View Full Version : Cell Phone Coverage



NativeMainer
07-05-2008, 11:24 PM
I was out and about a little bit this afternoon with my girls trying to find a couple of caches in Dayton (no success, they fell asleep in the car and didn't want to wake up to do caching with Daddy :().

Even though I wasn't that far out, my cell phone didn't work all that great (I have a TracFone mostly because I use it for maybe 30-60 minutes a month).

What do y'all have for cell phones and service and do they work good out on the trails?

brdad
07-06-2008, 05:38 AM
The amount of reception you get with any cell phone is always inversely proportional to your need to use it.

darterkitfox
07-06-2008, 06:07 AM
One of the funnest things about working at the campground in Waterford is seeing all the Massachusetts people walking around trying to get coverage. I've heard a fight or two between parent and teen because the teen can't get service. There are large areas up our way that don't come in. I don't own a cell phone but tried a trac phone a few years ago. It didn't come in the very few times I tried it so ended up losing $29 for a phone. Unless a job requires it, I will never own another cell phone.

dí76
07-06-2008, 08:09 AM
I looked for a cell phone that got better coverage a few years ago. THe guy was very excited. He wanted to hook me up with a satellite phone for about 300 $ a month:eek:. It was a big no thanks on my end.

Gob-ler
07-06-2008, 08:35 AM
Cell Phone coverage in Maine? You gotta be kidding right?

It is getting a bit better, but it's best not to think you can rely on one when you need it.

robt
07-06-2008, 10:04 AM
Cell phones are great for comunication when you are running around town. I go rid of my home phone last year but then I do not care if people can get aholdo f me most time. I would never trust a cell phone as an emergancy device though just not that reliable when you get out in the middle of nowhere where you really need the help. as far as coverage, I went to t-mobile and have had pretty good coverage of a good part of the state till I got out to the boonies. The bigest thing to consider when you are getting a cel phone is what kind of coverage do they have where to are going to use it most and also if you are looking something to use in an emergancy you are probally better off with an EPERB.

Haffy
07-06-2008, 10:38 AM
For those that don't know what EPERB or EPIRB's are, I have seen both spellings.

Emergency personal beacons (EPERB) are electronic devices that gives off a radio signal on the emergency band 121.5MHz. Used by people that need emergency assistance or by those lost at sea, the radio signal is repeated every three seconds and can be tracked by every plane, helicopter within 50miles or boat within 10miles. Backcountry skiers use them a lot or people who are hiking way out in the backcountry.

Sabby
07-06-2008, 12:18 PM
If there were no cell phones and you were out in the middle of the Maine woods would you expect to find a pay phone on a tree??

Why expect more from a cell phone.

As I understand the system the range of a cell phone tower is about 6 miles and reception is affected by buildings, mountains, hills and , yes, trees.

The cell phone companies are "for profit" enterprizes. They do not provide service unless there is a justifible revenue expectation for their investment in the system.

People need to realize that cell phone coverage is not 100% of the area 100% of the time. Those that live in metropolitan areas seem to not realize this more than those of us that live in more rural areas.

My 2 cents.

hollora
07-06-2008, 07:59 PM
Long before cell phones, I had a phone in my car for business. It was a car phone through Radio Telephone of Maine. Ahhh, that surely dates me.

But essentially it was a hard mounted phone with a big box in the trunk, an antenna on the trunk and it provided a radio connection to a dispatcher, who then connected your call and you talked as if using a radio. You had to press a button to talk and release it to hear the answer. That oldie but goodie - worked great everywhere from Ft. Kent to Calais and Kittery as it was going off repeater towers just like the police radios. But of course - you needed to be in the car.

Cell phone coverage on the other hand - is dependant upon towers, as noted by Sabby, and even with a tower nearby there could be poor coverage. There is a company who has a tower on Verona Island for example. My friends who live there dropped their old company to go with that company as they thought they would have great coverage. Not so - they have to go out on their deck, stand in a special direction to even talk on their cells with the companies tower within 2 miles. The company has not been helpful with them either and they are now in a 2 year contract.

My phone is through their old carrier and I have coverage all over their property and in their house. The phone you purchase can also effect your coverage.

As others have mentioned, years ago there were no cell phones - do not rely on these totally for emergency plans. Most HAMS would suggest you join then in the Amatuer Radio Group.

Cells are just another tool. Just like a GPSr - I still carry my compass.

