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 > Do cellphone boosters work for RV camping with poor signal?

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SFVdave

Southern California

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Posted: 05/07/21 11:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was wondering what effect a cellphone booster would have on signal while camping in mountains with only one bar? Any recommendations?

Heisenberg

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Posted: 05/07/21 11:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first thing you must have is a signal. Yes you can boost your signal. Go to weboost and study


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RambleOnNW

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Posted: 05/08/21 12:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use an old Wilson Electronics 3G booster that supports HSPA+ with a trucker antenna and have gotten some amazing boosts. Had one case where we were camping at a remote lake and got no signal at the campsite but occasionally got 1 bar at the lakeshore 300 feet away. The boost brought the signal in so it was useable.

Another case we were in a caldera where we have never got reception before but happen to be in a site that had a view of a low spot in the caldera rim. I was able to at least do text messages but don’t remember if I could do a phone call. Couldn’t do web page stuff though.

I attach the trucker antenna to a slide awning arm so the top up the antenna ends up about 13’ in the air.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 05/08/21 04:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Poor signal (IE one bar) yes.. NO signal. no.
Also some work only on voice but may not work well with data
And some .. Well it might or might not work with your phone and or carrier.

At the frequencies used for cell phone HEIGHT IS MIGHT. so the higher you can get the OUTSIDE antenna on your booster...... the better. as a rule.
Also you can get a directional outdoor antenna from some places and ain the thing.


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Second Chance

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Posted: 05/08/21 06:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's a lot of good information here:

RVMobileInternet.com

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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 05/08/21 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of the reasons people buy a "hot spot"/external WiFi receiver internet router is because it can be mounted on some kind of an elevated surface. If you can get it higher your 1 bar might become 2 !

Dutch_12078

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Posted: 05/08/21 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I second the vote for RVMobileInternet.com as an info source, and strongly suggest checking out their take on MIMO antennas versus boosters. Our dual Yagi MIMO setup has outperformed or equaled our Max Amp booster everywhere we've been with it so far.

Understanding MIMO...


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/08/21 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, signals can be boosted. Bandwidth can’t be expanded however.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/08/21 08:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:

Poor signal (IE one bar) yes.. NO signal. no.
Also some work only on voice but may not work well with data
And some .. Well it might or might not work with your phone and or carrier.

At the frequencies used for cell phone HEIGHT IS MIGHT. so the higher you can get the OUTSIDE antenna on your booster...... the better. as a rule.
Also you can get a directional outdoor antenna from some places and ain the thing.


I'll agree on everything but NO signal. I've used boosters for 20 years or so and there are quite a few places we camp where the phone will show "no signal" on the display but I can end up getting several bars with a booster.

When your phone tries to connect to a tower, it sends out a signal. IF the tower sees a strong enough signal it will then start the process of connecting and adjusting power. Typical phones broadcast with around 500mw of power IIRC. Now with a booster, the booster can broadcast with around 3-5 Watts of power, so can be possible for the booster to get a strong enough signal to a tower to initiate and complete the process to enable communication.

Now once connected, as mentioned, in very weak signal areas you may find you get voice only, or voice and text, but no internet or ability to send text with images etc.

And don't use the "bars" on the display to tell you much about the real signal quality. In the phone setting menue there should be a way to see actual signal strength in db. -80db or less is very good, -100 about the point where you may run into issues with texts etc. -115 or so, gets real marginal.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 05/08/21 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I'll agree on everything but NO signal. I've used boosters for 20 years or so and there are quite a few places we camp where the phone will show "no signal" on the display but I can end up getting several bars with a booster.


Some of that may be because you are standing on the ground with the cell phone but the cell phone booster antenna is usually at least on top of the camper. Much higher. And many people mount the antenna on an extendable pole, I can get mine up 20 ft.


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