Verizon Q9c GPS Hack

Discussion in 'Moto Q Hacks' started by jmorisey, May 15, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. larsdennert

    larsdennert Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think vznav is available on a daily use fee of $2.99 if you only need navigation very rarely, that might put you ahead. Say you need it once a month, that's two years of use and you don't have to carry a gps.

    I think the problem with the Moto Q is that it doesn't have a gps chip and will always be dependant on Verizon's towers. You can't force VZW to tranmit location data to you no matter what you do to the phone, I think. The XV6900 vzw (HTC) phone that was hacked has a gps chip and vzw just obfuscated it. Maybe if you provision for VZnav there's a chance.

    BTW I think installing vznav breaks the BT and external gps units don't work anymore. At least that's what happened to me and I had to master reset.
  2. bheidemann

    bheidemann New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0

    I think they've determined that there is a gps chip in the Q9m/c. Its just a matter of accessing it without the use of VZNav.
  3. Tyler Lillie

    Tyler Lillie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let me try to summarize my theory on how the gps "lock" works based on several scattered postings:

    1. The Moto Q includes receiver hardware. I say that because activating VZNavigator requires only installation of software and phone activation by Verizon (no new hardware).

    2. The drivers are all available through Verizon's demonstration software. There was some speculation in this thread that Verizon somehow controls activation of the drivers externally, but in my 24 years of using computers, I haven't encountered any software that enabled or disabled drivers over the internet. If they're in your computer and you have a program that recognizes them, they work. But then, I'm not a programmer...

    3. Looking at the VZNavigator demo software demo install suggests that in order to get the hardware to retrieve the GPS signal, Verizon has set up an executable file (normally a "cab" file for the Moto Q but Verizon uses an "exe" file) to "handshake" with Verizon's server using "public/private key" protocols (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public-key_cryptography). The handshake tells Verizon (or Networks In Motion, Inc - see http://www.networksinmotion.com/) that you are a legitimate, paying customer before they let VZNavigator receive and operate on a GPS signal (this happens each time the GPS ties to acquire a signal). You become a legitimate customer by calling and adding your Moto Q ID to their database. If you discontinue service, they remove you from the database and you can no longer handshake to get the GPS signal (even though you still have their program and drivers installed). If you want to re-install (assuming you didn't remove their demo software), call Verizon and pay them $10/month to get them to put you back in their database (or daily if you only want to pay $2.99). My sense is that this is pretty secure and you cannot hack this arrangement by trying to emulate the handshake.

    I see the challenge as developing an executable program that 1) can tell the Moto Q to use the Verizon gps drivers that we have and 2) tell the internal GPS to receive satellite signals using the drivers. I think that Google Maps (or any other GPS software) has the ability to take those signals and make sense out of them. (That explains why some users have reported in this thread that other GPS software works if you have VZNavigator installed and open at the same time.)

    Just my opinion....

    We may need to get the interest of a programmer that might not have a Moto Q but does have the skills to program for a smart phone in Windows Mobile 6 (none appear to be active in this thread). "captron7779" joined the thread in August (see p. 21) and may have the skills, but he seems to have un-subscribed. We also have heard about the XDA-Developers forum. Getting consensus on the "road map" for the hack might help to move this forward.
  4. larsdennert

    larsdennert Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    True but again my contention is that the Q9c might only have an aGPS that relies on carrier processing to get a location like previous Qs. Phones like the HTCs and Q9h have a proper nema gps chip. Without that, we sunk.
  5. larsdennert

    larsdennert Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,849
    Likes Received:
    0
  6. Tyler Lillie

    Tyler Lillie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you suggesting that the Moto Q can only access GPS signals through the "Satellite->GPS Location Server->Internet->GMS/Cell network->GPS/Online phone" path in the figure below (which is protected by public/private key security) because the lack of NMEA compliance in the Moto Q chip constrains access directly to satellite signals? If so, seems we're dead in the water without 1) a NMEA-compliant replacement chip; 2) flashing the internal chip (if that's even possible); or 3) hacking the public/private key (which is probably not possible).

    Attached Files:

  7. PacoJr67

    PacoJr67 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    13,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    the Q9c does have an aGPS chip, however it doesn't rely strictly on the network. the assist is used to fill in fragmentary data from the sattelites. as well as to download the ephemeris data (which satellites are visible at the time) if you use a program like Garmin Mobile XT or copilot live on a sprint Q9c you can get a location fix without network coverage, it just takes longer. However there is a possibility that the sprint variant may be using a different GPS chip than the other variants.
  8. Vazguard

    Vazguard Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,502
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm going to say it has a true GPS chip out of real experience. I've used my 9c (Sprint) and gotten directions while in service range, but then left service range and WLS was still able to track my location. Of course, the only thing on the screen was the preloaded directions and route. Since there was no service at that time, WLS was not able to pull down maps/satellite picture data from the internet. But like I mentioned above, the phone still read my location along the route and brought me to my destination.

