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Nationwide LTE Tour 2012


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OK, sorry the title might be slightly misleading, but not that much.

 

Anyway, Hi all, this is my first post here. Been stopping by and reading since Feb. or Mar. of this year. There is just so much to read and learn, I haven't had a lot of time to type anything up, so for that I thank you all, especially Robert, I really have learned alot on this site. As my user name would imply my name is Bruce and the GR stands for Grand Rapids, MI. I drive a truck for a living, mostly around the West Michigan area (where I'm now always starring at cell towers that pass by my windows), but once in a while I go out on a longer run. And now that the introduction stuff is out of the way, that's why I'm here.

 

Wed. (09-26) I got sent down near Louisville, KY. In the evening I checked my LTE Record (something I learned on here!) and saw nothing. I've had my EVO LTE since June 2, and have always been disappointed to see this empty. Well, I was on this site Saturday and was reading about LTE in Indy, so I decided to check it again, since I had passed thru Indy. To my delight, I had 8 records in my phone! Now I don't know for sure where I picked these up, I also had to swing up into Hammond, IN on the way home, so it could have been in that area, and it most likely was. If anyone knows how to decipher this info, have at it...

 

 

 

2012-09-29_00-28-44.jpg

 

And if it helps, here is the path I traveled...

 

IndyMap.jpg

 

And this brings me to the "Nationwide LTE Tour 2012" thing. I'll be taking a special run that will eat up most of my month of October and cover over 8000 miles! Just thinking about all the places I will be heading to and excited about (hopefully) filling up my LTE Record. I have some map images below showing the area that I will be covering. I just wanted to check if there is any area ALONG MY ROUTE, let me repeat that, ALONG MY ROUTE, that anyone wants me to pay any special attention to. Just to be clear, I'm willing to be as helpful as I can, but I will be doing this in an 18 Wheeler, and staying my course along major highways. I will not be traveling down any 2 tracks or cowpaths to look at a particular tower! So basically, I can run an app... (RF Signal Tracker has a nice easy to read display while driving)

 

2012-07-31_14-13-50.jpg

 

...or glance at my screen while I am passing thru an area, and maybe, just MAYBE, if there is a tower near where I stop (rest area, truck stop, customer etc...), I could check it out. Now if I was doing this for my own reasons and traveling in my personal Jeep, I would be far more willing to be flexible. But, since it's my employer's truck, their fuel and their mission, I do have some limitations. That said, I will also have over 150 windshield hours to log, and if I can do something helpful for this community, I will. Below I have attached an overview map of the area that I will be covering, and some zoomed images to show better detail. I'll be pretty much sticking to the highlighted route, maybe taking an Interstate bypass loop around some cities. My return trip will be almost the same, except I will be heading to the city of Austin, TX between Death Valley, CA and Fort Worth, TX.

 

 

OverviewMap.jpg

 

 

GreatLakesZoom.jpg

 

 

SouthZoom.jpg

 

 

MidSouthZoom.jpg

 

WestZoom.jpg

 

I know it looks like that route wanders a bit, but things need to happen in a certain order. Anyway, if there is a spot of special interest that I will be passing thru, let me know and I will do my best to check it out.

 

And again, thanks to everyone here for all the knowledge of LTE/phones that I have acquired here.

 

Bruce

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Been off the truck for several tyears now. Used to pull for Prime. Who do you pull for?

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Always glad to see a fellow Michigander on the board, welcome. Hope your travels are safe and you find lots of LTE :)

 

Thanks, with so many people cheering for so many different markets, glad I have someone else to cheer on the West Michigan market! I'm also hoping to find lots of LTE, just too bad I have to go so far to do it! But they should be starting in our area soon, so it won't be long!

 

Been off the truck for several tyears now. Used to pull for Prime. Who do you pull for?

 

I drive for Super Service, formerly Gainey in Grand Rapids, pushing 7 years for me.

 

SID 4384 is the Chicago market SID

 

Thanks for confirming this. I kinda thought so, it was just a hunch, but having someone with solid knowledge who knows how to cross reference the BSID's is better.

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Ok folks, I didn't forget you all, just been busy. Anyway, I've made it to Atlanta (actually, just South of, in Ellenwood) and I think the phone might have hit LTE a couple times, but honestly, at 17:00 on the I-285 skirting around the Atlanta perimeter is not the time to be looking at the phone. I checked my LTE Record when I finally got parked and I had 9 more entries after the previously mentioned 8.

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...05_23-12-00.png

 

Well tonight, while I was talking to one of my co-workers, I noticed something behind him that looked like THIS...

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...er/IMG_0613.JPG

 

Yup, I decided to grab the camera while the light was still good and get some shots to share. It is a Sprint tower. I'm no expert, but I think the second rung down looks like it might be the NV stuff we are looking for. These are all kinda big pics, so I only used links this time, and will let you decide whether you want to use the bandwidth to see them.

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...er/IMG_0614.JPG

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...er/IMG_0616.JPG

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...er/IMG_0617.JPG

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...er/IMG_0618.JPG

 

This tower is near Campbell Blvd in Ellenwood, GA. I can't make it give me any LTE, I tried a few methods, like airplane mode off/on/off and switching to "LTE Only" in a program called Notification Toggle, but to no avail. But it did seem to serve out some fairly respectable 3G...

