738 of 753 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 5-bar solution when installed correctly!
This review ran a bit longer than I expected, so let me sum it up by saying that this zBoost SOHO YX545 did exactly what I needed it to. It boosts the signal quality in my house from at most 2 bars to a solid 5 and didn't require any complicated setup or configuration. It isn't often that a plug-and-play device like this truly beats out all expectations!
Published on October 2, 2010 by D. Matheny
632 of 703 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time, get the Wilson Dual Band Pro
I'm writing this review partially because it is therapeutic but mostly to help others in my situation buy the right product for the job! Short story for those who don't want to read my novel... Wilson rocks ... Z-Boost not so much. If you're on the fringe of coverage, do yourself a favor and spend the extra 50 bucks for a superior quality product (Wilson Dual Band Pro)...
Published on February 8, 2011 by Pete
Most Helpful First | Newest First
738 of 753 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 5-bar solution when installed correctly!,
This review is from: zBoost YX545 SOHO Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home and Office up to 2,500 sq. ft. of Coverage (Wireless Phone Accessory)This review ran a bit longer than I expected, so let me sum it up by saying that this zBoost SOHO YX545 did exactly what I needed it to. It boosts the signal quality in my house from at most 2 bars to a solid 5 and didn't require any complicated setup or configuration. It isn't often that a plug-and-play device like this truly beats out all expectations!
The main thing to keep in mind during the install is that the external antenna and base station need to be seperated as much as possible. The reason for this is that they both use the same frequencies for communication, and having them close together will cause feedback. When the zBoost detects feedback, it turns down its internal antenna strength; which can seriously impact the range you will get from the zBoost.
Now, on to the details:
I live in a 2 story, 3000 square foot house with a radiant barrier installed in the attic. The radiant barrier is great for keeping utility costs down, but it wreaks havoc on the cell signal in the house. Because of that, I'm lucky to get 1 or 2 bars inside, with constant missed and dropped calls, even though the signal quality outside is just fine.
For the last 3 years I've been working from home and using an AT&T cell phone as my primary work number. This has led me to try all types of methods to boost my cell signal, and I'm often forced to take work calls in the yard since it's the only place where my phone works.
Last week I discovered the zBoost SOHO YX545 and decided to give it a try. One of the first things I noticed after unpacking it was that the 50' extension cable seemed extremely thin and poorly insulated compared to a standard coax/RG6 cable. I decided I'd use it anyway, so I headed up to the roof to find a place with a good cell signal. The antenna was extremely easy to mount - I basically used the included screws to mount it to my chimney in a place where it looked like there was a good signal.
After mounting the antenna, I ran the included COAX cable down through the attic and to a central place on the first floor. I plugged it in and it started up immediately, no configuration or long boot process at all. I checked my phone and, honestly, I wasn't very impressed. In fact, my signal wasn't much better than what it had been before.
At that point I was a bit frustrated, but decided not to give up yet. I went back to the roof to verify the antenna location and it turned out I hadn't picked a very good spot. I moved it and went back in to test again. The second time, my signal was better; but it dropped off quickly just a few feet away from the zBoost device.
This whole time, the quality of the 50' extension cable had been in the back of my mind - so I decided to replace it with a better-insulated RG6 cable. I also decided to go with a 35' cable just to keep the cable run to a minimum. Running the replacement cable was easy enough since I just used a coax coupler to connect the cables and pulled the new cable all the way to the roof - it only took a few minutes.
Once I had connected the new RG6 cable, I plugged in the zBoost and finally got the results I had been hoping for! My whole house is now bathed with a consistent 4 to 5 bar signal quality, and my cell phone calls are sounding better than they ever have before. This is one of the best investments I've ever made!
The entire install time was around 5 hours - and that included a trip to Home Depot. If you are just mounting the antenna outside a window, I would expect the install time to be far less. In my case, I always like to run wires through the walls and that can add quite a bit of time - especially going from the roof to the first floor.
After trying every cell booster device I could find, including the 3G MicroCell from AT&T (which gave good signal strength, but ended up causing far more problems than it solved), I've finally found a device that solves my home's signal issues. I can't say enough good about the zBoost, and I'm happily giving it 5 well-deserved stars.
If you do buy this, here is a summary of the things that should help you get a better signal boost:
1) Make sure the antenna truly is in a place that will give you a consistent signal quality. My first attempt at mounting the antenna picked a bad spot because I didn't realize how long my phone takes to update the signal strength meter. The second time, I held it in place for about a minute in each location to be sure I really did have a good signal.
2) Keep the antenna as fully seperated from the base station as possible - open air distance won't work great for this, but wall and ceiling materials will. In my house, the radiant barrier actually helps the zBoost out since it keeps the base station from seeing the antenna at all.