JMHO

darterkitfox
07-06-2008, 08:15 PM
Tin cans with a string on them worked fine until I started caching. Do you know how tangled those strings get walking back in forth in the trees to get a GPS satellite coordinate lock?

Gob-ler
07-06-2008, 09:14 PM
Can you hear me now?

Sabby
07-06-2008, 09:19 PM
String is a great item to take on a night cache. We had a multi night cache down here that had firetacks to lead you off the trail into the woods but there were none to get you back out again. I had a 500 foot piece of string wound on a kite winder that I used as a guide to get back out. I would tie it to a tree as I started in and unwound it as I went to the micro, then I wound it up on the way back out. I know I am crazy! I guess that you realize by now that I was doing this alone, too. All I can say is that it was "interesting".

dí76
07-06-2008, 09:55 PM
String is a great item to take on a night cache. We had a multi night cache down here that had firetacks to lead you off the trail into the woods but there were none to get you back out again. I had a 500 foot piece of string wound on a kite winder that I used as a guide to get back out. I would tie it to a tree as I started in and unwound it as I went to the micro, then I wound it up on the way back out. I know I am crazy! I guess that you realize by now that I was doing this alone, too. All I can say is that it was "interesting".

I have done night caches like that before but I just used the breadcrumb trail on my gps to get me back out:p

hollora
07-06-2008, 10:22 PM
Can you hear me now?

Sure can - "Over!"

And for the other posts - breadcrumbs or string - as long as I get out :eek: - that's what's important!;)

firefighterjake
07-07-2008, 07:59 AM
If there were no cell phones and you were out in the middle of the Maine woods would you expect to find a pay phone on a tree??

Why expect more from a cell phone.

. . .

This reminded me of something I saw while riding above the Airline on an ATV trail . . . wish I had a picture of this . . . but anyways I was riding along a ridge when our group stopped for pics and to read a sign that read "Cell Phone Booth". Turns out that this stop in the middle of nowhere gets great cell phone reception.

Ironically, across the road someone hung two cans on a string along with another sign . . . something witty . . . I just can't remember what it said though.

balinda
07-07-2008, 09:48 AM
We recently switched from AT&T or CIngular to TMobile. I am much happier with the coverage of TMobile. I am mostly on the coast. I checked the coverage maps before I purchased. I don't rely on my cell phone for the most part when outside urban areas.

WhereRWe?
07-07-2008, 12:49 PM
We recently switched from AT&T or CIngular to TMobile. I am much happier with the coverage of TMobile. I am mostly on the coast. I checked the coverage maps before I purchased. I don't rely on my cell phone for the most part when outside urban areas.

T-Mobile is still expanding their coverage in Maine. Because they located a call center here, they want a large presence in the area.

masterson of the universe
11-06-2008, 11:51 PM
With Verizon buying Unicel, things will get better but no company can go without holes. Right now if you have Verizon above Brunswick, chances are you are roaming off the US Cellular network as they are the only other CDMA carrier.

Tmobile primarily uses the Unicel network but from what I understand, they strictly enforce their 50/50 usage rule where at least 50% of your usage has to be on their home network. Problem is, they don't have much of a "network" in Maine yet. If you aren't in Houlton, Waterville area, or Bangor, you aren't going to be picking up a Tmobile tower. I guess as long as you are on a Nationwide plan, it wont much matter. Unicel has the prominant GSM network and still will until late spring when things begin to convert over. Don't worry about the GSM network going away once Verizon takes over. As far as we've been educated, the network wont be degrading as it pulls in a lot of roaming income.

fins2right
11-07-2008, 10:57 AM
The nature of my job is such that I'm glued to a cell phone almost 24 hrs, a day in case I get called out. :mad: I haven't upgraded to anything like a blackberry or G1, but one of my crazy co-workers did. Crazy until he showed me the program he downloaded that allows him to go online from his phone and get all the info for the closest 10 caches to his location. :eek: Now, being a gadget geek, I need that phone!!:D

attroll
11-07-2008, 02:06 PM
The nature of my job is such that I'm glued to a cell phone almost 24 hrs, a day in case I get called out. :mad: I haven't upgraded to anything like a blackberry or G1, but one of my crazy co-workers did. Crazy until he showed me the program he downloaded that allows him to go online from his phone and get all the info for the closest 10 caches to his location. :eek: Now, being a gadget geek, I need that phone!!:D
I just upgraded to a Blackberry this past week and I am very inpressed with it. I got it on a trial and I am going to keep it. For what I do I need it. It may not be for everyone else. It is a little more complicated then the basic phone but then again it does 100 times more then what a basic phone does.

dubord207
11-07-2008, 05:52 PM
About a month ago, I received a cell call around 8 at night from a client who somehow had my cell number on his phone. He was screaming and I couldn't hear him due to extreme background noise. I asked him to turn off what ever it was he was running so I could hear him. He said, and I have to quote this one:" I can't! Some guy just ran a red light and t-boned me. They're cutting me out of the car with the Jaws of Life! Can you get up here?"

