[MLB-WIRELESS] Mobile Phone towers and the such

Tony Langdon tlangdon at atctraining.com.au
Thu Oct 17 08:59:58 EST 2002

Gday people

This is a bit off topic from wireless data networks, but it's on the topic
of wireless anyway so i thought i'd ask a few questions anyway
I was thinkin the other day, my house is on one side of a hill, where we get
telstra and vodafone reception, but no optus at all. Well, there is one
scenario where you get pissweak optus. When the phone is held up against the
window pane. Which made me think, does glass (or a specific size of glass)
resonate at the frequencies mobile phones transmit at? Or am i way off
here.. I think i might be partially right, coz in the middle of the house
there's no reception, but at either sides (20m apart) on windows, there is

Domestic glass shouldn't cause a problem.  The tinted glass used in
commercial offices does do horrible things to RF (I know, I've tangles with
it many times on many bands :) ). 

Anyway, that's a bit off topic again. I was thinking, if i get a galaxy
antenna, and mod the dipole so that it's the right length for mobile phone
frequencies, and then connect that to an omni in the middle of the house,
would this passive repeater give me reception? Or would the signal be way
too weak to use a passive transmitter? If it was too weak, would i be able
to use a low power amplifier? 

At 900 MHz, a Galaxy antenna is not goint to be really effective.  a "24
dBi" with a 900 MHz feed would give reasonably good (arounf 12-15dBi) gain
at these frequencies, but it would be less trouble to do one of two things:
1.  Buy a GSM omni antenna.  They can be bought from DSE or some mobile
phone retailers.
2.  Build an antenna. Either an omni (I'm sure Troy could knock one up ;) )
or a Yagi.
Adding an antenna is probably legal (afterall, some are available
aftermarket).  Adding an amplifier can incur _very_ severe fines (>
$100,000), unless they are ACA approved.  Your biggest challenge in getting
an antenna working is finding the right connectors. :)

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