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  • Signal: REAL Signal Strength, Cell Info & More


    One of the first things I installed after I jailbroke my iPhone 4 was @planetbeing's Signal app. It not only provides easy access to cell tower data and RF metrics that have been unavailable in iOS 4 due to the loss of FieldTest.app, but it gives you a way to say 'thank you' to a member of the Dev-Team. As @MuscleNerd tweeted when the app went live on Cydia, it's almost a community service to support @planetbeing in this way since "*everyone* benefits if he stays interested in baseband stuff." But it's not philanthropy to get this app, especially if you're interested in RF or if you have an unlocked iPhone and are trying to figure out which carrier gives you the best signal.

    Signal presents the location and receive signal strength from all nearby towers in a very intuitive Google Maps overlay. Your current 3G base station is shown as a red dot, with the actual real-time received signal strength shown in dBm inside the dot. Other UMTS/GSM cells are displayed as blue dots. Adjacent cells offering only EDGE service are shown in gray. If the app can't determine the signal strength, it will just show the letter E inside those dots. You may just see your primary cell when you first launch the app, but @planetbeing says to let it run for a few hours and it will cache the locations of all the bases it can find, which will display as yellow dots on your map.

    For true wireless geeks, there is an info page that shows details on all the cells that the app has been able to identify. The info page shows not only raw signal strength, but also RSCP, which is the power level once the signal has been descrambled. There's a ton of other data, such as the uplink and downlink channels, scrambling code and Ec/N0 (energy per codeword over the noise floor, basically signal-to-noise ratio). And just for fun, there's also a little "Death Grip game" you can play to see if you can kill your signal by holding your phone the wrong way.

    Since they don't accept donations, spending $5 on this well-made app is a way of saying thanks to the Dev-Team and helping support one of the most talented iPhone hackers we've got.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Signal: REAL Signal Strength, Cell Info & More started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 78 Comments
    1. Carlito83's Avatar
      Carlito83 -
      Quote Originally Posted by game.over View Post
      THAT IS SO MEAN....Elpelle6 straight outta of the Dominican Republic (i saw that on his info from his Cydia Repo) has cracked Signal !!!! that is wrong...shouldent he wait a lil bit more so that Planetbeing can at least put a lil extra cash in his pockets? i mean come on guys the Kid deserves it i mean lets be real..thanks to him i dont have to be locked to ATT's ****** network ..and belive me it is one F*CKED UP NETWORK here in Puerto Rico....the only Carrier that dominates Puerto Rico its called CLAROpr. and they are using Verizon's Signal..because ClaroPR baught Verizon Wireless here in Puerto Rico a couple of years ago....so you know..thanks to Mr.Planet AKA (Dev Teams Chief and Commander) now i can use CLAROpr on my iPhone 3G[s]....
      It's stupid people like you that give Puerto Rico a bad name. First of all the best carrier in Puerto Rico is AT&T BY FAR, don't come here and say all that crap implying that Puerto Rico is inferior. I've been all over the island with a solid 3G signal, maybe getting Edge only in far off regions in the mountains. Just because you don't get a signal in your crappy house doesn't mean the service is ****** all over the island.


      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      How are you using Verizon's signal on the iPhone? That is not possible.
      After the Claro switch they started rolling a 3G GSM network, pretty much the same they got in Latin America.
    1. eeej's Avatar
      eeej -
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      I'm experiencing this as well. I guess I'll leave it un-installed until I need it. Interestingly enough, most of the other people having battery issues it seems are also using ultrasn0w
      I'm fortunate enough to not need an unlock, so am not using ultrasn0w. However, Signal has a mobile substrate part called enablettydebug - not particularly surprising that this drains the battery a bit.
      You don't need to uninstall signal, just disable the MS extension and then reboot.

      Quote Originally Posted by draver View Post
      Unfortunately, it does not work for me. I'm using a 32 Gb iPhone 4, on 4.0, jailbroken and unlocked with Ultrasn0w
      The only thing that comes to mind is a lack of MobileSubstrate but, presumably, ultrasn0w requires this.
    1. xerray's Avatar
      xerray -
      if I hadn't learned about visa gift cards from my local stores I would've asked my parents everyday for this app!
    1. macsoldier's Avatar
      macsoldier -
      is the app easy to understand or is there a bunch of jargon that a newb wouldn't understand.
    1. Carlito83's Avatar
      Carlito83 -
      Quote Originally Posted by macsoldier View Post
      is the app easy to understand or is there a bunch of jargon that a newb wouldn't understand.
      I think that this app is really useful with this: [HOW TO]APN and carrier mods

      This app will tell you the Mobile Network Code of the provider you are connected to, now I can connect to non-AT&T partners as there is no AT&T towers in my area yet. I have a 3GS (iPhone 4 is on the way) running 4.0.1, ultrasn0w and the steps in the guide above. SIM card is AT&T. This is useful in rural areas or abroad, or just to mess around and connect to other providers.

