Cel fi go booster

Submitted: Monday, May 24, 2021 at 16:04
ThreadID: 141817 Views:1106 Replies:5 FollowUps:13
Has anyone tried this phone booster and how did it go..interested to buy one but at around $1100 is it worth it ??
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Reply By: MarkHugh - Monday, May 24, 2021 at 16:15

Monday, May 24, 2021 at 16:15
Hi Pepper,

Yep, we have one in our camper. Works well if installed correctly (i.e. rf separation between the two antennas) and an acceptance of the fact that if there is no mobile phone signal, then there is nothing to amplify. If we did it again, we would install in our vehicle rather than camper.

Mark
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Follow Up By: Pepper - Monday, May 24, 2021 at 17:20

Monday, May 24, 2021 at 17:20
thankyou mark ,i was thinking of making it portable so that it could be used in both the vehicle and the caravan..
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Follow Up By: Dusta - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 12:21

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 12:21
pepper if you want to make it portable i would suggest mounting an antenna on both your car and van and then simply move the unit between the two . a fold down bracket on the van for when you are moving would solve your height issues
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, May 24, 2021 at 18:47

Monday, May 24, 2021 at 18:47
I fitted one to my ute prior to a 10K km trip through SA, WA & NT. Probably wasn’t a good test for it because we were rarely in phone range. The pluses for it are amplifying one bar into full signal, running iPad as well as phone at same time and the ability to service up to seven devices at once.

Best advice I can give is to buy the best aerial you can afford, and mount it as high as practicable, on your vehicle, van or motor home.

Bob


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 07:41

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 07:41
Strongly agree with Bob here. You can have the best WiFi Booster, UHF Radio, VHF Radio in the world, but if you have a crap antenna, then you you will not have a good result.

Macca.
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Reply By: Member - LeighW - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 09:38

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 09:38
Again, good antennas and properly installed.

We have found it makes a considerable difference but again no signal to amplify no work, how well does it work, phone in local antenna sight full bars, lift the phone above the dash board so that it doesn't see the internal antenna is relying on the same signal the celfi is receiving and you get no bars.

One thing that may be annoying is depending where the internal antenna is installed lifting the phone to your ear may result in the call dropping out as the phone goes out of the sight of the internal antenna.

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Reply By: Dusta - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 11:05

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 11:05
i do around 60K a year driving all over WA for work . I have a celfi in my car with the antenna mounted on my roofrack . It has been the best device i have ever installed in my car . I can get reception all the way from perth to exmouth and all the way up great northern from perth to meekatharra . The other benefit is when remote and passing near a mine site it will pick up their tower and give me signal . It is designed to do one job and it does it bloody good.


I have one in each of my work cars .
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Follow Up By: Pepper - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 11:19

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 11:19
thankyou for your reply, did you notice the previous reply from leigh w and what antennae do you use please ??
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Follow Up By: Dusta - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 14:47

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 14:47
i run three antenna's depending on where i am

RFI CDQ-2197 if i am very remote and want to pickup a minesite (2m 9dbi antenna)
RFI CDQ-7194 if i am in hilly areas
RFI CDQ-7197 for wheatbelt/goldfields regions

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Reply By: Captain WA - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 13:01

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 13:01
An alternative I use is the Strike car kit with a decent antenae. This gives the same level of range boost as the Celfi Go at around ~$400. I use wifi hotspot to share the extended range with others in my vehicle. Additionally, my phone is now mounted in a proper cradle and is being charged as I drive.

In my van I use a directional antenae on an extended pole, connected to a wifi hotspot modem. This gives much greater range than the Celfo Go, mainly due to the antenae being on a much higher extendable pole.

This provides wifi in and around the van for and is a much greater range than the CelFi Go, you need to be very close to the re-radiating antenane to get the signal. To get/receive calls from the van wifi, just set your phone to receive WiFi calling.

Cheers

Mark
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Follow Up By: Dusta - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 14:38

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 14:38
I used to run a strike alpha phone cradle and it is not a booster. It does not perform the same role the cel-fi does .The strike cradle is exactly what it says.. A cradle . It does not boost the signal in anyway but utilises an external antenna to pickup a signal but will not boost it in anyway.


