Posted by Admin on Feb 11, 2017
What is a soft install and why is it important to do one for your cell phone signal booster system? In this post, we will see how to do a soft install. We will explain why it is very important and why you would want to conduct a soft installation prior to full cell phone signal booster installation. We offer soft and permanent professional cell phone signal booster installation for commercial spaces.
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The soft install is simply doing a dry run to place the components of your signal booster where you think you want them, and then connect them without permanently mounting anything. This will save you a ton of time and headache when doing your installation. There's nothing worse than getting everything all set up only to find out that you have to pull all the cables back out and re-run them. Many times, locations you think are going to be perfect for your antennas might need to change or you may find that adjustments need to be made at those locations.
To do a soft install, just place the components in a location where you plan on mounting them. Creating a signal map will help immensely with this. Then connect them all together with the cable. Don't run any of the cables yet. Just connect all antennas and run the cable out to a window or a door so you can get them on the roof for exterior antenna and just into the room for interior antenna. You might need to connect two lengths of cable together with a barrel connector to get extra length you need, especially for getting the cable up onto the roof. Then power the booster on, check the lights and your signal level to see how it is performing. You may find that you need more separation between internal and external antennas, or need to adjust or aim them differently to get the booster working at peak performance.
When doing a soft install, it is much easier to have two people involved. Have one person stand inside near the signal booster while you get on the roof with outside antenna. Walk around the roof to various locations and have your helper relay all information to you by using a cordless phone (or even a cell phone if it works in required installation spaces). Have them check the signal level on their cell phone in field test mode as well as the light color(s) on the booster. Each time you make a change, have the person reset the booster inside to update the lights.
Your smart phone may take a little time to update the signal. iPhones are especially notorious for this, sometimes taking up to a minute so make sure that you’re patient at each location and spend some time there so the signal has had time to update. A little trick to make this happen faster is to turn Airplane mode on for a few seconds, and then turn it back off. This will reboot the signal to see the then current status of signal strength. Or you can pick up a signal meter. A signal meter updates instantaneously in real time so you will never have to wait around for the signal to update. Not only that, but it also covers all the different bands for all various carriers whereas your phone will only work for the carrier that you have service with. Therefore, if you're going to do this a fair amount or you're just kind of a gadget geek, a cell phone signal meter is a great tool to have.
In addition to moving an antenna to different locations on the roof once you have found the spot where you want to mount it, you can fine-tune and aim it in different directions to help alleviate some situations with the lights like "antenna separation needed", or maybe de-tuning external antenna from a nearby cell tower that is sending too much signal your way. Similarly, with internal antenna, you might need to make some adjustments there. You may need to aim it in a different direction, move it to a different wall or move it into a different room entirely. This is where the soft install is extremely helpful. It is going to save you a ton of time and headache, plus maybe fewer drilled holes.
Above details cover the soft installation process. Hopefully, this has helped you to understand what a soft install is, and importance of conducting one prior to complete, full, and permanent installation. Watch the video provided for more details and illustration on how to perform a soft installation of your cell phone signal booster antenna system and the reasons for performing it prior to a permanent cell phone booster installation.