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Now Selling RF Explorer Handheld Spectrum Analyzers

We are proud to announce that we are now officially selling the entire line of RF Explorer handheld spectrum analyzers and signal generators. RF Explorer manufactures a very affordable hand-held spectrum analyzer that fits into any budget… and now you can get one directly from us! Spectrum analyzers are a great way to measure your cell phone signal strength levels (or other RF signals) to see how strong or weak they are being received. (More about that later.)

What is a Spectrum Analyzer anyway?

Rohde & Schwarz Spectrum Analyzer
Rohde & Schwarz Spectrum Analyzer
I thought you’d never ask! You’ll find the official Wikipedia definition of spectrum analyzer here. But to paraphrase, (and save you 30 minutes of your life that you will never get back) a spectrum analyzer is a nifty little device that lets you “see” what RF frequencies around you are doing. It takes the RF energy that it receives from the connected antenna and outputs that information on a visual display. This display gives you visual representation of how strongly or weakly the RF frequency that you are looking at is being received at the antenna of the spectrum analyzer. It can also give you a bunch of other readings that are helpful if you are a true RF geek.

In other words, a spectrum analyzer basically gives you a visual readout of whatever frequencies exist in the range that you have specified and the strength of the RF received at those frequencies. If that doesn’t make sense, you might need to brush up on your RF skills by quickly skimming through this article titled “What Frequency Does My Cell Phone Use” that I wrote a while ago about RF.

Why Do I Need a Spectrum Analyzer?

It’s a tool. You never need an excuse to have another tool. In fact, I’m usually looking for excuses to justify the purchase of a new tool. In fact, just last week I needed to dig a really deep hole for a basketball hoop that I was putting in for the kids. For some reason, I didn’t have a digging bar in my pathetic arsenal of tools. I could have borrowed one from a friend, he even offered it to me… but I decided to get my own (thanks anyway, Tyler)… because it’s a TOOL and I needed one. Tools are awesome! You can never have enough tools.

RF Explorer Handheld Spectrum Analyzers

Anyways, if you are looking for reasons to own one of these spectrum analyzers, here’s a list of reasons you might need one:

List of Reasons:
  1. It is a tool (see above).
  2. It’s basically the only way there is to measure (RFI) radio frequency interference. I can double check to see if that radio tower behind my house is broadcasting within their licensed power limit and bandwidth.
  3. Using one before installing a cellphone signal booster can give you an idea of where is the best location to put your outside antenna. It can also give you a good idea of where the cellular dead zones are in your house or building.
  4. It can be a troubleshooting tool to help you identify faulty devices. For example, If my laptop gets a terrible wifi connection I might assume that my wifi access point is bad. But if I take a reading with the spectrum analyzer and notice that it gets a good reading on the wifi band, I might have to blame my laptop instead.
  5. All kinds of sweet electronics projects.
  6. If I notice that my wifi always takes a dive when I fire up the microwave to warm up my frozen burrito, then I could use one of my nifty RF Explorer handheld spectrum analyzers to verify that my microwave isn’t properly shielded and that it’s been bombarding me with radiation.
  7. I could verify if my neighbor is transmitting his own pirate radio station.
  8. I could use one to sweep my house for wireless transmitting bugs (put on your tinfoil hat) to see if the FBI is using wireless technologies to monitor my private conversations.

In all seriousness though, with almost everything now days becoming wireless, having a good tool to measure those frequencies is really worth having around when you need it. RF is very complex and dealing with it is only feasible if you have the right tool in hand.

Why RF Explorer Handheld Spectrum Analyzers?

RF Explorer Handheld Spectrum Analyzers

 

For as long as I can remember, spectrum analyzers have always been super expensive. Like, many thousands of dollars. Even refurbished, used spectrum analyzers have traditionally been 1-3 thousand dollars. And they have traditionally been HUGE too. Like, take up the entire desk huge. And traditionally, operating a network analyzer required a degree in nerd to be able to do anything more than just turn them on.

That is what makes the RF Explorer handheld spectrum analyzers so amazing! They offer 90% of the features that their expensive big brothers do at about 5% of the cost. They are also much smaller, super portable compared to the ginormous expensive ones. Also, they can run for hours on a single battery charge. The “portable” versions of the expensive network analyzers are still comparatively massive.

