HTC EVO compass - mine isn't working so goodSupport


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  1. LazyEngineer

    LazyEngineer Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Is anyone else having issues with their built in compass? In the Maps built-in App, it never has me pointed in the right direct. I think this is a software issue, read on dear reader:

    I downloaded the Compass app, and every time I start it, it says: "Abnormal magnetic field detected. Please Calibrate your device" And it does have a Calibrate option. As an aside, I find it odd that there isn't a built-in option to calibrate this device with the HTC interface provided - but that you have to download an App (i.e. the Compass app). When I do the calibration, it actually works: I hit the calibrate button and do the figure 8 thing, while holding the phone in the vertical position. It vibrates after the first figure 8 motion, the calibrate screen goes away, and the compass tracks pretty good in the app, for the duration of that session. It's still 15-30 degrees off, but decent enough that I'm ok. But that calibration doesn't translate over back to my Maps app (or any other apps that use the compass). Those all still have me pointed in the wrong direction - as does the Compass app if I close and relaunch.

    I could try taking it back, but why does it work and track just fine after recalibration? You never actually tell it where North is when you do the calibration, but it works pretty good after such. If it were hardware, wouldn't it just not work no matter what?
     

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  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Well-Known Member

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    What app did you use to calibrate?
     
  3. LazyEngineer

    LazyEngineer Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Sorry, it wasn't stated clearly in the original text of my post: the calibration is within the Compass app
     
  4. LazyEngineer

    LazyEngineer Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Is it just me then? Dang, maybe I should try and exchange it. But already has scratches and dings from use - not sure if they will be willing to exchange.
     
  5. Caloy

    Caloy Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't have a clue, I don't have a real compass to compare it against. Could it be possible that the compass has a true north option and is pointed at true north instead of magnetic north? Hmmmm, maybe not, the difference between true and magnetic north shouldn't be more than a few degrees.

    Sorry, no solution here, just thinking aloud. :)
     
  6. mogulust

    mogulust Well-Known Member

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    I know the answer to fix your problem. Every person I know with an android device thinks their compass doesn't work until I show them how to properly calibrate it, then it's 100% perfect. Waving it in a figure 8 pattern isn't the answer. It sounds weird, and it's hard to describe, but believe me it works. I can't remember where I read or saw it, so I just have to try to describe it.

    ... 1) In the compass app while just looking at the compass, not in the calibrate option, hold the phone flat, parallel to the floor.
    2) Then tilt the phone to the right 90 degrees so it's vertical and the left side is on top,
    3) then from that position, tilt it to the left 180 degrees so the right side is on top,
    4) go back to flat/parallel to the floor
    5) tilt 90 degrees on the other axis so the top of phone is on top
    6) tilt 180 degrees so bottom of phone is on top
    7) return to flat, and bingo, the compass is perfect down to <1 degree when compared with a traditional compass. Try to do all those steps without pausing between, at a medium pace.

    I was pretty amazed and relieved when I first did it because I actually use my phone as a gps for hiking off trail and it needs to be accurate. It may need to be done every few days as it does drift out of calibration for some reason.
     
  7. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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    I tried that.

    Looked good. Then I turned my phone 90 - got an instant 10+ degree error.

    Tried the cal thing you suggested again, and added another round at 90 degree turn.

    Worked much better. Ran Tricorder - it's lost its mind again.
     
  8. LazyEngineer

    LazyEngineer Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks Mogulust, but this did not work. Mine seems to prefer to point down, towards the base. Could it be the metal kickstand?

    Edit: interesting. If you. rub the kickstand in one direction - like a worry stone, you could magnate it. But if you rub in opposite direction, and then back and forth, it will demagnatize. This might help. Maybe.
     
  9. mogulust

    mogulust Well-Known Member

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    I have a feeling my description could be interpreted in a way I didn't intend since two people tried it unsuccessfully, but I can't find the site where I read about it which I think had a diagram or video demo. Literally every person I know with an android phone said their compass was garbage and then that method perfected it, so it leads me to believe if it doesn't work it's either being done wrong, or there's a hardware defect. Either way, good luck!
     
  10. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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    Srsly? I am NOT going to stroke my kickstand.

    Besides - the kickstand does not seem to be ferromagnetic at all.
     
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  11. willy900wonka

    willy900wonka Member

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    Google sky map really hates a bad compass setting. lmao
    "why ain't the moon on your phone, where it is in the sky"? lol

    Snaptic has a good compass calibration routine in it's compass apk. Has help and directions. Once calibrated it remembers. Fixed Skymap.
     
  12. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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    Well - your instructions seemed pretty straightforward.

    And you've confirmed that right after doing this procedure - you give your phone a 1/4 turn while parallel to the ground and you see NO error?

    The procedure seems to deal with roll and pitch - because of the error term I find with orientation, it seems that the procedure might be missing a dimension.

    I did a web search - it's chock full of various flippy, rotate, figure-8 _perpendicular_ to the ground procedures.
     
  13. NeoteriX

    NeoteriX Well-Known Member

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    A few thoughts and observations:

    -- I'm pretty certain that you do not have to use the compass application in order to calibrate the digital compass in the phone. In other words, the figure 8 process is universal and would have the same effect if you were to do it in google maps.

