GPS trouble on FP3 (Hardware issue?)

Hello together,
I do have quite severe issues with the geo location service on my FP3. I am using LOS 19 with microG (as of a couple days ago), but this issue appeared in 18 as well as with a temporarily rollback to Fairphones original OS.

I just cannot get a location fix from any satellites. GNSSViewer does not recognise anything for up to 30 mins (tested several times throughout the day), neither with LOS or the original OS. I am in close contact with the support team, but since I am out of warranty the only options they can offer are: Sending the phone in to assess the issue (but possibly exchange the core module and everything else with it) or Upgrading to another phone.

However I wasnt actually ready to retire my FP3, especially since I got 2 additional batteries, but I couldnt find the core module being sold individually on their website (i did ask the support though, currently waiting for the response). I beleive change the module itself should be fairly easy (did so for cleaning purposes already).

Is their anything else anyone could suggest to try to get the location service working again? Neither GMaps, Mozilla Location Backend, or any other app for that matter are able to track down any satelite or location.

PS: I should clarify I can get a approx. location fix via wifi (but only than, connection to cell towers arent helping as well), but this obviously doesnt help beeing out in the field.

Hey :slight_smile:
I suffer from the same problem as you: My FP3 does not find GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO satellites. I use iodéOS 3.1 (based on LineageOS 19.1 & microG).

Sometimes the GSPTest app finds one or two satellites, but this is far too little for navigation.
Since I have activated other location modules (Apple WiFi, Mozilla Location Service, and so on…) I can at least determine the location in populated areas. But since I use the navigation a lot for hiking, I have my problems with it.

Here you can find the prices for all the spare parts: https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360035880131-Fairphone-3-Repair-price-list-and-FAQ-Cordon

The core module costs about €210.
However, I am not sure if the core module is the cause of the problem, because sometimes my phone finds one or two satellites.

Many of the internal antennas are placed on the rear module (the plastic frame which you remove when you disassemble your phone). They are kind of “imprinted” on this plastic frame and are probably not that elastic any more, which could lead to breaks and thus a non-functioning GPS. My rear module also has a few cracks on the edges…

This rear module is much cheaper (€65) than the core module (which would basically mean a new phone).
I contacted Fairphone to see if they could send me a replacement rear module.
Otherwise I have a water-damaged FP3 as a spare parts stock from which I could get another rear module :slight_smile:

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Hey, cheers for your reply.

This is a very helpful answer, thanks for taking the time. I did think, that replacing the core module would be quite expensive and they might offer me a better discount on upgrading to the fp4. However, I might check out the rear module, because I am quite certain, I have noticed some of these quirks you described.

Would you be so kind and update me on the progress regarding your rear module?
I myself would maybe also try to access the rear module of other FP3 users, but I believe they might be reluctant to letting me take their (working) phone apart :slight_smile:

So i talked to the support as well. They said they will not be able to send me the core module. They seem to have a policy about only the repair centers being able to replace it due to electrostatic concerns.
Which frankly is a bit sad, cause I bought a repairable phone, which in this case I cannot. Furthermore If I buy this part of equipment, it should be my responsibility to make sure it will be properly handled.

However, I assume its the same for the backcover. For 210 I would opt out for the FP4 anyway, but if the backcover would have fixed it, I probably would have used that.

Hello @pratched
Sorry for my late reply. In the meantime, support has responded to my request regarding the rear module.
Unfortunately, they refused to send me this replacement part. I would have to send my entire phone to the repair center.
This goes against Fairphone’s whole philosophy regarding self-repair if they won’t provide you with something as simple as this plastic frame.

But yesterday I replaced my broken rear module with the one from the water damaged Fairphone 3 - aaaand oh wonder - my GPS works again :grin: :partying_face:
Also my cell phone reception seems to be a bit better - although I never really noticed that before :slight_smile:

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@rae: This part is called “Rear module” in the repair price list, so we have to assume it’s a module among the other modules, and it seems suited for self-repair well enough.
Apart from the Core module (reasons known) every other module is available in the shop as a spare part. Why not the Rear module?

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