A directional antenna is always going to give you a better signal than an omnidirectional antenna but if you ran a cel-fi with a yagi it would blow the hotspot out of the water.

Again a hotspot does not boost a signal ,a celfi boosts a signal by 100db . You can get different repeater antenna's for celfi's depending on your needs and it sounds like you are probably just using the small paddle repeater antenna the unit is supplied with and not a repeater antenna which blankets the area .

i have a client who we installed a cel-fi stationery and a dome internal antenna and that gives him coverage for about 20m outside his house


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Follow Up By: Captain WA - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 15:38

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 15:38
There is a lot of confusion what a CelFi Go actually does. One can only obtain what signal is being transmitted from the Cell Tower. The quality of the external antenae (Strike or CelFo Go or Yagi etc...) is what determines how much of that signal can be utilised.

All a CelFi Go does differently than the Strike is how the received signal is provided to the end device (phone, tablet etc...).

In the case of the CelFi Go, it receives a weak signal through its good quality antenae and then re-radiates that signal with its small second antenae (boosts by ~100db) so multiple devices close-by can get the benefit.

In the case of the Strike, it receives a weak signal through its good quality antenae and then only the phone in the Strike holder can receive that signal. Using that phone as a mobile hotspot allows other nearby phones to utilise wifi for calling and/or internet use.

In the case of the van with a Yagi, it receives a weak signal through its good quality antenae and then that signal is utilised by a modem and broadcast as WiFi.

All mobile devices are limited on the amount of power they are allowed to use to transmit their signal. Only illegal boosters increase the transmit power above that allowed for a mobile device (CelFi Go is limited to same transmit stength as a phone).

If a CelFi Go uses a Yagi (like the above hotspot example), it to will have improved range compared to its broomstick antenae, soley due to the quality of the Yagi antenae... but no difference than the wifi with Yagi.

If the CelFi Go utilises a better re-radiating antenae, it will have a further range for local users.

BUT.... the receiving antenae (Yagi, broomstick etc...) MUST be located outside of that range, otherwise it interferes with the CelFi Go reception of the Cell Tower signal.

In practise, the only difference with a CelFi Go is that it has the convinience of re-radiating the signal on the same frequencies that the mobile phone uses. It is far more seamless than the Strike (holder required) and WiFi (only internet calling).

Utimately the reception for any method is dependant on its antenae. There is only a set amount of Cell Tower signal available and the quality of the receiving antenae detemines how much of the available signal one can utilise.

Cheers

Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - LeighW - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 20:14

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 20:14
The Strike unit has no amplifier, it is a passive device. What ever signal is received on the external antenna is passively coupled to the phone, ie if the received signal is -60db then that is what is passed to the passive coupler less loses. There are loses in the passive coupling so less signal is available to the phone than the antenna receives. I know I had one and there was no real improvement in signal gain on the phone.

The celfi unit is an active device, it takes the signal recieved by the antenna and can amplify it by upto 100db, ie if the recieved signal level is -60db then the amplifier can boost it to 40db. The signal is then reradiated at that level within the car. The power on the transmit side may be limited to 10W but that is 10W into the antenna, how much of the phones output power is passively coupled back to the external antenna on the Strike unit, certainly not going to be 10W. From memory they don't indicate in the specs what gain if any you will get, or the coupling efficiency on the transmit side. I think their wishy washy statement "Pairing a Strike Alpha car cradle with a Strike antenna will give you the best chance of improving your signal in rural, fringe or low signal areas." says it all.

If the recieved signal level from the Strike antenna is -110db for instance then the phone will most likely not work, connect the same antenna to the celfi and you'll get -10db out and the phone will work, they are totally different devices.

Principle is the same as mast head amps for TV, put up an antenna get no TV picture, install a mast head amp and you get a TV picture.

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Follow Up By: Captain WA - Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 22:23

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 22:23
There is no argument that the CellFi Go presents a stronger link between the phone and the CellFi Go, and there is losses with a passively coupled cradle, generally quoted as 3-4db.... pity one can no longer get a patch cable for modern phones.

