Today’s let talk about cell phone boosters.
Standard Disclaimer:Everything tested by RV Mentor was purchased at regular price like you would pay, I do not accept anything for free to do reviews on, this way it is all an ethical review, if I hate it and think it sucks, I will tell you, I am not bound by anyone due to getting free stuff.
I have the luxury of WFA(working from anywhere, even prior to the whole COVID shenanigan).
We decided to take my work on the road for a proof of concept(POC) for two reasons:
- Seeing if working outside of my home was feasible.
- Testing the new cell phone booster I bought(see below for which one).
So off to the campground, Cabin Run Creek Campground in Brooksville, KY.
We pulled into our site and it was time to test out this model:
I’m not going to cover how it all gets installed, there are enough videos via technorv.com that explains that and the manual that came with it is pretty good, what I will be covering is the reality of how it works during my testing.
For the geeks: I grabbed for my android phone, the Network Cell Info app, it will show you the strength of the closest cell tower and then you can compare the baseline against the boosted signal.
So for installation outside(as that is where you want to install the outside antenna), I purchased suction cup antenna mounting gadgets, see picture below:
Here is how I utilized it:
That is 1 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe to mount the outside antenna, on the side of my slide and I ran the cord to the inside booster through my slide(of course leaving a drip loop so water did not RUN inside, and yes it rained for like 2 days of the 4 we were there, at one point flooding in the campground and rushing water was seen but that is another story).
A quick lesson in cell phone strength. Keep in mind closer to zero is better:
|-40 to -98 is considered a strong signal (green)|
|-99 to -108 is considered a medium signal (yellow)|
|-109 to -118 is considered a weak signal (orange)|
|-119 to -128 is considered a bad signal (red)|
|-129 to -140 is considered no signal at all (grey)|
Let’s take a look at the signal at the campground BEFORE the booster
You can see we were at -107, which is right at the line between medium and weak. Can I surf the web using my phone as the hotspot, definitely, can I watch video, sure it was not too bad.
Here is after booster is all hooked up and turned on(keeping in mind this is all 4G testing.
We are at -89 now, definitely into the green zone.
What does this prove? It proves one thing, IF you have a cell signal, the booster can help it out, WITHOUT any kind of signal the booster can’t help, multiplying a non-existent signal(aka -130) is like multiplying zero times anything you still get zero.
Here is what I purchased to use for this testing, I am very happy with it the setup.
Cell Phone Booster Kit(the one I bought 2 yrs ago no longer exists but here its replacement: https://amzn.to/3D9OWYa
Suction Cup Antenna Mount: https://amzn.to/3k1DiWw
Any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, my phone number is on the website and you can also find me hanging out on this facebook group: RVing For Newbies