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Thread: Using Motorola Droid with Network Extender

  1. #1
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    Using Motorola Droid with Network Extender

    Everything seems just fine with my Droid except for one thing...

    I use a Verizon network extender inside my house because Verizon coverage is not very good at all here. Without it I can get maybe one bar or two on most any phone, and with it I get full bars inside the house.

    With the Droid, strangely I do not see any increase in bars while the phone sits idle. If however I make a call, the bars jump all the way up and the call sounds wonderful. As soon as the call ends though, it is back to 1 or 2 bars as if there was no extender in the house at all. In areas with good Verizon coverage, the bars look fine and there is no issue at all.

    No other phone does this.

    Any ideas what's going on here?

  2. #2
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    I sort of had a similar problem. What I've noticed though, is that those 1 or 2 bars you're seeing are most likely 3G signal not 1x. The network extender only does 1x, I've noticed that sometimes I had 1 or 2 bars then full bars and the only difference was the 3G icon missing when I had full bars.

  3. #3
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    Same thing happens to me. I'm just glad that it connects to the extender. It would suck more if it didn't work at all.


    I Love<3 Verizon FiOS

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    I am not using a network extender but I do notice that if I'm using the phone to browse the web on Wi-Fi that the bars of Verizon signal are nearly absent. Then when I make a call they quickly jump up to 2 or 3.

    Seems that for some reason the signal isn't constantly computed/displayed.

  5. #5
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    This is typical behavior seen on some other phones as well. cr4z3d is most likely correct, the device defaults to showing 3G signal if it is getting a 3G signal.

    I have seen this behavior on my Droid as well... when the Droid shows no bars I place a call and then the display pegs up to max reception and dials out.

  6. #6
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    I have a network extender, and I get full bars with my droid. If I didn't have the network extender, i'd usually be lucky to get a bar or 2 in my apartment.

  7. #7
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    When a phone is plugged in (charging) it uses 100% of the power it can to acquire a connection with the cell network. When a phone is not plugged in it dials down the amount of power it uses to acquire a connection. This is done to extend battery life because if it ran at 100% all the time it would need a considerably larger battery.

    That said, it is likely that while the phone is in a call it dials up to 100% of it's capability, resulting in a better connection and more bars displayed. When the call is complete it dials back down to conserve battery life in exchange for fewer bars.

  8. #8
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    Network Extender user. Just repeating what other folks are saying. 1-2 bars when not on a call. Then full bars once the call goes through.

  9. #9
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    I also use a Network Extender with VZW and I have had the same experience as others here. I still get calls and data (1X) just fine but my Droid's signal meter shows 1 bar most of the time. Other phones, including blackberry and EnV Touch show full bars.

  10. #10
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    network extender droid shows 3 bars and on a call it goes to 4 on the storm 2 all the bars are lit up all the time.
    HAIL TO THE REDSKINS

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eSaba
    That said, it is likely that while the phone is in a call it dials up to 100% of it's capability, resulting in a better connection and more bars displayed. When the call is complete it dials back down to conserve battery life in exchange for fewer bars.
    I do not believe this is the cause of the observed behavior... the reasons I mentioned have been documented elsewhere for months (in the official NE thread and in other smartphone threads. The signal indicator is a histogram based on a level of radio signal detected, and I have never seen a phone dial down a signal indicator purely due to lack of in-call voice use. If that were the case, data services and other non-voice use would potentially suffer, and that doesn't make sense.

  12. #12
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    Glad to hear others are experiencing the same. Frankly everything on my phone works great with the one exception that it will not connect to WiFi, but I really don't care about that anyway. My Storm2 would not either.

    I have been so sitting on the fence as to whether or not I should return the Droid due to the network extender issue. I have spent so much time configuring this phone that it would seem like such a hassle to do so. I have almost been tempted to bring my extender over to the Verizon store to see if it exhibited the same behavior with another phone in their store. But seeing as it does do so with all you guys who responded, I definitely feel better about it now.

    I too have noticed that it does display the 3G icon when not on a call, and that this icon goes away during a call through the extender. So I had gathered that it probably is locking into a cell tower with 3G as a priority when not on a call but just changes its priority during the call to the extender. If so, this is actually a very smart way for it to work. The only concern I would have about this though is that if it is listening to a non extender tower when not on a call, and that tower is very marginal at best, might it not miss a call coming in?

    For what it's worth, I sent an email to Verizon tech support yesterday about this issue and the response was that no one there ever heard of this issue, but that they figured that it was some kind of battery saving thing with this phone...whatever.

  13. #13
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    The general observation is that because on many phones there is only one signal gauge, they default to the gauge of 3G signal detected. Some phones show two rows of signal bars, one for 3G and one for 1X. What matters is whether or not the calls get through, and if they are being handled over the extender regardless of the signal strength indicator. The tests are simple, call out when the indicator is showing weakness, or place a call to it when the indicator is showing weakness. I think it is a great idea to at least give it some more time before returning it over that issue. It would be sad to reject a phone over an admittedly non-intuitive signal indicator

  14. #14
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    what is this network extender everyone is talking about? I have almost no service in my house and would love to buy this thing

  15. #15
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    Verizon Wireless' Web site has the info, and there is a stickied thread in the main Verizon forum containing user experiences and reviews. Basics: $250 unit, hooks up to your wired home Internet connection, calls get placed through it when in range, minutes are charged the same as if you weren't using the extender.

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