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AMPS in northern California?

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Anonymous
May 17, 2004 8:36:10 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

Hi All:

I'm getting ready to re-up my Verizon service and pick up new phones for
myself and my family. I've faithfully used tri-mode phones for the past
few years because I live in Marin, spend a lot of time in Sonoma county
and West Marin, and cannot get a digital signal in many of those spots,
including my home in Tiburon.

However, I'm now finding that I can't get a USABLE analogue signal
ANYWHERE anymore. True, my phone (Samsung A310) switches to analogue
off and on throughout the day. But I can rarely dial out and get a
connection in analogue mode. I can't seem to get an incoming call.
When I DO manage to connect with analogue, the line is filled with
static and disconnects within moments.

In my home, my phone flips back and forth between analogue and digital,
but what that amounts to is no usable signal, and if I forget to turn
off the phone when I get home, the battery drains quickly because the
phone switches over to analogue.

I've had this problem with my Samsung a310, my previous LG 510, and my
Startac before that, though it does 'seem' as if the problem is getting
worse with each phone.

Looking at newer phones, I'm considering the Motorola T730 (syncs with
my Mac) and the LG VX4400 (still available, and everyone seems to like
it), which are tri-mode. But I'm also looking at that little Kyocera
SE47 slider, which is dual mode only. Since right now the analogue
mode only serves as a battery drain, I'm thinking about giving up on
AMPS altogether. By the way, I haven't had better luck with analogue
signals when I travel outside of Northern California, either!

My quesion is: does anyone on this group get a usable analogue signal
any more in the SF Bay Area, Sonoma, and Napa county?

Am I not using the right phones for acceptable AMPS reception? Right
now, AMPS is just an annoyance and a frustration for me, and that
Kyocera looks awfully cute.

TIA
Michael
rolleiflexes____at_____hotmail____dot_____com (trying to avoid the SPAM
I get when I post on newsgroups)
Anonymous
May 17, 2004 11:53:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

"Michael L." <FIGHTALLSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:FIGHTALLSPAM-3A2365.16361017052004@news-60.giganews.com...
> I'm getting ready to re-up my Verizon service and pick up new phones for
> myself and my family. I've faithfully used tri-mode phones for the past
> few years because I live in Marin, spend a lot of time in Sonoma county
> and West Marin, and cannot get a digital signal in many of those spots,
> including my home in Tiburon.

I would be willing to bet you that the towers you are hitting have indeed
been upgraded to digital, but that you are on the outer fringe of the
coverage and the phone is not able to keep associated with the tower. It
seems easier for the phone to indicate it actually has coverage with analog
(even when it does not) than with digital.

> However, I'm now finding that I can't get a USABLE analogue signal
> ANYWHERE anymore. True, my phone (Samsung A310) switches to analogue
> off and on throughout the day. But I can rarely dial out and get a
> connection in analogue mode. I can't seem to get an incoming call.
> When I DO manage to connect with analogue, the line is filled with
> static and disconnects within moments.

Can you force the phone to analog when you do have a good strong signal and
try it then? I generally find that if my phone flips over to analog in a
fringe area that it will not be powerful enough to actually "hit" the tower.

> In my home, my phone flips back and forth between analogue and digital,
> but what that amounts to is no usable signal, and if I forget to turn
> off the phone when I get home, the battery drains quickly because the
> phone switches over to analogue.

Can you set it to digital only? You can do this on the LG VX 4400.

> I've had this problem with my Samsung a310, my previous LG 510, and my
> Startac before that, though it does 'seem' as if the problem is getting
> worse with each phone.

Yeah, that is probably because over time the power output from phones has
gotten less and less the smaller they get.

> Looking at newer phones, I'm considering the Motorola T730 (syncs with
> my Mac) and the LG VX4400 (still available, and everyone seems to like
> it), which are tri-mode. But I'm also looking at that little Kyocera
> SE47 slider, which is dual mode only. Since right now the analogue
> mode only serves as a battery drain, I'm thinking about giving up on
> AMPS altogether. By the way, I haven't had better luck with analogue
> signals when I travel outside of Northern California, either!

I personally have a 4400 and I am responsible for a bunch more at work and I
love them! If you just want a phone that *works* it is the way to go if you
can still get em. You can easily force it to digital or analog and make it
stay on one or the other.

If I were in your situation I would look for a way to make my phone work at
home. You might want to look at an antenna and possibly an amplifier from
http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/

-Eric
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 2:40:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

Michael,
Are you in the same locations as before? What has happened to Verizon's
analog is that many new sites have been added that do have have analog
capability, they are only required to maintain the ones that were operating
in 2002. Therefore, you can get a poor signal in digital, but when it
gives up and tries analog, it could be only seeing a site that is still
farther away.