      Here are the Mobile Network Codes: [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mobile_network_codes_in_the_United_States]List of mobile network codes in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


      As you can see I'm connected to Plateau Wireless. Other providers available to me are Alltel and AT&T Mobility (which sucks in my area, I'm sticking with Plateau Wireless).





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    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      Works great .. Well worth the money
    1. SoCal Railroader's Avatar
      SoCal Railroader -
      It is showing all the detail for my 3G MicroCell, but it seems to be having trouble with the regular network. I am on EDGE out here in Redwood Valley, the 3G ends about halfway between me and Ukiah (Ukiah is 9 miles south of me) and it shows one Red Circle (the MicroCell) and three Gray Circle's, but no data on the Gray (EDGE) sites at all. I know that the sites that serve my location are to the the north just a few miles on Laughlin Grade and Ridgewood Summit, is there some kind of distance limit on this program?
    1. zYxMa's Avatar
      zYxMa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Acciavatti View Post

      Since the author of this post is ignoring my PMs, please can some1 tell me what notifier mod is he using along with what theme? I know there are few out there, but I want to make sure that it works fine with iPhone 4. Thanks in advance!

      Quote Originally Posted by eeej View Post
      I'm fortunate enough to not need an unlock, so am not using ultrasn0w. However, Signal has a mobile substrate part called enablettydebug - not particularly surprising that this drains the battery a bit.
      You don't need to uninstall signal, just disable the MS extension and then reboot.
      What do you mean by disabling MS extension?

      Quote Originally Posted by eeej View Post
      A very cool app, however, it does appear to leach battery even when it's not being used.

      My phone goes into airplane mode fully charged at night and with signal installed it'll be at 86% by morning, compared to still 100% without
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      I'm experiencing this as well. I guess I'll leave it un-installed until I need it. Interestingly enough, most of the other people having batter issues it seems are also using ultrasn0w, which I understand is also by planetbeing. I wonder if there's something specific with the way he accesses the baseband that is producing this problem.
      I'm experiencing similar issue. Something drains my battery very quickly.

      I'd like to know how this app involves the baseband. My iPhone 4 is SIM-Free so I didn't need ulrtasn0w, but from my experience with blacksn0w when my iphone 3gs kept loosing signal, I'm slightly concerned that Signal app is doing similar thing or at least draining my battery :/
    1. inyuke's Avatar
      inyuke -
      Bought this app to show my gratitude and support to planetbeing for his hard work. Good job!
    1. Carlito83's Avatar
      Carlito83 -
      I got it zYxMa:

      Go to Cydia and download Status Notifier Fix, it will fix Reminder/Notifier and it'll look like the one the author has.
    1. draver's Avatar
      draver -
      This still does not work on my iPhone 4 running 4.0 IOS. I've sent several emails to PlanetBeing without reply. All that displays is a blue location dot surrounded by a blue circle. No tower circles or signal strength or other info.

      The Death Grip game closes the whole program when you try and run it. Definitely needs to have another update that corrects whatever conflict causes these problems.
    1. SoCal Railroader's Avatar
      SoCal Railroader -
      {Qoute Deleted}

      Whoa, relax there amigo, and tone down the language. Oh, and it might be a good idea to brush up on spelling and grammar skills He shouldn't have said what he did, but you just made it worse.
    1. zYxMa's Avatar
      zYxMa -
      Interesting ;P
    1. Carlito83's Avatar
      Carlito83 -
      Hahahaha a tough guy with a keyboard, wow. Do you think I actually read all that crap?

      Moving on, anyone else with the battery drain problem with Signal?
    1. game.over's Avatar
      game.over -
      i baught the lil prog to show my gratitude to Planetbeing cuz like i said before thanks to him i dont have to be locked to AT&T network here in Puerto Rico..and were i live at&t is garbage.....so.....i only baught it for that but on the real, that lil prog drains my battery...when Signal is installed i wake up the other day with a 56% battery from 100% and without Signal i wake up the other day with 93% battery so that right thier shows me that somthing is up...i huge update is mandotory.....but like i said i aint gonna stress that cuz i gave 5 bucks to a guy that made an unlock for my iPhone 3G[S] so its all good.....but i kinda like that app so i wish he does throw in an update that fixes the battery issue and another thing ..all i really see is a blue dot and a gray circle but thats about it.....i mean...W.T.F ??? u know....he needs to fix that A.S.A.P
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Have you installed the update that fixes the battery drain?
    1. game.over's Avatar
      game.over -
      now when i open cydia and select (changes) it takes like about 2 min. to load all the changes.....what is happening??? somone help!!!!
    1. GenesisDH's Avatar
      GenesisDH -
      Quote Originally Posted by game.over View Post
      now when i open cydia and select (changes) it takes like about 2 min. to load all the changes.....what is happening??? somone help!!!!
      It's normal if you have a lot of sources and app/theme sections Cydia is sifting through.
      If the wait is taking longer than you like, you can tell Cydia to not include certain sections from showing up in Changes.

      GO into the Sections part of Cydia, tap edit and turn off the sections you don't want to look at. That should help.