Q9h GPS not "true" GPS !!!!

Discussion in 'Moto Q 9h' started by mexiken, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. mexiken

    mexiken New Member

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    Q9h GPS not "true" GPS !!!!

    I was a bit shocked myself to find this out. But first, a little background info:

    There is a "moto expert" who shall remain nameless because I'm sure people are very turned off by his sometimes brash style of writing who has gone around posting information that the Q9h does not have integrated GPS. At first it refuted this idea too, but I can now tell you with 100% certainty that the Motorola Q9h "GPS" cannot function without radio signal.

    The phone will NOT update your GPS position without radio/cell phone signal. How do I know ???? Simple. Fire up Google Maps, WLS, and GPS Test (which I read on another thread that it supposedly reads the NSEA string), then TURN the radio off. GPS Test freezes at whatever specs it was at when you turned the radio off, Google Maps will not update and follow you around, and neither will WLS. If you quit and restart these programs, Google Maps will search for satellites forever, WLS will grey out, and GPS Test will stay at "Looking for GPS unit" This PROVES that the Q9h sadly does not have integrated GPS in the sense that it works as a standalone product, like a traditional GPS product.

    However, I do believe that it does have some kind of a location based system, because as SOON as you turn the radio back on, it fires up and will start working again. And I believe for those times when you have low signal or hit a dead spot, the receiver it does have is capable of temporarily keeping track of you based upon speed, heading and so forth.

    But once again, the "GPS" receiver CANNOT function without radio service. So that means it CANNOT interpret the satellite signals directly, it MUST use the towers equipment to track it. Or else, it would lock on signals even with the radio off or no SIM card inserted. In my opinion, this is NOT true GPS. It is indeed aGPS, as many others have stated.

    I hate to agree with the guy, but he's right. Active members of this website have posted in conradiction to him and I wanted to believe them over this guy, as his arrogance is quite nauseating. But you can't refute what you see. Try it for yourself Q9h users. I know, it disappointed me too =(
  2. n99hockey

    n99hockey Moderator Staff Member

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    im not sure what you are trying to accomplish here?
  3. mexiken

    mexiken New Member

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    Forgive me if I seem to be bashing my Q9h, I LOVE it. I recently stopped working for AT&T and I knew about this phone LONG before it was out (it was delayed about 10 times after all), it is the BEST smartphone I have ever used, and I've used virtually EVERY smartphone and PDA that AT&T has released in the past 2 years.

    I don't like being lied to, I doubt you do either. AT&T claims it has an integrated GPS, which it does not. Many of us have had trouble with our GPS function in our Q9h. In another thread, I blamed the GPS unit on the Q9h itself for being lackluster performance-wise. But there are MANY people with different opinions on the matter. Some say integrated GPS means its independent of cell information, like the mobile ones for automobiles, or the handheld ones hikers use. Thats the most common interpretation of "integrated GPS". This is NOT what is inside the Q9h. If it were, you would be able to acquire signals without cell radio signal, which you cannot do. I have tried it myself. I have the phone, its sitting right next to me as I type.

    I wanted to clear up that fact. Many people on other forums have literally gotten into poop-flinging matches over whether or not it does. I just wanted to give an honest, impartial answer.

    If you are taking my statement that active members of this board were wrong to heart, I am NOT trying to discredit them. I shook my head just as much as they must have when reading this "moto xperts" comments, and aplaud them for having strength in their convictions and commenting back. However, in this case, they were wrong. I know, because the same evidence they used was the same evidence I would have used, but now I know, its just simply not true.

    And yes the TeleNav website will tell you that its a "GPS mapping program" and it does NOT require an external receiver for a Q9h, but that doesn't mean its because the Q9h has an internal one. And yes there is marketing material around that states that the Q9h has "integrated GPS", leading you to believe it can directly interpret satellite signals, but it simply cannot.

    Now, here is where I will speculate: The reason the phone acts and seems to work EXACTLY like a GPS receiver to most people is the API for WM devices. It seems to create the driver that most programs will accept as an "integrated GPS" when in fact it is not. I don't claim to know how the API works or why "My Location" for Google Maps wont work, but this is my best guess. Google searches for "Q9h gps api" was what originally led me to these arguments all over the web, and to do the tests of my own.

    I feel its my obligation and moral duty to report my findings, even though I have to agree with someone I personally have a slight disdain for.
  4. mike250rs

    mike250rs New Member

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    any GPS needs a signal/outside data to operate. Take your Garmen,TomTom or whatever and go somplace where you have no signal and see if that "you ae here" dot ever moves.

    the built in GPS FEATURE is dependant upon cell signal, how else will it get the required data.

