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  1.    #1  
    I'm considering dropping some land lines and replacing with cell phone usage. Anyone tried any of this before ? Wilson has a SOHO Building antenna kit which includes:

    1 - 358502 Treo Antenna adapter ($12.99) for antenna alignment.
    1 - 850/1900 Band Kit ($674.99) including
    1 - 801245 Dual 850/1900 Band Amp/Repeater

    1 - 301111 850 Band Yagi Antenna (Outside Antenna)
    1 - 301124 850 Band Yagi Antenna (Outside Antenna)

    1 - 301121 850/1900 Dome Antenna (Inside Antenna)
    1 - 859902 Lightning Suppressor (Between Yagi and Amp)
    1 - 951113 2' Coax for between Amp and Suppressor

    Wilson has a new amp/repeater coming out in next 10 days or so that is dual band "For CDMA, GSM, TDMA, 1x, GPRS, EDGE and HSDPA Technologies". This will be model 801245. Waiting for call from Cingular now top see what towers are nearby (850 or 1900) . My guess is 850 cause I don't think the signal I get indoors now (as much as 3 bars) would be as high with 1900.

    Payback time will be about 11 months if I shut down one line, 5.5 if I shut down two....I have an excess on my plan of about 700 minutes a month now.

    So anybody done this ? Works well ? problems ?
    Last edited by JackNaylorPE; 07/05/2006 at 09:22 PM.
  2. #2  
    I dropped my home landlines in 1999 and have not missed them at all. I get excellent coverage in the area where I live, so I have not had to get any extra equipment. I am not a huge "phone talker", so that could be one reason why it has worked well for me. Just make sure you have the means to keep the cell phone going in case of loss of power. Also, having cable modem helps, especially if the cells are not working, for alternate communications (like for 9/11). I work about 40% to 50% of the time from home now.
    Me = Nokia 5170/Palm III > Kyocera 6035 > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p > Treo 755p > Treo Pro > Palm Pre

    Wife = Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 755p > Palm Centro > Palm Pixi
  3.    #3  
    We went to telecommuting in 1995....I go months w/o seeing employees. Our SOHO tho is on eastern Long Island and the north shore where we are is one of the few areas that isn't pancake flat. The building is a 200 year old dairy barn and I getting 3 bars here at my desk with a CNG 650.....if I walk around tho I can hit dead spots where if I move 2 feet I have signal again. The wife and the kids are the ones complaining. I'd still keep the office line in case of emergencies that could be used and still have cable broadband service.
  4. twitch3's Avatar
    821 Posts
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    I've installed Wilson amps in the past with your same setup. Some were IDEN, the others CDMA. You'll probably not get the coverage that you're hoping for. There's apperently a lot of db loss on the cables. The signal definitely was boosted but only up to 10 feet from the indoor antena. Use this with a BT headset and you'll be able to talk roughly 12 feet from the indoor antena. BTW does ##33284 (#*#, *#, #*, whatever) not work on GSM? On my Treo it shows whether I'm 800, 1900.
    Visor Deluxe->Visor Edge (Upgraded for $100.00 just by giving them the Serial # of my Visor Deluxe plus I got to keep the Deluxe. Those were the days!)-> Palm M-505->M-515->Tungsten T->Zire 72->Treo 650->->Treo 700P->Treo 755P. Plus various replacements. 8130 Pearl....Sorry
  5.    #5  
    #*33284 just brings me back to the phone screen.

    The install procedures require that the two antennae (indoor / outdoor) be located 45 feet apart as the crow flies...that should result in about 50-60 feet of cable.

    Her's the specs:

    For CDMA, GSM, TDMA, 1x, GPRS, EDGE and HSDPA Technologies
    Maximum 3 watts Output Power
    800 MHz Cellular and 1900 MHz PCS Band
    Allows Multiple Phones and Cellular Data Cards To Be Used Simultaneously
    Advanced Electronics Receive And Transmit Better Than Your Cell Phone or Cellular Data Card
    Overload Protection Circuit Protects Cell System From Overload
    Greatly Reduces Disconnects, Drop Outs And Noise
    Requires No Physical Connection To Your Phone or Cellular Data Card
    AC Power Supply Included
    Power Control Logic Ensures Maximum Output Power Is Within Carrier Limits
    Receiver Sensitivity Better Than -110 dBm
    Works Great In Homes, Smaller Offices
    FCC Type Accepted

