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Microsoft GPS Locator loses signal. Stop/Start GPS restarts the navigation
ron4adams
During my last trip my 2010 version began to lose the signal at each stop. I assumed it was a problem with the software because I had a large number of stops on my route, so I just completed the trip by using a map without any stops and using my S&T only for tracking my progress. It seemed to maintain a signal just fine. I am now on the road again and I began the trip using the navigation system to track my progress on a map without stops or a route. After only one day into the route I am regularly losing a signal. If I click "start/stop GPS" twice it will restart the navigation, then within several minutes it again stops. I suspect a faulty locator. Is this the most logical diagnosis, and is there any way to check this out short of trying a new locator?

Ron
SpadesFlush
Ron, if you are creating a GPS trail, you can export the file as a GPX file and open it using Excel or other spreadsheet program. Then, you should be able to see rows of data that correspond to the GPS trail complete with time stamps. If the time stamps are more-or-less continuously one second apart, then your GPS antenna is working and logging data.
Marvin Hlavac
Ron,

1. Have you recently moved your GPS unit to a new location within your vehicle? If yes, try to test it in the previous location.

2. Is the loss of signal accompanied by an error message from Streets & Trips? If yes, what exactly does the error message read?

3. Is the loss of signal accompanied by the computer sound announcing a USB device has been disconnected? If yes, it could be an indication of a faulty USB cable, or faulty USB connector.

4. Other issues may cause interference, see if anything listed here applies: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4117-what-can-interfere-gps-signal
ron4adams
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Several days ago while sitting in a campground I started S&T with the navigation operable. It maintained a signal for some time, and each time it stopped showing a "live" signal I restarted the navigation. I also used the second USB port on my netbook and experienced the same navigation interruptions. I also clicked on the "configure GPS" and also asked it to scan for ports. I am not sure if any of those actions made any difference, but for the past two days the navigation has worked flawlessly. Remember that I have no stops or a specific route identified, I am just using S&T to create a trail of our travel. I did return to using the USB port I have always been using, so don't know what happened, but for now it is up and running. I hope it continues, and thanks again for your interests.

Ron
ron4adams
Now I hope someone is still interested enough in my continuing problems to help me. My latest development is my S&T is "blinking" at me. Some times it only occurs for a couple of blinks and other times it goes on and on. All the while it seems to be following the route I am traveling, I just cannot see the red arrow with the red circle. Also the route numbers and towns are flashing on and off. Eventually operation returns to normal for a while and then the blinking will start again. Later this afternoon a message popped up indicating my device could not find a signal, which has rarely happened before today. I think it is either my locator, locator cable, or the drivers for my USB ports on my netbook. How will I be able to track down the problem? If I start replacing "stuff" would it make sense to start with a new locator? Is there any way to determine whether my USB ports are not relaying signals to my hard drive? Thanks for any suggestions. Maybe I need to start with a new version of S&T including a new locator. However, if I do that perhaps I should try another product, like copilot.
tcassidy
First thing to do is test the GPS device separate of S&T. There are several programs that can do that such as GPSInfo from GlobalSat on this page.

http://www.usglobalsat.com/s-24-support-drivers.aspx

Terry
ron4adams
Thanks Terry,
I downloaded one of the programs for Windows and here is what the screen shows when I plug in my Pharos 500. Sorry but I don't know how to include a screen shot of what I am seeing, but let me try to explain. Com Port is blank, baud rate is 4800, clicked on start gps, and window shows ComPort ERROR.

What is it telling me?
ron4adams
Quote:
Originally Posted by ron4adams
Thanks Terry,
I downloaded one of the programs for Windows and here is what the screen shows when I plug in my Pharos 500. Sorry but I don't know how to include a screen shot of what I am seeing, but let me try to explain. Com Port is blank, baud rate is 4800, clicked on start gps, and window shows ComPort ERROR.

What is it telling me?
Sorry Terry, but I started over by having my GPS locator plugged in before I opened the program. It showed the Com Port as Com3. When I clicked on Start GPS numbers started scrolling in the window. When I clicked on GPS Info I got the lat and lon appropriate for where I am presently sitting (Onondaga Cave State Park, Missouri). What do I now know?
tcassidy
Its telling you that the GPS is working at that moment. I guess you could drive around a bit a see if it stays working. It could always be a flakey USB or dongle connection.

However, the likelihood is the computer or S&T is getting overloaded when you see a failure. I'm sure someone like SpadesFlush who has far more experience than me with S&T could provide some pointers.

Terry
SpadesFlush
So, over to me?

I don't think it is a hardware failure of any kind. I think Terry is basically correct about overload.

I think the route file is "too big." Sorry for the technical term. I find this happening when I have been creating a GPS Trail for a longish while. As you probably know, the data file that is your route file gets new lines of data (the GPS spot-reads) for each data point, i. e., 1 per second. Over the course of a day, that can be thousands of lines of data. I don't know what S&T is doing with all that data but processing seems to slow down and you get this flashing phenomon as S&T tries to keep up. I think I have cautioned before about not creating overly complicated data files.

Therefore, I would save the route you are on and create a new file for just the next day's travel to see if that resolves the problem.

As for your comport problem, I do not think that it is related to the above. You might want to reboot the computer, do a fresh scan for the GPS, configure, and restart navigating with the virgin file as per above.
ron4adams
OK, tonight I will open a new map, enter not more than one day's worth of stops as push pins (I don't use S&T for actual turn-by-turn directions) and see if the cursor follows my path of travel during the day. I'll reply to this thread to let you all know how things go.
ron4adams
Well, we made it home, and S&T seemed to be operating pretty smoothly. However, on two occasions on two separate days the message "a device cannot be found" or something like that (still haven't figured out how to include a screen shot into my replies). The last time it occurred after the vehicle hit a rather hard bump and the laptop is not very well sheltered from rough treatment. That evening I couldn't get the netbook to recognize the locator device so I "kind of banged" on the netbook. I guess I got it's attention because it immediately found the device. The short story is I think there is something going on internal to the netbook. Not sure what to do about that except to "bang on the machine" every time it stops functioning the way I expect it to!
tcassidy
It may be a sloppy connection developing at the USB port especially if you are connecting/ disconnecting the GPS regularly. You might want to try another USB slot. Just remember to let S&T find it at its new address (or do it manually) if you move it.

Others have suggested using a short USB extension from which you unplug your device. This minimizes wear on the unrepairable part of the connection.

Terry
SpadesFlush
There might be a loose USB connection within the laptop, too. A soldered connection may have been broken somewhere along the line. This can be a problem with laptops floating freely around a vehicle cabin.
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