The outdoor antennas
The external panel antenna has a beam-width of 70deg so it amplifies the signal for all operators that are located 70deg around the building. The signal comes out from the front face of the white side of the antenna.
The 2100Mhz and 2600Mhz antenna has a beamwidth of 30deg, and also a higher gain.
An omni antenna receives the signal from all operators in 360 degrees but it has less gain than a directional antenna.
The parabolic dish has a beam width of 15 Degrees and a very high gain of 24dBi. It should be used in dense urban cities with populations greater than 1 million
Coverage from the indoor antennas
If you have 6 green LEDs showing on the repeater, the signal from the indoor antenna will cover 30x30Mt ,(open space).
If you use the omni-directional ceiling mount antenna, the signal covers a radius of 17Mt. (This distance reduces to 15m in dense urban cities with populations greater then 1 million )
Signal passes through non-metal doors.
The signal from the indoor antenna will not pass through a solid wall. However, it will bounce off the walls and pass through the doors.
So, if you have a house with 2-3 floors, with solid internal walls and a concrete ceiling between the upstairs and downstairs, then you will need a 4 port repeater (StellaOffice).
This comes with 4 individually amplified internal antennas and is better suited for this type of house. It is also more suitable for offices.
The LEDs. (signal indicator)
You must point the external antenna in the direction of your operators tower. The 6 green LEDs measure the overall signal strength outside your house.
Check the number of LEDs that light up. (1-6).
6 LEDs is a very good signal.
1-3 LEDs is a weak signal.
NOTE: The most important thing to remember in a repeater installation is that the repeater receives the best possible signal from outside ( 5-6 LEDs ideally).
Then the repeater amplifies a clean signal and the result is that the signal from the internal antenna will cover a larger area.
The blue LED is the uplink – the signal from the phone to the repeater. If the repeater receives a signal from inside the house ( eg. when you make a phone call), the blue LED will light up.
How to find which frequency my phone is using and therefore which repeater to buy.
Note: Make sure that 3G or 4G (mobile data) is activated on your phone.
If you have any Android phone, you find out which frequency you are connected to by installing the app:
Network Cell Info Lite (see below)
On your phone, a signal strength of -100dBm is a very weak signal, -75dBm is a good signal.
Network Cell Info lite will show you your band number which is really just the frequency, see table below.
It will also show you on google maps where your operators tower is located.
Further Guides to find your frequency:
Samsung phone Users:
Common installation mistakes.
1) People do a quick test and put the indoor and outdoor antenna in the same room. This causes feedback and the repeater will not work.
2) The external antenna is connected to the wrong side of the repeater. It should be connected as shown in the diagram below.
3) The external antenna is installed behind a steel wall or building, or in a position where it cannot receive and send a clear signal. It is best to install the antenna as high up as possible to receive a clean signal.
4) The external antenna is not orientated towards your operator. A closer operator is drowning out the signal instead. Move the antenna directly towards your operator.
I have poor phone call quality or my phone calls gets cut off completely..
1) Weak signal on the repeater. ( usually a countryside installation)
Check the number of green LEDs on the repeater.
If there is just 1-2 green LEDs , this means that the repeater is amplifying a very weak and “poor quality” signal. The result is that you will have good signal when you are close to the indoor antenna, but this signal will reduce as you move away from the antenna and your phone call will break up.
You will probably have no signal on your phone at 8Mt from the indoor antenna.
Solution: Orientate the outside antenna higher up and point it towards your operators mast.
2. If you have full signal on the repeater. ( usually a city installation)
If you are in a big city and you use an omni-directional antenna outside, there could be hundreds of operators masts that are visible to the repeater. The phone can quickly switch from 1 mast to another.
This is not desirable and can result in your phone calls breaking up.
Solution: Put a directional antenna and orientate it towards the ground to reduce the number of visible masts.
Explaining the Automatic Gain Control ( AGC) and the RED LED ( proximity control).
AGC and Proximity Control functions as follows..
If the repeater is installed within 1km of the operators mast, it will reduce the gain in 1dB steps. ( you will see ORANGE LED light up and then switch off after 4 seconds). This means the repeater is adjusting its power.
If it has to reduce it by more than 10dB, the red LED will light up. The repeater will continue to work correctly. It is just a warning to you that the incoming signal is strong.
If it has to reduce the signal by more than 18dB, the red LED will flash and the repeater will shut down. (This will happen if you are around 100Mt from an operators mast). You can turn the external antenna or attach an attenuator to reduce the incoming signal.
If you see the red LED on permanently and only 1-3 green LEDs on (see below), you have feed-back. You need to create more separation between the outdoor and indoor antenna. Please ensure that there is at least one solid block wall separating both antennas.
Coverage for very large buildings in cities.
For a large installation (for example in a ship or hotel), the indoor antennas should be omni-directional and installed every 15Mt in the corridors. The signal will pass through the doors and into the rooms ( assuming the doors are not special doors that the signal can’t pass through, like metal doors).
Below is an example plan, showing typical antenna layout. Notice the signal will pass through wooden doors.
There are 2 reasons why you might have slow data speeds.
- Weak signal outside.
- Too many people using the internet at the same time ( contention)
The repeater system will solve the 1st problem.
The second problem can only be solved by your operator. (They need to increase their bandwidth)