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> Cellphone/laptop "boosters"
bigredoes
post Jul 12 2007, 10:26 AM
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Apologize in advance if this has been covered before - I did a search and could not find what I was looking for - so if it has and you can steer me to the right strand that would be appreciated.

My question is: Does anyone have any experience with cellphone signal boosters specifically the smoothtalker advertised in many rv mags. I did call their 800 number and they assured me that not only would their product work with my cell phone but it would also work with my Sierra card (essentially a cellphone) inserted in my laptop for internet connection.

Does anyone have any experience with this product?


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Big Ben
post Jul 12 2007, 01:12 PM
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I have a Wilson Amp and it works as long as there is a signal. Just remember they amplify a signal, they can not get a sinal where there is none.
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Beastdriver
post Jul 12 2007, 05:26 PM
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Bigreddoes:

John Blue, a frequent contributor to this site, did an extensive test on some of the cell phone/computer boosters. Why don't you send him a private e-mail and I am sure he will share this information with you. He covered it on this site, but I don't recall the link.
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RLM
post Jul 16 2007, 09:07 PM
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I don't intend to alienate or offend anyone's opinions on this website so please accept this answer in that manner. I have a background in electronics and with that knowledge I say that there isn't any device currently on the market that will allow you to receive stonger cell phone signals except a better antenna.

A cell tower typically transmitts to a distance of about 10-15 miles. You must be within that distance to have communication capability.

The plug in amplifiers will take an incoming signal that is on the outskirts of that range and make it stronger, but they will not enhance the outgoing signal. The devices are receivers, not transmitters.

The "sierra card" is like any other data only cell card. One is able to connect to the internet via the cell tower using a data only link. Again, incoming signals can be amplified, but outgoing signals will be the same with or without a commercial signal booster.

The best solution to this problem is to have a PCMCIA data card that has something other than a built in antenna. One that extends vertically from the card works best.

The cell phone companies in the US are woefully behind in technology as compared with Japan, Koria, etc. Complain to them if you want it to get better.
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pianotuna
post Jul 16 2007, 11:01 PM
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Hi,

Is it possible to use one booster to receive and a second booster to transmit?

[quote name='RLM' date='Jul 16 2007, 09:07 PM' post='7697']
I don't intend to alienate or offend anyone's opinions on this website so please accept this answer in that manner. I have a background in electronics and with that knowledge I say that there isn't any device currently on the market that will allow you to receive stonger cell phone signals except a better antenna.

A cell tower typically transmitts to a distance of about 10-15 miles. You must be within that distance to have communication capability.

The plug in amplifiers will take an incoming signal that is on the outskirts of that range and make it stronger, but they will not enhance the outgoing signal. The devices are receivers, not transmitters.


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Don
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bigredoes
post Jul 17 2007, 07:06 PM
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So far......Thanks for all the input.

John sent me a message that was very helpful......especially in the price department (different company than the one I asked about).

If an antenna will help somewhat in the 'receiving' department that is fine with me.....we spend most time only reading websites.....we do not, as of yet, try to send out pics or maintain a website or send a lot of email.

I do like to surf the net and i really do not like waiting too long to download a webpage....I am thinking about baring the expense of a satellite for internet but would like to try the booster thing - unless you guys tell me it is a complete waste of time (RLM??)


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John Blue
post Jul 17 2007, 07:55 PM
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RLM,

I do not understand your answer on cell amps.

"The plug in amplifiers will take an incoming signal that is on the outskirts of that range and make it stronger, but they will not enhance the outgoing signal. The devices are receivers, not transmitters."

If this is the case then we could not hear or talk at same time. Cell phones are small two way radios that use two frequency's. One to TX or talk and one to Rec. or hear on. If what you say is true them we could hear a person but they could not hear me. We have used this system for years now and never had a problem. We can be in placed that show no sig. level and call people. If we have noise on cell phone, same trick, works every time. We have been in couple places that you will see no sig. amp or not. This has happen only a couple times so far. I also sent and rec. data over my cell phone if we have no WiFi or data port in park, it is slow but it works. System worked all over Yellowstone and other people had no service. We move the amp. and use a small ant. for our Honda also. That also works very well.

My background in electronics has been over 50 plus years now. I remember the first cell I worked on was around 1966, was a Motorola one line model. If one person was on phone all other people had to wait to get the green light to go. This is before the Brick Cell Phone, Do you remember that one? I also spend 20 plus years work on radio and TV repair services. OK, so I have been around the block in electronics.


Read the information on link below.

http://www.primecellular.com/index.asp?Pag...&ProdID=126


I hope this bit of history is OK. tongue.gif


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John
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RLM
post Jul 18 2007, 11:47 AM
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bigredoes> The booster will work, but the internet connection thru your cell fone is still going to be slow. You could switch to much higher speed data card that plugs into the computer. It's about the same monthly cost as satellite internet cost, but the the cost of the equipment is much higher.


