Landline Portable Phone Range

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12 years 5 months ago #21536 by Westie
Recommendations for a portable home phone with decent range?

Can't get much cell coverage, so thought a home phone portable would be a good substitute.
I know some only work about 20 metres from the control/charger module, but there are some that can still function much further away than that.
Also, because they have a little antenna- do you think I could solder a bigger one to increase the range, like a car radio one?

A friend told me that he used to work in a large warehouse that used them and they could field calls from over 200m from the charger/control unit. Of course he can't remember the brand... :rolleyes:

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12 years 5 months ago #312260 by spoook
We went through this hassle when we bought our last cordless, bought the pricey ones but they all failed miserabley, hardly any coverage. We ended up with a Uniden WDECT..... if there is more, can't remember it.
We bought from Dick Smith, that way we just returned it if it did not come up to needs.

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12 years 5 months ago #312261 by Toast
Replied by Toast on topic Landline Portable Phone Range
I have a Uniden SS 835 but can't recommend it for other reasons. If you don't hold it at the correct angle you get this high pitched noise. I do have it outside with me if I'm expecting a call but haven't tested it further than about 25m. The ringer on it is excellent & frightens me if I'm near it. I did hear it way across the paddock in high winds one evening.

A visitor made the comment that her in-laws have the same phone & it's useless.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Toast is the best food in the world
Whisky is the best drink in the world

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12 years 5 months ago #312263 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Landline Portable Phone Range
I have had more phones than I care to mention over the years - mostly Panasonic as is the current one but the change I have made is to get a 1.8GHz phone.

The previous ones were 2.6GHz? promising massive range (rubbish) but I discovered that - this is a total techno idiot speaking her and welcoming correction - that most radio waves/wireless internet etc are on that band and it interferes with the phone.

It is fine in the house and if I am in the garden on the side of the house that the base is situated but go to the other end of the house (long ranch style house) and it starts breaking up. I have no idea what the best phone is except I still maintain a landline connected phone (not portable) as well so that when the power goes out, I can still use a phone.

Come in Grant! Grin

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12 years 5 months ago #312265 by Westie
Thanks, good to rule out a few. The different models on offer are, quite frankly, bewildering.
I went into Dick Smith and after asking about this; the assistant read me the guff on the box of the phone I had been looking at, which as a moderately edumakted adult, I had already read[:o)]
(the one I was looking at had batteries in the control unit- good idea as a back up)

Thinking after I posted this thread- 'I wonder how many people will wander off with their portable phones and try out the range'[;)]

There could be a signal booster I can put in series with the control unit perhaps? It can be done with bluetooth wireless internet units, but an internet search to that effect has turned up this type of thingamy: www.iantennaboosters.com/
Teaming up a portable with really good range to a signal booster may be a saviour some time.

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12 years 5 months ago #312269 by wino
Replied by wino on topic Landline Portable Phone Range
We have a middle of the range uniden about three years old - not sure what the model number is but will be irrelevant anyway as it won't still be in production. It works over several hundred metres (from as far as the neighbours) which surprised us.

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12 years 5 months ago #312271 by Westie
No wino it's relevant, could you tell me the model number please, Trademe fits right in nice with my buget :D

And when I went into Dick Smiths they had aftermarket rechargable batteries for older phones, so I could solder in a new battery into a second hand one and be sorted.
My mate mumbled something about Uniden cheapies... could be one in the same

Anything like this;

www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photograph...uction-262630945.htm

$1 reserve heehee

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12 years 5 months ago #312275 by Hasbeen
That could be the best idea Westie as we just got the new model Uniden from Noel Lemming & it is not a patch on the old one for distance.
Sorry can't tell you the old model # as I binned it.

Recovering Lifestyler


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12 years 5 months ago #312290 by 4trees
Hi, we have had portable phones for the last 14 years, and this last one I have has a range of about 500metres or better depending whether we are on the top terrace, but under the 100ft bank the reception is not so great.
It is a Uniden like the quoted on Trade Me, by Westie. When we went to buy the last one we tried about 6 different sorts, and the condition of purchase was that we could get the distance out of it, and none of them measured up. We went to Adamson & Holland, a phone supplier in Palmerston North, he made an alteration to the uniden so it would plug into and outside aerial of about 2-3metres which is mounted on the side of the roof, and the reception is fine. All up cost was $30. Check out the outside aerial, because that apparently is one of the reasons that most portables only have a little aerial that is inside the house, so reception cannot be achieved very far away from the base. Let me know if you would like a photo of our set up. Batteries cost me about $7-00 every 3-4 years.
We use ours away from the base at least 6 hours a day out on the 60 acre farm and at the Nursery. Cheers.

Cheers
http:treeandshrub.co.nz

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12 years 5 months ago #312291 by GrantK

Westie;296995 wrote: Thinking after I posted this thread- 'I wonder how many people will wander off with their portable phones and try out the range'.

