How Can I Get More From My Signal Booster?
You’ve looked into signal booster systems, and read our guide. Now you want to know: is there any way to get more out of my booster?
There sure is.
Depending on your home or business’ size and layout, a signal booster expert might recommend multiple antennas to cover it. Using multiple indoor antennas allows better coverage over a larger area, and is generally recommended for anything larger than two or three rooms.
Why, you might ask? For that, a brief lesson.
How Your Signal Actually Works
Cell phone signals are measured in dB (decibels). They're AM/FM radio waves, the kind that are great at traveling long distances but are easily interrupted and lead to spotty service. That's when a cell phone signal booster comes in handy.
All cellular devices operate within this standard:-50 dB to -120 dB frequency.
-50 dB is considered full strength (full bars). -120 dB is considered a dead zone (no service).
A cell phone signal booster works by taking an outdoor signal, amplifying it, then rebroadcasting the amplified signal within a defined space.
What does that mean for you?
Well, you’re looking to improve your indoor signal, right? One issue you might have is signal loss.
As amplified signal runs through cable, it experiences some loss. But where signal experiences its greatest loss is through the air and building material. With a single antenna, you will receive a stronger signal the nearer you are to it. But in a large home or office, you are asking that signal to travel a great distance in the air, as well as through doors and walls.
Multiple indoor antennas can help with this.
But, I hear you say, there’s only one output port on my signal booster! How can I run multiple antennas to it?
Enter the splitter.
How Do Splitters Work?
Our splitters work similarly to one you might buy for a TV: they allow for multiple cable runs and input ports.
They split signal evenly from their ports, allowing you to accurately measure your dB from the point of exit. They come in two port, three port, and four port variants.
To get even more technical for a moment: A two-way splitter has a -3 dB loss, a three-way splitter has a -4.8 dB loss and a four-way splitter has a -6dB loss.
This means if a -70 dB signal is fed into a two-way splitter, each of the two outputs will receive a roughly -73dB signal (keep in mind, -73 is lower than -70). Similarly a -70 dB signal fed into a three-way splitter will have each of the three outputs receiving a -74.8 dB signal and if it is fed into a four-way splitter, each of the four outputs will receive a -76dB signal.
If that was too much of a mouthful, it’s simple enough to say that a small amount of loss will occur from the splitter, but nothing compared to what will happen trying to broadcast from a single antenna through the air and building materials within your home or office.
However, this loss comes with some drawbacks:
- You should not consider a splitter if your amplifier has weaker than +65 dB in gain.
- Splitting the signal across multiple antennas weakens each individual antenna. So if you are able to cover around 2,000 square feet with a single antenna, you will find that a single antenna split four ways will cover around 500 each.
- If your outdoor signal is weak to begin with, splitting it will only make it worse, and may not be ideal for you.
When Should I Buy A Splitter?
Buy splitters when you have many individually walled rooms you’re needing to cover. Figure out how many antennas you need for your situation, and buy a splitter for exactly that number: the more ports on your splitter, the more loss each port gives. Finally, give consideration to the cable you are running: splitters come in both 50 and 75 ohm variants.
For more reading, check out our blog posts on coaxial cables, and 50 vs. 75 ohm.
How May We Help You?
Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cell phone signal boosters. Cell phone boosters amplify 3G & 4G LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or vehicle.
We seriously hate dropped calls and poor coverage, so it's our goal in life to stomp on spotty signal like the little roaches they are:
- Free consultation (ask us anything) with our US-based customer support (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at 1-800-568-2723.
- Free shipping.
- Better signal or industry-leading 90 money-back guaranteed. No questions asked.
- We want everyone to be satisfied, so we provide lifetime technical support and a 2-year warranty for all products.
Ask us anything and we'll be glad to help.