We have very weak cell signal at our house, and none inside it. I've bought a cell signal booster kit (Uniden U4) with an outdoor yagi antenna which needs to be oriented fairly precisely pointing at a nearby Verizon cell tower. We're down in a valley and rather out of line of sight of any towers, but I can get 1 bar (c.a. -100 dBm) on top of our house - enough to work with assuming we can get the antenna oriented properly.
I have a couple of questions.
I'm working with the towers maps from cellreception.com and with the hidden Field Test app on my iPhone 4s (see http://lifehacker.com/5929546/see-the-actual-signal-strength-on-your-iphone-with-this-quick-tweak if you're curious). The Field Test app reports a 3 or 4 digit "Base ID", which Verizon tech support tells me identifies the tower to which my phone is connecting when I'm within a covered area. I show 3 or 4 Base IDs on my iPhone when standing on our roof, in sequence as our connection is handed off between the towers. Is there a database or other online resource which can be used to correlate these Base IDs with towers which can be located on the map at cellreception.com? Having this information would allow us to correctly orient the yagi antenna on our signal booster.
Almost all the Base IDs I see are 3 digit numbers, and we've driven around and about our area in all directions looking at them. Outside the gate to our property, though, we get a signal with a 4 digit Base ID which I have seen nowhere else in the neighborhood or local area. Is this possibly the ID of a Verizon Range Extender? Since these devices are basically VoIP they must identify themselves with some kind of Base ID to keep in step with the protocols on which the system depends.
It's entirely possible that Verizon may restrict general access to any database identifying all their cell tower locations. Would they identify the locations of specific towers if I were to ask them about specific Base IDs?
If you search the FCC licensing site for cell towers, I believe the locations are listed as GPS coordinates. I have not been to the site in years and no longer have the link, but use the search option on the FCC site and you should be able to find it
www.cellreception.com gives me all the location data I need. I can find towers in their database, locate them on Google Earth and come up with location, address, owner of the tower, height of the tower, etc. etc. What I'm trying to do is match Verizon Base IDs with towers. I can get Base ID information from my iPhone, but this gives me no information with regard to which tower is associated with a Base ID. This is a Verizon issue, not an FCC issue. Thanks for trying to answer my question, but please read my original question carefully.
As I said in my original post, there's a hidden app in the iPhone which gives me the "Base ID", which Verizon tech support tells me identifies the tower/transceiver with which the device is communicating. So I already have this information.
The Base ID is a number assigned by Verizon and has no relationship to the FCC data on the tower, or the license which Verizon holds to use the frequencies they use, or to the location of the tower.
So I have what you call the "tower ID" numbers from my iPhone, and I have, or can easily deduce, the exact location - latitude, longitude, tower height, tower elevation - of all, or many of the Verizon towers in the area from crowdsourced data available on cellreception.com. What I don't have is a way to correlate these two. This is what I need, and why I posted my question here.
I hope this makes my question clear. I thought I'd made it clear in my original post, but perhaps not.