Viofo A119S GPS Issues

jrock

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Bought the Viofo A119s with GPS mount back in June. Camera's working fine with latest firmware but the GPS was hit & miss, with more missing than hitting. I contacted the vendor (EnjoyGadgets) and they immediately sent me a replacement GPS mount. I've been testing it a bit today and it's far more reliable than the original mount. So far, it seems to be working. What I've learned though, is that on average the GPS takes just over 4 minutes to establish contact and indicate GPS signal each time it's turned on. Seems slow compared to the Garmin GPS units I have. They lock onto GPS signal is under a minute. Will be doing more testing to ensure this GPS works reliably.

Have to be thankful to the vendor for being so cooperative and quick to take care of the problem.

Has anyone else had issues with Viofo GPS failures?
 

ViofoPolska

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so it takes about 4 minutes for the camera to save GPS coordinates?
 
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jrock

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so it takes about 4 minutes for the camera to save GPS coordinates?
I originally stated that it takes around 4.5 minutes to acquire satellite signal. However, after more testing, the last time out driving it took over 14 minutes to acquire satellite signal. Once contact is established, it seems to work fairly consistently.

Fourteen minutes seems excessive. I've also noticed that when playing back videos with Dashcam Viewer, the routes indicated are sometimes well off the actual roads traveled. Can't help but wonder how effective the GPS is in this mount? Will have to do more testing.
 
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5Cowbells

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I originally stated that it takes around 4.5 minutes to acquire satellite signal. However, after more testing, the last time out driving it took over 14 minutes to acquire satellite signal. Once contact is established, it seems to work fairly consistently.

Fourteen minutes seems excessive. I've also noticed that when playing back videos with Dashcam Viewer, the routes indicated are sometimes well off the actual roads traveled. Can't help but wonder how effective the GPS is in this mount? Will have to do more testing.
Not a GPS expert but that does seem excessive. I looked at 4 past videos with front (A119) and rear (A119S) cameras, both with GPS mounts. Here are the elapsed times I got before GPS data starts to be displayed on the video (says nothing for accuracy):
  • Front camera (A119) at start of a new day: 44 seconds to 94 seconds, average 76.5 seconds.
  • Rear camera (A119S) at start of a new day: 65 seconds to 97 seconds, average 86.25 seconds.
  • Front and Rear re-acquisition time same trip after a short stop under two hours with no power to camera: zero time, i.e., at camera boot-up.
  • A119 and A119S cameras are 2 and 1.5 years old respectively.
GPS receivers use data from past acquisitions to speed up re-acquisitions. Any material in the line-of-site between your receiver and the satellites may attenuate the GPS signals and delay or prevent acquisition.

If not yet glued to the windshield, you might try using the camera outside the car to see if it behaves differently.
 
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jrock

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Not a GPS expert but that does seem excessive. I looked at 4 past videos with front (A119) and rear (A119S) cameras, both with GPS mounts. Here are the elapsed times I got before GPS data starts to be displayed on the video (says nothing for accuracy):
  • Front camera (A119) at start of a new day: 44 seconds to 94 seconds, average 76.5 seconds.
  • Rear camera (A119S) at start of a new day: 65 seconds to 97 seconds, average 86.25 seconds.
  • Front and Rear re-acquisition time same trip after a short stop under two hours with no power to camera: zero time, i.e., at camera boot-up.
  • A119 and A119S cameras are 2 and 1.5 years old respectively.
GPS receivers use data from past acquisitions to speed up re-acquisitions. Any material in the line-of-site between your receiver and the satellites may attenuate the GPS signals and delay or prevent acquisition.

If not yet glued to the windshield, you might try using the camera outside the car to see if it behaves differently.
Thanks for the info.

Can't help but wonder if the location here in central Canada may not get as strong signals from the satellites? Or, it could simply be the GPS bases aren't as well made, or, I've gotten two under-performing bases?

