Signal boosters are becoming very essential in rural areas because of the frequent call drops and slow data speed. Call drops and slow data speed are the results of poor cell reception that occurs due to weak incoming cell signals. Rural areas may not have enough cell towers to provide a stronger cellular reception. The cell signals that come from the cell towers may get blocked by the hills, mountains, trees, or tall buildings.
For ensuring proper cellular reception inside your house all the time, you may have to use a cell phone repeater. This device is specially made to boost the strength of the cell signals that get attracted from the nearest cell towers. The signal booster comes with an external antenna. This antenna seizes the incoming cell signal and transfers it to the amplifier which is capable of further strengthening these signals.
The amplified cell signals will be redistributed by the internal antenna and thus provide you with a better cell reception for making calls and browsing the internet. The scope of this article revolves around the types of antennas that form part of the signal boosters.
Signal Booster Antennas
A signal booster system has mainly two antennas. One for securing the weak cell signals and the other for rebroadcasting the boosted cell signals. The outdoor antenna receives incoming signals and the indoor antenna rebroadcasts the boosted cell signals.
The external antenna functions by capturing the signals that are present outdoor and sending it to the amplifier positioned inside the building through a coaxial cable. The outdoor antennas come in two varieties namely – omnidirectional and unidirectional antenna.
The omnidirectional antennas are a common sight in the urban areas due to the abundance in the number of cell towers present. The main characteristic of an omnidirectional antenna is that it captures cell signals that come from all the directions. In other words, an omnidirectional antenna has a 360-degree range. It is very beneficial for capturing cell signals of multiple network carriers.
Contradictorily, the unidirectional antenna can potentially capture signals that come from one direction only. Based on the strength of capturing cell signals, two different types of unidirectional antennas are available; yagi antenna and log-periodic antenna.
Yagi antennas are exceptionally powerful when compared with omnidirectional antennas. They are mainly used in a remote area where there is only one cell tower to provide cell signals. You have to point the Yagi antenna towards the cell tower to get a proper cell signal. The log-periodic antenna is 30 times more efficient than yagi antennas. The log-periodic antenna is capable of capturing cell signals from a distance of 10 miles.
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The primary objective of installing an internal antenna is to rebroadcast the boosted cell signals to the devices within its range. There are mainly three variants of internal antennas that are used in the case of signal boosters. Out of the three, the most popular type is the panel antenna. This type of internal antenna is best suited for hallways and narrow rooms or in general, panel antennas are ideal for long spaces. If you are installing a signal booster in a multi-story building, you may have to use a panel antenna. This type of internal antenna is easier to install as it does not require any ceiling access. It has a coverage area range of 45-degrees and emits enhanced signals in a beam sequence.
If you want to improve cell reception in a square-shaped room, you may have to use the dome antenna because this type of internal antenna has 360-degree coverage. Simply put, dome antennas can send boosted signals to all directions equally. The dome antenna is installed on the ceiling and therefore you may need ceiling access to install this internal antenna. The other type of internal antenna is the whip antenna, which is mainly used in confined spaces like the inside of a car, bus, boats, trucks, and RV, etc. Among all the internal antennas, whip antennas are the easiest to install. Similar to dome antennas, whip antennas can also rebroadcast amplified signals to different directions equally.
Understanding The Concept Of Antenna Separation
Antenna separation is an important thing you must consider while correctly positioning external and internal antennas of a signal booster system. You may need to keep enough distance between the external antenna and an internal antenna to prevent oscillation. It is usually recommended to place the external antenna as high as possible and place the internal antenna inside the building.
If these are placed too close to one another, there is a possibility that each of these with pick up each other’s signals. This will create a feedback look. This condition is called oscillation and if it is not rectified immediately, it can damage your cell phone repeater. Most of the modern signal boosters can shut itself off when they detect oscillation.