Any device, especially complex technical equipment, can fail. This can be a malfunction acquired during operation, or a manufacturing defect, which should not be excluded even when purchasing an expensive repeater model. If you use a booster but still have O2 or Sky mobile signal problems, this article is for you as it is possible that your repeater is broken.
Most common booster problems
About three decades ago, people got acquainted with cellular communications, and today a mobile phone is considered an essential attribute of each of us. Moreover, smartphones allow us to be constantly online, eliminating the dependence on a computer monitor. True, both cellular communications and mobile Internet depend entirely on the coverage area provided by the equipment of the cellular operator. In cases where the nearest tower is at a considerable distance, normal communication is not guaranteed. It can be ensured by the use and correct configuration of a repeater. This is a special booster that strengthens the radio frequency signal in two directions.
The repeater is a complex electronic device, the correct operation of which depends on a number of factors. Several factors can affect the operation of the repeater:
- factory marriage, the probability of which is inversely proportional to the popularity of the brand;
- the degree of coverage by a cellular signal at the installation site, sometimes it simply has nothing to amplify;
- the quality of installation and configuration of the repeater (both the degree of amplification and performance, in general, depend on this criterion);
- power supply problems, the wrong choice of the amplifier, and much more.
Let’s look at typical problems that may appear during the connection of the repeater or during operation.
There are no signs of repeater performance
The user may encounter such a problem both when the repeater is turned on for the first time, and during the operation of the amplifier. Sometimes this is due to the failure of the device itself, in which case a trip to the repair shop is inevitable. However, often the reason lies in the power supply, so if the indication or display of the repeater does not light up, you should make sure:
- in the correct connection of the power supply plug;
- in good condition of the supply unit itself.
In the latter case, it is necessary to purchase a new one, its current-voltage characteristics are given in the instrument’s passport, or in the case of the faulty unit.
Often the reason for the failure of the repeater is a reduced power supply in the network, which is typical for rural areas. Therefore, when turning on the booster, it is recommended to measure the voltage in the network, perhaps it simply does not enter the operating mode. If the voltage is much lower than 220V, you will have to use a stabilizer.
The repeater turns on, but the signal does not increase
A similar problem can arise in two cases: if the repeater model is chosen incorrectly or if errors are made in its installation. In the first case, the reason for the failure in amplification is the neglect of the study of the radio frequency environment. The lack of coverage by cellular standards for which the purchased amplifier is designed is the main reason. An amplifier needs a signal to work. This signal may be very weak.
When surveying the area for the presence of cellular coverage, specialists use expensive spectrum analyzers. This gives an objective assessment and allows them to choose the optimal model.
When considering the reasons for the lack of amplification, the installation of all elements of the device deserves special attention. Before you install the repeater, you need to read the documentation and deal with the connectors for connecting antennas. Incorrect switching of these devices is unacceptable, so this issue must be taken seriously. The outdoor antenna is marked “BTS” or “BS”, and the indoor antenna is marked “ANT” or “MS”. All connectors must be connected completely. When handling cables, bends and breaks that threaten to break the central core must be avoided.
In the correct setting of the repeater, the directivity of the external antenna plays an important role. As a rule, they are highly directional, so when installing the antenna on a wall or mast, it must be directed strictly to the nearest cell tower. In addition to the directivity of the antenna, the quality of communication depends on the following factors:
- distances between the antennas of the repeater and the base station of cellular communication;
- the specifics of the landscape in this interval;
- screening obstacles (reinforced concrete structures, metal structures, forest plantations, etc.).
An important factor when installing a repeater is the choice of antenna. Poor compatibility with the booster can significantly affect the quality of the entire system as a whole. In addition, when choosing an antenna, it is worth considering the features of the antennas themselves. For example, parabolic antennas work great on a direct signal but are ineffective on a reflected radio wave.
Poor communication with normal performance indication
A fairly common situation, provoked by installation errors. The phone indicator indicates a strong signal strength while the call quality is poor. The reason lies in the self-excitation of the amplifier when the external antenna receives the signal from the internal one. At the same time, the amplifier is excited, starting to amplify its own signal “in a circle”, ignoring the signals of the base station.
The reason for such an undesirable effect may be:
- too close location of both antennas;
- their opposite direction
The best option when choosing, installing, and configuring the repeater mode is to seek the help of professionals. The knowledge and experience of specialists will help you choose the right model, with a gain sufficient for the signal level at the installation site. Moreover, professional measuring equipment helps specialists diagnose the radio frequency situation of the cellular network.