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 > Plan B: Cell Signal Repeater?

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dedmiston

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Posted: 12/13/21 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, I'm the guy who posted asking about getting Starlink Internet withou an address.

Assuming that's possibly going to be a no-go, I'm thinking of a Plan B to get internet to their property.

Apparently there is strong cell signal at the top of the lot, but nothing down in the draw where they live.

I'm aware of the pros and cons of cellular signal boosters, but that's not what they need. Since they don't have any signal down there, there's nothing to boost. But what about a repeater to send the signal down the hill? Is there even such a thing? Does anyone here have experience with one?


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rlw999

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Posted: 12/13/21 12:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:


I'm aware of the pros and cons of cellular signal boosters, but that's not what they need. Since they don't have any signal down there, there's nothing to boost. But what about a repeater to send the signal down the hill? Is there even such a thing? Does anyone here have experience with one?


Rather than a cellular repeater, I think you'd have better luck using a cellular Wifi router that you can put up on the hill to send Wifi down the hill. There's too much chance of causing cellular interference by using a cellular repeater to try to rebroadcast the cell signal long distance down the hill -- most cellular repeaters use a very low power transmitter inside the car/house/rv to reduce the chance of interference.

Something like a Pepwave BR1 would work. Depending on the cell signal strength, you can use the included omnidirectional cellular antennas or add a higher gain omni or directional antenna.

Then use a directional Wifi antenna to aim the Wifi signal down to where you need it and depending on distance, either connect your devices directly to that wifi network, or use a Wifi repeater with another directional antenna aimed up the hill. If you're going to run power up the hill to it, then another option would be to run ethernet (or fiber) to the device, then you don't need the long distance Wifi link.


My brother does something similar at his mountain cabin - he can't get any cell signal inside the cabin, but he experimented and found that putting his cell phone on a 30 foot high pole to get it above terrain enough to get decent signal. So he put his Pepwave on top of a pole, and runs ethernet from it inside the cabin to a Wifi repeater. It's easy to do this experiment, he just taped his phone to a pole, and ran a cell signal recording app to see how high he had to get it to see signal.

CA Traveler

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Posted: 12/13/21 03:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Does he have AC power for a repeater?

Why do you think he can't use Starlink? There are online converters for GPS to Pluscode if that's the requirement.


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dedmiston

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Posted: 12/13/21 03:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Does he have AC power for a repeater?

Why do you think he can't use Starlink? There are online converters for GPS to Pluscode if that's the requirement.


Yeah. They have solar and a water wheel to power their battery bank and inverter that they use for DC.

I'm still trying to figure out if they have the unobstructed sky view they'd need for StarLink. Also, the StarLink startup costs are kind of daunting.

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