SignalCheck Help / FAQ

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This page is designed to help answer questions about the SignalCheck app for Android.  Still have questions or experiencing a problem?  Contact us here.

Frequently Asked Questions

 



Where can I download SignalCheck?
SignalCheck is only available through Google Play. You can check it out online here or through the Play Store app on your device.

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Is SignalCheck free?
There are two versions of SignalCheck: SignalCheck Lite and SignalCheck Pro. SignalCheck Lite is completely free, with no ads, trial periods, or obligation to pay at any time. SignalCheck Pro has a small cost, but it includes extra features and you will never be required to pay again. Please keep in mind that you are supporting further development of the app with your purchase of SignalCheck Pro. Optional donations are accepted via PayPal. Look at the next question for the differences between Pro and Lite.

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What is the difference between SignalCheck Lite and SignalCheck Pro?
SignalCheck Lite is free. It includes all of the basic functionality to check your cellular and wi-fi signal levels on your device. The methods to check your signals in the Lite version are the same in the paid version; Pro users do not have more accurate information or faster data updates. Both versions will give you useful features like cell IDs (HTC and Android 4.2+ devices only), Sprint 1X 800MHz SMR connection indicator, and LTE band indicators.

For a very small price, SignalCheck Pro adds many extra features, including:

  • Earlier access to app updates (weeks or months quicker)
  • EARFCN (frequency) data (compatible Android 7+ devices only)
  • Site-specific configuration details such as small cells, oDAS/iDAS, carrier indicators, etc.
  • Home screen widget
  • Customizable status bar icon to show current signal strength and/or connection type
  • Customizable status bar icon to show current CDMA 1X signal strength
  • Audio and/or vibrate alerts when connection changes to LTE or Sprint 1X 800MHz SMR sites, with more alerts planned for the future versions
  • Option to show street address of CDMA 1X base station (some providers do not support this — see below)
  • Option to show EV-DO/eHRPD sector ID (HTC devices only)
  • Ability to quickly reset your data connection through the menu or by an optional on-screen button (root access required on Android 4.2+ — see below)
  • Option to add custom “site notes” to 1X, GSM, and LTE sites
  • Logging abilities
  • Option to keep the screen on while viewing the app
  • Option to automatically launch the app when your device boots
  • Option to have the app use or ignore the device’s orientation sensor
  • Option to display “hidden” LTE signals that your device is not connecting to
  • Neighbor cells display
  • Shortcuts to system menus, such as Battery Info, Radio Info, Wi-Fi Info, and engineering screens

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Can I use PayPal to get SignalCheck Pro?
The only way to get any version of SignalCheck is through Google Play. Google Play accepts PayPal, Google Wallet, and other methods of payment for app purchases. If you are unable to use your credit card or bank account with a compatible online service, you can purchase a Google Play gift card online or in thousands of stores. Click here to find a Google Play gift card retailer near you.

Many users are also able to use “carrier billing” to make purchases on Google Play. This will bill any purchases to your monthly cellular phone bill account. Check with your cellular provider or click here for more information about payment methods.

Users are not authorized to obtain SignalCheck Pro through methods other than Google Play, and are likely committing a crime if they do so. Come on folks.. it costs less than a cup of coffee, and a free version is available if you can’t afford that! Thousands of hours of development has gone into this app. Please respect that effort. Donations are accepted via PayPal if you would like to help motivate further development.

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What Android permissions does SignalCheck require? Is SignalCheck going to make telephone calls? Is SignalCheck going to access my pictures? Is SignalCheck going to delete my files?
Most Android applications require users to grant some permissions in order to function properly, and SignalCheck is no exception. SignalCheck only requests what is absolutely needed; in the interest of transparency and maintaining user trust, listed below is every permission that SignalCheck requests, and the rationale for doing so. Newer versions of Android “group” several permissions together, but SignalCheck does not access anything outside of what is listed below. Click on a particular permission to see the definition from the Android Developer Reference. Feel free to contact us if you have further questions regarding permissions.

ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION,
ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE,
ACCESS_WIFI_STATE, and
READ_PHONE_STATE:
All of these permissions are needed in order to gather information about your current network connection(s), which is the whole purpose of SignalCheck.

INTERNET:
This is to allow crash reports to be automatically uploaded to the developer to identify problems with the app that need to be resolved. This is done through the Splunk MINT service. It is also used in the Pro version when users enable an option to display their external IP address.

RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED (Pro only):
This is to allow SignalCheck Pro to automatically start when the device boots up, if the user chooses. Android now designates this as a “normal” permission that is automatically granted.

VIBRATE (Pro only):
This is to allow vibrating notifications if the user chooses to enable alerts. Android now designates this as a “normal” permission that is automatically granted.

WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE:
This is to allow the app to save, modify, and read files on the device. This is needed to export Site Logs, backup or import Log Databases, and to cache Diagnostic Reports when a user attempts to submit them to us. All file writing and modification is confined to the /SignalCheck folder on your device; Log imports are retrieved from whatever folder the user explicitly selects.

