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Monday, August 12, 2013

Homestead Helper: Cell Phone Signal Boost Home Antenna

Wilson SignalBoost DT for home use.
I've had the same cell phone for about fifteen years and never really had many problems with it. That being said, I've also lived within the same 40-50 mile radius of the East Valley of Phoenix the entire time.

Once I moved to the country in northern Oklahoma, that story changed drastically. Within the first few days of arriving at our farm I noticed a change in the function of my cell phone. At the time, I had an HTC Droid Incredible which had served me well for a few years. But it was no match for countryside living.

Being on-call as a hospital employee, it is imperative that I be available immediately when I am on the schedule. When a patient needs an ultrasound in the middle of the night, I am the guy they call to come in and do the exam. Typically, technologists have a one hour response time from the time we get the phone call to the time we walk through the doors at the hospital. Obviously, the sooner the better. How long it takes me to receive the call is paramount.

Days after arriving at the farm I noticed incoming phone calls were going straight to voice mail without ringing at all. I would only become aware that a call had been missed once the voicemail icon illuminated on my cell phone. This initiated what ended up being two weeks worth of phone calls back and forth with the Verizon Tier Two Technical Support Team.

The techs determined that my nearest cell phone tower was about 15 miles southeast of the farm. According to them, this was a little too far for a cell phone antenna to reach on it's own. I was instructed to purchase an external signal booster for the farm which would increase my ability to pick up a distant cell tower signal.

Since there is no phone service nor internet service wired in at the farm, I considered this a worthy project as my cell phone is not only needed for work but is also my source of internet access for my laptop (thank you PDAnet!).

I purchased the Wilson Electronics - DT - Cell Phone Signal Booster for Small Home or Office which is now on sale for about $50 less than what I paid.  This kit was easy to install as I show in my video and I recommend it to anyone homesteading out of  reach from the local cell towers.

The signal booster increased my signal reception from one single bar displayed on my cell phone to a consistent 4-5 bars (5 is the fullest signal attainable). I have since not missed a single call. Hope this helps someone else too.

~OJD

33 comments:

Sam said...

This is wonderful! We have the same problem on our homestead, also with Verizon. Ordering this thing on payday! Thanks OJD.

David Cobb said...

Hey man the signal boost info was great. It sounds like something I need. I will be looking in to it. Thanks.

Jesse said...

It's funny, my father who is a retired forester and now spends his summers being a park ranger at various parks across the US, uses Verizon because it works everywhere. My father in law also uses Verizon because it is the only cell company that works out on his homestead. I use ATT and have problems anywhere outside a metropolitan area. I may have to get one of those for my father in law's house so I can get cell signal there. :-)

JimmyPx said...

Yup, a booster is pretty much required equipment in the country. Also since you are using cellular for Internet too, I'll bet your upload and download speed is WAAAY better.

Jesse, I used to travel all over the country (especially in rural areas) for business and there's a reason that I've had Verizon for almost 20 years.
Like OJD, I HAVE to be available 24x7 via cell phone so coverage is critical to me. Verizon's coverage in the rural areas has always been the best but thankfully AT&T is working hard to fix that and hopefully will be as good in the next few years.

Survival Skvez said...

Sounds pricy.
I'm a little concerned that it's utility powered, if you loose utility feed you will also loose your communication.
Do you have an inverter (and a battery)?

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Mob Repe said...

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Mob Repe said...

This is an intresting blog that you have posted, you shares a lot of things about Mobile Phone Reception Booster, 3G Signal Booster and Vodaphone Signal Booster. Which are very informative for us. Thanks

Mob Repe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mob Repe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
phone booster said...

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Tom Austin said...

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Raman Jairath said...

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Pavlos Lombardi said...

I've been looking everywhere for something like this. I think I'll have to try to make one on my own next week, because so far the only ones I've found cost way to much. I'll give your guide a try tomorrow, and I'll try to let you know how it goes!
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Elizabeth J. Neal said...

That being said, I've also lived within the same 40-50 mile radius of the East Valley of Phoenix the entire time. cell phone antenna booster

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Yes

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Jane Johannson said...

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