Emergency Extension for Cell Phone, VHF Range

emergency_extension.jpg

If you fish from a small, open boat, you can extend your cell phone or VHF range considerably in case of an emergency via a separate antenna, 20' to 25' of coaxial cable, and a long pole, oar or sturdy outrigger to clamp it to. For my VHF, over the years I've used a short (4' or less) whip antenna and RG58 coaxial cable with the appropriate connectors. A stainless-steel hose clamp attaches the antenna to the end of my pushpole. Now you can do the same with your cellular telephone. I'm using the new, compact 2' Shakespeare 5412-P dual-band sailboat antenna, a Shakespeare 4720 rail clamp, a hose clamp, and 25' of Shakespeare's LoMax coaxial cable (this coax is critical because of its very low signal loss and the cell phone's very low power). The only other item needed to complete the call is a short adapter cable that runs from your cell phone's external antenna connector to the end of the LoMax coax, which Shakespeare also offers. Total cost of components is under $300.

—Bob Stearns, Miami, Florida