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Wilson Desktop System Install Guide


Installation is easy for the Wilson SignalBoost Desktop

The Wilson SignalBoost DeskTop cellular amplifier system works by picking up a stronger signal from an antenna mounted on a pole or wall outside your home or office (or high on a window inside your building), facing your service providers cell tower. The electronic signal booster then increases the signal and transmits it through the inside cellular antenna (which is also connected to the amplifier) to your cell phone or laptop data card.

How it works

The SignalBoost DeskTop works with two antennas (included). The inside antenna communicates with your cell phone or laptop data card, and the cradle antenna communicates with the cell tower. The cradle antenna is designed for installation outside on a wall or a pole, or inside on a window or wall, depending on your preferred configuration (see image above).

The cradle antenna receives the outside signal and sends it through the coax cable to the SignalBoost DT, where it is amplified and retransmitted much more strongly through the inside antenna into the room. When the inside antenna picks up a signal from your cell phone or data card, the amplifier boosts that signal and transmits it through the cable to the cradle antenna and back to the cell site. (Note: the SignalBoost DT will only operate if there is adequate signal to amplify.)

Warning: Make sure the position of the Desktop Antenna observes the minimum required separation distance from the outside Cradle Antenna. The Desktop Antenna must be positioned at least 20 horizontal feet OR 15 vertical feet from the outside Cradle Antenna.

Reasons for Weak Cellular Signals

Anyone who uses a cell phone or cellular data card knows the frustration of not being able to connect to or maintain a strong cellular signal. When this occurs, it’s generally due to one of two reasons:

1. Location of the Nearest Cell Tower – Cell towers are situated to provide broad coverage; however, there are many areas in which signal strength may be reduced by topographic features or by local government restrictions on the height or placement of the towers themselves. Rural areas generally have fewer cell towers than urban regions.

2. Natural and Man made Obstructions – Signal strength can also be negatively affected by trees, hills, buildings and other obstructions. You may be relatively close to a cell tower but still unable to make a call. This often occurs in homes, offices and other buildings in which stucco, concrete or metal walls block the signal.

(Note: the SignalBoost DT will only operate if there is adequate signal to amplify.)

Package Contents:

  • SignalBoost DT Amplifier
  • Desktop Antenna (Inside Antenna)
  • Cradle Antenna (Outside Antenna)
  • Coax Cable - 1 20ft and 1 30ft
  • Cable Connector (F Female / F Female)
  • Pole Mount Brackets
  • Wall Mount Screws
  • Window Mount Packet
  • AC Power Supply

Tools Required for Installation:

  • Pole Mount - 1/4" open end wrench or adjustable wrench
  • Wall Mount or Rafter Mount - Drill and 3/16" drill bit, Phillips head screwdriver
  • Window Mount - Exacto knife


First Step: Find the Strongest Signal Outside

Before you install your SignalBoost DT booster system, it is very important that you determine the location of the best available
cellular signal. This will affect where you place the cradle antenna and will help you get the best performance from your system.

You will find the strongest signal outside your house or building, at the highest place available. Your cell phone can help you find the strongest outside signal, using any or all of the following methods:

1. Place calls from several locations outside your building and note where you get the best reception.

2. Check the bar indicator on your cell phone display and note where the signal appears to be the strongest. Note: cell phone bars are only an approximation of signal strength and vary from phone to phone. They can take up to 30 seconds to reset to a new reading. Be patient and repeat your signal check several times.

3. Some cell phones have test modes for reading accurate signal strength. Using the test mode on your cell phone, move around the outside of your building and determine the location of the strongest signal.

Once you have determined where the outside signal is strongest, you should plan to install the cradle antenna in that general area, either outside or inside. (See the following section for alternative installation options.)

Installation Options Outside Antenna

The outside antenna is directional – it receives and transmits best in one direction. The round Wilson insignia indicates the side of the antenna that should face toward the cell site. Note: the weaker the signal is at the outside antenna, the shorter the distance the inside antenna will transmit; therefore, signal strength at the outside antenna is extremely important. The SignalBoost DT comes with all necessary parts for installation of the outside antenna in three alternative locations (see Figure 2):

  • Outside on a pole (bracket, nuts and washers)
  • Outside on a wall (screws, washers and anchors)
  • Inside on a window or wall (suction cups or double sided adhesive strip)




  • BEST:Outside on a pole. See page 6 for installation instructions.
  • BETTER:Outside on a wall. See page 7 for installation instructions.
  • GOOD:In the attic on a rafter. See page 8 for installation instructions.
  • OK:Inside on a window. See page 8 for installation instructions.

