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Unread 03-03-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
firefitr26
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cell phone booster/antenna

does anyone who lives in or often travels to cell dead zones have any luck with boosters or antennas? I live in a 40 mile stretch of no cell signal. That is 40 miles of main highway, but at higher elevations along this 40 miles there is sometimes signal. I am the only firefighter in much of this area and very often helicopters are needed for major traumas. It would be helpful to be able to call for one, before the it is too late for the patient. I am thinking of trying to get a booster of some type for my TJ

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Unread 03-03-2008, 09:01 PM   #2
Ski01xj
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Are you in some kind of FD that doesn't use radios?
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Unread 03-03-2008, 09:05 PM   #3
firefitr26
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No, actually I am in two fire dept with a million dollar upgrade in radios and towers, that are still nothing but crap where I live.
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Unread 03-03-2008, 09:15 PM   #4
BeachinXJ
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If you don't have radio coverage where they need it, then their upgrades were worthless. A consumer cell booster is not gonna do you much good in a 40 mile dead zone.

Verizon Generally has the best coverage in Central PA. Might want to try another provider.
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Unread 03-04-2008, 04:55 AM   #5
firefitr26
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I live in a dead zone in a valley. BUT if I drive two miles to the top of the mountain behind me there is signal.
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Unread 03-04-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
BeachinXJ
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Ok, what provider do you use?
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Unread 03-04-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
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Are you a HAM? We use the 2 meter all the time here because 99% of the time our searches/rescues are in areas without cell coverage. We hit the repeater then use the auto patch to call in LifeFlight or Air Med. You might look into it...
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Unread 03-04-2008, 12:32 PM   #8
flame0086
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You can try something simple first. If you google, you should be able to find this antena addation I am talking about. On the back of your cell phone is another antana port. It is covered by a rubber cap. I beleive that is a 20cm wire that you need. Shave down one end to stick in the port and then add a small ball of sotter on the other end. You can coil the wire to make it more compact.

We tried it out on campus. In our electronics lab, I usualy have no bar (but still have signal), add on the antena and I got 2 more bars. My friend tried it in the COM building where he gets no signal, add on the antena and he got 3 bars.

I plan on making one for when I go on search and rescue missions. Sometimes all you need is that little extra boost.
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Unread 03-04-2008, 02:00 PM   #9
trailblazer2003
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If your phone is capable you can try and find an external antenna. I've heard of some even coming with a six foot cable to get better height. You might also try and get the FD to buy you a sat phone for emergencies, might work. The Ham radio idea is probably the best for your situation. Again, try to get your department to pick up cost.
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Unread 03-04-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
BeachinXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flame0086 View Post
You can try something simple first. If you google, you should be able to find this antena addation I am talking about. On the back of your cell phone is another antana port. It is covered by a rubber cap. I beleive that is a 20cm wire that you need. Shave down one end to stick in the port and then add a small ball of sotter on the other end. You can coil the wire to make it more compact.

We tried it out on campus. In our electronics lab, I usualy have no bar (but still have signal), add on the antena and I got 2 more bars. My friend tried it in the COM building where he gets no signal, add on the antena and he got 3 bars.

I plan on making one for when I go on search and rescue missions. Sometimes all you need is that little extra boost.
Yeah, till you fry the radio from an improper antenna. I would never recommend doing this with a phone that wasn't free no matter what you and your buddies discovered.

The HAM idea is a good one, but i may be able to give you some more help if I knew which provider (network) you were using.
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Unread 03-04-2008, 03:46 PM   #11
firefitr26
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I have verizon. I have had my current phone over four years, plan to get a replacement. I have heard that some phones have better signal than others. Any suggestions? What does it take to be a HAM?
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Unread 03-04-2008, 06:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailblazer2003 View Post
If your phone is capable you can try and find an external antenna. I've heard of some even coming with a six foot cable to get better height. You might also try and get the FD to buy you a sat phone for emergencies, might work. The Ham radio idea is probably the best for your situation. Again, try to get your department to pick up cost.
I had one of those. They would work if you where in a building that blocked the signal and you were able to hang the antenna out side. Other than that they only made a weak singal stronger. If you originally had no signal they did no good.
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Unread 03-04-2008, 06:58 PM   #13
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Dont get one of those dumb stickers that goes under the battery. DONT WORK!!!
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Unread 03-05-2008, 03:30 PM   #14
The Keith
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I used one in my Penelec company vehicle up here in north-eastern PA. (Towanda, Mansfield, Montrose etc). Works like a charm as long as you have a tiny bit of signal to begin with....
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