Time Without Signal: thoughtsGeneral


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  1. ttamnedlog

    ttamnedlog Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Looking around at the battery stats and such, I noticed that cell standby was using most of my battery. That can be located here (assuming your phone is not charging):

    Menu > Settings > About Phone > Battery > Battery Use

    Now the reason the cell standby had been using more battery than other features... is because that's exactly what my phone had been doing. This was overnight, off the charger. Obviously it was doing nothing but standing by. So all seemed normal so far, but when I drilled into it I discovered:

    Time Without Signal: 54%

    That didn't seem good. Did this mean I was without service half the time my phone was running? I googled and came across an older thread for a different phone saying that if your TWS is around 50%, then it is probably due to your phone attempting to look for a GSM network as opposed to CDMA. Various "fixes" were mentioned. Toggling airplane mode. Or dialing *#*#4636#*#* and changing it from GSM to to CDMA somewhere in those menus.

    Well I didn't bother toggling airplane mode, and I looked for the GSM/CDMA thing, and my phone was already properly set to CDMA. So I assume that bit of information was particular to whatever phone they were dealing with (Eris I believe).

    I was curious, though, if Time Without Signal indicated ACTUAL signal loss, or was simply based on whether or not you had bars. I get 0-2 bars in my house typically. So I rebooted the phone in an area of my house where I tend to get 0 bars. I checked the Time Without Signal after a few minutes. Yep. 100% time without signal. Yet I checked in the network status and saw my typical signal-to-noise ratio here of about -100 db. I could also place calls just fine.

    I moved to another location in the house where I had a bar or two consistently, and the Time Without Signal percentage began to drop. Actual signal was still at my usual -100ish db.


    So my point is. To those worried about the Time Without Signal number: it is essentially as worthless as the bars. As for how this relates to Cell Standby's use of the battery, I am not sure.

    Just figured I'd inform you guys of my little casual test.
     

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  2. Rubik76

    Rubik76 Well-Known Member

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    In the ase of Eris, Time Without Signal translated directly to massive battery drain because the phone was constantly searching for signal.

    The 50% time without signal was a definitive bug in the leaked 2.1 release on Eris. The phone was actually getting signal - but it would still search.

    I haven't seen this bug come up on the offical 2.1 release for Incredible, but I assume that the behavior is the same - if your phone has no signal (or thinks it doesn't), it will search until it knows it has signal. This will kill your battery.
     
  3. ttamnedlog

    ttamnedlog Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Ooh, that's interesting to know. Yeah just glanced at my phone to see it is at 67% TWS. My phone has been in my pocket in and around the house the past hour or so. I'm sure the bars have been all over the place.

    Is there anything I can do? If it's actually draining my battery more than it should be, then I'd like to do something about it.
     
  4. ZPrime

    ZPrime Member

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    One thing I have noticed after having the phone since last Friday - it immensely prefers a 3G signal. 3G radio is known to draw a lot of power (many tests show it is actually worse than wifi). My office is in a little cinderblock room inside of a big warehouse (all metal). VERY bad cell signal back here. We have a VZW network extender - it plugs in to ethernet and gives you a mini cell tower. However, it only runs on 1xRTT, no 3G/Evdo. My Incredible will CONSTANTLY flop back and forth between the almost non-existent 3G signal and the full bars 1X signal from the extender. I can literally watch the battery drain or the percentage drop with various apps. This is even when it is asleep and doing nothing.

    I've found that turning ON the wifi helps immensely (i have an accesspoint sitting 5 feet away from me). On Monday, not using wifi, I was down around 30% by the time I got home. Today, with the wifi on the whole time, I still have ~79% at 3:30pm.

    Another data point...

    HAve both phones sitting here on the 4636 screen (See original post - didn't know about that tip, good find!)

    The Droid will show -52dBm consistently. The Incredible will jump from -56dBm (presumably the extender) to around -77 dBm (presumably the bad tower) just by moving it a foot across my desk. Again, I think it is signal hunting too much, or it just has a much poorer cellular radio.

    I didn't have any of these problems with the Moto Droid - it was perfectly happy to sit on the 1X signal for a while rather than constantly flopping to a VERY poor 3G one. Since it's just getting push e-mails and GMail, 1X is perfectly fine IMHO.

    This behavior is totally unacceptable. I know that 3G is faster, but I'd rather the stupid phone conserve battery life and quit swapping signals and have to wait an extra 2 seconds for that e-mail to come in... :(
     
  5. Rubik76

    Rubik76 Well-Known Member

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    Consider disabling 3G when you don't need it. Also, when 3G is enabled, having "Enable always-on mobile data" unchecked will help.
     
