Tech Tip – Using a Cell Phone’s Test Mode

July 17th, 2013

Q: What is putting a phone into Test Mode and how can I do it?

A: Putting a phone in Test Mode is a good way to accurately measure the strength of an available signal in a specific location. We urge people to use Test Mode because it provides an actual numerical measurement of signal strength. By contrast, the graphical “bars” representation displayed by most phones is a simple approximation of signal strength that varies widely among manufacturers and devices.

Test Mode displays the true strength of signal a phone is receiving in decibels (dB). The reading is always displayed as a negative number, and the closer to zero the stronger the signal. So a reading of -65 dB is much stronger than -95 dB.

The directions for accessing Test Mode vary among devices. For most Android devices, select “Settings” – “About Phone” then “Status” and look for signal readings, We have more information on putting your phone into test mode on our web site at:


Wilson Cellular Signal Tester

April 15th, 2013

Cellular Signal Tester

For building cellular signal booster installers, getting a cell signal strength reading to help calculate coverage area a building signal booster system will provide can be a challenge. If the signal booster installer is only concerned with one service provider, it’s fairly easy and straight forward – just put a cell phone into test mode or, for most Android devices, check Settings, About Phone, Status.

For larger installs where the need to boost the signal for multiple service providers, the installer could use a device for each provider or invest in a much more expensive spectrum analyzer. To meet this need at a more affordable cost, Wilson Electronics has developed an cellular signal strength tester that tests the wireless signal for most service providers in the US.

The Wilson Cellular Signal Tester allows the installer to test downlink signal strength before and after cellular amplifier system installation. It works with the 800 MHz , 1900 MHz, 2100 MHz) and 700 MHz LTE (bands 12 and 13) frequency bands for carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and others.

Wilson also has a handy Directional Antenna kit to use with the device.

You can find it on our web site at: Wilson Cellular Signal Tester

In Line Antenna Amplifier

April 12th, 2013
InIine Antenna Signal Booster

In-Line Antenna Signal Booster

On larger cellular signal booster system installations, sometimes the installer needs more power to an inside antenna or two. In Line antenna booster fits the bill.

An In-Line booster is typically be used in big buildings when you have long stretches of cable and you need to boost the signal to the inside antenna the cable is connected to. It is also used to compensate for signal loss because of the use of taps or splitters to accommodate multiple interior antennas.

The In-line Booster is installed between a the main in-building signal booster unit and that booster’s inside antenna.

The In-line Booster can be installed in the middle of a cable run or near the inside antenna, as needed.

PURCHASE / MORE INFO: In-Line Antenna Booster

Wilson Electronics Announces Warranty Upgrade

April 5th, 2013

Wilson Electronics

Wilson Electronics announced that they have increased their warranty on signal boosters to 2 years. Here is their press release:


North America’s leading maker of cellular signal boosters, announces that effective immediately all Wilson signal booster models are covered by an industry leading two-year warranty from date of purchase.

The company has long warranted its signal boosters for one year against defects in workmanship and/or materials. But now the time is right to extend that warranty, said Laine Matthews , Director of Business Development at Wilson Electronics.

“Wilson unofficially has been honoring a two-year warranty for some time,” Matthews said. “Now we decided to make the policy official. We strongly feel Wilson quality, customer service and technical support are second to none.

“As the leader in this industry Wilson cares deeply that our products work as designed for those who purchase them, and that our customers have a good experience. We’re known for standing behind our products, and we take great pride in their quality.”

The new two-year warranty applies to all new Wilson booster purchases, and retroactively from date of purchase to all Wilson boosters currently in use.



SLEEK Signal Boosters

March 21st, 2013

Wilson Sleek 4G Signal Booster

At, we carry the full selection of Wilson Electronics Sleek Signal Boosters. We also carry Wilson’s complete line of antennas, components, mounts and accessories.

Confusing New Frequencies

In the cellular signal booster business, it used to be we only had to worry about 1 frequency in the US – 800MHz. Then along came Sprint with 1900MHz PCS. PCS gave us clearer sound, but weak signals gave us a dropped call and no service. With today’s 4G services, we now face a much larger array of confusing frequencies including 700MHz, 1700MHz, 2100MHz and 2500MHz. To complicate things more, 700MHz for Verizon is different than 700MHz used by AT&T.

Wilson To The 4G Signal Booster Rescue

To accomadate these newer frequencies and technologies, Wilson Electronics has expanded it’s small and mobile SLEEK signal booster line.

4G Data Boosters
The Wilson 4G Sleeks not only boost voice to your mobile device, they also boost your 4G signal. A stronger signal could mean considerably faster mobile Internet speeds. Place your mobile device, cell phone, MiFi or other device in the cradle and get faster data speeds.

