How to Improve a Cell Phone Signal at Home

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:
Go figure.  I've got good cell service everywhere except right here at the house.  Hello, I can't hear you.  Hello, are you there?  Yeah - can, can you hear me? You're breaking up.  Hello.  Are you there, can you hear me.  Somebody out there has to have come up with a solution.  So I went on line and I found this company called Cell Antenna.

They're offering a repeater package it says for a small office or a home.  It covers up to 2500 square feet for all cellular carriers, easy to install and wireless indoor coverage. I'm going to give it a try.

Well my cell phone antenna system has arrived. It consists of an outdoor antenna, some cabling, an amplifier and an indoor antenna. I'm going to start by mounting the outdoor antenna right up there on the gable end of my garage. 

Now this is the way I like to get my things up on the roof - by hoisting them.  First comes my roof caddy. Then a bucket filled with tools and materials. Once everything is securely in place, I can go to work.  Step one is to attach the antenna mounting brackets.  Lag screws driven through the shingles and into the sheathing should do the trick.

Next I mount the antenna to the antenna mast, a 5 foot piece of aluminum tubing.  I pass the cable up through the mast and out the top where I can attach it to the connector on the antenna.  This is coaxial cable, pretty much like that used for cable TV.

Then I drop the end of the mast through the bracket clamps and tighten the bolts.  Next I drill a three quarter inch hole.  Push the cable through.  Then go inside and pull in all the slack.  To keep things neat, I drill a series of holes through the studs.

And thread the cable along the wall so that I can drop it into the garage below.  Okay, now this is the cable that's coming in from the outdoor antenna. What I want to do next is install this amplifier.  Now this boosts that weak signal so that I can distribute it throughout the house.

I've already put the mounting bracket on here. This just slips on top and locks into place. On the input side of the amplifier, I attach the cable that's coming from the antenna.  To the output jack, I connect a second cable that will carry the now stronger cell signal to other parts of the house.

Now just so we don't all get confused, let me recap.  We have an exterior or outdoor antenna which is capturing the weak cellphone signal. An amplifier which is boosting it up.  And now this indoor antenna which will take that stronger signal and broadcast it inside the house.  And then receive signals back from the cellphone.  There's a connection on the back of that so I'll attach this cable to that. And then mount it to this bracket that I made up here. 
[MUSIC]

Finally I attach a power cord to the amplifier and plug it into a nearby outlet.  The power light says we're ready to go.  I pick up a tube of exterior caulking from my truck so that I can make a weather tight seal around the cable where it passes through the outside wall.

Well now it's time for some fine tuning.  I stay up on the roof armed with a walkie talkie while our friend Heather relaxes in our living room with my cellphone.  I rotate the antenna and she lets me know if the signal is getting stronger or weaker.

All right I, I'm going to rotate it about 90 degrees now.
HEATHER:
Okay. 
RON HAZELTON:
Is that better?
HEATHER:
That's about the same there.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay.  I'm going to move it a little bit more. How's that?
HEATHER:
That's better right there, that's better.
RON HAZELTON:
Is that the best?
HEATHER:
Yeah, that's the best we have.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay, great, thanks. Well my cell phone life has really changed. No longer do I have to go to extremes to get a good signal.  In fact, reception is extremely good just about everywhere.

Learn how to enhance your cell phone reception by installing a cell phone repeater tower.

Ron seems to get good cell service nearly everywhere he goes, except where he really wants it