Bad 1x reception on voice calls


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  1. photoeditor

    photoeditor Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I am getting terrible, unacceptable reception on voice calls. They come in loud and clear. But the person on the other end has trouble hearing me, and the phone has to work hard to hold the call (draining the battery very fast and heating up quickly).

    Idling, my Droid shows four bars and 3G, which turns out to mean four bars of 3G (1900 MHz). But whenever I make a voice call, which on Verizon turns off the data, that drops down to one or zero bars, the reception for the voice calls. Note that here in Chicago Verizon has the two frequencies separate, using 800MHz on voice, 1900MHz on 3G data. So it's a problem the phone has on the 800MHz channels used for voice calls here. (Most of Verizon, except SE Wisconsin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Louisiana and east/south Florida, has the same or similar setup -- in those few places I've mentioned everything is on 1900MHz, so my problem won't apply in those areas)

    Checking the signal strength in the phone settings menu reveals a similar story on voice calls -- I'm typically between -90 and -104dBm at home, as opposed to -77 to -85dBm on my Motorola z6c and my old Samsung A310 (smaller negative numbers are better of course than big ones). Those -90 to -104 numbers on the Droid are what you'd normally expect in a fringe rural area, not the middle of a major city. Checking the numbers in the phone's program menus reveals a similar story -- Ec/Io numbers of anywhere from 50 to 100 on the 800MHz channel (usually 424 for me), but often zero on the 3G channel (it should be as close to zero as possible).

    So something is seriously scrambled with the phone on voice calling. This is my second Droid and the first one had exactly the same problem.

    Does anyone else see the same kinds of symptoms, such as:

    1. Four bars suddenly drop to one or zero when on a call?
    2. Phone heats up very quickly on a call?
    3. In the Settings > About Phone > Status menu, Signal strength shows worse than -90 (e.g. -96, -100, -105)?
    4. The person you're calling asks you to repeat yourself.

    Like I say, no trouble at all on 3G data. But I can't have a phone that works like this on voice. Are they all messed up like this? Is this problem addressed in forthcoming software updates?

    UPDATE: no trouble so far with echoing either.
     

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  2. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    My Droid typically is between -75dBm and -87dBm, stationary on my desk, but often flips to 1x. Per the Verizon Dec 11th bulletin:


    Far End Echo: The calling or called party to/from a Motorola A855 may notice their voice being echoed back into their earpiece.
    Short term work around: The customer will need to power cycle their Motorola A855.

    Planned Resolution: A fix for this issue will be included in a maintenance release of software for this device. The target date for the next release of software is December 11, 2009.
     
  3. Nepherim

    Nepherim Well-Known Member

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    Same problem. I left myself a voicemail as a test, and could hardly hear a thing. I have no evidence, bit is it possibly relate to Google Voice?
     
  4. photoeditor

    photoeditor Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    in the Verizon forums.

    The poster there is having the same problem I'm having, except in the southeastern Wisconsin market where Verizon depends solely on 1900MHz frequencies. No 800 there, because it's all AT&T and US Cellular.

    So this isn't a frequency issue, it's not a problem with the radio failing on one or other of the frequencies -- it's a firmware or software issue, probably affecting both the main frequencies and causing the phone to crap out on voice calls.

    It would be very helpful if everyone goes to that menu option I outlined -- Settings > About phone > Status > Signal strength -- and checks out what their signal strength is. Apparently this is the strength you're going to be getting on voice calls no matter what.

    A lot of people have posted that they're losing 3G signal and reverting to a weak 1x signal. That sounds to me like the same problem I'm having with 1x, plus an additional problem with data that I'm not having.
     
  5. Droid Lover

    Droid Lover Member

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    My sister and I both have Droids and our other sister says she has a hard time hearing us on ours. I randomly lose calls..It is frustrating. Not sure what to do about it. Haven't paid attention to bars or heat. I have a cover not sure I would feel it.
     
  6. Presto

    Presto New Member

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    I live in a very rural area. On a hill, depending where I am in the house or on the property I can have 3 bars 3x to 0 bars of anything.

    I noticed the call quality sucks! It's shockingly bad for a phone that does everything else so well.

    Fortunately I don't talk on the phone much, but I'm keeping an eye on these threads about voice call quality.

    I'm hoping for a quick fix with the update in Dec, but in the meantime I'm going to get the insurance I passed on when I bought the phone. Two days left until I can't get it. I can always drop it later...
     
  7. mikejaret

    mikejaret Well-Known Member

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    I have very similar problems, only the MAJOR problem is when I keep wifi on at my house. I get a fairly good 3g signal at home (always full with my bberry tour) bur decent with droid, but when you have the wifi on it kills the 3g and all i see is 1 bar of 1x maybe 2 if im lucky. calls drop in and out....why is this a problem on this phone but NOT on my bberry tour?
     
  8. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    Most likely because its beefing up power to WiFi connection. Either the firmware needs tweaking, per statement in the Dec update, or the antennae are weak. I've read that they are in the overhang lip to the right of the D-pad.
     
  9. mikejaret

    mikejaret Well-Known Member

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    btw my signal strength at home right now is ranging between -71 to -75 dBm....
     
