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sparky!
07-20-2010, 11:48 AM
I live in an area with terrible cell coverage. I know AT&T has the Microcell that transmits and receives your call over your internet connection. What I'm wondering is whether it'd be possible to create a separate antenna to connect a phone to in order to boost reception?

It seems like something like that would sell pretty well. Is it feasible?

Daylate
07-20-2010, 12:17 PM
I am also highly interest in any replies that your might get.

Some years ago I had an AT&T phone that had a plugin so that an external antenna could be attached. This antenna looked just like a small TV antenna, was mounted on the roof, and worked like a charm - the reception went from unusable to land line quality.

However, after several years I managed to drop the phone into Puget Sound (those things sink really fast!) and found that no phone was any longer manufactured that had that sort of plug for an external antenna. It had been improved out of the system (Sarcastic Remark). So that antenna is still mounted on the roof as sort of the Good Old Days.

So I certainly wish you luck in find an answer to this question.

DogRatCat
07-20-2010, 01:14 PM
Check out 3gstore, they sell a variety of antennas and adapters to hook them to a whole long list of devices. You can also call them to ask about a specific phone models that may not be on the list. Even though the site is aimed at wireless data devices, there are still phones with antenna plugs even if they hide them behind the battery covers like the Motorola Droid. I purchased the small antenna from them that even comes with little window suction cups, and an adapter to hook it to my USB 760; It does make a significant difference when you can position the antenna better than the USB dongle such as when the laptop is down low in the passenger seat and the antenna is stuck high on the window. Some of their mounted antennas come with longer cords.

I've seen devices that claim to re-transmit your cell phone signal so you don't have to hook an actual wire to the phone. I have no experience with these, and you have to realize there are many frequencies in use and they vary between carriers. A device that used to work back in the Analog days or that works with AT&T/T-Mobile GSM may do no good for a Verizon or Sprint phone, for instance.

jamie6
07-20-2010, 06:20 PM
Just recently I've seen a blog talking about a new smartphone (I believe it had Android) and they noticed how unusual it was for it to have an external antenna plug. But I cannot remember its name at all.

My slightly old phone, a T-mobile Dash, had this plug so I imagine it's just a matter of looking hard or using a slightly older phone if it doesn't bother you.

Sunspace
07-20-2010, 08:16 PM
I've seen devices that claim to re-transmit your cell phone signal so you don't have to hook an actual wire to the phone. I have no experience with these, and you have to realize there are many frequencies in use and they vary between carriers. A device that used to work back in the Analog days or that works with AT&T/T-Mobile GSM may do no good for a Verizon or Sprint phone, for instance.I've seen these. You stick a receiving antenna outside, then there's an amplifier, and another antenna to transmit inside. They aren't cheap. The one I was looking at was $550.

Here's one. (http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/801262.php)

Diver
07-21-2010, 02:36 PM
Since we live full time in our motor home and wander around the county, we sometimes are in areas with poor coverage for our cell phone and aircard.

Regarding the lack of an antenna port. Wilson makes a repeater that broadcasts to the cell phone or aircard. It requires a minimum distance between the inside antenna and the outside (Wilson Trucker) antenna.

Because of where I wanted to mount the outside antenna, amplifier, and router I could not get the minimum distance.
I bought this "SIGNALBOOST™ Mobile and Home/Office Cellular/PCS Amplifier (811210)." You can see it here: http://wilsonelectronics.com/ViewProduct.php?ID=123
It uses a small flat plate antenna that Velcros to either the phone or the aircard. Not as convenient as the repeater and perhaps not as efficient but it has worked well for me.



The 3G store recommended above has had excellent customer service when I have bought from them as has PrimeCellular.

DogRatCat
07-21-2010, 04:47 PM
Thanks, Diver!

Can you confirm if you simply place the Ultra-Slim Antenna against the aircard, the same as you would for a cell phone, or if it actually attaches to the data card's antenna port directly?

Also, what did this cost?

Diver
08-14-2010, 11:15 AM
Thanks, Diver!

Can you confirm if you simply place the Ultra-Slim Antenna against the aircard, the same as you would for a cell phone, or if it actually attaches to the data card's antenna port directly?

Also, what did this cost?

Sorry I missed seeing your post.
The amplifier antenna Velcros to the aircard - no direct connection is needed.
As I recall I paid about $150 for the amp and about $50 for the Wilson Trucker antenna.

GusNSpot
08-14-2010, 03:02 PM
I have a Wilson set up, Yagi antenna 10' above the TV antenna with the box and inside antenna. Covers phones in the house and yard. Our phones are just phones. We are in a depression and out in the woods so NO signal gets here very well.

We have DSL for internet now. Do not use fancy phones but a guy was just here using one & it worked fine.

I also will not leave a computer on 24/7 just for phone service.

YMMV