Extending the range of cell phones


Alan Morris
 

On Sat, 16 Jan 2021 at 08:57, Andy Clarke <andyclarke1050@gmail.com> wrote:

EE still do payg sims. We use them on our trips to Scotland because EE has better coverage there than any of the other networks.

Even then we struggle for a signal sometimes so I'm looking at external antennas, but that's a subject for another thread.
Started a new thread!

I can recall in the early days of cell phones when I had a
'transportable' cell phone, which was the size of two house bricks and
weighed as much in it's shoulder case.

I'm a licenced radio ham, so understand how to get the best range
possible between the cell tower and one's phone. The two cell phone
companies both provided lists of all their base stations, which
included an OS grid reference.

While on holiday in Wales with very few base stations, I was able to
use the contours on an OS map to help position my car to make a call.
This could work for Andy.

More recently, 'Network radios' have become available. Unlike a
conventional radio they only work using the internet. These NRs can
be used by anyone as no licence is required, unlike ham radio where a
licence is required. (Passing exams is required to apply for a
licence.)

A few hams walking in way out places find that their cell phones wont
work, but using the NR with a high gain directional antenna, they will
work with an internet connection. I have a NR that I won in a
competition. It works on the 2.4GHz band. Search for '2.4GHz band
antenna' to find these:-

<https://uk.farnell.com/rf-solutions/ant-2yag16/ant-2-4ghz-yagi-2m-coax-sma-16dbi/dp/2305887>

<https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-4G-Outdoor-25DBI-RP-SMA-Yagi-Antenna-Wireless-WIFI-Booster-Amplifierc-UK-Stock/114384604229?hash=item1aa1da8c45:g:cdIAAOSwIVVckgFj>

Beware of the claims of the fleabay offering. They both look similar.
But Farnell's gain of +16dBi is more honest than 25DBI. A doubling of
signal strength is an increase of 3db.

Farnell: 55 cm long with 16 elements, 16db gain.
Fleabay: 49.5 cm long with 17 elements, 25db gain.

Alan.