Trail Impressions: SureCall Fusion2Go Max Cell Signal Booster
Detailed Review and Overview on the SureCall Fusion2Go Max Cell Phone Signal Service Booster
The desire to spend time outdoors is usually paired with the desire to be out of range and therefore unavailable. There is a time before and after that point of wireless freedom where you might need your provider’s signal, reliably and in full strength.
I like to check in with family before getting to the point of no service, so having the signal strength to make the call is really important.
Let’s face it, there isn’t much worse than having to turn around, going away from your destination, just to search for a signal.
This problem is compounded by the fact that the further away from the dense population you travel, the scarcer and slower your signal will be, IF you have it.
If history has taught us anything about weak signals, it’s that they’re usually fixed by a bigger antenna. Modern cell phones unfortunately don’t allow for the option to step up to a larger antenna (unless you’re using a Nokia from the ’90s with a pull out antenna) so we have to jump to the next solution, a cell signal booster.
The concept is simple, it adds a “bigger antenna” near your cell phone to boost the signal and BOOM, you’re connected.
Introducing the SureCall Fusion2Go Max
Cell phone boosting specialist SureCall has been producing cell signal boosting devices for almost two decades.
Their portfolio includes everything from home boosters to public service boosters that are used during regional emergencies to make sure that your call goes through.
To help us outdoorsy 4Runner owners, SureCall also has a line of mobile signal boosters that are designed to be used in your vehicle.
The newest and most powerful mobile booster they offer is the Fusion2Go Max, and I have been testing it for the last few months in the 4Runner.
Key Product Features:
- Check Today’s Price
- Simple Setup
- Boosts 3G & 4G LTE Signal
- Dramatically increases call reliability and 4G LTE data speed and performance
- Extended Range Technology (ERT) provides 2x more power than all other wide-band vehicle signal boosters
- Compatible with all major North American carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and more
- Continually optimizes gain, ensuring booster is always operating at maximum performance
- Supports multiple users and devices simultaneously
- US-Based Customer Support
- Long-Term Reliability
- FCC Approved
- Industry Leading 3 Year Warranty
- 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
Starting outside, there is an external antenna that has to be installed high on the vehicle where it can receive and send signals with the least obstruction.
This external antenna is packed with SureCall’s Extended Range Technology, boosting upload and download speeds in areas where you would normally be hanging on to 3G or 1x reception.
It’s a low-profile composite antenna with a magnetic base and an optional double-sided adhesive pad for mounting.
Inside the vehicle, there are two items that work with the external antenna to complete the system. From the external antenna, there is a 10-foot cable that connects it to the main booster unit inside the car.
This part does exactly what you would assume, taking power from your nearby 12v lighter port and using that power to amplify your signal through the external antenna.
The power unit is housed in a sturdy aluminum body with four mounting holes, one on each corner. It features LED indicator lights to show power and your connection status in an easy to understand layout.
Connected to a second 10 foot cable, an internal antenna gets mounted near the front of the interior cabin to send and receive a signal directly from your cell phone. It uses a Velcro backed adhesive to stick to nearly any flat surface.
This internal antenna passively connects to multiple devices at the same time with no configuration necessary and is small enough to hide away just about anywhere.
Features and How it Works
The Fusion2Go Max is a fairly passive device; something that ideally you’ll set up once, and forget it is even there.
That is the beauty of its design. You don’t need to set anything up on your phone, connect to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal, it just works. The SureCall device is capable of connecting to multiple devices at the same time, automatically.
This means that anyone within range of the internal antenna in the vehicle will benefit from the boosting power of the unit.
When the unit powers on, it will become the closest cellular antenna to your phone. Your phone is programmed to reconfigure to the closest antenna. Once it senses the new closer antenna, it will use the SureCall as its primary signal source as long as it’s on and within range.
It acts as the middle man between your phone and the carrier’s local tower, with a larger receiving antenna to pick up the weakest tower signal and a boosted sending antenna to make sure it gets back. As an added bonus, because your phone is now sending data/voice two to three feet away it reduces battery consumption on the phone.
