Homemade Cell Phone Signal Booster: 4 Genius DIY Hacks

Homemade Cell Phone Signal Booster: 4 Genius DIY Hacks

Jeff Morin |

What do your old iron hangers and kitchen aluminum foil have in common?

They can help with your weak cell signal.

Everyday household items have fascinating properties that enable them to improve cell signals. Aluminum foil, for example, can reflect cell signals to your device or spaces within your home when placed at the correct angle.

We’ve gathered four genius DIY hacks to help you avoid dropped calls and slow data speeds. As we go through each hack you’ll also learn:

  • How copper coils amplify cell signals
  • Why DIY aluminum boosters need a smooth surface
  • Why professional signal boosters are more effective
  • Where to find professional cell signal boosters

1. Make a Cheap and Simple GSM Booster for Indoor Use

A simple homemade GSM booster takes in cell signal via an antenna and transfers it to your device via contact with wound-up copper wires.

The signal movement around the wound-up copper wires creates a transmission area where the incoming cell signal can pass directly to the antenna within your device via contact (like a patch antenna).

As such, your phone will need to be on top of the copper coils to facilitate this signal transfer.

All you’ll need for this hack is:

  • A GSM antenna
  • A windable copper wire
  • An insulated wire
How to make a simple GSM booster


Even so, you can only use this hack with a strong outside signal and your device rested on the copper wire, for instance, when boosting the signal within a particular section of a building.

A homemade cell phone signal booster won’t be effective if the incoming outdoor signal is also limited, but a professional solution such as the weBoost Office 100 Signal Booster can cover 2,000 sq ft with the same existing weak outside signal.

You won’t even have to place your phone on top of the pro booster for better reception.

This impressive amplification capability of the weBoost Office 100 is due to various reasons:

  • The booster uses a powered amplifier capable of taking in a weak signal, boosting it, and repeating it out to the transmission cables. Homemade boosters don’t add power to an existing weak signal.
  • The booster uses high-quality transmission cables that pass the incoming cell signal between spaces effectively.
    This feature enables the system to take in a weak signal, circumvent obstacles such as walls, and pass the signal to the amplification unit before channeling it to spaces within a building that previously lacked signal. Homemade boosters can’t do the same.
  • The booster uses professional high-gain antennas, which are significantly more powerful and efficient than homemade antennas made of wire.

Additionally, the weBoost Office 100 features various antenna options that allow it to be tailored to your environment for the best performance and largest coverage area of strong cell signal. The following table highlights these antennas and their applications.

Antenna Option Specifications
Omni Antenna
weBoost Omni Antenna
  • Best for hilly or mountainous regions
  • Sends and receives signals in all directions
  • Causes a 4-decibel gain in signal
Yagi Directional Antenna
Yagi Antenna
  • Suitable for environments with a line of sight to cell towers
  • More powerful than the Omni Antenna but not suitable for very hilly or mountainous regions
  • Causes a 10-decibel gain in signal
  • Sends and receives signals in one direction hence the name “Directional Antenna”
High Gain LPDA Antenna
  • Most powerful antenna with a 13-decibel gain in signal
  • Perfect for environments with very weak outdoor signal
  • Requires a direct line of sight to cell towers

2. Make an Indoor Signal Booster From Aluminum Foil

Aluminum’s signal reflecting quality is a well-studied and understood topic. Unlike the previous homemade GSM booster, which relies on passing a signal from an existing outside antenna to a homemade inside antenna, an aluminum cell signal enhancer uses reflection to channel and focus cell signals.

A well-positioned aluminum foil around your cell phone can reflect cell signals to your device or other spaces in a building, amplifying connectivity. However, maximal amplification needs a smooth surface for uniform reflection and direction of the cell signals.

As such, using wrinkled aluminum foil for your signal booster won’t be very effective. Considering how easily aluminum foil wrinkles, the need for a smooth surface creates a major drawback for this hack.

For excellent cell signal amplification, use a professional booster, such as the weBoost Home MultiRoom. This solution will help you get around cell signal blockers such as thick walls in urban environments and provide significantly more boosting than a homemade solution.

weBoost Home MultiRoom


The weBoost Home MultiRoom booster has an impressive 65-decibels of gain to amplify cell signal in spaces of up to 5,000 sq ft when you have a strong existing outside signal. In other words, full bars for all rooms in a small to medium-sized home.

