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Old 11-18-2005, 08:15 PM   #1
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cell phone booster

has anyone purchased one of these? what is your asessment?
here is one:
http://www.smoothtalker.com
norby
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:34 PM   #2
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I purchased a similar one like that a few years ago. It does work, but not everywhere. I used it in the mountians where no other phone could get out, and it definately helped. They are about $300 and work off the cigarette lighter. I don't use it anymore, but I gave it to a friend and he uses it on his boat all the time. Still working.......
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:37 AM   #3
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thanks!....but i get the feeling you were not that impressed with its performance....for 300 bucks it should have bells and whistles. the last time i was impressed i was watching an old man on ripleys believe it or not, stuff 50 cigars in his mouth. after he achieved this phenomal act, he topped it off by whistling dixie....now, thats performance....
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Illegitimous noncarborundum(dont let the bastards wear you down)

The only true nobility is found through giving good food to your friends- Anton Careme

beauty is in the eye of the beerholder-cosmo fishhawk

if something is too good to be true, its usually gone before i get there-mister boffo
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Old 11-19-2005, 09:48 AM   #4
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Another Opinion

This is not an evaluation of the product, but a general opinion about cell phone useage on the road. Note I smudged the picture slightly, you can figure out why.
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Old 11-19-2005, 11:51 AM   #5
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Aren't we talking about reception in the Airstream? That's what I'm interested in.
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Old 11-19-2005, 11:59 AM   #6
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No it didn't whistle dixie, but it did come in handy where no other phone would work. And of course you need to be in the car to use it (or boat or trailer) to use it.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I like to be out of cell phone range!
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Old 11-19-2005, 12:13 PM   #7
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i get very llittle in the way of phone calls. my cell phone is mainly for emergencies. even though my provider claims the most coverage, while driving out among the dental floss weeds this last trip, i found coverage to be spotty. maybe in all actuallity, i dont need one, but even as pricey as it is, if in a dire moment it was used , it would be worth the price. know what i mean vern?
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Illegitimous noncarborundum(dont let the bastards wear you down)

The only true nobility is found through giving good food to your friends- Anton Careme

beauty is in the eye of the beerholder-cosmo fishhawk

if something is too good to be true, its usually gone before i get there-mister boffo
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Old 11-19-2005, 03:51 PM   #8
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Hi Norbert-

I just saw this review another device here:

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001031.php

Brad

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Old 11-19-2005, 07:16 PM   #9
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Wireless phone basics 101

I have been in the Cell phone Business for 17 years and most of that time was on the technical end in repair and installation. I am a level two factory authorized repair tech for Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson and some older Audivox products and Phillips.

Here is a few facts and a little education on wireless phones.

Analog Cellular is licensed (the stuff they were moving away from 10 years ago). is licensed at 3 watts on non hand held devices.

TDMA (Cingular) and CDMA (Verizon and sprint) are licensed to 1.2 watts on hand held but usually no more then .6 watt.

GSM (Cingular and Nextsmell and a couple other PCS carriers) are max 1.2 watts total on hand helds but again .6watt on most products.

10 years ago when CDMA and TDMA came out there was a move to go to lower power. Most devices were putting out .6 watt maximum including car kits as set up by the factory. Now let me stress that from the manufactures ONLY analog was running 3 watts and since analog is for the most part gone its a non player.

I will also have to to look this up to be sure but I think the bands are also part of the output wattage. 800 MHz is licensed to 3 watts. I think thing the PCS 1900 MHz are licensed to 1.2 watts max but I think most are only .6 watt.

I thinks thats how this product is saying its 3watts is the band is licensed to 3watts even though on TDMA and GSM they run mostly .6 watt.

Low power cant be good you say???!!??......Cellular, GSM,TDMA CDMA all need channel reuse to be able to handle the user load. They depend on low transmit distances in dense user areas. A tower can only handle so many calls. So in dense use areas the towers are close together to give the system capacity because of the limited bandwidth available. Basically the towers 2-3 away will have the same channels as the one close to you. So they don't want you to transmit that far or they will have a "co-channel interference" (where two customers end up on the same channel).

