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General 0dBm or -97dBM? why?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by thephased, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. thephased

    thephased Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Apr 6, 2010
    Bay Area
    Hi everyone.

    I've had my eris for 4 days. At home I get either 0dBm or -97dBm signal strength and 0-1 bars, yet 3g and data/calls/text works fine, but its somewhat slow. At my work which is a few miles away I also get no bars for the most part.

    I'm concerned that the low signal is eating away at my battery life.

    The other phones I have get from 0-2 bars 3g. I have a moto q that gets no 3g bars and a lg dare that gets 1-2 3g bars.

    What's weird is literally about 1/4th of mile away from my house I can get full 4g bars on the eris and data is really fast.

    This eris is my first phone I've really used data on so I'm not sure if its my eris or probably more likely the signal strength around the area.

    When I go into google maps with GPS off it shows my location based on the nearest tower and I'm on the very outer area of the circle. I would think that the tower that I can get full bars 1/4th of a mile away would overlap my area, but maybe it doesn't?

    I usually keep the mobile network off to save the battery and that seems to be working for the most part.

    I kind of want to call verizon, but I doubt it will make a difference, maybe if enough people call eventually. I live in a populated area with 70,000 people and right next to huge business park with a lot of silicon valley tech companies.

    Maybe someone can enlighten me as to why I'm experiencing this or quell some of my fears. =/


  2. Rubik76

    Rubik76 Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Zero bars will kill your battery because it will cause your radio to start searching. Other than that, I don't think it really matters, and the meters on the Eris seem less than accurate anyhow. I heard a suggestion that the signal meter at standby might be for data (credit to OTD and others), which makes sense when you take peoples' statements that their bars tend to go up when they are on a call into account (although my theory is that it's possible your phone pulls more battery to boost signal when you are on an active call). I get 1 to 2 bars most of the time and call/data quality is just fine.

    Time without signal is what should cause you concern. In 2.1 you can see this under the battery section of settings. I can't remember whether this option was available on 1.5, but I don't think it was.
  3. ky90025

    ky90025 Active Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    Northern California
    dBm is a relative power scale and is logarithm in scale. Easy way for non technical people to remember this is that more negative numbers are smaller! For example -80dBm is stronger signal than -90dBm. Because of its logarithm nature -80dBm is 2 times as strong a signal as -83dBm not just a few percent stronger as if it was a linear scale. 0dBm is referenced at 1mW and is actually a very strong signal. I noticed that sometimes 0dBm is not a real value with our eris but that the phone has not calculated the signal strength yet. 0dBm in the engineering world is not zero but 1 mW (milliwatt).


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