3) If your antenna and base station are well seperated and the zBoost signal still seems to be dropping off after only a few feet - try using a better insulated RG6 cable instead of the cable included with the zBoost. My suspicion is that the ultra-thin coax cable was allowing the zBoost base station and the antenna to interfere with each other, even though they were seperated by 2 ceilings, attic insulation, a roof, and the radiant barrier. Fortunately, good RG6 cables can be had for not much money at all.
4) Remember that shorter cable runs are better than longer runs. For example, avoid using a 50' coax cable for a 25' run. Home Depot will cut cables to custom lengths, and you can probably talk most of the guys into terminating them for you if you don't have the tools. Otherwise, just get a pre-terminated 25' or 50' cable (which is still just a few bucks).
Overall, I highly recommend this product. If you have a good cell signal outside, but not inside, then this is the product that will solve your connectivity problems!
632 of 703 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time, get the Wilson Dual Band Pro,
This review is from: zBoost YX545 SOHO Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home and Office up to 2,500 sq. ft. of Coverage (Wireless Phone Accessory)I'm writing this review partially because it is therapeutic but mostly to help others in my situation buy the right product for the job! Short story for those who don't want to read my novel... Wilson rocks ... Z-Boost not so much. If you're on the fringe of coverage, do yourself a favor and spend the extra 50 bucks for a superior quality product (Wilson Dual Band Pro). You won't be disappointed!
The Z-boost (or what I like to call the Z-bust) was to be used at a cottage on the fringe of cellular coverage (1 bar standing on my roof and barely any 3G coverage). I purchased the z-boost along with the YX510 panel antennas thinking I had what I needed. I was pretty excited about finally getting 3G signal at the cottage!
I spent a few hours hooking up the system (with no help from the lousy instructions). I had GPS coordinates of the nearest cell towers and exact directional info on where to point my antennas. I started with 100 ft of RG6 cable to give me some flexibility on locating the antenna and booster as I was aware of the challenges resulting from proximity oscillation between the two.
Once installed, I powered up the iphone to see the results... The z-boost showed all systems go (with the very informative green light). From 10 feet away, I had negligible improvement in voice or data. Once I moved outside the 10 foot range, nothing at all.
I masked my disappointment and climbed back on the roof and adjusted the antennas to the next closest tower (I had exact directional info for this one too). I climbed back down and repeated the testing process...no better. At this point, I was ready to throw everything back in the box but read the little slip in the box that said, "do not return this product...call z-boost installation support". I gave them a call. No answer but I left a VM. 24 hours...no response. I called again and finally got someone. The conversation did not start well as the patronizing little **** on the other end of the phone assumed I was a complete idiot. I tried to assure this individual that we could skip to the technical trouble shooting and it was OK to use the big words with me.
The most helpful advice from Z-boost installation support was that my 100ft cable was too long and that I should spin the antenna 360 degrees. When I tried to explain that I recognized there would be some signal degradation due to cable length but it shouldn't be enough to render the system completely useless, he went into idiot mode again. I also needed to explain that 360 degrees represented a complete circle that ended at the same place!
10 minutes later,everything Z-boost was back in the box on its way to the Amazon returns center. For fun, I called up the Wilson help desk (who encourages presales calls to ensure you purchase the right configuration of system before it arrives). I learned more in 10 minutes on the phone with this guy than I had all day with Z-boost. The rep explained that when you're on the fringe of coverage with lots of geographical contour that an omni-directional antenna is much better. The signal bounces around and can come from many directions simultaneously. Unless you have unrestricted line of sight with a tower, directional antennas are not appropriate. He also explained the importance of power boost.
Longer story somewhat shorter...I bought the Wilson Pro. This unit cost me $50 more than I had invested in Z-bust crap. Once installed (using the same 100 ft RG6 wire and same antenna location), I had immediate 4 bar cell coverage all through the house and amazing 4 mbps upload and download speeds where I had none before! It's an amazing product and cannot even be compared to Z-boost.
I'm a happy 3G camper now but not a big Z-boost fan!
299 of 333 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works as good as standing on the roof,
This review is from: zBoost YX545 SOHO Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home and Office up to 2,500 sq. ft. of Coverage (Wireless Phone Accessory)Seriously, go up on your roof or wherever you'll mount the antenna before you buy this product. If you can't reliably make calls from there, then this product is not going to help you. On my roof, I get between 1-2 bars of service, and it varies from minute to minute. Now, that's exactly what I get inside the house with this product. This product cannot, and does not claim to, improve or amplify service - it just brings whatever signal already exists into the house. It does a good job of doing that, except that the advertised 3000 sq. ft. range is way overstated. I get service in my living room (where the device is) and a little bit in the adjoining kitchen. In linear feet, don't plan on making calls from more than about 20 feet away, and even less if you have to go around a corner.
Bottom line, I can now make and sometimes receive calls from in my house, which I could not do before. Because I don't have a land line, cellular service is very important to me. However, for what this product accomplishes, the price is too high, and if I didn't absolutely have to have cellular service in the house right now, I would probably return it.
