Wilson SmartTechnology Amplifiers FAQ
Wilson Electronics Building Cellular Repeaters
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a basic wireless amplifier system and how do I know if it will work for me?
A basic system includes an outside antenna to collect the signal from the cell tower, an amplifier to boost the signal, an inside antenna to broadcast the improved signal over the inside of the building or vehicle and cabling to connect the three parts together.
A wireless amplifier system will work for you if you can make a cell phone call from where ever you might put the outside antenna. If you can make a call from outside of your vehicle or from the roof of your house or building, the signal is probably strong enough for the system to help you. You can calculate the coverage distance from the inside antennas using the Received Signal Strength Level, antennas and amount of cable required. Calculate Coverage Area Information is on our web site.
What does a basic Amplifier/Repeater system cost?
An example cost breakdown is:
$439.95 - 50 db SmartTech Bi-Direction Amp. 800MHz
$69.95 - 800MHz Yagi Antenna
$74.95 - 50 ft 9913-Equivalent Cable for Outside Antenna
$59.95 - Dome Antenna (Inside)
$74.95 - 50ft 9913-Equivalent Cable for Inside Antenna
$74.95 - Lightning Surge Protector
$18.95 - 2ft 9913-Equivalent Patch Cable for Surge Protector
$14.95 (most phones) - External Antenna Adapter (For cell phone to help find best location for outside antenna during initial setup)
Can I use a Direct Connection amplifier as a wireless unit by adding an inside antenna?
The Direct Connection amplifiers must be physically connected to your cell phone or cellular data card with an external antenna adapter. A Direct Connection amplifier does not produce enough gain to drive an inside antenna and give you even a small service range.
How much separation do I need between the outside and inside antennas? How much separation do I need between the amplifier and the antennas?
- 800MHz - 50db Amps - at least 50 feet apart (40 feet if roof is constructed of metal or heavy concrete)
- 800MHz - 60db Amps - at least 75 feet apart (50 feet if roof is constructed of metal orheavy concrete)
- 1900MHz - 60db Amps - at least 68 feet apart (60 feet if roof is constructed of metal or heavy concrete
The amplifier does not need to be any specific distance from either the inside or outside antenna. You may, if necessary, connect the amplifier directly to either antenna. The separation between the antennas is critical, though.
Does a Wilson amplifier need to be professionally installed?
In most cases, you can install a Wilson amplifier system yourself. The mobile systems and the building systems are designed for easy installation.
Do I need an FCC license or permit to operate a Wilson amplifier?
Wilson amplifiers are FCC "type" approved. They require no license or permit to operate.
Can I use an In-Building Wireless amplifier in a vehicle?
In-Building Wireless amplifiers are not recommended for use in vehicles. You would probably not be able to get the required minimum separation of 40 feet between the inside and outside antennas. That would cause the amplifier to go into oscillation (feedback) and shut itself down.
Also, the In-Building amplifiers do not have enough gain control and that would allow the amplifier to overload cell towers as the vehicle passes the tower. Wilson recommend that you use only a Mobile Wireless or Direct Connection amplifier in a mobile application.
Do I need to unplug the amplifier in my amplifier system before I make a change to the system?
Yes. Unplug the amplifier from its power source any time you make a change to the system. This is especially true when an antenna is removed from the system. This prevents possible damage to the amplifier.
How many phones can I use at the same time on a wireless system?
The number of phones that can operate simultaneously on a wireless system depends on the outside signal strength. The stronger the outside signal is, the more phones an amplifier can support. Conversely, the weaker the outside signal is, the fewer phones an amplifier can support. Wilson Technical Support has never received a report of a system supporting too few phones.
Will your amplifiers work on GSM?
Yes. Wilson has amplifiers that work with all analog and digital cell phone technologies, including AMPS, CDMA, GSM, TDMA, iDEN, EDGE, 1xEV-DO, GPRS and the latest 3G HSDPA. Wilson has amplifiers specifically designed for GSM and iDEN.
What is the relationship between Gain and Power Output in Powered Amplifiers?
Have you wondered why a direct-connection amplifier with 12 dB gain has 3 watts of power output, and a wireless amplifier has 40 dB gain and 3 watts of power output? Read more on the relationship between Gain and Power Output in Powered Amplifiers
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