Network Extender and the Droid

Discussion in 'Android Accessories' started by aaf709, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. aaf709

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

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    Let me start off by saying that we live in a slight valley. When I had a flip cell phone (with a pull out antenna), the coverage was spotty at best, but with the "chocolate bar" phones such as the Voyager and the Droid, it was much worse. Any calls really had to be done by walking outside and even down the street.

    I decided to get one of the Samsung Network Extender that Verizon sells. The manager of the store I went to was so concerned they gave me a 50% discount.

    I set it up by plugging it into my router (it requires an internet connection) and running the GPS antenna by the window (you can either place the extender itself there or use the 23' cable). The instructions said it would take up to an hour to find a GPS signal, but it found it in 10 minutes. All indicators were up in about a half hour.

    I was expecting to see more bars, but I didn't. I called Customer Service on the Droid. Immediately I noticed that the quality was much better than I've had in the house for some time. Talking with the rep, he said that you wouldn't see more bars, but it was connected. Evidently the double tone I heard at the beginning was the extender doing its job. Very cool and good to have (in my case, at least).
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  2. daddyd302

    daddyd302 Member

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    Don't you have a wireless router? I just use that to get wi-fi. There's no way I would ever pay for a extender when my router does a better job at home with wi-fi.
     
  3. GiantDroid

    GiantDroid Member

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    my understanding is that wifi doesn't allow you to make/receive calls but the network extender does.

    is it true that calls made through the network extender use your plan minutes? doesn't seem fair to charge against plan minutes when using your own internet connection. T-Mobile has a monthly fee but don't use plan minutes. At least verizon doesn't charge me $ for it.
     
  4. daddyd302

    daddyd302 Member

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    Who told you that? I make and receive calls on wi-fi all the time. The extender is still using 3G so you still get charged. Just get a wireless router and use wi-fi, it's cheaper and easier.
     
  5. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    How are you doing this?
     
  6. Vulcan1600

    Vulcan1600 DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I have a Network Extender (NE), got it well over a year ago. You're not using wifi for your phone calls. It's it's own little tower basically. You use your minutes as always, peak uses peak minutes, Mobile to Mobile unlimited, nights/weekends unlimited. If you're using a router, which you have to with a NE, then your phone can utilize wifi for faster data speeds. If you're not using wifi at home with your NE, then you're actually using 1X for data through the extender. Don't worry about the signal meter if you're in the house with the NE. Just keep in mind if you have to program your phone, you must turn off the NE while activating the phone or it will fail. Hope this helps.
     
  7. MNTNBKR

    MNTNBKR Member

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    I tried using a network extender for about two weeks. Unfortunately it was pretty flakey. Half the time it didn't allow me to connnect with either my phone (droid) or my wifes Centro. The droid was constantly switching between the normal tower and the NE for service as well (data indicator would switch back and forth between 1x and 3g) so I was concerned about battery life. And finally, if you're using aGPS for your location, the NE screws that up pretty bad.

    I hope you have a better experience with yours.
     
  8. JhankG

    JhankG Silver Member

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    You cannot use wifi to receive calls on the Verizon network. You could make and receive calls with something like skype, but that is obviously not what the OP wants.

    I had when misinformation is spread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  9. MNTNBKR

    MNTNBKR Member

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    JhankG is right. Wifi calling is possible on the droid, but not via the Verison network.

    Also, the NE is only capable of 1x, not 3G.
     
  10. 928Droid

    928Droid Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    I just got one of the Network Extenders this week also. I live in an underground house that only has south facing windows, on top of that I live in the very rural mountains (think county seat of 250 people) so typically I have to go outside or stand next to a window to place a call.

    Since my undergound house only has southen facing windows using the extender in my home was not going to happen since the Extender's GPS needs to see the northern sky.

    So I installed the Extender in my Shop that is over 60 feet from the outer windows of my house.. and yet even from that distance away I can now place calls anywhere inside my "bunker" (it's another 40-50' deep inside from the outer windows).

    So far I am impressed BUT there is one issue. Now my phone will not give the accurate location via Cell Towers. Using the extender it says I am in a larger city over 2 hours away. It is evidently using my DSL's server location to show the location of my phone.. NOT good for emergency 911 stuff, Maps, Weather (when on Geo), etc. I have talked to Verizon about this and they have opened an "engineering support ticket" and wil get back to me.

    BUT, on the bright side for the first time in 10 years(since I moved here) I can now sit on the xxxxter and talk on my cellphone :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  11. MNTNBKR

    MNTNBKR Member

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    Your E911 location will still work. That's what the GPS is for on the NE unit. However, for some reason that location info is not available to your phone for agps. The NE works just like a VOIP router with respect to location infor for E911 calls.
     
  12. 928Droid

    928Droid Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    I am not so sure that is true, while on the phone with Verizon they did a trace on my phones location and it showed me 2 hours away. I find it hard to believe that if Verizon on their own network can't locate me, how the heck can my podunk local emergency services find me?

    I have no doubt that when I dial 911 it will go to the correct local service..BUT if I dail 911 and can't speak(or speak enought to tell them where I am) they will not be able to trace my(or worse my wife's) exact location, understand? That's a BIG PROBLEM!

    I hate to call 911 and ask them to be sure, they might give me a citation for non-emergency use :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  13. MNTNBKR

    MNTNBKR Member

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    I can't believe that your emergency service would blame you for wanting to ensure the safety and security of your family in case there was an emegrency. I've called 911 for non emergency issues before (witnessing a not so serious accident) and just clearly indicate immediately that your call is not an emergency. My folks have called simply to find out where the nearest dispatch is when they move to a new home. I'd call to make sure. In fact I was going to, but ended up returning mine for the other reasons listed above.

    It doesn't surprise me that the Verizon rep sees your location the same as you do, but I'm almost certain that accurate E911 location is a whole different ball game, and is required by law on all phone communication devices.
     
  14. 928Droid

    928Droid Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    I am sure calling for this purpose will probably be OK, I guess I feel more quilty about tieing up the lines. So I think I will call my Sheriff's Dept and ask them the best way to check this to be sure.

    It would also be a good thing to have an official report from the SO/911 service to send to Verizon if there is indeed a problem.

    BTW, thanks for the "conversation" on this potentialy serious situation.
     
  15. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    That's why I was asking him...I know you can't.
     
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