Intermittant GPS failure - possible firmware issue

BobW

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Just bought a couple of mini 0805s. have found that both of them have an issue where sometimes you get no GPS data after power up. Definition: GPS symbol has red slash, and no position data written. NOT a poor coverage, metal windshield issue. GPS IS locked, and outputting data on the pins, so it appears the camera itself isn't interpreting the data.

Sometimes it will lock after a few minutes, sometimes not. If not, either turning off the camera and turning it back on, or unplugging from power and plugging back in after a few will resolve it.
Camera has fw20150821. Really! I don't have the tools downloaded, but I did back it up, looked in the files for text strings and it has "Version 0.1 Built @ Aug 21 2015 16:07:08" in the file.

I'm wondering if it could be a firmware issue causing the GPS problem. So, a couple of questions...
Where do I send the file for dissection by the smart guys, and what firmware should I try in one of these cameras to see if it fixes it?


For the morbidly curious..... What comes out at GPS power-up. I don't know what kind of GPS chipset is in the cube. From the looks of the power up message, and the NMEA strings, it's hardcoded 9600 baud. The GPS is powered on and outputting data whenever there's power applied to the connector whether the camera is on the mount or powered on or powered off.

$PHXMTXT,g_ChipVersion = 3005*15
$PHXMTXT,Version: HXGSW2_ROM_2.8.2R.021914_N9600_HX8211C*5B
$PHXMTXT,TOW: 175433*08
$PHXMTXT,WK: 1864*74
$PHXMTXT,POS: 6378137 0 0*30
$PHXMTXT,CLK: 96250*3F
$PHXMTXT,CHNL: 12*69
$GPGGA,004338.000,,,,,0,00,,,M,0.0,M,,0000*5A
$GPGSA,A,1,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*1E
$GPGSV,3,1,12,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*78
$GPGSV,3,2,12,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*7B
$GPGSV,3,3,12,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*7A
$GPGLL,,,,,004338.000,V,0*08
$GPRMC,004338.000,V,,,,,,,290915,,,0*39
$GPVTG,,T,,M,,N,,K,N*2C
$GPGGA,004339.000,,,,,0,00,,,M,0.0,M,,0000*5B
$GPGSA,A,1,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*1E
$GPGSV,3,1,12,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*78
$GPGSV,3,2,12,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*7B
$GPGSV,3,3,12,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*7A
$GPGLL,,,,,004339.000,V,0*09

Locked, in my house - my location after decimal points zeroed. GPS is sensitive enough and works.
$GPGGA,010136.000,3414.0000,N,07801.0000,W,1,04,2.5,-4.1,M,-33.6,M,,0000*4A
$GPGSA,A,3,18,21,14,24,,,,,,,,,6.5,2.5,6.0*39
$GPGSV,3,1,12,18,71,359,40,24,59,080,35,21,57,200,39,14,36,256,35*76
$GPGSV,3,2,12,22,61,334,25,32,59,336,,09,25,044,,19,16,236,*72
$GPGSV,3,3,12,05,10,116,,27,09,285,,12,05,119,,16,02,128,*7A
$GPGLL,3414.0000,N,07801.0000,W,010136.000,A,0*3E
$GPRMC,010136.000,A,3414.0000,N,07801.0000,W,0.00,,290915,,,0*11
$GPVTG,,T,,M,0.00,N,0.0,K,0*62
 
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BobW

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Update... I've loaded the 20141204 firmware in one of them. So far, it's started twice without issue. Taking the working camera off the mount and putting the one running the 20150821 FW on the mount resulted in no GPS according to the camera. Given that I knew the GPS was tracking at that point, and putting the 20141204 camera back on the mount and having it show good GPS almost instantly points to more possibility that there is a problem in that 20150821 FW. Time will tell.
 
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BobW

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Make sure 20150821-firmware supports the 0805-GPS model.
The 20150821 FW is what was in the cameras when I received them. I would hope that they would come with appropriate FW. I'm thinking that maybe there's a bug in it. Time will tell when others either do or do not have issues with that FW, or if the one I downgraded behaves.
 

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The 20150821 FW is what was in the cameras when I received them. I would hope that they would come with appropriate FW. I'm thinking that maybe there's a bug in it. Time will tell when others either do or do not have issues with that FW, or if the one I downgraded behaves.
Hi Bob - I seem to have a similar issue to yours except I don't think my unit is "locking up" rather it just loses the GPS signal for a while then will resume again. I am running the same firmware that you had that came with the unit (2015). The GPS will just stop for a while and then start again after a time. In my case though it seems to be affected by the directional heading I am taking. It seems to start going again when I change direction significantly but I don't understand why as I always thought there would be several satellites at any one time in different positions in the sky to overcome those sorts of problems. It shouldn't be heat related as it is quite cool where I am (Hobart Tasmania) and the camera unit itself works fine. I am not using the 805 in a built up city area so it shouldn't be an issue with blocked GPS signals from buildings etc. My vehicle is a Honda Civic - I don't know if that model has a metal windshield issue - but if it does you would assume the GPS wouldn't work at all not just intermittently. Anyway will keep checking this forum to see if anyone else has the issue.
 
