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Old 17-11-2008, 17:43   #1
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Cell phone Booster

Anyone out there with one of those cell phone boosters. They claim 30 to 50 miles but I think that is optimistic.

so if you have one.... how well does it work
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:55   #2
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Cell phones are limited by law on how much power they can transmit. I would be suspicious of anyone who claims they have a power booster. If it really does boost power then not only is it illegal, it has the potential of messing up the local cellular network.

An antenna that increases gain is another matter. A high gain antenna is also very directional. Boats in general are not stable platforms and many high gain antennas, except for boats that are tied up in a calm marinas, might not work very well because the antennas "aim" can change as the boat rolls or swings at anchor.

Its probably best to come in closer to shore if you need to make a call.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:59   #3
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These are the units

PowerMax Cell Phone Signal Boosters Cellular Amplifiers & Wireless Repeaters for Boat Yacht & RV - Digital Antenna

the 2 big ones are Digital antenna and Wilson electronic
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Old 17-11-2008, 18:07   #4
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I think its doubtful you are going to transmit a cellular signal 50 miles, except with a very directional large parabolic dish that is mounted and under perfect conditions.
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Old 17-11-2008, 20:35   #5
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I've got a Digital antenna booster - doesn't do much at all. With digital signal, the boost is not significant and not worth the price.
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Old 17-11-2008, 20:48   #6
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Most reports I have heard, all first hand, are that these unit deliver very little in the way of improved signal.
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Old 17-11-2008, 22:53   #7
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Yes the boosters work.

I had to work out in the boonies, just on the edge of a tower's range and went through hell trying to access service. I bought a 4db gain antenna that made enough difference to justify its cost ($50-$60). One of our group had the booster, ($350.00) and when he called me he sounded exceptionally clear and strong. The booster definitely does the job.

During Hurricane Ike cell service here was greatly diminished for weeks. I rigged the antenna to an 8' section of 1" pvc and was the only one of our group (4 of us with the same provider) who could get reception.

I dont think there is much benefit with the booster or antenna unless you are in an area near the limits of the tower's signal.
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Old 17-11-2008, 22:56   #8
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Digital Antenna

I actually got quite good service out of my Digital Antenna. It took a bit of fussing and I got the rep to replace the first one with a newer version. That one worked well. We had cell service all the way down the East Coast (ICW) and only had a couple days in SC or Georgia where we weren't able to get phone service AND internet (via Tmobile air card). It may not get 50 miles (very doubtful) but did make a significant difference over just the phone itself when switched on. YMMV.
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Old 18-11-2008, 01:12   #9
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Please tell me what you used!!!
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Old 18-11-2008, 06:41   #10
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I got booster hooked up to a rail mounted antenna.
My cell phone range doubled.
Tried it many times sailing from Florida to the Bahamas and returning:

Without the booster I can use the phone max 8 NM from the coast of Florida.
With the booster, 16 NM.

Get the same results every time...
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Old 18-11-2008, 19:19   #11
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Mixed reviews..... Interesting

cchesley; could you tell us a bit more about what model you have

CSY; what model do you have?

I sounds like it might work well enough for me. I knew I was not going to get the 30 miles like they claim but as is CSY's case, double the range that's not bad.
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Old 24-11-2008, 02:32   #12
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Hey!

If this is GSM, and I guess it is, the booster will work in places where the signal is weak. It will not increase the range of a cellular phone. A mobile phone is not only limited in range by the signal strength, but also by the interval between time slots. The phone needs to respond to the base station within the timeslot, if it doesn't... No reception. So, the booster will help if you're obscured or in a place where the signal is weak, but the range is still the same due to the limitations in the GSM network. This is probably why there are different reviews on the boosters. I was once off the coast of Yemen with a full receptionbar, but couldn't make a call as I eas out of range. The old NMT network was totally dependent on signal strength. If you used a booster and placed your antenna in the top of the mast, you would increase the effective range.

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Old 24-11-2008, 05:22   #13
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Quote:
CSY; what model do you have?
This is the one I installed.



Quote:
If this is GSM, and I guess it is, the booster will work in places where the signal is weak. It will not increase the range of a cellular phone.
Quote:
DA4000
Provides amplification of transmit and receive signals for improved cellular phone use, greatly enhancing range and system access while decreasing the number of dropped calls in areas where signals are weak. Increases cellular performance gain up to 20 dB (add our high performance cellular antenna for maximum range and gain).
  • Boosts low-power digital cell phone up to 500%
  • Increases range
  • Reduces dropped calls and signal fades
  • Easy installation for boat, vehicle, RV, home or office
  • Includes 12v fused cigarette lighter adapter
  • FCC approved
  • Frequency:
    uplink: 824-849 MHz and 1850-1910 MHz
    downlink: 869-895 MHz and 1930-1990 MHz
  • Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Max Input Power : 0.6w
  • Max Output Power: 3W (824-849 MHz), 2W (1850-1910 MHz)
  • Connectors: MiniUHF Female
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Old 24-11-2008, 05:42   #14
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Thanks guys,

I just bought a kit (includes external antenna etc.) that was at a west marine clearance center for 250. Digital antenna's model DA4KMR-30u, was a good deal compared to what I could find on the internet, more expensive than that I don't know if I would have bought it.

CSY; I was told by the Digital Antenna tech support that the model that you have is probably the best available for reception due to the direct connect. The kit that I bought is wireless and there will loss from that (I don't have an external antenna port on my phone)

Hampus; It's Verizon so CDMA, not sure how that would compare. But the kit works with both CDMA and GSM. The masthead would probably be the best spot for the antenna but I don't feel like running the wires so it will go on top of the radar mast (3' above the radome as suggested by manufacturer)

I am not expecting miracles but I think it will be worth it. This is expecially for the internet wich requires a strong signal. So in an area with a week signal, I might be able to log on.
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Old 24-11-2008, 07:26   #15
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Increases range

It's only partially true, but it looks good in the ad. In areas where the phone is limited by the signal strength, the booster will increase the range. But you'll never get mmore than the maximum range which is 25 miles (40km). CDMA however is only limited by signal strength.

" Some technologies, such as GSM, have a fixed maximum range of 40km (25 miles), which is imposed by technical limitations"
Cell site - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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