As you suggested I took the unit outside and tried to acquire satellite signal. Waited eight minutes at the front of the building with no satellite reception. Went to the back of the building and after nine minutes of waiting, I gave up. Seems that something isn't right with the GPS bases I have. Could it be two bum bases?

Would be interesting to hear from others who have these units.
 

5Cowbells

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You might also check and clean the contacts between the GPS mount and camera. Be sure the pins are making good contact.
 
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jrock

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You might also check and clean the contacts between the GPS mount and camera. Be sure the pins are making good contact.
Everything is clean as can be and the base is tightly secured to the camera.

Tried again to acquire satellite signal and succeeded to do so. Took 4 min 12 seconds and stayed locked in for 17 minutes until I shut the camera off. Satellite acquisition is iffy but once connected it seems to keep the signal. Which is much better than the first base that seldom acquired GPS signal and would drop it regularly if, on the rare occasion, it did pick up the satellites.

I've only had this base for a few days. Will have to see what longer term performance will reveal.

Update: Contacted the vendor, they provided new firmware v2.61 which I just updated, went back to factory settings and will try the GPS with new firmware. Going for a bit of a trip for a few days. Will provide results on my return.

One thing I will say is that the vendor/Viofo are pretty good to work with. Seems they actually care about customers problems.
 
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jrock

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Just spent a total of 36 minutes attempting to acquire satellite signal in the same location where it locked on yesterday in 4 minutes. No connection. I tried turning it off and back on twice after approx. 8 minutes then left it on for a solid 20 minutes. These GPS units have to be defective. Looks like I'll contacting the vendor again.
 

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Thanks for the info.

Can't help but wonder if the location here in central Canada may not get as strong signals from the satellites? Or, it could simply be the GPS bases aren't as well made, or, I've gotten two under-performing bases?

As you suggested I took the unit outside and tried to acquire satellite signal. Waited eight minutes at the front of the building with no satellite reception. Went to the back of the building and after nine minutes of waiting, I gave up. Seems that something isn't right with the GPS bases I have. Could it be two bum bases?

Would be interesting to hear from others who have these units.
Could be an issue with the GPS/power ribbon cable that runs from the connections on the back of the unit to the main board. Might not be seated correctly or possibly got pinched during assembly (saw it on one unit) as it runs right up against one of the screw holes.
 

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Could be an issue with the GPS/power ribbon cable that runs from the connections on the back of the unit to the main board. Might not be seated correctly or possibly got pinched during assembly (saw it on one unit) as it runs right up against one of the screw holes.
If so, then this would be a camera issue rather than a GPS mount issue, and would explain why two different new GPS mounts failed to work properly with your camera. If you decide to open the camera case, be sure to get permission from your seller so you don't void your warranty. If the problem persists and no new ideas surface, the next return I'd make would be the whole camera including the GPS mount.
 
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jrock

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If so, then this would be a camera issue rather than a GPS mount issue, and would explain why two different new GPS mounts failed to work properly with your camera. If you decide to open the camera case, be sure to get permission from your seller so you don't void your warranty. If the problem persists and no new ideas surface, the next return I'd make would be the whole camera including the GPS mount.
Whatever the cause, it's still a problem. Sent a message to the vendor, they suggested a firmware update to v 2.61. Successfully did the firmware update and took a 60 mile drive. GPS contact was made after approx. 10 min. and remained consistently connected for the 60 miles. On the way back, GPS signal was non-existent for 55 miles of the 60 mile return trip coming on only for the last five to ten minutes of the trip.

I'm having difficulty with the idea that it could be a wiring connection issue. If it were, one would think that vibration from running on lumpy roads would cause much more "on & off" activity. The way it worked on this trip was steady GPS contact for the trip out and mostly no contact on the way back.

Nothing worse than trying to diagnose an intermittent problem. Might have no choice but to return the camera & gps base to see if a new one works properly.
 

