Mobile signal strength apps for iPhone

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jimrex

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Posts
23
Location
Pearland, Texas
Hello,

Background
During a week's stay at Stephen F. Austin State Park (about 50 miles west of Houston, Texas) in April 2017,  I had such a strong signal available that I was able to work from inside our trailer supporting remote server installations.  A few months later Hurricane Harvey hit and the park was closed yet again until March 2018.  Recent repeated trips to park we've noticed that the signal will barely support random texting, much less working (or more important - game updates from my wife's perspective).  It seems that since the storm, something has changed in the cellular infrastructure and that prompted the amplifier purchase last month.

Just completed a week with the MaxAmp RV system installed.  Initially, I had 13' horizontal separation of the antennas with not much of an improvement.  I had a blue light, so I thought that the distance was sufficient.  I emailed Gord, and he suggested adding some distance, so I moved it to about 18' feet.  Seems to be doing better, but I'd like to gain some actual signal strength measurements rather than using Ookla's Speedtest only for testing.  Gord made some app suggestions for Android, but alas, I've swallowed the Apple pill...

Does anyone have a application recommendation for use with an iPhone?

 
 

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jimrex

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Posts
23
Location
Pearland, Texas
Thanks Gary, I'll give that a try this evening.  At "work" now...
Would I be able to truly test the MaxAmp's output while parked in a major metro area like Houston?  I guess that I could test inside and then outside.  No more trips planned until the temps drop below 90 - probably in October...
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,619
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I've done similar with my Android phones and an external amp. Don't see why an iphone would be any different.  The radio receiver in the phone still has to sort out the useful signal in the frequency bands it supports, and those cellular radio bands are standardized. Not Apple vs Android dependent.

Surely there are apps in the iTunes store that can monitor and display signal strength, probably in a more easily viewed fashion. A Google Search shows some, and I would expect a search on iTunes would find even  more.
 

jimrex

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Posts
23
Location
Pearland, Texas
yes, no question that the underlying hardware differences are meaningless when discussing the radio.  However, the article you posted even pointed out differences between models of iPhones!  At least I have the iPhone 7+ that uses the Intel Wireless modem rather than the Qualcomm.

I mainly wanted to know if the Android apps that Gord recommended - LTE Discovery, Signal Strength, and Signal Check Pro - had iOS based versions available.
 

jimrex

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Posts
23
Location
Pearland, Texas
Updates from driveway tests:
Using OpenSignal, I was able to perform some MaxAmp tests in and out of the trailer with iPhone WiFi turned off.  I did see a dramatic boost when MaxAmp plugged in, so that confirms the issue.
See Speed Tests pic
1) no WiFi, amp plugged in and moved to a central location
1) no WiFi, amp plugged in
2) no WiFi amp unplugged
3) WiFi from inside trailer connected to home network inside house about 30? away

See Camp Signal area pic:
Also, I used the app to locate active AT&T cell towers near the camp.  The trailer loop is to the right of the green area on the graphic below, and we usually camp on the right side of the  loop.  The area surrounding the loop and park is very wooded, and as you can see there are not as many towers closer to the river which caused the park closure last hurricane.

So, next time we'll try to get as far to the left of the loop as possible.
 

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