I’m amazed at how well they function and I’m totally recommending them for anyone that would like to elevate their RF ninja status to expert level.

Conclusion

Don’t forget that I am more than happy to sell you some of my RF Explorer handheld spectrum analyzers here in my store. ****LINK TO STORE****

If you have any questions about the capabilities of any of the RF Explorer products that we carry,( or anything else for that matter) please feel free to drop me an email to contact@cellbooster.us and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. As always, thanks for stopping by!

– Rob

SureCall Fusion5x 2.0

Recently, SureCall released a new and improved version of their Fusion5X cell phone signal booster… creatively called the Fusion5X 2.0. The Fusion5X 2.0 is part of SureCall’s line-up of products for midsize-to-large homes and offices. The original Fusion5X has been discontinued and replaced with the Fusion5X 2.0.

The major difference between the Fusion5X 2.0 and the previous is that the newer has much higher downlink power. Because of this increased downlink power, the Fusion5X 2.0 has the ability to cover about double the area of the original. Not only does it cover more area than its predecessor, but the Fusion5X 2.0 can also cover double the area of it’s closest competitor.

What is Downlink Power Anyway?

The downlink is the signal that the cell phone receives from the cell phone tower. Now, the Fusion5X 2.0 is capable of up to +16 dBm of downlink power. Most competitor products, and the previous Fusion5X model are only capable of +10 dBm of downlink power. So, this new Fusion5X booster has +6 dBm higher downlink power than anything comparitive on the market.

So, what does an extra +6 dBm get you? In theory, it will give you about twice the coverage area. That means more of your home or office area will be swimming in great cell phone signal. Of course, like with all cell phone signal boosters, you will need to have as good an outside signal as possible to truly take advantage of all the gain and potential that the Fusion5X can provide.

Other Features

The SureCall Fusion5x 2.0 has what SureCall is now calling SureIQ technology. Basically, SureIQ technology is a fancy new version of the internal software that allows the booster to perform better in urban environments. This new technology prevents the booster from prematurely shutting down or backing off power when it’s not absolutely necessary. It uses a better method of self-adjustment that works constantly in the background to make sure that you are getting the most out of your signal booster.

Also, the Fusion5X 2.0 is compatible with the SureCall Sentry monitoring system. The Sentry system allows for remote control and monitoring of the cell phone signal booster’s performance and status.

Where to Use

SureCall Fusion5X Omni 4 Panel Diagram SC-Poly5X-72-OP4-Kit

SureCall Fusion5X Omni 4 Dome Diagram SC-Poly5X-72-OD4-Kit

The SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 is a great booster for mid-size to large offices and homes. Conveniently, this booster is available in several different kits, depending on the area that you are trying to cover. These kits come with all the antennas, splitters and cables that you will need for a complete install.

The kits come with either an Omni or a Yagi outdoor antenna, and options for either one or four indoor panel or dome antennas. While SureCall will no longer tell you a square footage that this Fusion5X kit will cover, past spec sheets have placed the amount of square footage in the range of “up to 20,000 square feet.” And with the extra +6 dBm of downlink power, it is feasible that this Fusion5X 2.0 booster could cover up to 40,000 square feet.

Different Fusion5X 2.0 Kits

 

Do you have an application that you think might be a fit for the Fusion5X 2.0? I’d be more than happy to sell you one here in my online store. If you have any questions or concerns, I would love to hear from you. Drop me an email to contact@cellbooster.us and I’m always happy to help out where I can.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

– Rob

SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X

Recently, SureCall announced the release of their new Fusion2Go 3.0 mobile cell phone signal booster. Normally, a company releasing a new version of a product wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But when the Fusion2Go 3.0 came out, the folks at SureCall knew that they had really hit a home run. So, they hired an independent lab, CKC Laboratories, to run a detailed comparison of their new Fusion2Go 3.0 booster against the more popular WeBoost Drive 4G-X. The results were pretty awesome! As a nerd, I see this as a sort of virtual MMA fight. A virtual bout that I am inventively calling SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X.

SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X
SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X

With the deep booming voice of a ring fight announcer:

“In this corner… wearing red trunks, formerly known as Wilson Electronics. Hailing from the southwest corner of the state of Utah, the WeBoost Drive 4G-X.”

“In the opposite corner… wearing teal trunks, with an amazing backstory of fulfilling the American Dream, the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0”

Then the “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” guy, who by the way, has made over $400 million for trademarking the phrase says,  “Let’s get ready to rumbllllle!!!!”

If you head over to the neat little raiseyourbars.surecall.com best vehicle page that SureCall set up, you can see a brief overview of the comparison test results. If you’re a total nerd, like me, you can enter your email address and download the complete report. I did. It’s 51 pages of complete nerdvana. Therefore, it’s interesting to only the biggest of RF nerds.

Lab Results

Independent lab testing of SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X

With the right amount of caffeine, I was able to make it through all 51 pages of the report. These two amplifiers (or signal boosters) were both given the same 8 tests in identical environments. The results of each of these tests would provide real insight into the actual performance capabilities of each signal booster. You are welcome to go over the test results if you want, but I’m going to paraphrase it all below.

WARNING! Things are about to get technical!

The different tests were:
  • Downlink ripple in the pass band – which, as the name would suggest, tests the amount of ripple in the pass band. A lower ripple is desired. Lower ripple means that the booster is more evenly amplifying all frequencies in the frequency band being tested. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0
  • Output power uplink – measures the output power for the signal from the booster back to the cell phone tower. Better uplink power means you can get a better connection further away from the cell tower. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0
  • Downlink EVM – measures the Error Vector Magnitude of each RF path received from the cell phone tower. Basically,  the EVM is the difference between the expected signal and the received signal. A lower EVM percentage is more desirable. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0
  • Uplink EVM – the same test as above, but it measures the EVM in the direction of the signal from the booster to the cell phone tower. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0
  • Uplink sensitivity – measures how well the booster works at really low signal levels. The signal was turned down until the EVM reached 13.5% for each amplifier. Lower sensitivity is better. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0
  • Uplink adjacent channel power – measures how much of the amplified signal “spills into” the neighboring channel’s path. The amplifier that can get to higher power and still remain within spec is better. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0
  • Uplink mask emission – measures the uplink signal and verifies that it is operating within the emission limits. This is a pass/fail kind of test. But SureCall passed at at higher power level. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0
  • Intermodulation – measures output power of the booster at two-tone input signals where the intermodulation products of those tones are operating at the FCC consumer limit. Higher power at limit is better. Winner = Fusion2Go 3.0

Real World Results

Clearly, test results in a lab don’t always equate to better results in real-world applications. I know that a while ago I tested the Fusion2Go 2.0 booster at a remote cabin location and I was greatly impressed with the results. It would seem logical that with much better test results, the Fusion2Go 3.0 amplifier would do even better, right?

I have every intention to create a comparison video of my own to compare the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X as soon as I get some free time. But for now, I found a SureCall comparison video that beat me to it. Check it out!

 

My Thoughts

Fusion2Go 3.0 winner in Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X matchup
Fusion2Go 3.0 winner in Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X matchup

So, who wins in this virtual matchup of the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 vs WeBoost Drive 4G-X? Clearly, looking at all the evidence above, the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 is the unanimous winner. I was pretty impressed by the test results. I’m super excited to break out my fancy network analyzer and do some independent testing of my own.

If you’re sick of dropped calls, dead zones and terrible data speeds and you’d like to stay connected while on the road, the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 Kit is the best mobile cell phone signal booster on the market. Don’t forget that I am always happy to sell one to you in my online shop here!

If you have any questions about any of the products that we sell, I’m always happy to help out. Just drop me an email to contact@cellbooster.us and I’ll get back to you as soon as I am able.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

– Rob

Mail-in Rebate for SureCall Discount

Every once in a while, the stars align. When you turn on the music in your car and notice that your blinker is clicking in perfect beat with the music. Or maybe you might hit every single stoplight green on your way to work. It’s days like those that you take a deep breath and thank the Lord for life. You realize that life is actually pretty great, and things will be just fine. SureCall’s recent announcement that they are offering a mail-in rebate on a few of their products is like one of those great days. Mail-in rebates from SureCall equates to a SureCall discount. Discounts are good!