Sleek Verisions

All of the Sleek version will boost voice, 2G & 3G signals using 800MHz or 1900MHz frequencies. This covers almost all carriers in the US except iDen Networks like Nextel. Specific versions are made to include 4G signals from different carriers.

Wilson Sleek 4G 5 Band Signal Booster Version
Wilson’s all in one signal booster. Boost signals for Sprint, T-Mobile and select-able for AT&T or Verizon 4G. More Sleek 4G Signal Booster Info.

Verizon 4G Signal Booster Version – This version boosts Verizon’s 700MHz LTE 4G signal as well as 800MHz and 19ooMHz. More Sleek Verizon 4G Signal Booster Info.

AT&T 4G Signal Booster Version – This version boosts AT&T’s 700MHz LTE 4G signal as well as 800MHz and 19ooMHz. More Sleek AT&T 4G Signal Booster Info.

Standard Sleek Signal Booster Version – The standard Sleek version will boost 800Mhz and 1900MHz signals. This includes voice for almost all carriers as well as 2G and 3G data. More Wilson Sleek Signal Booster Info


New Verizon 4G In Building Signal Booster

March 20th, 2013
Verizon 4G Signal Booster

Wilson Electronics Verizon 4G TriBand Signal Booster

Wilson Electronics has added a new In Building Signal Booster for Verizon 4G  700MHz LTE frequency. It also boosts cell phone voice, 2G & 3G Signals in 800MHz and 1900MHz. You can find it on our web site at:

Wilson Electronics TriBand Verizon 4G Signal Booster

More Info:

Improve Voice & Data Communications in Large Buildings
The Verizon 4G Signal Booster greatly improves indoor voice and data cellular signals for those using Verizon 4G cellular devices. This powerful signal booster helps people stay connected by providing strong, reliable 4G as well as 2G and 3G extended coverage area inside larger buildings. This means a lot less lost connections, dead zones, faster data transfers and extended battery life for cell devices.
In addition, this Wilson Verizon 4G unit boost signals on legacy 800 MHz cellular and 1900 MHz PCS networks.
Like all Wilson indoor signal boosters, these models feature cell site protection techniques, developed through cooperative effort between Wilson and several major cellular carriers, that prevent the possibility of interference with any nearby cell tower.

Wilson Electronics TriBand Verizon 4G Signal Booster

Wilson DataPro for Vending Machines

January 27th, 2011
Wilson DataPro Vending Machine Signal Booster

Wilson DataPro with Modem

Wilson Electronics® is introducing a new cellular signal booster specifically aimed at vending machines and kiosks. The DataPro™ by Wilson Electronics® is a Direct Connect amplifier for cellular broadband data card modems and is Wilson’s first cellular signal booster developed specifically for Machine to Machine (M2M) installations.

This direct connect configuration is small and compact to fit almost anywhere inside a machine and is based on Wilson’s Sleek in-vehicle cell phone signal booster. The dual-band DataPro™ is ready to integrate with CDMA modem installations to provide strong, reliable cellular signal that ensures successful M2M data transfer.

Wilson Electronics plans to start shipping the unit within the next few months.

More Info: Wilson DataPro Vending Machine Signal Booster

Wilson AG Pro 75 Building Cellular Repeater

December 9th, 2010


Wilson AG Pro 75 Repeater Amplifier Cellular

Wilson AG Pro 75 Cellular Repeater

New from Wilson® Electronics is the Wilson® AG Pro 75™ in building cellular repeater system. The Wilson® AG Pro 75™ amplifier is designed to boost the cellular signal inside a building for both cell phones and cellular data cards. It will boost the signal for almost all cellular service networks in North America including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, Rogers. It does not work with for Nextel iDEN networks.

What’s Different?

Wilson Electronics already has 3 DualBand in-building cellular repeater systems including the Wilson SignalBoost Desktop, Wilson Small Office / Home Office (SOHO) and the Wilson SignalBoostDB Pro. Not to mention the variety of single band cellular amplifiers. The biggest differences are the Wilson AG Pro 75:

  • Has higher more gain (will cover larger areas)
  • Gain is manually adjustable for a custom install

The application for the AG Pro 75 will be for larger buildings.

