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Old 04-27-2005, 08:36 AM   #1
corey@12mile
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Default Which frequency is my handheld currently using...

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Here's an interesting one... My company just purchased a SignalReach CR500. This little bad boy (Canadian technology might I add) is a GSM/GPRS 1900MHz signal repeater/booster. From within our office I can usually maintain about 3 bars of signal strength (79db for those interested). When I power up this unit, I only get a small increase 4 bars of signal strength (73db). I think with this device I should be getting more. My only thought is that maybe the BB is talking at 850 or 900MHz.

I am currently doing the phone tag game with a persom from Arrista, who are the maker/seller of the product.

So here are my 2 questions...

1. Has anyone had any experience with SignalReach products?

2. Is there any way to easily tell what frequency the Blackberry, or other handset is currently using?
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:57 AM   #2
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2. Unfortunately, no. No easy way. No difficult way, either!
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:40 PM   #3
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What BlackBerry model are you using?
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:42 PM   #4
corey@12mile
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I have a 6280, 7280 and 7290... you got a "killer app" to tell me my radio freq?
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:55 PM   #5
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nope, but most likely it is on 1900, you did get an additional bar when you turned it on, right? It is definitely not on 900, so it is either 1900 or 850. What network is your BlackBerry service from? Also, where are you using it? You may able to determine the frequency that the network is transmitting on in your area.

Last edited by ngeller; 04-28-2005 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:38 PM   #6
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What matters is -- is everything working perfectly? -- Is the signal booster helping the problem phones in your workplace? -- All phones now working fine?

One idea is that your BlackBerry may be sticking to 850 Mhz that it doesn't switch to 1900 until the 850 drops below 2 bars. That may be why you're not noticing any improvement. But it probably doesn't matter if your BlackBerry never had any problems in your workplace...

Or does it?
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:16 PM   #7
corey@12mile
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That's the problem... our dispatch and operations areas are surrounded by lots of concrete block and steel. These are the users who are having difficulties with reception and clarity. We wouldn't have spent the money on the booster if everything was 'fine'.

This product is supposed to boost our signal by about 25db. I get less than 10 db of boost. I have switched antennas between panel type and dome type. I switched out the booster with another one today to see if the unit I got was faulty. I have also been working with the engineers and sales staff at Arrista, who have been very good so far with communication, but I still don't have the signal gain I expect.

I know my area has 850 and 1900. Either way, a GSM/GPRS handheld should switch to whatever the strongest frequency is. Therefore when I fire up the booster my Blackberry should switch to 1900 regardless because the booster is 10 feet away from me and should be pumping out 'mad seeg' at 1900 and I should have full strength on my Blackberry. So I have to figure out whether the Blackberry is locked in at 850 and not switching, or, whether I have 2 faulty CR500's, or whether my antennas aren't working... all 3 of them I have tried. The antennas are all 1800-1950MHz so it's hard for me to believe it would be them.

I am going to take my Nokia 3220 in to work tomorrow and see what it does. I am very close to grabbing a CR100 which is identical to the CR500, but does 800-900MHz and give that a whirl.

My last course of action is to put a directional antenna on the roof of the building instead of the omni I have and see if that makes a difference. From the roof plus 10 feet or so up I have line of sight over the 406 in St. Catharines to the closest Rogers tower.

If all else fails I may call a favour in to Rogers and get an RF truck down this way to help me sort this thing out, cause it's all about who you know and play golf with...

Corey
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:48 PM   #8
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Corey,

all 3 models you mention works at 850 and 1900. It sounds like repeater is not helping you because 850 is being used.
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Old 07-13-2005, 01:30 PM   #9
corey@12mile
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Well... I suppose because someone replied to this I should clear things up a bit.

1. I have still not found a way to find out, without a doubt, which frequency it's talking on.

2. The problem was that the 2 internal antennas were too close to the external antenna. Moving the antenna farther away on the roof and the liberal use of some aluminum tape has fixed the issue.

AFAIK, the handhelds were running at 1900 the entire time, I was just getting a little looping on the booster, enough to cause it to malfunction so to speak.

cd.

if that were the case, with the boost on 1900 the handhelds should have switched over to 1900.
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:43 AM   #10
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A friend of mine bought a signal booster from Wireless Extenders. This thing works only on 1900 like the signal reach product. However, Wireless Extenders product has a signal LED in the center that flashes green if someone is using 1900 service. I thought this is a cool feature and a way you can see if 1900 is being used. My friend just powered up the unit and attached indoor small antenna to it and it flashes green.
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