So Jo and I have been living in the condo in Dublin for a few years now. Unfortunately we have not been able to use our iPhones inside the condo since we moved in. If we walk outside on the patio, we get cell reception, inside the condo, not so much. It turns out the construction of the condos blocks cell phone reception.
I had heard about femtocell devices, which basically act like a cell phone tower in your house and they route your calls out over your broadband Internet connection. AT&T’s femtocell device is called the MicroCell. I had been waiting for them to release this in our area. So a few weeks ago when the MicroCell was made available in the Bay Area, I went out to get one right away.
I didn’t like having to pay for a home phone and our cell phones as well. So the MicroCell allowed us to ditch the home phone and use our iPhones exclusively. One of the down sides to the MicroCell is that it needs to have a GPS signal on setup. The GPS signal is supposed to be for emergency 911 service. If you make a 911 call, the MicroCell can provide your location. The problem for us is that we don’t get cell phone reception nor a GPS signal inside our condo, so during setup of the MicroCell I had to set the device on a window seal to get a GPS signal.
So setup went fine and I thought all was good. I wrapped up the cords and placed the MicroCell on the desk with our cable modem, Apple Time Capsule, and other computer related paraphernalia. Well it turns out the MicroCell resets from time to time and it needs to acquire a GPS signal each time it resets. So this was not working out well for us after all.
So I did some research about using an external GPS antenna with the MicroCell. Unfortunately I only ran across a few forums and other sites that even mentioned the external antenna connection on the MicroCell and the user manual doesn’t provide any information about what type of external GPS antenna would work. Even more unfortunate is after reading one forum I bought one type of GPS antenna and found out it didn’t work after all. Then I ran across this blog.
Westacular – 5 bars with AT&T 3G MicroCell
So thanks to the Westacular blog I now have the correct GPS antenna and extension cables so that I can leave the MicroCell on our desk with our other equipment and run the external GPS antenna to the window so the MicroCell can acquire a GPS signal when it resets.
So this is the GPS antenna and extension cables that work with the AT&T MicroCell. I just thought since it took me a while to find this information I would do my part, along with Westacular to get the information out.