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  • 1 Post By voltageROCK
  • 1 Post By kouzinger
  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    OK, after being so annoyed with the Navigation on this phone not working, I finally found a fix that is working for me and I am in shock that what I did produced a working GPS. First, anyone who doesn't know how to take apart the black cover (not the battery cover) do a search. Next, after removing the cover, the GPS Antenna without a doubt is one right next to the power button. I found this out by putting a piece of electrical tape over every gold connector that touches an antenna, then closing the black cover, turning on the phone, running gps test, and after trying different spring connectors, I noticed I had the correct one when the app GPS Test couldn't locate any satellites. Next, I also noticed that on the inside of the cover that I took off, the one that requires six screws, there is a silver looking strip that is supposed to make contact to the connector that has a full metal top part, so when the cover goes back on, the silver strip must make contact to this negative grounding harness top. I added a bead of solder to the silver strip on the inside of the black cover so that I knew it was making contact. I believe that this is a source of everyone's problems with navigation. That strip must be a shield and the design doesn't look like it makes good contact to the connector's ground metal plate. You'll see what I mean when you open the cover.

    Next, while I had the cover off, I wrapped a 30 gauge wire around the gold spring pin that connects to the GPS antenna and ran that wire down the side of the phone right along the PC Board in hopes that it extends the antenna. I just ran it like 3 inches and remember, I ran it down, not up. The GPS antenna already goes up. I put a tiny bead of solder on the wire where it contact the gold spring contact that is attached to the PC Board so that it does not come off accidentally. And believe me, it is really simple. You cannot mess anything up. Just a dab of solder is all it takes.

    I put the black cover back on, and then ran the GPS test app and at one point I had 12 satellites read and used with a 7 foot accuracy!!! Next I went to the Navigation app and started playing around with different addresses and my navigation WORKED!!! I am still in awe three days later. I drove from New Jersey to Rhode Island yesterday and had the Nav running for the entire trip. Only one time did I get a small circle about the size of a half inch which lasted for 4 seconds. At that point, I was driving though a forest type side road with limited sky view.

    Please try this fix for anyone who has Navigation issues with their Nexus S and let me know if it fixes it.

    By the way, I posted this exact post in the XDA forums. I want as many Nexus S owners to check this out!

    Dan
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    Silla Rizzoli likes this.
  2. #2  
    rodya234's Avatar

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    138 Posts
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    Rasbeanjelly/Trinity

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Do you think something similar could be done to improve the cell antenna as well? I'm currently having terrible service issues in my house, and from what I've read it's an issue with the antenna in the NS.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    For me, the antenna issues resolved when we moved a few weeks back. I think 9 times out of 10 it's just Sprint's network & towers (i.e., not the phone itself). My former home had been great for years...then some time in the last year or two a weird vortex of uncertainty formed in a 1/4 mile radius around my home, necessitating an Airave (which was crap, really).

    Now I get a wonderful signal...and I only moved about 1.5 miles! I even get a full, strong 4G signal.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Check out the pics. One of them shows some solder on the silver shielding so it makes better contact with the connector when they close back up. The other shows a 30 gauge red wire soldered to the gps pin and running down the phone. Hope this clears up what you guys need to do to get the gps to finally work on this dag gone phone. I don't know where all the people are who complained about this issue, but this fixed my phone. When I searched on Google, there were non stop posts of Navigation problems.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed-both-parts-open.jpg   FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed-solder-shielding.jpg   FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed-wire-run.jpg  
  5. #5  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    I'm going to definitely give this mod a whirl. So simple, yet ingenious. Nice one, dude!
  6. #6  
    rodya234's Avatar

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    138 Posts
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    Rasbeanjelly/Trinity

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    I managed to improve my cell service issues after manually updating to PRL 60690, but I've still been investigating a similar mod to modify the 3g/4g/Cell antennas.

