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Cheap: Cell phone range extender

Old 02-18-2012, 05:55 PM
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Default Cheap: Cell phone range extender

We cruise to a certain location which is a spring within a National Forrest, and cell towers are not allowed by the Federal Gov't. The spring has 100'+ trees all around it, and the nearest tower is 15 miles away. My LG phone shows no bars in there. Being an electronics nerd, here's what I did.
Buy a Wilson Trucker cell antenna. It was $40 at a "CB shop" here in town. Get the antenna adaptor, available on the web, for your phone. Wilson has some on their site, or google "cell antenna adaptor". The one for my phone was $15. The Trucker antenna has a "CB" type thread on it, (3/8-24). I got a female internal threaded rod at home depot and mounted it inside a 1" PVC pipe. The other end can sit in a rod holder or mount whatever.
I am not sure , but they may make an adaptor from the CB thread to a marina thread, thus allowing the use of ready-made extenders.
My phone has the connector on the back. With the antenna over my hardtop, and about
12' off the water, the phone goes from no bars to 3-4 bars.
I also use this 20 miles offshore while trolling.
Works great

This is perfectly legal.

The theroy, in simple terms:
At cell phone frequencies, a "standard" dipole antenna element must be about 2' long, with a counterpoise of the same length. Most have a little helical or a patch antenna, which is 3-5times weaker than the 2" antenna. The wilson has about a 4 times gain over the 2" antenna. So, the set up has 12 to 20 times stronger signal over the built-in antenna.

Shakessphere markets a 4' and 8 cell antenna. However, theirs is about $200......

Pic below: Its the antenna to the left of the TV disk.
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kaptharv is offline  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:47 AM
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Cool idea--thks for the post

I'm going to try it for extending range offshore and trips to Bimini, Tortuga's etc
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:59 PM
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kaptharv,

This is an old thread but maybe you will see this.

1 - Can't find the saucer shaped antenna shown in your post. I've googled. Any idea where I can get one or how to find it on the net?

2 - Where is the "spring within a National Forrest" you mention in your post? We are in east central FL and are looking for places to put on our destination list.

Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:08 PM
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I think the saucer shape is at TV antenna.
Be sure your phone has an option for a physical antenna connection. Many/most may not. I took my cell antenna off because of it. And repeaters require the phone to be in a cabin and seperated vertically from the antenna for a ways.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:11 PM
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My booster is not hooked up b/c of those reasons. The OP states the cell antenna is next to the saucer TV antenna.
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