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Old April 11th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Cell Connectivity Tracker App

Since I have a Fascinate, I was looking for an application that would log my cell/signal activity. This would hopefully give me some proof that my phone (the Fascinate in general) was experiencing very poor cell signals which also contribute to very poor battery life.

I found "Cell Connectivity Tracker".
This applications records the various cell network and data connection information for your phone. It helps to show why your Android phone is switching cell towers and connections types (3G to 2G, back to 3G, etc).

Using it, you can track what cell towers you are connecting to, the strength of the signal, etc and try to determine the parameters that the phone uses to switch cell towers. It was written for GSM phones. It works on CDMA phones as well, but the testing on CDMA phones is thus far limited.

The application is just what I was looking for. It's very basic, but captures Signal Strength Changes, Cell Location Changes and Service State Changes. My phone is constantly changing from -101(dBm) and -106(dBm), constantly jumping from Cell Locations and reporting Physical Link Down. My TWAS (Time without a signal) is currently 46% for 4h 11m. So my phone has been without signal for almost 2 hours. I'm also less than 1/2 mile from a VZW tower.

I wonder if other Fascinate users would also see the same issues that I am capturing?

It's in the Market, so give it a try if you want and report back. It does eat the battery, so run it only when you want to capture some logs.

Thanks,

Tim

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Old April 12th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here are some observations from using the "Cell Connectivity Tracker" application:

Cell strength as it relates to the signal bars

0 bars = -106dBm
1 bar = -101dBm
2 bars = -96dBm
3 bars = -91dBm
4 bars = -86dBm

I can be outside and less than a 1/2 mile from a VZW tower and my phone will bounce between -106dBm and -96dBm, with extremely slow data transfers.

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Old April 13th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have also been watching the Signal Strength from Settings > About > Status and noticed the reported numbers do not correlate with the Bar Level at the top or the numbers I am logging with Cell Connectivity Tracker.

Right now I have no visible Bars being displayed and my Signal Strength is -72dBm on the Status page an the Cell Connectivity Tracker logged -106dBm. My phone even went to 1x (xRTT).

BTW, I am running Stock 2.1update1 S:i500.04 V.EA28 (rooted).

Something is definitely not correct with the cell signal reporting on the Fascinate.

What if the phone's software is reporting a higher signal than what is actually being received and this incorrect information is being used to make operating systems decisions? Might this cause all types of issues from lagging, slow data performance and bad battery life?

Thanks,

Tim
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