    I may be thinking to hard, 'cause I don't see the point
  5. mexiken

    mexiken New Member

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    What I'm saying is what you're saying. I'm not refuting that GPS requires satellite signal, that is obvious.

    What I'm saying is that most of us hear "integrated GPS" and that means (at least to me) that the GPS signal works independent of cell phone signal. Tom Tom's and Garmin's DO NOT have cell phone radios on them, they have embedded GPS receivers that interpret signals DIRECTLY from the GPS satellites. That is what I call "integrated GPS"

    The Q9h, as you and I both agree, DEPEND on cell signal for GPS tracking. You CANNOT have the latter without the former.

    Let me put it to you like this, and I don't mean to sound condescending:

    Lets say I was a hiker. I have a Garmin eTrex H. Now, this device picks up GPS signals with NO cell tower assistance, as it does not have a cell radio moodule. But lets say I also own the Q9h, which has "integrated GPS", which means its own standalone chip, just like my eTrex. That means that I should be able to hike up mountains where there is no cell phone signal, and I will still acquire GPS signal. So I take the Q9h with me based upon this assumption. Well, suffice to say, I will be in for a rude awakening when I come to realize that the Q9h is just as lost as I am. I will then think, "hmm, the 'integrated GPS' that is in this phone is NOT like the one in my eTrex" One is a traditional, integrated GPS chip that DIRECTLY reads satellites, and the other is one that will emulate it in every way, except that it DEPENDS on cell phone towers to accomplish it.

    Make sense ???? My point is that MANY MANY people have contended that the device is integrated GPS in that it DOESN'T rely on cell radio signal, and that simply isn't true.
  6. mike250rs

    mike250rs New Member

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    then that would be a marketing issue. It should be list as signal dependant and not advertised like the stand alone units.

    a good quick suppliment sure, out hicking in the middle of BFE, I would take the real thing also
  7. Tin Star

    Tin Star New Member

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    Wrong........what it proves is the gps chipset is powered by the radio circuit.
  8. mexiken

    mexiken New Member

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    I just enabled the LCAService regedit and noticed that when the radio turns off after the GPS chip is idle, the icon disappears. When you turn it on, it returns to idle mode. Also, I just took the SIM out, restarted the phone, and left the cell radio on. I walked outside and indeed after a minute or so it acquired signal. So I believe you to be correct. My apologies.

    Either way, how "integrated" can the GPS device really be if it relies on the radio power to function ???? If I ever did take it hiking, I would certainly turn off the radio mode to conserve battery since not having signal and constantly looking for it eats up battery like crazy. I remember I had this problem my first few years in college when the Engineering building where most of my classes were had terrible reception, so I'd just turn the phone off (this was before phones had "Airplane mode") because if I didn't, I'd lose 30-50% of the battery life because it was looking and trying to keep signal for the 2 hours I was in class.

    I guess I should correct my earlier statement. You CAN'T get a GPS location without radio POWER, not signal. Thats why it still works even if you don't have signal. While thats great, its a slight limitation on the functionality of it.

    On a side note, I also noticed that it took much longer to acquire signal on its own. The towers probably relay coordinates to the chip to help it lock on faster, thus the "a" part.

    Again, sorry about what I posted. I should have actually tried playing around with it more. At the time, I just didn't think about it. Thats why I'm glad I'm part of forums. People keep you on your toes, and point out that which may not be so obvious to you as to them.

    But I digress. I'm sorry for my earlier posts. I'm enough of a man to know when to fess up and admit I was flat out wrong, which I was. I am sorry.

    Out of curiosity TinStar, how did you know that ????
  9. Doofer

    Doofer New Member

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    gps

    Hi, So what is the answer,do we get a blue tooth receiver?
  10. n99hockey

    n99hockey Moderator Staff Member

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    no you do not need one if you have the 9h
  11. Tin Star

    Tin Star New Member

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    The FAA through the FCC approval process requires that any phone put into "airplane mode" switch off all receive and transmit capability.

    Your pulling the SIM card was a good first step in disproving the theory. Better yet will be to take it into the mountains or out to sea where no cell phone service exists.

