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Old 04-03-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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Improving cell and internet reception, a field report

Hi, I'm Michael aka (Artstream).
I'm an artist at large and full-timer, I travel to a number of known dead zones in my yearly rounds through-out the country. These are the voyagers of the Artstream, Tenderfries, its 10 year mission…

At times, I have had to turndown free lodging do to poor or no cell service!

Here are the fruits of my research and real world testing.

Previous with Sprint, I recently changed to Verizon for both voice and data.
I chose a tri-band phone with a connector for an external antenna.
For internet service I chose the Sierra 595 AirCard, also with an external antenna port.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:50 PM   #2
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Improving cell and internet reception, a field report

My first mod to improve service was to install a " Wilson Trucker Mount Dual Band Antenna", roof mount. (bay $49.00 Cell Phone Antennas and Cell Phone Boosters at Wilson Electronics)

I mounted the antenna on the top of the aluminum refrigerator vent of my 28 foot Excella.
I found this an ideal spot; it allows easy routing of the coaxal cable down the outside fridge compartment. A small hole routes the coax into the interior of the coach.

Using a Wilson cable to connect the roof antenna to my cell phone improved the signal from "No signal/roam" to "home system 1 bar"

A less dramatic improvement was obtained with my Serria 595 AirCard:
From "Host computer not responding" to spotty service with the antenna connected. The Verizon software showed -120dbm without antenna to -109 dbm with antenna, an 11dbm improvement.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:53 PM   #3
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Improving cell and internet reception, a field report

Now add a "Wilson Direct Connect cellular amplifier"
E-bay price $159.00 Cell Phone Antennas and Cell Phone Boosters at Wilson Electronics


This unit runs on 12V and connects easily between the external antenna and the cell or AirCard.

Bottom line:
With Wilson Amp on: Cell phone reception improved to 3 solid bars!
This combo made Internet service very usable showing 1 solid bar and -95dbm on the Verizon manager software, a total 25dbm improvement!

I'm thriller with the usability and improvement these two add-ons offered.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:57 PM   #4
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Improving cell and internet reception, a field report

I recommend both products. Note, there are other brands on the market, and by no means is Wilson the best or worse in this product category. I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned above. I report this only as a courtesy to my fellow Airstreamers


Epilog

Ironically, being tethered by all these antenna cables has rendered my mobile products immobile "hold on a sec, I have to put the phone down while I to run to the back of the trailer for a pen"



Happy calling,
Michael
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips.
GStephens
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:25 PM   #6
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Great info....funny about the moblie stuff being not so mobile, and running off to get a pen!
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:27 PM   #7
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I'm currently researching a wireless signal repeater and antenna so I CAN use both the cell phone and aircard WITHOUT being hooked up. I will report back on this thread when I get more info.

Thanks for the info Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:53 PM   #8
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Great info and photos - mood lighting or something permanent on your belly pan?
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:11 PM   #9
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Try contacting hawkexpress.com a women by the name of Janice Grice. they have a wireless repeater that will give you about 2 to 2.5 watts. i just purchased a direct connect setup that gives my little cell phone a full 3 watts. i might look at the wilson for my trailer. right now everything is movable from car to truck to trailer
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Old 04-06-2007, 07:57 AM   #10
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I pimped my RIDE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cammur
Great info and photos - mood lighting or something permanent on your belly pan?
Hey Cam!
Spot on. 12v neon permanently mounted on bellypan. Remote on/off switch!
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