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can airplane flying overhead interfere with cell or wifi signal?

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by newtos, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. newtos

    newtos New Member

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    i live near an airport. when planes fly overhead, my cell phone signal drops dramatically and often disappears entirely. it has happened over and over again but my bf insists there's no way a plane flying overhead could interfere with my signal. i do live in a concrete steel-reinforced bldg, but my cell signal is fine when planes aren't flying above. and at my mom's house, which is much closer to the airport, the call-drop rate is even worse when a plane flies overhead. i have an older LG phone...i think it's analog but i don't know.

    i've also noticed this signal drop with my wireless internet signal if i'm not too close to the source hub.

    does anyone know why this might occur, or why this is totally impossible? i've lived here for 6 months and the pattern is pretty clear to me, but i don't understand reasons.

    thanks for any explanation, even if it's, "you must be crazy!"

    newtos
     
  2. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    No, it is not impossible to imagine this happening. A big hunk of metal will act as an RF absorber or reflector if it is between you and the cell tower. But I can not prove if this is the case in your particular situation, since i'm not there and exactly what is happening can be complicated. A repetitive pattren usually means that you are on to something.

    Not a crazy idea in my opinion.
     
  3. maokh

    maokh New Member

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    Its called multipath. A giant piece of metal moving over your head is a perfect source of such.

    Multipath is when part of the radio signal takes a non-direct / longer path instead of the direct path. This reflection comes in later. This creates ghosting on television sets and destroys binary bits.

    The signal is either canceled out or distorted by multipath when everything comes back together.
     
  4. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    Strange...i live like 1 mile from JFK and have never had this happen before.
     
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  5. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    It could be the communication radios in the plane itself are causing interference in the band your phone uses. I don't think it has to do with the plane itself.
     
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  6. DanPFW

    DanPFW Member
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    I've got a buddy who lives in the flight path, about 5 miles from MSP International. He used to have frequent dropped calls when he was using Verizon, but I haven't heard him talk about this happening with his Sprint service.

    At the time, I think someone explained the phenomena on the signal bouncing off of a jumbo jet and hitting a tower further away, once the plane passes through the area, the signal can no longer be held with the remote tower and the call drops.
     
  7. proud2bamerican8

    proud2bamerican8 Junior Member
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    What a relief! I thought the wing of the plane was catching on the string between the tin cans!

    Seriously though, that explanation makes perfect sense.
     
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  8. maokh

    maokh New Member

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    Planes serve as good reflectors....

    I am not sure what type of cellular service you have, but if you have line of sight (even for a moment) to a tower that is not typically reachable, this can cause heavy interference.
     
  9. Blue_Tech

    Blue_Tech Member
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    The 800 and 1900 MHz bands are pretty crowded, I wouldn't doubt this theory. I'm searching around for my old allocation chart. I know there's lots of local radio chatter at airports in the 800 band, and some navigation beacons too. I used to be able to pick up the radio talk on an old old scanner that my dad had when I was a kid.
     
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  10. sportygrly

    sportygrly New Member

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    My Phone:
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    I have the very same problem. I thought it was the last phone I had, which was a Samsung Galaxy S3, because I've heard that the antenna is not very good in that phone. I used to live directly under a flight path. That was with Sprint. But now I have my current phone, the F3Q Optimus by LG, through T Mobile. Although I live in a different place and the planes only fly over up higher and less often, I still have the same problem and I have no signal or internet for several seconds up to a minute. It is very frustrating and nobody else seems to ever have the same problem so I'm glad someone else does to confirm that it's not just me.
     

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