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Any experience placing exterior cell phone antenna on roof?

pl804

Member
Mar 3, 2014
103
23
We're doing a few trips this year through areas with poor cell phone coverage. I'd like to figure out a way to boost my cell signal while driving through those areas (better maps, ability to make and receive calls in case of emergency, etc.).

I was looking at some signal boosters and the like from WeBoost (formerly Wilson). The external car antennae all seem to require roughly a square foot of metal on the roof when placing the magnetically-mounted antenna up there.

Since I have a pano roof, this doesn't seem feasible.

Has anyone found a way to make this work - perhaps with another manufacturer or type of antenna, or on a different location on the car?

Thanks.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,690
903
Bay Area, CA
You're right:
"Must be installed vertically on a flat surface and at least 6" from any glass"
So even if you could manage to stick the antenna to the car in a non-magnetic fashion, there isn't a surface on the car the car that qualifies... well, the hood, I suppose, but...

I'm interested to see if you find anything that will work. Maybe the glass just attenuates the performance of the antenna, but you'd still get some benefit if you stuck it on the glass? Might be worth a shot.
 
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BerTX

Active Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,508
3,664
Texas/Washington
They do have glass mount antennas ... e.g.glass mount

These pass the signals through the glass. I don't know if this will be an issue.

Aren't these permanently mounted? I gathered that since the one specified was magnetically mounted and passed the cable through the door gasket that the OP just wanted to mount it when needed, but I could be wrong.
 
Everything else aside, be aware that that glass-mount antenna is not compatible with the WeBoost and similar (note, it specifically says “Not for use with wireless amplifiers.”) — it can't pass that much power through the glass, I'm guessing? It's sold to be directly connected to a cell-phone with a replaceable antenna.

So, although it doesn't directly solve the ground plane problem (the “mount more than X inches from any glass” is speaking to this — as I understand it, single-pole antennas like these need a large area of flat-ish metallic material underneath them), you can at least physically mount the necessary antenna with this combination: the NMO-mount 800/1900MHz multi-band antenna they sell, with any old NMO (‘new motorola’) mounting solution, such as this hatchback-lip mount.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm actively looking — I'll try and remember to come back here and post, if I do find a definitively-working solution.
 
Everything else aside, be aware that that glass-mount antenna is not compatible with the WeBoost and similar (note, it specifically says “Not for use with wireless amplifiers.”) — it can't pass that much power through the glass, I'm guessing? It's sold to be directly connected to a cell-phone with a replaceable antenna.

So, although it doesn't directly solve the ground plane problem (the “mount more than X inches from any glass” is speaking to this — as I understand it, single-pole antennas like these need a large area of flat-ish metallic material underneath them), you can at least physically mount the necessary antenna with this combination: the NMO-mount 800/1900MHz multi-band antenna they sell, with any old NMO (‘new motorola’) mounting solution, such as this hatchback-lip mount.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm actively looking — I'll try and remember to come back here and post, if I do find a definitively-working solution.
It's not hard to find antennas with an "electronic" ground plane built in. The ones I have seen have four smaller antennas mounted on the main shaft on the lower third perpendicular with the main antenna. The four antennas are usually short and spaced equally around the main shaft. Unfortunately, they aren't very attractive and most would require a hole drilled to mount since a mag mount won't stick to aluminum.
 

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