Cell Phone Passive Repeater?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KC4HGH, Aug 11, 2008.

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  1. KC4HGH

    KC4HGH Ham Member QRZ Page

    We do not have hardly any cell phone coverage where we live- and with our son in the military, we can get free calls phone-to-phone when he calls my wife's cell phone- IF we have a signal.

    I've looked into cell phone extenders- TOO expensive! Then, I remembered a passive repeater system set-up from years ago, where VHF/UHF signals could be extended over a mountain or out of a bad spot or even a tunnel (in the case of trains, etc.). This entails using two high-gain antennas connected by a low-loss feedline, with one down in the trouble spot, the other in a higher, more advantageous spot. Has anyone here ever been successful in trying this on the cell bands?

  2. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have not used them on cellular frequencies. However, I have used them very successfully for 47 CFR Part 15 devices operating in the 900 MHz band. The systems in which I have used the passive repeaters were for "bar code" reading devices that operate in the 900 MHz band which is very close to the cellular telephone frequencies.

    In several cases the range of 300 mW handheld units was extended up to 1/2 mile farther than their usual 1/4 mile or less range. The antenna elevation was generally like 10 feet above ground for the "base station" unit. What I used was 10 element commercially produced yagi antennas designed for control stations in the 900 MHz commercial two-way radio band.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've used it successfully on 2 meters and 440 Mhz.. I had a discone antenna on top of my tower with a low-loss feedline to the shack. I wanted to work some area repeaters with my handheld, but could not hit the repeater that way. However, when I connected a dual-band antenna to the shack end of the coax, I could easily hit the repeaters from inside the house.
  4. N4DES

    N4DES Ham Member QRZ Page

    First thing you need to do is to find out exactly what frequencies your carrier operates on (800 MHz, 1.9 GHz, or a combination of both). At that point you can look to purchase a yagi and good quality cable lead-in to attach to your phone.


    Being there are so many makes & models of phones on the market you also need to find the external antenna connector port, if your phone has one. If there isn't then there isn't much that you can do except to call your carrier to see if you can get any assistance from them.


    There is a lot of this information on the net so you pretty much have to do a search.
  5. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. K3ACE

    K3ACE Guest

    I find this to be a very interesting topic from a technical standpoint. Please keep us informed of your progress...

    and while I am at it, thank your son for his service. God bless him and your family.
  7. N4DES

    N4DES Ham Member QRZ Page

    Except that it is illegal for an end user to deploy such a device without the carriers permission per FCC R&R's:


  8. KC4HGH

    KC4HGH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, Norm, for your kind words...and thanks, Mark, for letting me know of the legal ramifications.

    I believe I'll experiment with the two- high-gain antennas and low-loss feedline variety of passive repeater and see what happens...thanks, all!

    Bud, KC4HGH
  9. K4VVX

    K4VVX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bud, please keep us cut in on how you make out with this. I live out in the country and I have the same problem with Nextel. It is a 6 1/2 mile haul from my QTH to the cell site. I have thought about the same thing, but have been unable to find anybody who has actually tried it. Good luck & 73, Carl, K4VVX.
  10. NHBTU

    NHBTU QRZ Member

    FCC Approved

    Check out Wilson Electronics Cell Phone Signal Boosters-Repeaters all of them meet FCC Regulations these kits are legal and you don't need to get permission from your cell phone carrier to use one. They won't fix the signal issues in your home but they will take your money... how nice.
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