Additionally, Verizon has become one of the most-roamed-on carriers iin the
country, espcially now that Sprint PCS users can roam on VZW for no extra
charge (w/some plans). Many of Sprint's phones still only roam at 800 MHz
in analog. So you are losing out to more roamers sharing space that is not
expanding.

Here in Colorado, many rural VZW sites were all-analog as recent as a year
ago, so there are very few digital-only sites.

So, while you are having trouble using analog, I would say it still has
value, although the need is reduced each year. For the time being, I would
not give up "tri-mode". My wife just got a new phone and I insisted it have
analog, so it was an easy choice of the VX-4400.

Those darn roamers.

-Bill Radio
Western U.S. Wireless Reviews at:
http://www.MountainWireless.com




"Michael L." <FIGHTALLSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:FIGHTALLSPAM-3A2365.16361017052004@news-60.giganews.com...

> My quesion is: does anyone on this group get a usable analogue signal
> any more in the SF Bay Area, Sonoma, and Napa county?
>
> Am I not using the right phones for acceptable AMPS reception? Right
> now, AMPS is just an annoyance and a frustration for me, and that
> Kyocera looks awfully cute.
>
Related resources
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 7:38:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

"Michael L." <FIGHTALLSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<FIGHTALLSPAM-3A2365.16361017052004@news-60.giganews.com>...
> Hi All:
>
> I'm getting ready to re-up my Verizon service and pick up new phones for
> myself and my family. I've faithfully used tri-mode phones for the past
> few years because I live in Marin, spend a lot of time in Sonoma county
> and West Marin, and cannot get a digital signal in many of those spots,
> including my home in Tiburon.
>
> However, I'm now finding that I can't get a USABLE analogue signal
> ANYWHERE anymore. True, my phone (Samsung A310) switches to analogue
> off and on throughout the day. But I can rarely dial out and get a
> connection in analogue mode. I can't seem to get an incoming call.
> When I DO manage to connect with analogue, the line is filled with
> static and disconnects within moments.

I regularly use analog in the Bay Area, but not enough different
locations to have an accurate picture of any service degradation.

Out in Berkeley/Oakland/Eastbay hills, analog works fine. Even in
digital overlay areas, analog still has the edge down in valleys.
Digital picks up more towards the tops of hills, generally.

I'll work out in the burbs or hike alone in the woods, so analog is
still quite useful.

I also picked one of the best performing Verizon phones for analog
(Audiovox 9500). As good as either of my 7868 startacs. Has a huge
antenna.
Everyone who got a fixed stub antenna, like on the new Motorola 120's,
just can't get good fringe performance. D or A.
I'm not a Kyocera fan, and have seen some Kyoceras with very poor
fringe reception.
Learning to force one's handset to Sprint, is often one of the most
useful tricks here in te Bay Area, in order to make a secure call and
save the battery.
Sometimes roaming onto Sprint provides great coverage, where Verizon's
digital signal is too weak, and the phone bounces around between
analog and unusable 800mhz digital.

Although the analog is not top notch, the digital performance on the
Nokia 3595i is without equal. It finds a usuable network quickly,
including Sprint, instead getting stuck on an unusable digital signal.
Might be worth a try.
You could put a Yagi directional antenna at your house, if you don't
mind being tethered with a cable.

The T720 is not a good choice for fringe areas (or non fringe areas,
IMO). At least, try to test some of the best performing phones at
home, before concluding analog doesn't work.
Another phone and antenna could make a huge difference...or not.

I wouldn't give up analog in northern California just yet.
Learning to manipulate the handsets network selection could help too.
Might have to make some tough, performance based choices, in handset
selection or search out the better models from the past.

Heck, never know, maybe Sprint or ATT(TDMA) might work where you need
it.

-----
David

DavNOLindiSPAM at hott mail DOT kom
Anonymous
May 19, 2004 6:09:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

"Michael L." <FIGHTALLSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> My quesion is: does anyone on this group get a usable analogue signal
> any more in the SF Bay Area, Sonoma, and Napa county?

In Marin County, I get usable AMPS while hiking on Mount Tam. Not great, but
usable.

In Yosemite Valley, as well as on the roads into Yosemite, I get often get
usable AMPS.

I find AMPS quite useful since often I am in these areas with a relative in
another vehicle.

In Alaska I used AMPS in the smaller towns (no CDMA or GSM, though the
smaller towns reportedly do have TDMA).

I found my phone switching to AMPS on the way up to the Mendocino area,
through western Sonoma county, but this was two years ago.
!