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...05_23-41-48.png

 

Nothing very exciting, but something to share. If I find anything else of interest, I will pass it along.

 

Bruce

 

After I posted this, I noticed something in the close up pic of rung 2, so I looked at another pic I had taken, from a slightly different angle, the larger panel in the forefront has 3 stripes on it, while the one on the right (facing the photo) has only 2 stripes, and the one on the left has just a single stripe. Don't know if that means anything, but it just caught my attention.

 

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/90220180/ATL%20Tower/IMG_0620.JPG

 

.

Edited by BRUCEinGR
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Great stuff here Bruce. I'm guessing that the marks on the panels are just sector markers so the know which side of the antenna array to mount them. I've seen pics out of Chicago where they were marked with alpha/beta/etc...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everybody, I didn't totally forget this thread, just haven't had much to post here. This trip has been... thinking up a word... OK, got it, "underwelming" in terms of LTE. Been busy driving and sleeping and maybe a couple meals in there. But, the log book once in a while makes me stop and spend some time accumulating NON-Working hours. (for those that don't know, truckers can only drive 11 hours per day, then must take 10 hours off, there is more to it, but that ain't for here) Anyway, as I drove out of Atlanta on I-85 East towards SC, I must have grabbed quite a few LTE signals, since my LTE Record jumped from 17 to 56, that was cool, but since I was driving, I didn't even see them until I had passed them and was parked for the night many miles away. Nothing to report going thru Cincinnati, Indianapolis, South Bend, IN or the Grand Rapids areas. The Chicago area was a real let down, I came up the Skyway (I-90) from the Gary, IN area, went right down into "The Loop", then back onto I-90 up into Madison, WI, then back down I-39 thru Rockford and the middle if IL, down to Interstates 55, 71 & 57 and my LTE Record only jumped from 56 to 58! That's lame, but I wonder if it might have been the fault of my EVO LTE, just not catching them. So it was down to Memphis, and then Fort Worth from there. Fort Worth was the gold! It caught me by surprise, I got to my pickup point Friday Night and called my contact there to make arrangements for Sat. AM, after I hung up the phone, I noticed something "different"... what's that in the status bar? Does that sucker say "4G"? DAMN RIGHT IT DOES!!! OK, I know, not that big of a deal, this area has been active for a while I guess, but it was the first time I ever, for sure, saw the 4G indicator light up! So, I was geeked about it, I think my contact might have thought I was a little nuts when she showed up, that I was excited about getting a cell phone signal. I did grab a few screen caps.

 

rf%20signal%20tracker.jpg

 

signalinfo.jpg

 

txspeedtest.jpg

 

Speed was nothing special compared to some reports I've seen on this site, but way the heck better than my average 3G speeds that sometimes rival those of my 1200 baud modem on my old Commodore 64. Seriously, If I could get consistant speeds like this on my phone in most places, I would be as happy as a fly in an outhouse. I know, that day is coming, I just need to be patient. Anyway, I did enjoy an evening of LTE just sitting there in the truck, before it was back on the road for me, and I determined that I like it. It would be just awesome if they fire up Grand Rapids by the time I get back home early next month, but I doubt it. Anyway, I came down from the Arkansas area into Texas on I-30, followed that to I-635 over the top of Dallas/Fort Worth to my destination that was in a gated industrial area with an address on Egg Farm Road in a suburb called Keller. It's a small road and there is a dot on the Sensorly map that came from me. (it wasn't there before I ran the app). Being in the DFW area brought my LTE Record score up to 69.

 

That brings me to the Sensorly app that was recommended. I used to have that in my phone, but uninstalled it. When I put it back in Friday Night, I remembered why. I guess I am gonna have to learn to get along with that app, or maybe find a setting in the app. When I hit the power button to put my EVO LTE back to sleep and the app makes it immediately come back on it torks me just a bit, maybe I'm too much of a control freak, but I like to think I'm the boss of the phone. The app said it was mapping because the phone had moved enough for it to be needed, but for crying out loud, I'm in a semi truck that is roughly an 8' cube inside, I couldn't have moved that far in a parked truck! OK, that's just me whining, I'm gonna run the app for the rest of my trip for the general good and see what kind of signals can be found out in the wild stretches of the Interstate and other highway systems. I'll also make sure to restart my phone before going into Chicagoland on the return trip and see if that helps to find signals around there.

 

I'm not planning to get anymore LTE until sometime on the return trip, but I might be surpised along the way. I'm currently in Amarillo, TX (yeah, I haven't gotten very far since Friday Night, it's that log book thing). I'll be rolling down I-40 from here to Kingman, AZ, up US 93/95 into Las Vegas, then passing Art Bell's home in Pahrump, NV and on to Death Valley, where I actually did get a signal on my Sprint Blackberry last year, but I really ain't planning on LTE out there, but if I do, you folks will be soon to learn of it!

