Cell phone antenna booster

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Old 07-14-17, 05:58 PM
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Cell phone antenna booster

I still own a flip phone. It's a ZTE cymbal z-320. The service is MetroPCS. Since CDMA was abandoned & replaced by GSM & 4G, the service has deteriorated not to mention that I live in a basement apartment. All was well when it was CDMA. I'm looking at a high gain antenna that costs about $40. When I call retail establishments, they want to sell me a $400 antenna. Here's what I'm considering.

https://www.banggood.com/High-Gain-G...-p-948790.html

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Old 07-14-17, 07:26 PM
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They might have lost me as a customer when I read this paragraph:
This mobile phone signal repeater provides the ultimate solution in any area where cellular communications can not work well due to leak of signals.
It could also improve indoor electromagnetism environments, protract cellular battery life and reduce radiation of cellphones. It is ideal for house, home, office use.
Can not work do to leak of signal. What you have a hole in the signal tank. <LOL>

It could also improve indoor electromagnetism environments, Say what?

protract cellular battery life and reduce radiation of cellphones. Do what...how?

ideal for house, home, office use. And a house isn't a home?

Probably just poor translation but if the translation is that bad and they don't care or know then did they use the same care in making the product.
 
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Old 07-14-17, 08:12 PM
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Have you tried something simple? Just stick a length of wire 6 ft out a window.

I know, sounds kinda dumb. When I was NAVY I was on two identical ships with the workshop in the same place. In port we couldn't pick up anything on the radio because we were in a big metal grounded box.

We had an overboard discharge for fire hoses (basically a 2" fitting welded to the skin of the ship with a cap inside). We'd take the cap off, stick a 3' length of coax center conductor out of it and suddenly we could pick up everything just like we were outside. No measuring for wavelength or anything, no direct connection of the wire to the radio.
 
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Old 07-14-17, 08:34 PM
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CDMA was abandoned & replaced by GSM & 4G
I don't know too much about the technological terms. I had Verizon and was happy, The wife switched to Sprint and the signal is poor in my particular neighborhood.

I haven't received it yet but Sprint is sending me some type of modem and they say it will boost the signal significantly. This is all free of charge and I'll see how it works after connecting.
 
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Old 07-14-17, 10:25 PM
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CDMA is still in use by some carriers. Sprint, Verizon and US Cellular use CDMA.

CDMA vs. GSM: What's the Difference? | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

Guess a lot depends on what towers the smaller carriers use.
 
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Old 07-15-17, 12:07 AM
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You missed one Ray......

14. Power supply : AC110-220Vą10% 45~55Hz
 
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Old 07-15-17, 01:03 AM
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Dang, I was laughing so hard I missed that one, the important one.
 
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Old 07-15-17, 04:50 AM
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That booster is $37. Try it. What do you have to loose other than $37. After that I'd say it's time to switch to a carrier that provides a better signal/service.

I live in the boonies and had a weak signal upstairs and cell phones are unusable in the basement. A couple years ago I added a Weboost/Wilson Amplifiers repeater/signal booster. It works very well but it was about $900 and the receiving antenna got mounted about 30+ feet up and aimed towards a cell tower so it's expensive and requires a bit of work for installation. Changing cell carriers and/or getting a new phone if you have that option may be much less expensive.
 
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Old 07-15-17, 05:55 AM
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Have you tried something simple? Just stick a length of wire 6 ft out a window
I was thinking of rabbit ears.

I haven't received it yet but Sprint is sending me some type of modem and they say it will boost the signal significantly.
Tell me the make & model when you get it.

What do you have to loose other than $37.]
True. Another choice is magic jack for inside the house. The ZTE that I have was a free upgrade. I still might pay for another flip phone if one of the other retail outlets have something available. My plan only costs $25 per month for unlimited text & voice. I don't need internet on the road.
 
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Old 07-15-17, 12:48 PM
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Verizon offered to send me a modem for use at home but it requires a high speed Internet connection. Basically they send your cellular out over your Internet connection. A decent option if you have the Internet to support it.

I'm not a radio expert but I don't think simply hanging a wire somewhere will help. There is a reason antennas are a specific length and I think it becomes more critical at higher frequencies. With my repeater the coax cable connecting the antennas to the signal booster are the size of a small garden hose and still the signal loss is significant so it was important to keep the cable lengths to a minimum.
 
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Old 07-15-17, 02:39 PM
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MetroPCS won't send me anything. I already asked. A friend of mine has that combination wifi/4G thing. When I call her, sometimes it's between the 2 connections & it goes to voice mail. It's not the best solution. I'm about to try an old style antenna. Hopefully, I'll be back in a few.
 
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Old 07-16-17, 01:18 AM
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Tell me the make & model when you get it.
Will do, they claim it fixes the problem.
I forgot to say though that I have an iPhone 7, it's a little better than a flip phone but still doesn't work that good in my neighborhood. Most places it works great.

