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Cheesy ESMR/LTE base station tracker

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I've put together a new release of my cheesy ESMR/LTE base station tracker for Android 4.x. One of these days I'll get around to setting up a Google Play developer account... in the meantime, here's the link: here

This version logs ESMR and LTE base stations discovered in files on your (emulated) SD card in Android/data/com.lordsutch.android.signaldetector/files.

ESMR base station logging should work on any Android 4.x CDMA phone. The implementation is actually pretty stupid (it just looks for known ESMR SIDs). To find anything, though, you'll need a PRL that scans on ESMR bands (thanks to digiblur, sponsors have access to such a PRL) or you'll need to be in a market where Sprint has enabled ESMR scanning in their PRLs.

LTE base station logging requires a phone that either implements the Android 4.2 CellLocationLte API or a HTC Evo LTE running a stock ROM (where reverse-engineering the proprietary API wasn't terribly painful). Unfortunately getting at the data on 4.0/4.1 Samsung devices requires deep magic that I can't quite wrap my brain around, and I haven't tried yet with LG's devices. At present the only stock devices that are likely to be able to log LTE base stations are:

  • HTC Evo 4G LTE (hex cell ID only)
  • HTC One (hex cell ID only)
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus (both IDs, with 4.2.1 update)
  • Devices running a 4.2 ROM (both IDs: CM 10.1, Evervolv 3.2, etc. - NOTE: only if the radio reports the data using the Android 4.2 interfaces, so apparently Galaxy Nexus only)

The app also includes GSM/WCDMA display but no logging since there didn't seem to be anything worth logging on those devices. It's mostly there (a.) because I could and (b.) if Google ever bothers to implement CellLocationLte on GSM+LTE devices like the Nexus 4 (perhaps in Key Lime Pie or a 4.2.x point release?).

Source is on github: https://github.com/l...rength-Detector

Still on the to-do list: background logging and adding a menu to control that.

(Edit: I removed the legacy version link, because there is an error in its base station logging. PM me if you're really interested in a map-less version of the app.)

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Is the map supposed to show the tower your connected to location? Its showing my GPS location. I'm running stock EVO.

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The map shows your location; I will probably add a marker for the reported 1X tower position at some point, but that information is unreliable.

 

Edit: I just updated the APK. The reported 1x tower position is now shown on the map. On some sites it will be offset from the actual tower location in the direction of the sector, while on others it will be at the actual base station location.

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I've made a few updates to the app over the past couple of days. There's now a menu option to show the base station marker location, although I haven't seen a correct Sprint base station location anywhere in the Atlanta-Athens-Macon area (I did see one roaming location get reported correctly near Byron). I also set the app to keep the screen live while in the foreground, ripped out more dead code, and disabled some eye candy in the moving map that was causing WebView to segfault on my Evo. I also changed the color of the display text to be brighter after squinting at it through sunglasses Sunday.

 

Still on my todo list, now that I'm getting the hang of Java and the ADT:

 

* Persistent settings between launches for both the moving map and the base station marker.

* Background logging.

 

Reports of success/failure on other JB devices welcome, although the cell identity stuff still is limited to CDMA+LTE phones even in the latest AOSP code (it'd be fun to see people with the Nexus 4 doing some "T4GRU" work in KC and Toronto, but Google apparently hates them... the internal AOSP telephony code actually populates the CellInfo objects on GSM phones, but the stupid method still returns null on them).

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Here are a couple of maps I put together using the cell IDs for southern Atlanta. First map is last digit of the global cell ID (1-3), second map are the site-specific IDs (hex digits 2-6). Adjacent sites on page 2 may blend together since it's not very smart (yet) about choosing distinct colors for each site.

 

https://www.dropbox....xzce/Rplots.pdf

 

R code (requires the "ggmap" and "mapproj" packages for R); you'll also need a CSV file from my base station tracker: https://www.dropbox....aj6/plotcells.R

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Another day, another update — and it's a biggie:

  • Background tracking is now enabled. This will actively use your phone's GPS for geolocation, so if you're not powered up make sure to use the "Exit" option in the menu to stop it when on battery unless you want to drain your battery.
  • Distinctive icons! On pre-4G you get a red icon marked "3G" in the notification bar; on 4G you get a yellow icon marked "4G." If you want bars etc, use SignalCheck Pro or another app to add those :)
  • Map tiles are now cached.
  • Orientation changes and warm restarts repopulate the screen much faster.

Still on the TODO list:

  • Persistent settings.
  • Fancy stuff (launch when on power, launch on car dock, etc.).
  • Some way to share logs - I don't want to build a giant backend to upload data, but at least an intent to upload your logfiles to Dropbox/Google Drive etc. is probably reasonable.

As always, get the latest version from Dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/s/nhd729pckawlndm/HomeActivity.apk

 

Still looking for folks to try it out on the GNex w/4.2.1 in LTE areas!

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I will be trying it out on Saturday morning when I'm down in LA.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Forum Runner

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I'm in a 3g area and the 4g icon is yellow on top instead of red. The Gnex is an enigma of a phone.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Forum Runner

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Ah, the main icon always stays yellow. The notification bar icon is the one that changes color. (I suppose I ought to fix that to be less confusing...)

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Ah' date=' the main icon always stays yellow. The notification bar icon is the one that changes color. (I suppose I ought to fix that to be less confusing...)[/quote']

 

No, it was the notification icon that stayed yellow. Plus sometimes the LTE cell ID wouldn't populate.

 

 

 

ForumRunner_20130210_200259.png

 

 

 

[ATTACH]2255[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

ForumRunner_20130210_200314.png

 

 

 

[ATTACH]2256[/ATTACH]

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Forum Runner

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Interesting... thanks for the feedback. I think the latest release on Dropbox should fix the issues - I've tightened up the code to only report LTE when the phone thinks it's connected to LTE, not just when there's a valid signal strength.