JohnBlue> The comment about receivers vs transmitters was in regard to the amplifier not the cell fone. I went to the site that you quoted, but not believing completely in advertising text, I called the tech support department of a well-known electronic company who produces similar products. The devices now do indeed amplify the cell fone signalís miliwatt power up to a maximum of 3 watts (FCC limit). That has not always been true, so I now stand corrected. Appreciate the update.

It was interesting to learn that this particular company now makes a yagi high gain antenna that is single frequency (1800-1900 mhz). Previously, all you could get was a dual band antenna that was cumbersome and not very effective.

There is still an issue with the cell fones compatibility with the antenna. New phones usually lack the external antenna plug. That would require one to buy an adapter to be able to plug the fone into the antenna. Anyone wishing to use the amplifier should check to see that a specific adapter/connector is available for their particular cell fone.

There is also that same issue with a data card. I havenít been able to find one with an external antenna jack.

I too have a background in electronics as well as computers, and I used to build electronic stuff from scratch as a hobby, but it doesnít go back as far as the brick fone era. And Iím still waiting on the Dick Tracey watch. smile.gif
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John Blue
post Jul 18 2007, 09:16 PM
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RLM,

Prime Cellular has a lot of good stuff that make life better. On the an adapter, this small cable is about two foot long and cost around $6.00 or so. If you change cell phones you junk old cable and buy and new one, problem over. I have called Prime Cellular over number of cell phone cables and they have about everything you can think of on hand.

On cell card for laptops, I do not think anyone has a amp. system for that item.

I also built kits from boxs full of parts. I built a 25" color TV set that had thousands of parts and had one mistake, wire in wrong place. Made all my own test equipment, and some HAM equipment plus I had other HAM equipment from number of companies. I worked under number of HAM's plus TV service people for years and my start date was in grade school.

In my real job before retirement I worked for large company that builds telephone office computers. Worked on first PC computers plus the big IBM main frames. I help write the codes in number of systems. Spent years in schools to move one's and zero's around our big telephone office computers and they are in service at this time. It was a lot of fun.

Nice to see other people that have a good background in electronics. tongue.gif


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John
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RLM
post Jul 19 2007, 10:03 AM
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[quote name='John Blue' date='Jul 18 2007, 07:16 PM' post='7725']
RLM,

Prime Cellular has a lot of good stuff that make life better.

On cell card for laptops, I do not think anyone has a amp. system for that item.

I worked under number of HAM's plus TV service people for years and my start date was in grade school.

Worked on first PC computers plus the big IBM main frames.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JohnBlue> I checked out the Prime website. No adapter for my particular cell fone, but the wireless amp looks interesting. May even work with the air card.

I've been a Ham since 60's. W4OET.

My first computer was the Sinclair. Now that's old. smile.gif
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pianotuna
post Jan 19 2009, 04:31 PM
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Hi all,

I came across a wireless repeater--it might well be useful for those
of us who have multiple devices such as more than one cell phone, or
cell modems (sometimes called "air cards")

http://www.repeaterstore.com/products/repe...ar-repeater.php



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Don
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FosterImposters
post Feb 1 2009, 12:49 AM
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RLM "My first computer was the Sinclair. Now that's old..."

Good one RLM. OK...anyone heard of "Redwood" software ?
cool.gif
Thanks Pianotuna for the link!
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ethan1066
post Jan 19 2010, 05:07 AM
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I bought this amplifier kit about 8 months ago and I could not be more pleased with it. This unit helps to boost your signal whether you use in your home or in your automobile. I bought it because I could not make a cell phone call in my house with AT&T service. It helped boost my signal from 1 bar to between 4 and 5 bars.


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BJMA
post Jan 20 2010, 03:31 PM
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I would concur with RLM.

I too have an extensive background in electronic communications... hobby and professionally.

I would suggest that a passive antenna system would out perform any of those "booster" toys.

To build a passive antenna system all you need are two antennas and a short piece of feedline (err, coax cable).

Mount one antenna inside, mount the other antenna outside.

This is the same system that is used in highway tunnels, and just like the system we installed in our county emergency operations center. The building was designed to keep RF out, they forgot about cell phones, pagers, and twoway radio heeheheehee.


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Just NOT SILENT anymore!
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intheusa
post Feb 4 2010, 02:21 PM
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So does any one know which is the best manufacturer of cell phone signal boosters? Any recommendations? I've been searching the web for a repeater kit for my RV since we have poor signal in many areas and we depend on our cell phones and data cards for everything... blink.gif

Thanks in advance
Jacob smile.gif
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