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  1. #21  
    Originally posted by rmcalister
    I've seen the same problem with Cingular (Raleigh-Durham Area of NC) whether I use a Treo 270, Ericsson CF788, CF768 or a T28W. Cingular has been having problems here for about 2 months. Supposedly they are working on improving their capacity here. But occasionally, I have to attempt a call 2 or 3 times before it will go through.

    Anyway, problem may not be Treo related (at least in Raleigh) because I've had it with several different phones.

    Shock, maybe Cingular has taken care of the problem near your home in Raleigh. Here in Durham, however it still happens occasionally.

    Later,
    Rob
    I still have problems but not as bad as it was a while ago when this thread first started. It still seams that my 180 did better than the 270 though. Maybe it is just coincidence that I got my 270 and then cingular starting having issues.

    I also hear that lots of cingular customers are having problems in this area because AT&T is overlaying a GSM network here.

    One problem I have is that my wife has a Nokia 3390 and she gets awesome reception almost anywhere we go. Sometimes I'll have no signal and she'll have like 2 bars and be able to make and receive calls without a problem.

    Thanks for the info.
    Steve Lineberry

    Cingular GSM
    Treo 600
    Treo 270
  2.    #22  
    Today I sent back my second replacement Treo. I didn't even bother trying to test the radio reception, since I was unable to keep the SIM door closed, once the SIM chip was inserted. The only way to keep the door in place was by hand or taping it, both unacceptable alternatives.

    It's now very obvious to me, and probably anyone reading these forums, that Handspring has some very serious quality control problems. Having a great product and excellent customer service is one thing, but if the products leaving the factories are this bad, then someone needs to be fired. After all, what are the odds of one person getting two out of three defective products. And I'm being nice by not including my orginal unit as defective. I've decided to live with the weak radio reception, but that doesn't mean I'm happy.

    Handspring, if you're reading this, it will be a long time before I buy another product from you, unless you get your quality control problems under control. You definately have some very talented, smart people working for you, but the problem is in the execution of the product. If you don't solve your problems soon, then your only hope will be a buyout by Palm. Good luck!
  3. #23  
    180 worked fine, 270's have the problem. Anyone with an early 180 add the battery saver software and now have a similar problem ?
  4. #24  
    Originally posted by george_vc
    180 worked fine, 270's have the problem. Anyone with an early 180 add the battery saver software and now have a similar problem ?
    Are you talking about the update from handsprings website? I received an upgraded 180 from them that had the downloaded update already installed and the 270 is still doing worse than that 180.
    Last edited by ShockSLL; 07/15/2002 at 06:23 PM.
    Steve Lineberry

    Cingular GSM
    Treo 600
    Treo 270
  5. #25  
    My Treo 180g (refurbish) has this "lost signal" poblem. It already comes with new updated power managment program.
  6. #26  
    One thing I notice on the 270 is that with the Modem ON, then turn on the display when there is no carrier, but lifting the cover and waking up the phone app, the signal comes back. Again, I think there is something related to battery saver that negatively affects the reception. Just my opinion. But would be interested in other users that had 180's with no problem, but went to 270 and now see the problem.
  7. #27  
    In todays marvy age of technology ... even land lines use RF, or satellite which is RF. So to say poor signal strength on a handset held to your ear is directly related to the fact it is the cell phone you are using is an assumption. It could be that you just happen to be standing in a natural null for the transmitting antennae, or the ding bat on the other end may be more than 90 feet away from his base.

    Having said that, when you do call home so the spouse can tell you to pick up milk ... cell drop outs and "static" are great excuses for not stopping. If the call you are about to make on your cell is of major importance, then you find a strong signal area and STAY THERE!!!! gosh ... that may mean pulling over to the side of the road and stopping the car.

    I dunno ... maybe its the years I worked as an Army Signal Corps officer followed by acquiring an amateur radio license (KA6ETP), but I learned a long time ago you can gain or lose RF signal strength by moving a few feet, sometimes inches. I have seen signal strength change by several DB simply by driving on the freeway and passing large reflective surfaces like those great big green and white road signs or that big ol' Wal Mart 18 wheeler. Oh and J.C. Penny's buildings, or K_Mart, or CostCo, tend to be built with re-inforced concrete --- all that steel tends to act as an RF sponge. I love listening to Molly Shopper in a Wal-Mart "What did you say? Huh? Your phone must be broke. Try the one in the hall."

