is there a hardware solution for improving the signal quality of my S3?
February 20, 2014 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 on 3. I get extremely little reception at home and a signal booster doesn't help. Is there a hardware solution, like a special case, wire, foil, etc I could use at home to boost my signal? homemade ideas and commercial ones welcome.
posted by Mistress to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does 3 do a microcell you can put in your house? That's what I did in the US with AT&T, it plugs into my router and sends my calls over the internet when I'm home.
posted by Oktober at 12:36 PM on February 20, 2014

Almost certainly not anything non-scammy for the phone/handset part of the equation.
A smartphone is a jungle (or a symphony) of many carefully designed antennas (gps, cellular, NFC, wi-fi, bluetooth, etc) crammed into a case full of metals and wires and plates, all having to work together, all designed to maximize reception yet minimize the degradation of the reception of all the others. This strikes me as the kind of black-art engineering balancing act that no after-market sticker or foil is going to make better, but can easily make worse.

I think you'd be better off trying to fix the signal booster side of the equation - there are a lot of reasons why it might not have worked for you, try to figure out why it isn't working. Perhaps the booster is getting no reception to boost - perhaps it's reception antenna would work better if it was on a mast outside? Or maybe it's re-broadcasting for a frequency your phone isn't listening too? Or try an internet-based microcell that needs no reception, as suggested above?
posted by anonymisc at 4:56 PM on February 20, 2014

You could try asking three support to see if you're eligible for their Home Signal box. It's a small mobile base station (femtocell) that connects to Three's network via your home broadband connection, so you can make and receive calls and SMS via that instead of trying to connect via your normal tower. You can also do 3G data, but that's a bit pointless since you should also be in range of home wifi.

I've not used Three's one, but a friend has a vodafone femtocell (Sure Signal) at his house, and it does what it says on the tin.
posted by ArkhanJG at 5:00 PM on February 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

What do you mean signal booster doesn't help?

I am about to install an external antenna and an internal antenna pad similar to this for the same purpose.
posted by GeeEmm at 9:50 PM on February 20, 2014

Signal booster meaning an android app - not a hardware solution thus far.
posted by Mistress at 3:38 AM on February 21, 2014

I don't know the UK situation, but you may have to go to a hardware solution if you are unwilling to change telcos (and before you do that, check that a new telco will be the answer).

If you browse about that site, you will see other simpler/cheaper solutions, some of which involve window antennas you stick on your window, and plugin leads for your phone. Note, these use the signal from a nearby mobile phone tower, so the antenna solution depends on just how low the signal strength is at your place. Note also, they also limit your freedom to move with the phone, either completely or substantially depending on what you end up with - hence the Bluetooth link to a cordless phone. The fermocell solution is better from that respect, if you have good broadband.
posted by GeeEmm at 5:22 PM on February 22, 2014

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