1. purple_bb's Avatar
    I just got my new 64GB PB.

    I had a feeling my good ol' 16GB had a problem with wifi.

    My PBs are side-by-side.

    The 64GB shows 4 bars on wifi signal.
    The 16GB shows 1 tiny barely visible bar...

    I should really verify whether I could send my 16GB for repair. That's my feeling. Or could it be normal that my old one is less powerful for catching the signal for some reason?
    04-05-13 08:53 PM
  2. GV2012's Avatar
    I'm no techy but I wouldn't count on those bars being very accurate.
    04-05-13 11:54 PM
  3. jpash549's Avatar
    You can get better WiFi information by going to the gear: gear/wifi>? In lower bar>diagnostic ↓ WiFi Information.

    I have a Nexus 7 and a Playbook side by side.
    Playbook: -78 dBm one bar 65 Mbps
    Nexus 7 : -78 dBm one bar 13 Mbps

    This is for a small router on g 2.4 with the router 40 feet away through two walls. This is a poor to fair signal. Close to the router the signal would be excellent at about -40 dBm. The -40 dBm is 10000 times as strong as the -80 dBm. Am attaching a screen shot from Wikipedia for reference.
    Attached Thumbnails 2 PBs side-by-side: different strength for wifi signal-uploadfromtaptalk1365230651835.jpg  
    purple_bb and GV2012 like this.
    04-06-13 01:44 AM
  4. purple_bb's Avatar
    All right.

    Old PB: -97dBm
    New PB: -61dBm
    varies a few digits if I move them a couple of feet.
    Both are 54 Mbps.

    Both are out of typical range then from your wiki ref. About 15 feet from router, 2 walls, one thin, one insulated.

    edit:

    right by router:

    Old PB: -53 dBm
    New PB: -36 dBm
    04-06-13 08:34 AM
  5. xamdam's Avatar
    Seems the 16gb has worse wifi signal maybe bad antenna or weak over time?

    Call BlackBerry support sew what they suggest.

    Posted via CB10, BB10, Z10
    04-06-13 09:40 AM
  6. Zildjian71's Avatar
    From what I've read not all PBs are created equal, that is there are 2 to 4 different main boards used depending on when each PB was produced which can cause a difference not in just signal metrics but actual performance as well. I think the same can be said for anything coming out of a factory. Case lots of chips and components can vary from one production run to another yet still be within advertised specs. Don't expect two cars coming from the same production line to act and perform exactly alike either.
    04-06-13 04:59 PM
  7. purple_bb's Avatar
    @Sildjian71: Do you mean I should endure weak connectivity and low performance? This PB does not catch signal where the other one does, further away from the router. It always was frustrating to use as it had a frequent disconnections issue and varying (unstable) performance with wifi.

    @xamdam: On the website they seem to imply that I only have 3 months after purchase to consult with them. Contact Us - Canada

    I would get this repair done if needed on the extra year warranty purchase with credit card gives you. I could be close to 2 years from date of purchase now. Would have to find my invoice...

    Anybody been there? Can I really speak with someone from BlackBerry? I thought they were unreachable...
    04-06-13 07:03 PM
  8. GV2012's Avatar
    Ok well I am glad I stumbled onto this thread cause, as I said in my earlier post, I am not a techy and had no idea that I could or how I would check my wifi strength. Thanks Jpash549, now I just have to figure out what these numbers mean lol.
    04-06-13 08:07 PM
  9. jpash549's Avatar
    All right.

    Old PB: -97dBm
    New PB: -61dBm
    varies a few digits if I move them a couple of feet.
    Both are 54 Mbps.

    Both are out of typical range then from your wiki ref. About 15 feet from router, 2 walls, one thin, one insulated.

    edit:

    right by router:

    Old PB: -53 dBm
    New PB: -36 dBm
    Anything less strong than -90 dBm would qualify as being out of range, Does the 16 GB drop the signal often when you are in the far room? Also I'm assuming that both of your tests were out of case although I had an Incipio kick stand case on my Playbook and a no name case which functioned like the Blurex on the N7 in my tests. If you block the wifi aerial in any way you may affect the signal. It could be as one poster has suggested that the reported signal strength from the one PB is in error for some reason. Would think you would not have trouble with a signal strength of -61 dBm except maybe in streaming HD content. Did you get any bars at the -91 or just the little dot.
    Last edited by jpash549; 04-07-13 at 01:05 AM.
    04-06-13 10:30 PM
  10. purple_bb's Avatar
    The 16 GB one used to drop signal (disconnect from the network) constantly when I had got to about 30 saved networks. This dropping seems to be solved since I deleted most saved networks on PB and Torch.

    I will have to be more attentive to wifi signal associated to -91 but I think it wouldn't be wrong to say I just had the dot...

