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Topic # 57474 15-Feb-2010 09:06
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In an effort to protect my new 'toy' I purchased a leather cover. At the time I was in an unfamiliar city so was using GPS and the compass for navigation.  After fitting the cover, the next time I went to use the compass it was all screwed up. North was where ever I pointed the phone.  I discovered that the new cover was held closed by magnets.  So I removed the cover and vented my displeasure at the shop for selling a cover that had magnets in it, for a phone that has a compass!  They swapped it for a gel cover instead.

However, ever since that time the compass has been out-to-lunch, traumatised (I assume) by the proximity of such a strong magnetic field.  What I am wondering is whether it is a permanent condition or whether there is something I can do to degauss the phone without destroying the compass (or the the phone) completely?  I tried removing the battery and re-installing it, no change.  Is there a chance the battery has been magnetised?

Any assistance in resolving this would be appreciated.  I also hope this may warn other smartphone owners with compass' installed.

EDIT:  Mods please move this to the 'Mobile Handsets' thread, where I thought I had put it.




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ald

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SimWorks

  Reply # 299097 15-Feb-2010 15:09
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You should be able to undo the damage by giving your handset a good shake. People usually recommend tracing vigorous figure 8's in mid air with your phone. The more g-forces on the device the better as I understand. Has worked for me in the past to unjam GPS on a phone.




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Aaron Davidson.

SimWorks International Limited

www.simworks.com - New Zealands leading developer of mobile applications


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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 299116 15-Feb-2010 15:29
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How a GPS, which is a radio receiving technology would 'unjam'? Also for the builtin compass, it is an electronic piece... If it was demagnetised for any reason I don't think shaking will magnetise it again...

I moved the topic to Windows Mobile forum.




ald

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  Reply # 299121 15-Feb-2010 15:35
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Great question Mauricio, I've got no idea why it works.  Can confirm however that the figure 8 trick works with both Symbian and Android compasses however.

There are lots of sites that confirm/recommend this (wisdom of the crowds?).  Here's a Youtube video demonstrating it.




Best regards,
Aaron Davidson.

SimWorks International Limited

www.simworks.com - New Zealands leading developer of mobile applications


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  Reply # 299155 15-Feb-2010 17:26
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freitasm: How a GPS, which is a radio receiving technology would 'unjam'? Also for the builtin compass, it is an electronic piece... If it was demagnetised for any reason I don't think shaking will magnetise it again...

I moved the topic to Windows Mobile forum.


Thanks but the phone is an android. 
I thought I was doing people a favour by raising the possibility of a case magnet affecting the compass, that's why I put it in the general  'Mobile Handsets' forum (I apologise if that wasn't appropriate).  Other sites have similar posts and it would appear the electronic compass fitted to the Hero isn't particularly high quality either. 

The compass component in the phone must sense the Earth's magnetic field and is not magnetised in the same way as a simple magnetic compass needle is.  I was concerned the battery or some other internal component of the phone may have been magnetised and then affected the field sensor.

However just like a toothache that disappears when you make a dentist appointment, today after carrying out a few figure-8s as described in the calibration video it appears to be working again. I had also run the battery right down and left the phone off for the night.

Guess I won't know for sure until I see if it can get me lost in Melbourne again!Undecided

Thanks ald for your input.
Incidentally I had calibrated the compass by doing figure-8s in the horizontal plane only.  When I saw a video showing the procedure on an i-phone and it was in three dimensions that the maneouvre could be tried properly.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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