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  1.    #1  
    Just got my T600 w/ Sprint yesterday. I live in the Atlanta metro area (Tucker if anyone is familiar) and my house is 1/2 mile ( no hills or building in the way and I don't live down in a hole and I live in a wood frame house) from a Sprint tower. I have a real problem that in my house I only get one bar and occasionally actually get "roaming" coverage (a half mile from a tower??? - I checked a site to confirm it is a Sprint tower). This leads to the following problems:
    1 - I will quickly use up my roaming minutes (i have been told no more than 50% of my plan minutes can be roaming) as I have made calls and have noticed I am on roaming while making / receiving calls in my house
    2 - Not sure but The Treo seems to be using alot of battery juice FAST (could this be from trying to get / hold a signal??). I had a full charge and after 3 hrs, where i made 3 calls (total time less than 20 minutes) and was on the web for approx another 30 minutes, I am down to 72% on the battery.

    ANY idea or comments would be appreciated...btw my prl is 10023 (the phone was "provisioned" yesterday when I got it from the Sprint store, so I guess this is probably not a problem)

    Thanks for any help!!!
    BILL
  2. #2  
    The latest Sprint PRL is 10024.

    If that doesn't help, go to the phone preferences and disable "digital roaming." You may have to keep your phone near a window to get a sustainable signal. One bar is usually enough if you can keep the signal. This time of year, there are foliage issues that affect reception. So, your problem may get better after the trees lose their leaves this fall.

    Hope this was helpful. Good luck.
  3.    #3  
    Thanks, but I do travel as part of my job so I need to have roaming enabled...the need to turn off roaming at home and back on when I leave would be a real pain and with a Sprint tower only 1/2 mile away I should get good reception...is the problem the T600 or Sprint???.....BTW I noted the green arrows blinks on and off (green to gray and back) about every 10 seconds or so...this indicate a drain on the battery also??
  4. #4  
    Continuous searching for the phone network and/or PCS Vision will drain your battery very quickly. It will help if you disconnect from Vision when you don't need it. Check the preferences in your email program.

    Call Sprint and ask to speak to someone about checking the reception in your area. They can send someone out to your location. If the problem is the tower, they'll fix it.

    As for whether you're always set to roam or not, you could try using a profile program. Set up one profile without roaming for "home" and another profile with roaming. To make sure that you're able to receive calls when you're home, you can always forward the cell phone to your home phone.

    If you can't resolve the problem, you will have to resort to some work-arounds depending on what your priorities are.
    Last edited by TreoLuvr; 08/07/2004 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Typo
  5. #5  
    Your battery life should definitely improve if you fix your signal issues.

    They constantly flick on and off, every ten seconds? how long are they on? Every time the arrows are green your phone is actively accessing Sprint's Vision services - you cannot receive phone calls during this time and yes it consumes more battery than if your phone were to stay in standby and do nothing.
  6. #6  
    While in your home, dial ##33284 (aka ##DEBUG). In the top-right will be your RSSI or Signal Strength. Try this and walk around your house and let me know what kind of signal you get. Also see what sort of signal you get outside your home, too.

    Part of the problem COULD be the insulation or materials in your roof and/or walls. Foil-lined insulation, power lines, etc can all disrupt the signal coming into your home.
  7. #7  
    All the ideas presented here are good. Just to rule out the possibility, go have your phone tested at a Sprint store. You can call the store beforehand to make sure they have the hp machine to to run diagnostics, along with a cable for the T600 to test with.

    If the test is ok, ask them to open a trouble ticket for your area. Be as precise as possible when describing your location and situation, as these are forwarded to a tech in your area who will look into the problem. They used to follow up with the customer...don't know if that is the same, but give them your info so they can, and get a number on the ticket to refer back to.

    An update Preferred Roaming List (PRL) is great, but that aids primarily with roaming towers, and you are looking for Sprint signal, right?

    Start with the hardware first -that's my suggestion, and follow up. The more seriously (nicely too) you take the matter, the more they will.

    Good luck and let us know what you find.

