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Mobile signal booster in Sweden

11 Aug 2014
house-front

The challenge:

We have a family house deep in a  forest in Smaaland, Sweden. The house is from 1856, and is built in a classic Swedish style. The house is constructed around two chimneys made of rocks, and the rest of the house is 100% wood.

We have had the house since 1960. We once asked the local phone company what it would cost to get a PSTN connection. It was more than €5000 back in 1985. Since the early 2G, GSM days, the coverage around the house and inside the house has been terrible and useless. The nearest GSM station is 12km away.

 The solution:

Our first priority was to get a 4G connection to the internet. On the picture above, you can see that we have an antenna just below the Yagi Antenna from Stella Doradus. We installed this last year, and were able to get a -83dbm (3 signal bars) connection to the newly installed 4G base station 12km away.

This year we wanted an improved indoor 2G coverage for voice. After lots of research, we came across the Stella Doradus website.  Their website and products seemed very professional. We sent them an e-mail and explained our challenge. We got the most professional and great help to “design” a custom solution for our challenge. I wanted a 900 MHz repeater with the Yagi antenna, because of the distance to the base-station and the position deep inside the forest. I also wanted 2 indoor antennas; because I had the impression  that the chimneys were doing a good job to block the signal inside the house.

 The installation:

It is not rocket science to install these products. However, I had promised the rest of the family, that I would try to make the installation as hidden as possible. No outdoor cables and no visible electric equipment on the walls inside the house. It just does not look good when the house is more than a 150 years old!

I first mounted the antenna on top of the existing one for 4G. I carefully drilled the cables through the roof, so that all cables were well hidden inside the house.

Chimney

After the installation of the antenna, I actually took the repeater itself to the roof, so that I could fine-tune the direction of the new Yagi antenna, using the clever made LED’s on the Stella repeater itself. I was able to get a 4 LED signal, which I consider quite good, when you take into account the distance to the base-station.

Inside the house, I installed both the 4G USB modem and Stela Doradus repeater on a wooden plate inside a small room we use for storage.

repeater box

I kept one indoor antenna close to the installation box, covering the first floor or 180 degrees of the chimneys if you like, and I then placed another indoor antenna just above the ceiling at the other end of the house. This gave me perfect coverage 2G all over the house. To my surprise, I also got a good 3G signal from one provider, who recently started to broadcast 3G on 900 MHz. I have a great link to anyone who plans to run such a project in Sweden.

http://prylkoll.se/frekvenser-for-4g-och-lte-i-sverige/

This link actually helps you to choose the right model of Stella Doradus repeater.

The conclusion:

The whole purpose of this exercise was to be able to call emergency services or even other family members an case of an emergency. Our house is extremely isolated, and we did not like the idea, that we could not call for help in case of an emergency. A positive side effect of the project is, that our teenagers now is using the house more, because we have both internet and voice coverage.

I can only give my best recommendations for the Stella Doradus products and their very competent and friendly staff

Best regards

David Vang Andersen

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