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General => General Chat => Topic started by: Simon on August 06, 2012, 07:35:45 pm

Title: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 06, 2012, 07:35:45 pm
on buying my htc smartphone I came to the sad realization that with all the wonderful things it can do it is lacking in it's main function as a mobile communication device. The signal reception is appalling. I'm away on a course for work right now in the country and it'sa bugger to get a signal. I say bring back good old fashioned aerials. What is the point of a tiny trace of copper your hand covers when you need it most ?
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: SeanB on August 06, 2012, 07:49:54 pm
You mean there is a phone in there as well!!!!!!!!!!

I used to use a Nokia 1610, with the nice 5W power output, and it would work perfectly when the newer phones would not even log on to the network, or even make an emergency call. Still have it, though the battery is dead ( would initially last 2 days, eventually 2 hours).
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: HardBoot on August 06, 2012, 08:29:05 pm
Some phones can be modded, rip out the crap stock antenna and add an external connector, can make a decent difference if done well.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: billclay on August 06, 2012, 08:30:55 pm
At least make it an option for those of us that have poor cell reception!  At my house, most mobile calls need to be carried out outside.  If I had a better antenna on the phone, I'm sure I could make them inside.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: G7PSK on August 06, 2012, 08:40:27 pm
It used to be possible to get aerials that clipped onto your phone to improve the signal, no idea if they worked as I have never tried one often thought about it though as where I live there are lots of black holes with no reception sometimes on the coast when the weather is right you can get Dutch cells and not British ones.
Title: Re: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 06, 2012, 08:57:15 pm
It used to be possible to get aerials that clipped onto your phone to improve the signal, no idea if they worked as I have never tried one often thought about it though as where I live there are lots of black holes with no reception sometimes on the coast when the weather is right you can get Dutch cells and not British ones.

Back in the days when coverage was officially patchy. I guess they stoped doing the socket to save money
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: ftransform on August 06, 2012, 09:00:56 pm
I wonder how difficult it would be to modify a android smartphone to have an external antenna. I figure fairly hard/impossible because those boards are designed very dense.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 07, 2012, 05:36:16 am
Yep, technology moves backwards due to human arrogance.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Things on August 07, 2012, 05:48:10 am
Have you checked in the back cover for an external antenna connector? I know my Galaxy S2 has one beside the uSD slot.

Dan
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 07, 2012, 06:07:00 am
nope hasn't got one. not seen an external aerial socket in years
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: jackbob on August 07, 2012, 06:09:33 am
Older phones were much more powerful. Thats part of the reason the batteries were so big! Sure battery technology wasn't as good and the phones weren't as efficient, but they had to power some beefy transmitters. They had to be powerful to reach the cell tower which there were not as many of, so they had to go much further. Today there are cell towers everywhere you go, almost right next door to you! So signals don't need to go as far. But when you get to a more remote place where you are not surrounded by cell towers everywhere... well the weaker transmissions become a problem.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 07, 2012, 06:21:15 am
so all the more reason to have better aerials. reducing power is great, but to then also make the aerial inneficient is stupid. you can't have your cake and eat it as they say.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: G7PSK on August 07, 2012, 07:41:49 am
The areials that I was thinking of did not require a socket they were inductively coupled. They just clipped over the phone.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: T4P on August 07, 2012, 08:58:48 am
i see many antenna hooks on my sensation, similar to the ones dave found on the ASUS google tablet
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Ed.Kloonk on August 07, 2012, 09:13:47 am
Whilst I feel your pain, brother, I don't think it's the phone's fault. I blame my telo company who I am happy to name: Vodaphone Australia.

They are the reason why I must go outside and stand on my roof, holding an arm skyward just to be able to dial out.

Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 07, 2012, 04:13:33 pm
The problem is that as they need to place more and more stations just to cope with capacity and the frequencies go up while they stop bothering to make base stations too tall any more means that when your in a hilly area or around lots of stonework there is no signal.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: olsenn on August 07, 2012, 04:53:48 pm
Industry has gone to shit with trends. The reason they don't equip cellphones with an external antenna is because they (phone makers) consider the phone's looks (sleek-ness) to be more important than reception; bright OLED QHD autostereoscopic 3D touch screen more important than battery life; built-in camera(s), 3-axis accelerometer, and GPS more important than lowering cost or improving build quality; etc.

