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  #1  
Old 10-19-2006, 06:03 PM
aerodave aerodave is offline
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How can I boost my cell phone reception...for data...indoors..cheaply?

I'm a Sirius satellite radio subscriber, and I'm addicted enough that the 8 hours a day at work are too long to go without my tunes. Since I'm tired of my personal music library for the most part, I think the iPod will start staying at home. Normally, I'd just grab the Sirius internet stream on my computer...but my employer doesn't believe bandwidth should be used for fun, so that's a no-go. No biggie, says me..I can just use my smartphone!! I have a third-party app on my T-mobile SDA that will let me get the internet stream, and I can just output that to my computer speakers for maximum listening enjoyment.

But there is, of course, a catch. The "CD Quality" 128-kbps stream is my preferred choice, because it (duh) sounds a whole lot better than the 32-kbps option. However, to get 128k I need to be outside my building, because there the signal is nice and strong. Once at my desk, I still have decent signal...just not decent enough. I can get the low-quality stream, but not the good one. Getting full speed seems to require having all my bars lit up and glowing red-hot.

So, I'm trying to find effective and cheap ways to boost my signal. I'm not trying to turn nothing into something here, just 70% into 95%. Buying an external, directional antenna to plug into the back is surely an option, but it gets pricey. Is there a way to direct more signal to the phone's built-in antenna? Perhaps a makeshift corner reflector or a dish of some sort?

So, all you electrical engineers (and wannabe engineers, too)...what will help me more effectively bathe my phone in the warm, soothing microwave radiation it needs to crank some bitchin' tunes?

Some notes which may be helpful:

- I have a window in my office, and it faces directly towards the nearest T-mobile tower, about 1 mile away. Despite having this great line-of-sight coverage, the thick masonry of the building and the thick aluminum window frame seem to be conspiring to rob me of signal.

- As I intend to use it, I don't need to move it while I'm listening to the radio, so something pretty directional would be okay. However, it would be prefereable if the display and buttons were available so that I could easily change channels and see the song info.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2006, 06:19 PM
astro astro is online now
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So ... all these hours of cellular bandwidth over the cell phone are free? I always though cellular bandwidth was pretty pricey.
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Old 10-19-2006, 06:25 PM
spingears spingears is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerodave
- As I intend to use it, I don't need to move it while I'm listening to the radio, so something pretty directional would be okay. However, it would be prefereable if the display and buttons were available so that I could easily change channels and see the song info.
Here is something for your cell phone.
A Cell Phone Signal Booster
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Do nothing simply if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful
spingears
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2006, 06:43 PM
aerodave aerodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
So ... all these hours of cellular bandwidth over the cell phone are free? I always though cellular bandwidth was pretty pricey.
Well, they're only free after I pay through the nose for them. I give T-mo $30/mo for unlimited internet. Used to be $20, but now they only offer it bundled with the useless (to me) HotSpot service. Either way, don't worry about me...I'm getting all-you-can-eat bandwidth.

And spingears, I definitely appreciate the wackiness of the suggestion. And if I'm going to pay for something, it might as well be clever and a little silly. But most of the reason I want to avoid hooking anything up to the antenna port on the back is because those pigtails are a pain to get. Can't source them locally for my phone AFAIK, and I hate having little parts shipped.

Keep 'em coming!
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