    So the given signal strength of any given call has a lot of variables, some of which you can control, some of which you can't. Line of sight with your cell tower is best ... but line of sight with a large reflective metal surface behind or to the side could put you in a null or weak signal area. Conversley, no line of sight, but finding the sweet spot for that large reflective metal surface could give you several DB of gain. Oh yeah ... standing directly UNDER a cell tower is not a good idea either. RF engineers don't plan for a lot of people being under the tower so that tends to be a null area. Do you have a lot hills around you? Ever wonder why your cell works best at the TOP of the hill and worse at the bottom?

    You generally can't tell yout boss to get his fat *** off the freeway and find a strong signal area, but you can make sure you are in one.
  8. #28  
    Can't argue the fact that a nokia 5160 and a Treo side by side, Treo, no signal, nokia has signal, both on the same voicestream network.
  9. #29  
    I can't? Of course I can. All that radio experience remember?

    Two units made by two seperate manufacutrers. One shows a "bar" the other one doesn't show a bar.
  10. #30  
    (Oh crap ... hit the wrong button to soon ...)

    Both held in the same orientation? One may work better horizontal and the other vertical. And are you really willing to bet your life on how reliable is the appearance of one of those bars? I highly doubt that both units use the same scale to display signal strength, if they even use a scale. In that case, one says "I've got signal" because some programmer somewhere decided this is the threshold where he will draw the first bar.

    You've got them side by side ... are you sure unit B's showing more "signal" is not really indicating more because it's receiver is being saturated by the RF being generated by unit A ... or that unit A is being masked by the RF generated by unit B at some wierd harmonic 90 degrees out of phase? That wierd harmonic 90 degrees out phase could also be a reflected signal unit B is not sensitive to because it is reflected at a different polarization.

    Loss of signal has a LOT of reasons and varies between transceivers of the same type let alone different manufactuors.

    Gary
  11. #31  
    <sigh> In this world of satellite and cable TV, I doubt if many of you have ever experienced the joys of holding on to the TV antenna so you can watch "I Love Lucy". And yes, I mean the orginal live broadcast, not a rerun. Or sending the dog outside because every time he walks across the floor the TV reception goes ape.

    Gary
  12. #32  
    Having a few years of Electronics experience from my 6 years in the Navy, Gary's facts are straight.

    Thanks for all the info.

    Rob
  13. #33  
    Sometimes when I'm inside a building my 270 has no signal at all while somebody sitting next to me offers to lend me his Verizon cell phone to make my call while laughing at my $500 cell phone. Assumed it was Voicestream's cell network in the Phila area since my friend told me his girlfriend's normal cell phone has the same problem with Voicestream. From all these posts though I'm starting to conclude that it's the phone design now. Thought about returning the 270 to wait for a 300 thinking Sprint's network would fix the problem but maybe it's not the carrier after all and the 300 will have the same problem. Guess I'll put up with it and hope Handspring finds a fix.

    By the way, what's a radio? They sound pretty either cheap or very old obsolete devices if you have to orient them certain ways to get a signal. I wouldn't expect this from a cell phone.
  14. #34  
    I don't care how many collective years of radio experience exist. My cheapo 5160 phone with a SIM chip and Treo 270 with a SIM chip (one wifes, one mine) on the same network and same carrier. I can call out and receive calls on the 5160 where the treo has "no service", never the other way around in weak areas. There is a problem guys, not some spooky radio magic, the reception is poorer on this device ! The 270 is less tolerant of weak reception ! For me.....I suspect the battery saver software, what exactly does the battery saver software do ? How can it extend battery life, probably not cranking up the radio receiver in low signal conditions as it could. It has to play with duty cycle or amplification routines. When I was in Denmark last month when everywhere you go, the signal strengy is PEGGED to the max, the battery life was significantly better between charges, (also roaming on 900 MHZ).
    Last edited by george_vc; 07/16/2002 at 04:07 PM.
  15. #35  
    Originally posted by Bob-C

    By the way, what's a radio? They sound pretty either cheap or very old obsolete devices if you have to orient them certain ways to get a signal. I wouldn't expect this from a cell phone.
    Check out this website on the radio inside the treo.

    http://www.dugeem.net/david/work/gsm-data.html

    There is a link on that page straight to the manufacturers of the GSM radio that the treo uses. When we refer to the radio we are talking about the GSM radio that talks to the GSM network. We aren't talking about $20 k-mart 2-way radio. There are lots of current cell phones that get better reception oriented a certain way.