    Both PBs out of case. I have to install Otterbox case on the old one that I'll make available for my child but I need time to do it cleanly and apply powder between screen and case window. You would think this case would affect signal catch at all? That would be even worst!
    04-07-13 08:45 AM
  11. FF22's Avatar
    The 16 GB one used to drop signal (disconnect from the network) constantly when I had got to about 30 saved networks. This dropping seems to be solved since I deleted most saved networks on PB and Torch.

    I will have to be more attentive to wifi signal associated to -91 but I think it wouldn't be wrong to say I just had the dot...

    Both PBs out of case. I have to install Otterbox case on the old one that I'll make available for my child but I need time to do it cleanly and apply powder between screen and case window. You would think this case would affect signal catch at all? That would be even worst!
    The Otterbox has not affected my wifi signal in any way. It was initially on my 32 and them moved to the 64. Both show the same wifi strength side-by-side. I've used the playbook outside and downstairs and on various visits elsewhere without any real issues. Yes, the occasionally balky wifi at a motel or hotel but otherwise - fine.
    04-07-13 09:55 AM
  12. GV2012's Avatar
    So guys/gals school me, are these numbers only a reflection of the router or how can you distinguish between problem with router or problems with whatever hardware/software is used to pickup?
    04-07-13 12:16 PM
  13. jpash549's Avatar
    So guys/gals school me, are these numbers only a reflection of the router or how can you distinguish between problem with router or problems with whatever hardware/software is used to pickup?
    The dBm numbers only reflect the strength of signal at the location being tested and as perceived by the device you are using to measure them. The Router is sending out a signal with a strength determined by its power capabilities. Routers do vary in capability to broadcast signal just as radio transmitters do. If you consider the energy as radiating from a point source it would be evenly distributed over a sphere with a radius of the distance from the source but if absorbing or reflecting things were in between the strength of the signal would be reduced. Thus it would seem that the energy intensity with no intervening obstructions would decrease uniformly as the square of the distance.

    Just as in radio reception the antenna used on the device receiving the signal must be designed to have high efficiency in receiving the signal. The software uses the signal received to calculate an estimate of the true signal intensity at that point. Presumably the software calculation includes a correction factor for antenna efficiency as realized inside the device. If the device antenna is not performing as expected the estimate of the true efficiency could be greatly in error. Thus the 16 GB device , which is thought to have a defective antenna , reports a much lower estimate of the true power intensity of the signal at the same point as the 64 GB unit gives a much closer estimate. Using a laboratory measuring instrument which has been calibrated would provide a much more accurate value but this is certainly unnecessary for our purposes.

    Disclaimer: Although I admit to being an engineer I do not have training in this field or special knowledge in how the BB OS or Playbook hardware approach this matter. Thus I welcome any corrections to my interpretations.
    Last edited by jpash549; 04-07-13 at 01:21 PM.
    GV2012 and purple_bb like this.
    04-07-13 12:55 PM
  14. jpash549's Avatar
    An interesting game you might try to increase signal strength is to use a parabolic reflector which concentrates an omnidirectional router signal into a directional signal. This can also help keep your signal from being wasted on your neighbors. A simple example easy to make from aluminum foil is shown on You Tube and I'm sure you can easily find others. The signal collection idea could also be used with your tablet at the focus of a parabolic dish. Gotta get my taxes done then I might try it myself.

    purple_bb likes this.
    04-07-13 10:58 PM
  15. Zildjian71's Avatar
    @Sildjian71: Do you mean I should endure weak connectivity and low performance?
    Sorry, I'm not saying you have to put up with a defective PB. By all means do what ever you can to get it fixed. I'm just saying no two devices, that is consumer products, are going to act exactly the same.

    Hope you find a resolution soon.
    purple_bb likes this.
    04-07-13 11:28 PM
  16. purple_bb's Avatar

    Anybody been there? Can I really speak with someone from BlackBerry? I thought they were unreachable...
    Sorry to ask again. But just want to make sure I will get service from RIM if I made the purchase 2 years ago. Don't you have to pay for support after so many months from date of purchase with certain companies?

    Anyone been there before?
    04-08-13 08:31 AM
  17. purple_bb's Avatar
    Sorry, I'm not saying you have to put up with a defective PB. By all means do what ever you can to get it fixed. I'm just saying no two devices, that is consumer products, are going to act exactly the same.
    After all, it was my initial question. It could be too that even after sending for repair I get the verdict that the PB works fine. Never know. I just didn't know how to compare with actual values the strength of signal on my PBs.... Glad I learned here how to evaluate that.
    04-08-13 08:44 AM
  18. FF22's Avatar
    Sorry to ask again. But just want to make sure I will get service from RIM if I made the purchase 2 years ago. Don't you have to pay for support after so many months from date of purchase with certain companies?

    Anyone been there before?
    You MAY or may not. It sometimes depends on whether you've called before. But I might guess that after that long, they will NOT cover it as a warranty issue and you may have to pay - but this is just my guess.

