[TowerTalk] Cellphone signal boosters

Steve Maki lists at oakcom.org
Thu Jul 27 20:25:22 EDT 2017

On 7/27/2017 8:32 AM, Jim Thomson wrote:

>      < When I was working on a cellular project in Haiti in the early 2000's,
> <we installed a totally passive repeater system to improve coverage for the
> <President's palace to tide us over while we worked to build a cell site for
> <the purpose.  The passive system had a Yagi mounted on a wooden pole and
> <pointed at the closest "donor" cell*.  The Yagi's coax feed then went to an
> <omni antenna a few feet below the Yagi and behind it (in the Yagi's pattern
> <null.)  Apparently this combo worked well enough that we had time to build a
> <full minicell for the area and had no further complaints from Mr. Aristide's
> <folks.
> <73 de
> <Gene Smar  AD3F
> ##  passive repeater system !   Now that sounds like the ideal ticket.
> 2 ants, and one short coax between em.
> I assume kellys  remote cottage is for 2-4 months in the summer time, like
> June to Sept.  Folks go to summer cottages to....get away from it all,
> but still, phone service of some type, for emergencies is a must.
> Jim  VE7RF

Back in the olden days I tried that a few times and didn't have much 
luck. We'd be installing a new cell site where ground level signals from 
other sites were pitifully weak. Which is why we were installing a new 
tower there I guess. Needing comms, we carried an 700 MHZ yagi with us, 
and as soon as the tower went up, we'd slap that yagi up there at 100' 
or so and search for the best Nextel signal, using a direct connection 
to the phone (we had a modified phone with an antenna jack).

At 100' it was usually easy to get a reasonable signal. But there never 
seemed to be enough radiated signal out of the ground omni to be of much 
use as a repeater. If you connected the feedline directly to our special 
phone, it was fine. But you could hold a regular Nextel phone one inch 
from the omni repeater antenna, and it was of very dubious value.

It was disappointing.

Nowadays, it's rare that I'm in a spot without usable signal level. I 
carry both AT&T and Verizon phones. Usually I'm good on either network, 
but in Michigan's U.P. for example, both carriers are needed depending 
on location.

-Steve K8LX

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