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  1. linda anne's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  

    Red face Change "5 Bar" display to signal power dBM

    Thursday, March 27 2008, @ 6:47 AM (-0800 GMT)

    Hi All,

    I published this info here several months back, but have since added more to it. The "5 Bar" signal level display, at the top right corner of your 8820 display is, "cute," but of little practical use as it is too vague and insensitive. With a more accurate, and sensitive way to indicate signal power, you can experiment with "how" you physically "hold" and use your BB, try an external antenna in remote locations, keep a "handle" on receiver sensitivity, etc.

    A far better way to indicate cell tower signal strength is to display the actual signal power in "dBM." This is the signal power level, in decibels, referenced to a signal power of 1 milliwatt. The level will ALWAYS be a "negative" number as your signal level will always be less than 1 milliwatt, much less.

    To change your display from "5 Bars" to signal power in dBM, do the following: With one finger, hold down the ALT key on the far left. Now, with your other hand, press the letter sequence NMLL. Your display should instantly change from "5 Bar" to signal power in dBM. To revert BACK to "5 Bar," do the same thing again.

    There is ONE CAVEAT in doing this. An extremely WEAK signal, less than or equal -100 dBM, will NOT show on-screen becuz only 2 digits can be displayed. So, when your signal level gets VERY VERY weak, at, say, -99 dBM, a further drop will change the display to "-10," then "-11" etc, corresponding to signal powers in the -100 to -119 dBM range. This is of no real problem tho, as your phone probably wont work at that low a level anyway, BUT you can experiment with an iinduction coupled external antenna if you want. Also, it is highly unlikely you will ever see a signal level HIGHER than about -40 dBM, i.e. -39, -38, yada yada, dBM.

    For those who are technically oriented, as most BB Users are, and want MORE, here is an approximate tabulation of the # of Bars vs. signal level in dBM:
    1 bar ~ -102 to -120 dBM
    2 Bars ~ -93 to -101 dBM
    3 Bars ~ -87 to -92 dBM
    4 Bars ~ -78 to -86 dBM
    5 Bars ~ -40 to -77 dBM

    I hope this is helpful information? i have learned a LOT from the Crackberry forums and am trying to "payback" in a way that I can.

    If you participate in the 3D Virtual World of SL, "Second Life," Second Life: Official site of the 3D online virtual world, visit me "in-world." My name there is Linda Latte. We can "do lunch" on the SS Titanic, back in 1912, before it sinks. <giggle> YES, it "exists" there, really! Hahahaha. If you don't "do" SL, visit my web site for FREE antispam software. Its at FREE antispam software. Free spam blockers you can download.
    A Happy Blackberry Girl on the GO GO GO!
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    JR A and EECGeek like this.
  2. editionfws's Avatar
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    PM me for it. too make weird people added me when I posted it!
    #2  

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    That's pretty cool. When I have my hand around my phone holding it, the numbers go up 10 to 12 dbs. When I set it down it goes back to normal. I knew my hand blocked signal but not that much!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  3. jackie treehorn's Avatar
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    #3  

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    quick question does this work with the curve
  4. my_handle's Avatar
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    #4  

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    ^^ Yes it does. I just did it on my 8320

  5. prgodfather's Avatar
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    #5  

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    Worked with my curve 8320

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  6. aoprods's Avatar
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    :-(
    #6  

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    Yep, works on the 8300 also.
  7. ChrisGrant's Avatar
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    #7  

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    Does anyone know if this will work on the pearl??

    Thanks!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  8. jackm3's Avatar
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    #8  

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    Id love this for my pearl....
    We are only as sick as our secrets...
  9. linda anne's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #9  

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by editionfws View Post
    That's pretty cool. When I have my hand around my phone holding it, the numbers go up 10 to 12 dbs. When I set it down it goes back to normal. I knew my hand blocked signal but not that much!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Cool! This tip should help you anr others use your phones in weaker signal areas now that you can SEE wat the level is. Make a NOTE of the weakest signal level your phone will work with; it is gud to know!

    Linda
    A Happy Blackberry Girl on the GO GO GO!
  10. scaninky's Avatar
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    #10  

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    More useful info for the BB.... I love it!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  11. my_handle's Avatar
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    #11  

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGrant View Post
    Does anyone know if this will work on the pearl??

    Thanks!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    just try it. thats how you find out if it works or not

  12. Duvi's Avatar

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    #12  

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    Good work... works for the 8310 as well.
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  13. Denny_Crane's Avatar
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    #13  

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    Quote Originally Posted by linda anne View Post
    For those who are technically oriented, as most BB Users are, and want MORE, here is an approximate tabulation of the # of Bars vs. signal level in dBM:
    1 bar ~ -102 to -120 dBM
    2 Bars ~ -93 to -101 dBM
    3 Bars ~ -87 to -92 dBM
    4 Bars ~ -78 to -86 dBM
    5 Bars ~ -40 to -77 dBM
    I live 3 blocks from a cell tower and always have 5 bars on my Pearl but only get -80dBm. I don't think I've ever seen a higher number then that. I didn't use this trick to find out, I just went into Options, Status.
  14. Yankel's Avatar
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    #14  

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    Does it work on the Pearl?
  15. linda anne's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #15  

    Default Re: 5 Bar Display...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankel View Post
    Does it work on the Pearl?

    Don't know as I havr an 8820. TRY it, cant hurt anything. If it DOES, then post a reply here so others will know, huh?
    A Happy Blackberry Girl on the GO GO GO!
  16. gomezemog's Avatar
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    #16  

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    It works for the pearl. While holding down the ALT button, you need to press the [8/B/N] button twice to get the N before proceeding to press the M, and L buttons


    ---Edit---
    Sorry, need to press the L button twice, so:

    Hold down ALT, press [8/B/N] twice, press M once, press L twice
    ---Edit---
    Last edited by gomezemog; 03-28-2008 at 11:56 PM. Reason: Clarification
  17. ChrisGrant's Avatar
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    #17  

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    I feel like an *****... On the pearl, is this from the home screen?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  18. kmc979's Avatar
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    #18  

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    wow, thanks so much! whenever i was looking at the number of the signal i was wondering which was better, a higher or lower number (ignoring the minus). so now in my mind, i want to see a "lower" number. i was about to ask about this because i couldn't find anything!
  19. ChrisGrant's Avatar
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    #19  

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    Ok... So I stopped trying and poof! It appeared... Haha.. Go me, thanks everyone

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  20. linda anne's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #20  

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    Quote Originally Posted by gomezemog View Post
    It works for the pearl. While holding down the ALT button, you need to press the [8/B/N] button twice to get the N before proceeding to press the M, and L buttons
    Wow, GREAT! Thank you for helping all the real 'Pearls" out there. Good job.
    A Happy Blackberry Girl on the GO GO GO!
  21. cate's Avatar
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    #21  

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    this is neat, thank you! :]

    so wait, lower is better?
    cate
  22. jackm3's Avatar
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    #22  

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    Not workin for my pearl. Holding down alt key... pressing B/N twice, pressing M once and L once.

    Nothing
    We are only as sick as our secrets...
  23. cate's Avatar
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    #23  

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackm3 View Post
    Not workin for my pearl. Holding down alt key... pressing B/N twice, pressing M once and L once.

    Nothing
    gotta press the L twice!

    so B/N twice, M & then LL
    cate
  24. jackm3's Avatar
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    #24  

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    bless you, im an i d i o t
    We are only as sick as our secrets...
  25. cate's Avatar
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    #25  

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackm3 View Post
    bless you, im an i d i o t
    no you're not... you knew to space the word i d i o t in order for it to show up :]

    glad to help!
    cate
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