    Note: Sprint (and really no provider) guarantees service inside buildings. Is this problem happening outside your house? If so, that is great and let them know this. They 'tweak' their signal all the time. Have you ever had signal there? Let them know if you have. Sprint was offering repeaters to customers for free, but I'm not sure if they still are. Of course, you need a signal to repeat first, but it will help to increase signal strength. Forgot that you just got the phone. You can swap it out for another Treo as well if within the 14 day period, but I'd have them test your phone first.
    Last edited by Tribalenvy; 08/08/2004 at 07:53 AM.
  8. #8  
    Most Cell Site towers will have 3 banks of directional antennas.
    After activating ##33284 [Dial]:
    • Active PN: Antenna Bank Number
    • If you circle your local Cell Site, you will be able to confirm 3 different Sprint PCS Antenna Banks.
    • As you walk or drive in a circular arc, from your house (center of circle being the Tower / your house being at the circumfrence) observe both the Signal Strength (RSSI Value) and changes that occur in the Active PN (Antenna Bank Number).
    • If your house is located on the "margin" between 2 antenna banks, Sprint PCS Field Techs can adjust the antenna alignment.
    • Try calling Sprint's Trouble Dept.: 866-273-2163 to report your signal problem.
    • Sometimes assumptions need to be validated - in this case, I am assuming that the Cell Tower you are referring to has Sprint PCS Service.
      • If this tower has Sprint PCS Service, you should have a 4 Bar Signal when centered in any of the 3 antenna bank sectors.
      • Signal Strength in RSSI Value should be between - 50 and - 80 db
    • Attached is a image (jpg) of my Debug Parameters Screen, as an aid, so that you know what this is and why it is useful.
    • While the Debug Parameters Screen is displayed, the "normal" signal strength "Bar" display remains static and does not display signal strength, but rather the signal strength just prior to invoking ##33284 [Dial]
    Attached Images Attached Images
  9.    #9  
    Thanks everyone..a few quick questions...
    1. Is a lower (less tha 100) RSSI value better or worse than one over 100? (the value is in negative numbers, which kinda confuses the issue)...a higher negative number better or worse?
    2. the RSSI ranges between -96 and -101 in the house and between -95 and -104 outside the house, not much difference so it loks like the structure of the house is not a problem to impeding the signals

    I will do a drive around of the tower, like ArcBody indicated, I might be "inbetween" the antennas on the tower

    Do I have much of a chance that Sprint will actually get the field tech to "adjust the antennas on the tower?

    I checked the sprint site for tower locations, not real detailed when it comes down to the actual street level, I had in the past checked another site that was very detailed (let you zoom in and identify cross streets, etc, not just major streets as is the case at the sprint site), but I can't locate it again.....anyone know of such a site??

    Thanks for all your help!
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by BillK400
    Thanks everyone..a few quick questions...
    1. Is a lower (less tha 100) RSSI value better or worse than one over 100? (the value is in negative numbers, which kinda confuses the issue)...a higher negative number better or worse?
    In a perfect world, 3-4 Bars will give you superior service.
    As you experiment with ##33284 [Dial] you will notice:
    • 3 Bars = RSSI Value of ~ -80 to -88
    • 2 Bars = RSSI Value of ~ -89 to -94
    • 1 Bar - It's unfortunate that one bar spans from "Good" Reception to "Dropped Calls" Reception
    2. the RSSI ranges between -96 and -101 in the house and between -95 and -104 outside the house, not much difference so it loks like the structure of the house is not a problem to impeding the signals

    I will do a drive around of the tower, like ArcBody indicated, I might be "inbetween" the antennas on the tower

    Do I have much of a chance that Sprint will actually get the field tech to "adjust the antennas on the tower?
    If you have a Sprint PCS Cell Site Tower within 1/2 mile and you have "line of sight" view of Tower Antennas AND you confirm that this is your SPRINT PCS Cell Site - Sprint PCS Field Service will help you - usually within a few hours M-F.
    I checked the sprint site for tower locations, not real detailed when it comes down to the actual street level, I had in the past checked another site that was very detailed (let you zoom in and identify cross streets, etc, not just major streets as is the case at the sprint site), but I can't locate it again.....anyone know of such a site??j
    Cell Site Location is "closely held info". FYI ~ more than 60% of cell sites are located on buildings, Billboards, etc. and increasingly masked with an "illusion"

    The "Published" Maps are very inaccurate and incomplete.
    Your survey will tell your "the rest of the story".

