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Old 04-01-2008, 09:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default US Cellular 8830 GPS problem

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I have been having problems with the GPS on my 8830 with US Cellular. This is what I have discovered so far:

This is what I think I know:
1. The BlackBerry 8830 (and 8130) has an asynchronous GPS chipset, which means they should be able to get GPS data just using the GPS satellites.
2. The BlackBerry GPS also uses aGPS which means that they can use cell phone tower information to speed up the process.
3. A coworker at my place of employment contacted his business rep for US Cellular. My coworker was told that the GPS on the BlackBerrys used to work because they would connect to the US Cellular "My Navigator" service for the aGPS. US Cellular recently disabled this connection for BlackBerrys because they couldn't find a way to charge extra for it.
4. Installing Garmin for BlackBerry did not fix my problem. I tried a 30-day free trial but it wouldn't work - it couldn't find the satellites.
5. Installing Telenav on my 8830 fixes the problem. Telenav has a 30-day free trial, but you must provide a credit card and cancel before the 30 days is up to prevent being charged $9.95 per month. I installed Telenav yesterday. Now using BlackBerry Maps, and any other GPS enabled program, I get locks on satellites within 10-15 seconds. And when it does find a lock, it keeps it for a long time.
6. I uninstalled Telenav and GPS with BlackBerry Maps still works. I did not call and cancel my subscription yet.
7. Alltel users report that installing Telenav makes the GPS work for them also. Some have reported cancelling and GPS still works.


Here is what I do not know:
1. If the BlackBerry has asynchronous GPS, why doesn't it find the satellites in about a minute or so? How come if I try and use BlackBerry maps, the first time I load it, if I wait and wait it will time out in about 15 minutes without finding a satellite? But if I close it and restart it about 5-8 times it will find satellites. But then it will lose them again shortly after that. I don't know.
2. What did Telenav do to enable the aGPS? Did it configure (provision?) a server somewhere in the BB settings? I don't know.
3. If I cancel my Telenav account will it disable my account on this aGPS server? I don't know.
4. Google Maps has been able to guess my location using cell phone towers ever since the my location beta came out. This sounds like the information that would be needed for aGPS. Why can't other BlackBerry GPS applications use this data for the aGPS? I don't know.
5. Why would US Cellular need to charge me more when the BlackBerry is advertised as having GPS capabilities built-in and I'm already paying $39.95 per month for the data services? (Nevermind, I think I know why - $$$)

So for now, my GPS is working.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I too have seen many troubles with my GPS and the US Cellular network. I use an application called Accutracking that works flawlessly. I also use Cacheberry and it can sort the database from my GPS location, with absolutely no trouble. I used the maps in Yahoo Go without any trouble at all. (Why they work I don't know.) However, Google Maps and Geocache Navigator would work about once out of about 20 tries, and only for a short period of time.

I got so sick of working with it and trying to figure it out, I just went and bought a Bluetooth GPS puck. I don't like having to carry it in my pocket, but what the heck, it makes everything work.

If I had to guess, I would say that US Cellular turned off the GPS (or whatever they turned off) in mid-January of this year. Because, Geocache Navigator worked 100% in early Jan., but around the middle of the month, it quit working correctly. Again, why Yahoo Go, Accutracking and Cacheberry still work fine with the internal gps, I have no idea.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm very interested in this thread. I noticed the time it takes to acquire a satellite lengthen considerably sometime in the last 3 or 4 months. 8830, US Cellular, Maine. Google Maps will fetch location but usually won't move, and when I check back to BB Maps, "Acquiring Sallelites". I was ready to take the thing in for repair.

jrush, how did you find a Telenav load? They don't list US Cellular or the 8830 where I can find it. Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's what I was wondering. If 8830 have full GPS, why doesn't it work without cellular connection?
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If it is like Verizon, the GPS is "blocked" and only works with the add on service.
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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For Telenav I used the Alltel download.
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was going completely crazy with this problem until I found this thread through Google!

I'm now on my 2nd 8130 from US Cellular (returned the 1st due to this very issue) and I still had the same issues with satellites taking forever to connect, dropping out randomly, or not connecting in the first place.

Per this thread, I installed TeleNav (using the Alltel download link) and everything now works great. Takes maybe 15-30 seconds to establish satellite lock, and once it locks it never loses the signal.

I'm still in the TeleNav trial period, so I can't say whether or not BB maps will continue to work as it does now once the software is disabled.

I'm speculating here, but it seems to me that US Cellular has crippled the BB maps' GPS functionality in order to generate more interest in 3rd party for-pay apps and the eventual return of My Navigator. This theory is strengthened by the reports of GPS suddenly not working well as of this past January. Very disappointing, Verizon-style fascist behavior.

Either way, I cannot get a straight answer out of USCC, and they continue to market their BB's as having "free" GPS. This is false advertising IMHO..

Just wanted to let others know what they are getting themselves into with a BB through USCC.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I canceled my Telenav account so it will expire on April 30. So I'll know real soon if my GPS stops working.

Before I installed Telenav, I installed a trial from Garmin. That didn't help, I was still having problems with the GPS.

According to USCC: in the past they were allowing the BlackBerries to connect to their premium "Your Navigator" service. This premium service is owned by a third party. USCC couldn't find a way to bill BB users so they disabled the connection in January.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrusch View Post
I canceled my Telenav account so it will expire on April 30. So I'll know real soon if my GPS stops working.

Before I installed Telenav, I installed a trial from Garmin. That didn't help, I was still having problems with the GPS.

According to USCC: in the past they were allowing the BlackBerries to connect to their premium "Your Navigator" service. This premium service is owned by a third party. USCC couldn't find a way to bill BB users so they disabled the connection in January.
Now that you don't have telenav, how is the GPS working? Any suggestions on a third party software to use with US Cellular GPS, or is telenav the one if you want to pay for it?

John
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I was just on TeleNav's site, and their $9.99 monthly plan uses up cell minutes. I don't want that. I have data access for a reason. So I went with the Garmin for BlackBerry instead.

Another interesting thing I did was that I rolled back my 8830 WE's OS to an earlier version, and I haven't really had any trouble with Garmin working on my BlackBerry either.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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jrusch

Could you provide more details on how you got the Alltel version of Telenav installed? I got it installed but when I try to go through setup it tries to find my phone number on Alttel's system and doesn't so won't let the application activate or whatever it's trying to do

Have they changed their application since you last used it or is there a workaround?
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It looks like they changed it. It looks like if you select Sprint instead of Alltel you'll get to the point where you can download the software.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I can download the software (over the air) and install it but when you first run the program it runs some registration script or something and says it can find my "Alltel phone number" in the system so I can't actually access the application.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a 8130 from US Cellular. I also have Garmin installed and working. There was no tricks, after install it just worked. It does take 1-2 minutes for a lock. If I think it is taking to long I usually will kick the GPS in the pants by launching GPSed. That little app will always get things going. There has been an occasion or two when a reboot needs to take place. Have not figured out which app causes this issue.

For testing I would start out with GPSed the move to BBMaps and then Garmin.

Pauly T
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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If the GPS doesnt work just download google maps for it, thats what I did and the gps works
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