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    Default 3G/4G Indicator does not relate to Signal Strength!

    Just FYI...

    I keep seeing comments about having "4-bars of 3G" or "4-bars of 4G". I just wanted to mention that the 3G and 4G symbols are totally independent of the Signal Strength indicator. At best, the Signal Strength indicator may relate to voice call capability. But not data signal strength.

    That is why you may have "4-bars of signal strength" yet the 4G or 3G indicator may disappear and reappear with no change in the signal strength indicator.

    Just food for thought. It looks like some folks think that if they lose 4G while they have "4-bars of 4G" that the phone is obviously defective. No so. Not based on this alone.

    -Frank
    Last edited by FrankXS; 06-01-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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    That's good to know. Was wondering that at one time. Is there any data strength indicator on this phone? Or a widget?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankXS View Post
    Just FYI...

    I keep seeing comments about having "4-bars of 3G" or "4-bars of 4G". I just wanted to mention that the 3G and 4G symbols are totally independent of the Signal Strength indicator. At best, the Signal Strength indicator may relate to voice call capability. But not data signal strength.

    That is why you many have "4-bars of signal strength" yet the 4G or 3G indicator may disappear and reappear with no change in the signal strength indicator.

    Just food for thought. It looks like some folks think that if they lose 4G while they have "4-bars of 4G" that the phone is obviously defective. No so. Not based on this alone.

    -Frank
    from my understanding, you are correct.

    even when you lose data, you can still make calls and i believe you can still send and recieve text messages
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisy View Post
    That's good to know. Was wondering that at one time. Is there any data strength indicator on this phone? Or a widget?
    I'm on my phone right now with VZW support trying to get a billing issue worked out so I can't check now to see if I can find them. But I feel certain, if you know how to read the "secret code" that you can find them in some of the hidden service menus.

    -Frank
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    They should make the 3G icon turn red, yellow or green depending on data signal strength. That would ne cool.

    And yes, if data is out you can send SMS still. Not Google Voice SMS, since that uses date. But regular SMS uses the voice signal.
    Last edited by Chrisy; 06-01-2011 at 02:03 PM.
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    That's good to know. Was wondering that at one time. Is there any data strength indicator on this phone? Or a widget?
    I use Elixir from the Market. Also includes some nifty widgets!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GNUsNotUnix View Post
    I use Elixir from the Market. Also includes some nifty widgets!
    This. Love Elixir.
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    Frank,

    Wait -- I'm confused. What does the signal strength indicator actually show then?

    I mean, I noticed that the number of bars is highly correlated (actually, synonymous) with the ASU number, but I don't know what that means, and is not correlated at all with the dBm reading.

    My phone flips quickly between 4G, 4 asu, -60dBM and no data at all , -60dBm, 0 asu.

    Thanks,

    -j

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankXS View Post
    Just FYI...

    I keep seeing comments about having "4-bars of 3G" or "4-bars of 4G". I just wanted to mention that the 3G and 4G symbols are totally independent of the Signal Strength indicator. At best, the Signal Strength indicator may relate to voice call capability. But not data signal strength.

    That is why you may have "4-bars of signal strength" yet the 4G or 3G indicator may disappear and reappear with no change in the signal strength indicator.

    Just food for thought. It looks like some folks think that if they lose 4G while they have "4-bars of 4G" that the phone is obviously defective. No so. Not based on this alone.

    -Frank
  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankXS View Post
    Just FYI...

    I keep seeing comments about having "4-bars of 3G" or "4-bars of 4G". I just wanted to mention that the 3G and 4G symbols are totally independent of the Signal Strength indicator. At best, the Signal Strength indicator may relate to voice call capability. But not data signal strength.

    That is why you may have "4-bars of signal strength" yet the 4G or 3G indicator may disappear and reappear with no change in the signal strength indicator.

    Just food for thought. It looks like some folks think that if they lose 4G while they have "4-bars of 4G" that the phone is obviously defective. No so. Not based on this alone.

    -Frank

    Thanks Frank, that is very good to know.
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by biogon View Post
    Frank,

    Wait -- I'm confused. What does the signal strength indicator actually show then?

    I mean, I noticed that the number of bars is highly correlated (actually, synonymous) with the ASU number, but I don't know what that means, and is not correlated at all with the dBm reading.

    My phone flips quickly between 4G, 4 asu, -60dBM and no data at all , -60dBm, 0 asu.

    Thanks,

    -j
    I wish I knew the answer to your questions, but I don't. All I know is that you can lose 1x, 3G, 4G or all data and still have a strong -60dbm signal.

    I suspect that the data is riding on another signal (called a carrier in AM radio) and apparently you can have a strong "carrier" and it will work for voice even without any data information riding on it. I know I'm using the wrong terms for the type of signal/modulation that the TBolt is using for this analogy. For one thing, even with FM, nothing is literally "riding" on a signal (that only happens in AM - Amplitude Modulation). With FM, for example, the entire "carrier", if you will, is changing frequency as modulation occurs (Frequency Modulation).

    To understand this you might want to imagine a radio station sending out a strong signal that your radio has easily tuned into, but the DJ is not saying anything into the mic. You have silence, but a strong locked on signal. In this analogy the DJ's spoken voice would be the data component.

    Another way of looking at this TBolt RF issue is that the Rodio station is strong, but the TBolt can't de-modulate the DJ's speech. Or, that DJ isn't talking at all. Kinda hard to say from our side only. You have to know what the tower/signal is doing as well as what you are seeing on the TBolt side.

