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Zion Fox

Gps Interference

9 posts in this topic

Greetings one and all,

I recently picked up my new '14 plate Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost last week, and have been experiencing some issues relating to GPS when in the vehicle.

I'm not sure if this is purely relating to my device, or in the car, but the GPS on my phone (Nexus 5) seems to be very inaccurate or having a long delay between updates, making using it as a navigation device unreliable. I don't have the built in GPS system in the car, but it does have Emergency Assist, which uses a GPS module behind the rear view mirror to pin point my location during an accident.

I am curious if someone a bit more knowledgeable knows a bit more about this GPS module, if it runs all the time, and is stealing the signals away from my phone, or if it only wakes up during an accident? I can turn Emergency Assist off through the car's menu, but I doubt it'd turn off the actual GPS module, and am wondering if a fuse would disconnect it?

TL;DR: My phone's GPS is intermittent, slow, and unreliable, but only when in the car. Could the car's GPS module be causing interference, and if so, how can I disable, or use this to my advantage?

Thanks in advance.

~Zion

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Can you confirm that your GPS works perfectly outside of the car?

I know in the manual it mentions that the heated front screen can interfere with GPS signals but personally I've not had a problem.

mixmasterlooney likes this

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I can confirm after my 2 mile walk this morning that the GPS in my phone works. I have the phone's mount at the right of the windscreen, directly above the right side driver air vent (I have it pointed up to keep my phone cool during long drives). The same phone with the 2010 version of the Fiesta (with the heated windscreen) seemed to work fine, but It does make me wonder if it is the windscreen now...

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Turn on wifi and mobile data it will help using telephone mast to pinpoint your position much better whilst in the car even if you aren't connected to any wifi points

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Ford OC mobile app

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I initially turned WiFi off to see if it was a performance issue with the phone (unlikely, since it's a Google Experience device, and the latest Nexus), but I gave it a shot. I will try it again soon with wireless on. I always have my data on, and I have noticed it flicker from 4G to HSPA and 3G and back. I am in a fairly rural part of Surrey, and so I can imagine the lack of masts around, but it shouldn't be too severe. I'll give it a few tests and report back.

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Switching between 4g/3g wont be a prob this only normally drains your battery more

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Ford OC mobile app

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Been and tested the device under various settings, all with Emergency Assist on. Drove to a nearby Tesco, parked up, set a destination and it calculated it in seconds as usual, but when it came to actually moving, I missed a turn or two due to the delay in the visual update. I eventually overshot my target by 3 miles, but the route navigation quickly restored and took an alternative route to the destination. Stayed at the destination for around 2 hours, and then plotted a route back home around the M25. This final routing seemed to work without issue or delay.

I am going to say that I'm in such a rural place there aren't enough points to correctly triangulate my position and so the phone gets confused waiting for an update. I am planning a trip up to Manchester and Liverpool next month, and will try the system again, and let people know my findings.

Thank you to everyone who replied here with ideas and suggestions.

~Zion

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Long bump, but I have managed to resolve this issue for anyone else who might have a similar issue.

The problem was entirely with the phone, and may or may not exist with other phones. If it does exist with yours, check the below, and follow instructions to fix.

The issue lied with the GPS radio in the phone being partially broken for some phones, an unknown reason, and Google wasn't set out to fix it with ease. In Android versions 4.4.3 and 4.4.4 KitKat release, the GPS, and some other radio firmware are partially broken, and cannot work properly. If you have issues with your GPS, check your Android version, and if it is 4.4.3 or 4.4.4 follow below for a fix.

To fix, you need to install the older radios from 4.4.2 onto the phone, overwriting the ones from 4.4.3/4.4.4. This can be done through the XDA Developer forums, which will often have good walkthroughs, but it will require you to enable USB debugging on the phone, installing the correct drivers, and using ADB (a command line program for flashing and controlling Android devices) to make it work.

I fixed my issue by upgrading the phone to the Android L Developer Preview, which is unstable software, but seems to be doing me fine so far. I am experienced enough to be able to fix any issues that may arise, and it's not recommended for an everyday essential phone. I now can find ~20 satellites and fix a position from around 6-14 of them when in the car, and everything works perfectly.

~Zion

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