Up to 100 dollar mail-in rebate for SureCall discount

What’s the catch? What are the details of this so-called rebate? Let me break it down for you.

For a limited time only, you can take advantage of this mail-in rebate on select SureCall products. You’ll get the awesomeness of SureCall cell phone signal boosting with a side dish of money back!

Until March 15, SureCall is offering a mail-in rebate on the Flare and the Fusion5S signal booster kits.

SureCall Flare Mail-in Rebate

The following product qualifies for the Flare mail-in rebate:

SureCall Flare Booster Kit

The Flare signal booster is great for locations where you want to cover 1 – 2 rooms of a home or office, up to 2,500 square feet. Its unique design combines the amplifier and the indoor antenna into one unit that is good-looking enough to place on a centrally located counter or desktop. You will only need to run a single cable outside for the outside receiving antenna.

Rebate Rules:

  1. Purchase a SureCall Flare booster kit between now and March 15, 2018.
  2. Complete the SureCall Flare Mail-in Rebate form.
  3. Include the original receipt/proof of purchase.
  4. Cut out and include the original UPC/bar code from the product packaging.
  5. Mail the completed form along with receipt and UPC to the address below:

SureCall – Flare Rebate Program

48346 Milmont Drive

Fremont, CA 94538

 

SureCall Fusion5S Mail-in Rebate

Any of the following products will qualify for theFusion5S mail-in rebate:

SureCall Fusion5s Booster Front

  1. Purchase a SureCall Flare booster kit between now and March 15, 2018.
  2. Complete the SureCall Fusion5s Mail-in Rebate form.
  3. Include the original receipt/proof of purchase.
  4. Cut out and include the original UPC/bar code from the product packaging.
  5. Mail the completed form along with receipt and UPC to the address below:

SureCall – Flare Rebate Program

48346 Milmont Drive

Fremont, CA 94538

 

If you have any questions about this rebate or anything, I’m always happy to help!

Drop me an email to contact@cellbooster.us and I’ll get right back to you as soon as I can. As always, thanks for stopping by!

– Rob

CellBooster FMCA

What does a CellBooster FMCA partnership mean for you? Well… If you happen to be one of the 8.9 Million households in the US that own an RV, quite a bit! And if you happen to be among the thousands that are members of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) and subscribe to FMCA’s Tech Connect+ benefit package, even MORE!

Right now, subscribers to FMCA’s Tech Connect+ benefit package can receive a coupon code that will allow them to receive 15% off of any cell phone signal booster purchase from our online shop. So essentially, this CellBooster FMCA deal means more money in your pocket. And better connection to your loved ones while on the road.

CellBooster FMCA Tech Connect Plus Partner
CellBooster -FMCA Tech Connect Plus+ Partner

You: “But what does this cell phone booster mumbo-jumbo mean, Rob?”

I’m glad you asked! These cell phone signal boosters are devices that are specifically designed to help you defeat cellular dead-zones during cross-country trips and off-the-grid overnight stays. A cellular signal booster will help provide crystal-clear call quality and improved data speeds on all North American cell carriers. These devices are specifically designed to work well in RVs.

You: “But what do you know about RVs, Rob?”

I’ll be honest, I have a pretty limited experience with motorhomes. This CellBooster FMCA deal hasn’t existed forever. In fact, let me tell you a story about my only RV experience!

Gramps and Mama RoRo

Gramps and Mama Roro
The Real Gramps and Mama Roro

My dear grandma “Mama RoRo” and grandpa “Gramps” were the greatest grandparents in the WORLD! I loved them a ton. I’m still sad that they are no longer with us. Gramps was a laid-back, easy going man that would have done ANYTHING in his power to make Mama RoRo happy.

