• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.
  • Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Cell Phone Boosters

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Dec 7, 2016
Messages
1
#1
Recently the antenna broke off on the ambulance for our cell phone booster. We have spare VHF vehicle antennas from one of our old rigs. Do any of you know if this will work with the cell booster? It screws into the base fine. But I noticed that the cell phone booster antenna is a lot shorter and has a twirly pigtail in the middle. Whereas the VHF antenna in straight and taller. Thanks, much appreciated. This website is an awesome source of information!
 

nd5y

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,769
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
#2
The booster has a multi band antenna that only covers cellular frequencies (probably 700 - 1900 MHz). A VHF antenna will not work and might even damage it. You need to replace it with what it originally had.
 

Rred

Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
829
#4
You would need to know which cellular frequencies that particular booster was made to work with, in order to tell what frequencies that antenna was matched to. There are at least four major frequency groups and there are boosters that work typically on 2 or 3, sometimes on all four, and sometimes just PCS instead of full cellular.

Some of the booster companies (like Wilson) are pretty good at customer service, if you tell them you're a low-budget ambulance team who broke your antenna, they might just send you a new one, free.

Expect a whole new wave of boosters to come on the market later next year, as 5G is promised to deploy.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
525
#8
You need a multi band cellular antenna
Phones now use everything from 700 MHz to 1900mhz

The Wilson 311104 NMO antenna is what you need

Its less that 20 dollars
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,206
Location
Point Nemo.
#9
The Wilson 311104 NMO antenna is what you need

Its less that 20 dollars
Please, not on an ambulance.
Consumer grade antennas don't belong on any emergency vehicle.

There are plenty of suitable antennas made by professional antenna vendors. Wilson sells rebranded Chinese junk.
 

03msc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,568
Location
Arkansas
#10
Please, not on an ambulance.
Consumer grade antennas don't belong on any emergency vehicle.

There are plenty of suitable antennas made by professional antenna vendors. Wilson sells rebranded Chinese junk.
What would you recommend to him, Matt? If you do a google search for phone booster antenna you get the Wilson assortment (WeBoost is Wilson, for anyone who doesn't know).
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,206
Location
Point Nemo.
#11
What would you recommend to him, Matt? If you do a google search for phone booster antenna you get the Wilson assortment (WeBoost is Wilson, for anyone who doesn't know).
Larsen, Laird, PCTel. A few others make them too.

I had a Wilson docking station/amp in my truck. Worked well, but was made out of cheap plastic. Came with a magnetic mount antenna.
The magnetic mount antenna worked, but when I tried to remove it, the magnet stayed there and the antenna fell apart.
Was fine with that since I was going to install a real antenna anyway. Tossed the Wilson, installed a Larsen on an NMO. Worked well for years.
After a while I got tired of the cheap plastic docking station. After repairing it a few times I decided I had enough. Removed it from the truck, grabbed a NMO mag mount out of the shop, put the antenna on it and sold it on e-Bay. Got all my money back.

I actually have a direct connect Wilson amp I purchased for a call box at work that was having issues connecting. Came with another cheap antenna. Threw it out and installed an NMO on top of the call box and put a proper antenna on it.

Wilson seems to be hit or miss. Some of their stuff is really cheap consumer grade crap. Some of their amps are built a bit better and seem to be OK. As for their antennas, the two I've had have been junk.
Same reason I would never use Browning or Tram. I won't use cheap Chinese knockoffs in a commercial install, and absolutely never in anything public safety.

As for the antenna it was one of these, or at least something very similar. Worked well:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-etrab821-18503-984.html
 

03msc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,568
Location
Arkansas
#12
Larsen, Laird, PCTel. A few others make them too.

I had a Wilson docking station/amp in my truck. Worked well, but was made out of cheap plastic. Came with a magnetic mount antenna.
The magnetic mount antenna worked, but when I tried to remove it, the magnet stayed there and the antenna fell apart.
Was fine with that since I was going to install a real antenna anyway. Tossed the Wilson, installed a Larsen on an NMO. Worked well for years.
After a while I got tired of the cheap plastic docking station. After repairing it a few times I decided I had enough. Removed it from the truck, grabbed a NMO mag mount out of the shop, put the antenna on it and sold it on e-Bay. Got all my money back.

