Push to log your mobile and bluetooth network!
PushToLog is an Android app. In short: It logs the signal strength of your mobile network, which is depedent of your location and shows the results in map. And .. simultaneously you can monitor bluetooth as well!
Mobile network scanning
With the PushToLog-app you can monitor and log the signal strength of your mobile network (4G/LTE) into a logfile while you are moving. The logfile is used to display the results in your map any time later. The logged points are colored by their relative signal strength (see the tables below).
Other mobile networks are expected to be supported by the PushToLog-app (at least 3G).
The PushToLog-app is using the Fused Location GPS-provider by Google to minimize the use of your battery. But nevertheless your GPS location must be activated.
Despite the technical driver for creating this app, it is still fun to use the app wherever you are!
The app offers you 4 simple functions:
Note: In case you have enabled the SHARE LOG FILE setting, the SAVE function is changed in SHARE!
The app shows the current date, running time, your provider, your network type and strength level. The strenght level corresponds with your level indicator showing 1 to 4 bars. The higher the level, the higher the strenght of your network on your location.
Dependent of the network type the strength of your network is given as RSRP, RSRQ & QCI for 4G/LTE or just with RSSI (all other network types). Both RSRP (Reference Signals Received Power) and RSRQ (Reference Signal Received Quality) are key measures of the signal level. Strength of the signal is expressed in (negative) decibel-milliwatts.
Strenght for 4G/LTE networks
For 3G/GSM mobile networks (and all others within the current scope of PushToLog-app), the strenght is measured by the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator).
Strenght for 3G/GSM (and other) networks
Last but not least, the PushToLog-app shows the current langitude and latitude of your location. This data is provided by the Fused Location provider of Google and uses the GPS-sensor of your device and others means to minimize the draining of your battery. The coordinates are used to position your current location in the map showed by the app. Furthermore, the coordinates are also used to calculate the distance between the points in the map and the speed applied for reaching the next point of your moving.
The PushToLog-app lets you monitor and log the strenght of your network while your are walking, driving. By pushing the START-button, the logging is immediately started. By touching the STOP-button, the logging is stopped. It can be saved as logfile on your device to show it some other time. When saving the file, you can add a tag to use it as reminder for selecting the file for showing. With the SHOW-button you can show any saved logfile. You have also the option to delete the file or rename the tag (which can be disabled by a setting). After that you select of logfile from the list of files presented, some statistical info is presented: the number of points, the diastance and optionally the average and maximum speed (in km/h). An extra point (blue) is drawn in the map marking the highest speed.
Bluetooth network scanning
Beside the scanning and logging of your mobile network, you can simultaneously scan bluetooth devices. Bluetooth results are also logged and can be displayed on the map later. The PushToLog-app selects the nearest device based on the strenght of the signal. A distance calculation is made, which must be calibrated for your device. A warning will be displayed if the strength is too high, which means that your distance to the device is too short. You can also set a strenght level to get an audio signal when the strenght exceeds it.
You will discover for yourself that the bluetooth signal varies greatly, so the distance should be handled with care. Therefore, you can enable the option to let the app calculate the average of the 5 latest measurements. Every discovery (10..15 sec) will show a list of devices found in a message (if technical info is enabled), including the strenght (in dBm). You can re-show this message by a long press on one of the 4 buttons at the bottom of the screen.
For demonstrative reasons, it also possible to temporarily change your device name to an app-friendly format. The device name is changed when logging is started and restored when logging is stopped. The device name is in the form of "PTL-XX-YYYYYY", whereby XX implies your mobile operator's country code and YYYYYY is the unique usercode, which is randomly generated by the app during installation. If the scan detects another device with this formatted device name ("PTL-"), the device will vibrate three times regardless of the signal strenght.
And do not forget, scanning bluetooth is not making any sense to discover devices while you are passing by quickly (by car or train). The app will always show the results of a full discovery cycle, which implies the results are delayed especially when moving or updating fast.
Strenght for Bluetooth
When your sensor is activated (see settings), the movement of your device is automatically detected by the PushToLog-app. If you have enabled additional information (see settings), the displayed time will flash when a movement is detected.
By a long press of the START button, the auto-log will be started. Only when your device is moving, data will be logged (like the normal log function). When no movement is detected, the logging will be paused (the logging status message will stop flashing). As soon as you start moving, the logging will be resumed (the logging status message will flash again).
Note: If bluetooth scanning is enabled, the auto-log option is suppressed. In this case, a long press (of the STOP button) will show you a message with the latest scanning results.
By enabling the ENABLE KML-TYPE option the Push-to-Log app will create KML-typed logfile as well when the logging is stopped. This KML-file can be displayed by Google Earth and will show you your route in 3D. Furthermore, you can also follow the route as a real tour, showing you an eagle view for 1 or more seconds from the start point up to the last point (with some stepsize). You may change some KML tour parameters (check the KML Tour settings). However in some cases, the route might be disturbed by a deviating gps registration, but consider that as an personal surpise for you!
Note 2: Android 10 requires an additional location permission, which can only be set manually. When enabling the forground service option, the permission screen is shown only once to let you check and update it to "Always all the time".
Note 3: To run in the background and sleep mode, Android 10+ requires unrestricted battery usage (via Settings/Apps/PushtoLog/Battery optimization). Android 12 unfortunately has a special feature: background processes are heavily restricted to provide battery benefits. Older Android versions may require to enable mandatory the FOREGROUND SERVICE.
- In some rare cases the app might be restarted, when running in the background, which will stop the logging, you can recover it manually be selecting the working file and renaming with your file explorer
In case you have questions or suggestions about the PushToLog-app, you are more than welcome to send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). The latest version is currently v1.3g, released 6 May 2022 (technical update and few fixes).
Use of the app is at your own risk. The app is provided "as is". PhD Software accepts no responsibility for any technical failure of the app.
Below you find three screen images of the PushToLog-app and an example of a map created by the PushToLog-app. It shows a part of the highway A15 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.