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  • #2148254

    Help! No Cellular Signal Bars- (less bars in more places)?


    by wolfticket2003 ·

    I am totally infuriated!! AT&T can’t/won’t help- they don’t deal with this issue- their standard answer is “power your cell-phone off, and then back on.”

    Problem: I have (not 5, 4, 3, or even two) but ONE signal bar most days when I’m in my home office- where I’m supposed to be able to make business calls. The signal is so-oo- lowww that each & every call I make or recieve is either muted during the call, filled with static, plagued with mysterious blank spots(connected but not able to communicate) or just DROPPED completely. I’ve researched this, and all possible solutions, and I’ve been told that it’s probably the building..(but there are 4 towers in this area!) and I need to buy a piece of equipment called a Wireless Extender Signal Booster: ($214.99) ref; amazon. I can’t afford this!! What if it STILL doesn’t work? Plus you have to mount it OUTDOORS and you need the technical knowledge to do it right. The only other answer I know is to MOVE! (I have a blackbrry pearl by RIM)
    Calling all techies to help non-tekkies!

All Answers

  • Author
    • #2567154


      by wolfticket2003 ·

      In reply to Help! No Cellular Signal Bars- (less bars in more places)?


    • #2567027


      by thechas ·

      In reply to Help! No Cellular Signal Bars- (less bars in more places)?

      The first question is does your phone work if you stand outside of your house as near to your office as possible?

      What about other places in your yard or house?

      If you get little or no signal when you are outside, then you are in a dead spot. Your best option may be to switch carriers. BUT, have them prove to you that you can get a signal in your office.

      If you do get a good strong signal outside or in other rooms, then the problem is your office. Most likely electrical wiring or plumbing. Even foil backed insulation can block a signal.

      Your best way to work this is to contact the nearest HAM radio group and see if any of them is interested in checking out your home and office for reception problems.

      They may even have a simple fix for the problem.

      Of course, being an old fart, my first thought is a very simple, very low tech solution. Install an old fashioned land line phone for use in your office.

      Or, you might consider VoIP using your high speed Internet and linking to your Blackberry via blue-tooth.


      • #2460387

        Att & NSA

        by kali_mst ·

        In reply to Question?

        AT&T together with the NSA…You will do as we say!

        AT&T & NSA…Were are always listening!

        Thats your firts problem Wrong Carrier. Second, Crappy phone. Gota start somewhere..

      • #2461123

        RE: Signal? Thanks-

        by wolfticket2003 ·

        In reply to Question?

        Signal is fine outside of the building, and the carrier’s online grid shows that this bldg is supposed to be in a high-signal receptive area.

        Gotta be the bldg.

        (Yeah I’m also an old-school proponent of land-lines, but I was trying to avoid creating one more monthly bill).

        Your suggestion of using VOIP access linked with the Blkbrry & bluetooth sounds like it could work, but it sounds complicated to set up. With my luck….hmm…

        I luv these other posts…what a group!

        Much obliged…

        PS>>> the blackberry has been amazingly useful in a lot of ways; with its sync- with-Outlook features, its interactive calender, notepad, phone book, voice dial, high-speed internet browser, and email functions…

        I get loads of enjoyment from the built-in mp3 player, and I can receive pics instantly from family & friends.

        At the risk of sounding like an ad, I’d even say it’s been incredibly convenient viewing business attachments and documents right on-screen.

        I’d hate to switch carriers now and end up with a worse phone that experiences the same problem. It’s the service, not the phone. And just another thing in today’s hi-tech, wireless world to check for when moving into a new place.

        • #2460951

          In this case it’s not even the phone

          by oh smeg ·

          In reply to RE: Signal? Thanks-

          As the signal is being blocked by the building. The option of a Range Extender should cure this problem though.

          Most likely someone has fitted the Insulation correctly and allowed the Foil Backing to connect with not only the external walls but the ceiling as well so you are effectively in a Faraday Cage. If they had of earthed the Insulation then you would most likely not get a signal at all in the building.

          Of you you are in a Metal Framed Building it would do the same thing and the entire structure would act as a Faraday Cage as all the metal is bolted together and becomes what is effectively from an electrical point of view a 1 Piece structure which is grounded.

          An external Areal will cure this problem without a second though though and it’s not the Carrier or the Phone it the environment that you want to use it in which is the problem and that is one thing that both the carrier & phone maker have no control over.

          However on the up side if you where to setup a WiFi LAN inside the building you wouldn’t have to worry about securing the WiFi Router as the signal outside the building just wouldn’t exist and you wouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing your Bandwidth and doing something illegal that you get the blame for.


