This post is a quick overview of some expert tips and tricks that cover where to install the components of your booster system – the outside antenna, the inside antenna and the booster unit.
Tip #1 Put your phone into field test mode
You need your phone in field test mode so you can see the actual strength of the signal your phone is receiving. This is a much more accurate signal strength reading than looking at the bars on your home screen.
If you don’t know how to put your phone into test mode, watch the video above. Or read these instructions here on how to put your iphone in field test mode.
Once your phone is in test mode you will see the absolute measurement of how strong a cell signal your phone is receiving expressed in dBm, or decibel milliwatts.
dBm is a standard unit of measure usually displayed as a negative number, -88 for example. The closer to zero the reading is, the stronger the cell phone signal. So for example, -79 dBm is a stronger signal than -88 dBm.
A reading of -50 dBm is about the strongest signal you will see. When a signal is weaker than -110 dBm, that’s a pretty weak signal. If the signal gets much weaker than that, you likely won’t have service.
Tip #2 Make an indoor signal map
The next step to installing your cell signal booster is to make a signal map with your phone in test mode so you know where strongest signal is outside your home and where the weakest signal is inside. All you need is your phone in test mode, a pen and paper.
Now go into each room of your home and jot down the dBm reading on your phone. For larger rooms, you may want to take signal readings in two spots.
Each time you move across the room or to another room to check the signal, it may take your phone up to a minute to update the dBm reading for the new location. You may be able to force a faster signal update by putting your phone into Airplane Mode for a few seconds once you move to the new location. Then turn off Airplane Mode, and the updated dBm reading should display.
Once you’ve completed the indoor signal map you’ll know where to place your indoor antenna for the best signal coverage.
Tip #3 Make an outdoor signal map
With your phone still in test mode, walk around outside of your home. Stop on each side of your home and jot down the dBm reading. You want to find side with strongest signal.
This is the side of your home where your will place outside antenna. You want to place the outside antenna here because the stronger the outside signal your antenna can pull in, the greater your indoor coverage area will be.
Now that you know where to you will install the indoor and outdoor antennas, you’re almost finished. You can place the booster unit anywhere:
- with adequate ventilation
- within reach of antenna coax cables
- close to a power outlet
That’s it! You’ve figured out where to install you booster system components.
Be sure to watch the video on this page or go to our weBoost page on YouTube where we have lots of installation videos that go into greater depth on each topic related to installing your cell signal booster, and read our guide on improving signal strength.
Does your cell phone coverage at home need a boost? Click below to see our line of weBoost home cell signal boosters.