Now phones have 7 power levels that the system will decide how much power is needed and adjust the cell phones power output to that level. Closer to the tower the less power is needed.

Now that you understand the basics here is what happens with that sort of "booster". That is a "liner amp'. Basically it is set to take a .6 watt signal and bumps it to 3 watts. It also bumps any garbage the transmitter is putting out or any garbage its own transmitter is putting out. Most are also wide spectrum so that the will work on both 800 (originally cellular frequency) and 1900 (PCS frequency) so they are dumping garbage on surrounding bands.
In a nut shell its a "dirty" transmitter.

Now remember the part about the system determining the out put power needed? Well here is what happens with one of these set ups when you get close to a tower. System cant turn it low enough so it gets pissed and dumps the call because its overdriving the band. Yee haaa dropped call. The channel reuse is also another reason why you shouldn't use it in a aircraft. You have the potential to hit multiple towers running the same channels since there is no ground clutter to limit signal.


Now notice at no time did I say it boosted the receive signal. If it does boost it it boosts it dirty.

If you read the fine print it clearly states that on 1900 it does not boost the power at all. It clearly says "Antenna gain only in PCS 1900 MHz Band". Knowing that it means the booster it will do nothing for Sprint, Nextell, and a bunch off smaller companies and half of the Cingular service areas. The antenna helps a lot but that booster will be passive and not producing any additional output.

Save your money and find a remote antenna that fits your phone. The antenna in most instances is going to be the biggest gain and best bang for the buck. The problem is most phones do not have a hard connection anymore so you are going to have to use a inductive coupled antenna and they have a good amount of loss.

One of these:

http://www.wpsantennas.com/index.asp...ATS&Category=4


And one of these:


http://www.wpsantennas.com/Cell_Phone_Antenna_Info.html

Is going to be the best bang for the buck.

Wilson is a reputable name in Antenna's. They are easily found in truck stops is why I pointed them out. They know the trucking industry s their bread and butter and they side lined into phone stuff that sells well at truck stop radio shops. Andrew, Antenna specialist are other good company's that make Cell and PCS products.

Few I have not cared for is Larsen and Maxrad.

Mixed about Mobile mark. Have used them some with ok results but it was limited to their glass mount. Interesting design....ok performance but cheap coax and had a few fall apart after time in the sun. Andrew and Antenna specialist I used heavily and always a strong performer.

A roof mount with a good ground plain is the best. Ground plane is a flat horizontal metal surface that the antenna uses to compress the signal against. If possible have it electrically common with the shield on the coax wire.

A glass mount, especially on our aluminum beauties, is the worst The glass mount is bad because it already has loss going through the window but the body is also going to make it directional so if the nearest tower is on the other side of the coach you might as well have no outside antenna because the aluminum body will block the signal.

Personally a magnetic mount (just as effective as a roof mount as Long as it has good ground plane) and a little tape to hold it down is great. Then when you are in the car you can throw it up on the roof as well.
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:18 PM   #10
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can i get a witness..oh yeah,can i get a witness...

brad, thanks to you, as soon as i get my bunker in wisconsin, this will be on my list.

toaster, thanks to you, this should be a sticky...right now im on information overload...will have to reread this a couple times....
norby
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Illegitimous noncarborundum(dont let the bastards wear you down)

The only true nobility is found through giving good food to your friends- Anton Careme

beauty is in the eye of the beerholder-cosmo fishhawk

if something is too good to be true, its usually gone before i get there-mister boffo
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:41 PM   #11
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Norbert,
I think you just got the best post you will get from 59Toaster.

I have a magnetic wilson antennae. I use it in the truck and car and it helps a little bit but, basically as I see it, you either have a signal or you don't. If you don't have a signal no amount of antennae or amplifier will help.

I live on the back side of a hill with a verizon antennae on the other side. I have tried the phone alone and with the magnetic antennae everywhere on my property even on the roof on the chimney. I have put the mag antennae in the middle of a dish receiver with some improvement but, as I said, you either have a signal or you don't.

I think you would have to go to the yagi antennae to expect any real improvement. The 12" mag antennae hasn't been worth the $50.

If you were in a fixed location with a low but, constant signal, then a yagi and an amplifier might be worth it.
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