One of Mama RoRo’s sisters (my aunt Janet) and her husband (my uncle Frank) retired pretty early in life. Frank had spent many, many years working for one of the old Bell Companies, Mountain Bell. He was a good man! He actually taught me a lot about phone wiring that I would use later in my life when I worked as a phone system vendor putting myself through college. Buy anyway, when they retired, they spent the rest of their lives as “snowbirds”. They would spend the summers at their home in Ivins, Utah and then spend the winters in Yuma, Arizona. Apparently, they loved the heat, because a summer in Ivins, Utah, on the outskirts of the desert of Saint George was hardly a picnic in the summer months!

Eventually, when my grandparents retired, my Mama RoRo could think of nothing that she desired more than spend the rest of their lives as snowbirds. She longed travelling with her sister Janet, and spending their winters in Yuma, Arizona. It wasn’t Gramp’s idea of a great time, but his undying and utter devotion to my Mama RoRo meant that he was going to do WHATEVER she wanted to!

Road Trip

One year, on their way to Yuma, they stopped by Saint George and picked up a few grandkids to make the trek with them. Their motorhome was no palace. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But, it was all my Mama RoRo wanted and that was good enough for Gramps.

My cousins and I loaded into the motorhome and we started south on I-15. We sat in back, playing our games of “Go Fish” (my cousin Kellie is a cheater). When we neared the half-way point between the beginning and end of the Virgin River Gorge, we noticed the smoke. Being the family nerd, I could clearly tell that it was the smell of an electrical fire. This was the second time that one of my grandparent’s vehicles would try to kill me. (The first time was when I fell out of the back of their moving station wagon, but that’s a different story altogether. )

Gramps quickly pulled the motorhome to the side of the road, but it wasn’t quite quick enough. The engine compartment bellowed with smoke. And the interior was starting to fill with smoke as well, because the smoke was being sucked into the air conditioning. To make matters worse, I had thrown the fire extinguisher into the very back of the motorhome in an effort to keep my brother from “accidentally” hitting me with it anymore.

Needless to say, the vacation was a total loss. I’m not sure how the motorhome fared. We waited on the side of the road for my uncle to drive past. He had left a few hours after us. There weren’t cell phones in those days, and even if there had been, the middle of the Virgin River Gorge was no place to get cell phone service. Until now!

What Might Have Been

Had this incident occurred a decade later, we might have had a cell phone. We probably still wouldn’t have been able to make a call though. Have you ever been through the Virgin River Gorge? I think it’s a beautiful drive. One of my favorites!

The Virgin River Gorge on Interstate 15 is one of the costliest highways ever constructed. The road was created by blasting out miles of limestone and sandstone walls to create a more direct route from Saint George, Utah to Beaver Dam, Arizona. The towering, beautiful canyon walls are definitely a visual distraction for the winding road. Getting cell phone signal at the base of these massive cliffs is a true challenge.

Now, I have never been important enough to be on a cell phone call while driving the length of the Virgin River Gorge, but I have a friend who definitely is. He claims that where he would normally have to end his calls before entering the gorge, with his cell phone booster, he is now able to carry his calls through most of the gorge. There are still two spots where he will drop his call, but for the most part, he is able to keep his calls alive through there.

So… (back to my story) if my motorhome experience had been decades later, and Gramps had a cell phone signal booster for his motorhome, we might not have had to sit on the side of the road for HOURS waiting for my uncle to drive by. But alas, hindsight is always 20/20.

Don’t Count Me Out

This motorhome experience hasn’t completely soured me. I would love to own one some day. That’s where YOU come in! If you buy tons of cell phone signal boosters from my shop, I will be able to buy one soon. *wink wink* Maybe I’ll even be able to pick up a sweet rig like my Uncle Jim’s. (At 15% off thanks to this CellBooster FMCA deal)

Uncle Jim's Rig
This is really my Uncle Jim’s Rig.

Someday I will be able to enjoy the open road. I’ll throw my wife and bazillion kids into the back of my rig, and we will have a BLAST! Of course, the kids will fight and argue, they will make me regret every minute of driving. But when we get there… the view will be AWESOME! And we will have great cell phone service, wherever we go, because I will definitely have a cell phone signal booster like this Fusion2Go 3.0 RV Kit! If only I’d known about the CellBooster FMCA thing a few years earlier.