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i recently 'inherited' a Blackberry 8100 from my roommate as she was unhappy with the ... BlackBerry Pearl forum

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    Broo's Avatar
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    8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

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    i recently 'inherited' a Blackberry 8100 from my roommate as she was unhappy with the reception; her calls kept dropping and the signal would often fade and drop the network connection. I have been using her (2nd) replacement unit for a few days and I have not had this problem.

    a friend told her that it may have been due to her protective case; an all aluminum (Rhinoskin like- but not made by them) case. Does this sound feasible? Has anyone else had a similar experience?

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    Yea there was a post with this exact same problem a month back or so. Don't use the aluminum case. It kills the signal.

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    Since the antenna for an 8100 (and all BBs, except for some of the old Nextels) is internal to the case, if you put the entire unit into a metal case, you're basically putting it inside something that will keep in/out any RF (radio waves). There's actually a name for such a thing, it's called a Faraday Cage.

    Check out this article about Faraday Cages on Wikipedia for more info.
    David

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    I never understood the reason for making a aluminum case...for exactly that reason. I understand it's durable, but someone really dropped the ball developing it and allowing it to be made. LOL!

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    As P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute" (no offence intended for those of you who didn't realize that it would cause a problem).

    I'm kind of curious though: Was the case in question made specifically for the 8100, or was this a "one size fits many" type of case, perhaps originally intended for an mp3 player?
    David

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozinn
    As P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute" (no offence intended for those of you who didn't realize that it would cause a problem).

    I'm kind of curious though: Was the case in question made specifically for the 8100, or was this a "one size fits many" type of case, perhaps originally intended for an mp3 player?
    I'm not sure about hers, but you can get a case made specifically for the 8100 on Ebay, so yeah, the PT Barnum crowd can be satisfied.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/BLACK-ALUMINUM-C...QQcmdZViewItem

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    This case was specifically for the 8100;

    i would post a url with a pick, but I am newbie here and it looks like no url links until > 20 posts...

    Edit: it looks exactly like the one in the link that LaTuFu posted!

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

    I have an aluminum case and never had a moments issue with reception. My only prob w. The aluminum case was that it was too big for my girl hands

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    I posted on the previous thread dealing with the same topic. Had a SK3 in an aluminum case and cut out at least 2 bars of reception. Just say no to aluminum cases.

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    I love my aluminum case. I live out in the country and the case makes no difference in signal strength. My phone would be trashed by now if it wasn't for that case. I have dropped my phone so many times it isn't even funny.
    Personally I think they just need to make the receiver in the phone better!

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    Speaking from an engineering stanpoint.... ah forget it . RF harmonics is al smoke and mirrors anyway
    So Deep, Too Deep

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    Quote Originally Posted by bayboy
    Personally I think they just need to make the receiver in the phone better!
    I'll certainly take your word that you've had no issues with reception, but I think you're proably very lucky. As for making the receiver more sensitive, it's certainly possible, but there are limitations that you have live with. Either you've got to get a bigger antenna (which would make the device bigger) or you've got to have some really sophisticated digital signal processing (on top of what's already there), which would be very expensive.

    The signal strength detected by cell phones (not just BlackBerry) is already miniscule when compared to, for instance, the signal strength that's detected by your AM or FM radio. If you make the device too sensitive, then it winds up picking up too many signals. Yes, the towers are channelized, but if your device could "hear" a lot father than it currently does, you'd wind up picking up other towers on the same channel. Incidentally, that's part of the issue about why they don't want folks using cell phones in airplanes; at cruising altitude, your phone can see (and be seen by) a lot more towers than usual. Even though some private pilots (and I suspect a few commercial passengers here and there) have used their phones on a plane, from a technical standpoint, it would be a serious problem. (That's assuming that the half of the plane that's just hoping for some peace and quiet doesn't pummel the half of the plane that's yakking away.)
    David

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    Re: 8100 reception problems with an aluminum case?

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozinn
    Incidentally, that's part of the issue about why they don't want folks using cell phones in airplanes; at cruising altitude, your phone can see (and be seen by) a lot more towers than usual. Even though some private pilots (and I suspect a few commercial passengers here and there) have used their phones on a plane, from a technical standpoint, it would be a serious problem. (That's assuming that the half of the plane that's just hoping for some peace and quiet doesn't pummel the half of the plane that's yakking away.)
    Funny you should mention that:

    Mythbusters did an episode dealing with cell phone reception and airplane instruments (while on the ground) and found that using the cell phone had no effect on the the instruments whatsoever. At the same time, they didn't try it in the air because, and this is hypothetically speaking, what happens if it were to cause problems?

    In any case, they tried both analogue signals as well as GSM (since 3G wasn't available yet) and it really had no effect on the plane at all. Now, it's probably just a courtesy issue on board.

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