Question: Another use for TV antennas? (Cell Phone booster?)

#1
I live in a cell-phone fringe area in the suburbs. Thanks to a NIMBY mentality, cell phone towers are far away and the terrain is hilly enough and wooded enough to make cell phone reception stink. I was looking at 1900 MHz boosters specifically for the types of phones we have in our house.

My question is: can the booster be effectively connected to my in-attic TV antenna? It is similar to this: Antennacraft 5884 ColorKing 58" VHF/UHF/FM HDTV Antenna : TV & Video | RadioShack.com but it may be the next size up. The antenna is already aimed in the direction of one of the nearby towers I could find on the Tmobile tower website.

Would that work, or is that folly? I don't know enough Electrical Engineering to know if that would be effective.

Thanks for any input. The responsiveness of this forum is impressive.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
The highest frequency that a TV antenna is designed for is 806 MHz (channel 69), plus there are elements for receiving frequencies down to 54 Mhz (channel 2); so, if it worked at all it would be very inefficient. I'd try my best to find a 1900 MHz antenna.

Here is an antenna that would work: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...C19013)-(Wireless-Extenders)&sku=186639000014

Or, one of these: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...r-Cellular-Antenna-for-1800-1990-MHz-(301124)

Note that they use 50 ohm cable rather than 75 ohm cable that is used for TV.
 
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#3
Thanks for the answer! That's too bad, but I was skeptical that would work, but wouldn't have been great if it did! Although I did read one post of a guy who used RG6 with an antenna/amp kit instead of the minimally shielded 50 ohm cable and had better reception.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#4
The highest frequency that a TV antenna is designed for is 806 MHz (channel 69), plus there are elements for receiving frequencies down to 54 Mhz (channel 2); so, if it worked at all it would be very inefficient. I'd try my best to find a 1900 MHz antenna.
Some antennas are still designed to work up to channel 83. You'll find that among older designs. I think even many modern antennas can go that high.

The biggest issue I can see is polarization. You may have to orient the antenna horizontally where the elements go top to bottom instead of side to side. I think cell phone signals are vertically, not horizontally polarized.

It might just work. It won't be ideal but it's better than nothing.

It will be a mismatch to a TV antenna. TV antennas are 75 ohms, whereas cell signal boosters are 50 ohms. It will be 1.5:1 SWR which is not terrible but not ideal either. This means you'll lose some signal but it won't be that much.
 
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G

Guest

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#5
It depends on the antenna and the amplifier.

I have a friend who uses a 42XG turned on its side (vertically polarized that way) with a Z-Boost that has a 75 ohm output and uses RG6 coax. It brought cellular service into her lake cabin where, before, they had to walk across the peninsula to make a call.

Any of the older UHF antennas should work fine for ATT & Verizon in the 700 and 800 Mhz bands. I suppose a 91XG could become the ultimate cellular antenna....
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#6
It depends on the antenna and the amplifier.

I have a friend who uses a 42XG turned on its side (vertically polarized that way) with a Z-Boost that has a 75 ohm output and uses RG6 coax. It brought cellular service into her lake cabin where, before, they had to walk across the peninsula to make a call.

Any of the older UHF antennas should work fine for ATT & Verizon in the 700 and 800 Mhz bands. I suppose a 91XG could become the ultimate cellular antenna....
Well, a channel 83 UHF antenna (if you can still find one) would work well for the 700 and 800 MHz bands, but not for the 1900 MHz PCA band. Gain on a Yagi drops off rapidly above the design frequency.
 

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