WRITE_SETTINGS (Pro only):
This is to save some application preferences on the device.

In addition to the above permissions, SignalCheck Pro also attempts to request the following device-specific permissions; the app does nothing with this data other than provide menu shortcuts to external activities for user convenience:
com.htc.permission.APP_SHARED
com.lge.permission.LGHIDDEN
com.lge.permission.SPRINTHIDDEN
com.sec.android.app.factorymode.permission.KEYSTRING
com.sec.android.app.hiddenmenu.permission.KEYSTRING

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Why is the Base Station Location (BSL) missing or showing the wrong address?
This is a SignalCheck Pro feature available on CDMA devices. CDMA 1X base stations broadcast a latitude and longitude that is designed to represent the site’s location. SignalCheck takes this information and geocodes it into a street address, displaying it in the BSL field. Clicking on this address will bring up a map with the location pinpointed. However, some cellular providers do not set the coordinates to the exact site location; here are known examples:

Sprint: In some markets, the coordinates are offset a short distance from the site, representing the direction a sector is covering. Most sites have three sectors, so if you were to plot each of these points on a map, they should form a triangle around the physical site location. As of November 2014, many markets that had previously reported exact coordinates are suddenly reporting an offset instead.

Verizon Wireless: Nearly all sites broadcast invalid coordinates. Therefore, no BSL will likely be visible when connected to a Verizon 1X site.

If you are not seeing the BSL field, ensure the “Enable 1X Base Station Geocoder” option is enabled on the Preferences screen. If the BSL field is still not appearing, no valid coordinates are being received for the site you are currently connected to.

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Why is the Base Station Location (BSL) stuck on “Locating…”, “Looking up address…”, or “Click for map..”?
This is a SignalCheck Pro feature. SignalCheck connects to a geocoding server to generate the BSL address, and displays this message while it is connecting.  If it remains on the screen, the app is having difficulty getting a response from this server. This may be due to a temporary problem with your internet connection or the geocoding server itself. SignalCheck will continue attempting to connect.

However, there is a known Android bug that occasionally terminates the geocoding service randomly; a device restart is the only way to resolve this. If your device has an active internet connection, you may want to consider a restart as a potential solution.

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Why doesn’t the app show GSM, EV-DO/eHRPD, or LTE site locations?
Unfortunately, these sites do not transmit any accessible location information. CDMA 1X is the only technology that is capable of this right now.

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Why doesn’t my device show the LTE sector ID (GCI)?
At this time, only HTC devices and most newer devices running Android 4.2 or newer show the LTE Global Cell Identity (GCI). If this information is missing, it is a limitation of your device.

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Why doesn’t my device show the EV-DO/eHRPD sector ID?
This is a SignalCheck Pro feature. At this time, only HTC devices show the EV-DO/eHRPD sector ID. If you are using an HTC device, ensure the “Show EV-DO/eHRPD Sector ID” option is enabled on the Preferences screen.

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Why doesn’t my device show 1X information when connected to LTE?
Some newer devices do not have SVLTE (Simultaneous Voice and LTE) support on certain networks, such as the LG G2 and Nexus 5 on Sprint. This means that you cannot be on a telephone call and use the LTE data network at the same time. As a result, no 1X signal information might be shown while connected to LTE. This is not a bug, as there is no active 1X connection. Telephone calls still function normally, as the device will automatically switch off LTE whenever necessary.

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Why is root permission required to use the Reset Data Connection feature on Android 4.2?
Google removed developer access to control the radio starting with Android 4.2. This change has frustrated many developers, but it is out of our control. A custom method to reset the radio has been implemented in SignalCheck, but it does require root in order to access the radio. Google has not responded to numerous requests by developers to reconsider its decision.

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Why is my device showing no connection when I know I am connected to a network?
Why is my device showing -1 for SID, NID, and BID?
Some users report that they cannot see any cellular signal information even though they have a valid network connection. Other users have reported seeing invalid values (typically “-1”) for SID, NID, and BID on their devices. Both symptoms are likely a result of cellular location features being disabled on your device. To resolve the issue, enable cellular location features by going to the “Settings” app on your device, and choosing the “Location” or “Location services” item. Ensure that the option to determine location by mobile or cellular networks is enabled. You do not need to enable the option for GPS satellites if you do not wish to do so.

Location services need to be enabled in order for the app to retrieve some cellular signal data from your device. This is an Android security feature. Users who do not wish to enable location services may encounter limitations when using SignalCheck.

Other users have reported that updating their PRL may resolve this issue. This feature is usually located on the Settings menu under System Updates.

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Is th
ere an official SignalCheck message board?
No. But a very popular discussion thread has developed on S4GRU.com if you would like to participate there. S4GRU is not officially affiliated with SignalCheck or Blue Line Computing in any way, but it is an outstanding site for cellular enthusiasts. SignalCheck owes a lot of its success to S4GRU and its members!

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