Yes, I know, this could very well be a controversial topic, so feel free to close this off if you feel it's not a good fit for this site. That said, I'm posting it here because hams (and as a licensed ham, I count myself in that group) know a great deal about radio reception, and in the end, that's the issue.

Since the start of the pandemic, I find myself working in the ham shack (like so many others!). The problem is, the cabin is insulated with foil backed hard foam insulation, which I've noticed reduces radio reception by quite a bit. For HF and VHF signals I have an antenna outside the shack, so that's not a problem. However, I have real issues with mobile phone signals and since the reception is mediocre at best, the insulation just makes matters worse.

So, the question is this: is there a legal and simple way to improve mobile phone reception within the shack that borrows from techniques commonly understood by amateur radio operators? I've been careful about how I worded that question, since what I really need is a solution I can build myself! 73s

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Here's a detailed answer about this on ee.se. Yes there are things you can do, yourself! $\endgroup$
    – tomnexus
    Apr 16, 2021 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ Good answer @tomnexus. So, it looks like I should pick up a router or booster as Maury Markowitz suggests. Cheers! $\endgroup$
    – Buck8pe
    Apr 16, 2021 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of options.

If your phone supports WiFi calling and your provider allows it, I strongly recommend getting WiFi in the shack if you don’t have it already. If you don’t have it, and that’s because you’re remote, get a LTE<->WiFi router with SMA connectors and an appropriate antenna.

If you can’t use this solution you can buy cell phone boosters on amazon. Get one that has multi band support, the one I have is five band and that works. Get the model that comes with an appropriate antenna, if you’re anywhere near a tower an Omni will work fine.

The downside to the booster is that you can get feedback between the interior and exterior antenna, which in my case rendered it useless- the cell tower was so far that any level of boost led to the local signal being strong enough to cause feedback. If you have a strong signal, combined with your foil shielding, I suspect it will work perfectly.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the WiFi suggestion, that works for us. $\endgroup$ Apr 16, 2021 at 15:28

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