    Part Number 801245
    Frequency 824-849 MHz uplink / 869-894 MHz downlink 1850-1910 MHz uplink / 1930-1990 MHz downlink
    Gain (up/down) 40 dB Max @ 800 MHz / 50 dB Max @ 1900 MHz
    Linear Output Power 3 watts
    Typical Output (up/down) + 30 dBm / + 10 dBm
    Noise Figure (typical) 3 dB / 4 dB nominal
    Isolation > 90 dB
    Power Consumption 120 VAC / 225 mA Max
    Connectors N-Female
    Dimensions 11.4 x 8.9 x 3.2 centimeters
    Weight 680 grams
  6.    #6  
    Woulda thot that more of you peeps had done this
  7.    #7  
    Bump...still stalled cause:

    -Wilson says I need to tell them what frequency antennae I need cause, according to them, it's gonna be 850 or 1900....if there's both in area, I need to get the one with STRONGEST signal.

    -Cingular says it's both.....mostly the CSR's are dumbfounded and when they ask I can hear someone in backgound saying "we have both 850 and 1900 towers"....but I wanna know WHICH one is closest to my house. Must be some kinda meter I can borrow / steal / rent which would let me measure signal strength on each frequency.

    Wonder if that adapter thingie (from 1st post) which you plug into Treo to align it would help ?
  8. #8  
    Last edited by berdinkerdickle; 07/05/2006 at 07:55 PM.
    Just call me Berd.
  9.    #9  
    I have seen dual band repeaters and dual band internal antenna....but wilson stresses the importance of single band externals

    Looking here ya can see that the 50 db one requires 40' between antennas and the 60 db one requires 75'.....the ones you listed seem to be a bit short on the separation...saying 60db can be only 40' apart...that seems awful close for 60db.

    Looking at the dual band amp 50 db option,

    and clicking on antenna options

    Ya can see that the indoor antennae are available in dual band but not the external

    think its time for some follow up calls
  10. #10  
    It is Kinda Funny that more people haven't weighed in on this topic.
    Even the other Threads I read, never really tagged down an actual improvement. You don't even hear people talk about Repeaters. I live in amongst DF's, and have considered this as an option.
    So, two major questions remain;
    1. Does it Vastly Improve Recep?
    2. How do we find out what our nearest Tower Broadcasts (850 or 1900)?
    Just call me Berd.
  11.    #11  
    I'm gonna call wislon and see if :

    1. If they ahve a 60 db dual band amp
    2. Why your links have dual band exterior antenna and they don't
    3. How I can tell reception frequency strength.
  12. #12  
    I'm an in-building solutions contractor for Nextel, Sprint and Cingular. We're always removing the Wilson amps from jobs sites after we install the carrier approved BDA bi-directional amps. The Wilson amps might actually work for a small SOHO area if:
    1) The outdoor antenna is aimed at the nearest donor site. Get a jumper to a test phone or spectrum analyzer attached to the roof directional antenna to set for maximum RSSI.The carrier gives us a site database with compass headings to the donor site.
    2) There is enough isolation between the donor antenna (outdoor antenna) and service antenna (indoor antenna). If there is not enough isolation the amp's AGC will lower the gain to prevent oscillation. Once the gain is lowered you will see no improvement. Install the outdoor antenna so that it doesn't aim towards the indoor service antenna. Install the indoor antenna on the lowest level and away from windows. The roof and walls between the antennas will add 20-40db of attenuation.
    3) Use only a low loss cable like Times Microwave LMR-600 1/2" for 1900 MHz PCS or LMR-400 coax 3/8" for Nextel 850 MHz. The RG-58 cable supplied by Wilson is a joke. All BDA gain will all be lost in that lossy cable.
    4) Never use any dual-band BDA from Wilson. The simple explanation is that those amps will set AGC automatic gain control to the lowest gain to avoid overload from a closer carrier (possibly Verizon 850 MHz) yet this deduction in gain will lower the gain on the bandwidth needing (Cingular 1900 MHz) max gain. When we install multi-carrier solutions we have a independent BDA for each carrier in a rack that is combined into the same coax or fiber optic distributed antenna system. Also each carrier needs their own dedicated donor (roof antenna) for its specific frequency and azimuth (compass headiing).

