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Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Contributor
Zestje
Posts: 9

Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Hello,

 

I bought a 5230 some weeks ago and am still fighting with navigation. I suffer from loss of signal very often. This is visible easiest by looking at the speed indication. It often shows -- instead of the actual speed and if the reception is too poor a message 'searching for GPS' is also displayed. Also the map view will start zooming in because it no longer knows my speed and thinks I'm slowing down, only to catch up and zoom back out when the signal is found again. This is -VERY- annoying.

 

When driving to work this usually doesn't happen. When driving back home it happens very often: several times a minute the speed indication and sometimes the entire signal is lost. The satellite status shows that the signal strength is going up and down a lot and connection to the satellite (blue bar) is sometimes lost and reconnected some seconds later. This happens regardless of driving in open areas or more enclosed areas like for example between high trees along the roadside.

 

Yesterday I drove 280 km to a customer (in a different car) and the same route back. On the way back the loss of signal was extreme. The first 75 km the speed indication got lost and found at least 5 or 6 times a minute, all the time! Then I turned it of because it was getting really frustrating. I had another portable navigation system (Becker) which I also had connected. This system did not show any loss of signal and speed indication at all. I tried unplugging the charging cable and even removed it entirely from the car holder (the official CR-119) to rule out any kind of signal disturbance due to the cable. I also put the navigation systems further apart and even shut off the Becker system entirely. Everything without any effect.

 

This tells me the GPS reception on my 5230 is so poor it makes the navigation almost unusable. The only reason I bought this phone is because of the free navigation.

 

So my almost final attempt is to ask here if this is a known problem and if something can be done about it. My final attempt will be to contact Nokia support about this. If this can't get fixed I will return the phone...

 

Thank you in advance for any help,

 

Wouter

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Mobile Overlord
scoobyman
Posts: 10,000

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Hi Zestje

 

Sorry to hear that you are disappointed with GPS experience here. A point to remember with use in different cars is that some modern cars are fitted with a special windscreen that cuts down the amount of UV (Ultra Violet) rays that will be transferred through the windscreen which help cut down on glare. These windscreens are called Athermic, or UV Coated and will dampen/reduce GPS signals coming through the windscreen, so if you have an Athermic windscreen, it means you will not receive the same quality of signal as you would do by taking the GPS outside of the car. A dedicated GPS unit has room for a larger satellite antenna than is possible within the confines of a feature packed phone.

 

You might say that it defeats the object but I always use a Bluetooth GPS SIRF Star III receiver with OVI Maps whilst in a car for this reason.

 

 

Happy to have helped forum in a small way with a Support Ratio = 37.0

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Contributor
Zestje
Posts: 9

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

@Scoobyman:

Thank you for your reply. Althoug I do not know if these cars have a UV coating, I think that if the influence of such (standard) coatings is such, that the reception gets so much worse that navigating almost gets impossible, this should have been considered in the design or possibility to add an external antenna.

 

Of course due to the antenna size the reception cannot be as great as with normal navigation systems,  but it should be good enough to use in all cars without this kind of signal problems!

If this is the problem, they should have included an external GPS antenna to connect to the phone for car use or at least provide some kind of connector interface to connect one. Nokia doesn't offer any external antennae though...

 

I'm hoping a colleague with the 5800 can help me compare the reception of the two phones to see if these are different.

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Mobile Sensei
chanchan05
Posts: 8,090

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

I am using an older car so I cant compare. However Nokia does sell external GPS antennae if you want one. Also, do you have A-GPS and network positioning enabled? if you have a network data plan I would advise you to enable both features.
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Counsellor
jepjep
Posts: 38

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

In your position, if you haven't done this so far, I would look for a firmware update for your Nokia 5230 via Ovi Suite or PC Suite. Same with Ovi Maps.

Even If no firmware update is available I would recommend you to overwrite it again. But this is the very last option and you have to save your data before.

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Contributor
Zestje
Posts: 9

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

@jepjep. I have network positioning enabled but AGPS disabled, because of data costs.

 

As far as I understand, A-GPS will reduce connection time when searching for satellites and increase accuracy. It should not reduce loss of connection to the satellite, or am I wong here?

BTW one of my colleagues with the 5800 has A-GPS actived and also regularly notices loss of speed indication/connection with his device...