 

I also changed the app logo to change colors/designs when on pre-4G for consistency's sake.

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Just a heads-up; I've worked on a few more updates to the app that don't affect the core functionality, but the changes are enough to mention. Most of the changes are cosmetic; I added a GPS accuracy, speed, and bearing display and a little arrowhead marker in your travel direction on the map. I tried showing the maps at native resolution but the tiles are too tiny on the EVO and Nexus 4 displays to read at a distance, so 1.5x scaling is still used on these devices.

 

I've also squashed bugs here and there in the logging code. And the base station location menu entry now is grayed-out on non-CDMA phones.

 

Same link as always: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nhd729pckawlndm/HomeActivity.apk

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Just a heads-up; I've worked on a few more updates to the app that don't affect the core functionality, but the changes are enough to mention. Most of the changes are cosmetic; I added a GPS accuracy, speed, and bearing display and a little arrowhead marker in your travel direction on the map. I tried showing the maps at native resolution but the tiles are too tiny on the EVO and Nexus 4 displays to read at a distance, so 1.5x scaling is still used on these devices.

 

I've also squashed bugs here and there in the logging code. And the base station location menu entry now is grayed-out on non-CDMA phones.

 

Same link as always: https://www.dropbox....omeActivity.apk

 

Hey just so you know, this totally didn't work for me. Had -68dbm in LTE Engineering and -140dbm in your app and no cell id either.

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FYI, Dropbox says the APK file is gone!

 

-Mike

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That did the trick.. the link in the OP seems to be dead.

 

Anyways, great job on your app!  I hadn't seen it until tonight, worked well on my EVO LTE.  Love how you incorporated some of our favorite map data in there, very nice.

 

One minor bug I noticed was that if I expanded the map selector box in the top right, I couldn't figure out how to make it re-shrink.   Probably user error!

 

-Mike

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One minor bug I noticed was that if I expanded the map selector box in the top right, I couldn't figure out how to make it re-shrink.

Tapping outside the box normally works. Leaflet is still a little flaky running in an Android WebView, alas.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

 

 

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Tapping outside the box normally works. Leaflet is still a little flaky running in an Android WebView, alas.

 

Hah!  That works just fine.  No idea what I was trying, but it wasn't working.. thanks!

 

-Mike

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New update: I added the ability to show the physical cell ID (PCI) for any additional LTE sites that are detected, along with the RSRP for the sites. Basically this lets you "peek" in the radio and see if there are any other sites your phone may hand off to. If the phone isn't currently on LTE, it may also show why (i.e. weak signals on all the sites it can find).

 

So far the only devices I know it works on are the Evo 4G LTE and HTC One using a patched Cyanogenmod 10.2 (so, basically, my device). The patches should be going into CM 10.2 proper soon.

 

This may also work on other devices that support LTE (such as the Google Play Edition S4 and One for GSM), although probably not any other CDMA devices.

 

If you do try it with a recent CM 10.2 nightly, beware there is a small buglet in the LTE signal strength reporting of the RIL (for reasons that I don't understand, it's reporting dBm*10 rather than dBm in the place that it stuffs the LTE cell information, even though Android specifies dBm); a patch is in the review process to fix this too, but it may need some tweaking to satisfy the reviewers before it can go in.

 

Linky: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6qpa3tbs31zr5dg/SignalDetector.apk

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:tu:  Thank you very much for your signal detector app.  I use it on my G2 in an "LTE Only" data centric mode to map out emerging band 41 LTE in Columbus OH.  The logging feature is awesome, which I combine with google fusion tables to make custom maps of sites http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4825-columbus-market-mapspreadsheet-premier-edition/page-5&do=findComment&comment=259773, analyze likely locations of sites http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4742-columbus-market-mapspreadsheet/page-82&do=findComment&comment=261127, and to create sprite maps of where I have seen signal of unknown towers plus I posted data which you are welcome to have if you wishhttp://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4825-columbus-market-mapspreadsheet-premier-edition/page-6&do=findComment&comment=260635.  

 

Interesting to see the mcc, mnc, and tac changes although that is about the extent of my understanding (I assume they are used like different network protocols).  Registered I assume means public.

 

Thanks again

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Yup doesn't quite work in gn2 gives me correct 1x info just no LTE info like the map overlay pretty sweet if you could it get running on gn2.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Haven't tried it on Sprint yet but the logging to CSV has been priceless for creating my AT&T site sheet/map. I got bored with nothing new happening lately.

 

Posted Image

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:tu: Thank you very much for your signal detector app. I use it on my G2 in an "LTE Only" data centric mode to map out emerging band 41 LTE in Columbus OH. The logging feature is awesome, which I combine with google fusion tables to make custom maps of sites http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4825-columbus-market-mapspreadsheet-premier-edition/page-5&do=findComment&comment=259773, analyze likely locations of sites http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4742-columbus-market-mapspreadsheet/page-82&do=findComment&comment=261127, and to create sprite maps of where I have seen signal of unknown towers plus I posted data which you are welcome to have if you wishhttp://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4825-columbus-market-mapspreadsheet-premier-edition/page-6&do=findComment&comment=260635.

 

Interesting to see the mcc, mnc, and tac changes although that is about the extent of my understanding (I assume they are used like different network protocols). Registered I assume means public.

Registered indicates whether or not the site is the one you are currently connected to; unlike 1X, you can only be registered on one LTE site at a time.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Direct QR Code link in case you want to download directly...Pulled from latest link posted:

 

TbDfDLS.png

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How do you export the data?  is there a specific export button?  Does it create an automatic file some place? 

 

Robert

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