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Old 01-18-2009
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You'd be surprised what they can do nowadays to disguise cell towers. I've seen some that, besides the perfectly straight trunk, you couldn't distinguish from a palm tree. Now lack o users, well there's not much you can do about that.

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Old 02-26-2009
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Lightbulb Cell Phone Signal Boosters

You should contact UnwiredSignal.com directly to inquire about Cell Phone Signal Boosters and the effectiveness of these devices.

I prefer Unwired Signal (unwiredsignal.com) because they specialize in fixing cell phone signals, and not only do they have affordable pricing (better than Tiger Direct), but also free customer service. Call them and give them the exact details of your cell phone signal booster situation and they will recommend exactly the right product for you.

Here is the link to their signal booster category FYI:
unwiredsignal.com/?c=132&cn=Building+Cellular+Signal+Boosters]Wilson Building Amplifiers & Repeaters
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Old 02-26-2009
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An external antenna that can be attached to your cell phone might work. If your unit has an antenna jack (generally used for car systems) use an outside antenna. I have done it on my boat, the transmission is much smoother.

The unit is connected to a coaxial cable and the antenna is a wire of 12 inches connected to the middle wire of tye coaxial.
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Old 02-26-2009
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There's actually a whole new type of amplifier coming out for boating use. unwiredsignal and companies like them typically use Wilson amplifiers designed for cars. The environment of a boat is a lot different especially without the nice ground plane of the metal roof. If you really want to examine those types of amps, a quick search will find places that have them at much lower prices - check out primecellular.com as one example.

If you want to find out about the issues with amplifying cellular signals on boats, check out:
ActiveCaptain - Going Mobile - Mobile Phones Series

That article will be updated when new products are released. Sign up for the newsletter by registering on the site for free. There's a lot of talk about Cell Ranger in that article. I wouldn't get that yet either. While it is about half the cost of the Wilson amps and does work pretty well, there are marine versions of it just about to come out. It's worth waiting until Spring.

The article referenced above gives some real world examples about why adding just a cellular antenna (no amp) will often reduce the signal being put out by your phone. There is almost no good in adding just an external antenna.
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Old 10-26-2009
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Talking Repeaters do Work...

You can go to google and find all kinds of repeater systems, but you need to be careful, do your research.

I found that [/B]Wilson Electronics[/B] makes only signal boosting products for all kinds of applications. While on Wilson's website I found this company called UnwiredSignal.com. They have a repeater that is the 801201M Its a repeater system for a vessel 35' to 75' in length its a repeater-booster for your cell phone signal.

I also found a very helpful page on their site [/B]Wilson VS The Competition[/B] You should check it out...

I personally know it will work, I purchased the bigger kit for vessels over 75' the 801245 MM cost more than the other one, but definately worth it. It increases the existing signal and works for my air card and cell phones. This is extreemly helpful when you need to monitor the weather online and keep in contact with family.

Hope this helped.
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Old 10-28-2009
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While there are many great ideas here, I have a 'try this first' low tech solution for the laptop: when a signal is 'almost' there for my laptop (good in the cockpit or on deck, but I'd rather sit below) I use a six foot USB extension cord for my air card. Usually I can move it somewhere around where I'm sitting and get a much better signal. I have a hanging oil lamp over the table, which seems just about right! It's low tech, but it works in my marina...
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