    Originally posted by Bob-C

    Thought about returning the 270 to wait for a 300 thinking Sprint's network would fix the problem but maybe it's not the carrier after all and the 300 will have the same problem. Guess I'll put up with it and hope Handspring finds a fix.
    The treo 300 won't have the same radio in it because it's CDMA. So if the GSM radio in the treo is the reason of the poor signal then getting the 300 would probably fix the problem. But if it is poor coding on the part of handspring which is why the signal sucks, then the 300 would probably have the same problem. Maybe less if you live in the US because CDMA is very widespread in the US and chances of a higher signal are greater.
    Steve Lineberry

    Cingular GSM
    Treo 600
    Treo 270
  16. #36  
    Well, I guess you could spring for that "antenna booster" I've seen advertised. The one you stick on the inside of your battery. Yup that oughta REALLY boost your received signal!!!!

    You can find them listed right next to sky hooks, pales of air, and snake oil salesmen.

    Gary
  17. #37  
    Gary Little, just curious....do you have a Treo 270 ?
  18. #38  
    George,

    No I don't. My cell plan is with Sprint, so I am waiting for either the 300 or the Kyocera 7135.

    So how can I possibly know what I am talking about? RF is RF. The Treo is nothing more than a transceiver, and susceptible to the rules of propagation ... line of site, polarazation, reflections, Fresnell zones, other RF sources in the vicinity ... etc. etc. etc.

    I do note that the Treo has a stub antenna. If your Nokia, and all of the Nokias that I have owned did, has a pull up then there is the primary difference in signal strength. The more metal you have in the air, the better you receive. But you can't put more metal in the air than your transmitter can effectively use or you start to degrade the performance of your transmitter. So your antenna length is a trade off. From the FCC pictures it appears that the antenna is removable, and I suspect cut to a 1/4 wave length. If you can find one that is cut to a 1/2 wave, or even a full wavelength at the middle of the frequency range, and is compatable with the Treo, you will probably see a marked improvement in your signal strength, on both transmit and receive.

    By the way ... I was joking about that antenna booster. It's a rip off.

    Gary
  19. #39  
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by ShockSLL


    The treo 300 won't have the same radio in it because it's CDMA. So if the GSM radio in the treo is the reason of the poor signal then getting the 300 would probably fix the problem. But if it is poor coding on the part of handspring which is why the signal sucks, then the 300 would probably have the same problem. Maybe less if you live in the US because CDMA is very widespread in the US and chances of a higher signal are greater.
    [/QUOTE

    Faulty integration of the Wismo GSM transceiver can also cause less than optimal performance. I noticed that my Treo 270 has much better reception (and recovery once it loses signal) than my Treo 180 did. From the looks of it, the 270 and the 180 use the same GSM module and antenna. The difference seems to be that the antenna in the 270 is better matched to the transceiver than the 180's was. Things like how the internal circuit board is laid out can affect (and degrade) the RF performance, even if they keep the same GSM module/antenna parts in the design. What I suspect happened was that there was a combination of circuit layout changes, tuning of passive components (such as inductors), and some firmware tweaks (to speed up the recovery after loss of signal). Confirmation of antenna matching tweaks were mentioned in the FCC info that was leaked before the release of the 270.

    The sad thing is that owners of the 180 were effectively beta testers of a device that is not optimally designed because of Handspring's inexperience with the implementation of that particular GSM module. They should have caught those kinds of problems before they put the Treo 180 into production.
  20. #40  
    Can the Treo's stub antenna be replaced with a pull up antenna? It doesn't seem to unscrew like those in some phones.
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