        • #2461680

          Time for Amateur Radio

          by thechas ·

          In reply to RE: Signal? Thanks-

          Based on the fact that you have a good signal outside, I strongly recommend that you follow my suggestion and contact the local amateur radio club.

          Most of these guys (and gals) love any chance to show off their technical expertise.

          It may be as simple as installing a strategically located glass block window.

          At a minimum, they would be able to confirm for you what the problem is and offer some suggestions for fixing it.

          The “professional” option would be an RFI / EMI consultant. Getting RF signals to come into a building is usually a lot easier than keeping them out.


    • #2460429

      What is the composition of [u]American[/u] currency coins? …

      by older mycroft ·

      In reply to Help! No Cellular Signal Bars- (less bars in more places)?

      NO – Don’t Laugh !!…

      If your Coin of the Realm is composed of the same base metals as currency in the UK, I’ll offer you another Old Fart, Low Tech, solution.

      Check on the internet for the UK 2-pence piece: if you attach it to the back of a mobile phone, that is – the side furthest away from, but perpendicular to, your ear – it WILL act as a signal booster.

      I’ve ‘fixed’ quite a few users’ mobiles this way.

      Of course, you’ll have to decide if you can contend with the fusillade of inquiries as to “Why have you got a coin stuck to your mobile phone?” – you just tell ’em that the coin saved you $214.97 !!

      Let me know if it works – it’s all down to the composition of the coin. 😉

      Although, post-edit, maybe a Canadian coin would work better. If you’re having difficulty I can ship you a UK 2-pence piece for -oh, I don’t know, erm- maybe, [i]including postage and packing[/i] about $250. 🙂 😀 :^0

      • #2460419

        2p Coin, what year?

        by bizzo ·

        In reply to What is the composition of [u]American[/u] currency coins? …

        Just out of curiosity, the 2p coin (all “copper” coinage) changed composition in the early 80’s as copper was too expensive. So if I needed a low-tech signal booster would it be better to use a pre- or post-80’s coin?

        • #2460402

          Post-80s works just fine, and I’ll bet’ya the Pre-80s are now…

          by older mycroft ·

          In reply to 2p Coin, what year?

          in the hands of the MILITARY.

          Probably fitted them to long-range missiles or something.

          All that stuff about Copper being too expensive was probably just a ruse. Something to do with the war against terrorism.

          Pardon me – I’m just gonna go out into the street and get arrested for my derisory beliefs regarding 2-pence coins!! :^0

        • #2460397


          by bizzo ·

          In reply to Post-80s works just fine, and I’ll bet’ya the Pre-80s are now…

          These work because of the iron element in them.
          The iron is actually from aerial from the RFID tag embedded in the coins.

          If you don’t believe me, get a magnet and see if the coin is attracted to it. That’s the iron in the aerial, and that’s why they work as signal boosters. It’s obvious!

        • #2460396

          And here was me thinking you were SANE. :^0

          by older mycroft ·

          In reply to Post-80s


        • #2460381

          Me? Sane?

          by bizzo ·

          In reply to And here was me thinking you were SANE. :^0

          Nah! Completely unsane!!!

          But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. 😀

        • #2460369

          “Raydwyer” up above seems like a ‘proper’ sort….

          by older mycroft ·

          In reply to Me? Sane?

          What with his rant regarding some sort of relationship between AT&T and the N.S.A. :^0

          I’m more concerned with the fact that ALL mobile phone masts generate a signal in the shape of a banana!!

          There’s a [b]Demo-March[/b] in there somewhere, I just can’t quite refine my manifesto as yet. 😀

      • #2460934

        That’s nonsense

        by robo_dev ·

        In reply to What is the composition of [u]American[/u] currency coins? …

        You cannot boost anything with a coin.

        Anything placed in the near-field of the radio transmitter may alter the shape of the field pattern of the transmitting antenna, but a coin is not what you want.

        If your booster was some sort of tin can with the length and diameter calculated to be the correct size for the radio frequency in use AND you pointed it at the cell tower, then YES, it would work (see WIFI cantenna).

        But a coin would not do that, and most likely it would partly attenuate the signal reception of the phone, as you would be covering up the antenna of the receiver.

        • #2460923

          Mmm nonsense – the Wright Brothers heard that too!…

          by older mycroft ·

          In reply to That’s nonsense

          Just because you haven’t actually witnessed it, doesn’t make you an expert – or a critic! 😉

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