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Author Topic: Cellular Booster  (Read 1216 times)

Buckeye4692002

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Cellular Booster
« on: August 22, 2016, 09:18:44 AM »
Our favorite location has little to no cellular (data) reception.  While I like the idea of being away from signals, I do need to get some occasional work done.  As a result, I'm looking for a cellular signal booster.  Does anyone have experience using one, specifically for data?  And, if so is there one you'd recommend?
Thank you in advance!
2009 Damon Daybreak 3370

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 11:27:51 AM »
Cell boosting is a rather "iffy" thing. The better ones work OK, but they can't do miracles.  If the signal simply isn't there, or fades in and out, the booster can't help much. For example, I am presently in a mountain area where the cell signals are strong but they get blocked or deflected by the steep mountains. At my campsite I get a usable signal for a bit but then it may suddenly disappear for a few seconds or even minutes. Not just weak, but "No signal". In between those times, the strength varies up and down.  I have an excellent Wilson (now Weboost) amp with an tall external antenna and an indoor repeater antenna and it helps the signal strength quite a bit, but when the signal just drops out, there is nothing to "boost".

Most people aren't aware of why their phone is "breaking up" or won't dial out or answer and the graphic "bars" on the phone aren't a good indicator anyway. The bars tell you what the tower is sending into the area, but says nothing about your phones ability to send its signal backout again. And that's often where the problem lies.

All that said, I would recommend the Weboost home/office 4g models. The car models don't have an inside antenna range adequate for an RV - the phone has to be within several inches of the inside antenna to get any benefit. The home & office models cover a bit more area, though still not much. They advertise a max coverage that is quite good, but in my experience it is typically much less.

https://store.weboost.com/products/connect-home-4g
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

NY_Dutch

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 11:54:46 AM »
We've used a Wilson "Sleek" (now the WeBoost 4G-S) and a WeBoost 4G-M booster/repeater that both worked fairly well in low signal areas, with the 4G-M being the better of the two. I've now switched to a MaxAmp RV booster/repeater from Maximum Signal that's getting us reliable signals for both voice and data in some areas where the Sleek didn't work at all, and the 4G-M worked but tended to drop calls. One major advantage of the MaxAmp besides a better signal grabbing experience is its capability of giving us a repeater signal from end to end in our coach instead of only within a few feet of the inside antenna like the 4G-M, or only with the device in the cradle for the Sleek. The MaxAmp system isn't cheap, but like many things in life, you get what you pay for. As said, if there's absolutely no signal at all, a booster won't help, but our experience has been that our MaxAmp has found a useable signal in areas where our phones and hotspots were showing nothing at all.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 12:21:11 PM »
That MaxAmp sounds like a good one!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 12:24:01 PM »
Another thumbs up for weBoost (formerly Wilson).  Getting the antenna outside helps, elevated helps even more.
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures

NY_Dutch

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 12:37:08 PM »
That MaxAmp sounds like a good one!

That it is, Gary... We've been pleasantly surprised at the quality of the signals we've gotten in some previously dead or unreliable areas. It's worth noting that under the new FCC cell booster rules, booster amplifiers are required to scale back on power as the native signal gets stronger, so what you see in the bars display is not a good indicator of performance. Approved amplifiers like the MaxAmp scale their power to a level that provides a good quality signal, and data speeds are nearly always a better measure than bars when using a booster. RSSI levels (RSSP for LTE) are also better indicators than bars, since each phone manufacturer determines what each bar means with no standardization among brands or even models.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Buckeye4692002

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 02:29:28 PM »
Thanks everyone!

I'll move the WeBoost up the list! 
2009 Damon Daybreak 3370

VallAndMo

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2016, 04:00:37 PM »
Howdy,

We've used a Wilson "Sleek" (now the WeBoost 4G-S)

+1 for the Wilson Sleek. We once used one to get a consistent voice+data connection on AT&T in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve, and it worked great!

Cheers,
--
   Vall.

INTJohn

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Re: Cellular Booster
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 11:37:38 PM »
Hi;

As a Fulltime boondocker, I appreciate my solitude and privacy located in scenic wilderness areas. This always means that I'm in a place that has a very weak cell signal. I use a weboost RV 4G cell booster and have been very satisfied with results. from one bar to 3 to 5 with an increase in speed. I'm working off my wifi with it rite now as I post this.

Thanx.........INTJohn 

 

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