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Utility to find wireless tower ID# or something

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by OkiePC, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. OkiePC

    OkiePC New Member

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    New member here...I wouldn't be here without an issue, but I will try to keep it brief:

    Sierra Wireless Mercury Connect USB via AT&T ISP
    Wilson Wi-Ex booster on a 40 foot pole 40 miles from anywhere with flat panel antenna upgrade.

    Since my new yagi style antenna is directional, I can hit towers from any direction and it only takes a few degrees of rotation of my Jury Rigged pole (4 x 10' sections of rigid conduit and couplers) to switch towers, but I'll be jammed if I can identify the particular tower, and trying to "dial'-in" the signal is an exercise in futility. I have tried running speakeasy while putting my pipe pliers on the pole, but by the time the rate changes, I have switched towers twice in 5 degrees of rotation. There is some sort of ID# viewable when I run AT&T bloatware for a connection manager, but it locks up my Win7 64-bit laptop...the Sierra Wireless Generic Air Card Watcher works beautifully, but does not seem to contain that information in its simple efficient settings and diagnostics.

    What I need is a utility that could emulate or otherwise nearly replace the signal meters I have seen advertised for upwards of two-days pay.

    Does such an animal exist?

    I may break down and buy one, but I always try to find free alternatives, being the redneck get 'r dun-fer-nuthin'-a-hol-ic that I have always been.

    My ultimate goal is to get it locked onto an antenna that will support a decent throughput (1000kb/sec downlink is enough for me) AND my Sprint cellphones, and then put a regular old balanced bridge style rotator on the pole for my arial HDTV antenna, since there are 3 sweel spots for it.

    Maybe I need to use the AT&T stuff on my Desktop PC in the house and get those ID numbers, then map them? Long way to Grandma's house but it should be a one time deal.

    EDIT: I've tried at least ten or twelve different mapping sites, BTW, so that's not what I am looking for. They're all simply incomplete or semi-accurate, useful not doubt, but haven't helped me much in my search for better info.
    This may belong in the General Discussions, but I will let a regular member advise me whether or or not it's cool to link to this thread there after a day or two. No Hurries...No Worries. I am functional now, just need to optimize and finalize my pole before 70mph weather rolls in.

    Any advice welcome.

    TGIA
    PiEaCe!
    Paul
     

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    #1 OkiePC, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  2. tlagrone

    tlagrone New Member

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    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    My Phone:
    Blackberry Bold 9000
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T, MTA Wireless, T-Mobile
    If you have a Blackberry, Symbian (some models), or Android cell phone, you can use the free utility from Cellumap Cellular Coverage Maps. (sorry, iPhone users)

    If you want to use the USB Card only, you could try one of the following solutions:

    Use the program AT&T Global Network Client - this program is used to manage dial-up and other connections of AT&T Global (AT&T Business Internet Services). It will generate more data than you could ever want. Cell ID's are not the same as tower ID's (posted on the fence) and most cell sites will have multiple Cell ID's depending on direction and band. Click on Help and then on Show the detailed messages window. The cell ID will be in the huge amount of data.

    Plug your USB card into a LINUX computer and use one of the many utilities that are available.

    When aiming your antenna, remember to wait between direction changes. For fine tuning, use a speedtest to refine the last few degrees. I did my aiming in January in Alaska. Found the lost screws and bolts in the spring.

    Terry
     
  3. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Yes, excellent phone app, thank you :hero:

    In addition, since you mentioned having a USB aircard, you can also use PUTTY and AT commands to see network info and signal strength. Read more here:
    RadioRaiders AT Commands

    Sierra Wireless is probably the best brand I have seen for this kind of stuff too, since they offer not just the basic AT commands, but also some extra ones that only their modems support, so you can see even more detailed network info.

    Good luck :)
     
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  4. OkiePC

    OkiePC New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, fellas...When I get a chance to follow the links and read up, I will try to get back here and provide some feedback...

    Paul
     
  5. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

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    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    My Phone:
    Sam. Galaxy SII Skyrocket
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T Mobility
    My suggestion is to use your cell phone's signal strength meter, while it's attached to your Yagi's coax. Use it to find the strongest signal, and then switch to your Sierra Mercury to fine peak by download speed.

    COtech
     
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  6. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    Pixel XL
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless; MTS
    Since Nokia is moving over to the dark side, how about Cellumap for Symbian S^3 as the last hooray? ;) (PyS60 doesn't seem to be S^3 compatible).
     
  7. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Nooooooo ;) Symbian has been tagged for death, I'm not touching it :p Besides, getting the app "Signed" by Symbian was a major head-ache in the past, and probably one of the reasons Symbian failed (ie: not friendly towards developers). I will probably look into Windows Mobile now, especially if it becomes the third-horse in the mobile OS race.
     
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  8. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

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    Well, I too wish that whoever ported Android to N900 did the same for N8, E7 and the other S^3 devices but until that happens...
     
  9. OkiePC

    OkiePC New Member

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    Follow-up: Between working the whole month of February, starting a front porch project and switching cell providers for mobile broadband to Verizon, I am saving ten bucks a month, have a 4G Pantech modem and it only took me three days to get an answer from them about how to select 3G only for when I am at home.

    So, all is well with my adequately aimed antenna, which is coming down this spring so I can affix it with a proper guy wire collar and aircraft cable instead of the aluminim wire that's holding it up now.

    Thanks for all your help, and I will likely be back for more advice.

    Paul
     

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