia on Cell Boosters:
https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/resources/mobile-cellular-boosters/

They have tested several models.
Tom
2005 Born Free 24 Rear bath

SargeW

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Re: Cell Signal Booster
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 09:18:53 AM »
I mounted a extendable mast on the ladder of my rig, and being able to raise it up 6' made the most difference when trying to pull in signal in remote areas. I also have a Wilson 5 watt booster attached to my router.  The problem with most WiFi hotspots is there is no way to attach an antenna wire to boost signal to the antenna.  There are wireless boosters that will capture and reflect the signal, they just don't work as well.

Here is a place that I get most of my equipment from.  They have tech support that will guide you in selecting the best equipment you need without buying stuff you don't.   3gstore.com
Marty--
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