August 17, 2022

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A GPS accuracy issue has affected Garmin, Suunto, and Polar watches over the past week

A GPS accuracy issue has affected Garmin, Suunto, and Polar watches over the past week

Over the past seven days, there has been a file a large number of people With some GPS watches seeing accuracy issues, the GPS trajectory is offset by reality (usually in a certain direction). this is Often leads to GPS tracks where the visual pattern may be correctbut Not in the right location. Meaning, it’s like it’s someone Change your lane a little to the sidewhich eventually allows you to walk on water, or pass through buildings. Alternatively, it may contain strange vacuoles, or it may be Wrong outright garbage fire. In theory, the issue should be resolved as of last night.

this is The problem particularly affected those with Sony GPS chipsetswhich is basically a repetition of a problem Happened 18 months ago This effect was much larger (for a variety of reasons). The first time, the problem happened over the New Years holiday weekend, and it was the first time you saw these companies, which slowed down the response rate dramatically (and also increased the number of people affected).

This time around, the effect was certainly measurable (as my inbox can attest), but the duration was more limited. It initially affected people last Tuesday/Wednesday (June 28/29), then again over the past weekend and into early week (July 1 – July 5). The number of watches affected is significant here, and any Garmin watch released in the past few years (but not most in 2022, because they use a different chipset), as well as all Suunto/Polar watches, and theoretically all COROS watches except the Vertix 2 (although That, I haven’t seen any COROS reports, so they might have put a different filter).

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GPS Wrong

Roughly, these will be the following watches (in addition to the 29 million types of these watches that Garmin owns):

– Garmin Forerunner 45/245/745/945/945 LTE / Fenix ​​6 / MARQ / Vivoactive 3/4 / Venu
– Garmin Edge 130 Plus, Edge 530/830/1030 Plus
– Garmin Enduro . watch
– Garmin Instinct Series 1 and Series 2 . Watches
– Polar Vantage Series, Grit Series, Pacer Series
– Suunto 5/5 Peak & Suunto 9/9 Peak

Again, the above list is not exhaustive. There are a lot of watches affected, especially from Garmin, which uses nearly identical watches in various other departments such as marine, golf and navigation. In addition, this will theoretically affect Wahoo RIVAL & COROS watches (except Vertix 2), however, I can’t find any cases of people having issues there. Which means they were reported, or they put in mitigating factors.

Meanwhile, the Garmin and COROS watches are not affected:

Garmin Fenix ​​7 & Tactix 7 Series
Garmin EPIX Series
Garmin Forerunner 255 . Series
Garmin Forerunner 955 Series
Garmin Edge 1040 . Series
Koros Vertex 2

All of those watches use a different MediaTek/Airoha multiband chipset, which isn’t impressed here.

The case has to do with ephemeris data file, also called an EPO (Extended Prediction Orbit) or Continuous Predictive Calendar (CPE) file. Or simply the satellite pre-cache file. This is the file that is delivered to your device frequently (usually every few days). This file is what makes your watch find GPS satellites almost instantly when you go outside. It’s basically a cheat sheet on where the satellites are for the next few days, or up to a week or so.

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Your watch or bike computer gets this file automatically via Bluetooth Smart from your phone, WiFi, or USB, depending on how your watch is connected. Most companies offer this any time your watch is synced and you need a new version. So on your part, you never do anything – it happens quietly in the background. The data in this file was wrong, so the data your watch was using for those first few minutes is also wrong – resulting in the offset.

The The good news is that the fix is ​​simple: Just Sync your watch For an updated version. Garmin says for example that if your watch is connected to your phone, as of last night, you should download a new EPO file, which will fix the problem. Garmin also says they’ve put in blocks to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Although they said that 18 months ago too, so my assumption is that everything Sony did this time broke it in a new and distinct way that it wasn’t what it was last time.

With that, we hope this helps people understand what’s going on and how to fix it.

Thanks for reading!