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Thread: How do identify exact tower I'm connected to?

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    How do identify exact tower I'm connected to?

    Is there a way to identify from my device or another means the exact tower I'm connected to?

    I'm in an area where it is a long distance to towers. I've had ok luck with an omni, but trying a wilson yagi had very little success as I had to re-aim every day or two. Curious if my omnis are switching towers due to atmospheric conditions or if some kind of signal bounce or something is coming into play.

    Sometimes the open signal app locator shows the tower location where there can't be a tower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    Like the OP said, he or she is a long distance from towers. That link only shows towers within 2 miles. My closest tower is about 5 so doesn't show.

    Just like the carrier coverage maps are generally only good for metro areas. They show coverage in rural areas were there is none. Even in the cities there's allot of dead spots. The FCC is sitting on $4.5 billion ear marked to expand coverage in rural areas but they can't allocate it because there's no reliable info on current coverage in rural areas. They can't use the carrier maps you see posted on carrier sites because of the inaccuracy in the method carriers use to develop those maps which is primarily a marketing tool to get people to subscribe. Carriers take a couple samples and apply it to a signal strength radius for the whole region/area without consideration of environmental factors like mountains and valleys (or buildings in cities) etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    Thanks, this is a useful site.

    However I'm trying to figure out when I'm using the omni antenna which tower I'm actually connected to.

    The closest Verizon tower to me is 6.5 miles with no line of sight.

    In the opposite direction, there are a few towers 20-25 miles away with a clear line of sight.

    Sometimes the open signal app on my cell phone shows the tower as being out in the lake, where there is only water and not in a line to one of the towers.

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    When I search for the closest towers for my location I get "towers" and "antennas" back as results.

    What is the difference between them? Are towers just towers to put antennas on them (which would mean that basically only antennas are important)?

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    This app, CellTracker, shows a myriad of LTE, CDMA, EVDO, and GSM stats, apparently more or less based on Android verison (i.e. Android 7.1/8.0 has a few extra LTE stats.) TA "Timing Advance" gets you a rough distance (app says TA of 1 is 149m distance, 2 would be double that, etc.) It also gets LTE cell site GPS coordinates (along with your location if you give it GPS permission), and shows 'em on a map. The docs also say if it can determine cell site sector info, it will make the cell site info (a little paw) so back of paw points the direction of that sector. (This part appears to work for CDMA but not LTE for me...) It also shows a little circle with estimated range of that site (I don't know if this is from the site or some rough estimate based on distance versus received signal strength.)

    https://people.csail.mit.edu/bkph/CellTracker.shtml

    Cheers!
    --Henry

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    Thanks. Will give it a try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by resucami View Post
    When I search for the closest towers for my location I get "towers" and "antennas" back as results.

    What is the difference between them? Are towers just towers to put antennas on them (which would mean that basically only antennas are important)?
    The towers are cell sites owned and operated by cellular carriers, the antennas are radio antennas and towers for private and government use, ie. cable, school, power, forest service, etc., though those may also have cell sites on them as well.

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    CellMapper shows you the connected tower in real time, on a map.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...apper&hl=en_US

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lake Michigan View Post
    Is there a way to identify from my device or another means the exact tower I'm connected to?

    I'm in an area where it is a long distance to towers. I've had ok luck with an omni, but trying a wilson yagi had very little success as I had to re-aim every day or two. Curious if my omnis are switching towers due to atmospheric conditions or if some kind of signal bounce or something is coming into play.

    Sometimes the open signal app locator shows the tower location where there can't be a tower.
    May not apply to your situation, but .....
    Make sure the Yagi you purchased is resonant on all the current frequency bands VZW uses in your area.
    If, for example, your fone is booted off Band 13, and told to "park" on, say, band 2 , but the Yagi is only resonant on Bands 13 & 5, you can lose the signal and/or be in a loop of rescan- see 13-booted off- rescan ... etc..
    The Omni may be more sensitive to the "other" bands ...
    "I'm All In!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    CellMapper shows you the connected tower in real time, on a map.
    Are you aware of a similar app for iOS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbynum View Post
    Are you aware of a similar app for iOS?
    There is no CellMapper app on iOS. You can use Field Test and get the CellID and use CellMapper search to find the tower if it's logged.

    Sent from my LM-X210APM using HoFo mobile app

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    "if it's logged" is an issue ... 12.2 screen looks quite different from what I find on Google, and the "important" fields either don't exist OR are blank/0. THANKS for your help!

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    Time to drop iOS

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    PERSONALLY, I agree. We've 6 married children with 12 iPhones, 2 grandchildren (so far) with iPhones, all of whom use FaceTime to communicate. And then there is my wife. They are more important than my healthy Android phone.

    MOST of our friends and relatives also have them.

    I have an used iPhone because of them. Darn It!

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