13 August 2009
Take Performance Of N97 GPS To A Whole
New Level By Simple Antenna Modification!!
I am talking here as an ardent Smartphone follower and a huge fan of Finnish mobile phone giant for the last 15 years and I just can't tell you how dissatisfied I am with their products and services lately.
We have been seeing lots of hardware design faults with considerable production problems occurring on numerous high-end Smartphones in the recent years and Nokia devices today look like they have been created by the bunch of road workers, bakers, sewage cleaners, and not the engineers.
Engineer would know that if you put hard plastic to protect delicate camera lens, and if some dust particle comes in, it would scratch the glass. In addition, any worthwhile engineer would know that 128 Mb RAM simply is NOT ENOUGH for running multiple applications at the same time, and finally any experience engineer should address all relevant issues during testing the pre-release units and definitively try if GPS is working properly before manufacturing millions of phones!
As we all know, GPS on N97 is terrible, it doesn’t maintain strong locks, in dense foliage or urban environment with tall buildings satellites lock is easy and often disrupted comparing to N95 and N95 8GB. (Don’t know about others, those two I own). Nokia maps constantly loosing GPS connection, leading to constant recalculation which makes it totally useless.
I went on geocaching trip other day, carrying my 600 euro handset with me, only to return home because I was unable to find geocache, since GPS data is way to inaccurate. There I lost my temper, and when returned home decided to disassemble my N97, and find out if there is something that can be done.
And there is fortunately and even better there is no need to disassemble phone and basically all you have to do is to remove the back cover and make a proper GPS antenna.
Here is the video as a proof that it works
There are also few images showing you how to eaisly modify, tweak, and hack your GPS to take it to new levels!
What you should do is to peel of antenna half a way. On half way to connector is actually where metal part of the antenna actually is. Other half is just sticker. (maybe if all was full of metal it would work better) anyway it is not made of metal, and you need to add some.
You should peel glue of the sticker, and reach metal part, and clean glue residue with acetone or thinner, or something you have in house. Cleaned part is in my case 2x1 mm aprox. And then add some copper wire. Copper wire should be single (I have tried all combinations, with multiple wires and so on, single wire works best). Wire was extracted from some old charger.
Then make some sort of circle with one end of wire (Bend it few times you should get around half mm thick ball, this is your new connector: :-))
Place it under previously cleaned GPS antenna, and stick it back on casing. Wire is free, just close it with back cover. That’s it, enjoy in faster lock and significantly improved accuracy and please don't be hesitate to ask anything over at our forum section ;)