Last resort to try to figure out my GPS problem. Can anyone help?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by Djnardu, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Djnardu

    Djnardu Member

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    Im really starting to think this is a hardware issue but I want to see if anybody has a suggestion before I bring it to verizon.

    Since Ive gotten my Droid X its GPS has worked and not worked. I live in a small area of northwest PA that is under an extended network banner. I was told that because I was on an extened network the GPS would not work. Ive also heard different.

    The problem is there are some days/nights where the GPS does work in my area and pick up a signal, heck I can be inside and it will work.

    The other issue is one day last week I drove into Jersey which the entire area I drove was under Verizon banner and full coverage. The whole way down the GPS did not work. Then after 2 hours at the mall the GPS decided to work and work all the way home.

    Then last night was a night again where the GPS was working at my house. I woke up this morning with the GPS again not working and went golfing. Of my 3 1/2 hours on the course the GPS did not work. For some apparent reason the last 30 minutes the GPS decided to start working.

    What is going on.

    Ive tried everything checking and un-checking use wireless networks. Removing the battery, factory restores, doing a *228.

    Anybody know if this is a known issue? Should I go to verizon or anybody know a fix?
     
  2. xliderider

    xliderider Active Member

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    I think GPS is a known issue ATM with the X. Hopefully, its just software related and an update will take care of the problem.
     
  3. Djnardu

    Djnardu Member

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    Really I havent heard anything about the issue? Maybe I should call verizon tomorrow to see if they have heard anything. I'd really like to figure this out before my 30 days is up.
     
  4. takeshi

    takeshi Silver Member

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    Try downloading GPS Status or a similar app. It's helpful to see what's going on with your GPS receiver so you can rule out any software issues.

    Not true. The GPS receiver doesn't need the wireless network to determine your location. Though, I'm not sure if it's like the Droid where the radio needs to be on (whether you have coverage or not) for initial fix.

    Your GPS app, on the other hand, may require data.

    Option 1 or 2? PRL update (option 2) probably won't help. Reactivating (option 1) generally helps on my Droid. Not sure if it does anything for the Droid X though.
     
    #4 takeshi, Jul 29, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  5. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member
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    Download GPS Test from the market and see if that picks up any sat signals.
     
  6. xliderider

    xliderider Active Member

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    Verizon will almost always say they are not aware of any problems. :rolleyes:

    Here's one thread on gps problems on the X.

    Google navigation on droid x
     
  7. Djnardu

    Djnardu Member

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    So every single time I drive to work it picks up a GPS signal. On my way back it stays locked on. When I get home it works for hours then around 2am it always loses the signal.

    I know an area shouldn't affect the signal but is it any possibility that because Im on an extended network "even though I get 3G" It loses the lock on GPS?

    Should I just give up and bring it to verizon?
     
  8. xliderider

    xliderider Active Member

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    I suppose you can call Verizon and ask to talk to a technical specialist and ask them specifically if GPS requires you to be on the Verizon network. Just curious, do you have your network set to Automatic, or to Home Only?
     
  9. Djnardu

    Djnardu Member

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    Ive talked to them before in which they told me it was the network. The only thing I really think why that was a BS answer was because there was a day when I was in Jersey where it did not pick up GPS the entire ride down.

    Home/Automatic?

    Could you give me a little bit more depth on what you mean?
     
    #9 Djnardu, Jul 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  10. Snoking

    Snoking Member

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    Setting, Moblile networks, System select, Automatic
     
  11. Bear in NM

    Bear in NM Active Member

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    I will expound a little on what Takeshi and BacknBlack posted. First, you need an ap that will let you see what the satellite situation is for your phone. I use GPS Status, but the free version has ads if that is a concern.

    The reason you need an app is so that you can see your GPS satellite constellation. GPS satellites are in non-geosync. orbit above the earth, meaning that they do not rotate with the earth's orbit (your location). It also means that at any point in time, at a given location you will have "x" number of visible satellites. At the same location, at a different time, you have more or less than "x" number of satellites. Same time, different location, you will have a different number of sats. This is important as the number of sats will control how fast you get a fix and how accurate your fix is.

    This is the only part that I am a little fuzzy on with regard to the phone, but I am not sure whether the phone has the ability to initialize the gps fix based on your tower position, and hand this off to the gps side of the radio. With traditional GPS devices, the device actually downloads the postional location (almanac) of the satellites from the actual gps signal. It then uses this positional data to know where to "look" for the other satellites, which is tied into finding your position as the faster the other satellites are found, the faster you get a fix. It takes three satellites to get a 2-d position, and four to get 3-d (elevation).

    The resaon folks have time issues when flying to different locations is related to the above points. When you hop off the plane, the GPS will look for the satellites based on your last position. When it does not find these, it has to lock onto one satellite, download the almanac, and try to figure out where you are by combining all of this. It can take some time. When you drive several hours from your last location, the same initialization delay will apply.

    Back to the number of visible satellites. The satellite "radio" signal is subject to interference. Broad leaf tree cover is tough (elms, maples etc.) The signal will not punch through the moisture in the leaves. Metal will bounce the signal, as can concrete and other building materials. If the signal cannot get through on a straight line, you will get delays in your position and accuracy degradation. High voltage power lines, the big tall ones (not the small pole distribution lines) will play absolute heck on your signal. Stand under a high voltage (transmission) line, and you will likley never get a signal. Along the same lines, sources of high energy like these will interfere.

    The gps satellites also have a southern hemisphere bias, meaning that the satellites tend to be in a more southerly direction. This is not as bad as it used to be, but it is there. Along the same lines, and tied to the non-geosync. orbits, the satellites will appear from overhead, down to the horizon. Depending on your building, trees, power sources etc., low satellites can produce weak or bounced signals. Throw in the actual number that are visible, and you start to see why you need a program to see the number and location of satellites to trouble shoot.

    Another little anomoly I have seen with the phone and google navigation is that having a program that finds and reports your satellite based position seems to work better and faster than just turning on Navigation or maps. Don't know why, but when I use a program like GPS Status, it quickly finds my position, which in turn makes Maps quicker to respond. Just toggling my gps on and off runs very slow, and provides zero information. Toggling the gps app tells me exactly what is going on. Why on earth Google/VZW did not include a basic satellite info screen is beyond me. This could save their tech's a lot of headaches.

    Back to the X and Droid and the network. What I have described above is standard gps fodder, and does apply to my Droid. GPS position should not depend upon network coverage for stand alone gps. It will need it for maps and navigation, but should not need it for basic gps positioanl data. I would be very surprised if the X works any different, as Google/VZW/moto would have to have gone out of their way to redesign their interface to work differently than all that I have seen to date.

    Craig
     
    #11 Bear in NM, Jul 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  12. BigDaddyNYY

    BigDaddyNYY Member

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    Just a thought, but what battery save setting do you have your phone on. If I recall correctly, the initial setting for battery save is to have the phone turn off certain functions (GPS being one) at a certain time of the day/night. The fact that you lose signal at 2am sounds like this could be the issue.

    Also, based on a lot of searching various forums, there is an issue with navigation (Navigation map screen will close and return to car dock screen, but turn by turn directions continue in background) when using the car dock widget (after the last OTA update). I have been able to get around this by launching the navigation without using the car dock widget. If you have an actual car dock, I am not sure if this is an option, but luckily I do not. I am hoping that this will be fixed with the pending release of Froyo (hopefully next week).
     
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