The Fusion2Go Max boosts talk, 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE for all major carriers without any pre-configuration.
There are two key factors for installing the Fusion2Go on the 4Runner. Placement of the internal antenna, and the placement of the external antenna. Considering that they are limited by the length of their cables, where you place both is key.
The external antenna needs to be as high on the 4Runner as possible, with a minimum 12” clearance from any other roof antenna or obstruction. Considering my 4Runner has a roof rack, and a rooftop tent, I chose to mount the external antenna on an aluminum bracket connected to the Eezi-Awn awning. It’s not the perfect location but it’s the best location I could find.
The internal antenna needs to be in a central location in the vehicle, preferably within two to three feet of the cellular device it’s connecting to. In the 4Runner, there is a perfect place on the front side of the center console. It allows for easy cable routing between the console and front seat.
I mounted the power unit where the antennas from the internal and external antennas met. The passenger side rear cubby was a logical choice as it’s out of the way and close to the rear 12v power source. Two strips of 3M Extreme Fastener adheres the power unit to the plastic in the cubby, and miles of washboard roads have proven it won’t fall off.
I routed the external antenna cable through the rear hatch, going under the weather seal as instructed in the installation procedure.
Based on the location of the power unit, I then worked the cable behind the interior trip and through a hole I drilled in the cubby on one side of the power unit. From the front, I brought the interior antenna cable between the console and passenger sear, and under the carpet from the seat to the door trim.
Then I routed behind the same side panel and into the cubby through a second hole I drilled on the other side of the power unit. Your cable routing will be based on where you place the antennas and power unit. By my rough measurement, you could likely install the power unit under the rear seat as well, totally hidden from view.
Trail Tested Impression
I have spent the last few months using this device in the 4Runner in the cities and highways of California, through the mountains and across the deserts.
One of the things that I came to realize was that when there is no signal, there is no signal. No device can fix that problem. But where there is a signal, even if it’s weak, the Fusion2Go Max does a good job boosting the signal, increasing data speeds and smoothing out call reliability.
Here is data showing the boosted performance of the SureCall device when it’s off versus on. One thing to note is the iPhone “signal bars” don’t change at the top, but the field test mode data shows that there is a significant improvement in signal strength.
SureCall Powered Off
SureCall Powered On
On the left side you will see the results of a speed test. It measures the speed in which data is either sent from or received to your phone from the closest cell tower. On the right, the important number is ‘Measured RSSI’ which is the direct measurement of signal strength from your phone. To break it down; -30 to -67 dBm is considered a strong signal, -67 to -70 dBm is good to average, and -70 to -80 dBm is average to borderline unusable cell signal.
Recently when I was in the deserts of the Eastern Sierra with a group of friends where we had our own vehicles, I would typically end up receiving a cell signal before anyone else did and had to explain the what the booster did over our HAM radios when asked how I was able to give them a weather update without service. I had service already, and they didn’t. I attribute that difference to the SureCall booster.
When I was heading home from the same trip, traveling on back roads, I was able to phone my wife and let her know when I would be back home that evening as well as chat about what silly things the dog did while I had been gone.
Again I attribute that clear phone call to the additional power the booster provides.
Is the SureCall a good value for the money? Honestly, I think it all depends on how much you value your cell signal and service speeds. Someone spending time only driving in the city might have a hard time justifying the cost.
However, if you live, work, travel to areas where cell service is marginal at best, the SureCall is a beneficial addition to any adventure vehicle or daily driver.
Similarly, if you constantly send and receive large amounts of data through a cell carrier (photo or video uploads, work materials, etc.), the Fusion2Go Max will boost those upload speeds dramatically whether you’re in the city or the middle of nowhere. That can be a huge asset for someone on the road.
If you do find yourself in need of a booster device, the SureCall Fusion2Go Max will help you keep that connection when you need it, and there’s always an off switch for when you want to leave it all behind.
Questions or Comments? Leave them below!