More Features

The AG Pro 75™ is a dual band (800MHz / 1900MHz frequencies) amplifier. The amplifier gain is adjustable with control knobs on the front panel. The knobs enable the installer to adjust 800MHz and 1900MHz gains separately. The maximum amplifier gain is 75db for 1900MHz frequencies and 70db for 800MHz frequencies. The maximum gain on the AG Pro 75 is a substantial increase from Wilson’s previous highest gain amplifiers, their single band SmartTechnology cellular signal boosters. Being able to manually adjust the amplifier gain means the installer can more easily tune the amplifier for optimum gain specific to a particular installation and adjust according to the possible antenna separation and outside signal strength.

The AG Pro 75™ in-building cellular repeater is bidirectional and can boost the signal to and from the cell site. It is FCC type accepted and Industry Canada certified. It can be configured with current Wilson’s wide varity of building antennas and cable.

Alternative Wireless expects the Wilson AG Pro 75™ to be available for shipping by the end of December 2010.

Purchase /  More Info:
Wilson AG Pro 75 Building Cellular Signal Booster


EnGenius Outdoor High Power Access Point

September 11th, 2010
Engenius WiFi Signal Booster

Engenius Eoc-2611 High Power Access Point

We have been impressed with EnGenius WiFi signal improvement products and the EnGenius EOC2611P doesn’t disappoint. It’s a high power,  600mW, WiFi signal booster with built in dual polarity antenna. The great design and performance of this WiFi access point / bridge works great for home or office.

The EnGenius EOC2611P is a long range outdoor wireless client bridge / access point that operates seamlessly in the WiFi 2400 MHz frequency. The EOC2611 provides high bandwidth up to 108 megabytes per second with SuperG. This EnGenius access point has it all including:
  • High transmit power
  • High receive sensitivity, which extend wireless range and coverage to reduce roaming between access points and to get a more stable wireless connection
  • Reduces the total costs of hardware ownership
  • Has built in dual polarity antenna, you can utilize multi-polarization for best performance.

WiFi Security

To protect your wireless connection, EOC2611P can encrypt all wireless data by 64/128/152-bit WEP encryption or WPA2/WPA. MAC address filter allows user to select exactly which stations should have the access to your wireless network. In addition, user isolation function can protect the private network between client users.

More Info: EnGenius EOC2611P WiFi Access Point

About EnGenius Technologies

EnGenius Technologies is a global technology innovator specializing in long-range telephone and data communications.

Cellular Amplifier Output Power and Gain

September 7th, 2010

When selecting a cellular amplifier there are many factors to consider. Two key specifications are amplifier gain and output power.

Cellular Amplifier Gain

Cellular amplifier gain is the number of times the power into the amplifier is increased at the output of the amplifier. Amplifier Gain is expressed in dB’s. (ex: 10 dB is a gain of 10 times, 20 dB is a gain of 100 times). For example, 1 watt into an amplifier which has 10 dB gain puts out 10 watts.

What if the amplifier is only capable of 3 watts output?

The amplifier is then over-driven. Too much input power results in 3 watts of distortion, just like yelling into a microphone and distorting a hi-fi system. The same happens to the cell phone amplifier, which causes it to interfere with adjacent channels on the cell site.

The maximum power that can be applied to a 10 dB 3-watt amplifier is .3 watts, which gives 3 watts of undistorted output. A cellular device (phone or datacard)  connected to a direct connection amplifier with normal cell phone maximum power (.2 watts) going into the amplifier and a gain of about 12 dB gives 3 watts of undistorted output power to the cell site. Any more input power would not increase the output, but only distort it, which causes harmful interference. A gain of 15 times is 11.8 dB.

Why do we need higher gain amplifiers?

An example is a 40dB,  3-watt cellular amplifier. We need more gain because when the cell phone has to transmit to and receive from the amplifier’s inside antenna (which is about 1-2 feet from the cell phone), the signal is much weaker into the amplifier than the .2 watts that was going directly into the direct-connection amplifier. The signal is now approximately 660 times weaker when it enters the amplifier’s input. It just so happens that a 40 dB gain amplifier will put out 3 watts with that input.

Different Gain for Different Applications

You can see that different gains are needed for different applications. Also, in an automobile situation with the outside antenna on the roof of the car and the inside antenna near the headrest, 40 dB is generally the maximum gain before the amplifier starts oscillating. A good cellular amplifier will shut down once oscillation occurs as to not cause harmful interference with other users on a cell tower.

With in-building applications, the cell phone is much farther from the inside antenna; therefore, a higher gain amplifier is needed. A 50 to 65 dB gain will generally give good coverage in most building applications dependent on outside signal strength. Amplifiers with higher gain require much greater antenna separation.  For example, a 72 dB gain amplifier requires 4 times more antenna separation distance than a 60 dB amplifier.

More information on In Building Cellular Amplifiers and In Vehicle Cellular Amplifiers