Actually, that was the first thing I did when I got our current set of cordless phones, Westie. Range is the most important thing for us, and second is a Caller ID display.

We are currently using 2 different cordless phone systems:

- Uniden 5.8GHz "DSS" series. These work over about a 100 - 150m range, or sometimes more if you are standing on a hillside with direct line-of-sight to the base.

They are reasonably priced at around $150 - $200 for the base + 2 handsets, one of which is waterproof. Unlike the more common 2.4GHz variety, they do not suffer interference from Microwave Ovens or WiFi (wireless broadband) equipment.

- Voyager 900MHz series. These are seriously long range at about 2km when used with an outdoor antenna. However, they are quite old now and don't support Caller ID.

There is a new digital version available, but I expect it would cost upwards of $1000 for a base + 2 handsets and outdoor antenna. Way outside of most people's budget I expect, and to be honest, I don't think we will bother replacing ours when they finally croak.

Now that we have switched both our cellphones to 2degrees, we don't worry about paying 22c per minute when using our cellphones around the farm. Because they are so much lighter in the pocket than the Voyager phones, we usually carry our cellphones around the farm, and leave the others behind.

I recently ordered a new battery for one of the Uniden phones and was pleasantly surprised at the cost: About $30 delivered to our door by courier. Whereas the batteries for the Voyager phones are about $150.

Finally, you mentioned about adding an extra antenna or "power booster". Most cordless phones don't have any antenna socket, so you can't normally do it. The Voyager series are an exception; they do have an external antenna socket on both the base and the handset. I bought some extra telescopic antennas for the handsets, and they increased the range dramatically, especially when an outdoor antenna was also used at the base. No doubt about it, the Voyager series will deliver the range you need, but not many people are prepared to pay the cost of $1000 or more.

Regarding "Power Boosters", sorry, to my knowledge, there isn't any such thing for cordless phones. As you have found, such devices are available for cellphones, but I would be sceptical as to how well they actually work, especially with the advent of 3G phones running on 2100MHz. The one you posted the link to is designed for signals on much lower frequencies.

P.S. Just saw 4trees post above. If you can get your local dealer to modify a standard Uniden as described above, that would be brilliant. However, most dealers will not attempt such modifications as the warranty will be voided. Certainly, you will not get service like this when purchasing from Dick Smith or most other retailers. It will depend very much on the exact model of cordless phone as to whether modifications like this would be successful. I doubt very much that it would work on my Uniden 5.8GHz as it is very hard to find suitable antennas for this frequency range.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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12 years 5 months ago #312298 by ame
Replied by ame on topic Landline Portable Phone Range

Westie;296995 wrote: an internet search to that effect has turned up this type of thingamy: www.iantennaboosters.com/
Teaming up a portable with really good range to a signal booster may be a saviour some time.

Those booster stickers don't work. Don't waste your money.

A

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12 years 5 months ago #312312 by Westie
Wow, the range sounds perfect Grant.
See, this is my biggest worry- being alone on a remote block that is very rough and has a lot of dangers like cliffs (limestone not Richard) dense bush and I will be felling some big trees etc in there. Not sure if I want my girlfriend coming out and finding my bloated corpse rotting under a fallen tree or down a gorge.

4Trees- yes I can do the modification to the ariel, seen internet pics of how it's done. I am pretty handy with that type of thing.

I also found this Uniden with a quoted 1km range;
www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=263966645

$80 is ok I guess.

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12 years 5 months ago #312316 by wino
Replied by wino on topic Landline Portable Phone Range
Ours is an XSA 650 Westie. Phone and answerphone (though the answerphone is always more or less average.)

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12 years 5 months ago #312330 by GrantK

Westie;297050 wrote: I also found this Uniden with a quoted 1km range;
www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=263966645

$80 is ok I guess.

I would pretty much tell you categorically that this phone will not have a 1km range under real-world conditions. In a laboratory, with perfect line-of-sight, I think it would struggle to achieve that. Someone is being very optimistic there...

In all my experience with cordless phones, I have found that the quoted range, and the actual working range are two very different things.

Secondly, you mention working in dense bush:

- That will reduce the range drastically.

- Our Voyager phones with a 2km working range out in the open will not work in some corners of our bush, which are around 1km from the base.

- Tree foliage attenuates the signal hugely.

To be honest, if you are looking for an emergency rescue type of device, which will work in the deepest corners of your bush, down gorges etc, you should be looking at a Two-Way Radio which operates on a much lower frequency. Similar to what truck fleet operators and the forestry guys use.

If you are interested in such a system, let me know and I can do some further research, but you would need to spend serious $.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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12 years 5 months ago #312808 by JEF
Replied by JEF on topic Landline Portable Phone Range
long time ago i got an old analogue type pulled the aerial off ran coax onto the roof put the aerial on the roof of the house and got a range of a bout 2 km clear as a bell

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