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Whatever the cause, it's still a problem. Sent a message to the vendor, they suggested a firmware update to v 2.61. Successfully did the firmware update and took a 60 mile drive. GPS contact was made after approx. 10 min. and remained consistently connected for the 60 miles. On the way back, GPS signal was non-existent for 55 miles of the 60 mile return trip coming on only for the last five to ten minutes of the trip.

I'm having difficulty with the idea that it could be a wiring connection issue. If it were, one would think that vibration from running on lumpy roads would cause much more "on & off" activity. The way it worked on this trip was steady GPS contact for the trip out and mostly no contact on the way back.

Nothing worse than trying to diagnose an intermittent problem. Might have no choice but to return the camera & gps base to see if a new one works properly.
Had a customer with pretty much this exact issue. It was the GPS ribbon cable that got pinched around the screw hole. Just ask for a swap because even if it is the ribbon cable, you’ll need a new camera.
 
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jrock

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Had a customer with pretty much this exact issue. It was the GPS ribbon cable that got pinched around the screw hole. Just ask for a swap because even if it is the ribbon cable, you’ll need a new camera.
Thanks for the input. Will be contacting the vendor.
 
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Received the new replacement Viofo A119s yesterday. Set up the new firmware, reset the camera to factory settings, then set it up the way I like it. Tested the GPS and it took only 1 min. 9 sec. to aquire GPS signal on the first try. Great!

Went out to run errands etc. for about an hour today and brought the camera. Satellite acquisition was around the same, just over a minute. Signal continuity was outstanding compared to the old unit. This dashcam/GPS combo is working perfectly. Once acquired, never lost GPS signal for the entire time I was out.

Now to work on the contrast/EV settings. Using the polarizing lens, on clear days it's great. On overcast days like today, video is pretty dark. I've set the EV to 2/3 but it seems it needs to be set much higher on dull days with the polarizer. Anyone else have settings recommendations for all round EV settings with the polarizing lens?

have to give a big thank you to everyone who pointed me in the right direction to return the defective unit.

If this camera continues to operate as well as it is right now, I have to say it's a great bang for the buck!
 

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Anyone else have settings recommendations for all round EV settings with the polarizing lens?

have to give a big thank you to everyone who pointed me in the right direction to return the defective unit.
If this camera continues to operate as well as it is right now, I have to say it's a great bang for the buck!
Great, happy to hear a success story. Thanks for the feedback.

I usually set my A119 EV to +1/3 to compensate for the light loss due to the CPL, just based on what others have recommended. Don't use a CPL on rear facing A119S because of a tinted window.

Viofo is still supporting the A119 and A119S with firmware changes, which I applaud, even though they have a new model, the A129. The A129 uses the A119S sensor but adds new features not possible in the A119S because of hardware changes. But I understood Viofo to recently say that a firmware improvement planned for the A129 regarding a new two wire Parking Mode solution option may be applied to the A119 and A119S as well.
 
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Great, happy to hear a success story. Thanks for the feedback.

I usually set my A119 EV to +1/3 to compensate for the light loss due to the CPL, just based on what others have recommended. Don't use a CPL on rear facing A119S because of a tinted window.

Viofo is still supporting the A119 and A119S with firmware changes, which I applaud, even though they have a new model, the A129. The A129 uses the A119S sensor but adds new features not possible in the A119S because of hardware changes. But I understood Viofo to recently say that a firmware improvement planned for the A129 regarding a new two wire Parking Mode solution option may be applied to the A119 and A119S as well.
Thanks for the comments.

After a bit of experimenting, I've come to the conclusion that the reason for the dark imaging is the angle of the camera. I have the camera on the dash using a magnetic mount that I made. I use the camera in two vehicles hence the non-permanent mount. Where it's situated I have to angle the lens upward to avoid taking in too much of the hoods of the vehicles. When I set it that way, it compensates for the extra light gathered from the sky thus darkening other parts of the image. If I angle it down and put a bit more hood into it, everything balances out. I can live with that. Otherwise, the camera imagery is excellent.
 

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