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Any way to improve cell phone reception?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Dan, Jun 15, 2005.

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  1. Dan

    Dan Guest

    My wife & I are in the process of moving & are living on opposite sides
    of the continent for awhile. To lower phone bills, we got a cell plan
    that gives us unlimited minutes to one another (Cingular). My phone (a
    Motorola V180) gets great reception around town, but naturally, I have
    found it gets lousy reception from my home, where I generally am when we
    talk. 0 to 2 bars, usually 1. So I'm wondering if there's any way to
    inprove reception, like an external antenna, even a clip lead attached
    to the antenna connection inside (which I have not tried yet). Phone
    has a stub antenna about 1 inch long. Suggestions appreciated.

  2. NSM

    NSM Guest

    FWIW. Figure out where the closest tower is and build a yagi antenna
    ( to point to that. Couple that to a
    small vertical whip and see how well that works. You can often make a test
    yagi out of the old TV antenna ribbon and see how it works. YMMV.

  3. Dan

    Dan Guest

    Thanks for the reply. At least one company offers a solution along
    these lines, but a repeater incorporating an amplifier rather than a
    "passive" arrangement, which they claim is not feasible due to the low
    signal levels (but then, they WOULD say that, wouldn't they?). Around
    700 bucks. Yeeesh. They do offer a $100 800 mhz yagi (my freq), but
    unfortunately no adapter for my particular phone. I'd have to do some
    surgery. A final option appears to be a magnet mount vertical whip with
    a ground plane (square of sheet metal), about $50 w/o cable, still faced
    with attaching it to the phone. Might be worth a go. I'll check out
    the article you suggest, futzing around with a cheap yagi might be fun,
    once I solve the no-jack problem


  4. NSM

    NSM Guest

    The secret of all these things is to try something and then see if you can
    improve it. For a vertical, all you need in a piece of heavy copper wire or
    small tube. You could also try a Radio Shack telescoping antenna.

    I also remember people selling those passive boosters (for as low as 1 cent)
    that you stick in the battery compartment but they seem to have died out -
    guess they didn't work.

    As for an 800 MHz amp, try the library for a copy of the Radio Amateur
    handbook which may have a design. But always do the easy things first.

  5. Stephen Sank

    Stephen Sank Guest

    I think those stick-on passive "boosters" work great. No help on reception, but if you stick 3
    or 4 layers of them on, it keeps the battery from rattling arround.

    Stephen Sank, Owner & Ribbon Mic Restorer
    Talking Dog Transducer Company
    5517 Carmelita Drive N.E.
    Albuquerque, New Mexico [87111]
    Auth. Nakamichi & McIntosh servicer
    Payments preferred through
  6. Dan,
    I have an LG VX4500 phone that gets poor or no signal in my basement. I
    bought a replacement telescoping antenna for my phone on e-bay. It has
    improved my signal in the basement some what. It will not go from 1 bar to
    two, but I have found that I can complete my calls more often with the
    antenna up than with the OEM stub. Here is the link to the one I bought, I
    think they sell them for other phones.
  7. Dan

    Dan Guest

    3 bucks?!? What, you think I'm MADE of MONEY??? ;-)

    Looks like it could be worth a shot, I'll see if they have one for my
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