I think the popularization of Li-Ion batteries is what really changed things. back in the day, portable (aka battery powered) devices used to have ONE function and they were designed to be best at that one function. They lasted dozens, if not hundreds, of hours on two AA's; were built rugged at the expense of cost and size, because portable devices are likely to be dropped or taken out in the rain etc; and were kept as simple as possible. Today, designers SAY they take battery life seriously, but when their designers say the device will last two - three hours on a fresh charge, the business leads say: okay, good enough; they can just charge them when they get home anyways, who cares.

I guess nobody has the balls to produce a phone that has just an old style monochrome display, because it's good enough and is easier on batteries. They fear that they won't compete with Apple and Samsung and Google etc and so they just follow the trend and produce yet another product that has nothing different about it from all the other products out there.

Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 07, 2012, 05:04:29 pm
I like my phone, and I'd accept the so called non nicety of it having a pull out antenna, that woukd increase battery life. Yes my phone can do so much, but if I do all that the battery lasts a few hours only, I'm seriously considering making a portable solar charger with a few 2W cells
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: T4P on August 07, 2012, 06:09:46 pm
I guess nobody has the balls to produce a phone that has just an old style monochrome display, because it's good enough and is easier on batteries. They fear that they won't compete with Apple and Samsung and Google etc and so they just follow the trend and produce yet another product that has nothing different about it from all the other products out there.

Well you know ... who doesn't want to make extra profit, to them they will only make a phone that people will buy as features, not the minority market as such
(PS: Google isn't a MFR. The first google phone was by HTC and the next few google phones up to the google nexus 7 is by samsung)
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: SeanB on August 07, 2012, 06:32:34 pm
Sagem makes ruggedised phones, ones you can drop, rain on and still use for a day of talking.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 07, 2012, 06:59:45 pm
yes "old fashioned" phones still exist and will always have their place. workmen will always want a decently ruged phone and if businesses like maybe security need people with usable mobile phones on them they won't be handing out HTC's trust me.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: tom66 on August 08, 2012, 06:55:58 am
Nokia still makes cheap alternatives with basic call/text functionality - for example the Nokia 6010.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: amyk on August 08, 2012, 09:52:14 am
If they had an external aerial most people would consider it "old fashioned" and it'd decrease sales, so the decision is pretty clear. Attempts at showing that it's not a good idea to hide one inside the phone are met with derision (see Apple's "you're holding it wrong" mess).  But I agree with those in this thread, if I buy a phone, smart or not, then I'm going to expect that functioning as one is its primary strength. And "old fashioned" or not, those little rods help greatly with that function, so I'd definitely want one.

"It's a great multimedia device, all it needs is a good phone..." :D
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: david77 on August 08, 2012, 11:59:12 am
I've been on a course recently, somewhere out in the sticks. No real population centres for about 100km so mobile phone reception was very poor. Virtually everyone else had one of those new fangled phone thingies and they all cursed the bad reception. No internet access possible and making a phone call was only possible in certain locations at certain times.
I had my Nokia 5110 with me and everybody laughed about it. But I had no problems at all making or receiving phone calls or text messages. Funny, isn't it?
I didn't even bother to take my charger with me as a full charge lasts for at least a week in standby.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 08, 2012, 04:36:41 pm
Well I left the b&b this morning at 8:30 on a virtually full battery (taken off charge at 8:00), My phone spent the morning on my desk at the course on silent with mobile internet enabled and a tall base station tower on site just a few hundred metres away. by 12:30 my phone was down to 6% with no real use and a new so called 2400 mAh battery (that I doubt meets the capacity stated).

That is pityful. I don't know what sort of power management is in use but HTC should provide better power management that controls the transceiver regardless of app settings, I have a few apps and the only way to stop them working is by going into advanced settings and shutting them down one by one as they run in the background!

I'd happily have a fold out aerial recessed into the back, or a pull out aerial or even a plug in aerial and better still one on a wire with a base like some wifi adapters with external aerials.

The alternative is that I still have to keep my phone on a wire but one connected to power all the time and that is more inconvenient than a tethered aerial, I'm going to try and make a powerful folding solar charger so that I have a last resort if in the middle of nowhere and have some sun.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Bloch on August 08, 2012, 04:59:48 pm
My phone spent the morning on my desk at the course on silent with mobile internet enabled and a tall base station tower on site just a few hundred metres away.


Do you mean WIFI ?


