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Rural living, cell phones, and the law of uncertainty as it relates to service.

 
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Apologies for my mix-up with your name, Creighton....

Creighton Samuiels wrote:

Bryant RedHawk wrote:I'm with you Mike, on our land a pair of walkie- talkies work far better than cellphone.


What kind of real use range do you get out of your walkie-talkies, and what band are they using?



When i saw your entry on this thread, I thought a comment about short-range communication on this thread
was appropriate.

Rural living, cell phones, and the law of uncertainty as it relates to service.

Communication in a rural environment has always been a problem.  I remember the old crank-operated phone
with "your" number of rings.  There were some "ham" operators, but the CB became the radio of choice.
There were "radio-telephones" where each party had to say "Over" so that the other person knew when to talk.  
If you wanted some "news" you waited for the "newspaper boy"to deliver a paper that was printed the day before.  
If your antenna was oriented the right way,mounted high enough and you were within range, you could watch news
on b+w TV, complete with "ghost" images.

Now there are cell phones and sat phones.  Internet access....almost instant communication.

For a price.

Not just the dollar amount, either. Anonymous trolls and bullies, the limits of the printed word to adequately
communicate, even to getting somebody's name right   :>)

My choice is short-range radio for around the old "stump ranch" and going to town to use the free wifi
at "Timmies" with a Linux laptop {to lock out the amateur cyber-snoop}.  Anything long-distance can be handled by
the land-line phone/answering machine, or by firing up the old Halicrafters AM/shortwave radio.



 
 
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R Jay wrote:Apologies for my mix-up with your name, Creighton....



No problem.  It's quite a common error, actually.




My choice is short-range radio for around the old "stump ranch" and going to town to use the free wifi
at "Timmies" with a Linux laptop {to lock out the amateur cyber-snoop}.  Anything long-distance can be handled by
the land-line phone/answering machine, or by firing up the old Halicrafters AM/shortwave radio.

 



Fair enough, I just wanted to be clear what kind of use cases we were talking about, so that those readers considering buying such a radio knew what they were best for, and that no one bought the wrong radio for their purposes and had a poor experience as a result.

While I'm here, I might as well mention a modern option that has come to maturity recently.  The GoTenna mesh bridge transceiver...

https://gotenna.com/pages/mesh

Disclaimer...  I want one, but I don't have one, so I can't speak to how well they perform in practice.

 
Creighton Samuels
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
My attitude towards text, is that it is an unreliable form of communication. If it's important that I know that someone has received the communication, then I give them a call.



I have some first hand experience to show that this isn't really the case.  Normal (non-multimedia) texting doesn't require the internet to function, and uses a control channel to communicate between the cell phone and the tower.  In practice, this means that the connection that texting uses to communicate is the most reliable and most persistent that is possible with a cell phone; because if the control channel can't connect, the tower won't even attempt a phone call or Internet connection.  In addition, text messages are "store and forward", so the receiving cell phone doesn't actually have to maintain a continuous connection for messages to get through; instead an occasional connection with a tower, perhaps too weak to even support a phone call, would work acceptably.  I know that this is true, because I've been testing this theory with my oldest daughter, who is presently at "Old School Wilderness Semester" https://www.swoutfitters.com/wilderness-semester/  More than half of her stay is camping on the top of the mountain, well out of range of any cell tower.  Yet, her regular trips back down to 'base camp'; despite being just on the edge of reception, requiring her to stand in particular places in the open for a phone call, will reliably permit texts sent while she was out of range to arrive within minutes of her return to base camp, even inside the buildings.

In short, if the message is both short and important, but not time critical; standard text messaging is the way to go.  This would not apply to texting apps or multimedia texting that requires access to the Internet.
 
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Ours is spotty here in Wyoming. We certainly have cell phone deserts. We also have internet deserts and hell, water and electrical. Why do we all live here? We're nuts!

I'm not anti cell phone though. Sure, when I was a kid and broke down on the interstate I was fine. I walked to a phone and called my parents to come get me. It was fine. But breaking down now means I don't have to walk. I can just call someone and like magic they appear. I'll keep my cell phone!
 
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elle sagenev wrote:Ours is spotty here in Wyoming. We certainly have cell phone deserts. We also have internet deserts and hell, water and electrical. Why do we all live here? We're nuts!

I'm not anti cell phone though. Sure, when I was a kid and broke down on the interstate I was fine. I walked to a phone and called my parents to come get me. It was fine. But breaking down now means I don't have to walk. I can just call someone and like magic they appear. I'll keep my cell phone!



I do not look at cell phone use at all this way.

I get asked this all the time when I tell people I do not have a cell phone, something I not so affectionately call an "electronic leash." My answer is always the same, "If I have an emergency, I'll just wait until the next person that comes by, because there is a 93% chance they will have one...with unlimited text and minutes." Honestly, why should I spend good money on a cell phone when 93% of the population has one?

I have broken down before and in 5 minutes I was helped out by the police, so many people had called them!