 

I'm using the latest firmware, but will try to overwrite it again if other things fail (don't want to setup my phone from scratch again..) and see what it does.

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Mobile Sensei
chanchan05
Posts: 8,090

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

You should be able to get positioning using A-GPS even if intergrated GPS is turned off.

This is odd however, as the GPS function on my 5800 works perfectly as needed. It may have to do with situations in your country.
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Contributor
Zestje
Posts: 9

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Update: Today I tested again on the way to work and back. Again I had lots of loss of connection. Even on the quite open motorway I lost connection several times and even 3 times within 5 minutes the phone started recalculating the route. The satellite reception was going up and down a lot.

I did notice the last weeks during testing that reception seems to get lost more often on an open motorway driving fast (120 km/h) than in town driving slow (50 km/h).

 

Even if the windscreen blocks reception ti some extent, it can't/shouldn't be that  this can cause the reception on almost open roads to go up and down from full to almost nothing. Because if it does block so much t should be bad all the time.

 

I think I have to try resetting and reflashing the phone...

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Sage
CLTSchwarz
Posts: 141

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

I use a Nokia LD-3W GPS receiver.  It uses bluetooth.  You won't have GPS reception problems with one of these.  It gets great reception despite the fact that it is small (smaller than the phone).  It has a very powerful GPS chip inside.  So easy to use.  i think that if you want to use the navigation seriously in a car then you should get one of these and then you will never need to look at the GPS signal bar again.

 

Mobile phones have pretty poor GPS reception, the 'fruity' brand gets worse reception in my car than what my Nokia does.  The bluetooth GPS gets a satellite fix fast and is very accurate with its positioning.

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Contributor
Zestje
Posts: 9

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Update: I did a reflash and reset of the phone and tested again: This weekend I drove about 200km (with 2 other different cars) and again I had lots of loss of connection. Especially annoying when nearing cross sections. During parts of the trip I had my dad's TomTom active, which did not suffer from connection loss.

 

Today I drove back from work (28 km) without waiting for a connection before starting and I did not get GPS caonnection at all! So when I got home I put it outside on the table in the back yard and waited for 20 mins and it still did not get any reception at all. So I turned the phone off an on again and left it lying outside and forgot about it for 20 min... Then it finally showed GPS connection.

 

To me this confirms that the reception is simply too bad to be reliable/usable. I will contact Nokia support for their opinion and ill probably return the phone. As much as I like it, it is of nu use when the reception is so poor :smileysad:

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Sage
CLTSchwarz
Posts: 141

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Any mobile phone with GPS at the moment has this problem.  I haven't heard of a particular model mobile with a strong inbuilt GPS receiver but I could be wrong.

If you go down the bluetooth path, the receivers are cheap and you just plop them down somewhere.

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Contributor
Zestje
Posts: 9

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Hello again,

 

I don't remember exactly in which order I did what, but I reformatted, reset, flashed everything I could and reinstalled everything including the maps application on the phone.

Somehow I have hardly suffered at all  from connection loss in about a month. I guess there was some major software problem, which somehow at the n-th attempt of resetting/flashing got fixed.

 

Since I'm so glad it's working I have decided to keep the telephone.

Many thanks to you all for your support!

 

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Registered Member
faetterdj
Posts: 1

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

I also suspect a serious software bug on my 5230 as my GPS has stopped working recently. I use a-GPS but it only find my position based cell towers - within a mile or two. I can't get GPS to lock and it only sees a few satellites. I have been using the GPS feature for long time and being perfectly happy but suddenly it can't find any GPS signal. When it worked, it found my position in a few seconds, but now it can't locate me at all.

 

I will try to reset and re-install when I find out how to do it but I assume I loose all my "provider info" in this process.

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Mobile Overlord
aspergerguy
Posts: 10,000

Re: Very poor GPS reception (5230)

Perhaps try disabling all positioning methods except "Integrared GPS" in Menu > Applications > Location > Positioning > Positioning methods - go outside away from tall buildings and wait 20 -30 minutes if necessary to get that first positional fix.

 

If you do decide to reset device you can normally get provider settings sent in SMS which you then save.

 

You don't say whether you are using OVI Maps v3.03 pre-installed in device firmware or updated to v3.04

Happy to have helped forum with a Support Ratio = 42.5

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