    -Frank
    Last edited by FrankXS; 06-01-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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    Hmm... interesting.

    So it's not just my TB then. At least that's an interesting data point that you can have -60 dBm and still have your data drop out to nothing.

    I wonder what's going on.

    I know that as the bars goes down, the stability and speed of my data generally correlates though, so there must be _some_ connection; maybe it's just unidirection/inclusive.

    What the tier-2 CSR seemed most concerned about in my case was the heating up portion -- on 4G in a low-signal area the device would get hot -- almost too hot to touch comfortably -- and the extended battery would run down in 4 hours.

    That got her attention at lot more than the rebooting issue.

    -j
  12. #12  

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    Quote Originally Posted by biogon View Post
    Hmm... interesting.

    So it's not just my TB then. At least that's an interesting data point that you can have -60 dBm and still have your data drop out to nothing.

    I wonder what's going on.

    I know that as the bars goes down, the stability and speed of my data generally correlates though, so there must be _some_ connection; maybe it's just unidirection/inclusive.

    What the tier-2 CSR seemed most concerned about in my case was the heating up portion -- on 4G in a low-signal area the device would get hot -- almost too hot to touch comfortably -- and the extended battery would run down in 4 hours.

    That got her attention at lot more than the rebooting issue.

    -j
    i think i'm having similar problems with the 4g dropping or getting stuck. i use juice defender to shut off data when the screen is off.
  13. #13  

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    Yep, I did a throughput test at home with 0 bars -102dbm and got 5.5Mbps down. Did the same test at the grocery store 30min later where I had 4 bars -69dbm and got the same download speed so the bar's really have no effect on data signal strength. It would be nice if they put some sort of indicator on data strength.
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    Quote Originally Posted by biogon View Post
    I know that as the bars goes down, the stability and speed of my data generally correlates though, so there must be _some_ connection; maybe it's just unidirection/inclusive.

    -j
    Well, certainly with low or less or no signal you may also lose data. But the reverse is not necessarily true. With a good signal you won't be guaranteed data.

    -Frank



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    On mine though if it shows like one bar on 4g and I manually change in the radio settings from 4g to 3g to 1x the bars change depending on the network so mine directly corresponds
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    Maybe that is why my battery SUCKS on 4G, and is great on 3G. Even though I live in a well covered 4G area in So Cal, poor 4G signal strength? I use about ~10mA/hr on 4g and ~5mA/hr on 3g.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcapote View Post
    Maybe that is why my battery SUCKS on 4G, and is great on 3G. Even though I live in a well covered 4G area in So Cal, poor 4G signal strength? I use about ~10mA/hr on 4g and ~5mA/hr on 3g.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
    Honestly, I'm not sure, technically, if "3G" or "4G" even have a "Signal Strength" associated with them. I mean, if they are "riding on" or "part of" the primary RF signal (IOW, not a separate signal but more like modulation on a primary signal) it may be more a matter of quality/noise, etc. If you are in a so-called 4G Fringe Area, that may just mean the quality of the signal will not be very good and you will be more likely to expect fade ins/outs and slower speed.

    I sure wish an LTE knowledgeable RF engineer would chime in here and 'splain this to us.

    You are right though, the more time your phone spends looking for, or attempting to demodulate, or swtich between 3G/4G due to an actual lousy data component, or lousy code in the phone, the more your battery will suffer. Just the facts, maam.

    -Frank
    [HTC Thunderbolt 4G/LTE!]
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    Where's the engineer? We would like to know more!
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    I can't get 4 or 3 or 1x. I had to connect to wifi all day to get to use any data. I have good signal strength, so I don't know what's wrong or what happen.

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  20. #20  

    Default Re: 3G/4G Indicator does not relate to Signal Strength!

    You can turn off all your wireless switches like the mobile date/wifi/gps and you will still be able to make calls, send text just like a regular cell phone. The bar signal strength represent cell tower signals.

    Mobile Data Signals i.e., 4g/3g are separate from cell tower signals even though the same tower is used to relay the signals (IMO). Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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    Default Re: 3G/4G Indicator does not relate to Signal Strength!

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankXS View Post
    I wish I knew the answer to your questions, but I don't. All I know is that you can lose 1x, 3G, 4G or all data and still have a strong -60dbm signal.

    I suspect that the data is riding on another signal (called a carrier in AM radio) and apparently you can have a strong "carrier" and it will work for voice even without any data information riding on it. I know I'm using the wrong terms for the type of signal/modulation that the TBolt is using for this analogy. For one thing, even with FM, nothing is literally "riding" on a signal (that only happens in AM - Amplitude Modulation). With FM, for example, the entire "carrier", if you will, is changing frequency as modulation occurs (Frequency Modulation).

    To understand this you might want to imagine a radio station sending out a strong signal that your radio has easily tuned into, but the DJ is not saying anything into the mic. You have silence, but a strong locked on signal. In this analogy the DJ's spoken voice would be the data component.

    Another way of looking at this TBolt RF issue is that the Rodio station is strong, but the TBolt can't de-modulate the DJ's speech. Or, that DJ isn't talking at all. Kinda hard to say from our side only. You have to know what the tower/signal is doing as well as what you are seeing on the TBolt side.

    -Frank
    Makes a whole lot of sense Frank! Excellent analogy.
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    Default Re: 3G/4G Indicator does not relate to Signal Strength!

    great write up no matter how many time we tell them they still dont get it at lest now we can point them here.

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