No Signal? 5 Quick Ways to Boost Your Cell Phone Reception. Updated.
Anyone with a cell phone has suffered from those "no signal" or "service lost" moments. And they usually happen when your car has broken down or someone's chasing you through the forest with a large axe. As I live in snowy Colorado and have a Virgin Mobile (weak reception) I have been researching and testing methods to boost my phone in case of emergencies. Here are the five methods that worked, with varying success, for me. (See also: The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks)
Metacafe has once again come to my rescue on this one, it's a great resource for those how-to videos I love so much. And as always, I've tried to find cheap methods that require little-to-no technical know-how. So, grab a pen, jot down your favorite and make your very own cell-phone booster. It could literally get you out of a potentially dangerous situation.
1. A simple piece of wire
Very simple and cheap method using insulated wire.
2. Major boost using empty cans
This one got me from zero bars to three bars, in an area I never get a signal in. I keep this one in the trunk when the weather sucks. The additional wires I got on eBay for a few bucks each. Takes less than five minutes, looks stupid but works well.
3. The paper clip booster
This one didn't work as well as I had hoped, but it did give me an extra bar (which is great when you have zero bars). Good if you're in the office and need to use your cell, maybe for making one of those "personal" calls.
4. The Tesla coil effect
Hands down the easiest one I found. All you need is tape and those little twisty-ties you get with cheap garbage/sandwich bags. Worked better than the paper clip for me.
5. An old radio antenna
From YouTube. I apologize in advance for the quality and illegibility of this video (I don't speak the language, if there is anything out of order here I'm sorry) but the idea is a great one. Just grab an old radio antenna and keep it in your car for those times you need a boost. Terrific. Worked a treat, although not as well as the cans.
Of course, I'm always open to new ideas so if you have any better ways to boost your signal, let us know.