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Thread: Cellular Antenna

  1. #1

    Default Cellular Antenna

    Have been thinking about installing a cellular antenna on the boat for (hopefully) increased range in PWS. Has anyone done this and if so, how much of an impact on range/clarity did it have? Initial thought is that this could have a decent impact.

  2. #2
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Default

    The first thing you need is good service. ACS or Copper Valley. I have a Digital Anntenna with the cable adapter. I have receive calls at over 50 miles out in the Gulf and all over PWS. The main anntenna is located on Naked Island.

  3. #3
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    Default They work good

    I have one on my boat, just a $50 radio shack deal. Gives me bars where I have none without it, definetly worth it.

  4. #4
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Buck View Post
    Have been thinking about installing a cellular antenna on the boat for (hopefully) increased range in PWS. Has anyone done this and if so, how much of an impact on range/clarity did it have? Initial thought is that this could have a decent impact.
    I added a Wilson omnidirectional antenna this spring and I get signal where I normally do not. Captaindd is spot on. You need to have either ACS or Copper Valley to get signal off the Naked Island tower. If I am not mistaken, Captaindd is running an amplifier with his setup, too. I am just running the antenna, but will probably add the amplifier this season. I purchased mine at Frigid North off of Spenard, here in Anchorage. They carry the amps, too. Here is a thread talking about this very thing: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=29295
    Last edited by spoiled one; 01-21-2009 at 09:47. Reason: add something
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Default

    I had a combo VHF / Cellular on mine and it worked great right up to the time I put the boat on the trailer and pulled under the cover at the gas pump with it still up - it didn't work so well after that.

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    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    Smile Rambling Raven

    I thought I was the only one who did that???!!!! Thanks for sharing.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rambling raven View Post
    I had a combo VHF / Cellular on mine and it worked great right up to the time I put the boat on the trailer and pulled under the cover at the gas pump with it still up - it didn't work so well after that.
    I went through the Whittier tunnel with my VHF antenna up. It reaches 22'+/-. I realized just as I entered the tunnel. Fortunately it cleared. I have not forgotten since.
    Last edited by spoiled one; 01-21-2009 at 13:22. Reason: fat fingered the keys
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  8. #8

    Talking

    I have my boat to help eliminate phone use. If it was bigger I would use it for an anchor.

  9. #9
    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Default Oops!

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    I thought I was the only one who did that???!!!! Thanks for sharing.
    Is that anything like backing your, meaning my, boat into a tree? Felt like a dunce, not sure if getting older has anything to do with clutz or not???

  10. #10

    Default I did it too!!

    I went through the tunnel with my VHF antenna up too. It was my second time through with my new boat. I remembered and the panic hit about 200 yards from the end. It didnt touch a thing. I have a plasticized check list now, both for launching and retrieving. Forgetting something as simple as raising the outdrive can be very expensive.
    What-a-Day
    27' x 9.5' Glacier Craft - Volvo 300hp D4 Diesel
    Remember: Any fool can be uncomfortable.
    Denny

  11. #11
    Member steelguy's Avatar
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    Question Southeast?

    Interesting thread, thanks for posting. After reading, but not understanding most of it, does anyone have an idea of how this might work in the Wrangell-Prince Of Wales area? Sure would be easier, and cheaper! than a satellite phone.

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    You'll have to check with your service provider to see where they have cell sites.

    I started with ACS just to have coverage in the sound. Even without an external antenna I'm suprised at the areas I've been able to make and recieve calls.

  13. #13
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    So it looks like I'm SOL with AT&T

    Very good thread here. Allot of good info.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Member BigBrown767's Avatar
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    Default

    sGCI is extending its coverage area and it looks as though they'll cover PWS by this fall as well.

  15. #15

    Default

    Many thanks for the information - much appreciated! I currently have service with ACS and reception (with no external antenna) has been spotty. I'll take up Spoiled One's advice and head over to Frigid North - they're a class A outfit. Appreciate the link to the other thread.

  16. #16
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Verizon works in PWS

    I am on a Verizon system, actually a Verizon local partner, and it works fine in PWS off the Naked Is. tower. All depends on whether your cell provider has a reciprocal contractor with Copper Valley Wireless.

    I tried the cheapo magnetic cell phone booster antennas, 2 brands, didn't do a thing for me.

    What product name and price are you talking about for the booster antenna with amplifier that works well?

  17. #17

    Default Im missing something here.

    Why would you take your cell out on a trip to paradise? You can call the Coast Guard if you get in a bind.

  18. #18

    Default Weather

    Hey Smokum, PM me about the progress on your boat.

    The reason I put a Digital cell antenna on the boat was for emergencies and in particular to access weather. I can dial up the internet and have a bookmark for marine weather in places I can't get it on the VHF radio.

    Doesn't mean you have to have the phone on when not needed.
    What-a-Day
    27' x 9.5' Glacier Craft - Volvo 300hp D4 Diesel
    Remember: Any fool can be uncomfortable.
    Denny

  19. #19
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokumreds View Post
    Why would you take your cell out on a trip to paradise? You can call the Coast Guard if you get in a bind.
    It helps me get more "kitchen passes". I can call and tuck in my 4 and 6 year old.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  20. #20
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    What product name and price are you talking about for the booster antenna with amplifier that works well?
    I am using a wilson omnidirectional antenna. I purchased it at fridgid north here in Anchorage. I think it was under $100. Wilson makes a booster that costs under $300 that works in conjuction with the external antenna very well, too.
    Last edited by spoiled one; 01-25-2009 at 23:45. Reason: forgot something
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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