Saturday, June 4, 2011


Wireless Extenders zBoost YX545 SOHO Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home and Office (White) North America and CanadaWireless Extenders Zboost Yx545 Soho Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster For Home And Office This review is from: Wireless Extenders zBoost YX545 SOHO Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home and Office (White) North America and Canada (Wireless Phone Accessory)
This review ran a bit longer than I expected, so let me sum it up by saying that this zBoost SOHO YX545 did exactly what I needed it to. It boosts the signal quality in my house from at most 2 bars to a solid 5 and didn't require any complicated setup or configuration. It isn't often that a plug-and-play device like this truly beats out all expectations!

The main thing to keep in mind during the install is that the external antenna and base station need to be separated as much as possible. The reason for this is that they both use the same frequencies for communication, and having them close together will cause feedback. When the zBoost detects feedback, it turns down its internal antenna strength; which can seriously impact the range you will get from the zBoost.

Now, on to the details:

I live in a 2 story, 3000 square foot house with a radiant barrier installed in the attic. The radiant barrier is great for keeping utility costs down, but it wreaks havoc on the cell signal in the house. Because of that, I'm lucky to get 1 or 2 bars inside, with constant missed and dropped calls, even though the signal quality outside is just fine.

For the last 3 years I've been working from home and using an AT&T cell phone as my primary work number. This has led me to try all types of methods to boost my cell signal, and I'm often forced to take work calls in the yard since it's the only place where my phone works.

Last week I discovered the zBoost SOHO YX545 and decided to give it a try. One of the first things I noticed after unpacking it was that the 50' extension cable seemed extremely thin and poorly insulated compared to a standard coax/RG6 cable. I decided I'd use it anyway, so I headed up to the roof to find a place with a good cell signal. The antenna was extremely easy to mount - I basically used the included screws to mount it to my chimney in a place where it looked like there was a good signal.

After mounting the antenna, I ran the included COAX cable down through the attic and to a central place on the first floor. I plugged it in and it started up immediately, no configuration or long boot process at all. I checked my phone and, honestly, I wasn't very impressed. In fact, my signal wasn't much better than what it had been before.

At that point I was a bit frustrated, but decided not to give up yet. I went back to the roof to verify the antenna location and it turned out I hadn't picked a very good spot. I moved it and went back in to test again. The second time, my signal was better; but it dropped off quickly just a few feet away from the zBoost device.

This whole time, the quality of the 50' extension cable had been in the back of my mind - so I decided to replace it with a better-insulated RG6 cable. I also decided to go with a 35' cable just to keep the cable run to a minimum. Running the replacement cable was easy enough since I just used a coax coupler to connect the cables and pulled the new cable all the way to the roof - it only took a few minutes.

Once I had connected the new RG6 cable, I plugged in the zBoost and finally got the results I had been hoping for! My whole house is now bathed with a consistent 4 to 5 bar signal quality, and my cell phone calls are sounding better than they ever have before. This is one of the best investments I've ever made!

The entire install time was around 5 hours - and that included a trip to Home Depot. If you are just mounting the antenna outside a window, I would expect the install time to be far less. In my case, I always like to run wires through the walls and that can add quite a bit of time - especially going from the roof to the first floor.

After trying every cell booster device I could find, including the 3G Microcell from AT&T (which gave good signal strength, but ended up causing far more problems than it solved), I've finally found a device that solves my home's signal issues. I can't say enough well about the zBoost, and I'm happily giving it 5 well-deserved stars.

If you do buy this, here is a summary of the things that should help you get a better signal boost:

1) Make sure the antenna truly is in a place that will give you a consistent signal quality. My first attempt at mounting the antenna picked a bad spot because I didn't realize how long my phone takes to update the signal strength meter. The second time, I held it in place for about a minute in each location to be sure I really did have a good signal.

2) Keep the antenna as fully separated from the base station as possible - open air distance won't work great for this, but wall and ceiling materials will. In my house, the radiant barrier actually helps the zBoost out since it keeps the base station from seeing the antenna at all.

3) If your antenna and base station are well separated and the zBoost signal still seems to be dropping off after only a few feet - try using a better insulated RG6 cable instead of the cable included with the zBoost. My suspicion is that the ultra-thin coax cable was allowing the zBoost base station and the antenna to interfere with each other, even though they were separated by 2 ceilings, attic insulation, a roof, and the radiant barrier. Fortunately, good RG6 cables can be had for not much money at all.

4) Remember that shorter cable runs are better than longer runs. For example, avoid using a 50' coax cable for a 25' run. Home Depot will cut cables to custom lengths, and you can probably talk most of the guys into terminating them for you if you don't have the tools. Otherwise, just get a pre-terminated 25' or 50' cable (which is still just a few bucks).

Overall, I highly recommend this product. If you have a good cell signal outside, but not inside, then this is the product that will solve your connectivity problems. read more HereWireless Extenders Zboost Yx545 Soho Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster For Home And Office .

Wireless Extenders Zboost Yx545 Soho Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster