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Thread: Simple question about channels and cell boosters

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    Simple question about channels and cell boosters

    I am going to install a booster at our remote cabin. 2 phones will be using it. Android and Apple. Based on searches, I ran the channel check at home. Do cell phones always use the same channels? Or do I need to run the channel check at the cabin?

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    Until you get there to test out the phones, hard to say what towers/channels you will be connecting to.
    Don't make me turn this car around.....

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    Are you getting a usable signal there when outside the cabin?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post
    Are you getting a usable signal there when outside the cabin?
    Good point, if there is no usable signal then no extender/booster will fix that.

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    Thanks for the replies. Yes, I get 1 to 2 bars. Strong enough for texts, and can make a call. I want to see if the booster will allow streaming. That said, the basis of the question relates to how a phone uses channels as it moves from tower to tower. Does the phone stay locked onto a channel as it moves or does the phone switch channels to fit a particular cell tower. If its the former, I will buy before I go back up. If its the latter, I will need to run the channel tests on the phones up there.

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    If in your shoes, I would go on the roof & see how well your phone performs. A simple booster with a rooftop omnidirectional antenna will more than likely give you similar results if within 50-100 feet of the inside unit. You could also try the attic if the roof is not an option.

    If the rooftop doesn't really make much difference, a more expensive unit with a directional antenna would be the way to go. The bad news is it is difficult to set up without at least knowing where to aim the antenna. These type of systems usually require professional installation to provide a reliable signal. Also keep in mind this may not work well if using more than one provider unless of course the towers are shared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjl5709 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Yes, I get 1 to 2 bars. Strong enough for texts, and can make a call. I want to see if the booster will allow streaming. That said, the basis of the question relates to how a phone uses channels as it moves from tower to tower. Does the phone stay locked onto a channel as it moves or does the phone switch channels to fit a particular cell tower. If its the former, I will buy before I go back up. If its the latter, I will need to run the channel tests on the phones up there.
    The channel used is negotiated between the phone and the cell. The phone says, "I'm capable of these channels." The cell says, "Ok, we will use this channel." The cell decides based on the carrier's preferences. The channel can change even while not moving as the cell tries to manage its resources. The channel you are given may not be the fastest one.

    If you are using Verizon, a cell booster made for Verizon should cover Verizon's various channels - at least the major ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjl5709 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Yes, I get 1 to 2 bars. Strong enough for texts, and can make a call. I want to see if the booster will allow streaming. That said, the basis of the question relates to how a phone uses channels as it moves from tower to tower. Does the phone stay locked onto a channel as it moves or does the phone switch channels to fit a particular cell tower. If its the former, I will buy before I go back up. If its the latter, I will need to run the channel tests on the phones up there.
    A multi band repeater will likely be very beneficial if you have a usable signal anywhere outside. Make sure it's specific to your carrier or get one of the weboost amplifiers that covers all US carriers.

    Channels are pretty much irrelevant, any modern booster will support multiple phones and multiple bands. Bands are what is important in this scenario, not channels.

    I spec'd out a custom 4 band repeater on alibaba 2 years ago and paid 240 dollars shipped and the unit was well made and still running strong. Where I live I am 9 miles line of sight from the tower and had shoddy at best signal, so i built a 36ft mast with EMT, mounted the LPDA, used my compass on GPS app to aim at the tower and then used a network signal analytics app to fine tune and get the best download speeds. Oddly enough, the different signal parameters didnt always jive proportionate to my download speeds until i started looking at the RSRP/RSRQ and SINR parameters on one of the apps I was using.

    I had no signal inside prior. I went from maybe 1M outside to 17M inside average speeds once I got it tuned in. I can stream and play games online and whatnot.

    When fine tuning the antenna, use Speed Test from google and try to get the lowest latency possible while maximizing speeds.

    Good luck, keep us updated!

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