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Old 06-01-2005
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Cellphone Masthead Antennas

I am looking to install a good and simple masthead cellular antenna and the special ''low loss'' cable (which I''m not really clear on) to get both cellphone and internet access while cruising. I''m not looking for miracles, just improvement that is worth the expense.

Any knowledge or experience is gratefully accepted.
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Old 06-09-2005
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Cellphone Masthead Antennas

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Old 12-19-2005
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Cellphone Masthead Antennas

Shakespeare makes a very good cell amp, and marine mast-mounted antenna. The cell amp acts as a cell phone repeater, in that you can use your cell phone normally, anywhere in range of your amplifier (as can others too, so turn it off when not needed). They advertise 3W output into Very Low Loss cable, also available from the same place (West Marine, Defender, eBAY ETC). This power will increase your over-water range to about 50 miles from the tower.

You asked about the low loss cable needed.
The output signal, at the frequencies in use here, will be easily attenuated by inferior cables. Basicly, the transmitted signal is dispersed over the cable''s dielectric itself, leaving very little for the antenna to work with. Gigahertz signals (which these are), use air or other hi-air content cables to transmit their signals.

So use the best cable available. Do not bend it much or crimp it, as this will disturb the air dielectric of the cable, causing loss due to impedance mismatch at the constricted point.

I know, a lot to soak up. To be safe..simply go with what Shakespeare recommends.


Larry DeMers
s/v DeLaMer
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Old 12-23-2005
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Cellphone Masthead Antennas

Thanx for the response, Larry, after even six monthes. I am fairly conversant with most technologies, but not really up to speed on these cellular boosters, though I have heard several stories (and lived one of my own) where good cell phone access was a great benefit.

I am still shopping, both online and in the stores, for the equipment. It started looking like $1000 to get set up, but now it''s down to about $700 or so. I''m alsothinking about using the cellular internet access gaining popularity through Verizon and Cingular. The speed is not impressive, but it does beat trolling for WiFi hookups while cruising.

No decision there yet, either.

Thanks again, Hawkeye.
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