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[Q] Wifi Signal is Consistently Weak Unless I Squeeze the Phone; Hardware Issue?

OP aberen03

28th August 2014, 10:33 PM   |  #1  
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Hi,

I've been having a somewhat mysterious problem with the wireless internet (Wi-Fi) signal on my SCH-1545, hopefully someone here can help me find a solution.

Details:
  • At rest, my wi-fi signal is weak, regardless of which network or router is producing the signal.
  • I use an oversized Anker 7800mAh battery, which adds a considerable amount of weight and bulk to my GS4.
  • I am currently running a recent snapshot release of Cyanogenmod (11-20140804-SNAPSHOT-M9-jflte). The last time I updated was few weeks ago, but my wifi issue began sometime early this week. Thus, it seems unlikely that the ROM is to blame. For what it's worth, my baseband version is 1545VRUAMDK.
  • Oddly, after some poking around, I've discovered that applying pressure to the back of the phone near the lock button seems to increase the quality of my wifi connection. For example, at rest right now my phone shows a 30% signal; when squeezed in the aforementioned manner, the signal jump s immediately to 55-60%.

I suspect that there may be some fault with the wifi antenna connector, or with the antenna itself.
My best theory right now is that a mishap or fall with this bulky battery installed may have delivered a shock to the phone's hardware beyond what it is designed to withstand. Consequently, it seems that the wifi system was somehow compromised. I've tried cleaning the wifi contacts as suggested here[1] .
Has anyone had this problem? Can anyone offer a solution?
I can't go on using my phone like this, and to get a replacement will be quite costly. However, if I do end up getting a replacement, I have my eyes on a LG G3
Thanks for your help!
Last edited by aberen03; 28th August 2014 at 10:37 PM. Reason: important information
29th August 2014, 04:12 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aberen03

Hi,

I've been having a somewhat mysterious problem with the wireless internet (Wi-Fi) signal on my SCH-1545, hopefully someone here can help me find a solution.

Details:

  • At rest, my wi-fi signal is weak, regardless of which network or router is producing the signal.
  • I use an oversized Anker 7800mAh battery, which adds a considerable amount of weight and bulk to my GS4.
  • I am currently running a recent snapshot release of Cyanogenmod (11-20140804-SNAPSHOT-M9-jflte). The last time I updated was few weeks ago, but my wifi issue began sometime early this week. Thus, it seems unlikely that the ROM is to blame. For what it's worth, my baseband version is 1545VRUAMDK.
  • Oddly, after some poking around, I've discovered that applying pressure to the back of the phone near the lock button seems to increase the quality of my wifi connection. For example, at rest right now my phone shows a 30% signal; when squeezed in the aforementioned manner, the signal jump s immediately to 55-60%.

I suspect that there may be some fault with the wifi antenna connector, or with the antenna itself.
My best theory right now is that a mishap or fall with this bulky battery installed may have delivered a shock to the phone's hardware beyond what it is designed to withstand. Consequently, it seems that the wifi system was somehow compromised. I've tried cleaning the wifi contacts as suggested here[1] .
Has anyone had this problem? Can anyone offer a solution?
I can't go on using my phone like this, and to get a replacement will be quite costly. However, if I do end up getting a replacement, I have my eyes on a LG G3
Thanks for your help!

Have your tried doing a factory reset? I know this is a pain in the butt but maybe it will put your mind at ease. Have you dropped the phone or anything that would cause the antenna to suddenly become loose? Is your connection bouncing up and down or is it consistenly just staying low? Also before a factory reset try getting Wifi Analyzer from the app store and check to see whats going on. Just sounds rather buggy that it suddenly started happening.
30th August 2014, 01:35 AM   |  #3  
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Same thing been happening to mine just recently. Seems like when I squeeze the battery cover the wifi signal is stronger for a limited amount of time.

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31st August 2014, 03:44 AM   |  #4  
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If you squeeze your phone and it affects signals take off battery cover and try tightning all the little screws around the phone with the battery out.. might help just saying
2nd September 2014, 01:10 PM   |  #5  
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Thanks for your suggestions folks, but I still seem to be in a pickle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPERSPORT25

Have your tried doing a factory reset? I know this is a pain in the butt but maybe it will put your mind at ease. Have you dropped the phone or anything that would cause the antenna to suddenly become loose? Is your connection bouncing up and down or is it consistenly just staying low? Also before a factory reset try getting Wifi Analyzer from the app store and check to see whats going on. Just sounds rather buggy that it suddenly started happening.

I tried a factory reset, didn't seem to help according to Wifi Analyzer (thanks for the app suggestion). As I said in my original post, I fear that drop may have caused this problem: since I use a heavy extended battery, I expect the damage caused by any fall would be magnified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordNate

If you squeeze your phone and it affects signals take off battery cover and try tightning all the little screws around the phone with the battery out.. might help just saying

I attempted this as well - I removed the back cover and ensured all the ribbon cables and antenna cables were making a firm connection, and then I tightened all the cover screws. Nothing seems to have helped. Concurrent with my previous statement, I fear one of the modules (specifically the wifi/bluetooth SIC) on the motherboard may have become slightly dislodged from a random fall.

Does anyone know of a way I can test this theory or get it fixed if such is the case?
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