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I hope I can get some help here at Pinstack because Tech Support has been ... BlackBerry Pearl forum

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    portguy's Avatar
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    Question Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

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    I hope I can get some help here at Pinstack because Tech Support has been completely boggled by this problem...

    I bought a new Pearl 8130 from US Cellular this past weekend. USC just started offering the Pearl 8130 a couple of weeks ago, so tech support is still new to this model. The 8130 has built-in GPS that is enabled on US Cellular's system, BUT... The 8130 can't lock onto any satellite signals!

    I've tried it dozens of times and it searches for satellite signals for 10 - 15 minutes, but then times out and says it cannot locate a satellite signal. I've tried this outdoors, in my car, etc. I have a TomTom Go GPS that I've used for years, so I am generally familiar with GPS and satellite signals, etc. (I know you have to be in an unobstructed place sometimes to get a clear signal from one of more satellites, for instance.)

    The 8130 has no "Refresh GPS" option in its menus, by the way, so none of the tips on other forums here have been of any help.

    I have spoken with US Cellular BB support group twice now and they said that they also have had similar problems. Two very helpful customer service reps who were doing their best said that it took them 20 minutes or more to establish a GPS connection and acquire the satellite signals the first time they had to connect. (Supposedly it acquires the signal much faster after that.) I tried it (again) with the service reps on the phone and after quite some time, the phone timed out and came back with a message saying it was unable to acquire the satellite signals.

    So, the internal GPS on US Cellular's new Pearl 8130 seems to be a reall mess and problem. US Cellular is stumped and said they would be working with BB, and would then get back to me. I have not heard back from USC though...

    So, any thoughts or advice would help.

    Anyone else here having this problem? The USC BB support rep led me to believe this was showing up as a common problem that they had duplicated and verified on the 8130.

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Please try downloading the Google Maps with My Location at http://www.google.com/gmm

    This will utilize the cell towers to approximate your position within 1700 meters. Once this data is known to the phone Google Maps should lock the GPS much quicker. I have found when getting off an airplane this has lead to much quicker acquisitions times with the GPS. This lock will also translate into quicker locks in Blackberry Maps and other applications.

    If this is not successful try looking for a more up to date OS to install on the phone and retest.
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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Thanks for the response and advice. Much appreciated! I had already downloaded the latest Google Maps for Mobile and still had the GPS issue. I spoke with US Cellular BlackBerry Tech Support again yesterday late afternoon and was told that they are now aware that this is a problem with ALL USC Pearl 8130s and that they are in touch with RIM to find a solution, but did not have any estimate of when the problem might be resolved.

    So, there is a known GPS problem with all US Cellular (and other service providers?) BlackBerry Pearl 8130 devices. It's not a matter of an easy existing software download and fix. :-( I wish it was that easy to fix!

    I wish they would have told me that a few days ago. It would have saved me several hours of fiddling with it and calling tech support, etc.

    I still like my 8130 very much, so I'm hoping they can resolve the problem soon.

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Same issue, same carrier. I found that locking the satellites was not too robust, especially in the abcense of a "refresh". However, by opening BB maps, going to Menu/Start GPS and then Optiions/Menu/Clear Cache". It stil will take around 5 minutes or less to acquire the Satellite, but it does and it works great. If you still have issues, try turning the unit off and then on and repeat the above process. It really works great, but the startup acquistion is not very robust.
    My Ipqac with a CFcard GPS would occasionally need to "clear the pipes" so to speak by simialr methods. Make sure you have some clear sky around you. My unit will acquire at home in the house.
    Keep us posted.
    It needs some sort of "Refresh" button.
    Last edited by stuka; 02-08-2008 at 01:12 PM.

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Thanks Stuka... I'd like to try that, but I don't seem to have the same menu options as you to clear the cache. I can go to BB Maps and start the GPS, but I cannot find a clear cache command in any of my BB Maps or Options choices. (You said "...and then Optiions/Menu/Clear Cache...") Where is the Clear Cache command?

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    In the bb maps program go to Menu/Options/menu/clear cache.
    Start the gps first and then do the above It may take 5 min or so. If not try power off and then again.
    The menu tree on the Blackberry is hard to get used to. Again, let me K now how it goes.