    I found out that the phone has external antenna ports, but using them causes the internal antennas to burn out, requiring a replacement phone. I've circled them in votageROCK's picture below: The WiFi antenna is circled in red, the 3G antenna in orange, and the 4G antenna in yellow. There is also an external port for the GPS antenna, but votageROCK has already shown us where the internal GPS antenna is (the internal connector and external port are right next to each other).

    I've assumed that the gold posts (like the one votageROCK soldered his wire to) nearest to the WiFI and 4G antennas are their respective internal antenna connections.

    I believe the 3G and cell internal antenna connectors are near the bottom of the phone, circled in white. I don't know this for sure, but that is where they're located on the GSM Nexus S.

    The antenna connectors circled in black are unknowns.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed-wire-run.jpg  
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Quote Originally Posted by rodya234 View Post
    I managed to improve my cell service issues after manually updating to PRL 60690, but I've still been investigating a similar mod to modify the 3g/4g/Cell antennas.

    I found out that the phone has external antenna ports, but using them causes the internal antennas to burn out, requiring a replacement phone. I've circled them in votageROCK's picture below: The WiFi antenna is circled in red, the 3G antenna in orange, and the 4G antenna in yellow. There is also an external port for the GPS antenna, but votageROCK has already shown us where the internal GPS antenna is (the internal connector and external port are right next to each other).

    I've assumed that the gold posts (like the one votageROCK soldered his wire to) nearest to the WiFI and 4G antennas are their respective internal antenna connections.

    I believe the 3G and cell internal antenna connectors are near the bottom of the phone, circled in white. I don't know this for sure, but that is where they're located on the GSM Nexus S.

    The antenna connectors circled in black are unknowns.
    Very good work, but I wanted you to know you are correct in that the gold springy posts are the ones that attach to the antennas.

    Like I said in my OP I found out which gold spring was the GPS by putting a piece of electrical tape over every gold connector that touches an antenna and leaving one free to make contact, then closing the black cover, turning on the phone, running gps test, and after trying different spring connectors until I found I had the correct one when the app GPS Test couldn't locate any satellites. Just an FYI again.

    Also, you are correct about the bottom of the phone for the antenna for the phone's cell and 3G. The 4 noticeable ones when you take apart the cover or if you look in my pic are GPS (the one with the red wire attached) and the other 3 must be WIFI, then Bluetooth then 4g (but I'm not sure what is what, but someone can certainly do the method I did to find out what's what with the electrical tape and seeing what doesn't work when you turn the phone back on. I'm not positive about WIFI and Bluetooth using different antennas and may use the same antenna because a friend of mine said that those two use the same frequencies, but I personally don't think that's correct. The 4g antenna I would have thought was at the bottom with the 3g and cell. There are three gold connectors down there. I forget if you can see that in my pics.

    Anyway, I hope someone can do this mod.

    Also, someone on XDA said to sandwich aluminum foil on the antenna's shielding so that people who don't have soldering capabilities can try that. Just make sure you keep it on the shielding, avoiding it from extending to other areas where it can short something on the PCB. Remember, this is a negative connection.
  8. #8  
    rodya234's Avatar

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    Rasbeanjelly/Trinity

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    I tried out this mod on the 4G/3G/Cell antennas, but in a slightly different method. Instead of soldering the copper wire onto the gold antenna posts, I simply lifted them up, slid the wire into them, and them crimped them back down.

    Sadly to say, during testing I found no noticeable increases in network speed/signal strength. Perhaps if I had soldered the wire I could have had better conductivity, but I didn't want to make the mod permanent in case it didn't work. It appears that the signal issues I'm having are on Sprint's side rather than mine.

    I don't mean to discourage anyone from doing this mod at all, to the contrary, I invite others to do it and report their results!

    Attached pic shows what my set-up looked like.

    FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed-img_20120909_235534.jpg
  9. #9  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    How bout notifying Samsung of this, it seems it should be their responsibility to fix it? Thanks for sharing bud!
  10. #10  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    It doesn't work for me.
    There is no silver shielding on the cover of mine nexus S whatsoever.
    Adding cable as additional antenna doesn't improve GPS reception.
    Thanked by:
  11. #11  

    Thumbs up Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Thanks for this fix!!
    That GPS-Issue has been driving me crazy for more than one year now during which I had the phone sent in to Samsung-Support twice (after the second time i worked again for 4 months).

    Anyway I chose to NOT solder any additional wire as the reception was fine for me during the time it worked. Instead I chose to SIMPLY BEND UP THE GOLD SPRING MENTIONED IN THE FIRST POST to increase pressure on the antenna-contact. This was enough put my Nexus S back to normal GPS-Operation. Lets see how long it will last.

    Another Idea (in case the simple bending needs to be repeated too often) would be adding folded paper as a support underneath the spring or soldering a tiny wire between the spring and the contact it's aimed at.

    Hope my ideas help for some of you. The simple version should not even affect warranty as no visible change is done to the phone.

    Greets, kouzinger
    Thanked by:
    Silla Rizzoli likes this.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Just curious, what's the issue with navigation and gps? Mine has always worked just fine... It takes a bit to acquire the satellites, but it always does and works fine thereafter...
  13. #13  
    S O1's Avatar

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    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Quote Originally Posted by kuzniarpawel View Post
    It doesn't work for me.
    There is no silver shielding on the cover of mine nexus S whatsoever.
    Adding cable as additional antenna doesn't improve GPS reception.
    Same basic situation for myself. Must be a different board revision from voltageRock's.
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Check this post:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2153418

    I'm working on the Nexus 4 Orb working in the car. Dismantle the touchstone for the magnets and use the metal discs from the inside cover of the Pre battery cover. You need to file the four magnets from the picture and grind them down to approximately 1 mm thick and fasten them to the Orb and the Nexus will stick to the Orb perfectly and will charge with the Orb in the car. I'm almost done with my project. I can't wait to have access to a belt sander to do this!

    Sent using Tap coupled with Talk on a device that will knock your socks off of my feet: Nexus 4
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed-uploadfromtaptalk1365547136449.jpg   FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed-uploadfromtaptalk1365547165218.jpg  
  15. #15  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    IT WORKS. After all the fiddling with custom roms and gps apps, it was just a dumb mechanical problem!
    There's no need to attach any wires to the gold connector, just bend it up a little bit like kouzinger said and tighten the screws on the internal cover (they were very loose on my phone, probably because of vibration) and the gps will work FLAWLESSY!

    Thank you so much!
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Silla Rizzoli View Post
    IT WORKS. After all the fiddling with custom roms and gps apps, it was just a dumb mechanical problem!
    There's no need to attach any wires to the gold connector, just bend it up a little bit like kouzinger said and tighten the screws on the internal cover (they were very loose on my phone, probably because of vibration) and the gps will work FLAWLESSY!

    Thank you so much!
    Nice! I guess the solder didn't matter and also I found out that at&t customers don't have that metal shielding.

    Regardless, I am now an at&t customer for 4 months with the Nexus 4 and this device is unreal. No problems anywhere and super fast.

    Later all

    Sent using Tap coupled with Talk on a device that will knock your socks off of my feet: Nexus 4
  17. #17  
    bnes's Avatar

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    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    The length of the wire matters:

    The wavelength a GPS antenna must be designed for at 1575.42 Mhz is: 299792458 / 1575420000 = .19029 Meters, or ~ 19 CM. or ~ 7 1/2 Inches.
    A size of half this, or a quarter of this, will also work.

    See also https://www.arrl.org/files/file/Tech...df/0210036.pdf
    and http://www.gpscreations.com/NewFiles...a%20Design.pdf
  18. #18  

    Default Re: FINALLLY!!! A fix for the Nexus S GPS. Hardware mod needed

    Can't wait to try this hack. The XDA AGPS Patch brought me no joy.

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