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Discussion Starter #1
Any real experience with these used on a boat?
Or research done?

Im interested in receiving data at longer range
 

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In anticipation for this year's trip to the Bahamas, our 13th, we bought a cell booster https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P13KG13/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 . Our intention was to use it to extend the range that we could use BTC cell (both voice and data and using the phone as a hot spot) while we were in the Bahamas. We did not permanently install the equipment, but rather we hoisted the booster antenna on a flag halyard when we needed it and brought the antenna cable into the boat through a porthole that we have a waterproof cover for. We did not make it to the Bahamas this year abandoning our plans due to both mechanical problems traveling from North Carolina to Miami and to the virus. All our use was with T-Mobile along the ICW, and that was scarce because we usually had either excellent service or none at all.

Obviously, you need to have a signal to boost. If you have no signal without the booster, boosting nothing gets you nothing. The booster would add something like three bars to the signal if we had one bar. That said, bars seem to matter little. The real thing is the increased speed and better connectivity to when using data. The booster made a real difference even if the bars did not soar.

We also bought a longer, larger diameter cable to allow us to hoist the booster antenna to the mast top. We had thought that the higher antenna would be useful. We never had an occasion when the top of the mast was better than just below the spreader, but that could be just happenstance.

Bill Murdoch
irish-eyes-to-the-bahamas.blogspot.com
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats helpful
My planned need is the same
I would like to hit the duncan town tower..as far north as possible
Calls to btc, main office and main store in nassau has given me zero tech info

Thanks
 

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Thats helpful
My planned need is the same
I would like to hit the duncan town tower..as far north as possible
Calls to btc, main office and main store in nassau has given me zero tech info

Thanks
Keep in mind that the Duncan Town tower times out the LTE connections to only phones inside the island itself. It extends just slightly off the island, but not by much, before it forces you to use EDGE 2G connection. For example, if you anchor near the Gun Point dock, you get LTE, but if you move 1000' across the open bay to the South Side of Hog Cay, you get 5 bars of LTE signal, but it will not allow you to connect to LTE and you are forced down to EDGE. All the way to Double Breasted, or possibly even Buena Vista, LTE signal is present, but the tower will not let you connect.

So unless they have recently changed that from the past 3 years (meaning it changed just this year), a signal booster won't help much. We could always connect to EDGE up to Nurse Cay by sending a tethered phone in a tupperware up to the spreader on a halyard.. Further North than that, and a booster won't help anyway.

Mark
 

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We too see the degradation of the cell signal to Edge. From Norman's cut we can see the Highbourne Cay tower and have only E and very bad E at that. We were hoping that the booster would help. I guess that the degradation to E is done by signal latency rather than signal strength, and that even with the booster the signal would still be E, but maybe it would be good E.

We also have used the cell phone in a cheap WalMart dry box on the flag halyard as a hot spot. That is a good, easy, and cheap system which works better and better each year as the cell systems improve. One of the reasons for buying the booster was to allow cell voice phone calls from inside the cabin to the kids and grandchildren in weak signal areas.

One of our longer distance links was from the west side of Conception to Long Island. We traded twice daily or more often cell text messages with our daughter in Nashville when she had her third child. It saved buying airplane tickets. I climbed the mast to the spreaders phone in hand. That was in 2011.

Bill
 

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Given FaceTime and WhatsApp think it’s more useful to boost WiFi in our cruising grounds (Caribbean, east coast) there’s usually a WiFi service even if you have to buy it by the day, week or month. That allows you to not have to fallback on satphone and it’s expense when you’re not going into shore. Do like the increase in security using the cellphone rather than unsecured WiFi however but for a chat with friends or family who cares. Personally get 50minutes of voice/month on my satphone plan for $50/month and data. Save data for banking. Use local chips on the cellphone hotspot. This seems to work out well in conjunction with a WiFi booster. Also gives us an excuse to go into land to buy a drink to get passwords.
 

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Just to be clear, the OP was discussing cell phones, not sat phones. In the area being discussed there is no wifi at all.

We've always had a great wifi setup, but it hasn't been used in a few years because wifi in the areas we have been cruising has been almost non-existent as everyone just uses cellphones now. Sounds like the Eastern Caribe still has plenty of wifi.

Mark
 

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Just to be clear, the OP was discussing cell phones, not sat phones. In the area being discussed there is no wifi at all.

We've always had a great wifi setup, but it hasn't been used in a few years because wifi in the areas we have been cruising has been almost non-existent as everyone just uses cellphones now. Sounds like the Eastern Caribe still has plenty of wifi.

Mark
We've completely given up on wifi in the EC and do it all on the phone as a hot spot. very reliable and consistent w/o an outside antenna, Only negative; no more net flix, but there seem to be plenty of folks around to swap material.
Now, with Digicel going under who knows......
 
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