Spark taking a long time to get GPS connection lately

highstream Registered Users Posts: 30
Master Traveler
edited January 24 in TomTom Sports
I've had a Spark HR/GPS since last September or so and early on it picked up the satellite connection quickly, 1 to 3 minutes For the past couple of months, however, it's been taking a lot longer than that, sometimes ten or more, and in the very same location. I'm in a town of ~40,000 at 5000' altitude in the northern Rockies, so am not sure why this should be happening. Any ideas, suggestions? Could this be a seasonal thing? (I ask the latter because how my garage door responds to the remote varies by season)


  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 17,004
    Are you updating the QuickGPS file a minimum of every three days by syncing the watch? This caches the expected satellite locations and makes for quicker attainment. Also do not try to get signal while moving, you are just making it harder on the watch. Best to just sit still with the button pointing skyward (or take it off and place it on a flat surface) until it finds the GPS. Make sure the watch is in an unobstructed area without large buildings, tree cover or reflective surfaces as this will cause a lot of interference. It will also take longer the first time you are in a new location but will speed up thereafter as it caches the location data for that spot. Once you get the Go it is best to give it another minute or two as Go is just the minimum satellites locked on. The longer you wait the more it will grab and the better your signal will be.

    I hope this helped answer your question. If so, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • highstream
    highstream Registered Users Posts: 30
    Master Traveler
    I was unaware of the need for the QuickGPS file update frequently, thanks. Does the same location actually change GPS coordinates, though?

    As for the rest of your suggestions, thanks but I think you missed the key before-after variable mentioned: same location (literally).
  • elbo
    elbo Registered Users Posts: 49
    Apprentice Traveler
    @highstream. The same location always has exactly the same gps coordinates.

    The gps receivers receives timing information from multiple gps satelites and their position and then calculates the coordinates. (Very simple said)

    The problem is, that the gps satelites are not always on the same position in the sky and the gps receiver has to look for them by scanning the complete sky.

    The quickgps (or asisted gps as it is called on smartphones) gets the last know locations of the gps satelites from the control centre of the gps. With these know locations the gps receiver can target those positions (and some space around it) to look for gps signals. This is less space to scan, and so you get a quicker responce.

    After a couple of days these last know positions stored on your watch are no longer up to date because the satelites have moved. Now your watch has to do a full scan of the sky. To prevent this, you have to sync your watch with your smartphone or computer to update the known gps locations. Also, if you teavel to an other part of the world your stored gps satelite locations are not valid anymore.

    I hope this gives you some information, the need to sync your watch and keep an eye on the quickgps info on your watch.
  • highstream
    highstream Registered Users Posts: 30
    Master Traveler
    Thanks for the explanation. This is my first GPS device and now I understand better what's going on and what to do before I go out with the Spark.