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we're just barely in range of cell-phone service, and i was wondering if anyone knows how to make a decent homemade cell phone antenna...

thanks,
greg
 

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If I need a Shelter
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Don't know I asked about it couldn't ever get a straight answear.Paid $100 to get going at radio shack.

Problem is I can get out better on my CB Base for free.

big rockpile
 

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Maybe you don't need a better antenna - you need a better phone.

The pocket phones everyone is familiar with only really work well in mostly urban environments. They have less than one watt of power.

The older "bag phone" type of cell phones have three watts of power, and will be able to get a good signal in places where the mini phones won't. If you're getting some signal on a mini phone, you'll get a better signal on a 3 watt phone.

Go ask your cell phone provider if you can test the coverage with a 3 watt phone before buying one.
 

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I just got through doing a mountain of work on this item.

I found a web site that has great information on antennas and the like, but ... I ordered from them and their stuff didn't work. And then I ordered stuff to fix the first stuff, which also didn't work. Their "shipping and handling" charges were freaky expensive and hen they charged me a 20% restocking fee when I returned it all. And of course I had to pay for the postage to send it back to them. The moral of the story is: DO NOT BUY CELL PHONE ANTENNAS ONLINE!

I found two stores in town that sell this sort of thing. The stuff I got from them advertised "13db gain!" and the small print said something about how you get this gain if the antenna is mounted high and outside and you normally use your phone inside. The reality is that that antenna gets you about 7db gain. My cell phone would get 0 or 1 "bars" inside. 1 or 2 bars outside. With this antenna, I get 3 or 4 bars.

Let your fingers do the walking to find a local provider. All of the cell phones have goofy antenna adapters and that will be your biggest challenge. Calling around a bit got me from $140 to $90. That's for the antenna (with cable), the adapter and a mount for the roof of the house.

DO NOT BUY THIS STUFF ONLINE! I love to shop on-line, but this stuff is just way too easy to screw up. And I got extra burned, twice.
 

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First of all we need to know the phone model and service type (digital vs analog).

Basicly what do you is to put an antena ourside pointing twards the nearest cell tower and run a coax cable down to where you would use your phone. Becuase of the high freq your coax MUST!!!!! be the correct cable or you will not get enough signal down from the antenna. while simple tobuild, I would not advise on building an antenna. Buy one a cellular directional antenna and connectors for your "SPECIFIC" cell phone. DONT get clip on antennas. They dont work.

Here is a site I found that had antennas. I dont know anything about this site other than a quick search popped them up.

greg273 said:
we're just barely in range of cell-phone service, and i was wondering if anyone knows how to make a decent homemade cell phone antenna...

thanks,
greg
 

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Since most cellular phone service is now digital the 3watt phone has gone away. Unless your on an analog service phone power is going to be basicly the same without an amp.


dakotaman said:
The older "bag phone" type of cell phones have three watts of power, and will be able to get a good signal in places where the mini phones won't. If you're getting some signal on a mini phone, you'll get a better signal on a 3 watt phone.

Go ask your cell phone provider if you can test the coverage with a 3 watt phone before buying one.
 

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We have a brand new antenna that goes with a mobile bag phone. It is a motorola brand magnetic one. With our bag phone we have never needed it. I would gladly send it to you if you can use it just for what the shipping costs. Let me know. Dawn
 

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I tried a panel antenna that was supposed to have 13db gain. My way of testing signal strength reports percent. With my omnidirectional 7db antenna I manage to get anywhere from 63% to 70% signal strength. With the 13db flat panel, I coudn't get higher than 51% no matter where I pointed it.

In our area, the verizon phones seem to work the best. This is using CDMA spread spectrum technology around 1800 mhz. I couldn't find a yagi that claimed to do that.

The omnidirectional antenna I'm using is designed for use on big trucks. It has three little bars sticking out of it horizontally.
 

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A yagi for 1800mhz will be very small, only a few inches wide. You might have more success using a satelite dish but dont use the satellite LNB instead put your cell phone in the focal point of the dish, if that works you can put a dipole in that position and coax down to where you want to use the phone. You might have to rotate the dipole to get best results due to polarization of the signal but I really dont know.

Wave length at 1800 mHz is about 166 milimetres, so each side of the dipole is 1/4 of that, 24.6 milimetres to the inch.
 

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Look in the phone book for small independant companies that install radios & cell equipment in business vehicles. I deal with cell issues at work and I have a company that I refer staff to when they need antennaes for their vehicle & at home. This company has dozens of antennaes on site and will order anything you need. I've got a very good relationship with them so they will actually let our employees "try out" antennaes at home to see how much their reception improves. Going to an independant company that services businesses is important because they are more customer oriented and not bound to use a set supplier or brand like a company (cingular) store
 
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