Cell phone signal boosters are expensive pieces of equipment. So you want to not only make sure that it works well, but it works the best that it can. We decided to write up a quick refresher to make sure that everyone can get the most out of their HiBoost cell phone signal booster.
Before Your Installation
Before you get ahead of yourself and start the installation it’s important to do a few things first.
First, we recommend determining where the nearest cell phone tower is using a tool such as CellReception.com. This will allow you to easier understand both where to install your outdoor antenna, and also how strong you can expect the boosted signal can be.
Next, after you have found out where the nearest cell phone tower location you should get up on your roof and find the optimal outdoor antenna location. Do this by either using Field Test Mode on your phone or connecting your antenna to your booster and taking it up on the roof with you. If you are going to take the antenna up to the roof then you can use the LCD display on the booster to see the output readings. We recommend testing at least five different locations on your roof to determine the best spot to install your outdoor antenna.
Once you have determined this location mark it either with some tape or another marker so we can come back to it.
How to Use Coaxial Cable
The next important pre-installation consideration is your cable. This can often be when most people lose most of the gain from a high powered booster. While coaxial cable is more efficient at transferring the signal than air, it is still important to use as little cable as possible.
Another thing to consider is using higher quality cable. We offer upgrades to 5D-FB cable in lengths of 5, 10, and 15 meters. These cables are lower loss and will provide a better end result. This upgraded cable has a lower resistance and is able to transfer data much more efficiently.
For reference, the typical 75 Ohm cable loses twice the amount of decibels as a 50 Ohm cable. Every 50 feet of lower quality 75 Ohm cable will lose 2 more decibels than a 50 Ohm cable.
Setting Up Your Antennas
Now you should have optimized your outdoor antenna location and the amount and quality of the cable. The next step is to set up your indoor antenna.
If you are using a dome antenna you should install it centrally in the area that you want to cover. Because the dome antenna is an omnidirectional antenna it is able to disperse signal throughout a large area but it can be blocked by walls and other building materials. You also need to be able to access the ceiling above the dome antenna in order to install it. So if you can’t get up to the attic or a crawlspace then you’ll have to use a different type of indoor antenna.
Panel antennas are the other main type of indoor antennas. While they can also be used outside they are most commonly used indoors. Panel antennas are the directional counterpart to dome antennas. Panel antennas excel at distributing signal in narrow and square rooms. They are also easier to install as you won’t need to get into the walls behind them to install them.
If the area you are trying to cover is unevenly shaped or otherwise irregular because of interior obstructions you can always consider adding more antennas. Some of the best solutions combine both panel and dome antennas as they can often complement each other. While using a splitter will slightly lower the overall signal it is often one of the best ways to both cover more area and covers that area more efficiently.
For an in-depth yet quick guide on how to install a HiBoost cell phone signal booster just watch our installation video!
Signal Booster Limitations
At the end of the day, there are limitations to signal boosters. All of the optimizing and planning can only do so much. If you don’t have a good outdoor signal you’ll have limited success unless you have a very high quality directional antenna. This limitation is similar to how a speaker system is limited in its ability to amplify a voice to a degree of the volume of the input.
If you have followed all of the above recommendations and are still not getting a better signal it’s possible you simply need a stronger booster. We take great pride in our boosters but at the end of the day, the Home 4K will still be less powerful than a Home 15K or 10K. Even if the square footage you are trying to cover is lower than what they could entirely cover.