Apartments Aspire to Great Cell Signal for Car Charging Stations

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At the new Aspire 7th & Grant luxury apartments, residents enjoy dramatic views of the Denver skyline from their oversized windows and grand balconies, paired with world-class amenities, state-of-the-art appliances and all of the finer things that boutique living in the heart of the city has to offer. With amazing restaurants and upscale retail experiences within minutes of the front door, it is touted as being the perfect blend of contemporary and convenient.

The discerning residents of Aspire 7th & Grant tend toward high-end cars as well, which means a plethora of Teslas and other electric vehicles that demand car charging stations. Aspire has thoughtfully provided charging stations on all three levels of their underground parking but shortly before opening day, the builder, Shaw Construction, discovered the stations weren’t working so they called in Illuminati Labs to the rescue.

You may not know this, but car charging stations require cell signal to communicate with a smart network (how building residents/tenants access the stations). Getting cell signal, especially if the charging stations are underground, often requires a cellular repeater system. That’s why many charging station companies sell so-called “DIY” cell repeaters alongside their stations.

So if you’re a building owner, you purchase a charging station/cell repeater kit, thinking you’ve got all your bases covered, and you hand the combo over to your electrician to install. You can kinda follow the thought here – the charging station’s whole purpose is to provide electricity so an electrician seems like a logical choice to install it. But nine times out of ten, an electrician won’t be able to get the cell repeater to work – and that’s not his fault.

See, while the charging station operates with electricity, the cell repeater operates with RF signal. And RF networks are nothing like electricity. Asking an electrician to install a cellular repeater is like asking a plumber to install a LAN system; you’re probably going to get a pretty sketchy LAN system –- something with faucets instead of routers.

Similarly, an electrician who installs a cell repeater isn’t going to know how to dial in the position of a directional antenna (hint: it doesn’t work when it’s pointed at a concrete floor). Even if the repeater gets installed correctly, the SIM card inside the charging station probably isn’t compatible with the cell repeater’s network so the system still won’t work and an electrician won’t know that or know how to fix it. Again, NOT THE ELECTRICIAN’S FAULT, it’s just not his area of expertise.

But it IS our area of expertise. Adam, co-owner of Illuminati Labs, often jokes that electricians are ‘big screwdriver’ guys and cellular repeater installs are definitely made for ‘little screwdriver’ guys. That’s us — the little screwdriver guys. Whether we do the install from the beginning or rework an existing system, let us put our little screwdrivers to work resolving all your charging station and cellular repeater needs.

Just like the brilliant folks at Aspire 7th & Grant did.