Cel-Fi LPDA Antenna by Tin Can Solutions

We had a phone call from a client that purchased property at Lower Beechmont located within the Gold Coast Hinterland. They were devastated that they could not run their business from home because they had no phone service. There was a bit of 3G and a sniff of 4G in precarious locations around the property and at one spot next to a window in the house. Definitely not acceptable for running a business with clients and staff trying to call but the phone keeps saying it's not within mobile service.

We performed a desktop survey and found what mobile services were available in the area and what strengths the closest cell towers were outputting. From this information we could be reasonably confident that we could give them better phone service by installing a Cel-Fi cellular repeater with a directional LPDA Donor antenna and a Distributed Antenna System ( DAS ) onto the 2 floors of the home.

We discussed the installation with the client who was adamant that there was to be no antennas visible on the ceiling or walls within the home and that any antenna was to be installed within the ceiling or walls. Hmm, this was a tricky scenario because as an installer we are trying to give our clients the best outcome for the signal, but we are also willing to work with our clients to achieve an outcome that they will be happy with. We explained that by doing this, the signal would be limited due to the gyprock and timbers blocking some of the signal. The customer was happy with this and we proceeded to carry out the installation.

We installed an Poynting LPDA-92 Donor antenna onto the tiled roof with a tripod mount which holds the antenna above the roof line by about 1.2m. Tuning this antenna was interesting as we didn't have to worry about neighbour towers giving strong signals which causes cell tower hand-over delays when walking outside the RF area of the repeater, and because we were up high with a wide range of view we had several towers to choose from.

The interesting part was that we were getting a strong signal from a tower over near Mudgeeraba which is about 15km away by line of sight. We were also getting strong signals from a few other towers but we found a good signal with much better quality only 6km away towards Nerang. We locked in to this tower and tuned the antenna to receive and transmit at optimal performance for the system.

We installed the Cel-Fi GO G31 with a 2 way cellular combiner which is just like a splitter but it combines the signals in transmit and receive modes, then we installed a couple of RFI CSM500 antennas. We installed the antenna on the first floor into the ceiling space above the main office and main hallway area which was central to the main areas where our client would mostly be. for the ground floor, the client was doing renovations so there was a bulkhead sticking down between the main living area and the other areas. This worked out quite well as it was positioned near the centre of the home and distributed the signal well.

We powered up the system and as usual conducted our walk tests to confirm that we were getting sufficient signal where the client wanted. It was official, we could walk around the entire home and signal levels were great. We were a little skeptical about the signal strength and quality because of mounting the antennas behind gyprock, but the tests proved quite thoroughly that we were getting ample signal and no drop-outs anywhere in the house.

Another test we always perform is a speed test to check download and upload speeds. We performed the initial tests from the window where the client could only get a slight 4G signal and remember that there was no phone service anywhere else in the house and we performed the post install tests from the centre of the home where there was originally no service.

The tests showed that we had nearly quadrupled the download speed from 2.3Mbps to 8.5Mbps and increased the upload speeds by 30 times with initial tests of 1.07Mbps to 29.2Mbps. The massive increase in upload speeds is something we see regruarly because of the directional donor antenna tuned in to point directly at the cell tower and the extra power of the repeater pushing the signal directly to the cell tower.

Obviously the client was extremely happy with this result and now works from home whenever possible.

If you have poor phone service and want to improve mobile phone reception then contact us with the below form and we will be more than happy to have a chat to see if we can help you get your own mobile phone tower to improve your mobile phones reception.


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If you've got any queries, call us on +61 7 3180 3840, or flick us a message below.