Stop Dropped Calls
Poor cell reception at home? Install a cellular amplifier, and put an end to frustrated redials
For instructions on how to boost your cell signal, launch the photo gallery
On the street, cellphone dead zones are annoying; at home, they´re unacceptable. If your calls end every time you cross the dining room, you need a cellular amplifier kit. These little DC-powered devices extend service from the outdoors inside by taking even a faint signal from the closest tower and sending it around your home through an indoor antenna. You can even put an amp in your car to keep a consistent signal while on the road. Besides fewer dropped calls, you´ll also get better battery life, since your phone´s radio won´t be working as hard. The kits are coming down in price, but they still aren´t cheap, so make sure you choose the right one for your situation and set it up correctly. Once you do, you´ll never have to shout â€Hello?â€ again.
How to Tell if Your Amp is Working
Most cellphones have what technicians call â€field test mode,â€ which displays the signal strength more
precisely, as negative numbers instead of bars; closer to zero means a stronger signal (zero means you´re standing on a cell tower). Accessing that mode usually requires entering a code. Download this list of codes (PDF) to find the correct one for your phone.
Mike Outmesguine is the man behind wifi-toys.com.