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BobW

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Hi Bob - I seem to have a similar issue to yours except I don't think my unit is "locking up"
Mine isn't locking up. I think that's someone else. I did say that the GPS is locked. By that I mean that the GPS module is tracking sats, and outputting data, but the camera isn't decoding and using the data. It does see the data, as that's what puts the satellite icon on the screen. but it has a red slash, and doesn't write GPS files or put the position in the video when it's in this state. Sometimes it recovers on it's own, sometimes you can drive for an hour or more, and it never does anything with the data. Sometimes going into program mode, and changing any option, and exiting back out will make it sync.
So... Additional info... I've tried earlier firmware. The late 2014 version, and the mid 2015 version. No fix. I have two of these in different cars and they both do it. Not sure what else to try.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Mine isn't locking up. I think that's someone else. I did say that the GPS is locked. By that I mean that the GPS module is tracking sats, and outputting data, but the camera isn't decoding and using the data. It does see the data, as that's what puts the satellite icon on the screen. but it has a red slash, and doesn't write GPS files or put the position in the video when it's in this state. Sometimes it recovers on it's own, sometimes you can drive for an hour or more, and it never does anything with the data. Sometimes going into program mode, and changing any option, and exiting back out will make it sync.
So... Additional info... I've tried earlier firmware. The late 2014 version, and the mid 2015 version. No fix. I have two of these in different cars and they both do it. Not sure what else to try.
your problems are indicative of poor signal, if your vehicle has an athermic windscreen it will behave like this
 
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BobW

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your problems are indicative of poor signal, if your vehicle has an athermic windscreen it will behave like this
I'd go with that, except that I've sniffed the serial data from the GPS as presented to the camera. It clearly shows good lock, but that the camera isn't interpreting it. Two different camera / GPS pairs in two different cars. Cars in question are a Hyundai Sonata, and Dodge Charger, neither of which has anything in the glass which attenuates the GPS. Also, have taken them both out of cars, and powered them from a different power supply in an area where GPS was shown to be good. That's where the capture above was taken showing 12 sats visible, and at least 5 tracking with decent S/N. Once the camera gets synced with the data from the GPS, it's rock solid. You know within a minute if it's going to take. Recovery is via power off of the camera, or messing with the buttons as mentioned above, neither of which causes the GPS itself to be powered off or reset. GPS is powered and running as long as 5 volts id applied to connector.

I suspect that there's a version of these things that have an issue with the GPS function.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
would need to see the GPS text file the camera produces to comment further about where to look
 
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BobW

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would need to see the GPS text file the camera produces to comment further about where to look
As requested. Files attached.
776 is good. GPS synced after a short time 19 Oct 17:30 EDT
805 is good. GPS Synced after a short time 20 Oct 19:51 EDT
795 is never synced. Startup file 20 Oct 17:07 EDT
794 is never synced. and is the the shutdown file prior to 795 at 08:33 EDT on 20 Oct. Camera / GPS had been on for about a 1/2 hour at this point.

I've noticed that the timestamps in the files start around the time of the prior shutdown until the GPS syncs. I also notice that right around the time that the GPS syncs, the time jumps, and theres sometimes multiple lines with the same timestamp - kind of a catch-up - just before the data becomes valid.

As I said before. Not a signal level issue due to trees, weather, windshield, or whatever. Once the camera locks to the GPS data, it's good.
 

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BobW

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794 and 795 you have no signal
Hi Jokiin,

Thanks for looking.
794 and 795 the GPS was locked and sending valid position data to the camera. The camera is not interpreting what it is receiving.
Maybe there's a new variety of "clone" camera that has a bad design. It's happened with the 801 and 803. Maybe 805's turn. I have lots of experience with GPS, and RF. This is the second set of them from the same seller on Amazon doing the same thing. I have an 801 that when put in the same GPS mount, has absolutely no problem. Also, if I put the 805 in the 801 GPS mount, it does the same thing where it sometimes doesn't read the GPS data. Problem stays with both 805's.
Bought the 805 because of better night and dead battery in 801.