This is when you want to take a hammer to the thing! Interestingly, after my rather "terse" response, I never heard from the clown! Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. :):)

vicbiker
11-07-2008, 06:47 PM
About a month ago, I received a cell call around 8 at night from a client who somehow had my cell number on his phone. He was screaming and I couldn't hear him due to extreme background noise. I asked him to turn off what ever it was he was running so I could hear him. He said, and I have to quote this one:" I can't! Some guy just ran a red light and t-boned me. They're cutting me out of the car with the Jaws of Life! Can you get up here?"

This is when you want to take a hammer to the thing! Interestingly, after my rather "terse" response, I never heard from the clown! Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. :):) See if I call you again....

masterson of the universe
11-07-2008, 06:55 PM
About a month ago, I received a cell call around 8 at night from a client who somehow had my cell number on his phone. He was screaming and I couldn't hear him due to extreme background noise. I asked him to turn off what ever it was he was running so I could hear him. He said, and I have to quote this one:" I can't! Some guy just ran a red light and t-boned me. They're cutting me out of the car with the Jaws of Life! Can you get up here?"

This is when you want to take a hammer to the thing! Interestingly, after my rather "terse" response, I never heard from the clown! Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. :):)

Funny, usually the lawyers are already at the scenes of crashes like that. Couldn't he have just yelled to you instead?

hollora
11-07-2008, 08:14 PM
About a month ago, I received a cell call around 8 at night from a client who somehow had my cell number on his phone. He was screaming and I couldn't hear him due to extreme background noise. I asked him to turn off what ever it was he was running so I could hear him. He said, and I have to quote this one:" I can't! Some guy just ran a red light and t-boned me. They're cutting me out of the car with the Jaws of Life! Can you get up here?"

This is when you want to take a hammer to the thing! Interestingly, after my rather "terse" response, I never heard from the clown! Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. :):)

The next time I call, I will just say, "Dan, I need a phone A Friend! I am at N ____ W ____, could you please come help me retrieve the cache, I can't quite reach it!" :rolleyes::)

Mainiac1957
11-07-2008, 09:12 PM
See if I call you again....


Funny, usually the lawyers are already at the scenes of crashes like that. Couldn't he have just yelled to you instead?


The next time I call, I will just say, "Dan, I need a phone A Friend! I am at N ____ W ____, could you please come help me retrieve the cache, I can't quite reach it!" :rolleyes::)

You three don't quit your day jobs.:rolleyes::D;):eek::cool:

Haffy
11-07-2008, 09:23 PM
hey!!! You got a new vehicle?

Sudonim
11-07-2008, 10:20 PM
hey!!! You got a new vehicle?

Don't get him started :rolleyes::p
(But I will hit him up for a ride sometime...)


(and it can't even fit a 48" wide piece of plywood in the back, what use is it anyway?)

NativeMainer
11-07-2008, 10:48 PM
Wow! I hadn't looked at this thread for a long time, but it seems to have gained a life of it's own.

Update: Back in late August, I got a new cell phone. I still don't use is all that much, but it's got a lot more features than my old TracFone. I haven't tried it in the areas that I didn't have reception in the past, mostly because I found those caches. I'll have to try soon and update this thread again.

Mainiac1957
11-07-2008, 11:00 PM
Don't get him started :rolleyes::p
(But I will hit him up for a ride sometime...)


(and it can't even fit a 48" wide piece of plywood in the back, what use is it anyway?)

