Vehicle Cellular Repeater tech question


New Member
May 20, 2010
east of Cleveland
My cruiser MDT currently uses a Sprint broadband card connected to an external antenna, and I rarely have connection issues. My cell phone, however, is on Verizon, and is a Blackberry with only an internal antenna. While I generally get excellent service with Verizon, a few of the locations I patrol in are remote enough or deep down in a valley where I can't get a signal on my cell. The MDT continues to function, which i believe is a result of the external antenna. I'm looking for a way to improve my cell phone's reception without physically connecting it to an external antenna too.

I'm thinking that since Sprint and Verizon are both CDMA, a Wilson (or other reputable brand) dual-band (800 & 1900) vehicle repeater might solve this problem. It would be installed and connected to the external antenna the Sprint card now uses, and both the Sprint card and my cell would then use the internal antenna connected to the repeater.

Sooo...does anyone have experience using these things (cell repeaters) in cars? Is my theory correct about improving cell reception while maintaining MDT connectivity? Will there be issues if I'm using both the cell and the MDT at the same time? Anything else I've overlooked?
May 16, 2010
Torrington, WY
All of our patrol vehicles use the Wilson cell repeaters and get great service. We have Them installed in our offices as well. I even got one from work that was out of one of our surplus vehicles and have it installed in my pov. I use to have problems with reception in some of our areas but not anymore with the Wilson amp. I would buy one of those Wilson amp kits and get it's own antenna installed on the roof.


New Member
May 20, 2010
east of Cleveland
ParkPiggy said:
Your department won't have a shit hemorrhage with you playing with the MDT antenna wires? I can hear mine screaming, and we don't even have MDTs!!

LOL - I hadn't planned on telling them, to be quite honest. I'm fortunate to have a boss who pretty much lets me to what I want to my cruiser, since I got shortchanged when it came down to dividing up money to outfit cars, and have taken advantage of his good will. Besides, I installed the MDT myself. They won't have any idea unless I open my mouth about it, and then the Chief will want one too.


May 26, 2010
Delaware, USA
What's that quote? Something like... "Better to do and beg forgiveness later than to ask permission and be denied". :)


May 21, 2010
USA Nashville Tennessee
If you are going to buy the cellular repeater, go ahead and obtain a separate antenna. (A trunk edge mount works without drilling another hole.) Since analog phones (up to two watts ERP) are no longer used, a cellular car phone may not produce or receive any better signal than the handheld with an external antenna.

However, do you need all the Blackberry functions? For voice calls, I kept a second phone (Motorola E 815) with an external antenna connection and used a Wilson external antenna on my Verizon (CDMA) phone, and the signal strength improved 30 decibels. The advantage? I didn't have to spend $$$ for the Wilson repeater and would have needed an antenna for it anyway. My additional line was discounted and less than $10 a month.

You might check with your cellular carrier (the commercial sales office) and see where they are placing new sites or upgrades to their system. When the system buildout and improvements were completed in less than 2 years, I changed phones and was able to remove the antenna. (Or, change it to an 800 MHz model!)
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