Or at least have WIFI enabled ? Then turn it off and i ques you will double or triple battery life....
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 08, 2012, 05:03:38 pm
no I meant 3G internet, yes wifi is on but I'd hope that has low power ? I mean all it has to do is check now and then if it is receiving an SSD broadcast, it does not go find wifi spots itself, I know this because when I turned SSD broadcast off on my router my phone failed to connect as it don't know it is there, more power efficient than having to keep trying to log into a non existent wifi network by transmitting.

I'll try the same tomorrow with wifi off, see what happens.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Bloch on August 08, 2012, 05:17:40 pm
I'll try the same tomorrow with wifi off, see what happens.


My phone is a Motorola Defy and it is only from that i have my expediences from.


It can also be an "bad" program that push/pull RSS feeds  / podcast / and so on.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 08, 2012, 07:03:42 pm
I generally class wireless devices in two categories. There are so called wireless devices aka things that used to be wired but is more flexible to have close range wireless links instead (WiFi, bluetooth, wireless periferals etc) so that we can dispense with cables, then there are true wireless devices that can only communicate over the ether like radios, TV and other stuff.

Mobile phones used to fall midway but are ever more towards short range "wireless" devices. Short range devices can afford to sacrifice efficiency for prettiness as the range so short it's no matter, but long range devices should have the primary function of transcieving as far as possible on as little power as possible or it will just become a modern wireless device: an accessory that can be replaced with a "wired" device !
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: saturation on August 08, 2012, 07:56:05 pm
A compromise is a signal booster, you can get them for homes or autos.  Here's a sample:

http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Extenders-YX545-Dual-Band-Coverage/dp/B003VOW5WI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344455113&sr=1-1&keywords=antennas (http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Extenders-YX545-Dual-Band-Coverage/dp/B003VOW5WI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344455113&sr=1-1&keywords=antennas)

http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Electronics-Signal-Booster-Antenna/dp/B003FGWGPS/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344455113&sr=1-2&keywords=antennas (http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Electronics-Signal-Booster-Antenna/dp/B003FGWGPS/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344455113&sr=1-2&keywords=antennas)

If you need a booster, one benefit is it works for anyone in the household, and you can continue to use the booster if you change phones or vendors.  It also provides more power to send that a phone may not be capable off regardless of its small external antenna.

I often spend time in the open ocean on a boat or day trips to wilderness; I've not had problems with reception with modern antenna-less phones in flat open spaces with voice, data suffers fairly quickly, so a booster hasn't been necessary.  I do get many dead spots in buildings that I wish installed such boosters.  We keep track of when the phones go dead because in case of emergency, we'd need to estimate how long to reach there to make a call.





Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: tom66 on August 08, 2012, 08:13:11 pm
For 200 bucks, I could afford to have a ten spare "dumb" phones, each on a different network. Surely one would get a signal...
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 08, 2012, 08:14:39 pm
hm, I'm not well up on the number of bands used in cell phones but I think those boosters only do GSM (not even 3G) but like I say I'm no expert. I think that as we want more channels and higher data rates the frequencies go up, we need more base stations so they have stopped worrying about putting them too high as due to traffic density and shorter distances anyhow. Until you in a hilly and low population area where a few higher base stations are all you get and they are lost as soon as you go into a good old stone put or b&b.
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 08, 2012, 08:18:55 pm
For 200 bucks, I could afford to have a ten spare "dumb" phones, each on a different network. Surely one would get a signal...

I am infact in two minds as to whether to resell my old phone, reception is not great but battery is great even with two sims. I like the repeater idea, but somehow it's not like it is as easy as it sounds and of course getting a mobile phone repeater is basically admitting defeat and downgrading your phone from a mobile (long range) device to a modern wireless device (replaceable with a wired device or just a localized wireless terminal for a wired system)
Title: Re: bring back external aerials on mobile phones.
Post by: Simon on August 09, 2012, 06:38:24 am
Following a pm from someone I have delved into my settings to see if they can be refined. Not really. It is either on or off, no middle ground. I think the drain was caused by background data enabled and my mail set to update once a minute. So after toying with the idea of disabling background data I decided not to as it does not control all apps which are still free to do as they please. So I have changed the mail settings to once every 15 minutes. I'd prefer it to swap to every minute while phone in use but that was too hard for the monkeys that wrote the crap software to anticipate. Now I have to hope that other apps I have no control over behave like slope and facebook.......