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Support Weak signal when others have 4 bars?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by offanairplane, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    So I have never had a good signal at work. It's a metal building, which doesn't help.

    Outside I can usually get 2 or 3 bars, but inside, usually it just searches for a signal.

    So recently (last week) we installed a repeater. Basically a huge antenna outside picks up the cellular signal, and sends it to a box inside, and then two internal antennas broadcast that signal throughout the building.

    I share an office with three other guys.
    One guy has a Verizon iPhone-4, and he has 4 bars pretty steady, every now and then it drops to 3, but usually stays on 4.
    Another guy has dumbphone that doesn't have 3g, just 1x and evdo. (unless evdo is 3g, and I'm ******ed, which is possible.) and he has 4 bars also.
    The other guy has a Droid-1, but he is off this week, so I don't know what kind of signal he has.

    My boss is down the hall and he has a Droid X and he has 4 bars.

    I have between 0 and 1 bar. If I go down the hall toward the other antenna I get a little better and it stays around 2 bars.

    What is up with that?

    Is it my ROM?
    I'm using OMGB.

    Is it my radio? I guess I have a stock radio, unless it got changed with a ROM at some point? The only three ROMS I have installed on my phone are SkyRaider, then CM7, then OMGB, in that order.

    Unless someone has any ideas pretty soon, I think I'm gonna try a different rom and see if that makes a difference. I may even try stock again.


    Any ideas?
     

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  2. RMarkwald

    RMarkwald Member
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    I would try flashing a different radio, what version is your current radio? Try that and see if that improves, as I know flashing a ROM is separate from flashing a radio.
     
  3. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    Don't pay attention to the signal bars, they are notoriously inaccurate(on many phones). Go into "about phone" and "network" and compare db levels.

    Me and my wifes phone (both incredibles) and a blackberry sitting side by side will all have completely different signal bar levels but the db's will be the same (very close).
     
  4. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    I was using 2.15.00.07.28

    I have tried 2.15.00.07.16
    Also tried 2.15.00.11.19

    And I'm about to try 2.15.00.09.01 which I have read that most people prefer apparently.
     
  5. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    The bars may not be accurate, but when everyone else has 4 bars and mine is bouncing around 0, it tells me something isn't right. Everyone was bouncing around 0 prior to the installation of the boosters, and now I am the only one who still is.

    Apparently I have plenty of 1X signal, just not much 3G.

    Current signal strength is -79dbm
     
  6. RMarkwald

    RMarkwald Member
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    What are the signal strengths of the other phones in dbm? -79 isn't bad.
     
  7. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    Not sure.

    What would be considered a weak signal in dbm?
     
  8. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    Does doing *228 option 2 help?
     
  9. RMarkwald

    RMarkwald Member
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    The higher the number, so -79 is better than -100. My phone right now with the 11.19 radio is at -82, showing two bars.
     
  10. RMarkwald

    RMarkwald Member
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    Give it a try, it wouldn't hurt at all.
     
  11. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    I'm back on the 11.19 radio, because I think it might have been slightly better than the others. But it might not. Hard to say. Anyway, it's the newest, so I'll stick with it.

    Did *228, didn't make any difference that I can tell.

    Another coworker has one of the Verizon netbooks, and it's got 4 bars solid.

    Another coworker has a T-mobile phone, some kind of Samsung multimedia phone. It has 5 bars.

    I just don't get it.
     
  12. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    -79 is a really good signal, ignore the bars. On most phones, -79 will show full bars.

    Anything around -110 and you may start dropping calls.
     
  13. euph_22

    euph_22 Android Expert
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    Exactly what he said. The bars just average/simplify/etc the dbm measure, and are basically meaningless when compared to the actual dbm's.
     
  14. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #
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    +2 for screw the bars. Go by the db instead and yours is solid.
     
  15. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    I get what you're all saying about the bars not be an accurate representation of signal strength.

    But still, if I have 3 to 4 bars at home, and then 0 to 1 at work, isn't it safe to say that my signal is stronger at home? I mean, it may not be accurate, but if you are comparing apples to apples, more bars should mean a stronger signal, right?

    And there is a pretty wide spectrum of phones that I'm comparing mine to.
    iPhone on Verizon, Casio Gzone on Verizon, Netbook on Verizon, Samsung media phone on T-mobile, DroidX on Verizon, iPhone 3GS on AT&T, and even my secondary phone, a cheapo Samsung flip phone on Verizon is maxxed out on bars for EVDO.

    Do all of those phones show more bars per dbm than my Incredible? If so, why? What kind of signal would show 4 bars on the incredible, 0 dbm?


    And plus it's not -79dbm all the time. Right now it's -96.


    I am very tempted to do a Nand backup, and then wipe and flash the stock rom to just see if that makes a difference. And if it doesn't, I could just restore it back.


    Also, I am going to look at the dbm at home where I have 3 to 4 bars average, and see what that number is out of curiosity.
     
  16. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    I'm saying that the bars mean ABSOLUTELY nothing. Sometimes they will show 4 bars and -100dbm and sometimes no bars with -100dbm. And vice versa, sometimes it will show no bars with -60dbm and other times will show full bars. The bars are inaccurate and do no correctly reflect your signal level, no matter what your dbm level is. They basically have a mind of their own. Although it does appear to be location dependent sometimes. At work, I always have full bars with a -60dbm, but other locations I will have the same dbm level but the phone will only display 1 or no bars. Call quality always remains excellent no matter what my dbm level though.

    The same phenomenon happens on every rom and radio i've tried. There are widgets and apps that can display your dbm level rather than signal bars.
     
  17. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    Well, all I know is when 3G is fluxuating between 0 and 1 bar, it takes forever to do anything requiring data.

    I thought the bars were inaccurate, but at least linear on some scale. You are saying they aren't. That's hard to believe. Especially when we installed this booster to boost the signals for everyone, and everyone's bars went up (as expected) except for mine. Well, that's not true, mine did go up a little. It went from no signal at all, to 1 bar.

    Everyone else went from no signal at all to 4 bars.

    How come no body else has 1 bar? Even other Droids.

    It's hard to believe that the bars mean nothing.
    I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying it's hard to believe.
     
  18. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    Understandable, but the proof is in your dbm level. Compare your dbm level to others, they should be around the same. If they aren't, then you have a legitimate problem and a new radio may help.

    Dbm level is the only thing that matters.

    There was a long discussion on the inaccuracy of the signal bars when this phone first came out.
     
  19. nineballer3369

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    i am tring to figure out how to boost the phone signal i am tired of dropped calls / any help ?
     
  20. nineballer3369

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  21. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    if it's for a specific area (your home or work) most carriers offer a "network extender" that plugs into your internet router.
     
  22. euph_22

    euph_22 Android Expert
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    Or you could be a cellphone repeater.
     
  23. offanairplane

    offanairplane Android Enthusiast
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    I have about -79 to -85 average in the building.
    I was driving to work this morning, and I noticed I had a solid 4 bars, so I checked the dbm and it was -74, so I guess a few dbm makes a big difference in amount of bars represented.
     
  24. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    Yeah, it definitely can. But, I've noticed, sometimes, ie:, -74 db = 4 bars and other times -74 db = 1 bar.
    Or -90 db = 4 bars / -90 db = 1 bar
     

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