Monday, June 20, 2011

Do we need both a WiFi and a Cell Phone booster?

"As we study more, it seems that we need both a wifi booster for campgrounds to improve wifi and a separate cell phone booster. Can they be mounted side by side and brought in at the same place? If we get the captifi and bring it through the back window (we are slightly concerned about the opening letting in mosquitoes) , is there an extension for the cable so the computer can be in the front where we actually use it? Or could we put a wireless router in back that would broadcast to the front so we could use both computers and the iPad and the iPhone.
What a puzzle to figure this all out.  I mentioned to Orlan what you said about having plan A, B and C. It made us realize that there isn’t a simple solution." Sandy.
I agree, I think you need both (that's what we have). Let's look at them individually:

WiFi Booster
It comes with a 15' hard-wired USB cable which can be extended using a 15' USB extension cable that we sell. You can go longer, but it gets a little complicated as you need a powered USB cable. It can be mounted anywhere on the roof, and can be located next to a cell phone booster (they operate on very different frequencies). If you don't want to bring the wire through the window, some people will use the vent for the refrigerator. Bring the cable down through the opening on the roof and then out at the bottom or side of the refrigerator (that way you avoid drilling holes in your rig). Then you can run the cable through the sides and backs of your cupboards so that it is out of sight.

You can't use a router as that is designed to take an ethernet internet connection (not USB) and share it amongst multiple computers. You could use the WiFi Ranger, but the basic version of that won't boost the signal and I'm really not sure about the Pro version with external antenna.

Cell Phone Booster
For your cell phone booster, you need an external antenna that is as far away from where you'll be working as possible. If you work in the back, you'll need to mount that antenna at the front and vice-versa. I'd recommend the Wilson DT but I'd upgrade the antenna to an omni-directional trucker antenna as the one the DT comes with bi-directional meaning that you'd need to keep adjusting it every time to parked somewhere (not exactly feasible). That also has the advantage of more gain (i.e. more powerful) and has a mounting spring which you can connect to a ladder for example. That will then boost the voice AND data signals for you iPhone and iPad and a data card if you have one. BUT, the devices need to be close to the internal antenna, so I'd recommend using bluetooth headsets such as the Cobra Trucker.