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Thread: Straight Talk on Verizon: signal problems.

  1. #1
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    Straight Talk on Verizon: signal problems.

    Okay, short version: I bought from someone a Sprint Samsung Epic flashed to Straight Talk's Verizon network. Works pretty well except for one hiccup: the signal strength tends to "wobble" between excellent and terrible, and sometimes drops out entirely. This has been ongoing for at least a month; I've updated my PRL, and I checked using Cell ID to tell me whether I was bouncing between two towers for some reason. It says I'm staying on the same tower.

    I have the tentative theory that this is because, being originally a Sprint phone, the Epic's radio is trying to "prefer" the 1900 MHz signal over the 850 that's better and more common around here. Going into a large building which blocks some signal like a supermarket, the phone stabilizes and holds onto the "stronger" signal, which makes no sense unless the up/down is it trying to grab a weaker one that can't make it into the building.

    My question is, does anyone else here have any recommendations on how to fix this? Are there any custom ROMs that allow you to set 850 only, or custom radio firmwares better suited to use on the Verizon network?

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    Wow.. that sounds like quite a can of worms.

    Sounds like you know more about this than I do.

    I thought sprint was GSM.

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    Your account is going to be closed. That phone doesn't have the "air tank" built into ST VZW phones.
    See here: http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...light=air+tank

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    What is an airtank? LOL

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    just follow the link in the previous post

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    The only reason that explanation is in there is because i asked the same question on both threads at the same time and they replied to it on that thread instead of this one...

    It was not there at the time he posted the link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silentjudge View Post
    Your account is going to be closed. That phone doesn't have the "air tank" built into ST VZW phones.
    See here: http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...light=air+tank
    Okay, first off, not really the point of my thread.

    Second, I don't really see evidence of this from my perspective. The guy I bought this from used it for months, I've been using it for well over a month, without incident. Yes, I got the computer code messages for awhile. Then those stopped weeks ago, and my phone still works fine, other than the signal glitch which was the point of the thread. That might be the case with some people, but right now the only advice I'm soliciting is on my signal strength problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twbrn View Post
    Okay, first off, not really the point of my thread.

    Second, I don't really see evidence of this from my perspective. The guy I bought this from used it for months, I've been using it for well over a month, without incident. Yes, I got the computer code messages for awhile. Then those stopped weeks ago, and my phone still works fine, other than the signal glitch which was the point of the thread. That might be the case with some people, but right now the only advice I'm soliciting is on my signal strength problem.
    Not really contributing anything but I get the same problem with my Epic on Straight Talk. Every now and then I'll look at my phone, sometimes it has 0 bars or 1-2 bars. When it shows 0 bars and I make a call, it connects almost instantly and starts dialing and then the signal stabilizes usually with high signal, 3 bars+. So far using it around town I've never had a problem with making a call/text/web using 3G and having persistent bad signal, just goes in and out like you said. On one side of town I usually get slow 3G speeds, near my girlfriend's I've received speeds from 1-2Mbps, but maybe that's just different towers. Been using service for a little over a month, haven't received any data text codes from "air tank" or whatever. twbrn, any advice you can give me about "air tank", or did you really just ignore it and your phone has still been working? How long did you have service until you started receiving the air tank messages? Maybe I'll get lucky and won't receive them, I hope

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    Quote Originally Posted by justan00b View Post
    Not really contributing anything but I get the same problem with my Epic on Straight Talk. Every now and then I'll look at my phone, sometimes it has 0 bars or 1-2 bars. When it shows 0 bars and I make a call, it connects almost instantly and starts dialing and then the signal stabilizes usually with high signal, 3 bars+. So far using it around town I've never had a problem with making a call/text/web using 3G and having persistent bad signal, just goes in and out like you said. On one side of town I usually get slow 3G speeds, near my girlfriend's I've received speeds from 1-2Mbps, but maybe that's just different towers.
    For me, I seem to get the best data connections on the lower bars. Sometimes I have problems where text messages are delayed, being delivered long after I sent them, or don't seem to go through on the first try, but these are probably related to the signal issue.

    I've had problems at times with excessive dropped calls, including one time when it dropped a call like 5 times in a row. But at other times, it works fine.

    Did you get your Epic flashed by a service, or DIY, or what?

    Been using service for a little over a month, haven't received any data text codes from "air tank" or whatever. twbrn, any advice you can give me about "air tank", or did you really just ignore it and your phone has still been working? How long did you have service until you started receiving the air tank messages? Maybe I'll get lucky and won't receive them, I hope
    I really ignored it. I did have one time when Straight Talk acted as if my phone had stopped receiving airtime, but that was around the time that my credit card expired and rolled over to a different one. Supposedly they'd already updated my account information, but frankly it wouldn't surprise me if they'd screwed that up. Once I reactivated with my new card number, I haven't had a twitch. It would really be perfect service, if it weren't for the signal thing. It's almost enough to make me want to try running a VZW Droid or something on this service, but I haven't yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twbrn View Post
    For me, I seem to get the best data connections on the lower bars. Sometimes I have problems where text messages are delayed, being delivered long after I sent them, or don't seem to go through on the first try, but these are probably related to the signal issue.

    I've had problems at times with excessive dropped calls, including one time when it dropped a call like 5 times in a row. But at other times, it works fine.

