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Any experience placing exterior cell phone antenna on roof?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by pl804, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. pl804

    pl804 Member

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    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.
     
  2. BerTX

    BerTX Member

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    um -- aluminum car, magnetically-mounted antenna?
     
  3. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    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.
     
  4. GaryREM

    GaryREM Member

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    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.
     
  5. BerTX

    BerTX Member

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    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.
     
  6. Barry

    Barry Member

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    While I haven't looked for a cell phone version, I have an antenna mount for a VHF/UHF transceiver that mounts on a trunk lip. Should be configurable for the rear hatch. The fact that it's aluminum won't matter.
     
  7. aaronw

    aaronw Member

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    I have a Wilson Cell phone booster. When I mentioned the problem that their magnetic antenna won't stick they sent me a painted steel plate to put on the inside of glass so the antenna can stick to the outside. I haven't actually used it with my Tesla though.
     
  8. VerityZooms

    VerityZooms Member

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    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.
     

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