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    if you cant get it working, GPSed for BlackBerry works just great. It's available here www.shapeservices.com

    Of course it doesn't lay out a route for you, but I have a handheld GPS unit I use for that, so it doesn't bother me.
    If I wasn't crazy, I would go insane.

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    Smile Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Hey Stuka! It worked. You're a freakin' genius! No one at Tech Support at US Cellular (or Blackberry, according to the USC folks who said they have been in touch with RIM) had any ideas of how to get the GPS working. I tried what you said and started BB Maps, started GPS, selected Options inside BB Maps, and then cleared the cache. Within 5 minutes it locked onto the satellite signal!

    Now I wonder if I can get it to work with Google Maps that I had also downloaded...

    I still think the GPS function on the Pearl 8130 is not working properly since no one should have to go through that whole procedure each time just to start the GPS, so I hope they do come up with a fix. It looks like it is a software glitch since now I know the hardware can actually work.

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    I think the best answer is the missing "Refresh "button. My-Ipaq with a cf gps would aneed to be refreshed periodically by removing the card, and turning the unit off then on. Its another way of refreshing but rather complicated. Some software is better at using different programs 9 ports. once bb maps starts GPs its then available to other apps. I installed Nav4all all and it worts Ok after bbs maps kiicks GPS in. Google maps works great, give it a try. Try this "refresh" method before using any G Ps application when other applications hove been in use or GPS hasn't been used in a while Glad it worked for you

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Just start up bb maps as above, then go to google maps and and do "my location'. You should get a satellite lock.

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Finally got to try starting up the GPS using BB Maps (using the Clear Cache trick to get it going) and then switching over to Google Maps. Sure enough, it worked at Google Maps got a GPS lock on my location, too.

    It's still a pretty cumbersome way of getting the GPS going on a Blackberry Pearl 8130 and RIM ought to get this corrected. I still have not heard back from US Cellular's tech support about this. Sounds like they are still stumped and have some not-so-great tech support and customer service.

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    Im going to try BBtracker on my way home from work tonight. just loaded it, and it has a "Start GPS" on its drop down menu. Since ive been using my pearl all day for other programs it should need a refresh before using. We'll see if bbtrack startup acts like a refresh. Ill let you know this eve if it works.
    KEep in mind, the on my Ipaq and cf gps unit I still had to periodically refresh theunit via various start/stop, open close and pulling the card to get it to lock. When you have a paltform that has so many programs, inevitably the unit gets "gummed up" and you need to blow out teh pipes. So to speak
    And yes a simple refresh menu option would be nice. Think it got overlooked inte 4.3 OS.
    Was nice to help someone else out for a change from being a newbie.
    Its almost MIller time in the Midwest. Yay!

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    I had this problem also and spent hours with USCC tech support the day after the BB came out for.For whatever reason, once I got a lock it is working fine now. When I lose satellite signal I simply press stop GPS navigation and then start GPS navigation. It seems to act as the missing GPS refresh button. Seems that you got somewhat lucky with customer support. Their first response to me after an hour wait was that the 8130 didn't have GPS. After another hour they had no answer, but at least we established that the phone did have GPS. But then voila, it started working. Via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    Re: Pearl 8130 GPS Problems w/ Initial Connect

    I have never contacted customer support. I just used my past experience with gps on my Ipaq and tried different things. So far teh bbtracker "start gps" hasn't acted as acted as a refresh, so its lucky the bbmaps has the software ability to purge the system. If you do have some issues, first try a clear cache as above after the start gps. Occasionally a reset might be needed as well particularly after heavy or prolonged other program use.
    Personally I have better things to do with my time than wait for ages for help on the phone, but then Im getting old and impatient.

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    Question BB Pearl 8130 GPS Problems AGAIN!

    Hey Stuka, it's been a while, but maybe you are still around. You solved the GPS problem the last time, so I'm hoping you'll do it again!

    I had a problem with my BB 8130 and USC had to swap it for a new one. Now this new 8130 has even worse GPS connect problems. I cannot ever get it to connect. I've tried the initial connect sequence many times and have cleared the cache, etc. and still no luck.

    USC and RIM BB are of absolutely no help- still! It's now been over 7 months! They keep saying that a software fix must be in the works and to wait for the next OS update to see if that solves the problem. Geez, thanks guys!

    Any ideas?

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