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Personal Cell Tower

(Radio's), (GPS), (Faraday Cages), (Other Technology)
Danux
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Personal Cell Tower

Postby Danux » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:57 am

If I was to build my own cellphone tower, to use if the corporate towers stopped working, would I be able to prioritize or limit which phones could connect to it? Or is the technology designed so that any phone in within range could use it?
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Preparation
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Re: Personal Cell Tower

Postby Preparation » Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:51 pm

Well why not do it a little differently, why not setup a repeater tower instead for ham radio? It could be a lot more flexible in the long term for your communication needs than setting up a personal cell-type system.
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Danux
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Re: Personal Cell Tower

Postby Danux » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:05 am

I guess I'm thinking cellphones are far more pervasive than ham radios, but I wouldn't want to carry the weight of a densely populated area. Being able to limit who can ride the waves seems like a good option.
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Justin K
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Re: Personal Cell Tower

Postby Justin K » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:23 am

I hate to rain on your parade, but the strength of a cell tower is the network it is connected to. with out that network of connections to hard lines and other cell towers that one tower would be useless.
That said you could set up a single tower with ALL the equipment to route calls to and from the single tower, but the cost would be quite high. depending on the antennas used you might get a few Km 5-22 max depending on a whole lots of variables #1 being line of site and #2 interferance. All cell towers are currently being upgraded to higher freq, which allows more calls but shorter range. replacing Lower freq antennas which allow fewer calls but longer range. All calls must go through central switch to account for billing to which account and how long each call is down to 1 tenth of a second.
If your sim card is not activated you can NOT access the network. And as for older phones the technology is no longer in use, the equipment has been removed to make room for the new tech.

Best plan would be radio repeater as stated above
Hope this helps
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Preparation
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Re: Personal Cell Tower

Postby Preparation » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:17 pm

I looked into the cell idea before, ham repeater much easier....and remember licensing issues!!!!!! You would soon discover that a special licence may be needed if you go down the cell route method....and it would be a difficult process..... although, what if you used VOIP? Few smart phones connecting to a private network/VPN (none of this is simple by the way!!!!) and well its another option for you if you really want secure communications. It depends on lot of technical factors and potentially legislation/licence issues depending what the rules are over in Canada. But it is possible. On on saying that there is an article which might be worth giving a read over if you really have your heart set on this idea: http://www.wired.com/2015/01/diy-cellul ... ks-mexico/ Hope that is of assistance. On saying that you best also read what problems the team involved in this project continues to face http://rhizomatica.org/
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Danux
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Re: Personal Cell Tower

Postby Danux » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:24 pm

Lots of good responses here, thanks. I was really just kinda floating the idea for discussion, wondering about the feasibility of it.

My primary thought, I guess, was more like being able to use a personal cell tower & phones locally, say like walkie-talkies, rather than being able to connect to some commercial provincial/national cell network. Or, on a grander scale, to interconnect with nearby towers run by like-minded individuals, maybe make a private cell network of a handful of towers.

I hadn't really thought about modern cellphone's capacity to use an internet connection; it would be quite a bit simpler to make a wireless LAN tower, use data to interact. I'm not sure that an unaltered cell phone can make phone-to-phone contact using, say, VOIP/text, without some central server guiding & permitting it to do so, though?

Mostly, it occurred to me that cellphones are pervasive, low-powered (aka easy to re-charge) communications devices. Being able to leverage such readily available equipment seems like a good use of effort, when trying to establish a communications network. It'd be convenient to be able to make a mesh network from cell phones, I think, eliminate the need for towers altogether. Hang a cellphone with a small solar panel within range of another, to act as a repeater, that kind of thing. All stuff beyond my ability to create, of course -grin-.

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Preparation
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Re: Personal Cell Tower

Postby Preparation » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:51 pm

All very true and good points. I wasnt trying to knock the idea, had been playing around with part of that thought process myself. Ok maybe I should look into it again and see what I can come up with.

Well speaking of VOIP that part would be fairly easy. You just create a Private Branch Exchange system. That could be done quite cheaply, nothing too fancy. Take a raspberrypi for example, implement Asterisk and FreePBX for use with it and.....install some free client software on each handset and.....quite quickly you have a nice private phone/fax/text network providing for about 10 simultaneous calls without much degradation of signal! After all how many calls will you have at the EXACT SAME time? I think ten is a good amount. Obviously you need to setup a basic local network infrastructure for it to work over of course first which would involve a DNS server etc...but generally it could be that easy.

Installing and configuring the software for PBX on a Pi can be a right pain due to some adjustments you need to make to get it to work efficiently on such a small resource system. One easier approach than doing it all from scratch could be to get one of these http://www.ebay.com/itm/231704802894

Hi, If you ever considered experimenting with either the voip, cell or ham ideas I wouldnt mind trying to help.
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Danux
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Re: Personal Cell Tower

Postby Danux » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:46 am

Interesting stuff, I've never delved into the world of telephony, nice to see the open source ecology taking root there. I did experiment a bit with wireless networks a while back, was able to configure a server that allowed public access its LAN, ran DHCP, DNS, and web servers, redirected all web traffic to the index page; my thought was that I could serve up a wireless, local supply of media (books, music, movies, locally cached Wikipedia, etc) and provide a forum for people to communicate electronically. It can't be that difficult to set up something similar, offer the phone's software on the index page, then run the suite of software found in the PiBX distribution to tie it all together (like a nice area rug in a living room).

I have to admit, though, this is something I probably won't put more than thought into, for a good long while. Have a few other priorities (like shelter), ATM haha. I *would* toss some coin at a coding project making a set of apps that facilitate the circumstance, though, for a variety of common phones/mobile chipsets. It would be good if a user was able to snag the app and install it on their unmolested phone, without having to jump through any hoops, use it as needed.


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