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Boosting Cell Reception

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by kevinturcotte, May 29, 2013.

  1. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte New Member

    3,954
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    Right now I'm relying only my Android phone (Droid 4) for ALL of my internet. Reception here is horrible though. Phone calls are impossible unless I go outside. If I leave the phone in the window, it grabs a 3G signal, but I get around 600kbps for speed. If I'm holding the phone, I get almost no signal at all, almost like dial up speed (Probably on 2G at that point?). I'm wondering if there's anything I can do, maybe through rooting or something, to increase the reception it gets? This would have to be free though, I can't afford those Wilson Electronics systems or anything. Is there maybe someway to increase the antenna's sensitivity or something?
     
  2. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,255
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
  3. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte New Member

    3,954
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    Was hoping for something I could do right now, for free. Tweaking with settings/options, and such.
     
  4. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    4,117
    21
    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    600k is not a bad download speed as far as 3G goes. Used to be I could walk out in the parking lot here and be lucky to get triple digits on Sprint, which is why I switched to Verizon and their extensive 4G network (though it's starting to get bogged down as they keep adding users).

    Droid 4 phones are on Verizon as far as I know, which has a reputation for having the best network (using lower frequencies which are better for building penetration)(YMMV) and their coverage map shows no uncovered areas in Portland, with lots of 4G coverage which the Droid supports. Does their map show realistic coverage for your actual area? Do other phones on the same network perform the same as yours?

    Do any other mobile companies provide better coverage in your area?

    I'd think that with something like a cell phone booster you'll get what you pay for.

    Not an option for you but my kiddo in Tulsa, who lives in a bad signal area uses a AirRave that acts like a mini cell phone tower through his broadband connection. That works pretty well and provided for free by the cell company.
     
  5. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,255
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    Here are a couple of others that are discounted:

    http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=07&p=OBO-801241&d=OPEN-BOX-ITEM--Wilson-Electronics-SignalBoost-Mobile-Professional-Wireless-Amplifier-Complete-Kit-%28801241%29&c=Signal%20Boosters&sku=


    http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=07&p=OBO-YX540&d=OPEN-BOX-ITEM--WiEx-zBoost-YX540-Metro-Dual-Band-Wireless-Cell-Phone-Extender-%28YX540%29&c=Signal%20Boosters&sku=


    Watch the specs on them though to make sure they cover what you need. At least one of these excludes 4G.
     
  6. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte New Member

    3,954
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    Unfortunately, Verizon is the ONLY company that even gets a signal here. I've tried AT&T, Sprint, t-Mobile, US Cellular. Only Verizon works. Not actually in Portland, in East Baldwin (04024). They offered me a booster, but it runs off broadband internet, which isn't an option at the moment.
     
  7. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte New Member

    3,954
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    This is what I'm talking about is regards to signal/speed. This is NOT what I call coverage, ESPECIALLY since, according to Verizon, I SHOULD be getting great reception for me area. I call this false advertising. Unfortunately, as I stated before, Verizon is the ONLY company that even gets somewhat of a signal here. All the other companies signals are completely non existant here. This is RIDICULOUS! This is 2013. I SHOULD be able to get reliable reception where I live!
    As far as that video, it says at the end that it's grabbing signals at 1900 Mhz. This isn't going to work for Verizon, is it, since they use 700 Mhz and 850 Mhz?
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ardk4kuq0fx8qcn/3gcoverage.JPG
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ajlxpprelozj1xc/4gcoverage.JPG
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4n1brkjghtujalb/speed.JPG
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xuhf4nxbzaisn8v/dBm.png
     
  8. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    4,117
    21
    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    Can't look at your pics at work but wow, the Verizon coverage map is quite variable in your area, can go from 4G to no coverage just like that!

    According to Wikipedia Verizon uses 1900 MHz and 850 MHz bands for 3g and 700 for LTE, though they are adding AWS spectrum (1700/2100 MHz) - Galaxy S4 will be the first to be able to use it (after a software upgrade). Not sure of the timetable for that though, and probably won't help you out as the higher AWS frequencies would give lower building penetration, but might if AWS transmitters are closer to your location.

    The 700 MHz LTE should travel farther and give better building penetration, but then they take advantage of that and space the LTE antennas farther apart.

    Do you know where your Verizon towers are located?

    Have you had someone try Sprint at your house lately? I see that there are some updated towers near Ossipee Trail & Friendly Ln, Oak Hill Rd. & Dolloff Rd., NE Rd near Standish, Long Hill Rd. & Eagle Crestview Ln., and on Peaked Mtn. Pass. Just 3G, but any of these close enough to be of use to you?
     
  9. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte New Member

    3,954
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    Not sure where the towers are. Is there someway to find out where the VERIZON towers are?
    My Mother has Sprint, and she was up here the other day. She barely has a signal at her house here (Same situation as me), and ZERO signal here.
     
  10. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    4,117
    21
    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    SignalCheck Pro is an Android app that will tell you where the 1xRTT/EV-DO/eHRPD towers SAY they are located. In some places they tell the truth and in others they lie. Around here Sprint towers usually give a location 1/2 to 1 (though sometimes more) miles away in what seems like random directions, but elsewhere Sprint towers report actual locations. Never checked Verizon because it just always works.
    Towers do not report LTE locations and you can be connected to different towers for voice (1xRTT) and data (LTE). One way to find an LTE tower is to view the engineering screen on your phone (##DEBUG## on my G4, then enter SPRINT for the lock code, a search should turn up Droid support info) and drive around while looking at signal strength. SignalCheck Pro will also provide LTE signal strength. Get it down to around -80dBm and the tower should be in view.
     

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