I don't know why they just don't add a tower nearby or share one, there are plenty around here.

Off topic but they are making cell towers look like trees around here, pretty cool IMO.
 
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Old 07-16-17, 04:47 AM
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It won't help me if it's for iphone but thanks anyway. The towers that look like trees cover more than one company. Each leaf is different.
 
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Old 07-16-17, 10:18 AM
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See if you can find an old Casio Gzone Ravine on eBay. It was a ruggedized flip phone and it had great reception. Much better then any of my smart phones that followed.
 
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Old 07-17-17, 06:55 AM
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900Mhz isn't used for cell service in the US. That booster you linked to is for use in Europe or Asia and almost certainly doesn't conform to the FCC requirements for signal boosters. If your budget is limited and you don't need 4G LTE boosting, search for a used Dual-Band booster (850 & 1900 MHz) on ebay and try that.
 
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Old 07-17-17, 08:29 AM
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Thanks for that info. I won't order that antenna. The antennas that you recommend are 3x the cost which would be ok if they were guaranteed to work. I may just order magic jack instead.
 
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Old 07-20-17, 08:06 PM
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Shorty, definitely don't order that antenna. That is a cheaply made device that will more likely oscillate than the better designed and made devices for $400. First, it doesn't make much difference what kind of phone you have. Your flip phone may outperform iPhones, but not Samsung, or vice versa - not much difference. On the other hand, it does make a difference which bands you are on. For example, 700MHz covers better than 2GHz. MetroPCS is a virtual carrier on the T-Mobile network. So, when shopping for a booster, look for one that will work on T-mob. You may check to find out specifically what bands T-Mob uses in your area. You can find booster kits on Amazon for a little over $100. They're not as nice as a Surecall or Weboost, but if installed properly, should help solve your problem.

The biggest problem with boosters is the two antennas are often placed within close proximity to each other. This is sort of like putting a PA system mic in front of the speaker. It feeds back, or oscillates. this is what I meant earlier when I said they oscillate. When oscillating, it creates noise that interferes with other cellphone users in the area. It can almost shut down a cellsite if bad enough. The oscillating signal is usually being transmitted on the nice high gain donor antenna ( outside) and everyone trying to use the nearby cell towers has to be stronger than your signal. This causes dropped calls and slow data rates. SOmetimes bad, sometimes not so much.

Anyway, if you can find an older booster as was suggested, go for it, as long as it works on T-Mob. THose 850 & 1900 frequencies are mostly converted to LTE now anyway - or will be soon. I'll give you a checklist below of important things to consider:
1. Make sure it works on T-Mob in your area
2. Make sure it has two antennas with cabling. The device you linked has an antenna that plugs right into the booster. This works most of the time, but I have seen some that cause oscialltion because they are right next to the booster. 10 feet of cabling will make a huge difference.
3 outside antenna should be directional - may be a wedge enclosed inplastic or several elements on a boom like a small TV antenna, or resembles a picket fence. DOn't use just a vertical whip outside.
4. Mount the outside ( donor) antenna as high as you can and aim it in the direction of the nearest T-mob tower.
5. mount the inside (server) antenna as far away from the donor antenna as possible. For example, I see people mount the donor on an outside wall and hang the server ant inside the same wall. The antennas are only inches apart = BAD.
6. RTFM - Read the F'ng Manual!!! Many devices, even some of the cheap Chinese models will have an indicator if it senses that it is in oscillation. I've seen some that have a green power LED indicator that turns red when oscillating, hence, read the manual.
7. I mentioned putting the inside server antenna as far from the device and especially the outside antenna as possible. Look for a kit with an inside antenna that includes a cable to mount it further away. Like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Phonelex-T-Mo...ntenna+booster

Good luck.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 07-21-17 at 06:41 AM. Reason: removed email address from post
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Old 07-20-17, 08:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You don't want to post an email address on a busy site like this as you'll get hit with a lot of spam.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 05:00 AM
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El Rubio, I abandoned the antenna idea. One of the MetroPCS stores has a couple of Samsung phones for sale. I don't trust the guy completely but I don't like LG & the ZTE that I have is worse. No one else has Samsung for MetroPCS. Another thing to consider is my senior housing should be ready soon & I won't be living downstairs any more. That will solve most of the problems.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 07:01 PM
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It won't help me if it's for iphone but thanks anyway.
I'll still post the model number of the modem Sprint sends me.
It has nothing to do with having an iPhone.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 05:50 AM
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I stopped at a dock where a friend of mine was visiting someone who owned a boat. As she was leaving the boat her cell phone fell into the water. She stood their stunned as if the phone were going to magically float to the top. She has Verizon. Long story short, Best Buy & Walmart sell phones that will work with each carrier. I remember that I bought a phone "out of network" once. I think that I'm going to do it again. Carriers don't like it but I don't like their prices.
 
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