    I hope this helps.
  13.    #13  

    If you are removing the Wilson's, what are you replacing them with ?

    1. The Treo Antenna adaptor is suppossed to handle this job....any alternative suggestions ? I can get my hands on most electronics for a day or so.
    2. Wilson calls for 75' whereas the competition only asks for 40'. It appears that Digital's 60db gain unit is equivalent to Wilson's 50dB unit....seems to be borne out here:

    I have 5 levels in my home.....a 200 year old barn (26 x 50)....3 levels on the east side alternate with 2 on the west....the upper level of the west side is my office and has an 18' ceiling. My thought was to strap the antenna in the air about 10' above the roof on the east side. Three thoughts on the indoor....

    a) on the far west wall 50' away horizontally. Vertically the distance would be 10' (above roof) + 10' (attic space) + 12' (ceiling to mount height)....straight line distance woul/d therefore be about 60' ...not quite the 75' needed for 60dB 'er. So with this location would have to go with 50dB unit. Wandering tho about all the windows in this room as indoor antenna would be on outside wall.

    b) on the next to lowest level. This is midway east to west....25' away horizontally, 38' vertically....45' straight line distance....still in the 40' range of the 50db unit and as far as possible from any windows.

    c) Mount the external on the garage / workshop which is about 50' from the barn building....wondering however about this being only 1 story whereas I am in 3 story.

    3. My problem, being GSM is I have no idea what signal dominates here.....850 or 1900 GSM

    4. So I should pick a single band amp ? ....again determining whether that should be 850 or 1900 is where I am stuck. I was hoping that the dual band would offer me some protection against future obsolescence in case they switched on me. At this point in time, I gotta drive about a mile to get a Verizon signal and Sprint is just non existent.
  14. #14  
    ##33284 send...drop the *.
  15.    #15  
    same only works on CDMA apparently
  16. TRgEOff's Avatar
    589 Posts
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    591 Global Posts
    My needs are on a vastly reduced scale to that of Jack et al here, but still....

    Is there some Treo equivalent to the simple length-of-wire aerials supplied with some portable radios?

    In my office I get GPRS reception if I walk over to the window, but not at my desk itself. Maybe I need the exercise (I do need the exercise) but Id be curious to know if there was some very simple way to boost reception in this scenario.


  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE View Post
    I'm gonna call wislon and see if :

    1. If they ahve a 60 db dual band amp
    2. Why your links have dual band exterior antenna and they don't
    3. How I can tell reception frequency strength.
    Any progress?
    Just call me Berd.
  18. #18  

    here is a useful link, type in your zip code and it gives you the percentage of 850 vs 1900 mhz towers in your area.

    I used it before I bought an HTC Universal to make sure I could do without the 850 band in my area ( I could, we are all 1900 here in central Louisiana.
    Nanotechnology Nerd
    i300-->i330-->i500-->6700(1 wk!)-->Sprintt650-->gsm650-->HTC Universal (1 mo.)-->gsm650-->Cing8525(3wks!)-->gsm650
  19. #19  
    I'm reviving this dead topic (sorry JackNaylorPE, I just sent you a PM about this thread but then using Mr. Google found it, not using the search function on TC).

    I need help.

    I have been given the job of selecting and buying a repeater/amplifier system for a 20,000 square foot office building.

    One corner (call it the southeast corner because that is what it is) of the building is in plain view of the cell tower which is perhaps 3 km away. Four bars, clean sailing as long as you're on the second floor.

    The rest of the building is in (cell phone dial tone) darkness, no matter who your carrier is. Reason: geography -- a smallish hill. If only a cell signal could penetrate several hundred feet of dirt.

    The owner wants to stick a repeater system in the building to provide cell phone service to people inside. Primarily Cingular but in order to be hospitable we'd want to cover all four major carriers. Nextel users can go get stuffed.

    We have gotten competing technical opinions from installers.

    One guy proposes to put a bunch of little repeaters in to cover the whole building.

    The other installer says that this is a bunch of bunk--the multiple repeaters will cause cross talk and interference with each other. He says we put in a single amplifier unit to serve the whole inside of the building.

    1. Help!

    2. Where do I go for technical wisdom?

    3. Who knows a highly competent company who will do this work in the Los Angeles metro area?
  20. #20  
    Any more Info/Ideas
    Find any UMTS Repeaters?
    Just call me Berd.
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