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Microsoft USB GPS takes longer to get a lock indoor than other GPS. Why?
MikeInPoulsbo
I am able to get a lock with the Microsoft GPS that came with Streets and Trips 2010 after about an hour, Then it is very flaky. I have the dongle at the end of the provided cable sitting on a window sill. My Garmin GPS right next to it locks right up and finds 8-10 satellites. Is this typical performance for this device or do I maybe have a defective one?
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Mike, and welcome to the forum. Make sure the Microsoft logo faces the sky, the antenna is behind the logo, and if placed upside down it will not perform well.

But generally speaking, I would not draw conclusions about the performance of a GPS receiver based on indoor testing. Test it in real life situations, in your car, and tell us how it works then.
MikeInPoulsbo
I repositioned and it does look as if the lock is more reliable. Does the dongle continue to track if Streets and Trips is closed, but the computer left on? Any idea what happens if a laptop is placed in hibernate?
tcassidy
The GPS will continue to receive satellite information and make it available to the computer whether a navigation program is present or not as long as the USB port is powered. It may shut down during Hibernate depending on whether the computer removes power from the USB port or not. Some computers allow you to adjust this setting.

Terry
Larry
In addition to Marvin and Terry's comments...

Mike is your Garmin GPS the one that comes with Mobile PC or a Nuvi of some sort? The reason I ask is that laptops can emit noise (some more than others) that can mess with the reception of the GPS signal. Be sure your USB cable is fully extended to reduce the affect of the laptop on the locator.
MikeInPoulsbo
Its a Nuvi 350. It works fine. I don't have the cable to the Microsoft GPS dongle stretched tight. Not using a laptop. Its a desktop.
Marvin Hlavac
Mike, what Larry says is very true. Computers and computer monitors generate radio frequencies that interfere with GPS receivers. Without any USB extension it will most likely not work at all, and if you do use the short extension that was included, do stretch it out. It will help.
MikeInPoulsbo
OK, I've stretched it (taped it to the window glass) and its seems pretty solid at the moment. I'll be interested to see how long it takes for it to get locked after all power has been removed from the computer for a few hours. That's what started me off on this thread.
Marvin Hlavac
Mike, same Nuvi and other navigation devices use various technologies to speed up the first fix, such as predicting where satellites may be, or A-GPS (Assisted GPS).
tcassidy
That depends on how good a satellite view you get from the window it is taped to.

Terry
Larry
There is a visual clue on the Microsoft GPS stick to let you know what's going on. The "Microsoft" logo is illuminated steady when it is searching for GPS sats. When it locks on to a fix (3 or more sats) it blinks.
MikeInPoulsbo
I connected the dongle/extension to a laptop (netbook) with S&T 2010 installed and placed it on the dash of my RV. It took about 1/2 hr to lock up. Moved it onto the table after it locked. It seemed to work about the same there. (fiberglass construction may be pretty transparent?) I suppose my wife can play with the thing while I drive using my Garmin. Thanks to everybody for the assistance. I wish now I'd gotten the plain version of S&T and bought a 3rd party standalone USB device. The Pharos GPS-500 III GPS on Amazon is only $19. (or is it the same thing?)
Ken in Regina
Mike,

Does it take a half hour to get a fix every time or was that just the first time?

It's not unusual for a GPS receiver to take a significant time to get a fix if it has not been run for a long time or if it is being used for the first time in a location that is a long distance from where it was last used.

It's possible that the fibreglass skin of the RV is more transparent than the windows. The windows often have a metallic film that can block GPS signals quite effectively. This applies to house windows and auto windows. I get better reception in my living room if I have the GPS six or eight feet away from the energy efficient picture window than if it is up close to it.

...ken...
MikeInPoulsbo
I haven't timed it exactly each time but if I remove power from the dongle for short periods (say 5 min) and reconnect it the time to start getting data back to S&T is several minutes, probably 15 min or more. Sorry I'm not more exact. I'm busy and don't spend all my time watching it.
Marvin Hlavac
The following thread also contains useful information related to this topic: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4117-what-can-interfere-gps-signal
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