If you have access to the roof or to the outside walls of your house or building, your best choice is to place the outside antenna outside, facing toward the cell site (see page 3). If you cannot access these areas, use your cell phone and find an area indoors that faces the cell site, ideally near the top of a window or wall, where you can make calls or you have several bars on your phone. Usually, a window is preferable to a wall, because it does not obstruct radio waves. Note: install the antenna as high as possible on the window or wall for the strongest signal. If you cannot fi nd an indoor location with a good signal position, you will need to install the cradle antenna outside on a wall or pole, and turn it toward the cell site.

Antenna Placement

The location of the amplifier with its on board antenna in relation to the cradle antenna is very important. Once you find a good signal location for the outside antenna, the amplifier booster and inside antenna need to be located behind it to reduce the possibility of oscillation (indicated by a red indicator light on the amplifier). In other words, the front of the outside antenna (indicated by the Wilson insignia) needs to face in the direction of the cell site and not in the direction of the inside antenna.



In addition, it is important that the desktop antenna be positioned so that the logo is not pointed towards the amplifier or the cradle antenna, as shown below. Also, the desktop antenna is recommended to be at least a minimum of 18 inches away from the amplifier.



Antenna Separation

The distance between the cradle antenna and the amplifier with the inside antenna is extremely important! If they are too close together, they will oscillate, causing the system to shut down, as indicated by a red light on the amplifier. It is very important to keep the distance between the two units at least 20 feet (30 or 40 feet is even better). Depending on your specific installation, you may need the 20 foot coax cable, the 30 foot cable, or both cables connected with the supplied barrel connector.

Even at 20 feet, the amplifier may shut down, as indicated by the red light. By moving the on board antenna to a horizontal position, you may be able to change the red light to a green light, indicating that the system is operating properly.

If you are unable to maintain the 20 foot minimum separation between antennas, it may be possible to achieve normal operation (a green light) at less than 20 feet by moving the on board antenna to a horizontal position, as noted above, and rotating the on board
antenna in relation to the cradle antenna. Do not position the on board antenna over the amplifier unit.

If you are not able to change the red light to green in this manner, more separation is needed between the cradle antenna and the on board antenna.

Starting up the Amplifier

Ensure that the distance between the amplifier and the cell phone or cellular data card does not exceed 4 feet.

2. Important: Ensure that any other cell phones and cellular data cards are turned off unless they are at least twice the distance from the amplifier than the desired unit.

3. Ensure that the distance between the desktop antenna and the cradle antenna is a minimum of 20 feet.

4. Ensure that the coax cable is attached to the amplifier and the cradle antenna before powering up the amplifier.

5. Plug the power supply into the amplifier input marked “Power” (carefully, to avoid damaging the center pin) and then into a wall outlet.

Warning: Verify that the desktop antenna is attached ! and that the cable from the cradle antenna is connected before powering up the amplifier

Warning: Use only the power supply provided in this package. Use of a non-Wilson product may damage your equipment.




outside-antenna-install.jpgOutside Pole Mount Antenna Install

1. The supplied pole-mount bracket is designed to accommodate a pole diameter of 1 to 2 inches. Install the pole in the desired location using your own hardware.

2. Insert the supplied U-bolt through the holes in the cradle and slide one half of the bracket assembly onto the U-bolt.

3. Fitting the assembly onto the pole, slide the second half of the bracket onto the U-bolt and secure it with lock washers and nuts. Be sure the cradle is at the desired height on the pole and is rotated toward the nearest cell tower before tightening the nuts. (Do not over-tighten the nuts.)

4. Insert the antenna into the cradle with the Wilson insignia facing in the direction of the cell tower. The cable connection should
protrude through the bottom of the cradle.

5. Connect the supplied coax cable to the antenna. Route the cable as desired to where the amplifier will be located. Depending on the distance between the amplifier and antenna, you may need one or both lengths of the supplied cable. If you use both, connect them together with the supplied cable connector.


See PDF version of installation guide for more install options.


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