As mentioned:You may want to try Airplane Mode. If the signal is the problem rooting and installing a new ROM may be fruitless. I would look at turning off data and WiFi.
So I'm doing that already. I'm not sure it is taking though. Settings show airplane mode set, but I still get the suggestion to turn it on when I look at the battery section in settings. Wifi doesn't appear to be using much power and I do need to use it, at least until I get it tweaked, so I can access the repository. What do you mean by "turning off data"?even in airplane mode.