    The PB has a one year warranty to the original purchaser. It also has 90 free Tech support. I do not know how Rim deals with "quasi-tech support v. warranty"

    Rim Support
    Tel:
    Canada Toll Free: 1-877-644-8405
    United States Toll Free: 1-877-644-8410
    Puerto Rico Toll Free: 1-855-651-4936
    Email: playbooksupport@blackberry.com (this route generally does not work and a call is necessary)

    (UK Support) 0800 096 2805

    Playbook French Support
    Smartphones BlackBerry & Tablette Tactile - Modles de BlackBerry FR - France
    Phone : 0800 914 533 (within 90 days from activation)

    BlackBerry Customer Support Center
    Austria:0800-297-476
    Belgium:800-77-980
    RIM (Brasil Support toll free number): 0800-022-3161
    Bulgaria: 00800-118-1115
    Denmark: 802-50198
    France: 800-914-533
    Germany: 800-181-6530
    Italy: 800-789-272
    Luxembourg: 800-2-2187
    Netherlands: 800-022-7316
    Norway: 00-1-647-426-7058
    Poland: 00-800-112-43-59
    Portugal: 800-827-760
    Russia: 8-800-100-9643
    South Africa: 0800988892
    Spain: 900-866-969
    Sweden: 02-079-4448
    Switzerland: 0-800-802-492
    United Kingdom: 08000962805

    Phone-Numbers of BlackBerry PLAYBOOK- Helpdesks...

    Germany: 0800 1816530 (Gebhrenfrei)

    North-America: 1 877 255 2377 (Toll Free)

    UK: 0808 100 7466 (Toll Free UK only)

    Outside UK: +44 1753 558400

    Worldwide: 1 519 888 6181

    help@blackberry.com

    (BTW: Helpdesk for BlackBerry devices -except PlayBook- for Germany:
    0180 3302626)
    purple_bb likes this.
    04-08-13 09:14 AM
  19. SEAWARRIOR's Avatar
    An interesting game you might try to increase signal strength is to use a parabolic reflector which concentrates an omnidirectional router signal into a directional signal. This can also help keep your signal from being wasted on your neighbors. A simple example easy to make from aluminum foil is shown on You Tube and I'm sure you can easily find others. The signal collection idea could also be used with your tablet at the focus of a parabolic dish. Gotta get my taxes done then I might try it myself.

    lock your wifi w/ a good password & neighbors aren't a problem,,, that & use a scary set of initials as the ssid...
    04-08-13 09:56 AM
  20. jpash549's Avatar
    lock your wifi w/ a good password & neighbors aren't a problem,,, that & use a scary set of initials as the ssid...
    In a building with many routers and overlapping signals it might even help the neighbors if you blocked your signal and make them like you more. Besides can't someone who wants to get your password do so if they can get enough transmission packets and have the right software?

    Putting the blocking comment in my earlier post was an aside. Mainly the response was a suggestion on a way to possibly improve signal strength at the user's location.
    04-08-13 01:16 PM
  21. tofnow's Avatar
    After all, it was my initial question. It could be too that even after sending for repair I get the verdict that the PB works fine. Never know. I just didn't know how to compare with actual values the strength of signal on my PBs.... Glad I learned here how to evaluate that.
    I just now stumbled into this thread and can provide numbers for my two PB 64s that separated by several hundred in Serial numbers.
    Mine has the flush power button (@#$%!). My wife's has the normal button.:-)
    Holding them side by side, hands in as nearly identical positions as possible, both set to 2.4 GHz and same channel first within 4 feet of the Netgear WNDR4500 router the "Gear" readings are -34 dBm for mine and -35 dBm for the other. Moving down two hall corners with one wall between, the reading were -58 dBm and -59 dBm respectively. The conclusion I draw from this is the same as you have drawn: your 16 is bad and the 64 is good.

    Unfortunately, I can't give any assurance that RIM/BB will fix it at no charge.
    purple_bb likes this.
    04-08-13 05:02 PM
  22. purple_bb's Avatar
    @tofnow

    So funny to read about the flush power button! I never ranted about it but it sure made my life more stressful all this time. I thought the new one was more easy-going but never realized it was a default on my old 16 GB!

    Thanks for supporting the bad 16 GB theory. It will help boost my confidence when I call RIM. I'm not worrying about paying. I paid this baby PB of mine Visa and they (visa) kindly extend the warranty one year. Now if I can find that invoice!
    04-08-13 05:26 PM
  23. tofnow's Avatar
    @tofnow

    Thanks for supporting the bad 16 GB theory. It will help boost my confidence when I call RIM. I'm not worrying about paying. I paid this baby PB of mine Visa and they (visa) kindly extend the warranty one year. Now if I can find that invoice!
    Rotsa Ruck man!!!
    04-08-13 10:31 PM
  24. purple_bb's Avatar
    Rotsa Ruck man!!!
    There you go taking out a dictionary again. This times Urban Dictionary.

    Cheers!
    04-08-13 11:59 PM

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