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Land line or Cell phone boosting antenna?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by JehuJava, Jul 27, 2012.


  1. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    The other post about who still has a land line got me thinking.

    As I mention before. I need to be in contact with my wife and work. I work for the USCG and am stationed in St Croix. Our home is completely cinder block for storm protection so the cell signal doesn't go past the windows and then its weak as hell anyway. I take our only car to work so my wife is at home with the baby all alone. She needs to be able to call me in an emergency. I also need to get phone calls from work after hours when emergency situations arise.

    We loose power very often. If a large storm or hurricane hits, we (and most of the island) could be out of power for several weeks. Most people have generators attached to their homes for this reason.

    My question is this: should I just get a landline to maintain contact or should I get the cell phone boosting antenna kit?

    With the landline we'd be held hostage to using the phone in the same spot...not roaming around the house. We could get cordless, but not sure its effectiveness in the concrete house and when power goes out it'd be useless unless we connect on old fashioned corded phone.

    With the antenna we would benefit all the time and throughout the house but if we lose power (tho we have a generator) it'd be useless.

    The cost of the antenna kit is $350 and pays for itself in 6 months compared to the land line.

    What do you guys think? Land line or antenna?
     
  2. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    Does the cellular system work when the power goes out? If not, the land line is the way to go. If more people have cell phones, I would say that the cellular booster is the way to go. What about Magic Jack?
     
  3. Keep a corded landline that doesn't require power.

    It isn't just about convenience, but also about contact in emergency situations. Even though I've got cordless phones hooked up to my landline, there is a corded one that requires no extra power on the shelf just incase.

    Also, not so sure the cinderblocks are going to hinder the signal that much. I live in a >100 year old flat, built from stone, both inside and out. Still get mobile signal and can wander about with cordless landline phones.

    Also, out of interest, how does the antenna kit pay for itself?
     
  4. stackkart

    stackkart

    Jul 27, 2012
    Nice post..thanks for sharing this info man :)
     
  5. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    What floor is your flat? If it's at ground level, it can be OK if the signal strength is still strong but sometimes, the blocks are filled, have re-bar or metal lathe & plaster covering. Metal lathe acts like shielding and it's very effective. I'm dealing with one now and think I may have found the solution, but now the people are thinking about changing carriers, so the point may be moot. T-Mobile knows their signal is bad where these people live and when I asked for the CS person's opinion about what would be best, he said "I guess she should find a different carrier".

    The antenna kit would offset the cost of having the land line, although that's a really steep price for 6 months of land-line service, IMO.
     
  6. I was thinking that may have been where he was coming from, but my landline only costs me ~£10-£15 a month (and that's including the line rental, for the line which is also used for TV & internet), so it did seem slightly higher.

    I'm at the top of the building, so 3rd floor (4th on your side of the pond), though on saying that, most of my friends are living in similar style buildings, at different levels, never had a notable drop in signal really. Though I think our floors are primarily wooden.
     
  7. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    Where you are has a lot to do with the quality of your signal and how the European system is set up probably differs from what we have here. I would think yours is set up for best performance, without causing changes to the roads, buildings and possibly visual sight lines. Here, the towers are often placed close to areas that have high-dollar homes and the homeowners tell the cities/towns/villages that they want the tower 'NIMBY'. That stands for 'Not In My Back Yard' and performance suffers because of it. Doesn't stop them from complaining, though. The ones who understand either do something to improve their signal or live with it- the ones who don't complain. The people I referred to before- she's an architect who isn't great with technology and he's a metallurgical engineer who likes to dabble with this stuff- understand that the signal has to be good enough outside to be boosted and distributed inside. She's also on the village council and has told people why their cell phone performance isn't great.
     
  8. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    It might not be block hindering the signal, but I def get at least 4 bars outside, 1 bar at the window, and searching 5 feet from window. I can't say for certain what's blocking the signal, but it sure dies off fast inside.

    The antenna pays for itself because it's a one time fee of $350. The landline is a monthly reoccurring fee.
     
  9. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    We're in a ranch style one floor home. The roof is hurricane proof-ish so it's made of metal corrugated siding. I'm sure there's rebar in the block for additional strength.

    Yeah. The phone bill would be steep including long distance since we have NY cell numbers to call. They have a monopoly down here. You should see my $600 electric bill for virtually minimal use.
     
  10. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I've got some friends that use the antenna signal booster that have great results on the island. I'm assuming I would have the same results since their houses are similar and are close to mine.

    I guess I just think being able to use the cell regularly outweighs the less frequent natural disaster. I dunno. I can't decide. Having both would be ideal, but the cost seems a bit much.
     

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