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GPS signals for Airave

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Journeyman

GPS signals for Airave

I've been reading a few of the issues that people have with setting up the Airave, and I wanted to give some advice.

I found no issues in setting up and using my Airave. I have it upstairs in my office, and it gives me coverage throughout my home, and about 1000 meters or so outside from my house. I live in a very mountainous area, actually not too far as the crow flies from a Sprint tower, but the intervening mountains block the signal. So Airave has been a life saver.

The only challenge I had was getting a GPS lock. Once I figured out the best location for the antenna, my Airave was working within 15 minutes or so. Here's what you need to know about GPS. You need a relatively clear view of some part of the sky. Direction doesn't matter, because there are 24 satellites up there moving in a criss-cross pattern across the sky. It's not like XM radio or a Dish Antenna, you just need to have that antenna in a location that allows it to "see" some portion of the sky.

The second thing you need to know is that the power of the GPS signal is tiny. It actually is less than 1.0 femto-watts, which, if my math is right, is one quadrillionth of one watt. Your Sprint cell phone transmits around 300 milliwatts of energy, which is 300 billion times more powerful! So, you can't place your antenna behind a wall, or in window blocked by a huge oak tree, or anywhere else that doesn't have a clear view of at least some small portion of the sky. You'd be surprised if you set up your GPS antenna in the winter, and it works perfectly, but once summer comes around and that big tree has full leaves, it might cut off your signal.

My antenna is stuck at the upper portion of the window frame on the second floor. I have a view of around a 50º arc of the sky, through pine trees, and I've been fine. Just don't assume that your Airave GPS antenna is some miracle device that can read a quadrillionth of a watt signal through walls and floors.

Believe it or not, your car's GPS loses signals in bad areas all the time, but it makes a reasonable computer guess that you will continue to drive along the current route until it reacquires the signal.

I hope this helps.

2 REPLIES 2
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Master

Re: GPS signals for Airave

LeftCoastMan

Thank you very much for your input. You are truly appreciated. Thank you for being a Sprint customer.

Regards,

Pamela
Sprint Social Care
Journeyman

Re: GPS signals for Airave

The GPS feature on the Airave is primarily for 911 call location verification, however it would not be needed for Airave locations because Airave's are located at fixed locations.  If the design of the Airave was changed to access a GPS location screen on the Airave router menu, if should allow for an override GPS location, or should allow for the entry of a physical address location, since the Airave generally is not moved once installed.  For those who are having issues with the GPS feature on the Airave, as LeftCoastMan indicates, is the best solution, but it would be a good upgrade feature in the future for Sprint to have installed, to be able to override this feature because it is a requirement for getting a connection, but not necessary if an address can be keyed in which would also send a not verified signal to indicate that this location has not been validated by GPS, but would be adequate for 911 locations.

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