If you have been looking online for a way to boost or increase your cell phone signal strength either at home, at the office, or in your car, you have no doubt come across a number of booster system kit. Some sites call them amplifiers or repeaters, but they all pretty much do the same thing – boost your cell signal. Many of the popular models, from manufacturers such as Wilson Electronics, Cellphone-Mate, Wireless Extenders (Wi-Ex), and Digital Antenna can actually come as kits. These kits usually include the amplifier (booster system kit), outside antenna, inside antenna, and two lengths of cable to connect everything together. Sounds great right? So why might you want the ability to piece together your own kit?
If you have done any research on booster system kit you will know that outside and inside antennas can be omni-directional (360 degree radiation pattern) or directional (approx. 90-120 degree radiation pattern). There are advantages and disadvantages to each style of antenna, but these advantages and disadvantages are really another article by themselves. The point here is that most pre-assembled kits come with one type of outdoor antenna and one type of indoor antenna. You may really need a directional outdoor antenna for your specific situation but most kits come with an omni-directional antenna. Or, you may find that most kits come with an omni-directional indoor antenna when you really need a directional one. Piecing together your own kit gives you the flexibility to decide which antennas you want to purchase with your amplifier.
During your research, you may have also noticed that most kits come with 2 cables. One is typically 20-30 ft. to connect the outdoor antenna to the amplifier, and the second is typically 40-75 feet to connect the indoor antenna to the amplifier. Some of the Wireless Extender (Wi-Ex) products come with the indoor antenna attached to the amplifier itself (YX500, YX510 and YX545). This makes for a quick installation, but does not provide the best coverage or allow the placement flexibility you get with a separate indoor antenna. Anyway, the point I would like to make here is that pre-set cable lengths constrict the placement the outdoor antenna, amplifier, and indoor antenna. I recently did a pre-assembled kit installation where I really only needed about 10 ft. from the outdoor antenna to the amplifier, but I was given 20 ft. of cable to use. As you may already know, more cable = less signal getting to the amplifier. Ideally, you want the exact length of cable needed to get where you need to be, no more, no less. Additionally, on the same job, I found that the 40ft. cable that came with the kit for the indoor antenna just wasn’t quite long enough and ended up purchasing a coupler and an extra length of cable to get where I needed to be. If I had the flexibility to build my own kit from the get-go this would not have been an issue.
Don’t get me wrong, the pre-assembled kits are great for a lot of people. You might have to re-arrange how you had originally planned on installing everything but most people make them work. However, if you have been doing your homework by checking signal levels, calculating coverage area, deciding the best antenna locations, and don’t want to have to “make it work” then I highly recommend piecing together your own booster system kit that bought from www.excel-wireless.com so that you get exactly what you want. While it may be a little pricier to do so, you will end up with a much more efficient system.