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#222268 - 04/25/11 02:38 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: comms]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: southern Cal
I have used my Verizon phone in situations where satellite phones were not functioning. AT&T is generally regarded as the network with the poorest coverage.

I guess I am a satisfied customer. Usual disclaimers....
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#222270 - 04/25/11 02:53 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3424
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: hikermor
AT&T is generally regarded as the network with the poorest coverage.


That may be true where you live, but Death Star Wireless works better than Verizon almost everywhere I go, where I live.

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#222273 - 04/25/11 04:24 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: Bingley]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Pre-paid service (like TracFone) work just fine for some areas and not at all in others. Their phones are cheap ($25+) and cards available everywhere. Where I live, I can't get TracFone coverage at all, any time, but my sister lives three miles away and has no problem. But it has been reported that since TracFone doesn't own any towers, they buy time on all the other towers, so you may be able to get through via them even if your own doesn't work because your company wants use only through their towers.

If there is no access to tower coverage, nothing will work. I think someone said 30 miles max as the crow flies. And I suspect that hills, etc, may interfere even if closer.

Texting can work great, but not at this point with 911. They were discussing implementing it last November, but don't bet your life on it yet.

Sue

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#222293 - 04/25/11 09:47 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: Bingley]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Don't overlook that your selection of cell phone can have a profound effect on your service area. A whole lot of small phones have essentially the same electrical components and capabilities but there are exceptions. Many carriers have tech support that will clue you into any phones they carry that have significantly greater operational range.

A friend of mine that work a lot in remote rural areas keeps his old 'handbag/brick' cell phone from the 90s around because it has significantly more transmit power and includes an easy to use antenna connection. He keep a variety of antennas on hand. A rubber pigtail that is rugged and good enough for in town, a 18" unit for semi-rural areas, and a 6' whip that allows for service in the sticks.

The tech department of the service provider will know what phones have better sensitivity and an antenna connection. They will also sell you a suitable antenna. Usually you can get the same units cheaper online.

There are also behavioral aspects. Gaining altitude, top of a hill or building, up a tree, or standing on top of you car can help. Avoiding ground clutter, buildings, trees, hills also helps.

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#222326 - 04/26/11 02:15 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: Bingley]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2847
Phone quality varies greatly too, the "free" phones you get won't get as good as reception as a higher end model. I've tended to go higher end to get the better coverage, my last two phones have had much better reception than the cheapies I used to get.
You can also look at external antennas, most phones will have a small cover that can be removed to get to an antenna jack.

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#222327 - 04/26/11 02:32 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: Bingley]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1637
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I've asked twice before, and got no feedback, so will try again for the "charm"... does anyone have any experience with the Gulo Gulo hiking stick gain antenna for a cell phone?

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#222332 - 04/26/11 03:29 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: hikermor]
ChicagoCraig Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 113
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I have used my Verizon phone in situations where satellite phones were not functioning. AT&T is generally regarded as the network with the poorest coverage.

I guess I am a satisfied customer. Usual disclaimers....


Which sat network? Globalstar, Iridium, Bgan, Terastar?

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#222336 - 04/26/11 04:50 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: ChicagoCraig]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: southern Cal
I am afraid that I don't know the answer to that question. However, I understand that one of the satellite networks was rather unreliable (Iridium?). I suppose that network issues might have been the problem. We were on the Channel Islands and had unimpeded access to the sky and, evidently, one of Verizon's towers.

Verizon was marginal in that you had to stand in one spot, make a wish, spin around three times, and....access!


Edited by hikermor (04/26/11 04:50 PM)
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#222337 - 04/26/11 05:00 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: LesSnyder]
kd7fqd Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 359
Loc: Saratoga Springs,Utah,USA
I went to the website for the Gulo Gulo walking stick and for $99 is a bit too steep to experiment with
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#222343 - 04/26/11 06:26 PM Re: Back up plan for poor cell phone coverage? [Re: Bingley]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1637
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
kd7fqd...I've been known to cut a di pole antenna to a desired freq range....don't have access to a VTVM or oscilloscope to measure small induced voltages any more

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