How to make a cell phone antenna booster

Updated March 23, 2017

If you've struggled with signal strength on your cellphone, but you don't want to buy a new one, you can enhance your reception by creating a homemade cellphone booster. These devices work by attracting a stronger signal from the closest cell tower. This is a cheap, effective way to boost your signal in those dead zones that lead to dropped calls.

Collect all of your materials. Visit the resources section to find sites to purchase the pigtail cord and the antenna connector. Organise the materials and ensure you have enough solder, tape and that your cell phone is off. Find out where the closest cell phone tower is in relation to your home. Check the resources bar for a locator site.

Remove the bottom of one can so it is an open cylinder. Place the two cans together creating one large empty can. The can with the base still connected will serve as the new base of the two cans together. Essentially, you will have a coffee can twice the size of the original ones. Connect these two cans with the copper tape. Ensure there are no open spaces or weak seams in the tape by smoothing the edges. Measure 97 millimetres from the bottom of the two cans. Mark this location. Using your purchased antenna connector, trace the circumference of the base of the antenna with a marker on the can.

Create a hole for the antenna connector. Using the nail, puncture the centre of the circle you traced and use the wire cutters to cut out the remaining metal leaving a hole the size of the antenna connector.

Solder the copper wire to the base of the connector and let dry. Place the antenna into the previously created hole with the copper wire facing the interior of the cans. Using the nut provided in the antenna kit, secure this unit into the hole so that it is flush with the can and will not fall out.

Connect the pigtail to the cell phone. If you've purchased the correct pigtail (research the compatible pigtail cord with your phone model), one end will fit snugly into the antenna connector on the cans. The other end plugs into your phone. Look on the back of your mobile phone for a rubber casing and using your knife, pry this covering off. This is where the other end of the pigtail plugs in. Most mobile phones have this antenna connector. If not, contact your phone manufacturer for further information on your specific antenna port. An electronic store will also help in this regard.

Turn on your phone. Aim the open end of the canister toward the closest cell phone tower and make calls as you normally would. You will have clear, unhindered connection and reception. This unit is mobile, so consider taking it with you to any place where you have a weak signal.

Things You'll Need

  • Two empty 369gr. coffee cans
  • 113gr. of Lead-Silver Solder
  • Soldering Iron
  • Pigtail antenna cord (specific to your mobile phone)
  • Antenna connector
  • 12-16 inches of Copper tape
  • Nail
  • Wire Cutters
  • Can opener
  • Marker
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About the Author

Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.