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Old 02-02-2022, 17:06   #1
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3g/4g signal boost

Hi I am sailing around Australia. To date to boost the range of my mobile phone coverage, I place my phone in a waterproof bag and hoist it up the mast. I then mobile hotspot to my phone from devices on the boat. This works well to greatly extend my data coverage but is not ideal for obvious reasons, one being I canít answer my phone when it rings. I would like to mimic this functionality but without placing he phone up the mast ie with a suitable antennae and signal boost system. Has anyone got a good solution. I would prefer not to use a data modem solution that would require another SIM card and data plan (cost). But if the Cel-Fi boost/ repeater options available are inadequate then I would accept the cost of an additional mobile plan.
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Old 02-02-2022, 18:02   #2
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

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Hi I am sailing around Australia. To date to boost the range of my mobile phone coverage, I place my phone in a waterproof bag and hoist it up the mast. I then mobile hotspot to my phone from devices on the boat. This works well to greatly extend my data coverage but is not ideal for obvious reasons, one being I canít answer my phone when it rings. I would like to mimic this functionality but without placing he phone up the mast ie with a suitable antennae and signal boost system. Has anyone got a good solution. I would prefer not to use a data modem solution that would require another SIM card and data plan (cost). But if the Cel-Fi boost/ repeater options available are inadequate then I would accept the cost of an additional mobile plan.
We have a WeBoost cell amplifier which works great in our sketchy cell areas here in BC.

https://www.weboost.com/
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Old 02-02-2022, 21:38   #3
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

Great so you have an antenna on top of the mast? Do you know what type?
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Old 02-02-2022, 21:47   #4
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

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Great so you have an antenna on top of the mast? Do you know what type?
NO. Just the same antenna that goes on the roof of a car. I put it on a pan that is then put on top of my dodger.

Loom through the Weboost website.
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Old 02-02-2022, 23:25   #5
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

I've read a couple places, but haven't done the research myself, that says that the only cell phone booster that is legal in Australia is Cel-Fi. People who have it say is works quite well. I think people get the Cel-fi GO

I know you mentioned not wanting a data only setup, but a friend of mine has a 1.5 meter antenna mounted on his bimini for his 4G hotspot device. We spend most of our time around Pittwater on the Hawkesbury River near Pittwater, NSW. He was getting a solid 4G connection where everybody else was getting no service. The new antenna supports 5g, so that is what I'm getting.

As far as antenna mounting location, I've heard that mounting an antenna on a mast is a good idea, but then you have a massive cable to run down the mast. For me, seeing the result my friend had on the bimini, I'm going to start there.
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Old 03-02-2022, 03:35   #6
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

Great thanks yes I heard about the large diameter cable to run down the mast. I heard of a solution of bypassing a new antenna altogether and using the omni directional tv antenna by accessing it via a splitter into the cel-fi go box. I might give this a go. I like the top of the mast solution for better line of sight but whatever works is fine with me.
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Old 03-02-2022, 04:28   #7
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

I do the phone up the mast thing. I have wifi on the boat. With a Samsung phone and tablet on the same wifi I can answer the phone on the tablet and send txt messages. Strangely WhatsApp seems to be the most reliable when I have scratchy reception.
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Old 03-02-2022, 04:42   #8
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

Yes my ipad does not have a SIM card so I understand that is why I can’t answer my phone from the ipad. But maybe it is just me being a techno moron.
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Old 29-03-2022, 06:32   #9
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

This looks interesting. https://www.weboost.com/boosters/cel...ignal-boosters

Can anyone share which model they bought? More expensive than I was thinking for antennae, but if it works, it would be worth it.
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Old 29-03-2022, 12:22   #10
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

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Yes my ipad does not have a SIM card so I understand that is why I can’t answer my phone from the ipad. But maybe it is just me being a techno moron.


Sounds above like your options might be legally limited in Aus (?) I’ve been through a lot of the car-booster type models, where the phone sits in a little cradle and you have about a 10’ cable to a little antenna that you stick outside somewhere. They’re a lot better than nothing, but break easily when moved around too frequently.
Not enough cell service in my usual boating grounds now to bother with a booster on the boat. For my land place I have a booster with large yagi antenna and 100’ cable which would be too bulky for a boat.


But aside from all this- I think you should should be able to send and receive calls through your hotspot connection, if you enable wi-fI calling. Have you tried this? https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT203032

I’m making the assumption that you’re using apple gear since you mentioned an ipad.
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Old 29-03-2022, 12:57   #11
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

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This looks interesting. https://www.weboost.com/boosters/cel...ignal-boosters

Can anyone share which model they bought? More expensive than I was thinking for antennae, but if it works, it would be worth it.
Nice, I've been looking into this lately. Does anyone have an actual review/experience with this? Any would help me.

Thanks!
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Old 29-03-2022, 14:36   #12
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

I haven’t used that particular setup (assuming I got the correct one in the link) but can say that the directional antennae (looks like a bird beak) only give you about a 15į range for best results- basically it’s meant to be pointed directly at the desired cell tower. So on a boat you can expect some issues unless you're tied to the dock. In any case you’ll have to be able to easily access the antenna to adjust it to the desired direction. Far up the mast would be problematic. They also catch a lot of wind and even in my land-based setup I have to often climb up there and readjust the direction. I’ve installed a heftier mount setup because the old one got repeatedly bent by the wind. Even so I find myself tweaking it frequently.
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Old 29-03-2022, 16:58   #13
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

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This looks interesting. https://www.weboost.com/boosters/cel...ignal-boosters

Can anyone share which model they bought? More expensive than I was thinking for antennae, but if it works, it would be worth it.
This is the model I bought. I still have not tried it remotely so unsure how well it works.
https://www.cel-fi.com/go-g31/
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Old 29-03-2022, 16:59   #14
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Re: 3g/4g signal boost

I will be sailing remotely next week so will be able to provide some feedback in a couple of weeks.
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