  10. ladybadger2007

    ladybadger2007 Well-Known Member

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    I live in rural Oklahoma. In my area we only have the 1X, but in Lawton about 50 miles from here they have the 3G and in OKC as well. In the 3G areas I will lose the 3G and revert to the 1X while my husbands BB Tour will have 3G and a full signal the whole time. I also have the echo really bad. At times I will lose data all together in the 3G area. My icon will completely disappear. Or it will bounce back and forth. This is my 3rd Droid since the 6th I love the phone but am getting very frustrated by these little problems. My phone is also getting very hot and the Bttry life is starting to suck. I was so excited to get this phone but am beginning to think I may have jumped the gun. Hopefully the update will repair my relationship with my almost dream phone.
     
  11. CombatChuck103

    CombatChuck103 Well-Known Member

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    My signal strength is -68 dbm, and for the past week I have been having major dropping issues. I haven't lost a call and to be honest, my call quality is fine, but for about 3 hours today, I had no service. First hour consisted of zero data connectivity, followed by 2 hours of zero data/voice connection. My biggest concern is that there were no reported outages in my area. Verizon says that they will only replace the phone if the problem is recreated in their presence. I really hope I can figure this one out.
     
  12. Sitting Duck

    Sitting Duck Well-Known Member

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    Try changing the vocoder to 13k in the programming menu. Mine sounds great.
     
  13. mikejaret

    mikejaret Well-Known Member

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    in english please...
     
  14. Sitting Duck

    Sitting Duck Well-Known Member

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    Open the dialer and enter ##program then send. Enter 000000 as the password. Select vocode then change to 13k then save or whatever. Then back out. The phone may reset. Be VERY careful not to change anything else. It decreases the amount of compression on voice.
     
  15. Gunner

    Gunner Well-Known Member

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    1. YES
    2. YES
    3. Currently at -65
    4. YES

    Also had something weird happen tonight. Driving home, sent a txt, put phone back in pocket. Get home, plug in to charge. Nothing happens...no light, phone doesn't turn on. Trying to power phone on didn't work. Had to remove battery and restart to get it back on. That's the 1st time that's happened. Don't know what the hell that was about. Can't be good, tho.
     
  16. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    Encryption or compression?
     
  17. Sitting Duck

    Sitting Duck Well-Known Member

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    Uh, "compression" like I said. :eek:

    Thanks.
     
  18. photoeditor

    photoeditor Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I had already tried switching the vocoder in the program mode from EVRC to 13k. It made no difference.
     
  19. photoeditor

    photoeditor Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Interesting. You're getting all of my symptoms except for the weak signal reading. I know this sounds crazy but I almost wonder if your phone is giving the statistic on the 3G signal and mine is giving the one for voice.

    It sounds to me like some kind of runaway process drained your battery very quickly. I wonder if the messaging program froze or something while the phone was in your pocket.
     
  20. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    The change will allow for better voice quality, but apparently the QoS drops, as the connection is more susceptible to interference.
     
  21. MJ25

    MJ25 New Member

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    I am having similar problems. The poor reception and dropped calls I am experiencing are making me wonder if I will be able to keep the phone. I really want to as I like it a lot, but I can't have a phone that I can't make calls on.

    I have terrible reception at home, within 30 seconds or so either the person on the line can't hear me anymore or the call gets dropped. My husband's blackberry does not have this problem. I do know that we have poor coverage at home in general, but his phone does much, much better than mine. He can place and receive calls and still gets data coverage. I have to switch to wifi for data. Yesterday I had 2 calls dropped on me at the office. I have never, ever had any problems with reception at work, noone here does, so this is definitely unacceptable.

    I have been checking out my signal strength frequently and this is one thing I noticed:

    When I first check it with the phone just sitting on my desk it is showing up as -81 dBm. All I have to do is pick the phone up in my hand, keeping it in practically the same spot and I can watch the signal drop to -99dBm within less than 30 seconds. Put it back on my desk, I can watch it go back up to -82 or so. Does this make any sense? Could it have something to do with the dropped calls? Anyone else have this happen?
     
  22. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    You aren't experiencing anything different than what a lot of people are. Supposedly there will be a fix in the Dec. 11th update.

    Per the bulletin:

    Far End Echo: The calling or called party to/from a Motorola A855 may notice their voice being echoed back into their earpiece.
    Short term work around: The customer will need to power cycle their Motorola A855.

    Planned Resolution: A fix for this issue will be included in a maintenance release of software for this device. The target date for the next release of software is December 11, 2009.

     
  23. photoeditor

    photoeditor Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    What does far-end echo have to do with ludicrously weak signal and questionable reception? None in my experience -- echo is about the one call quality problem I have NOT had. That's part of why I started the thread.
     
  24. ladybadger2007

    ladybadger2007 Well-Known Member

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    Mine right now is -94 with one bar. Mine did the thing where it went black after a call. I was unable to even hang up. The phone was on because I could hear the call but it would not lite back up .I tried every button I finally pulled the bttry and it came back up. This is crazy. I installed handcent on wed with the font3 pkg, after that my bttry with lite use would only last a couple hrs. I uninstalled that last night so we will see. I was getting constant force close with SMS Popup. Last night my Klondike solitaire was being very jerky. I love the phone but am beginning to think we need to try a trial seperation lol
     
  25. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    As the signal degrades, so does call quality. The quality issues manifests itself in multiple ways, one-way audio, connection loss, and poor sound(i.e. Quality of Service).
     

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