55 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zero bars to full signal-Amazing,
Everything was great on Verizon except in my office where I spend 50% of my work time at. I had 0-1 bar and would roam on US Cellular most of the time. I am located in a decent sized market and our office is right in the middle of town. That being said the AT&T tower was 1/4 mile directly outside my window, I can see the antenna clear as day from there. The Verizon tower is the opposite direction and has to get through my entire building until it gets to my office.
I was devastated and returned two different Verizon Droid devices before temporarily returning to AT&T for a couple weeks. I decided to give it one more try and re-bought the Droid X and bought the zBoost SOHO YX545 and did a temporary installation outside my window with the antenna mounted just above the roof line. WOW, what a difference, I maxed out my bars immediately and if you understand signal strength I went from -102dBm at best to between -66dBm and -72dBm. That folks is as good as it gets.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars zBoost really boosts,
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reception went to 5 bars!!!,
36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not work at all,
When I turned the unit on nothing, nada, it was as if it didn't even exist. You could turn it on and off and there was no effect on coverage. Contacted tech support and had done everything they could suggest. Very disappointed. I have returned the product.
Hope your experience is better.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars To Have or Not to Have the YX545,
Purchased for my residence where I have poor cellular reception on the Verizon network and very poor reception on my Sprint 3G Broadband modem.
After a comprehensive site survey and signal strength assessment, I chose to do my installation with the YX039 Yagi bi-directional antennas mounted on a 20', grounded, fiberglass mast on the upper roof of my bi-level house. The YX545 is centrally mounted in a stairway which provides 26' of vertical separation and a horizontal offset of several feet. Exceptional signal strength improvement was achieved for the Verizon cell reception, however no discernible change was made on the Broadband modem. Cell reception, however suffered in clarity both outgoing and incoming to the degree that cell phone conversation was impossible. Replacing the bi-directional antennas with the omni-directional antenna that was provided with the YX545 restored the clarity of the cell signal, however a reduction of signal strength was noted. Cell signal strength is only improved when the phone is within a 10' radius of the YX545 base unit. An additional note for the cell signal improvement is, the 2500 square foot advertised signal coverage is closer to about 200 square feet.
Equally, I hoped to improve the reception of my Sprint 3G Broadband modem using the YX545; it does not. My primary Internet connection for our residence is achieved by dial-up. Hoping for higher Internet access speeds I purchased the Novatel MC760 wireless Broadband modem. The modem operates on both the CDMA and EV-DO modes in the 800/1900 MHz band range. On average my RSSI is between -109 to -120 at my residence. Installing the YX545 did not provide any improvement to the signal. Installing a $24.00 external antenna on the MC760 modem, with the YX545 unplugged, my RSSI improves to -84 to -90. The YX545 has absolutely no benefit to the RSSI of the Broadband modem.
Bottom line, the Wi-Ex zBoost SOHO YX545 dual band amplifier is very disappointing. When an inexpensive and simple antenna will do more than an expensive piece of technology, one has to wonder. I will not recommend the YX545 to anyone.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't use their supplied RG56 cable!,
Upon reading all of these reviews, I decided to give it one last chance by upgrading the RG56 to some dual shielded RG6 I had left over while running my DirecTV. I also decided to put the antenna on some PVC pipe, so it was the recommended 2 feet from all metal (my flashing). I went to Lowes, got some 1/2 inch pcv pipe (which I cut to 2 feet), bought two end caps which I drilled two holes on the top of each using a 3/8 drill bit. I also went to the lamp section and purchased a Portfolio item # 045598 1" brass hollow core pipe. It turns out that RG6 perfectly fits through this small threaded pipe. I used this part to attach to the bottom end cap which I drilled out, to the supplied mounting bracket. I used some locknuts they had a Lowes to connect the parts (Portfolio unit # 036272). For the antenna, I just used one of the same Portfolio locknuts to secure the antenna on top which turns out to be the same thread size. Run the RG6 though the pipe, cut and crimp a connector, and attach to the antenna. From there, just prime and glue the whole attachment together using standard pvc primer and glue. Installed the antenna, ran the coax as before and attached to the unit. As soon as the units light turned green, 5 bars. I closed the A/C closet door, walked 10 feet away, still 5 bars! Amazing. Went 25 feet away way to the garage, at 4 bars with an occasional 5.
All I can say is DO NOT use the supplied coax, it's complete junk. Use at least dual shielded RG6. And installing the antenna on some pcv pipe was only 6 bucks worth of materials, so it can't hurt. I'd give the unit 5 stars if they knocked off a few bucks and just said to use some RG6. I'm a happy customer now.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not perform as stated,
Most Helpful First | Newest First
zBoost SOHO Xtreme Dual-Band Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit for Home and Office by Wireless Extenders
Click for more info