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Wierd problem, full signal but won't dial out

Discussion in 'Verizon Wireless Forum' started by d3crypt, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. d3crypt

    d3crypt New Member

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    Hey guys... I've been lurking these forums for a while now and been trying to solve a problem that I'm having...

    Equipment the problem exists on:
    1. My VX8100 (i've been through 2 of them, same results)
    2. 24" antenna extender that connects to back of phone
    3. My girlfriend's Helio phone (does the EXACT same thing mine does)

    I bought a farm out on top of a 'knob'

    My elevation is pretty high (1300ft) compared to the surrounding area. If you go anywhere below where I am, there is no signal.. so my house is essentially on an "island" considering cell phone signals..

    Okay, I live in a really rural area but I have a direct line of sight of Knoxville, TN about 35 miles away, as the crow flies. I suspect maybe I'm getting a signal from there... I think maybe my phone is fighting to connect to Knoxville or another tower far off and a tower in my town of Lafollette.

    30-40% of the time, when I try to dial out, it works fine!

    The other 60-70% of the time, it will show a full signal or near full signal, but after pressing "send" the phone just sits there and says "Connecting"

    Now sometimes if you're patient it'll connect eventually, other times the phone will time out and say "Call failed" Basically, its like trying to make a call in an area where you have little signal strength. Also I would like to mention that the phone shows no bars (the weakest but still a signal) to full bulls but makes no difference in dialing out. Also, the EV logo appears on my phone randomly. My dad's Cingular phone just has a weak signal all around the house and sometimes shows no signal at all, although mine won't dial out most of the time, it never has shown no signal at all.

    Also, I can be holding my phone and it'll have a very strong singal on the meter, but when I call my number with another phone, it'll ring 2-3 times then go directly to my voicemail, while my phone in my hand never rings or shows a missed call of any kind.

    This problem actually happens at another location, at my dad's home, he has Cingular and his phone works fine at his house, but my phone will not work, despite showing a full signal. If I move around I can finally get a really WEAK signal and be able to dial out... (sometimes)

    Things I've tried are:
    1. I bought an antenna, around 24" which really helped somewhat, but still does the same thing, just less frequently

    2. I've tried all the *228 and whatnot to program the phone and update its roaming

    I've not bothered calling Verizon as I would imagine they wouldn't be able to help me..

    Here's the kicker, I'm a railroad employee and I am on call 24/7. If I miss a call, it means serious trouble, even termination. So getting a reliable signal at my place is key.. if anyone could please help me I would greatly appreciate it... because if I can't improve my phone service then I may very well have to sell this place I just bought less than a year ago, and I REALLY don't want to do that.
     
  2. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    My guess 35 miles most of the time is just too far for the phones output. So, you get the incomming signal but just can't always get back to the tower. Unfortunatly, analog phones are on the way out so that is not an option. Verizon does not offer it yet, T Mobile does, I am referring to a phone that uses WIFi at home then goes on the cellular network when you leave.
     
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  3. d3crypt

    d3crypt New Member

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    Jerro thanks for your reply, I appreciate it...

    I was excited about the TMobile Wi-Fi thing actually but I have satellite high-speed internet (my ONLY option) and VoIP doesn't work over it... and if it does, I've heard/read that it was nearly unusable.

    ALSO - I would like to add that my phone, and everyone who is out there, will die within about 3-6 hours of being out there. It really zaps the battery, and if you leave it on over night without being on the charger, you'll wake up to a dead phone.
     
  4. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    LG EV 3
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZw
    Does any other carrier work in your area?
     
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  5. d3crypt

    d3crypt New Member

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    As I said in my original post, my dad's cingular phone works out there... but he usually has a very low signal to NO signal...

    Mine gets low, but never NO signal... also I mentioned my girlfriend's Helio phone does the exact same thing my Verizon phone does.

    Thanks for ur reply
     
  6. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
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    d3crypt,

    You're most of the way to what you need, since you've improved the received signal by adding a 24" antenna. I am assuming that it is an omnidirectional, vertical antenna. Therefore, you're picking up lots of weak signals on your hill, (adding together on the signal strength bars).

    You need to get directional, with a Yagi antenna. You need something like this 24db gain yagi cell phone external antenna Free Adapter . Or you might choose something similar from Wilson Electronics dealers in your area. I am assuming you have a mast or tower for your VHF-UHF television reception, or maybe you'd chimney-mount it.

    Once you have it with an appropriate connector to your phone, then stand outside and swing slowly around the horizon, looking for a good Verizon signal. Make notes, you'll likely find more than one. You might then try lowering below the horizon, toward a valley floor for a better signal, once you find something. Be looking for Verizon towers, by signal strength, as you drive to and from work.

    You might bring the cable into your bedroom, and use a Bluetooth headset around the house.

