Recently my girlfriend and I moved to a new house. Everything in the new house is perfect, except for 1 thing that is a huge pain in the ass. We get very little to no cell phone reception in the house :( Currently I have AT&T and she has T-mobile, both of which get the same weak signal. We refuse to have a “home phone” because they are completely pointless. Soon we will both be switching to the new iPhone 3G. Somehow we need to get signal into the house. The data connection isn’t as big of a deal because in the house we will have WiFi, but the voice is where the problem lies. After doing some research I came across what seems to be the only product in its category, the zBoost Dual Band YX510 PCS/CEL. Quite a name. This product is sold as a “signal booster.” Idea being you put the big antenna outside where there is signal, and put the receiver inside where it can pass the signal along to your cell phone. It comes in several models, the reason I chose this one is because it covers both the 800MHz and 1900MHz GSM frequencies that AT&T uses.Install:
The install went pretty smooth. In the box you get the following: (1) Receiver with antenna, (1) outdoor antenna, (1) power plug, (1) 30 ft piece of coax cable. We mounted the receiver in the living room (center of the house) and ran the coax along the baseboard and out the back door to the porch. We picked up (4) 2’ pieces of ¾" pipe and (3) ¾" joints. The antenna cable is run through the 8’ of pipe and mounted to the top of the pipe with the antenna. The base of the pipe is affixed to an umbrella stand, but can be attached to anything that will hold it up.
So, the first couple days it seemed to work pretty well. Before the zBoost, we had between 0 and 2 bars on our phones. After the install we were initially getting around 3 to 5 bars. All seemed to be well, but around day 3, all signal boosting seems to have faded away. I have moved the antenna to just about every possible location it would fit, but signal is still lacking. Unfortunately it looks like it may not be the miracle we were looking for.
I believe that the product does indeed work as advertised, but you have to remember that it doesn’t create signal, it merely take the existing signal you do have outside and passes that through to the inside of your house. In our case, I think the signal outside just isn’t strong enough. This of course means we are somewhat screwed in a day and age where your cell phone is your main form of communication. I refuse to get a “home phone” so I will be investigating some alternative ideas.
Link to Amazon product page: zBoost Dual Band YX510 PCS/CEL