Cheap Cell phone signal booster

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,922
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Loveland, CO
#1
I know that they sell all sorts of fancy repeaters and expensive gizmos for amplifying cell phone signals. But I was wondering if anyone knows of "cheap" ways to coax an extra bar of signal from a fringe area. My office is about 5 miles inside a Navy base, and for obvious reasons they aren't real motivated to allow a cell phone tower inside. Needless to say, I average between 0-2 bars and text messages are always being delayed. Does anyone know of any "home remedies" to help boost a weak signal? I'm thinking of something, maybe a metal pad you can rest it on to help with reception.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
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Florida's Nature Coast
#2
I'd check craigslist for the appropriate repeater compatible with your carrier. You can often score them cheap. No monthly fee for having one.
 
Apr 30, 2011
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CLT
#3
Cheap = Cantenna

Proper = Repeater
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
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#4
I know that they sell all sorts of fancy repeaters and expensive gizmos for amplifying cell phone signals. But I was wondering if anyone knows of "cheap" ways to coax an extra bar of signal from a fringe area. My office is about 5 miles inside a Navy base, and for obvious reasons they aren't real motivated to allow a cell phone tower inside. Needless to say, I average between 0-2 bars and text messages are always being delayed. Does anyone know of any "home remedies" to help boost a weak signal? I'm thinking of something, maybe a metal pad you can rest it on to help with reception.

I have a good one in my car but you're looking for something to put in your office? Do you have DSL connected in there? Verizon has a "network extender" that actually works over high speed internet.

Now that I think about it, there may be a desk mount of the cradle I use in my car. You have to set an antenna somewhere (probably outside) and the phone has to stay in the cradle, so I'm not sure that will help.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,922
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Loveland, CO
#5
I have a good one in my car but you're looking for something to put in your office? Do you have DSL connected in there? Verizon has a "network extender" that actually works over high speed internet.

Now that I think about it, there may be a desk mount of the cradle I use in my car. You have to set an antenna somewhere (probably outside) and the phone has to stay in the cradle, so I'm not sure that will help.

Do you have a website link for the unit you have?
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
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The Inland Empire State
#7
I have a good one in my car but you're looking for something to put in your office? Do you have DSL connected in there? Verizon has a "network extender" that actually works over high speed internet. .
I had that setup with Sprint. You hook up the device to your router and it provides a signal inside your house. Worked like a charm. I think they wanted $99 for it and/or $5 a month to rent it, but if you call complaining about shitty reception, they'll give it to you for free. Here's AT&T's version (you're still with them right?).
http://www.att.com/standalone/3gmicrocell/?fbid=Mmjq2hh2Ezp#features
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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Jan 12, 2010
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#8
MayrMeninoCrash

Here's the type of cradle I bought. I have the "Sleek" model (not the 4G, so not sure how that one functions). It works really damn well. In areas where I barely got a signal but couldn't make a call, it boosts it enough to make one. A couple times it's actually grabbed me a signal where it shows absolutely none. Works great for me because I spend so much time out in the mountains.

http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/store/index/category/43/cradle-boosters

$75 on Amazon with great reviews. I suggest checking Amazon reviews for all their models.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003FGWGPS/?tag=wackbagcom-20

Another thing I like about it is this will work for any phone I ever buy... so you don't have to buy dedicated cradles for each phone. The parts on the side are adjustable for width and height, which allows you to accommodate buttons on the side of the phone. Their direct connection boosters work better, but are less convenient. The phone has to be in the cradle pretty much for it to work, so keep that in mind (I use my bluetooth or speakerphone).

They do have a desktop option for use with the cradle.

Check out other products they sell... Wilson is a great name in signal boosters, and they have boosters for areas of different sizes (desktop, office, large building). The ones for office buildings run closer to $300-$400. Like OAPC said, if you call and complain to your provider, they may offer you the booster that works over the internet.
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
12,076
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Hell,California
#9
the above mentioned femtocell boosters may be found on craigslist and only work if you have access to broadband internet .
other suggestion
http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/store/index/category/45/small-areas

they sell their products at other places and you should be able to find them cheaper


I have one of their older boosters in my truck and it really helps in the fringe areas

boosts the output power to 3 watts

you will have to get an antenna out side or maybe in a window to really work good

if you are in a metal building that may be your problem
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
12,076
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Hell,California
#10
mr lumber jack beat me to it

go with his links and connect to the free world
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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Loveland, CO
#12
Internet is probably out of the question. We have it in the office, but it's behind several corporate firewalls. It's a pain in the ass to connect to on anything other than authorized corporate computers. Ideally looking for some type of repeater unit that pulls in weak signals and electronically boosts them. Like I said, I have low signal but it's there.

I will check Whiskey's links, thanks!