boosting 3g signal options

Discussion in 'Web Connections' started by acid_clown, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. acid_clown

    acid_clown Read Only Funster

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    Hello freewheelers!
    I've started this thread to get some Information on using mobile internet in my van.
    I'd like to find a solution to my inconsistent 3g connection.
    My van is a Luton sprinter converted to a motorhome, it is essentially a metal box with a fibreglass roof. Depending on where I am I get pretty poor 3g signal, I use an Android phone tethered as a wifi hotspot and connect to that with my tablet. I'd like to find a way of boosting my 3g signal on my phone.
    So far I haven't found anyone else looking to do the same, from what I have seen, people use 3g dongles with antennas for their internet. I've seen some home made contraptions that have mixed results. And I've seen some expensive gizmos that people use.
    Im wondering if attaching a high gain aerial to the roof and taping the end of the cable to the back of my phone would work? That seems quite crude, but would it work? so does anyone have any input on their experience, or have any other recommendations for a signal booster?
    Happy trucking!
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i doubt that would work as there is no physical connection between phone and antenna.
    Big metal box wont be helping your situation.

    Put the phone in a waterproof container and place on the roof....the metal sides will be blocking your 3g signal indoors

    It has been known for folks to put a mifi dongle in a plastic bag and hoist to the top of their flagpole to get a decent signal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  3. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    what phone do you have?

    reason i ask is that alot of android phones have an external aerial connector built in, but generally hidden away by the back cover and never mentioned!!

    for example in my note3 there is a 5mm rubber cover just to the right of the sim card, under this is a aerial socket. You can get external aerials off ebay etc which you just plug in and away you go.

    Worth googleing your phone model + external aerial and have a read through them - some of the tear downs are quite informative on that front!!
     

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  4. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    I have an external antenna for my 4g router... It certainly works well.
     
  5. acid_clown

    acid_clown Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the quick reply pappajohn,
    Ideally I'd like to keep the phone Inside the van because everytime I get an SMS message or a phone call I don't want to have to scrabble about getting my phone off the roof. I have read of people using the internet on a stick method, but it doesn't suit my phone use really.
    You are right about the metal box being a shield, do you know of a way of turning the box into a kind of receiver rather than a sheild?

    I have a crude aerial system that I use sometimes which involves putting my phone on the top shelf balancing two 12 inch lengths of metal on the back of my phone leaning at 25 degrees against the wall so the ends are about 4 inches apart, this does improve signal slightly.
    Also if my phone is plugged into the cigarette lighter socket I get improved signal, this is my reasoning for the high gain aerial idea. (sounds ridiculous I know)
    I'm sure there is a way of boosting my signal, we are dealing with radio waves which are simple things, if you think of a set of ocean waves hitting a coastline, they are intensified in a cove or a bay, I'm sure this can be done with radio waves too. I will try some experiments with some home made aerials and report back my results.
    I've thought about making a satellite dish with a metal bowl and some coax cable
    For now feel free to add your inputs...
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  6. acid_clown

    acid_clown Read Only Funster

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    Nice one bungy! I'll get the screwdrivers out tomorrow and have a look, my phone is a s3 mini copy my mate gave me from Korea so it will be the same as samsungs one I'd imagine, I'll post some more details tomorrow
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i guess if you are facing a cell mast the best place for the phone is on top of the dash....radio waves will pass through glass quite well....but struggle through metal.
    Problem is...you dont usually know where the cell mast is located.

    I know what you mean about the waves in a cove but as radio waves travel in straight lines theres no way to divert and channel them together into a concentrated beam.

    On occasion i have had to stick my MiFi dongle on my workvan roof to get a half decent signal....no signal at all in the van, even on the dashboard.
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you might.....you only get around 5 free posts then it costs a tenner for a years worth of fun and info. :thumb:
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    just noticed your last post.....Korean copy :Doh:

    It will only have half the circuitry the genuine thing has and what there is will be very inferior quality.
     
  10. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    word of warning.....
    samsung dont recommend connecting to some phones - it can cause problems by disabling the internal aerial...but as ever, it works for some and not for others if various forums are anything to go by...do a fair bit of research first is my advice!!

    BUT...if your copy is a straight copy and your going to give it a go...then there should be an aerial socket below the battery on the left looking from the back (I have a s3 mini as a work phone so just had a quick look)

    an example here of what it does on a galaxy S3

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKLa6Pg8DYA"]Samsung Galaxy S3 Patch Lead and External Antenna - YouTube[/ame]
     
  11. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    I have a Huawei 5332 Mifi with a large omni cantenna (about 15cm diameter, 20cm high). Mine is a RV, so is completely metal skinned. Very effective.
     
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