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Everything posted by MrZorbatron

  1. Does anyone know what thresholds need to be crossed before you get a message announcing the upgrades for your area? Is it: - a percentage of local sites being worked on? - a percentage of local sites having been completed? - a percentage of active coverage for a specific service (NV 3G, 4G) in your area? - activation of a cluster of 3G sites? - any combination of the above scheduled for the immediate future? I got this message today: If you check LTE coverage for 48362 (Lake Orion, MI) on Sensorly, you will see a lot of coverage, but not of particularly high density. If you check the sites completed and sites in progress in the area (sponsors), you will see that some sites are done, some are not, but more than half serving this area are either done or in progress. There is presently no NV 3G here.
  2. Download signal check and look. It was created by a member here. Otherwise, you can just check your phone's debug screen. Another possibility other than low signal exists as well. If you are in a fairly dense area and only one or two sites have LTE service, then those sites could easily be seriously overloaded. The easiest way to spot this is to run a speed test. If your speed test shows the speed figures to be upside-down, as in with your transmission capacity significantly higher than your reception capacity, then your site is most likely substantially overloaded. There are cases of sites over capacity that will not test like this, but it is uncommon.
  3. Completely incorrect. The LTE signal is not ever enabled until the high capacity backhaul is installed. If you see an apparently high signal level, LTE, and bad speed,you need to check the actual LTE signal level because often LTE is from a different source site than that which is providing your CDMA connection. It's actually really useful this way because of the way the "breathing" phenomenon affects CDMA far more than LTE. With LTE, as utilization goes up, the only issue beyond link saturation is an increase in crosstalk and packet errors. With CDMA, both a serious increase in the noise floor occurs and the base radio's effective power output decreases as a result of increasing complexity of modulation and in severe cases, of deliberate reduction in transmission power in order to decrease the service radius of the site to combat this issue and force subscribers onto adjacent cells. It is therefore easily possible for a site to be overloaded with 1x (voice or 1x data) traffic but not with data traffic, either EVDO or LTE. It's even possible on some devices (SVDO capable models) for EVDO and 1xRTT connections to be to different sites. In an area with significant cell density and with moderate overlap, the benefit of this arrangement becomes even more apparent.
  4. Mine was on auto CDMA/LTE. CDMA Only mode should only be used for troubleshooting, which is by definition a temporary condition.
  5. Read from a reputable source. An extremely strong EMP can fry electronics. A little bit of EMI or RFI as would be produced by sunspots and solar flares might cause a few single bit errors on a complicated enough computer system, so your Windows box might bluescreen, Mac might say you need to reset your computer, and UNIX might kernel panic, but otherwise no permanent harm will be done. I remember when idiots were lining up to pay dishonest technology companies thousands and tens of thousands to "audit" their PC based, Mac, or UNIX systems for "Y2K" bullshit. At the end, it was all a big nonissue except for a few dinosaur mainframes and midrange systems. My point is, research things before you go overboard. You sound like the bozos who just passed around petitions citing health concerns for 6 months, trying to get the township to forbid Verizon from building a tower about 5 miles from here. Be careful what you read on the web. Also, don't read Gizmodo because they love to trumpet things like this.
  6. Speaking of unity, the European Union is about to heavily regulate with the intent of eventual abolition of roaming charges between compatible carriers within its member countries.
  7. Current Nextel sites use three to four antenna panels, which tend to be deep and narrow, per sector, making 9 to 12 per site. Some older and still functional sites are still using the omnidirectional segmented monopole or vertical dipole antennas, of which there would generally be two. In these cases, the site works as a single sector but all practical operational matters remain the same otherwise. Don't forget that most city or county trunked radio services use very similar looking equipment. You can often tell what frequency an open element antenna is optimized for by its segment length. You often have to get very close to the antenna to be able to tell the segment length, however. It will be height of the full wave, half wave, or quarter wave. For a center frequency of 850MHz, that would be about a 30cm if I remember correctly. This means that the antenna will be a collection of 3 to 4 segments that are each 30cm in length that are electrically isolated from one another and recombined to operate as an antenna array. From a distance, it would be a stick about 4-5' long.
  8. Yes, but except for very rare cases, and unless using microwave backhaul, this combination of boxes and frame is installed just before the cabinets. If it is not installed before they arrive, it is installed before they are moved to final position.
  9. At least in Michigan, this is how they have been bringing fiber from the backhaul provider to the new cabinets. This frequently, but not always, shows up before cabinets. Backhaul is never installed before this structure is present. Often times, this is installed much before the new cabinets are. In all cases, the new cabinets are installed with their backs to this structure. I have picked this site because it does not even have new cabinets installed yet: Here is a similar installation after the cabinets have been installed but not yet connected: In this case, the fiber isn't even there yet. There is only a conduit that leads into that box marked "Fiber", taped off, with only a pull string in it, that leads to outside of the fenced area:
  10. Yeah and it makes them not recognize my photographs too.
  11. Let us not forget the Purgatory of the areas adjacent to the Canadian border. That 80-100 miles of hell affects a surprising number of people.
  12. This is and is not true. Latency is a big part when the page is comprised of lots of simple elements. Some of these modern pages, however, have +1MB data to load per page. Once the size per item begins to overshadow the number of items, the relevant statistic becomes bandwidth and not latency. 200ms to establish connections, which conclude 200ms later after carrying 150K each, would be rather fast. Think of if you had 80ms latency but to load each 150K item took 400ms. Overall, you are still feeling slower, despite the lower latency connection.
