In apartments, private houses, or office premises, there may be problems with a mobile signal. For example, in some areas of a certain room, it is weak, although in areas nearby it is good. This may be due to complex layout or interference in the form of concrete partitions, and sometimes simply due to the distance from the router or insufficiently powerful main equipment. If you want to find the nearest cell tower and install signal amplification equipment, we recommend that you study possible errors and problems associated with installing a repeater.
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5 Common Mistakes When Installing a Cellular Booster System Yourself
If you decide to amplify the cellular signal in a country house, or in a city apartment on your own, we recommend that you study possible errors and consequences of incorrect installation and configuration of the equipment.
Error When Choosing an Amplifier
The amplifier is the main unit of the system. In the case of this equipment, a key process takes place that provides signal amplification. The system also requires appropriate peripheral equipment, including:
- external antenna;
- internal antenna;
- conductive cable.
To correctly select all the elements of the system, it is very important to determine the frequency range of your operator, as well as take into account the area of the room and its configuration.
You will receive a set of numerical values that must be correctly interpreted. But there are many nuances here:
- different operators on the same frequency bands can have completely different results. In practice, this is easily detected when one operator is stable and the other is not.
- measurement results at different points on the same object, as well as inside and outside the room, can vary significantly.
- the power of the amplifier should be comparable to the number of internal antennas, the length of the cable, and the total signal amplification area. The more antennas, the more scattered and weaker the signal will propagate indoors.
The number and type of indoor antennas will depend on the size of the room you need to cover.
Depending on the initial reception conditions, the presence of ceilings, and the area of the room, the choice in favor of a particular model can differ fundamentally.
Incorrect Installation of The External Antenna
The effectiveness of amplifying the cellular signal in the apartment and in the warehouse depends on the correct determination of the location of the external antenna. The signal from the operator’s base station must be the best and most confident, with minimal natural obstacles in its path. When amplifying the signal of two or three operators at once, it is necessary to select a point from which access to several corresponding communication towers is opened at once.
Incorrect Installation of Internal Antennas
If you are installing a cellular signal booster system yourself, you need to provide isolation between the internal antennas and the external antenna. Otherwise, the so-called loopback will occur when the external antenna receives a signal from the internal, and not from the base station of the cellular operator. So, the same signal is repeatedly amplified in a circle and the system stops working. Do not install antennas in close proximity to each other, in metal and mirror boxes that shield the signal.
Using the Wrong Cable
Select a high-quality high-frequency cable based on the input impedance of the antennas and the amplifier. Thus, you will get the least signal attenuation from the base station.
It should be noted that the shorter the cable length, the lower the potential loss of signal power. If you need to run a long cable, then you will need an additional linear amplifier to ensure optimal system performance.
Incorrect Сonnection of System Devices
At this stage, you need to carefully check the connection sequence of all devices, as well as the reliability of the connections in order to avoid breakage or failure of the cellular repeater. In addition, an incorrect connection can cause interference and interruptions in communication not only on your premises but also negatively affect the quality of communication of other users.
Types of Repeater Malfunctions And Methods For Their Elimination
Malfunctions can occur in the operation of any complex electronic device. So, even a high-quality and fully functional repeater may not provide the expected result. Let’s look at typical problems with repeaters.
Question 1: Where should I point the external antenna if I don’t know where the operator’s nearest cell tower is?
Answer: Use a spectrum analyzer or mobile phone to find the location and direction of the outdoor antenna where the desired base station’s signal strength is strongest. The external antenna must be in the coverage area of the base station of the desired frequency range. If you cannot determine the direction from which the signal is coming, use the operator’s base station map for your region.
Question 2: I suspect that the external antenna is faulty, what should I do?
Answer: Check the standing wave ratio (SWR) of the antenna and cable. The SWR should not exceed 1.5. After that, use a spectrum analyzer to check the level of the signal entering the repeater. If nothing comes to the repeater, then the repeater will most likely work idle and give nothing even at maximum power. Check the tightness of the connectors and their integrity.
Question 3: The quality of the received signal is poor.
Answer: Check plug connections. Perhaps there is water and a breakdown in the connector. Incomplete contact will result in voice “artifacts” on calls. If there are no problems with the cable, connectors, and repeater, change the direction of the external antenna. Perhaps the tower has changed its location, and the signal to the external antenna comes from a non-serving tower.
Question 4: Interference occurs in the coverage area (the external signal interrupts the signal from the amplifier).
Answer: Using a spectrum analyzer, check the signal parameters in the coverage area with and without the repeater turned on. Compare these values and, if necessary, adjust the location of the internal antennas for denser coverage of the signal from the repeater in the territory. Increase repeater power.
If you want to get all the benefits of a repeater, you should pay due attention to the correct selection and installation of the device. It is best to turn to professionals who will find the nearest cell tower, analyze the area that the repeater will cover, and configure the device to suit your needs. We recommend contacting Uctel, which has extensive experience in installing repeaters on premises for various purposes, including educational, medical, and industrial.