    Also the "assisted" portion of the gps takes place only for "911 call" purposes as mandated by the FCC. This takes place not in your phone but in ATT's system.
  12. mexiken

    mexiken New Member

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    Yes, the Q9h should work with Google Maps, WLS, and most GPS programs out of the box. It has an internal GPS chip.

    Sorry for the confusion =(
  13. dwboston

    dwboston New Member

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    You should have read the other Moto expert's posts over there at the Moto support forums and not just the arrogant one's posts. The helpful one confirms from talking to a Moto engineer that the Q9h does have a true GPS chip. The Q9c (and maybe the Q9m I forget) have aGPS, which gets satellite position data from the cell towers, and therefore "lock on" faster than the Q9h. I posted over there with my experience of getting a GPS lock and Google Maps and WLS GPS fixes with no SIM in the phone and he ignored me. Rest assured that the Q9h has real GPS.
  14. mexiken

    mexiken New Member

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    I know that now. Thank you dwboston for help clearing that up =)
  15. DrQ

    DrQ New Member

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    Thanks for an informative thread, although (here it comes) it might be confusing for those not on multiple forums. I try to read most posts here and don't remember our "Moto Expert" chiming in on this forum about true GPS. I have followed the arguments on another forum. I may have missed the mention on EQ but still enjoyed getting the info that all posters in this thread offered.

    I have a Q9C on it's way and will have to try out using it without my BT GPS receiver that I now use and compare it to the results I get with the separate receiver. I thought it would be the the same as the the Q9H.
  16. nunzio

    nunzio New Member

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    The QC will also work

    I do not know if the same "GPS activation" method will work on the QC (I suspect they will) but I know that GPS will work on the QC. I have seen Verizon versions of this product BTW. The hardware is upgraded over the QM and should work as a CDMA version of the H.

    I would use the GPSID Settings programs found on the Modoca http://www.modaco.com/content/Smart...-utility-for-configuring-GPSID-on-Smartphone/ and GPSTest http://www.chartcross.co.uk/products/WM00002_details.asp to test it however. Both are free.

    Good luck:)
  17. Joneyee

    Joneyee New Member

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    Hi,

    I have an FCC Telephony Maintainer/Operators License which give me a wide berth in terms of radio signals and my rights to use them. I used to be a Satellite Equipment Specialist for the Air Force. With that said:

    Frequencies used by GPS include
    • L1 (1575.42 MHz): Mix of Navigation Message, coarse-acquisition (C/A) code and encrypted precision P(Y) code, plus the new L1C on future Block III satellites.
    • L2 (1227.60 MHz): P(Y) code, plus the new L2C code on the Block IIR-M and newer satellites.
    • L3 (1381.05 MHz): Used by the Nuclear Detonation (NUDET) Detection System Payload (NDS) to signal detection of nuclear detonations and other high-energy infrared events. Used to enforce nuclear test ban treaties.
    • L4 (1379.913 MHz): Being studied for additional ionospheric correction.
    • L5 (1176.45 MHz): Proposed for use as a civilian safety-of-life (SoL) signal (see GPS modernization). This frequency falls into an internationally protected range for aeronautical navigation, promising little or no interference under all circumstances. The first Block IIF satellite that would provide this signal is set to be launched in 2008.
    If the Q9h is not receiving one of the above signals directly then it does not have true integrated GPS. Thats the point of this post.

    If it relies on cell towers to receive GPS information, then remodulate and distribute to the Q9h, then the GPS feature of the Q9h is tower dependent. That's not how it is being marketed.

    So is it good to use to navigate traveling directions in a car? Yes

    Would i use it as my primary means for elk hunting in Montana.... No
  18. dwboston

    dwboston New Member

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    I think it's been established here and elsewhere that the Q9h does not rely on towers to receive GPS information. I and others have gotten GPS location fixes with no SIM card in the phone. A Moto engineer has confirmed that the Q9h has "real" GPS and not the aGPS that is in the Q9c and Q9m.
  19. asodestrom

    asodestrom New Member

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    I have done this on a few occasions, The GPS does get a signal where there is no coverage which by the way is pretty easy to find with ATT:embarassed:
  20. mexiken

    mexiken New Member

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    Where do you live asodestrom ????

    Here in LA, with the Q9h, I literally haven't had no bars since I got the phone....best reception ever on the phone. And honestly, in the LA market anyway, AT&T spends nearly twice as much on cell towers and equipment than the next closest company. My service has been GREAT the last 4 months. I've been with Cingular since 2002, and I couldn't be happier with reception right now.

    Sorry to hear that your signal isn't too great.

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