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Old 02-10-2017, 09:54 AM   #1
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Cell phone booster questions

I have read the threads. Still a bit confused as to what to get and where to put in 19.
Outside antennas seem to be tall, 24". Is this a problem with potential tree branches etc.?
Which booster? Worth it? Where placed?
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:30 AM   #2
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For me, it depends on where you travel, and how much you depend on communications. I have rarely had to use my booster along or near by major US highways or interstates, or in medium to large cities.

The times it comes in handy is on the edges of civilization. Get too far from things, and even a booster won't find a signal.

As to the types, I use a WirEng Boat Antenna. A lot shorter than 2', and a bit more gain than the Wilson Trucker antenna I used in the past.

My booster is a Wilson Sleek. Wilson split off their amplifier group & now called them "WeBoost". They make a couple of types. The Sleek is a cradle type - you put your phone or jetpack in the cradle to get the posted signal. The advantage is there is little chance of feedback, but you can only boost one device at a time, and if it is your phone, you need a headset or bluetooth connection to use it.

The "whole house" type boosters use a combination of outside antenna, amplifier, and inside antenna to cover a larger area (although some still require that you be within a foot or two of the inside antenna).

The advantage is you are not tied to a cradle, and can use multiple devices at the same time. The disadvantage is it may be difficult in a small trailer to find locations for the two antennas that don't feedback. This feedback or oscillation will shut down the amplifier. While I have not used one, I have read very good reviews of the products from Maximum Signal. I did use an earlier two antenna system from Wilson, and generally got better results with the Wilson Sleek.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
For me, it depends on where you travel, and how much you depend on communications. I have rarely had to use my booster along or near by major US highways or interstates, or in medium to large cities.

The times it comes in handy is on the edges of civilization. Get too far from things, and even a booster won't find a signal.

As to the types, I use a WirEng Boat Antenna. A lot shorter than 2', and a bit more gain than the Wilson Trucker antenna I used in the past.

My booster is a Wilson Sleek. Wilson split off their amplifier group & now called them "WeBoost". They make a couple of types. The Sleek is a cradle type - you put your phone or jetpack in the cradle to get the posted signal. The advantage is there is little chance of feedback, but you can only boost one device at a time, and if it is your phone, you need a headset or bluetooth connection to use it.

The "whole house" type boosters use a combination of outside antenna, amplifier, and inside antenna to cover a larger area (although some still require that you be within a foot or two of the inside antenna).

The advantage is you are not tied to a cradle, and can use multiple devices at the same time. The disadvantage is it may be difficult in a small trailer to find locations for the two antennas that don't feedback. This feedback or oscillation will shut down the amplifier. While I have not used one, I have read very good reviews of the products from Maximum Signal. I did use an earlier two antenna system from Wilson, and generally got better results with the Wilson Sleek.
Jon,
We turned in our build sheet already. Was there something that I should have added in order to have a cell phone booster work ?
My son, who does not have a trailer, or knows anything about RVs ( but is real techy :-) suggested the weBoost 4G-X...?
Is the one you mentioned a better choice?
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:59 PM   #4
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Jon is the man on this topic for our small trailers, I think, and he's been very gracious in answering my naive questions at three camping venues. When I hit the road full time in a couple of months - rather than trying to understand this stuff (brain block) - I'll just do what Jon does.

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Old 02-10-2017, 01:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tidewater View Post
Jon is the man on this topic for our small trailers, I think, and he's been very gracious in answering my naive questions at three camping venues. When I hit the road full time in a couple of months - rather than trying to understand this stuff (brain block) - I'll just do what Jon does.

jack
Me too That's why I'm asking him
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Old 02-10-2017, 02:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nrgtic4 View Post
Me too That's why I'm asking him
Thanks for your confidence! I added the WirEng after as a replacement for the Wilson antenna Escape installed for me. It wasn't too difficult, as long as you don't have to run the antenna cable behind the bathroom in a 17B.

The antenna that comes with most of the WeBoost amplifiers is a low gain magnetic antenna that requires a ground plane, i.e. a 4" - 6" piece of metal under it. If you choose to use the stock antenna, glue a 6" diameter piece of magnetic stainless steel to the roof and attach the antenna. You will still have to find a way into the trailer for the cable - some use the refrigerator vent, some, like me, added a small port.
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:12 PM   #7
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Thanks, Jon,
I didn't purchase the weBoost yet, but did pick up a metal plate for the stock antenna on eBay. I didn't put a special port for the antenna on my build list (that I already finalized) How hard is it to install one? Perhaps ETI can install one at orientation... or someone else can do it aftermarket....? We will have a 21 and I would like to, if possible, have the port/connection be near the nite stand where the TV will be placed.
Thanks, much as I try, I don't have a head for all this techy stuff
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:04 PM   #8
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I agree with Jon that an external cellular antenna with amplifier is most useful when you are on the fringes of an area that has cellular service. I have successfully used my WirEng UniAnt Lite with a Wilson Sleek cradle amp twice-- while on Deer Isle in Maine and when I was at Myakka River State Park in Florida. Both times it made Internet access possible. But in the Shenandoah Mountains nothing helped; I was too far away from a cell tower.

At this point I'd rather have a cellular amp that retransmits to its own antenna placed inside the trailer, instead of using a cradle. The WeBoost ones are quite expensive, however, and I need to save money for gas.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:38 PM   #9
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I too am in the process of figuring out what will be best in the way of cell antenna/booster, etc. I'm leaning towards the Wilson Yagi Directional antenna, mounted on a pole made of two sections of PVC pipe, which will attach to a bracket mounted on the rear bumper of the trailer, with the wire running to the interior through a port I'm having ETI install, to the newest Verizon jet pack. Hoping that this will be sufficient to pull in signals, (and yes, I realized that I will have to aim the antenna), but if not, will add a WeBoost later. So Jon, the tech guru, does that sound like it might work?
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:02 PM   #10
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I initially used a directional antenna with my Wilson amp. I replaced it with the omnidirectional WirEng, reasoning that if I could hit one cell tower, I was probably within range of more than one. If I understand correctly how the cellular system works, the network itself selects which tower should talk to your phone (or hotspot), and it might decide that due to traffic load or some other reason the tower I'm aimed at might not be the right one to use. I also wanted to avoid the trick of aiming the antenna.

I still keep the directional antenna with me just in case I need it, but I suspect that for most of the time an omnidirectional antenna will suffice.
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