    Did you get your Epic flashed by a service, or DIY, or what?
    hm, not sure about the signal strength relating to bars or anything. on my side of town sometimes it seems like i get crappy speeds, like 500Kbps or really less usually, maybe upwards of 200ish actually. at my girls house (which isn't even but like 10 minutes away) i get speeds in excess of 1Mbps and same with upload, maybe its a different tower, or something with the signal, dunno... also it seems like my signal is more steady and doesnt fluctuate much when i have data turned off and just use Wifi or nothing. i have had it rarely show me an error sending a text, but that used to happen to me all the time on sprint for some reason. dont think ive had the issue with delayed texting

    have you been able to get MMS or anything working? i cant send, i can receive, but then when i hit download for the MMS message or whatever it never downloads, doesn't work. not a big deal i guess

    i took a leap and paid some guy on Youtube for the flashing instructions for straight talk, basically gave me all the stuff i needed. then come to find out data only works in 1X and i cant get 3G working without the AAA, HA and DMU10 keys, so had to really really hassle him to use his VZW fascinate to get the keys for me and send me them... and then he didn't provide clear instructions for DFS for the data settings and using the keys.. had to pay him another $10 or $15 or something to remote in over teamviewer and show me whats what.. guess i paid around $35 total, wish i coulda found all the info online but oh well, not a bad deal compared to some of these guys offering to do it for $80 or something crazy... ive been using an assigned ST phone number, and actually just ported my number to ST from sprint and had to reactivate my Epic on ST, but now my AAA and HA keys or username or something isn't working, data won't work for me anymore.. gonna borrow someones VZW fascinate and activate it on ST and see if the keys have changed or the username is something screwy since i ported my number, hopefully i can copy the settings and get 3G back working


    Quote Originally Posted by twbrn View Post
    I really ignored it. I did have one time when Straight Talk acted as if my phone had stopped receiving airtime, but that was around the time that my credit card expired and rolled over to a different one. Supposedly they'd already updated my account information, but frankly it wouldn't surprise me if they'd screwed that up. Once I reactivated with my new card number, I haven't had a twitch. It would really be perfect service, if it weren't for the signal thing. It's almost enough to make me want to try running a VZW Droid or something on this service, but I haven't yet.
    yeah i wish my phone was a natural VZW phone, bet it would work a lot better. did you transfer a number to ST? what happened when it stopped receiving airtime and lapsed in service, did you lose your number or anything? hopefully i can get by ignoring this air tank crap too, shrug if not maybe i'll switch to just one of the legit ST android phones

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    oh hey twbrn, what verison of ST's PRL are you running? i've got 59272

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    Quote Originally Posted by justan00b View Post
    have you been able to get MMS or anything working? i cant send, i can receive, but then when i hit download for the MMS message or whatever it never downloads, doesn't work. not a big deal i guess
    Nope, no MMS for me. Not a big deal on my end, I just live with it.

    i took a leap and paid some guy on Youtube for the flashing instructions for straight talk, basically gave me all the stuff i needed. then come to find out data only works in 1X and i cant get 3G working without the AAA, HA and DMU10 keys, so had to really really hassle him to use his VZW fascinate to get the keys for me and send me them... and then he didn't provide clear instructions for DFS for the data settings and using the keys.. had to pay him another $10 or $15 or something to remote in over teamviewer and show me whats what.. guess i paid around $35 total, wish i coulda found all the info online but oh well, not a bad deal compared to some of these guys offering to do it for $80 or something crazy...
    Yeah, those prices are insane. I'm glad I traded for my already flashed phone. You might consider though putting together a guide out of those instructions, it could help out people who want to do the flash themselves, so they don't get hosed by the eBay guys.

    ive been using an assigned ST phone number, and actually just ported my number to ST from sprint and had to reactivate my Epic on ST, but now my AAA and HA keys or username or something isn't working, data won't work for me anymore.. gonna borrow someones VZW fascinate and activate it on ST and see if the keys have changed or the username is something screwy since i ported my number, hopefully i can copy the settings and get 3G back working
    I had that same problem when I first ported in. It's that your username for 3G is partly your phone number, so you need to manually change that if your phone number changed. You have to go in and edit the username with something like QPST, and change it to reflect your new number.

    yeah i wish my phone was a natural VZW phone, bet it would work a lot better. did you transfer a number to ST? what happened when it stopped receiving airtime and lapsed in service, did you lose your number or anything? hopefully i can get by ignoring this air tank crap too, shrug if not maybe i'll switch to just one of the legit ST android phones
    I did transfer a number in. No, I didn't lose my number. Although I did just get my bank statement, and turns out they double-billed me for December. Grr.

    Honestly, if I could find a decent GSM phone with a good sliding keyboard, I'd be tempted to do the SIM swap thing instead. I'd only be getting 2G speed on the local AT&T network, but I don't use that much mobile data as it stands, and it would be nice to have the flexibility of GSM again.

    My PRL is also 59272.

  13. #13
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    Question: i live in the 89801 area code and straight talk doesn't support most smart phones here. something to do with the towers. any who, if i get an unlocked phone would that make a difference at all? would it use all the towers in the area or just the ones designated for straight talk? other providers smart phones seem to work fine here.

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    question: i live in the 89801 area code and straight talk doesn't support most smart phones here. they tell me the towers they use are the problem. this might be a dumb question but it i get an unlocked phone would that make a difference? would the phone use all the towers in the area or just the straight talk ones still? other providers smart phones work fine here

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mac90 View Post
    Question: i live in the 89801 area code and straight talk doesn't support most smart phones here. something to do with the towers. any who, if i get an unlocked phone would that make a difference at all? would it use all the towers in the area or just the ones designated for straight talk? other providers smart phones seem to work fine here.
    Its not the phone that determines coverage. I checked the AT&T coverage map for your zip, there is coverage but its only 3G coverage. That maybe why ST lists your area as having no coverage.

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