3. Turn Your Old Iron Hanger Into a Simple Signal Booster

Iron hanger signal boosters work similarly to a simple GSM booster by creating both the outside and inside antennas out of the hanger and then connecting them with a cable.

The outside antenna captures an incoming cell signal and transfers it to the inside hanger antenna over the attached cable.

For this hack, you’ll require:

  • An old iron hanger to make the indoor and outdoor antennas
  • An insulated wire or TV cable to transfer the cell signal
  • Connectors to attach the cable to the homemade antennas
Turning your old hanger into a cell signal booster.

This hack is an alternative to the simple GSM booster because of the potentially better outdoor antenna but still suffers when the outdoor signal is weak.

The coverage that you’ll get from a solution like this is going to be severely limited and you’ll most likely need to hold your phone next to the inside antenna to get any benefit. 

If you want to be able to use your phone normally, and you’ve decided that you just don’t want to have to install it yourself, then you’ll want the weBoost Installed | Home Complete solution that includes professional installation in your home.

This solution will boost all of the networks from all of the carriers and will cover up to 2k sq ft with a weak outside signal, and much more with a strong existing outside signal. Best of all, it includes professional installation from a signal expert, so you don’t have to do anything and you’ll get great signal throughout your home.

Outside Yagi Antenna Banner

4. Tinker With a Printed Circuit Board for Signal Boosters

Ready-to-use circuit boards are a viable option for your homemade cell signal boosters.

They come complete with a silkscreen (on the board’s surface) that helps you identify the electronic components you’ll need and where to place them on the circuit board. These items include switches, resistors, and copper coils.

All you need to do is:

  1. Assemble the electronic components as highlighted on the silkscreen.
  2. Solder the components to the board.
  3. Plug in a 9-volt battery and turn the setup on.
Assembling a signal booster circuit board.


This hack is much more complex than any of the previous solutions. It uses coiled copper wires as antennas for different frequencies and electrical components to amplify cell signal.

Even so, the capability of this homemade cell phone signal booster is limited. Professional solutions are more effective because they feature more powerful amplification components, high-quality cables that allow you to circumvent signal blockers and pass signals between spaces of a building, and more powerful antennas to broadcast the signal where you need it.

The weBoost Home MultiRoom signal booster, for instance, uses low attenuation RG6 cables to transfer cell signals and ensure very minimal signal loss between the antenna and amplification unit.

weBoost White RG6 Cable

This solution also uses wideband antennas, which support a wide range of frequencies used by cellular carriers.

weBoost 75 Ohm Yagi Antenna

Boost Your Weak Cell Signal With Wilson Signal Booster

So, there you have it: Four genius DIY hacks to boost your weak cell signal.

But why not use a more effective solution from Wilson Signal Booster?

We offer a wide range of excellent signal-boosting solutions for:

Our products have saved thousands of customers from dropped calls and pixelated Zoom meetings in various environments, from dense urban settings to mountainous and forested rural settings.

“The weBoost is working great. We live in the woods next to the National Forest. We now get 4 bars when before we were toggling from 1 to 2 bars. I’m clear on Zoom calls and no longer pixelated” Lisa M, United States

Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about how a professional signal booster can help solve your signal problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use an old satellite dish to boost cell signals?

No. Although satellite dishes are made from aluminum, which reflects cell signals, it’s difficult to use this reflection capability effectively for signal boosting.

Can I use an old TV antenna as a cell signal booster?

No. TV antennas are designed to pick up television signals and won’t be able to capture some of the frequencies used for cell signals.

Can an outdoor antenna be struck by lightning?

Yes, but professional cell signal boosters feature protective measures against nearby lightning strikes. If you’re worried about lightning strikes, then we offer an optional lighting protector add-on that can be used to protect your solution from nearby strikes.

This add-on has a gas discharge element that blows up in case of an electric surge to stop the current from continuing down and hitting the amplifier. It acts as a fuse.