    There are also many posts out there answering this question. Here is one, for instance.

    You have the hardware.
  9. PacoJr67

    PacoJr67 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    13,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    aGPS is still an actual GPS receiver, it just works a bit more efficiently as I explained in my previous post
  10. Tyler Lillie

    Tyler Lillie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looked around for Q9c GPS specs and came across the discussion in the Moto Q9c manual: "To provide location information for emergency calls, certain Motorola mobile devices incorporate Assisted Global Positioning System (AGPS) technology" which suggest that the Q9c has aGPS. Couldn't find any other specs.

    The Sprint Q may have aGPS much like the Verizon Q, but if the Sprint GPS Location Servers aren't using public/private key security, they will work without NMEA chips on-board (if my theories above are correct).
  11. PacoJr67

    PacoJr67 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    13,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    but since the Sprint Q9c can still get a fix off network wouldn't that point more to something in the phone itself rather than offboard?
  12. Vazguard

    Vazguard Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,502
    Likes Received:
    0
    It means that Sprint doesn't tie anything to the GPS chip, so it can be used even without service, just like any GPS nav.
  13. Tyler Lillie

    Tyler Lillie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. PacoJr67

    PacoJr67 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    13,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    what motorola put out around this time last year (just after the sprint Q9c was released) is that it has aGPS. From what they said the only Q with what most people call a full GPS is the Q9h. Unfortunatly I no longer have that email...
  15. Tyler Lillie

    Tyler Lillie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Went to Motorola's web site for the Q9c (http://www.motorola.com/consumers/v...3d89110VgnVCM1000008406b00aRCRD&vgnextfmt=alt). In a footnote on GPS in fine print it says "Network dependent feature, not available in all areas."

    Can't find any specification for NMEA compliance for Q9c anywhere.

    That suggests that it functions only through the GPS Location Server (see the diagram that I posted earlier today).
  16. Vazguard

    Vazguard Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,502
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I am understanding this correctly, if the Q9c (Sprint) uses the GPS Location Server, I would not have been able to use my GPS with NO SERVICE as I had, since there would be no connection to the server, only the GPS satellites.

    Again, I might not be understanding the concepts posted here.
  17. larsdennert

    larsdennert Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    Turn off the radio and see if you still get coordinates. If so then you have a proper sat gps. If not, then either you don't or the gps gets turned off with the radio too.

    That still won't help the vzw folks though. We just need to switch to sprint where the phones are better.
  18. Hyundaifixer

    Hyundaifixer New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well this is my 1st post on this forum. Just a couple weeks ago I got a Q9C. My 1st smartphone.

    I was hoping that I could use the GPS on it. but no.

    I believe that its from a 3rd party of sprint. Its from Cbeyond. They are tied into sprint, but not sure how.

    I was reading this thread to see if there was any way to get my GPS to work. A friend at work has a spring Q9C and the other day sent me his spring navigation. But with no active GPS it just says I have a weak signal.

    When I use google maps, clicking "my locations" - I get a yellow box saying "your handset doesn't seem to be compatible with My Location (beta) feature.

    I was on another forum trying to figure this out, but no luck as of yet.

    Hope you guys come up with something. If I can be of any help @ all...(not sure what help though)..I'm game.

    Good luck guys, looks like there has been some good progress..
  19. larsdennert

    larsdennert Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the encouraging words but honestly I don't think we are any closer than we were three years ago with the Q1. Actually, Navizon worked on the Q1 which provided cell tower triangulation to 1000ft without an external gps unit. VZW or Moto has obscured tower info so that applications like navizon can no longer use it.

    It is a blatant signal from vzw that they listened and then made things worse for us. Vote with your dollar I say. Imagine if you bought a laptop from Dell and had to pay 25 cents to them everytime you wanted to burn a cd on the burner. What if the wifi card only worked with their service. That's what vzw is doing with gps. That's what vzw does everytime you take a picture with one of their vcast phones and want the picture off the phone. It costs more than making a print; not that the pics are print worthy.
  20. vwmofo

    vwmofo New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep. This issue coupled with the fact that Verizon service in my area is horrendous are what have made me decide to get out after the holidays and some of my bills are paid down. I'm just gonna eat the ETF and chalk it up to another life lesson learned the hard way.

    GPS doesn't work, I never can get an EV signal long enough to browse with it, and my phone is constantly hunting for a signal resulting in approximately 6-8 hours of total battery life before I have to re-charge.

    I'm done.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page