How to Get Signals to Pass Through Metal Buildings

By Darren Bonaparte

If you're stuck in a steel box, bypass the interference by placing antennae on the roof.
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The call drops or the phone doesn't ring. Reception cuts out suddenly and you're left with a block of plastic that was once a working cell phone. In a large building, cellular and radio frequency can be notoriously bad, especially when the building is made with heaps of metal. Metal, an excellent conductor, receives some of the signals service providers send out. Unfortunately, the signals travel to whatever the metal is touching, namely, not your phone. Sheet metal can even deflect the signals. With some accessories and proper planning, you can work around metal.

Move your office closer to a window. This simple step often alleviates certain reception issues as it maximizes the window the signal can travel through while minimizing the presence of interfering metals.

Climb to the top of the building to find a suitable outside location for an antenna. The best place is as high as possible outside the building. Check your local regulations for restrictions on antennae and broadcasting equipment.

Use a simple "bunny ear" style antenna to pick up reception for a personal phone. Plug connector cables into the antenna and plug it into your phone's RF (radio frequency) port. Check your phone's manual to find out where that port is. Position the antenna toward a window or reposition until you find suitable reception. Sometimes all an antenna needs is a little adjustment.