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How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

Journeyman

How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

Does anyone have a solution for weak signal strength i.e. Changing programming I live smack dab in the middle of what is supposed to be a "great" Coverage according to Sprint maps. I don't have more than 2 bars.

11 REPLIES
Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

have you tried setting Roaming to sprint only ... helped mine but if traveling i set it back to auto

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

I'm having a similar issue with the signal bars sweeping up and down but even with a weak signal reading my service is fine. My theory is that it's a problem with the phone's softwear and not it's actual reception quality. My $.02

Message Edited by drewday on 07-16-2008 09:53 PM

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

You could try to purchase one of those cell phone booster patches. I have heard they work for some people with about a 1 or 2 bar improvement. They are under a dollar so its worth the try I would say....

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

Well do you drop the calls or just worried about bars?

bars dont always mean better call or faster internet..

IF you are dropping calls wait for airave i love mine Smiley Wink

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

I went to the SprintOnly route and it works great as we are in a good coverage area as well.

there is something out Called the Cell Ranger. It states it give a 2 or 3 bar increase . i would like to try the one for the Car for when we travel but the $150 price tag has me being a bit cautous

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

I'm going to try one of those silly sticker antenna booster things.

Pretty controversial (and most people claim snake oil), but it's cheap, so what the heck.

I've read elsewhere that there are many different types and that the "original"

design is the only one that has been seen to have any benefit (if at all).

Now to just find that link with the disassembly pics of the Instinct so I can figure out where the antenna is...

I already get pretty good reception at home and I don't really use my cell phone for calls at work.

If there is to be any noticible difference, hopefully it will be at work where I don't get good reception.

Of course, it would be nice if I could figure out how to display the dB readings from the antenna reception,

since it already seems like using the "bars" as a reference is kinda hit or miss (as they jump around so much!)

Will post up results.

-C

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

Anyone know how to get to a menu on the instinct that will show dB readings? Anyone? mods?

The strange thing is this:

I've tried those antenna booster sticker things and I actually have a sneaking suspicion from tests that they do make a

marginal difference. Not a big one, but I think *something* is happening that makes signal perhaps a bit more reliable.

What I did was take readings of the number of bars every second for a minute.

I did it like this

control (no sticker)

bottom (top part of the sticker pointed towards the bottom of the phone)

top (top part of the sticker pointed towards the top of the phone)

right (same idea)

left

random (sticker put next to the camera)

Weird thing is this - I tried readings with the phone propped up in the upright position and also lying down flat on the table in my house. Usually I get between 3-4 bars without anything on the phone. But with the sticker I would get up to 5 bars every now and then. The odd thing is that I didn't get anything lower than 3 bars with the sticker whereas in the control setting without the sticker, I would occasionally get 2 bars.

I want to see what the dB readings are like before I say anything further though. Initial results are not too bad all things considered. nothing dramatic, but perhaps a little more stability in signal strength - not as much fluctuation. Debatable whether there is actual increased signal or just plain random chance.

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

Strange stuff. I figured out how to get dB readings.

this website actually helped quite a bit:

http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/Files/PDF/PhoneTestModes.pdf

To get to the dB measurements, type in ##DEBUG# and then put in your MSL. To get out of debug mode, simply power the phone off and on again.

You'll get to a screen with a lot of random (changing) numbers on it. I'm assuming that all Samsung phones are designed similarly. If you look at the above link, you'll also see that for the majority of samung phones, the dB is listed as a number following a D, usually on the same line as a T.

So on the Instinct, I think this is the second line of the DEBUG screen - for me this is listed as T## D### - ## where I'm guessing the 3 numbers after the D are the dB readings (dB readings BTW appear to be listed as positive numbers on the screen, but actually correlate to NEGATIVE dB # so in real world terms the lower the listed number on the screen, the stronger the signal)

I replicated the above test in my office (which gets really cr@ppy signal, btw) - usually I get about 1 bar if I'm lucky. I can tell that this is actually something that has to do with signal cause in my office I get one bar and a dB reading of about 101, whereas in a better reception area, I get 4-5 bars and a dB reading of about 75.

I would post the actual excel file and charts but how the heck do you do that on this board?!?! Anyway, the strange thing is this. Again, I see that my control readings are pretty consistent around -101dB. When I use the signal booster sticker, I get readings that vary between -98 to -102 dB. If I remember my physics correctly, an increase in 3 dB translates into a doubling of volume. According to preliminary results, I seem to get the best readings when the sticker is put under the rear cover just up by the camera with the "top" of the sticker pointing away from the antenna (designated "random" position in the test). To a lesser extent, I also get better readings with the sticker in any position behind the battery following the included instructions. W T F?!?! Why does this work? I have no idea. Again, I have 60 points of data corresponding to readings over the course of about a minute each...

It's certainly not the "4 foot antenna" claim that the maker prints on their packaging... Does it hurt? Not as far as I can tell. For a few bucks, I suppose it's not a bad thing though. Does it actually make a real world difference? Who knows.. Will an increase of 1-3 dB help? Maybe it will help keep a call from being dropped?

-C


Message Edited by cannibal869 on 07-26-2008 08:32 PM

Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?


ORam78 wrote:
Does anyone have a solution for weak signal strength i.e. Changing programming I live smack dab in the middle of what is supposed to be a "great" Coverage according to Sprint maps. I don't have more than 2 bars.

Given the number of people who've posted on this issue and many who have said the signal strength will vary, I can't help but think there's a software bug that's screwing something up.

I may be wrong, but I think you'll see that clear up with an OTA update sometime soon (if not this one then the next)

Highlighted
Journeyman

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

As stated before, are you able to make and receive calls and are you dropping calls.

If neither of the above are happening than I wouldn't really be worried. Now if you are in a strong coverage area and you are unable to make calls and calls are dropping, than that is the time to be concerned.

I personally never look at how many bars I have, unless I am out in the boonies, and even than I place a call and wait to see what happens.

Call bars can be effected by the software in the phone, so if the software is glichy it could affect how many bars are on the phone.

So how many signal bars can be affected by the phones software. If a phone manufactuer wanted bars measured by just signal strength from a tower they would show more bars, than a phone manufactuer who had the bars displayed by signal strength from the tower and also taking into account congestion from the tower, which could show lower bars than the previous method.

For CDMA you should also see the same clarity with 1-4 bars, most of you voice quality decline with respec to bars was for analog signals and should really affect digital.

Message Edited by Whoops on 07-26-2008 09:45 PM

Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: How to get better Signal Strength. Anyone?

Sorry - BB codes not supported.  use the GUI editor, or raw HTML.

 

To get better signal strength, wait for a radio update, attach an external antenna (does the Instinct have an antenna port?) or get an Airave.

 

Thanks for the great info from Wilson Antennas!

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
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