    It does help to understand why your reception is so poor.
    Thanks for all your help!
    Question: Do you know someone with a Sprint PCS Treo 600 Car Kit.
    It would be useful to know if the 3 db Gain External Antenna helps, in your driveway.

    I use passive 3 db gain antennas with my Laptop Card Bus Cards (Sprint PCS and Verizon) It makes a huge difference re: Data Only Connection.

    If you were able to gain a substantial improvement, it's a fairly inexpensive method to solve your problem - but your Treo will then be used like a "base station", while in your home and you will need a 12 Volt Power Supply for the Car Kit.

    Good Luck ~ Carl (aka ArcBody)
  11.    #11  
    Thanks, I will call Sprint tomorrow and see if I can get any help. I have 3 large cell towers within 1/2 mile of my house. Form my previous research I had Identified one of them as a Sprint tower, but just wanted to confirm if there was another web site with good detailed map info
  12. #12  
    Bill,

    A lower (less than 100) RSSI value is BETTER than one over 100.

    I was at a local high school yesterday and was 250ft from a tower that has antennas for all the major cell carriers on it. My signal was -63.

    In my house, I don't have any reception problems anywhere except the basement. It seems that when the RSSI hits -106 I'll get lots of breakup. Any worse, and the call drops virtually every time.

    So, your RSSI ranges are just fine. You might get a bit of breakup here and there, but you shouldn't have the roaming problems you are experiencing. I would definitely contact Sprint and bug them about it.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by BillK400
    Thanks, I will call Sprint tomorrow and see if I can get any help. I have 3 large cell towers within 1/2 mile of my house. Form my previous research I had Identified one of them as a Sprint tower, but just wanted to confirm if there was another web site with good detailed map info
    Sprint PCS Field Support is pretty much 24/7 - you can call now.

    Sprint's Trouble Dept.: 866-273-2163 to report your signal problem.
  14.    #14  
    Thanks for all your help...I am going to call Sprint and I'll let you know how it goes.
  15.    #15  
    I found an offical Sprint tower locator site that give very detailed info including detailed maps, street address, longitude / latitude, photos, etc. This site only lists Sprint owned towers. www.sprintsites.com

    BTW...I am 3500 feet (approx 3/4 mile) from the tower. Now when I call the Sprint trouble dept (thanks ArcBody for the info), I can give them specific info on the tower, including site number. Hopefully that will help me get help.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by ArcBody
    Most Cell Site towers will have 3 banks of directional antennas.
    After activating ##33284 [Dial]:
    • Active PN: Antenna Bank Number
    • If you circle your local Cell Site, you will be able to confirm 3 different Sprint PCS Antenna Banks.
    • As you walk or drive in a circular arc, from your house (center of circle being the Tower / your house being at the circumfrence) observe both the Signal Strength (RSSI Value) and changes that occur in the Active PN (Antenna Bank Number).
    • If your house is located on the "margin" between 2 antenna banks, Sprint PCS Field Techs can adjust the antenna alignment.
    • Try calling Sprint's Trouble Dept.: 866-273-2163 to report your signal problem.
    • Sometimes assumptions need to be validated - in this case, I am assuming that the Cell Tower you are referring to has Sprint PCS Service.
      • If this tower has Sprint PCS Service, you should have a 4 Bar Signal when centered in any of the 3 antenna bank sectors.
      • Signal Strength in RSSI Value should be between - 50 and - 80 db
    • Attached is a image (jpg) of my Debug Parameters Screen, as an aid, so that you know what this is and why it is useful.
    • While the Debug Parameters Screen is displayed, the "normal" signal strength "Bar" display remains static and does not display signal strength, but rather the signal strength just prior to invoking ##33284 [Dial]
    This doesn't really seem to hold true in my area. I live in a nearly rural area outside of Denver. While sitting at my desk at home, I have gotten 6 different numbers showing up as the Active PN (4 of them in about 5 minutes of each other.) On the couple of tower sites that I have checked, I don't see a tower within several miles of my house. What could be going on?
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by jaginger
    This doesn't really seem to hold true in my area. I live in a nearly rural area outside of Denver. While sitting at my desk at home, I have gotten 6 different numbers showing up as the Active PN (4 of them in about 5 minutes of each other.) On the couple of tower sites that I have checked, I don't see a tower within several miles of my house. What could be going on?
    I checked the sprint site for tower locations, not real detailed when it comes down to the actual street level, I had in the past checked another site that was very detailed (let you zoom in and identify cross streets, etc, not just major streets as is the case at the sprint site), but I can't locate it again.....anyone know of such a site??j
    Cell Site Location is "closely held info". FYI ~ more than 60% of cell sites are located on buildings, Billboards, etc. and increasingly masked with an "illusion"


