Cingular Service and Wilson Antennas

Well, I think I'm ready to ditch my Motorola v60 and old AT&T regional plan for something new. Got a couple of qeustions for the Cingular users out there. I currently have one of the Wilson cellular antennas on my car. With the GSM service, does it really make much of a difference as far as reception is concerned? I know it made some difference on my current phone with the CDMA service, but I don't really know about GSM. I've heard differing opinions on this. Do you really need the amplifier for much of a difference?

I'll be using my phone for voice only. I cannnot currently afford a data package. I'm asking because it really limits the phones that I can consider. I really want a phone with Bluetooth because I want a wireless headset when I'm driving. That narrows the field a bit. If I require an external antenna jack and available Wilson adapter, it narrows down my choices two the Motorola V557 and RAZR. I've played around with the RAZR and find it hard to hold, so I'd rather not get that. I've read about some serious issues regarding the V557 (poor reception, screen blacks out, ear piece fails, etc.)

If the Wilson antenna won't really make a difference, then it expands my options a bit. I've read really good things about the Nokia 6102. Apparently, a new upgraded model is supposed to be out soon that includes Bluetooth, but I can't find anything specific on an expected release. I know we have some Cingular folks around here...any info?
 
Chris,

I have a Motorola 557 and haven't had any issues with it. The screen going "Black" is simply a power saver feature that I believe can be disabled. Since I keep mine plugged in to a car charger when I'm on the road, I don't have that issue. Constant power keeps the screen open.

I also use a Wilson antenna. It's not the "Trucker" version but the shorter RV version. This helps tremendously as it get the signal outside the vehicle interior. I don't use an amplifier and haven't really had to as yet. Seems awfully expensive for a 2 to 3 amp boost that may or may not help, depending on where you're at. If you're way out in the middle of BFE, It might gain a few extra miles, but I haven't heard too much about them either.

I don't use a Bluetooth headset. Simply, they cost too much for my liking. I've got a $25 Platronics wired headset that works just fine. It's an older style so I can just whip it off if I need to though it does come with a "Behind the ear" holder. Since I wear glasses, thise are generally more a pain than they're worth to me.

Of course it's got more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at, but it works for me and beats the old V60 to death. The nice thing, you won't have to get a new charger or antenna adapter, The same one fit the V60 as the V557.

Hope that helps!

John Diel
 
Yup, this is the kind of stuff I want to know. I'd like a little more high tech phone than the 557, but I'm all about the functionality first and the flash second. This is good to know. The 557 is currently free online after rebates from Cingular.



EDIT: John, what's the reception like of the 557 without the antenna (i.e., normal, everyday use)?
 
EDIT: John, what's the reception like of the 557 without the antenna (i.e., normal, everyday use)?
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Locally and in areas that have good coverage, I haven't had any issues. Sometimes inside a metal building I will have trouble, but thats to be expected in a warehouse of the studio. If you go much beyond the I35 corridor or major roadways, you loose reception pretty quickly. The external antenna solves this in the truck. Here's an example: From Kaw City to Shidler Oklahoma along OK 11, coverage is spotty from the east side of Kaw Lake. Go north out of Shidler, you pick up the anttennas along US 166 in Kansas, Go south and you pick up the antennas along US 60.

I haven't lost connection between towers either.

In town and everyday use, it works out well. I haven't had any issues with it dropping calls and very few issues with poor reception. Most often this is solved by connecting the external antanna, or getting out of the vehicle.

I've certainly been pleased with it. I assume they would be a bit better now that they've been out for a couple of years too. The firmware and software should certainly have been updated. It looks this way after peeking at Motorola's website.

John
 
Im a Cingular user and I used the Wilson Cellular Trucker antenna, I loved the antenna. I returned from the three bust days March 7-10 with a conclusion: shorter sometimes is better...simply for mag-mount antennas. I had the antenna mounted on a 5 inch magnet, I was between Bartlesville and Ponca City, OK with about a 40mph cross wind, a dumptruck passed me at highway speed from the other direction and blew the 6+ lb antenna and mount to the rear and as it was tethered with coax, proceeded to slam into the driver's side of my Astro leaving a nice dent and marks that can be buffed out, luckily it wasnt a window! So, I stopped at a Love's and bought the smaller mag mount Wilson cell antenna and used it all the way back. It worked well, I wasnt really ever out of range and no dropped calls all the way through MO, KY, TN and GA. So, like someone mentioned about the RadShack scanner antenna, be careful how you mount these larger, top heavy antennas, they CAN do damage if they blow off.

Mike
 
Im a Cingular user and I used the Wilson Cellular Trucker antenna, I loved the antenna. I returned from the three bust days March 7-10 with a conclusion: shorter sometimes is better...simply for mag-mount antennas. I had the antenna mounted on a 5 inch magnet, I was between Bartlesville and Ponca City, OK with about a 40mph cross wind, a dumptruck passed me at highway speed from the other direction and blew the 6+ lb antenna and mount to the rear and as it was tethered with coax, proceeded to slam into the driver's side of my Astro leaving a nice dent and marks that can be buffed out, luckily it wasnt a window! So, I stopped at a Love's and bought the smaller mag mount Wilson cell antenna and used it all the way back. It worked well, I wasnt really ever out of range and no dropped calls all the way through MO, KY, TN and GA. So, like someone mentioned about the RadShack scanner antenna, be careful how you mount these larger, top heavy antennas, they CAN do damage if they blow off.

Mike
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I have the NMO trunk mount version, so I don't have to worry about that problem. I am heavily considering going and out and buying the 557 this week. It's currently free after rebates, but I don't know for how much longer. I don't think I could beat this deal with a rubber hose.
 
yea also have the Motorolla v557 and love the way it gets data thru the wilson trucker antenna

the data cable set up (you will not get from cingular but rather on line) works great!

I was unable to teather (get data from their cell phone data only plan) so don't bother trying, you are gonna HAVE to pay the $59 mo. - but heys its only for a couple months ehh?

I fabricated a magnet mount for the trucker antenna - you could mount it to the trunk if you want too
 
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