Phone signal boost

Tips, techniques and accessories for keeping in touch on the tracks
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Phone signal boost

Unread post by Rooney48 » May 14th, 2015, 7:24 pm

Hey all,
Recently went on a trip to Conargo and the reception was really spotty.
I've heard that you can install an aerial that somehow allows phones within say, 5 metres to boost off it? Is this real?
And is it classed as a radio amplifier that would require a licence?
Am i better off with some sort of cradle? If so, which is the best to cover apple/samsung/sony etc...

Shann Low
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Re: Phone signal boost

Unread post by Shann Low » May 15th, 2015, 12:28 am

Here and there
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Re: Phone signal boost

Unread post by StumpyB » May 16th, 2015, 1:37 pm

G'day yes it is very possible and no you don't need to $999 to subscribe your to phone to be a Satphone.
But you won't always get better reception, all the cradle/aerial combination does is extend your aerial. So if you going into and area that has no coverage than you wont pick anything up.

Plenty of cradle options, depending on what phone you're running will determine how much gain you get.
Bury are probably the best. You buy like a base for it and than specific cradles for different phone.
Smooth Talker and Strike are a couple more popular brands.

I'll be honest straight up and say I've tried both Smooth Talker and Strike with my Iphone 5s and both have had poor results. Whether it's just my phone, my sim card I'm not sure, because I've asked plenty of different folk who have sworn by both of these cradles. So that's something to put in the back of your mind.

For a cradle you're probably looking at around $250-$400 mark depend on how it's set up. Then around $100-$200 for a good aerial. Don't stinge out on the aerial, buy a good one with the proper frequency for your phone/cradle.

Hope that gives you stuff to google. Or if you have time, duck into you local communications store and they'll be able to sort you out.

Peter Aawen
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Re: Phone signal boost

Unread post by Peter Aawen » May 16th, 2015, 2:13 pm

There was a time that you could get an 'inside the cab' patch that linked to an external antenna that would allow better reception & transmission for your phone, altho it couldn't actually boost your phone's signal. Dunno if they are still available, but they were somewhat cheaper than the cradle/external aerial option, which AFAIK also won't actually boost your phone's signal anyway, just improve its reception & transmission due to the bigger/higher antenna. Then again, back in the dim dark you could get a cradle/aerial fitting that DID boost your phone's signal, altho that really improved only the transmission above the improvement provided by the bigger aerial, so your reception still relied on 'line of sight' & the quality of the equipment to drag weak signals in. But, I don't think those 'boosters' are available or legal any more & really, boosting the signal on a digital phone that uses signal that relies on 'line of sight' to work & provide any degree of clarity in both transmission & reception isn't going to help much anyway. :(

The best thing you can do to improve your phone's performance is to connect it to an external antenna and make sure that the antenna is a quality antenna that is installed AS HIGH as you can possibly get it!! And even then, if the middle/top of your antenna doesn't have a direct 'line of sight' to a cell tower, it just ain't gonna work any better!! So when you are down in the bottom of a gully, or simply out of range cos the nearest cell tower is 'over the horizon', then nothing much short of that satellite option will improve your ability to phone home!

But digital signal is good for what it is, if you want to talk to someone calling from the moon, all you need is to be able to see it in the sky and your naked phone with what little power it has when it's working will be able to let you communicate just as clearly as if they were on top of the next hill!! They only used a couple of watts of power for the comms that kept Apollo Mission Control in contact with the Moon shots & Lunar Modules, altho they did have repeater links to let them maintain contact while the bulk of the Earth was in the way, & they timed the orbits of the Command modules to allow an 'on board' repeater to maintain contact while the Lander was hidden by the bulk of the Moon; altho when both modules were on the far side of the moon, no signal got thru & it's unlikely any signal would've anyway, no matter how powerful it was, simply because there was NO 'Line of Sight'! :(
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Re: Phone signal boost

Unread post by Timmo » May 16th, 2015, 6:39 pm

I have had good results using a Carcomm cradle and a GME Antenna with my HTC One M8. Have been using this setup for just on 2 years now.

As said, it won't give you service where there isn't any to be had, but I have found it provides an improved signal in comparison to being used without the antenna. Especially when you are on the fringe of coverage areas.

You can still get patch leads to use with an antenna, I used to do exactly that with my old HTC Incredible S. The only disadvantages being your phone is not secured and visible/within reach and it doesn't automatically charge when connected like it does with a cradle.


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Re: Phone signal boost

Unread post by chris_stoffa » May 16th, 2015, 10:23 pm

I have a Electrophone mobile phone antenna, was used for a remote site office wifi connection so it works very well, mounted it to a spring base and it has the connections for the external connection of a Samsung S3. The connector is on the phone mother board and requires that the back be removed

The Samsung S3 is a spare so its only used for emergencies phone calls powered from the vehicle. I just swap my SIM card to it.

Once connected it provides a phenomenal ability to pick up towers that mobile phone internal attenas cannot match, a recent use was at Scorpian Springs and along the Border track and in the centre of western NSW and southern Qld

Its this type of antenna that the OP may be looking for -you just need the phone that can be adapted
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