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Mobile Phone Signal Boosters: All of the Pieces Explained

 

Cellular phone signal boosters, likewise called amplifiers or repeaters, work by capturing a weak cell signal outside the house, office, automobile, boat, warehouse, etc., bring it within, enhance it, and redistribute it cell phone signal booster. The most popular items on the marketplace include four main components: the outside antenna, the amplifier (booster/ repeater), the within antenna, and the cabling to link everything.

 

The Outdoors Antenna

 

The outside antenna can be omnidirectional (can capture the signal from all directions) or directional (works finest when pointed straight at a cell tower). The advantage to omnidirectional antennas is that they are easy to set up and pick up/radiate signals in a 360-degree horizontal aeroplane. They are terrific for picking up and transferring to multiple towers for numerous providers. You wish to install them as high as possible where the signal is greatest. A couple of drawbacks of Omni-directional antennas: 1) their gain is usually lower than directional antennas. 2) They are more susceptible to other RF interference. TheCellphone-Mate CM100-Sis a fine example of a popular omnidirectional outdoor antenna.

 

The benefit to directional antennas (Yagi antennas) is that they generally provide more signal gain (power) than omnidirectional antennas. They are also less prone to other RF interference. Because they supply more gain, the tower can typically be much even more away than is acceptable for an omnidirectional antenna. The Wilson 304411 Wide Band Yagi is a fine example of a popular directional outdoor antenna.

 

The Amplifier

 

Just about every amplifier (or booster) will have two values that generally define it. The very first is the "band". Many amplifiers are classified as single band or double band. With the exception of iDEN (Nextel), single-band describes either 850 MHz or 1900 MHz, indicating that the amplifier only enhances one of those two frequency varieties. Double band, on the other hand, will increase both frequency varieties. While there are definitely factors for buying a signal band booster, double band boosters are more typical and suitable with just about every provider.

 

The 2nd value is gain, and just about every signal amplifier will have this specification published. Without getting too technical, the gain is defined as the ratio of output to input. When defining electrical power, the gain is determined in decibels or dB. dB numbers are derived from a fairly basic logarithmic function; nevertheless, all you need to understand is that every boost in 3 dB doubles the power.

 

10 dB = gain of 10

13 dB = gain of 20

16 dB = gain of 40

19 dB = gain of 80

20 dB = gain of 100

30 dB = gain of 1,000

40 dB = gain of 10,000

50 dB = gain of 100,000

60 dB = gain of 1,000,000

If you have actually been shopping around for a cellular phone signal booster, then you have most likely stumbled upon these numbers, and we're not sure exactly what they indicated. Now, hopefully, you have a much better understanding.

 

When looking for an amplifier for your specific application, please refer the following:

 

20 dB - Vehicle, Boat - 4ft. antenna separation or direct connect

30 dB - Automobile, Boat - 5ft. antenna separation or direct link

40-45 dB - Big Vehicle, RV, Large Boat - 6ft. to 20ft. antenna separation

50 dB - Small Home, Townhouse, Office - 40ft. To 60ft. antenna separation

55 dB - Medium Home, Office - 50ft. to 70ft. antenna separation

60+ dB - Big House, Workplace, Warehouse - 70+ ft. antenna separation

Please remember that this table represents general guidelines, and the advised applications and distances might differ by the producer. Antenna separation is extremely important and needs to not be overlooked when picking or creating your system. Antenna separation is the straight line distance (in 3 measurements) from the outdoor antenna to the inside antenna. In practice, these distances can be rather shorter than the rule-of-thumb ranges noted above due to ceilings, walls, fireplaces, metal roofing systems, brick fireplaces, etc. obstructing or hindering a straight-line signal course. The guideline antenna separation distances are to keep your amplifier from going to oscillation. In the audio world, this is analogous to getting a microphone too near a speaker and producing feedback.

 

The Within Antenna

 

Inside antennas, just like outdoors antennas, can be found in various shapes and sizes, serve differently purposed and can be omnidirectional or directional. A great deal of the items from Wireless Extenders (Wi-Ex) has a small omnidirectional antenna attached to the amplifier itself. While this makes installation relatively simple, the system should enter into your house design as it must be set up in the main area and will be visible. Many in-building products from manufacturers such as Cellphone-Mate, Digital Antenna, and Wilson Electronic devices will have an independently mounted internal antenna. This might in some cases make them harder to install, however having a separate indoor antenna enables the most versatility when selecting a main coverage point. The most popular antenna for providing omnidirectional internal protection is the ceiling-mounted dome antenna, such as the Cellphone-Mate, Inc. CM222. They even make low-profile dome antennas and even dome antennas which look like lights, which are less obtrusive and fit together well with any home décor.

 

Inside antennas can be directional as well. Wall-mounted panel antennas supply directional coverage is generally a 90-120 degree radiation pattern. While coverage is just provided basically in front of a directional antenna, they generally offer more gain than a dome antenna. With that being said, panel antennas are great for big, however rather narrow spaces or hallways. They are likewise helpful if you are unable to totally stick to the antenna separation requirements. If the indoor directional antenna is pointed away from the outdoor antenna, you will probably have the ability to get away with a less than suggested antenna separation range.

 

The Cabling

 

The cabling and ports utilized to link the outdoor antenna to the amplifier, along with the inside antenna to the amplifier, play an essential role in how your system will carry out. Depending on the item, various types of cabling and adapters can be utilized. Some of the Wi-Ex and Wilson Electronics items utilize basic RG6 or RG59 75 Ohm coax. This is the same coax utilized for your cable or satellite system. While this type of cabling is less expensive, there are some downsides. For cellular and PCS frequencies, on average, RG6 will lose 6-10 dB of signal per 100ft. Depending upon the actual length of cable you utilize, this can sometimes supply more signal loss than the outside antenna offers in gain. Keep in mind, and you want your amplifier to receive the highest level of signal possible. For this reason, it is advised that runs utilizing RG6 ought to be no longer than 50 or 60 ft. For a lot of other in-building cell phone signal boosters LMR-400 50 Ohm Coax is the requirement. In comparison, while LMR-400 is more costly and thicker, it only loses about 3-6 dB per 100 ft for cellular and PCS frequencies respectively.

 

Based upon this, LMR-400 can be run further than RG6 prior to there is a decline in system efficiency. For all three-piece systems (outside antenna, amplifier, inside antenna) it is advised the amplifier be set up as near the external antenna as possible, using the quickest cable possible. Ex. If the external antenna is installed on a roof, it is suggested the amplifier be set up in the attic rather than the basement—the shorter the cable television length between the external antenna and the amplifier, the much better. Keep in mind that there is no separation requirement between the antennas and the amplifier, only in between the antennas.

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