 

That's about it for now, while my trip has been eventful, flat tires and dead batteries don't have anything to do with LTE. The closest thing I could tie to LTE was I broke the belt clip off the holster for my OtterBox that my EVO lives in (damn it). Hoping to find a Best Buy right along I-40 that I can swing into quick and grab a replacement.

 

I'll keep you guys posted if I find anything of interest, in the mean time, I'll catch ya all on the flip flop, over and out.

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. . . That brings me to the Sensorly app that was recommended. I used to have that in my phone, but uninstalled it. When I put it back in Friday Night, I remembered why. I guess I am gonna have to learn to get along with that app, or maybe find a setting in the app. When I hit the power button to put my EVO LTE back to sleep and the app makes it immediately come back on it torks me just a bit, maybe I'm too much of a control freak, but I like to think I'm the boss of the phone. The app said it was mapping because the phone had moved enough for it to be needed, but for crying out loud, I'm in a semi truck that is roughly an 8' cube inside, I couldn't have moved that far in a parked truck! . . .

 

In Sensorly, go to "Menu" and select "Parameters." Make sure that "Allow passive scanning" is NOT checked.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Hugo

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Hey guys, nothing much to report and I've been busy trying to keep the customers happy. Someone is paying me to do this and the reason has nothing to do with cell phone signals, this is MY side project along the way. Of course there is no LTE out here in Death Valley, CA, but the sucky part was there was NO EVDO or CDMA this year, just before I got here there was a Lightning strike that knocked out both Sprint and Verizon. Only ATT works out here right now. It was funny to listen to an ATT customer here comment how he had a better signal here than most places he goes around the country, and that in a large group he is usually the one that can't get a signal while the Sprint and Verizon customers do.

 

Now this is purely conjecture on my part, but since they tell me the Lightning strike fried some equipment, and it was going to take 2 weeks to get the parts in, I would guess the new stuff they put in would be NV compatible. I sure couldn't see them trekking all the way out here just to put in some old crap they plan to replace within a year. If I remember correctly it was only 1x out here last year, so hopefully, if I make it out here again next year, there will be LTE.

 

Anyway, I think I have made peace with the Sensorly app, so I will be firing that up once I clear the gate here, and running it the rest of the trip. I hope to find some more LTE to report to you folks, but I will be mostly just retracing my prevoius steps. I just found out I will NOT be going thru Austin after all.

 

I'll keep you all posted... Have a good one.

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Alright guys, tonight I'm back in the same place I was when I got my first LTE signal and happily it is still here! (Keller, TX just outside Fort Worth) The sad part is, this is the only place I've had a signal that I could use. There have been some entries in my LTE Record though, I just didn't get a chance to use them since I was driving at the time.

 

Anyway, not sure what I will find on my return trip, I found out I am not going to Austin afterall so I will basically be retracing my route out.

 

For the record, I ran sensorly today, all day, all the way from the truck stop in Tucumcari, NM to here in Keller, only 5 points of LTE, but I did score just over 25,000 points of 2G/3G along the way! (only 444mi). I'll see what I can find on the.way to Collierville, TN.

 

In the mean time I will enjoy the LTE here:

 

Don't know how to embed an image in Forum Runner, so you are on your

own click away..

 

http://db.tt/7Ps4Wguv

 

Sent from my EVO using Forum Runner

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know I have been kinda quiet here, just busy and not much to report, and this is probably gonna be the last post I make on this thread unless there is something I need to respond to, since my trip has now ended. (I will still be watching the areas I travel for LTE, it will just mostly be Michigan) So here is what I have for you all:

 

I did pick up some LTE signals while driving in the TX area and parts of IL (mapped in Sensorly) I did not have a chance to use them.

 

While I was at my stop in South Bend, IN on Ironwood Circle (Google maps should show you this) I looked down and saw the 4G symbol lit up. Ran a quick speed test before I had to leave, certainly not impressive by any means, but still far better than my average 3G speeds:

 

2012-10-29_16-36-07.png

 

While in Atlanta at my company's terminal I still could not get an LTE signal from that tower I posted about above, but it sure looks like NV stuff in the pictures. I did get more LTE hits driving thru Atlanta, again mapped in Sensorly.

 

While passing thru GA on the way out of Atlanta I had an anomoly you guys might find interesting, check the status bar, I had a 4G signal, while I was simultaneously ROAMING!:

 

2012-11-02_11-48-13.png

 

Not sure how that works, I don't think I was roaming on an LTE signal, so apparently the phone for some reason chose to roam over using the 4G signal. This happened on Interstate 75 North, about the 309 Mile Marker in a place called Adairsville, GA in the public rest area:

 

34.40896 n 84.91829 w

 

If you are interested, put that into your favorite map or GPS.

 

The last bit of excitement came at the end of the journey. While I didn't get any LTE in Michigan, I have found that near my home, very close to US131 and MIchigan Hwy M6, my phone now tells me that I am on eHRPD! I was talking to a friend on the phone this afternoon and asked him to check, he also is now on eHRPD, he lives on the far NW outskirts of town, I'm on the fairly far South end of town. That I think is a good sign for my area!

 

That's all I have guys! It's been fun, and I will keep you posted should I snag some LTE here in the West Michigan area, but I will probably just start a new thread for that.

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