Any simple way to boost cell phone antenna?

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  #1  
Old 01-30-02, 06:06 AM
Niranjan
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Any simple way to boost cell phone antenna?

I recently signed up with Sprint PCS service. Using it from home is maddening because even though we live right in the middle of a city, our home must be between towers because the signal is not very good.

The problem is inconsistancy. If it were just a poor signal, I could move to a part of the house where I get a good signal. But the signal changes literally by the second. I can just hold the phone and watch the signal meter bounce between 0 and 4 bars. That is all fine, but sometimes I make a call when it's showing 3 bars & then a few minutes later it will drop the call!

I checked with Sprint & they said this sometimes happens. They suggested raising the antenna, which I already do. I have seen some wired antennas you can buy, but that defeats the purpose of using a mobile phone, right?! I'm wondering if there is any way to boost the reception.

An AM/FM walkman I owned a long time ago used the headphone wire as the antenna - could the headset wire be used in a similar way?
 
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Old 01-30-02, 07:03 AM
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I had a similar problem. I found changing carriers to AT&T and changing phones to be the solution.
 
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Old 01-30-02, 07:13 AM
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Radio Shack sell an adapter to boost your cell it slides under the battery. Works realy well
 
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Old 01-30-02, 07:37 AM
Niranjan
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HandyRon, yes, AT&T worked fine. The reason I went with Sprint was 1) I could use it nationwide. The AT&T Digital One rate is expensive & doesn't give you many minutes 2) AT&T doesn't let you check your minutes online. You have to rely on the cell phone timer and regularly keep track to make sure you don't exceed your allowable minutes and pay hefty per minute charges.

gard, is this booster antenna the same kind they have on the TV ads? They claim some 300% improvement in signal quality and strength? I got one of those and it didn't make much difference.
 
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Old 01-30-02, 05:09 PM
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I'm afraid so sorry to hear it didn't work for you it did wonders to mine I couldn't use the cell each time I went into the moountains now I can almost twice the distance.
 
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Old 01-30-02, 09:53 PM
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Generally, there is a way to get service from a weak cell.

What is probably happening is there aren't enough cells in your area, or you are in a valley or on a hill of sorts where the signal skips over or under.

The closest cell where you get a marginal signal can be busy at times and the phone locates the next cell which is too far away.

When you move around your house, the closest cell sees the signal disappearing , tries to find a better signal as it is losing you peforms a "hand off" to the next closest cell in a desparate measure to keep the call up.

There is a "field" in some higher end phones that specify "no hand-off". If your phone has that, try disabling hand-off. I'm afraid that is still a marginal at best solution.

What can work is called a "leaky coax" antenna. They are available from mobile phone specialty stores. You put the antenna at a high eve on your roof and run the coax throughout your rafters.

Something to try before that might work (assuming there is no topigraphical anomaly) are those cheap antennas that they stick on car windows. Put one high on one of your windows and try it in that room. If it works, try putting one on a window in each room possible. The first window to try should be in the approximate direction of the closest tower.

Some older houses have lead in the windows that kill the signal. I am guessing that isn't it since you proabaly would have mentioned that going outside your house improves your chances for a good connection.

Its been 4 years since I've been in the business and can't remember the type of equipment Sprint uses. Is it Analog (AMPS), CDMA or TDMA? If its TDMA, the chances get slimmer since it doesn't have adequate protocol for signal boost.
 
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