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Thread: Metal Building - Cell Phone Signal

  1. #1
    El Mustachio's Avatar
    El Mustachio is offline Cast Iron
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    Default Metal Building - Cell Phone Signal

    I know most of the cell phone related discussions on here tend to center on policies regarding employee usage and restrictions, but for those that need to use them for business I had something I wanted to share.

    I know I can't be the only one that has horrible reception inside the shop due to working in a virtual bird cage of steel and wiring, so for anyone else with the same problem, we just installed our second cell phone signal repeater. This isn't our first time around the block, we've done this before, but what we installed last week really impressed me. We brought our signal up from -105 db to -65db. If I understand correctly, the best possible signal would be about -53db. First time around we used a zBoost 510 unit. It improved things noticeably, but seems like the last year I've had more complaints of dropped calls. So I did some looking around and found a newer design of the same concept with a heavier duty external antenna, zBoost 610. It took alot of trial and error to hone in on the best outside signal direction and almost as much work on the indoor placement of the repeater unit, but when it was all said and done we went from 0-1 bar signal to 4-5 indoors. I don't usually get too worked up about office equipment but this was impressive.

    I don't really want to sound like a salesman, just figured I'm probably not the only one whose been having to walk outside to the parking lot to take a call from a vendor or customer and not drop it mid sentence.
    rhinsen and samsolong like this.

  2. #2
    vanguard cycle's Avatar
    vanguard cycle is offline Hot Rolled
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    this is not my realm of expertise, however...
    i had REALLY bad reception in the shop, metal roof, on the water, etc.
    i had my computer guy put in a router and set it up to connect my phone to wifi while in the shop..works great, no more issues!
    even streaming music sites like pandora work great now and no more dropped calls, well at least until i get to the transition point between wifi and regular service.

  3. #3
    wb2vsj is offline Hot Rolled
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    Amazing how we are dependent on those little devices.

    Our office building, 2 story, several hundred folks in it has/had horrible cell coverage indoors. We had it professionally wired up with dozens of mini- antennas strategically placed throughout out the bldg. The system had to be able pipe in the three major carriers, ATT, Sprint and VZ. Sprint got their part working and the others still haven't gotten round to making it work.

    Part of the problem is that they have to aim two of more external antennas at different cell towers to handle the user load.

    I was tempted to get a small system like the zBoost and just place it in the window, and take care of our immediate area but they got Sprint (My carrier) up and running before I had the temptation over come me.

    Glad you found a solution

  4. #4
    Greg White is offline Titanium
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    I was all set to buy one,then the price...,it aint over yet,I saved your link.
    I am in a metal sided pole barn, nobodies service works in it,phone sits by the window.
    Thanks for bringing this up.
    Gw

  5. #5
    Eric U's Avatar
    Eric U is offline Aluminum
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    I have one of the zBoost repeaters in my shop and it worked great...when it worked. I had one external antenna go out. It was replace under warranty. Now it is on the fritz again. I did have it working for about 2 years. Now I don't know what I'm going to do. The replacement cost now is much higher than what it cost me in 2009.

    Eric U

  6. #6
    dep [INDY] is offline Aluminum
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    Any one using the Wilson 801865 4G LTE 700 70 dB In-Building Wireless 700 MHz Signal Booster? Pro/Con? Thanks

    Link-> to Product Details

  7. #7
    TN_Toolman's Avatar
    TN_Toolman is offline Plastic
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    Nice topic! I had always wondered how they get around the virtual Faraday's cage that metal buildings create. I've noticed at our shop Verizon customer's have really good reception; however, ATT & other carriers aren't so lucky.

  8. #8
    Armedsask is offline Aluminum
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    I'm not sure what brand it is, but we've been using a cell phone booster in the shop for a while. I probably get better service inside the shop.

  9. #9
    doug8cat is offline Stainless
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    Instead of trying to over come the Farady effect why not just set your cell to foward to the shop phone and carry a cordless while in the building. A shop I used to work for did this and it worked like a charm, especialy if you buy a cordless from the manufacturer of the in house phone switching gear. Another bonus is that depending the model you purchase it is possible answere the cordless and then if needed you can transfer the call to say the office while your on shop floor. It works the other way round too say your working on floor and you need to order lunch, you can buzz up the front office and them place the lunch order !

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