The installation of the CellFi Go must be properly done, poor installation can cause the re-radiating antenae to interfere with the original signal and the overall performance is degraded from what could have been achieved.

While the CellFi Go does amplify what signal it receives, its a bit like displaying 720p on a 4K TV. The quality of the signal (download speed) is set by what the antenae receives from the Cell Tower..... the weak link is the antenae to the Cell Tower.

If comparing CellFi Go to a mobile WiFi modem with directly coupled external antenae, there is zero performance difference between the two diffferent systems.... the modem re-transmits the received signal as WiFi, same concept as the CellFi Go. If one is worried about the passive cradle loss of 3-4db, can always use a WiFi modem and then make calls on the phone via WiFi calling.

Point being, there are much cheaper ways to get improved reception in marginal areas. The CellFi Go certainly has convinience on its side, but then it is several times the price too.

Cheers

Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - LeighW - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 09:54

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 09:54
I agree but....

You were initially comparing a Strike passive connect cradle with a Celfi, one has upto 100db gain over what the antenna receives the other has not amplifier so can not provide anywhere near the same performance given the same antenna used on both systems.

A wifi modem, I assume your talking of a dongle or other cel modem with an hi gain external antenna may given similar performance to a celfi, one would have to look at the specs to determine that. The down side is most such systems I have looked at need their own seperate account to operate, therefor unless your using a phone without an account attached you need to accounts with the ongoing cost involved. The celfi on the other hand just repeats the signal from the cell tower, no seperate account needed.

As you pointed out, a good quailty external antenna connected directly to the phone would would achieve the same but unfortunately in most cases is not possible.

As for the charging side you mentioned, I use a Baseus motorised cradle, great device, just place the phone in the cradle and it secures it and charges the phone. Being motorised it grabs hold of the phone and secures it even the the worst of roads.

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Follow Up By: Dusta - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 12:19

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 12:19
Captain you say this "Point being, there are much cheaper ways to get improved reception in marginal areas. The CellFi Go certainly has convinience on its side, but then it is several times the price too."

How much cheaper to get the same result from a cel-fi. A wifi hotspot such as a nighthawk will not produce the same result as a cel-fi . I don't know how many more people have to back up what i said yet you keep harping on about how there are many cheaper options to get the same end result . That's simply bollox .

A cel-fi is set and forget, no ongoing monthly costs like a hotspot. a hotspot does not boost the mobile signal and is simply an access point . Two completely different things .

You go on about correct installation and there is a section in the app where you can do a test on the antenna location and move it until you get seperation. Or if you know what you are doing it is very easy to achieve perfect seperation between the two antenna.

I've done this many times in the bush for clients and those setups where you have an external antenna connected to a hotspot does not perform anywhere near the same as when you have a cel-fi boosting the signal inside.

I don't think you understand what a cel-fi really does.

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Follow Up By: Captain WA - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 14:05

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 14:05
Wow, lets keep playing the ball and not the man. I do not sell any telecomunications product and have no vested interest... but I do have a strong technical background and fully understand how all of these products work.

My intial post was how to obtain good performance at a cheaper cost, based on real life experinece. I have used several different devices over the years and regularly travel in company of people who have them too. This allows real-world, side-by-side performance in ways they are actually used.

While a device may boost a signal, it doesn't change what the weak link is. If TV is transmitted in 720p but is upscaled (boosted!) to 4K, does that picture quality look anything like a 4K source transmission?

If people want to spend money on a CellFi Go that is perfectly fine. But when a poster asks if a product is worth the money, perhaps a more enlighting approach is to have a product stand taller, not push alternatives around it down. LeighW has positively pointed out differences between the various systems and this helps people to make a fact based judgment for their individual needs.

There is almost never a single perfect solution and while CellFi Go has its place, there are many other alternatives that can be considered.... everyones needs and circumstance are different.

Cheers

Mark
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Follow Up By: Pepper - Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 09:29

Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 09:29
thankyou to everyone for their replies, as i travel with a caravan i thought of having the cel fi go attached to an antennae on the roof of the rear cab and when parked up having a yagi antennae rigged to the caravan and swap the unit to the van .
does that sound feasable ?
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