LG's flagship smartphone, with a unique slide-out battery and detachable I/O module supporting multiple hardware expansion options. Released in April 2016.

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GPS Not working well at all

Are there any ways to fix the gps on the LG G5? Where is the antenna located? I've found several fixes and tried a couple. Getting better contact with some of the pins has helped but its temporary. I only get one satellite to connect currently which is better than the none I had before. Help?!

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There are lots of posts and videos online telling you to tweak various contacts, but they're all wrong! I've finally fixed this after months of messing.

1. The GPS antenna is at the top-right, looking from the front of the phone.

2. The contact pad is a tiny piece of metal gauze at the very top right of the back.

3. There is only one contact on the main board that contacts this pad (easy to see which it is).

I think the reason people say other things have worked is that simply opening and re-assembling the phone will re-seat the contact, improving performance for a while.

Real problem: the contact gauze connects to the antenna at the top, the contact pin presses on it near its bottom edge. There should be a tiny rubber pad under the lower part of the gauze. This was missing on mine, so the spring contact never made good pressure on the gauze, and over time wore the gauze away. I only discovered this after buying a broken G5 on eBay and comparing. I swapped phone backs to get it working.

I also proved this is the contact by re-assembling with a sliver of paper on the gauze to prevent contact - no GPS signal.

The missing rubber pad must have been a manufacturing error, I don't know if it affected a whole batch. Check out this area in the back of your phone, you may be able to see why there's a problem.

Update (09/14/2017)

After more messing, it seems I was still slightly wrong myself!

The diagram belo shows where the antennae are on the back of the G5. This is viewed from the back, where the GPS antenna is area 4. Looking from the front (i.e. looking at the back from the inside) it's at the top right.

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Here's a photo of this area from the inside of the G5 back. There are two contacts in this area, circled in green and red.

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I originally thought the antenna was the green one, as it's in the right location, and disrupting it seemed to stop GPS. However, further tests on another phone have proved to me that the main antenna contact is the red one, which connects to a rectangular pad on the motherboard. The pad is circled in red in this photo:

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I suspect the green contact is a ground connection, as are other similar contacts around the back. Bad grounding can be expected to degrade the antenna efficiency, so the ground contacts are important too. I think this is what I was seeing initially.

So my conclusion is that good GPS reception depends on both a good ground connection in the corner, and a good connection to the antenna pad marked in red. About the only thing you can do to improve the pad's contact is to gently rub both surfaces to remove any oxidation. The tip of a spudger is probably the best tool.

But also remember that just opening and re-assembling the phone re-seats the contacts, which usually improves things anyway, at least in the short term. This makes it very hard to work out if anything you did inside the phone was actually relevant to the GPS!

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I'm away from my home right now, but I return on Saturday and will try this. I'll update with if it worked or not.

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I just did this on my G5 this arvo if you follow the instructions exactly and move the gold contacts under a microscope it fixes the problem. Before I could never get a gps lock and navigation would rely on mobile towers. With this I now can get 7-10 gps locks in under 30'seconds. Also use a cotton bud and some isopropyl alcohol to clean the contacts on the other side of the case when you have it apart. Hope this helps! https://www.reddit.com/r/lgg5/comments/4...

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The three contacts in this linked article are actually the connections to the volume control. This is clear if you follow the tracks in the case. I believe the improvement in GPS comes as a result of simply opening and re-assembling the phone, because all the contacts get re-seated. The improvement may last (if you're lucky!), or may degrade again.

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First of all, thanks Rick for putting us on the right track.

Now, I've had this problem on my device, and so I opened it and tested, seems that your first solution (the mesh) IS the correct one.

The other (flexible) connector on the PCB (the one that you updated to be it), is possibly not related to GPS.

Just to make some order, they BOTH connect to case metal (ground) which is very strange as I can not think why or how would it be used as an antenna. But!, powering the phone while opened, testing several pins which connects to the back, only 1 was found to be the pin for the GPS receiver.

This was tested with a thin wire connected and watching the reception on GPS test app.

Tested several times, each time yielded same result. Only the connector that mates with the mesh on the case (top right of back case when looking at it while phone opened) gave almost instant lock and strong reception.

I'm including photos with remarks to make it hopefully clear:

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Here you see the mesh in the top right, the other (green) connects to the flexible connector on PCB, possibly not related to GPS.

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I used a piece of thin copper tape folded a few times and glued on one side to the earphone connector.

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here you can see the actual pin (red) that connects to the mesh. It is not on the PCB itself, but connects later to underside of PCB (I guess LG decided not to stretch the PCB to the very edge, because it would have to be very thin and fragile, just a guess)

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You can see the connector after I removed the PCB, again marked in red, it continues to the pad marked in orange, which I put again a folded piece of copper. This pad connects to the underside of PCB.

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The underside of the PCB with the connector that mates with the pad.

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Hi Schlomsi, thanks for looking at this in detail, and validating most of what I found.

In retrospect, I agree that my suggestion of the second contact relating to GPS is probably wrong. I had tried insulating this contact and failed to get a GPS lock, but I've re-tried it and this time it made no difference. It just shows how hard it is to reliably diagnose the problem!

If you test continuity of the various contacts areas on the case with a simple multimeter, they do mostly appear to connect to ground - but that's just a DC measurement. At RF they will behave completely differently. I'm no expert on how these flat on-case antennae work, but they are likely cleverly etched tracks forming a pattern that matches the signal wavelength. If you look at a UHF TV antenna, it's usually a closed loop.

I was interested when you said you'd tested the phone with the back off. I'd wanted to do that, but thought "how do you hold the battery in, and what about the power button?". So I revisited it, and found that a bit of sticky tape will keep the battery holder in place, and plugging in a charge cable will make the phone boot. Excellent! The SIM holder also goes in fine.

To my surprise I got a better GPS signal with the case off than I ever do with it on, and without even touching the antenna contact. It obviously picks up the signal perfectly well directly on the PCB tracks. I then found that just touching the corner contact increased the signal further, confirming that this is indeed the GPS antenna. There was nothing else I could touch that affected the signal.

I like your idea of copper foil. I don't have any so I've ordered some, and will see what I can do when it arrives. My GPS signal has once again been slowly degrading, I think that mesh oxidises over time.

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Indeed, I held the battery with a rubber band around the length of the phone, and remembered that plugging the USB cable turns on the phone, otherwise it would have been difficult to connect the right pins to simulate a push-button.

Still strange that the grounded mesh is the antenna, as I remember reading somewhere that LG left slices in the metal case for the antennas and that only the thick layer of coating on the back makes it look like it's solid.

But, as it works fine as it is, we will have to wait for full service manual, maybe there we can understand where the antenna is :)

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Hey there,

First up - thank you for this guide! So I followed it, placing some copper tape over the small GPS contact and now my number of visible satellites has more than doubled (from ±13 to 28+ each time). But I still can't get a GPS lock. Any thoughts as to why that could be?

Cheers

Adam.

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HI

The initial array of satellites shown in a diagnostic app (e.g. GPS Status) are obtained by aGPS over the cell signals. This is the GPS "almanac" which the phone uses as a starting point to look for the signals. The actual number will vary according to location and time.

It doesn't have to pick up any satellite signal to display this array, if the blocks on the signal-strength bar are minimum height then it indicates only almanac data.

When a signal is received then the bar height increases, only then can you be sure you're receiving satellite data.

Are you getting any actual signals?

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This is print screens of Chinese forum translated by google chrome translator. I can't copy paste link , the system recognizing it like spam.

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Brigitte Mooney will be eternally grateful.
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