Antenna strength question

I use an antenna for a laptop Broadband Card. Increases a barely marginal signal to about a 75-80% signal strength, just by placing the antenna in the window. Here’s the question.

I am traveling to a remote site soon, far from good cell tower signals. I was there last year. Zero Verizon signal in the building. If I walk 15 feet out onto the wooden deck, I have a SLIGHT signal.

The cable built into the antenna is a standard CB-Radio type of large threaded antenna connector. Were I to buy a 25 foot extension for it, will it greatly diminish the incoming quality? Will it alter it at all? This antenna is not powered by anything at all, it just plugs into the broadband card.


Long cable runs will result in weaker received signal. It might still work, though. Buy high-quality (low-loss) cable, and make sure all your impedances match.

You have two opposing factors. The higher the antenna, and outside and away from any buildings, the stronger the signal. The longer the feedline, the higher the losses. What beowulff said, get a high-quality low-loss coaxial cable, and get the antenna as high as you can, and away from any structures. Ideally, you will have a line-of-sight path from your antenna to the cell tower. You can also improve the signal strength by using a better antenna.

There are designs for a directional hi-gain antenna made from a metal potato chips can with a connector and short cable adapted to your computer on the internet. You may have to adapt another can for the job.

Pringles Cantenna

A directional antenna is what you want. Instead of your signal radiating in all directions, you can “focus” the RF energy in the direction of the remote site. It is important that you select an antenna that is matched to the frequency band of your laptop card.

You can also get high-gain omni-directional antennas, like this:

It gets its gain by flattening the radiation pattern towards the horizon, so it looks more like a flying saucer than a sphere.

It was made with my specific brand and model of Verizon Broadband card in mind. It works perfectly. I just wish to extend the antenna lead so I can be INSIDE my room and use the antenna OUTSIDE my room.

And, I’m in a river gorge. No clue at all where the closest Verizon tower is…