I actually have a direct connect Wilson amp I purchased for a call box at work that was having issues connecting. Came with another cheap antenna. Threw it out and installed an NMO on top of the call box and put a proper antenna on it.

Wilson seems to be hit or miss. Some of their stuff is really cheap consumer grade crap. Some of their amps are built a bit better and seem to be OK. As for their antennas, the two I've had have been junk.
Same reason I would never use Browning or Tram. I won't use cheap Chinese knockoffs in a commercial install, and absolutely never in anything public safety.

As for the antenna it was one of these, or at least something very similar. Worked well:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-etrab821-18503-984.html
Yeah, I have one of the Wilson Sleek 4G cradle boosters in my truck. Got it free from them (one of those Facebook "like this post to enter" things I won about 3 or 4 years ago). It works, adds a couple of bars a lot of the time. Antenna is currently a PCTel low profile on one of the roof NMO mounts. I do have a Wilson NMO antenna I stick on there if I'm going somewhere I know the signal will be exceptionally weak. The NMO Wilson antenna is fine - they both actually yield about the same results.

The mag mount ones do seem a bit flimsy and the coax feels like it wouldn't hold up long.

Got any "whip" ones that are NMO that you recommend for those times I'm out "on the fringes"?

Sorry to kind of hijack the thread here...my apologies, ArcticMedic, but maybe it's helpful info for you, too.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,206
Location
Point Nemo.
#13
The mag mount ones do seem a bit flimsy and the coax feels like it wouldn't hold up long.
Yeah, and it's RG-174, a lot of loss at 800,1900mHz.

Got any "whip" ones that are NMO that you recommend for those times I'm out "on the fringes"?
Not off the top of my head. I've got one at work on the call box, but I can't remember who the manufacturer was. It's been installed out there for a few years now with no issues.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,206
Location
Point Nemo.
#14
Had to dig back to 2009 in my Tessco account....

PCTel ASPDM1965

It's been up there for 8 years now, no issues. But then again, it's not on a moving vehicle.
 

03msc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,568
Location
Arkansas
#15
Had to dig back to 2009 in my Tessco account....

PCTel ASPDM1965

It's been up there for 8 years now, no issues. But then again, it's not on a moving vehicle.
Thanks, appreciate that effort. I am sure it is of better build quality than the Wilson but it looks almost identical to the Wilson NMO one that I have.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,206
Location
Point Nemo.
#16
Thanks, appreciate that effort. I am sure it is of better build quality than the Wilson but it looks almost identical to the Wilson NMO one that I have.
Might be the same. Like I said, this sits on top of a call box in a parking lot, doesn't move.

The Laird I linked to above got beat around on my truck for years. Maybe not high gain but simply having the antenna outside the vehicle really helped. I recently drove from the coast here in central California to Denver all avoiding the interstates. Sort of wished I still had a docking station for the phone. While cell coverage is pretty good in towns and long interstates, get on in the western US on 2 lane roads and you might as well be on the moon.
 

03msc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,568
Location
Arkansas
#19
"Thru hole mount" doesn't look like an NMO in the pictures to me so I'll pass.

As for the OP, the low profile/phantom ones like what mmckenna suggested, is what you want to go for so it doesn't get ripped off the top of the ambulance. At least I know around here, a city that services rural areas, their antennas take a beating as tree limbs scrape down the top of the units.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2009
Messages
1,089
Location
CT
#20
Single Poster

"Thru hole mount" doesn't look like an NMO in the pictures to me so I'll pass.

As for the OP, the low profile/phantom ones like what mmckenna suggested, is what you want to go for so it doesn't get ripped off the top of the ambulance. At least I know around here, a city that services rural areas, their antennas take a beating as tree limbs scrape down the top of the units.

Does anyone else notice that the OP has never been back, after One post and nearly 2 months?
 

Attachments

Status
Not open for further replies.
Top