    Am I giving you some ideas? You haven't mentioned any signal reports from users of the other cellular carrier, US Cellular Corp. (USCC)

    COtech
     
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    #6 COtech, Oct 7, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2007
  7. d3crypt

    d3crypt New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I'll check into a Yagi antenna... thanks.

    I'm not sure about other carriers... USC isn't a big name in my area.. mostly verizon and cingular so Its hard to find someone who has another service... trust me, I'm going to start asking anyone who shows up what kind of phone they have and test it... I'd cancel verizon if I found a phone that worked 100% out there..

    Something confused me that you said, do you mean to say that several weak signals get added together in the signal bar?

    Thanks for your reply
     
  8. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    As mentioned above a directional YAGI mounted high and directed at what you determine by trial and error is the most appropriate tower is the best option. Would have been my next suggestion, if you had already tried another carrier. Check the T Mobile coverage map at tmobile .com .
     
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  9. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
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    I described that way, because that's how this cdma pilot pollution appears to work. Plenty of signal on the meter, but not enough from one site to use. In this situation, you would do better by forcing analog (the LG VX-8100 doesn't have it). CDMA digital handsets can listen to up to three sites (on the same channel) for doing soft handoffs as you travel past cell sites. The "signal strength" meter is really displaying Eo/T, which I hope someone else could explain (I'm a GSM digital user).

    If a Yagi alone doesn't improve things enough, the next step is adding a three watt amplifier with receive pre-amp to the Yagi setup. Keep your eyes open at the Wilson dealers' stores, and elsewhere online.

    I've looked at my handy DeLorme Tennessee Atlas & Gazetteer (shows place names like Silica and Cortula) topo map book, using 35 road miles from Knoxville, near La Follette and at 1300 ft. First guess puts you in the Short Mountain and Walnut Mountain neighborhood, cut off from service along I-75 and US-25W. Second guess says NS or CSXT. I understand the call outs; a friend's with BNSF. We also have CN and UP here in Memphis.

    COtech
     
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  10. Maximum Signal

    Maximum Signal Senior Member
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    Sounds like you are connecting to a tower that your phone is not authnorized on . I would suggest an bi-directional amplifier might overcome this. Making it easier to connect to a tower the phone is authorized on.

     
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  11. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    That sounds great but TMobile doesn't have a network in East Tennessee yet. I would agree with CoTech to try a yagi to see if it helps. Good Luck:browani:
     
  12. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    Thats interesting, I went to the Tmobile site, punched in your town and it showed coverage. Spme parts were dark green meaning good coverage. Of course elevation could be a factor not shown on their map.
     
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  13. d3crypt

    d3crypt New Member

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    For one, that wasn't me that posted that.... :)

    But either way, T-Mobile probably wouldn't do much better and the Wi-Fi capability is useless on a satellite internet connection.. unless they use a significantly different protocal from VOip.

    Thank you all for your replies so far, I am going to definitely try the suggestions..

    I was hoping to somehow get a suggestion that Verizon could maybe do something.. anyone had any luck getting someone to show up at their house and test for a signal?

    Why would my phone try to use a tower its not authorized to use? And if its not authorized to use it then how can I get authorization?

    Also I think its worth mentioning the fact that when i'm having trouble dialing out, everyone else is too... but when it seems to be working within a moment of pressing send, everyone else's does too... kind of wierd...

    Also ------ sometimes sitting in the same place will yield a near full signal... othertimes it will show hardly any signal... either way, it acts like it doesn't have a signal when dialing out.. and other times... it connects right away, despite the signal reading..
     
  14. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I'm not sure what the poster who posted about the "authorization" issue meant- I would not worry about that, but basically your problem has been described perfectly- your phone is seeing too many PN offsets (cell sites), cannot decide which one to use and some of those sites probably have a limit on how far away you can connect to them, that's why you may not be able to "dial out" sometimes too, along with the Pilot Pollution problem that has been described. The reason the phone will sometimes yield full service and sometimes one/no bars is because it is seeing too many PN Offsets and there is no dominant pilot and the phone keeps switching between pilots. Your best bet, as advised, would be to get a Yagi Antenna and aim it in a direction that will allow your phone to work.
     
  15. d3crypt

    d3crypt New Member

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    Thank you for your input... can you recommend a particular Yagi antenna? What size are we talking about? Are you talking about one you can carry or one of those huge ones you see on some people's houses?

    I wouldn't know the first thing about what kind to get or if the wire would work with my phone... can you point me in the right direction? I appreciate it!
     
  16. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Honestly, I am the wrong person to ask about which specific antenna/cable to get. There are more knowledgeable people on this board who have already given their input- I would go with their advice. I would check out websites such as Wilson Electronics as they are a trusted name brand.
     
  17. Maximum Signal

    Maximum Signal Senior Member
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    We sell a couple of good quality dual band yagi's at reasonable prices

     
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