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Moto Droid signal strength

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by jmayniac, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. jmayniac
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    jmayniac New Member

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    Just wanted to know if anybody else has the problem of the signal bars, in the notification bar area, getting wildly inaccurate. For example, I'm sitting here watching my signal bars and signal strength in the "About Phone" -> "Status" dialog. My signal strength shows -76dBm and 3 bars are displayed, which is about right. Without moving the phone or the signal strength changing, I will go up to 4 bars and then down to 1 or 2, and the signal strength is still at -76dbm.
    As a side note, I've done some speed tests, using the speedtest.net app and I get better speeds when I have more bars, not when the signal strength is better. Just sitting at my desk, I can get anything from 300kbps/400kbps to 1134kbps/854kbps. It varies a lot with the majority of speed on the slow end. I mostly get about 400kbps/600kbps. Yes, that is 400 down and 600 up.
    Anybody have issues like this?
    Forgot to add: I'm on Sapphire Froyo 0.8.4 and baseband C_01.43.01P
  2. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure, but sitting there watching your DB meter in settings I believe is a static number. You'd have to go in and back out to see if it is changing.

    As for the signal and speedtest.net, it's hard to say for sure. The bars can bounce back and forth meaning signal quality is pretty variable, and I think speedtest.net is reporting a cumulative average speed. I also know that different servers give you different results, and I never get the same speedtest result on consecutive tests - sometimes the variance is small but other times it can be quite large, and your score is also affected (I think) by how many people are hitting the server at that particular time.
  3. jmayniac
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    jmayniac New Member

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    The numbers do change while viewing them, I can can move my phone or cover it up and the dBm will go up or down without backing out and going back in.
  4. TheOldFart
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    TheOldFart New Member

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    Same here. It changes every 5 to 10 seconds.
  5. Moby
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    Moby New Member

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    I'm noticing the same thing. Both my wife's non-rooted droid and mine running SS4.5 with the newest baseband have the same reaction.

    Our house is in a low area and we don't really get good signal. Normally the signal shows no bars or maybe 1 bar, but calls always seem pretty good. I just went out and bought Verizon's network extender -- it is all synced up but often the phone will show either 0 or 1 bars, even standing right next to the extender with the phone status shows a signal of -50dbm. If I make a call, it jumps up to 3 or 4 bars (depending on how far away I am) and as soon as I hang up, it goes back down to 0 bars.

    I also get borderline 3G signal at the house -- it will usually flip to 3G with 1 or 0 bars for a few minutes and then drop back to 1X. I'm wondering if it isn't trying to switch to 3G (since the network extender is 1x only) even though the signal is barely there.

    I guess I'll see how battery life goes with this network extender turned on. That was a big reason I bought it -- because while I can be at work all day with all bars of 3G and the battery be at 70% at 5PM, at home my battery drains quickly due to having to boost power to find a signal.
  6. xliderider
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    xliderider New Member

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    I'm pretty sure the bars in the notification area is showing the signal strength for EvDO (3G) not the 1X signal in the dBm signal strength display. So they are showing two different things.

    For example, I live in a really low signal area. I have a Verizon network extender, which only works on 1X. My display says 3G (0 - 1 bars), but my signal strength is -76dBm 0 ASU. -76dBm is a pretty strong signal, which would translate into 3 or 4 bars I would think, if the signal strength in the notification area was showing 1X signal (which it is not).

    My wife's LG Dare would show both EvDO and 1X meters in the display, I wish the Android phones would do that.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  7. Moby
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    Moby New Member

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    Good to know. Thanks for that! Hopefully with the 1x signal strong the phone won't burn through the battery so fast at home. So far it seems pretty good, but I've only had a few hours to test.
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