  6. ttamnedlog

    ttamnedlog Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hmm, yep yep. That happens to me if I don't have wifi on. Constant 1X/3G switches. Luckily I always use wifi in my house.
     
  7. nadekeys

    nadekeys New Member

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    I am having this same issue. I work in a building that doesn't have great cell signal, although I can always make and receive calls. Well I just checked my time without signal and it stands at 74%, and my battery is down to 18% after just 7.5 hours from a full charge this morning. I can't go into airplane mode in my office and miss all my calls but this battery life sucks. Defeats the purpose of a cell phone if it has to stay plugged in to work!
     
  8. Rubik76

    Rubik76 Well-Known Member

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    Try calling *22899 to update your profile.

    I can't remember the key combination off the top of my head, but you can dial a number to access the radio settings of your phone. There may be something helpful there.

    Lastly, if you know you're in an area where you won't get any signal, switch to airplane mode.
     
  9. Rubik76

    Rubik76 Well-Known Member

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    I'd make sure that time without signal is having a real impact to you in terms of battery life before messing with anything. If you can go as long as you need to between charges, who cares if you're eating battery to find a signal?
     
  10. ttamnedlog

    ttamnedlog Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Exactly. I need to confirm this actually affects battery. I checked my phone's radio settings and everything looked to be in order. I mentioned the key combo in my first post. It's:

    *#*#4636#*#*
     
  11. whitewallman

    whitewallman Well-Known Member

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    Original Poster:
    The airplane mode fix will resolve the time without signal issue completely.
    So much in fact that it won't show any time without signal at all.
    Simply start airplane mode, then after in airplane mode, de select it.
    After that, its fixed until you reboot. If/when you reboot, repeat the process.
    I'm guessing something isn't initializing properly during startup..
    Test this out and let me know.
     
  12. whitewallman

    whitewallman Well-Known Member

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    Original Poster:
    The airplane mode fix will resolve the time without signal issue completely.
    So much in fact that it won't show any time without signal at all.
    Simply start airplane mode, then after in airplane mode, de select it.
    After that, its fixed until you reboot. If/when you reboot, repeat the process.
    I'm guessing something isn't initializing properly during startup..
    Test this out and let me know.
     
  13. Rubik76

    Rubik76 Well-Known Member

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    Actually I was thinking of ##7764726 ;)
     
  14. bjanow

    bjanow Well-Known Member

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    If you surf the internet, listen to music, check weather... you get my point, at work, then you will need to charge it now and again, either from the computer or car charger. (or get an additional battery, but that's another story) But if all you need at work is calls and text, then turn of mobile (3G) and your battery will last all day at 80%. I have done that and when I want to check weather or the internet just toggle 3G on. It really works. But I have been really hitting it hard just to test with everything turned on, including live wallpapers and full screen brightness. So far today I'm down to 50%, 8.5 hours off the charger. Not too bad, but if I had to go out for a few hours I would def take my extra battery at this point.
     
  15. jamor

    jamor Well-Known Member

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    Where do you live? There are areas in America where neither Sprint, T Mobile, Verizon, or Att will get a signal.

    If I have my cell phone in the basement, I get 56% without a signal. I can make a call that's a cutty, but T-Mobile and ATT cant even make a call.

    When not in basement, I get 0% without a signal.
     
  16. whitewallman

    whitewallman Well-Known Member

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    Original Poster:
    The airplane mode fix will resolve the time without signal issue completely.
    So much in fact that it won't show any time without signal at all.
    Simply start airplane mode, then after in airplane mode, de select it.
    After that, its fixed until you reboot. If/when you reboot, repeat the process.
    I'm guessing something isn't initializing properly during startup..
    Test this out and let me know.
     
  17. silliybilly

    silliybilly Well-Known Member

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    I've tried the airplane mode trick multiple times and it does not seem to fix anything for me. In my at home testing, it seems that if the phone pulls in a -100db or less signal, I have no time without signal % increase. But as soon as I move the phone to a spot that drops the signal below -100db, TWS% increases! I actually woke up this morning with "time without signal" at 99% after 6 hours unplugged!! I don't know if I missed any calls or texts because of this but it seems like my phone needs to stay below -100dbs or else TWS increases big time!!
     
  18. Rubik76

    Rubik76 Well-Known Member

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    Airplane mode only really applies to the situation where your time wihout is exactly 50% (of course, if you really don't have signal you could have the bug even if the number is over 50%).

    Let's clarify though (lest this thread spreads misconceptions): I have not seen any evidence that the 50% without bug applies to the Incredible. Not saying it isn't possible, but it's not a known issue.

    It is apparently still an issue on leak 3 of 2.1 for Eris though... Just checked my wife's and its battery is low and showing 50% time without... Damn.
     

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