Cell Phone Coverage

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Dolphins2012, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    Which carrier has the best coverage in Bancroft Hall (or on the Yard generally)? Any particular thoughts on AT&T and Sprint? My son will be going out there with an iPhone on I-Day if that helps.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. wilson73

    wilson73 Member

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    Cell phone coverage is spotty, at best. We have Verizon, and most of the time it works well. However, on occasion, we have had a series of dropped calls, so we ended up using text messages to finish the "conversation".

    You probably know that all cell phones are taken away from Plebes on I-Day, so it is a good idea to label it (and the charger), and put it in a ziploc-style plastic bag (also labeled). The phones are returned to them so they can make that first phone call in early July, collected back from them again, re-distributed for the second phone call, re-collected and then issued back for that third phone call. I think they finally get to keep them at the start of Plebe Parents Weekend.
     
  3. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    Ok, so a "most of the time it works well" for Verizon. Anyone else?
     
  4. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    It seems to depend on the provider, the room in Bancroft, and even the phone.

    We have AT&T. Plebe year room on 4th deck - great signal. 3rd deck - almost no signal (same wing, opposite side of hall). 1st deck, different wing - great signal. Back to the upper decks - poor signal with old phone. With iphone4S - can sometimes even hold calls from 0 deck (the basement).
     
  5. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    Our S has learned to make his cell phone calls from his room in Bancroft while he is as near to the window as possible. He is on AT&T and if he is near the window, coverage is fine.
     
  6. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Bancroft Hall is basically a nuclear bunker and serves as a problem for ALL carriers. There is no single carrier that has figured out how to penetrate the walls with any kind of consistency.

    Mostly, reception is going to depend on the location of your midshipman's room. For instance, if he/she has an exterior room that is unobstructed, they should get fairly decent reception.

    I have two mids. One has an exterior room in the 8th wing that faces the Chesapeake. He has fine reception. The other has a 5th wing room that is completely surrounded. He doesn't even try.

    Text messages usually get through regardless of their location.

    We have a family agreement that whenever we are on our computers, we always have a gmail window opened. Since we all have gmail addresses, it allows us to chat (or video chat) at any time. That is our primary means of communication.

    A lot of people use Facebook chat.

    For the most part, midshipmen go outside to use their cellphones. It's not uncommon to see them standing on the outdoor walkways just to get good reception.

    I recommend you come up with a scheme to use the INTERNET for communication. There are many options in that area and, since the mids almost always have their computers continuously online, that will usually give you instant access to them, and vice versa.
     
  7. USNA2016Dad

    USNA2016Dad Member

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    Hi Memphis,
    Are the Mids allowed to have one of those signal amplifying diveces for cell phones in their rooms? I saw an ad the other day about something like that avaiable at Best Buy. Also, if the Mids have a Cat V line coming into their rooms for internet purposes can they set up a wireless accesss point and have wifi?
    Thanks...
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  8. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Negative, not allowed. At no time is any personal network device or equipment allowed to touch the USNA network.
     
  9. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    There is no WiFi in Bancroft Hall.

    There are many restrictions to computer use at the Naval Academy. The only computers allowed to connect to the academy's network are academy-configured computers. Other computers will not even work.

    Personal, USB memory sticks are not permitted.

    In many ways, the Naval Academy is in the Dark Ages with regards to internet usage. Your basic community college probably has a more robust internet system.

    So, NO, a midshipman is not permitted to set-up a wireless network using the Naval Academy's signal. Everything in Bancroft Hall is hard-wired. That's not to say that some midshipmen have not done this.

    I've heard that the class of 2016 will be the first to be issued a laptop as their primary computer. Up to now, it has always been a desktop.

    Also, Apple computers are not permitted on the Naval Academy's network. So, if your mid is a Mac-guy, he better get used to using a PC.
     
  10. calebss310

    calebss310 USNA Class of 2016

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    When I visited during my CVW, all Mids had a desktop and a laptop, though the laptop was one of the tiny 10 inch IBM laptops. I don't even think it had a mouse pad, just the red dot in the center of the keyboard. Does this mean we will be getting better, bigger laptops?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    This is why I said PRIMARY computer. The class of 2016 will probably still get a netbook, just like previous classes, but (from what I heard) they will not get a desktop. They will probably get a high-powered laptop.
     
  12. calebss310

    calebss310 USNA Class of 2016

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    So we would get two laptops, a small one and a larger one?
     
  13. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    My guess is - yes - a high-powered laptop and a netbook.

    Also, you can expect an external, high-capacity harddrive.

    Again, this is all rumor. But I can see the academy switching to laptops as storing the desktops during the summer is always kind of a pain-in-the-***.
     
  14. mfinlon

    mfinlon Member

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    According to the USNA website, they begin issuing laptops to the class of 2015. They are Lenovo T420 laptops and come with a docking station. No printer or monitor. Hopefully they let the mids bring their own monitors. Main reason to have a docking station is to allow you to quickly hook your laptop up to a monitor and standard keyboard. Link to site is here: http://candidatedata.usna.edu/computerspecs.asp
     
  15. USNA2016Dad

    USNA2016Dad Member

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    Does anybody have the gouge on cell phone signal amplifying devices? I saw one advertised at Best Buy. It looks as if you plug this device into a power outlet and it grabs any cell signal and amplifies it and then retransmits the signal from a cell phone back to the tower. Thanks...
     
  16. LiveGold

    LiveGold Member

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    That's partially correct. We were issued a laptop, a docking station, a printer, a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse along with an assortment of other related items. So you can go dual monitor with the issued monitor and the built in laptop display. it's pretty nice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  17. mfinlon

    mfinlon Member

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    That's a nice setup. The website didn't mention the monitor and specifically said no printer. Dual monitor setup is great. The large, aerospace company I work for now issues dual 22" monitors to everyone with a docking station. Pop out the laptop at the end of the work day and take it home. Allows a lot of us to working virtually from home some days or during inclement weather. My wife has the Lenovo issued her at work. It's a bit small for my tastes but she seems to like it.
     

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