  13. - Samsung SPH-A500. Pretty but awful radio. Traded (plus $100) for Sanyo 5300 after about 5 months. - Sanyo SCP-5300 (AKA Sprint VM4500, during the short lived Sprint renumber by market position kick). Outstanding reception. Also the first camera phone model with a built-in flash. Actually took better pictures than most phones until about two years later. - Sanyo SCP-5500. All around great phone. Took video too. It sits forever charged and waiting for me in case it's ever needed again. Definitely one of my favorites. - Samsung SPH-A900. What the RAZR should have been, though kind of a dud software wise. You had to love random resets. - Samsung SPH-A900m. After the probably eighth A900 Sprint replaced for me, they gave me this one. It has vastly improved performance in all respects. I actually did some interesting modifications, like grinding away part of a metal edge that obstructed the antenna at certain angles, changed the keypad LEDs to a bright white, as well as a few other things to enhance this handset. - Sanyo M1. This was an interesting phone. It actually had an auto-focus camera, and the ability to manually lock the focus on something before taking the photo. Camera showed for every bit of its two megapixel resolution, so well that I would say it is the best 2MP phone camera ever. 1GB of storage was great for taking snapshots. Recorded pretty good video too. Very good reception. Awful standby life for a non smartphone, about 3 days. Great talk time for a flip phone of its time. - Hitachi SH-G1000. In a word, Garbage. Decent PDA, bad phone. - Palm Pre. Love it. Still love it. I have a totally pristine Pre, lightly modified, clocked 1000MHz on my shelf, with some hand-build CPU cooling modification including a piece of pure silver for heat dissipation. Camera was decent on a bright and sunny day, but overall the old M1's was better. - Samsung SPH-M900. Helped me fall in love with OLED displays. Camera finally consistently better than the old Sanyo M1. Had a keyboard with a rather funky layout. Now runs Android 2.3, very near bone stock Google style. - Samsung SPH-D700. Another OLED, this one you could see in the sun. Camera actually finally pretty usable for its time as cameras (not just phone cameras) went. Bad radio. Many disconnected calls. Performed to a level that made most other phones for about a year seem slow. Still pretty usable today. WiMAX. - Motorola MB855. Back to the world of LCDs for a bit, this one was a sharp LCD but used a goofy 4 way pentile arrangement to its pixels to brighten the image. Camera very sharp but funky color rendition, noisy picture. Epic was better. Great video recording. Worked well with Motorola's heavily white theme. GREAT reception, best smartphone I have ever used radio-wise. I would say finally this was a smartphone that could hold its own against regular phones with good radios. WiMAX. - Samsung SPL-L710. My current main phone, and probably the one the least in need of a review. A bit too big. Pre-Sprint: - Motorola DPC-550 (Verizon, formerly Airtouch, formerly CellularONE). Mom and Dad's old phone. They activated it for me at age 15 as long as I could pay the bill. It cost $12.99/month with 30 minutes of airtime which was good for double that if used during off-peak hours. Additional airtime cost 25 cents per minute on peak and 12 cents off peak (night). - Nextel i1000+. Great phone. Loudest ringer ever. Good reception. Unusable Internet. I still have this around somewhere. - Nextel i90c. Smaller, prettier. Not the greatest reception. Semi-usable internet. Thrown in the garbage can (and not retrieved) while walking through the downstairs science wing hallway in my high school in late 2001 or early 2002, after the fifth or sixth time it disconnected a call during a 10 minute time span, all the while supposedly having full or nearly-full signal. Went back to i1000. - Nextel i95cl. Bigger, prettier display. Now in color. Bulkier. More useful internet. Bad reception. Required fondness for calls being disconnected mid-sentence. Microwaved. Sent back as dead. Replaced. Replacement phone, although brand new, was equally bad. Switched to Sprint, see above.
  14. I haven't observed the numbers on the debug screen to correlate with the tower numbers on the map myself.
  15. You can tell approximately by signal strength though. If you're at -66dBm or so, generally you are within 500' of the tower. Also, in cases like San Diego, antennas tend to have more down-angle to deliberately limit range, thus decreasing interference resulting from overlap with neighboring cells (which could reduce capacity if not mitigated). This additional downward focus also serves to increase signal strength within the area served by the tower, improving in-building performance.
  16. Yes. You look for the big neon sign that says "LTE is here!" More seriously, you could manually reset the radio on your phone while near the tower and then check signal level using LTE RF engineering screen or the status screen on your phone (if it shows LTE signal level there, not all do) while under or very close to the tower in question. Resetting the phone is done by cycling it on and off of Airplane mode, or on some models, turning cellular data on and off is sufficient to trigger a re-scan. Be sure you leave it in airplane mode for at least 10 seconds or so and see the signal bars and data indicator disappear before you turn airplane mode back off. The phone only checks for LTE signal otherwise every 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the model. The more recently it detected LTE signal, the more often it will scan for it. For example, my GS3 I have observed to go on and off of LTE a number of times in only about 10 minutes when I am in an area with a lot of buildings and hills that might block signal. On the other hand, if I have been away from LTE for a substantial amount of time few hours), it might be 10 or 15 minutes after I am back in the area before it looks for and connects to it.
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