Oscillation vs. Overload: Which Are You Dealing With?



Cellular booster packages make your life easier since they finally put an end to those pesky dropped calls. Once you've found, purchased, and registered this booster, you should have a great signal. Right? Sometimes, technology fails us, and this can happen for a variety of reasons. Discover the difference between oscillation and overload to answer the question, "Which are you dealing with?"

What the Light Color Means

Before diving into oscillation vs. overload, you should understand what those little lights on your signal booster signify. By noting the color of the light, you make solving the problem much easier as you start the troubleshooting process.

The light on your signal booster indicates something about your booster—some colors are better to see than others. If you've found your signal isn't much better than before, then check out the light color:

  • Green: This is what you want to see; it means everything's great.

  • Red: There's feedback, as your outside antenna pulls its signal from the inside antenna.

  • Red and green blinking: There's feedback, and the outdoor antenna pulls a signal from a cell tower.

  • Orange: Your system is overloaded as it pulls too much signal from the nearest tower.

  • Green and orange blinking: Your system is overloaded and facing feedback as the outdoor and indoor antenna communicate.

By noting the light color and understanding what it means, it becomes easier to solve the problem. This means improving your signal quicker so you can get back to sending texts and making calls without concern.

Understanding Oscillation

Which are you dealing with, oscillation or overload? Oscillation is a type of feedback that occurs when your inside and outside antennas are too close. As you look at your booster, you may notice the lights are blinking green or red, though they may also be a solid red. Not only this, but you also lack the signal boost you shopped around for!

In a properly working signal booster, the outside antenna pulls a signal from the nearest network tower, which it sends to the amplifier so the antenna inside your home can rebroadcast it. But when oscillation occurs, the outside antenna picks up its signal from the inside antenna, which creates a feedback loop. If you run into this, don't fret, as it’s easy for first-time users to fix the problem.

Tips for Fixing Oscillation

For a system to work properly, you want 20 feet vertically or 50 feet horizontally between your outdoor and indoor cellular antenna. Chances are, you installed these antennas a bit too closely, which is why you're getting feedback. Fix oscillation by moving one of your antennas to allow for optimal space between the two.

Pro Tip

While most boosters require separation of at least 20 feet vertically and 50 feet horizontally, this isn't always the case. Look at the guide your booster came with and know the ideal distance for your model.

Also, note that socialization can occur on the cellular booster, whether for a vehicle, home, or commercial use. This is one reason why reviewing the installation manual is crucial. You can usually prevent oscillation on cars and trucks by installing your outdoor antenna either at the center or rear of your vehicle.

Why You Should Fix It

You should fix this problem to improve your signal, of course. However, repairing this also protects your booster. When a system works improperly, it could negatively impact the nearest cellular network's tower. So, if you see that red light, you should fix the problem right away.

Understanding Overload

Overload is another problem you may encounter and happens if you install the outdoor antenna to close to the nearest network tower. While you'd think placing the antenna closer to the network tower would mean a better signal, this isn't necessarily the case.

You'll know your booster's overloaded if it fails to work correctly and the indicator light is either orange or flashing between green and orange.

Tips for Fixing It

Fixing a system overload is easy, as you can usually do this by moving the outdoor antenna to an area with a slightly weaker signal. You want this component installed where cellular signal seems optimal, and too much signal can be as bad as too little.

If relocating the outside antenna is out of the question, then you may try turning the antenna away from the nearest tower. Both options work because they create distance between your antenna and the tower.

Installing a Filter

Another option to solving this problem is to install a frequency filter—and finding what's best means knowing what is compatible with your system and network. First, you'll have to install the filter between your outdoor antenna and the amplifier—connect it to this antenna with a cable.

A filter may be beneficial to those using an omnidirectional antenna in crowded areas, as a system overload is common in this instance. By installing a filter, you make it easier for your signal booster to pull from the appropriate network tower rather than from whatever's around.

Finding a Cellular Booster

Finding the perfect booster takes time and depends on various factors. For example, an omnidirectional antenna may not be ideal for a company operating in a busy city. This type of outdoor antenna searches in all directions for the best signal, so there's a higher chance of it overloading in a crowded area.

As you install your cellular booster, take time to review the user guide and ensure you install it in the best location. By doing otherwise, you risk installing your antennas too closely to one another or having the outdoor antenna too close to the network tower. You don't want either of these as both prevent your booster from working as it should.

Contact the Experts

Never shy away from asking for help, especially when buying the best booster for your needs. Contact an expert as SureCall Canada if you need help finding the ideal booster system or need to fix yours. Our phones let us make calls, send emails, and even check social media—but most importantly, they keep us connected with the world.