Cell Phone Booster Troubleshooting & Common Issues

Two common issues can occur with your cell phone booster, but we will walk you through dealing with them. You only need to follow a few simple steps to resolve the problem!

Cell Phone Booster Problem #1: Oscillation

When a boosted signal is broadcast from an interior antenna(s) and reaches the exterior antenna, a feedback loop can occur. The cell phone booster amplifier attempts to resolve the problem by decreasing boosting power on the affected band, and this will weaken the coverage area to keep the signal from reaching the exterior antenna. You might see warnings that indicate oscillation in the amplifier which tells you that the amplifier cannot resolve the issue on its own.

How to Fix It

1. Make sure the directional antenna is located in a spot on your roof where it faces away from the building. If it is pointed across the roof then it is probably picking up radiating signal.

2. Try to move the interior and exterior antennas further apart. Power down the amplifier before moving antennas. Ideally, you would move the exterior antenna further away and to a higher location, if it can still receive the same signal strength. Note that vertical separation is more helpful than horizontal separation, although both will benefit the problem. After you’ve adjusted the antenna(s), return power to the amplifier and check if the oscillation is still occurring. If so, you might try moving the antennas again.

3. Lastly, if you are out of options on moving antennas, you can shield the exterior antenna by moving it to a spot that aligns an object such as a chimney or air conditioning unit between the exterior antenna and the rest of your building. When the exterior antenna has been installed indoors, you could shield it with something metal like a filing cabinet or foil. Place it behind the exterior antenna to block the signal.

Cell Phone Booster Troubleshooting - 15 foot vertical distance between interior and exterior antenna

Note: When you need to boost signal for multiple carriers, and they have similar strength, then the amplifier should adjust boosting power itself to fix oscillation. Sometimes a person with a certain carrier will have a strong signal while people on other carriers have a weak signal. When this happens the strong signal has a large coverage area but the weak signal is reduced to almost nothing while the amplifier tries to correct the problem, so it’s a good time to try the steps listed above.

Cell Phone Booster Problem #2: Overload

When one or more service providers have very strong outdoor signal their signal(s) can overload the amplifier. This causes the amplifier to reduce boosting power, which could correct itself, but the amplifier will likely max out before the issue is resolved.

Young dark-haired woman smiling and looking at her phone

How to Fix It

1. Incrementally change the direction of the outdoor antenna so it receives less signal (if you are using a directional antenna), stopping to check for overload warnings and the status of each person’s signal. The amplifier can work at full capacity to distribute the signal.

2. An attenuator could be a good option if you have this issue in an area with lots of nearby towers. The accessory rests on your antenna cable and decreases decibels from the incoming signal. Keep in mind that the attenuator will reduce cell signal for devices on all bands and carriers, so anyone with weak cell signal will also lose signal strength.

3. The final option is switching to an amplifier that handles a stronger signal.

If your cell phone booster is having an issue that isn’t covered here, contact us for expert technical support.

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