Cell phones have a very high cost, but people seldom realize what they are. I have watched stable people absolutely loose it because their partner did not answer a text in 2 minutes after they sent one to them. I have seen kids playing at a playground yelling, "mommy, mommy, mommy" for 5 minutes to their oblivious parent who was lost in Facebook instead of watching their child grow up. I have seen married couples out on a nice date alone at a fancy restaurant with both of them with their heads down more concerned about their Facebook Pages then their deteriating marriage. Then there was the trajedy my family has faced when at age 19, my sister was killed in a car accident while texting.

There are times when a cell phone would be convient, but there has never been a time when I needed a phone and could not make a call.

Of course I always say one more thing about cell phones. "Well they say only 7% of the population does not have a cell phone, so I guess that just makes me be only 6% away from being a 1 percenter!"
 
elle sagenev
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So my breaking down on the interstate story turned out all right but it couldn't have. Wyoming is dangerous for women. One of my attorneys carries a gun when she travels around. All these deserted roads are dangerous. So there I was, 18 year old college girl on my way home and broke down. I started walking to the nearest place (Terry Bison Ranch and Thankfully I wasn't but 5ish miles from it). A couple stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride there. I accepted because I'm an idiot. We get there, I get out, all seems fine. Then as I'm sitting outside waiting for my parents a cop drives up, asks me if I'd seen people that had the exact same description as the one I just rode with. Turns out that wasn't such a safe thing for me to do, accepting a ride. The cops were after them for who knows what. Simply allowing a man close to you when you're alone is a danger. Sad, but true fact. So, I'm fine, but if my daughter is out on the roads I Want her to lock her doors and call me on her cell. I do not want her to accept help from anyone else, ever.

Travis Johnson wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:Ours is spotty here in Wyoming. We certainly have cell phone deserts. We also have internet deserts and hell, water and electrical. Why do we all live here? We're nuts!

I'm not anti cell phone though. Sure, when I was a kid and broke down on the interstate I was fine. I walked to a phone and called my parents to come get me. It was fine. But breaking down now means I don't have to walk. I can just call someone and like magic they appear. I'll keep my cell phone!



I do not look at cell phone use at all this way.

I get asked this all the time when I tell people I do not have a cell phone, something I not so affectionately call an "electronic leash." My answer is always the same, "If I have an emergency, I'll just wait until the next person that comes by, because there is a 93% chance they will have one...with unlimited text and minutes." Honestly, why should I spend good money on a cell phone when 93% of the population has one?

I have broken down before and in 5 minutes I was helped out by the police, so many people had called them!

Cell phones have a very high cost, but people seldom realize what they are. I have watched stable people absolutely loose it because their partner did not answer a text in 2 minutes after they sent one to them. I have seen kids playing at a playground yelling, "mommy, mommy, mommy" for 5 minutes to their oblivious parent who was lost in Facebook instead of watching their child grow up. I have seen married couples out on a nice date alone at a fancy restaurant with both of them with their heads down more concerned about their Facebook Pages then their deteriating marriage. Then there was the trajedy my family has faced when at age 19, my sister was killed in a car accident while texting.

There are times when a cell phone would be convient, but there has never been a time when I needed a phone and could not make a call.

Of course I always say one more thing about cell phones. "Well they say only 7% of the population does not have a cell phone, so I guess that just makes me be only 6% away from being a 1 percenter!"

 
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elle sagenev wrote: So, I'm fine, but if my daughter is out on the roads I Want her to lock her doors and call me on her cell. I do not want her to accept help from anyone else, ever.



That seems like very sound advice to me.  I know too many horror stories from friends, relatives, and acquaintances.  Rural areas are far from the only place it is unsafe.  That advice is just as prudent in the city as rural areas.
 
elle sagenev
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Trace Oswald wrote:

elle sagenev wrote: So, I'm fine, but if my daughter is out on the roads I Want her to lock her doors and call me on her cell. I do not want her to accept help from anyone else, ever.



That seems like very sound advice to me.  I know too many horror stories from friends, relatives, and acquaintances.  Rural areas are far from the only place it is unsafe.  That advice is just as prudent in the city as rural areas.



I think these are the scary realities women live with every day that men don't consider much. We had one of our instructors at the martial arts place we go get attacked on the interstate. She was a black belt and kicked butt, but it could have gone differently! She didn't even ask for help. She was just changing her tire and the guy stopped and tried to grab her. Anyway, different topic really.
 
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:    If someone texts or calls me while I am out there, I'm told that the message goes up into something called a cloud and then when I come back into service it descends from the cloud and enters my device and it lights up or vibrates or makes a goofy noise, and I get my message.   Some times.  Some times it is a day late.  Some times it is two days late.  It eventually does it's thing...  



I hope that is the way it works.

We have been here since 2013.

We may be in the most remote areas that are far from anything.  It is a 60-mile trip to buy anything.

We have a signal booster that may or may not be going bad. Our service goes from having one bar to lots of bars.

During the day there is only one bar.  Sometimes I can get a call out and maybe be able to have a conversation.

Other times the other person cannot hear me or the call just gets dropped.

Are there some things that can disrupt a signal booster?

The reason I ask is there are several things that happened about the time this started happening.

1) a new cell tower was built down the road from us.  It doesn't appear to be used by AT&T which is our carrier.

