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August 5, 2010
I searched the forums but did not find an answer.
Is there such a thing as a cell phone antenna? You know, when you are bouncing between no bars and one bar in one of those campgrounds that have limited or no coverage, or you're out in Iowa or Kentucky and there just is not a strong enough signal. Maybe your trying desperately to get that map to the ice cream shop in an unknown area and you just can't keep the signal no matter what contortions you go through. I remember living in Colorado when cell phones first came out and the cell store sold me a funny looking piece of copper that I was supposed to tape to the inside cover of my cell phone battery compartment (But then later I was told that if I kept using that extra copper I was going to get a brain tumor, you remember that one don't you?)
Anyway…is there any way to boost the weak signal? Sometimes when I am outside I get a better signal, then when I go back into our palaTial land yacht mansion I lose the signal.
Oh… I have Sprint Service, with an internet WiPipe, and new computers and Droid Samsung Epic smart phones. (Yes we spend more with Sprint than we paid monthly for our first sticks and bricks home)
Great question. We are increasingly reliant on cellular technology not only for voice, but also for our Internet and data connectivity. Yes, there are options.
Check out the information on our friends' TechnoRV pages about Wilson Cellular antennas and amplifiers. We have used the Wilson Trucker antenna with good results. We also use the Wilson Sleek for our Mobile Hotspot when in fringe signal areas.
There are many ways to improve your signal. Some phones have ports for external antennas. For the phones and cards that don't, there are cradles that attach to external antennas. The best results are obtained by using a high-gain outside antenna connected to an amplifier connected to an inside antenna. We are talking serious money here, several hundred dollars.
Remember, cellular communications are Radio Frequency. Anything metal (like an RV) is going to reflect radio signals, and anything containing water (rain, trees, and leaves) are going to absorb the signal. Unobstructed line of sight will improve the signal and proximity to the cell tower will make a difference.
Antennas and amplifiers are “tuned” to specific frequency ranges. A WiFi antenna will not work with cellular frequencies, and vice-versa.
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