I seem to get good cell service nearly everywhere I go, except where I really want it: at home. I went online hoping there was something I could do about this problem. I found something called a repeater package designed for a home or small office. The device covers up to 2,500 square feet, works with all cellular carriers, is easy to install, and provides enhanced wireless indoor coverage. The system consists of an outdoor antenna, some cabling, an amplifier, and an indoor antenna (for more product information, visit www.cellantenna.com.)
To install this, you begin by mounting the outdoor antenna on a gable end of your roof or garage.
- The first step is to attach the antenna mounting brackets. Lag screws are driven through the shingles and into the sheathing to hold the brackets in place.
- Mount the antenna to the antenna mast, which consists of a five-foot piece of aluminum tubing.
- Pass the cable up through the mast and out the top where it attaches to the connector on the antenna. The coaxial cable used is very similar to that used for cable TV.
- Next, drop the end of the mast through the bracket clamps, tighten the bolts and then drill a three quarter inch hole.
- Push the cable through and then go inside and pull in all the slack.
- To keep things neat, drill a series of holes through the studs and thread the cable along the wall so that you can drop it into the garage below. The cable should now be coming in from the outdoor antenna.
- The next step is to install the amplifier that connects to this cable. The amplifier will boost the weak signal so that it can be more easily distributed throughout the house. The amplifier slips onto a simple mounting bracket and locks into place. On the input side of the amplifier, attach the cable coming from the antenna.
- Connect a second cable that will carry the amplified cell signal from the output jack to the indoor antenna, which will broadcast the signal through the house as well as receive signals back from the cell phone. The output cable attaches to the back of the antenna, which you can make from a couple of pieces of plywood.
- Finally, attach a power cord to the amplifier, and plug it into a nearby outlet. The power light should indicate when the system is working.
- Last step-and this is important-use a tube of exterior caulking to make a weather tight seal around the cable where it passes through the outside wall.
- Now, with someone in the house testing the signal strength, you can then adjust the antenna on the roof until you find the position that gives you the best reception.
If this sounds like something that would be helpful to you, but the installation sounds a bit involved or otherwise off-putting, or you need professional handyman services for any other project, give us a call.