    The "Published" Maps are very inaccurate and incomplete.
    Your survey will tell your "the rest of the story".

    It does help to understand why your reception is so poor.


    Questions:

    • What are your RSSI Values?
    • When you have an active PN, what values display for "Finger PNs"?
    • What values display for "Finger Lock State"?
    • Your location "at my desk at home":
      • Is there a "magic spot" in your home with better signal?
      • Outside your house, what is your reception level?
      • If you circumnavigate your home, while outside, how variable is your reception?
      • What is the strongest RSSI Value you can achieve outside your home?
    • Have you called Sprint PCS:
    Sprint PCS Field Support is pretty much 24/7 - you can call now.


    Sprint's Trouble Dept.: 866-273-2163 to report your signal problem.
  18.    #18  
    Well, called Sprint, but as most here are aware, they are no real help. They had tech check out my problem and said it was because I was between two tower...what BS! Iam 3500 feet from a tower....Im VERY close to a tower and I should get good signal strength and another tower shouldn't figure into the issue, but the Sprint rep who I spoke with said she was only a CSR and was reading from the notes on a computer.....another funny response was they were "planning" to put up another tower in the area that "might" help my problem....as poor as it is now they would have to put it up in my yard for me to get good signal strength....
    With all the negative posts about Sprint I should have known better.
    Dose Sprint even care a little about thier service????
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by BillK400
    Well, called Sprint, but as most here are aware, they are no real help. They had tech check out my problem and said it was because I was between two tower...what BS! Iam 3500 feet from a tower....Im VERY close to a tower and I should get good signal strength and another tower shouldn't figure into the issue, but the Sprint rep who I spoke with said she was only a CSR and was reading from the notes on a computer.....another funny response was they were "planning" to put up another tower in the area that "might" help my problem....as poor as it is now they would have to put it up in my yard for me to get good signal strength....
    With all the negative posts about Sprint I should have known better.
    Dose Sprint even care a little about thier service????
    Bilk400 - I'm going to ramble a little, to cover the issued you've raised, in an effort to help - as I see it.
    • If you are 3500 Ft from a "line of sight" Sprint PCS Antenna, and you have confirmed the signal strength of that antenna, you must be able to find THE location where the RSSI value is ~ 60 db, from that antenna.
      • If yes - location relative to your home? [in general terms]
      • If no - the signal may not emanate from that tower.
    • Each carrier uses their licensed frequencies and Packet Switching Paradigm - CDMA, TDMA, GSM, AMPS, etc.
      • Sprint PCS infrastructure is mostly Panel Antennas that are directional.
      • Your signal strength of -96 to -104 would indicate that you don't have a directional antenna "feeding" your location.
      • What were your RSSI results when you circumnavigated THIS tower?
    • There are Handoff and Handshake issues that complicate Cell Site Infrastructure Planning and problem resolution.
    • In my experience - contrary to the opinions expressed by others:
      • Sprint PCS does care about service quality - now more than ever and they devote resources to your requests.
      • BUT - there is a limit as to what can be done, if the infrastructure isn't present.
    • "A tower is planned in your area" - the Zoning Boards kill Cell Site infrastructure improvement. If you do a little "Googling" this will become clear. So don't hold your breath.
    • IF it turns out - that your location survey indicates that your signal is emanating from another location, 2.5 miles away and you have a "line of sight" to that location, there are alternative solutions.
    OK - the big question:
    • Does anyone, in your area have "GREAT" service?
    • If YES - what carrier?
    • If YES - ask them to come over for a cup of coffee.
      • Is their service "GREAT" in your home?
    It takes more effort than most are willing to put forth.

    The key - discover if a solution is possible for your situation.

    Regards, ~ Carl

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