After a long weekend, it was time to put the zBoost YX545 through its paces. There was an included setup guide which I promptly ignored. I wanted to see if I could get this device going by myself.
Step one was connecting everything. The good news here is that every connector is different. It’s not possible to connect something to the wrong place… everything is either a different size, different shape, or completely different.
As shown in the picture I attached the entire assembly to the window with some painters’ tape. In a future installment, I’ll put the antenna up more permanently. For now I want to see how it performs with a 5-minute installation.
The base unit goes together just as easily. There is a TNC connection for the base’s antenna and an F connector for the antenna wire. At first it looked confusing but the cables just can’t go in the wrong place. The base unit’s antenna rotates and flips up. It’s great that you can move it but since you can’t wall mount the unit without modifying it, there’s not a lot of purpose to that.The power adapter is a fairly small wall wart, the size of most cell phone chargers and depending on the spacing of your power strip it might not even cover up two plugs.
The difference was immediate. In the same spot I went from one bar to three bars. I made a test call sitting under my desk where previously I had no reception at all. I still had two bars and the person on the other side of the line had no problem hearing me. I could unplug the YX545 and watch the bars drop, and plug it back in to watch the bars go back up. There’s no question this little device does just what it says it’s going to do, even if you don’t install it really well.
After experimenting with hooking this device up for myself, I did sit down and read the installation guide. It’s a quick one-page deal with a lot of friendly pictures. The folks at Wi-Ex do recommend that you put the base unit and the antenna about 15 feet from each other and they also suggest mounting it up high on the roof. In my next article I’ll try putting the base unit farther away from the antenna and see if it gets even better.