We want to help you improve your farm’s indoor and outdoor cell phone signal.
And don’t forget, we are also here to help you purchase the perfect tractor for your farm when the time comes.
Let’s get started discussing how to improve your indoor and outdoor cell phone signal.
Cell Signal Challenge
There are multiple reasons that can cause you to get fewer “signal” bars, more dropped calls, and far lower data rates.
The following tips and strategies are not exclusive. Often you will have a combination of these challenges in your location.
Heavy Cellular Traffic
Substantial cellular traffic is common in rush hour periods. This is when people are texting, making calls home, or downloading videos.
These signals are all getting space on the same tower, and if you are already connected to a network, the chances are that you will remain connected.
However, when the current cell tower hands-off to the next cell tower, you might lose your connection.
The farther you are from a cell tower, the weaker the signal.
When your cell phone is communicating with a cell tower --- the tower will tell it, via the downlink frequency, what frequency, and power setting to use.
If your cell phone can’t hear the cell tower's instructions, it will drop your call.
Similarly, if the cell tower can’t hear that your cell phone has confirmed its instructions, via the uplink frequency, it will drop your call.
Always keep your battery optimally charged.
Your cell phone needs to adjust its output power to meet the instructions made on it from the cell tower.
The greater the output power demand --- the more battery power required.
If your battery can’t meet the demand, then the call will be dropped.
Building materials like drywall, wood, concrete, metal, and low-e glass can reduce the signal strength. This makes it weaker inside a home or office.
New buildings are often designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. This includes location and transportation, sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Often these “green” strategies cause the building to be signal proof. This will have a negative effect on your cell signal.
Weather events, particularly electric storms, will negatively impact your cell phone signal.
Also --- weather events happening on the sun, such as a solar storm, will also impact your cell phone signal.
Even a cell phone booster, which we will discuss shortly, can do little to offset the effect of poor weather. Sometimes it simply depends on the signal sensitivity of the cell phone booster to be able to “see through” the electrical noise generated by weather events.
Cell phone signals are affected by your local terrain.
Trees, mountains, valleys, man-made obstacles, and buildings will all affect the strength of a cell phone signal.
A well-designed booster installation will minimize the effect of natural and manmade obstacles.
This must be done with a site survey, to fully assess the local situation, potential installation issues, as well as a “Path Profile Analysis.”
A Path Profile Analysis is a highly specialized and well-defined process for calculating signal loss along a proposed signal path, between the cell tower, and your location.
Then they design a solution that will minimize the effect of the obstacle(s).
Property Site Survey
NOTE: Path Profile Analysis and Site Surveys will not be offered to you if you buy the lower priced boosters.
Higher priced products will offer both a site survey and a path profile analysis.
This will tell you what will work for your situation.
Signal boosters work for a range of building types/sizes, small to large homes, offices, apartments, and commercial buildings.
Regardless of the type of booster, the specific components of a cell phone booster include a few components.
Outside Cellular Antenna
Often called a Donor antenna or Pickup antenna --- this antenna is installed outside your building, perhaps on a wall, roof, post, or other high spot.
It points in the direction of the strongest cell phone signal and passes that signal down a cable into the signal booster inside the building.
The signal booster receives the signal from the Donor antenna and amplifies the signal before sending the amplified signal to the indoor antenna(s).
These are referred to as Area Fill antennas.
They are installed inside the building and are strategically placed to optimize coverage throughout the building.
Typically the average indoor installation will require multiple indoor antennas --- and depending on the type of booster you have bought, will likely require multiple boosters.
The cable type is just as important as the booster.
Poor quality cables can dramatically reduce the strength of a good signal. Also, the length of the cable will dramatically reduce the strength of the signal.
To reduce the impact of long cable runs, it may be prudent, and more aesthetically pleasing, to use fiber optic cable.
Professional installers will require specialized tools, not normally available in the standard home tool kit.