Improve your cell phone reception with an easy to install antenna and amplifier, which boost the signal. You only have to run coaxial cables.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:June 2005
If you have lousy or nonexistent cell phone reception at
home, don't hang it all up. For $400 to $800, you can
install your own home-based cell tower that boosts cell
phone signals for flawless service.
Here's how it works. An antenna mounted outside the
house receives signals from the phone company's cell tower
and sends them to an amplifier to boost the signal. That
signal is then broadcast throughout the house via an
interior antenna. Special “low-loss” coaxial cables
connect the components. The system works
equally well for sending and receiving
cell phone calls. In very large
houses or ones that have
masonry partitions, you
may need to add antennas
elsewhere in the
house for clear signals. But
that's easily done by using specialized splitter connectors
and additional cables.
Mounting the exterior antenna is simple: It just clamps
onto a typical antenna mast and the low-loss cable screws
directly into it. You'll need to mount the amplifier near an outlet
and out of the weather, so it's best to mount it inside the
house in a spot where you can run cables to both antennas.
The interior antenna is lightweight. After you connect the
cable to it, simply screw it to the ceiling or wall. It's best to
position it at least 7 ft. above the floor.
The tricky part is orienting the exterior antenna for the
strongest signal. When ordering your parts, order a “patch
cord” that fits your brand and model of phone. Plug one
end into your phone and the other directly into the antenna.
Every newer phone has built-in electronics that'll identify signal
strength as you turn the antenna and anchor it. The
directions that come with the amplifier will help with this.
To find the exact parts you need, go online.
If you're unsure what you need, contact either the manufacturer
or one of the suppliers for help.
A cell phone signal boost system has four basic parts—the external antenna (1), the amplifier (2), the inside antenna (3) and the coaxial cables that connect them (4).
External Antenna (1): Sends and receives cell phone signals from a cell phone tower. Bi-directional amplifier (2): Amplifies signals coming from the external antenna (listening) and the signals coming from your cell phone (talking).
Internal antenna (3): Sends and receives signals to cell phones within the house. Low-loss coaxial cable (4): This special cable keeps interference from other electronics to a minimum and is crucial for transmitting signals to and from the components.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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