This is an example of what the camera is receiving from the GPS module during a time when it claims no signal:
GPGSA POS 2 = 3 = 3D fix
GPGSA POS 3-14 = 5 satellites used for solution
GPGSA POS 15 = PDOP = 6.5. Reasonable considering it was in a house at the time. But it is tracking, and outputting valid data.
GPRMC POS 2 = A = Tracking OK. Navigation receiver warning A = OK, V = warning


$GPGGA,010136.000,3414.0000,N,07801.0000,W,1,04,2.5,-4.1,M,-33.6,M,,0000*4A
$GPGSA,A,3,18,21,14,24,,,,,,,,,6.5,2.5,6.0*39
$GPGSV,3,1,12,18,71,359,40,24,59,080,35,21,57,200,39,14,36,256,35*76
$GPGSV,3,2,12,22,61,334,25,32,59,336,,09,25,044,,19,16,236,*72
$GPGSV,3,3,12,05,10,116,,27,09,285,,12,05,119,,16,02,128,*7A
$GPGLL,3414.0000,N,07801.0000,W,010136.000,A,0*3E
$GPRMC,010136.000,A,3414.0000,N,07801.0000,W,0.00,,290915,,,0*11
$GPVTG,,T,,M,0.00,N,0.0,K,0*62
 

jokiin

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Hi Jokiin,
794 and 795 the GPS was locked and sending valid position data to the camera. The camera is not interpreting what it is receiving.
your log files show no signal

. Also, if I put the 805 in the 801 GPS mount, it does the same thing where it sometimes doesn't read the GPS data. Problem stays with both 805's.
Bought the 805 because of better night and dead battery in 801.
could be an indicator that the 0805's are electrically noisy (not the first complaint of this) and knocking out the signal, keep in mind when testing that this can change depending on how they are powered at the time (USB or battery) and whether recording or not, generally find running on battery and not recording it can pick up signal quicker, hot or warm starts are obviously easier than cold starts as well

what are you using to sniff data from the GPS and how have you got that setup?
 

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Hi Bob - I seem to have a similar issue to yours except I don't think my unit is "locking up" rather it just loses the GPS signal for a while then will resume again. I am running the same firmware that you had that came with the unit (2015). The GPS will just stop for a while and then start again after a time. In my case though it seems to be affected by the directional heading I am taking. It seems to start going again when I change direction significantly but I don't understand why as I always thought there would be several satellites at any one time in different positions in the sky to overcome those sorts of problems. It shouldn't be heat related as it is quite cool where I am (Hobart Tasmania) and the camera unit itself works fine. I am not using the 805 in a built up city area so it shouldn't be an issue with blocked GPS signals from buildings etc. My vehicle is a Honda Civic - I don't know if that model has a metal windshield issue - but if it does you would assume the GPS wouldn't work at all not just intermittently. Anyway will keep checking this forum to see if anyone else has the issue.
I purchased my 0805 a few weeks ago and am having the same issue Adam describes. Mine is loaded with FW 20150615.

Watching some of the video, I've noticed that the GPS stops/slows updating when driving at lower speeds, but that just may be a coincident. What caught my eye was having a MPH reading when I was sitting at a stop light (instead of zero). But, I've also had a couple a few instances of the GPS not reporting anything for multiple minutes. Other times, the GPS updates every second like it is suppose to.

Before I mounted it to my windshield I had it sitting on my dash just for testing. I had a hard time getting a GPS signal (green GPS indicator) with it sitting on its side which made me think something was wrong. Once I got it mounted I was able to receive a GPS signal. Makes me think the GPS is pretty sensitive to its position and surroundings. I do drive in heavily populated areas with trees/buildings, so I guess I'll just chalk it up to that. My phone doesn't have any issues with a GPS signal and I use it daily in my car for navigation, but my phone probably has a better antenna.

Pretty cool little camera though!
 

jokiin

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your symptoms point to poor signal, that could be a local issue, athermic windscreen, other electronics effecting the signal etc, or it could be hardware, GPS itself out of spec, antenna issue etc

your phone will always work better even in poor signal conditions as they use A-GPS which uses cell tower information to triangulate and get quite close location info when there is no or poor signal
 

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I had the same issue, my 0805 gps was intermittent, but worked fine with my 0801 gps base, but my hardwire kit is micro USB for the 0806, the 0801 base was mini USB.
I opened up both bases, the 0806 gps PCB was covered in solder flux, very messy and had some bad soldering as well as damage to the ceramic antenna.

Comparing both PCB's they seemed identical and the 0801 PCB was in much better condition so I swapped the main pcb's over by de-soldering them from the power pcb and re-soldering the new PCB in place so I now have a working 0806 gps base with a micro USB power connector to fit my hardwire kit :)

Looks like the 0805 GPS mounts are poorer build quality than the 0801 ones.
 

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Kirill1984

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installed inner sd card causes poor gps signal in my case
 
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