Redneck cell phone amplifier

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by gila_dog, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I went to my friend's ranch this weekend to help out and hang out. Cell phone service there is poor to non-existent. There's a tower off in the mountains some miles away, but my phone just won't hook up strong enough to work. My friend has some kind of cell phone amplifier that works pretty well, but I decided to try out another approach. I took an old satellite TV dish, nailed it to the top of a fence post, and aimed it where I thot the tower was. Then I held my phone about where I thot the focal point of the parabolic dish would be and started moving the dish around a little this way and that way. I found a spot where I could get 1 or 2 bars of signal strength and was able to call home. So, until the wind blows it off the post or an elk rubs his antlers on it and trashes it, I think this thing is going to work pretty well.
    IMG_5918.JPG IMG_5914.JPG IMG_5912.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
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  2. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    nice work around :)
     
  3. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Good thinking!
     
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  4. Soilman

    Soilman Scout

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    gila dog MacGyver!
     
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  5. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    Nice! Our area has particularly terrible cell coverage; my wife finally got a cellphone last year, and it just barely works when at the house.

    We get our home internet wireless signal through a homemade "can-tenna" (google it, lol) which is awesomely redneck, I think...it looks hilarious.
     
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  6. perrymk

    perrymk Supporter Supporter

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    It's not really redneck unless its one of those old school 6 foot diameter dishes.
     
  7. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That would probably work a lot better, but aiming it could be a big job. With this dish I swung it around the nail to get azimuth (side to side) adjustment, but for vertical adjustment I tilted the whole thing up or down little watching the signal strength on the phone, and then jammed a little rock between the dish mount and the post to hold it there. Since I didn't even take a hammer out there, but used a rock to hammer the nail into the post, I think it still qualifies as redneck.
     
  8. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    Great example of 'making it work'. To be absolutely safe, you might use a wired or bluetooth external speaker/mic. Keeps your head out of the focused signal.
     
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  9. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Good ole red neck thinking
     
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  10. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    Awesome example of how not everything is trash.
    Cell provider makes a difference in rural areas. At the ranch I go to in Montana I'm 80 miles from any signal where the other guys can use their cell phone without the booster most of the time.
     
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  11. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    You would do well in Alaska! Improvise, adapt, and overcome is the motto of the north.
     
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  12. The Woodsrunner

    The Woodsrunner Bush Nerd Hobbyist

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    Cue worlds best theme song:

     
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  13. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the tip. As it was I just put the phone on speaker and stood off the side. But when the wind blew it made a lot of noise on the phone call. A separate spkr/mic would be a good thing.
     
  14. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    Catron County?
     
  15. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yep.
     
  16. Forestree

    Forestree Guide Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Very nice! I did this a few years back at my house and posted about it https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/free-cell-phone-booster.124307/

    Used to have to drive up the hill to use the phone and couldn't be contacted at my house....was kind of a pain. The dish worked well for me, though you had to stand away from it and talk loudly unless using a microphone/earpiece thing. Luckily they put up a new tower close by and it's 5 bars all the time now :59:
     
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  17. isme

    isme Guide

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    Using the rocks definitely upped your "Rednekkedness".....

    I know,.... I am certifiably Rednekked......

    Just look at my Avatar.... Yep, that's me.....
     
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