any good, cheap ways to boost/repeat cell phone signals?

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Squidly-Diddly, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1,315
    Likes: 32, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 304
    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    These are about $400, but says you need to have your cell phone within 1-4 ft of unit, like its hanging out the cig lighter and you are in driver's seat.

    "Household" units for "up to 4K sq ft" start at about $900 and about $3K for unit with 20,000sq ft....not to mention a real 110AC power cord.

    Any DIY hacks to combine the power/cost of a couple $25 Baofeng UV-5R (or similar) paired as a repeater to boost cell signals?

    I'm thinking there could be a cheap light unit that would take cell signals and translate them into something the cheap HAM unit can handle, and another cheap light unit to have next your cell to reconvert.

    I wanna hoist the repeater WAY up high with large kite or weather balloons, or combo of kite and balloon.

    I'm interested in kite/balloon combo, use the balloon to hoist the kite into "jetstream" then use the kite for real lifting. But that is another subject.
  2. sinkers
    Joined: Jul 2017
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    sinkers New Member

    I have found the repeaters to be fairly average in performance which is basically due to the licensing around re-broadcast i.e. you can't run your own base station of any reasonable power. The real key component is a good aerial, the type of aerial will depend on what country you are in and what cell network you need to connect to. If you added a good aerial for your network to that product on Amazon would likely do fine, aside from needing to be near the device to use.

    In Australia on Telstra 4G bands I use one of these 4G LTE Cellular Mobile Antenna - 698-960, 1710-2170 & 2300-2700MHz (All Black) - Cellular Mobile - Mobile Products - RFI Wireless will do up to 100km offshore but don't necessarily put it too high for optimal performance with near shore.

    Pairing with your HAM or a UHF handheld is another thing all together, the parts may be cheap but you would want a lot of time and expertise to do that! If you want voice all over the boat not using your regular mobile handset connected to an aerial you are probably better off putting in a data network and using cheap VoIP handsets
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