2) the electric company put in smart meters.

3) there is a pipeline down the road that just built some sort of transfer station or something where they have built a large warehouse-type building and a lot of other things.

4) it could be an AT$T problem due to the new 5G.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

 
Creighton Samuels
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Anne Miller wrote:

Are there some things that can disrupt a signal booster?



Yes, many things can, in particular anything that's designed to transmit upon that particular band or any harmonic of that band; and many household electronic devices that are not intended to transmit at all can still produce emissions up to half a watt without violations of regulations.  Did you get any new electronics lately?



The reason I ask is there are several things that happened about the time this started happening.

1) a new cell tower was built down the road from us.  It doesn't appear to be used by AT&T which is our carrier.



I'd say that this is a decent possibility.



2) the electric company put in smart meters.



Less likely



3) there is a pipeline down the road that just built some sort of transfer station or something where they have built a large warehouse-type building and a lot of other things.

4) it could be an AT$T problem due to the new 5G.



These last two are your highest probability on this list.  In particular, licensed work band radios tend to operate near the 70 cm radio band, which is getting (harmonically) close to 4G bands; and the intermittent use of such radios would explain your randomness.  If this is the case, you have no recourse, because licensed businesses are the "first user" of those bands.

 
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Creighton.

Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

We bought a new 10g signal booster though the company sent the wrong one so we are waiting for the replacement.

Do you feel that a 10g signal booster might help?

I assume the pipeline is transmitting data to another station and like you say there is nothing I can do about it.

Looks like, I am going to have to start doing all my business by email.  It is good that we do not use our cell for the internet.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:Creighton.

Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

We bought a new 10g signal booster though the company sent the wrong one so we are waiting for the replacement.

Do you feel that a 10g signal booster might help?



If you mean a 5G, then yes it should, as 5G uses a different set of bands than 4g, as well as a different codex.  If you weren't already on the edge of reception, it wouldn't matter as 4G is already pretty tolerant of interference, so you'd have never noticed to begin with.  I've never heard of a 10G.



I assume the pipeline is transmitting data to another station and like you say there is nothing I can do about it.



Well, not quite.  The 70 cm band business radios that I refer to are local use, so that one employee can talk to another at the same site; and they are unlikely to use them to talk from one site to the next.

 
Anne Miller
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Yea, I goofed it is a 10k:

https://www.signalboosters.com/hiboost-home-10k-smart-link-signal-booster-kit-refurbished/

Says it boosts 3g + 4g
 
Creighton Samuels
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Anne Miller wrote:Yea, I goofed it is a 10k:

https://www.signalboosters.com/hiboost-home-10k-smart-link-signal-booster-kit-refurbished/

Says it boosts 3g + 4g



I would have my doubts that this device isn't going to suffer from similar problems, but give it a go and see what happens.
 
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I have not been able to convince the dear hubby that our problems are from outside sources.

I was able to get a call out to our neighbor to see if he has had problems which he said yes but I couldn't tell if it is as bad as ours.

He is lonely and likes to talk so questioning him is hard.  He also installs signal boosters for a living so his equipment might be better than our.

We had already been talking about replacing the old one that we have so I told him to just go ahead and buy it.

We got the signal booster yesterday so when it gets installed we will find out.

Thank you for replying.

 
Creighton Samuels
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Anne Miller wrote:

We got the signal booster yesterday so when it gets installed we will find out.



How did it work out? Two weeks implies that the new booster solved the issue.
 
Anne Miller
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So far the calls I have tried to place have gotten through so all seems to be well.

There may be something wrong with the phone since I used to have lots of bars and now only one or two bars.

What can you expect from a free phone from AT&T?
 
Creighton Samuels
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Anne Miller wrote:

There may be something wrong with the phone since I used to have lots of bars and now only one or two bars.

What can you expect from a free phone from AT&T?



The bars are an indication of the quality of the control channel's signal, between the cell tower that you're connected to and your phone.  The range extender/ cell repeater that you bought might be an inhibitor in this case, because the traffic on the control channel is encrypted, so all the repeater can really do here is amplify and re-transmit.  This works well enough, but inherently adds a slight amount of delay to the packets that are moving back and forth.  The cell tower might see such a delay as as a dopplar shift or distortion, and force your phone into a more reliable signal method (that's what the bars actually represent, which speed-versus-signal codex that the cell tower is forcing your phone to use at any particular moment)

Of course, it could also be a crap phone, but in my experience the "free" phones aren't really free and are far from the cheapest phone possible.
 
Anne Miller
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It seems so far I can talk to whoever I call.

The Cell tower is about 10 miles north of me.

I had a Motorola Razor that was 3G.

The free phone was given to me only because of the 5G and is a Singular Flip IV.

It is comparable to the $39.99 phones that I can buy at Radio Shack.
 
Creighton Samuels
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Anne Miller wrote:It seems so far I can talk to whoever I call.


The free phone was given to me only because of the 5G and is a Singular Flip IV.

It is comparable to the $39.99 phones that I can buy at Radio Shack.



Okay, yeah; that's a crap phone.
 
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