That's why I have a friend with the versatile Subaru Wagon.;)

hollora
11-07-2008, 11:11 PM
That's why I have a friend with the versatile Subaru Wagon.;)

Heck, with some foam and bungies it could go on the roof!;) Or ya gotta hitch - with some chain and a skateboard - just tow it!:eek:

dubord207
11-08-2008, 08:11 AM
Did you folks notice the four new threads started by some cell phone wholesalers from California? Is that the kind of crap that Rick can erase? That's all we need. But wait.....maybe I'm being too hasty? Win-Win-1? Geez, I hope not!:D

Team Richards
11-08-2008, 08:12 AM
I have to have a cell phone for work but get to use the company plan for phone for the rest of the family. the plan is with AT&T and coverage isn't what I would like ti to be. and the coverage between models of phones and phones themselves is very different. My wife and I have teh same model phone got them the same day and i get coverage when hers is off teh network. (Well that's her story).

masterson of the universe
11-08-2008, 08:15 AM
Noticed that this morning. Forums shouldn't aren't the place for spam, especially when it's 5 posts from the same user.

Team Richards
11-08-2008, 08:17 AM
That's why I have a friend with the versatile Subaru Wagon.;)

I had a yellow truck once I'll have to show you a picture sometime.
It was big 3/4 ton Chevy stepside. 3" lift kit, diesel engine and had a winch on the front and back,
I had a guy run a stop sign right in front of me and I cut his Subaru right in two. He walked away with a few minor injuries. The thing teh police couldn't get over was that he said he never saw me.

WhereRWe?
11-08-2008, 08:21 AM
Did you folks notice the four new threads started by some cell phone wholesalers from California? Is that the kind of crap that Rick can erase? That's all we need. But wait.....maybe I'm being too hasty? Win-Win-1? Geez, I hope not!:D

I got the new member notification this morning and it's obviously a spammer. I've emailed Rick to let him know. :D:D

Team Richards
11-08-2008, 08:23 AM
Did you folks notice the four new threads started by some cell phone wholesalers from California? Is that the kind of crap that Rick can erase? That's all we need. But wait.....maybe I'm being too hasty? Win-Win-1? Geez, I hope not!:D

LOL, My office has 4 huge windows (The building used to be a department store) and right across the street from my office is a Win-Win 1 office I get to see that sign all day.

attroll
11-08-2008, 10:10 AM
Did you folks notice the four new threads started by some cell phone wholesalers from California? Is that the kind of crap that Rick can erase? That's all we need. But wait.....maybe I'm being too hasty? Win-Win-1? Geez, I hope not!:D
I took care of it as soon as I got up. I would have gotten to it sooner but I sleep a little later then most becuase of my work hours and such.

hide_from_the_kids
11-08-2008, 11:04 AM
we should do a spammers hall of fame. you know like the garwin awards. one to show an example of what they look like and two to give us another thing to laugh at once and awhile.

Kacky
11-09-2008, 12:45 PM
I got a friend request from Twitter yesterday, a GPS store in Texas that has a bunch of fake testimonials on their Twitter page. Really, there are better ways to get customers!:mad:

HStaples
11-11-2008, 11:04 PM
Well, back to phones, I have a Blackberry, love that little thing. I use Geocache Navigator, and really find it indispensible for the paperless caching thing. However, do not trust it for actual GPS stuff - I use my new GPSr for that.

Regarding coverage - I have Sprint, and am very happy overall with their coverage. But man, they are spendy!

spencdo
11-12-2008, 10:13 PM
I kind of have to laugh because the last time I was in Lewiston (July of 06), the hotel room I stayed in was right on the fringe. If I was in the room, forget it. If I was next to the outside door with it open I could barely make a call. I have worked on the network of a major cell phone provider for the last 13 and a half years. And am by no way an expert. As has already been said there are many things that affect coverage. One thing that happened early this year is the FCC alowed providers to turn off the analog coverage. Most if not all providers were anxious to do this because the cost per channel was very high. Even though analog was not great quality, it covered much greater distances. So any fringe areas just got worse. Some of the good areas went to fringe. The technology of a particular network makes a big difference as well. All in all though in most areas of the country coverage has gotten pretty good.

Hiram357
11-12-2008, 10:24 PM
See if I call you again....

I thought that was your truck paint on the front of stef's car... ;):D

vicbiker
11-12-2008, 10:59 PM
I thought that was your truck paint on the front of stef's car... ;):DI wish I could help you out....but I'm quite sure the paint will match that new ATV..;) :D

Hiram357
11-13-2008, 08:09 AM
I wish I could help you out....but I'm quite sure the paint will match that new ATV..;) :D


it's not my fault she parked where she did... :rolleyes:;):D