A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2020 Jan 22, 13:16 -0800
I think it’s worth using checking your smartphone in different setting and over several minutes, because like humans, they can be choosey. These are my findings in the UK using two phones bought in the UK. My hand-me-down Galaxy SIII seems only to be aware of Navstar and GLONASS, which is hardly surprising considering its age. Upon switch on it, can’t see anything in our brick bungalow. Taken to a covered extension area at the side of the house, it can see one or two Navstar and GLONASS satellites, but there’s not enough signal strength there for Ae/receiver combination to ‘lock-on’, if that’s the correct word. Taken outside, it’s able to use Navstar and GLONASS. Taken back inside with a few ‘lock-on’s, it’ll retain them for a while. It’s 3rd or 4th eBay replacement battery seems to run down very quickly (which is why incidentally I was persuaded to buy a G7-Power, which lasts for days), but it does have a magnetism sensor useable in the UK, which only certain G7s have.
My recently bought Motorola G7 Power can see and use Navstar and GLONASS when switched on in our bungalow and will after several minutes start using Galileo satellites as well, but not for long, they seem to come and go. In the extension area, if Navstar and GLONASS satellites get a bit patchy, you can almost see it grab a Galileo satellite and use that for a while. Outside, where there are strong signals from Navstar and GLONASS, it sticks with them. It can see Galileo satellites, but prefers Navstar and GLONASS. Coming back into the extension it’ll grab the odd Galileo satellite as the Navstar and GLONASS signals weaken and retain all three as I continue indoors. However, the Galileo ‘lock-on’s come and go much more than the other two systems. When I first started using the GPS Test App it would tell me which BeiDou satellites ought to be in view, but the G7 was never able to see one, and it’s stopped even telling me where they ought to be now. Which satellites are used looks very much a question of signal strength. The G7 would appear to have a more sensitive Ae/receiver combination than the SIII. Was it my imagination, or did placing the receivers on a stainless steel draing board seem to help reception? The extension area would appear to be more affected by urban shielding and the fact that the satellites are not geostationary. I was slightly disappointed to find that the G7-Power, unlike the SIII, only has a magnetometer in North America, which means I’ve not been abler to contribute to the e-compass discussion. Thank goodness for that, I hear you say. DaveP