    -- My belief is that the issue is just inherent to the design of the digital compass. I suspect that the little digital magnetometer IC used in any phone is designed to pick up minute changes in EM field, and is much more vulnerable to electromagnetic interference than your traditional floating-magnetized-metal-pointer compass.

    Sitting here at my desk in front of my computer, I can "calibrate" it, and then without changing the orientation of the Evo, move it away from my computer. It will start reading changes in the magnetic flux density (and thus register different directional readings with no change in orientation.

    Consequently, I'm thinking that a correct figure 8 is designed to do a full 360 degree sweep for all axes, such that regardless of the variations of the EM field around you (caused by the computer, lighting, any other random equipment), the device is able to ascertain the relative fluctuation in EM that can be then attributed to the magnetic orientation of the Earth.

    In other words, calibration at any given spot is necessary to isolate the magnetic orientation of the Earth and eliminate any interference unique to that position. You should be always calibrating your phone then (provided that you're not in the middle of the woods, constantly far away from other interference).

    Consequently, I don't think returning your phone will have any appreciable effect on the performance of the compass. Additionally, as a side note, the iPhone has the same exact calibration procedure.
     
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  14. Never!?

    Never!? Well-Known Member

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    Leave that for us young guys.

    Haha
     
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  15. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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    Of course this is impossible with my magnetic personality.

    I get haptic feedback when my magnetic sensor completes calibration.

    I tried this in Tricorder, and then just rotating the phone (n-w-s-e-n) was able see sine waves during the magnetic scan.

    I can't understand the error when just rotating a 1/4 turn - rotate back, it holds its original position. Turn, error, turn back, ok, turn, error....
     
  16. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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    Thanks, I'm flattered, but I'll see how WifelyMon feels about it. :D :D ;)

    j/k
     
  17. Never!?

    Never!? Well-Known Member

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    Ewwwwww....
     
  18. NeoteriX

    NeoteriX Well-Known Member

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    In all seriousness, I would hazard a guess that the kickstand is aluminum and thus is not ferromagnetic.
     
  19. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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    Kidding!


    Ja wohl. It does not interact with a magnet.
     
  20. LazyEngineer

    LazyEngineer Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    NeoteriX, thanks for your well thought out reply. Per your suggestion, I tried the figure 8 motion while in the Maps App. After this, as you say, my orientation was indeed correct, and it tracked fairly well as I rotated the phone. It was not a rigorous test, and repeats are needed before I become confident in it; but it does look like you hit the nail on the head.

    I'm a little dissappointed that this essentially means I will need to do the figure 8 motion every time I start an app where it matters, but at least it works. I'm going to look like a real dork waving my phone around like that! It beats having to pull out the little metal shaft on the back and stroking it vigorously though - imagine doing that on a date!
     
  21. Never!?

    Never!? Well-Known Member

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    Why would you need your compass on a date?
     
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  22. Yith

    Yith Member

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    Just wanted to post this is exactly what mine does. I launch say google sky and it is usually pointing south and no matter which way you turn it it stays south until you shake it around or just move it around a bit.sometimes it works on it's own but usually it won't and after you calibrate it exiting

    google sky and instantly relaunching it leaves it needed to be soon again. I wonder if this big crt monitor in my room messes with it or permanently damaged it.it still needs to be calibrated outside away from the monitor but I wonder if it would start working if I went camping for a few days. Definitely sucks a bit.hopefully we find a solution or at least a cause.
     
  23. LazyEngineer

    LazyEngineer Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Sprint is sending me a new one. There are 3 issues with my EVO.

    1) This compass never works without on-the-spot re-calibration. Even then, it loses the calibration after a while, and cannot be trusted without immediately re-calibrating. Even then, questionable reliability. This problem has always been there and has never gone away.

    2) The HDMI doesn't work. My phone locks up solid when I try using HDMI, and have to pull the battery. This occurred with 2 different cables.

    3) The bluetooth has been unreliable. I've paired it with 3 different devices, and in all cases after 5-10 minutes of music play, it starts to stutter and then loses connection. Tried stock music player and DoubleTwist, same problem.

    If all 3 issues above are just design flaws - and don't go away, I'll suck it up and still keep the phone. It's a great phone and still serviceable. That said, I'm paying for the insurance anyway, so seems like it's worth a shot to try a different one.
     
  24. LazyEngineer

    LazyEngineer Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Related to the above, my replacement EVO came today. The compass works correctly on the replacement, and I'm certain it was a hardware issue.

    the HDMI still doesn't work, and still locks me up tight.

    No data regarding Bluetooth stability yet.

    The new EVO is white, and was fabricated 2 weeks ago. The white backing is a little more slick than the black, which I'm not so sure I like, to be honest. The back microphone no longer has a screen, but appears to have a plastic film over it. Not sure what advantage that has. The memory card is on 8gb, but has a 4 in a circle stamped on it, which I believe means it's a faster card? The battery is the same 1500mAh as always. The phone is hardware revision 4.
     
  25. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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    Interesting - I recall others others discussing the HDMI lockup issue some time back - I'll google it unless you beat me to it.

    Google - with the first term being androidforums.com is a great way to search for posts here, btw.

    Keep us posted as you learn more.
     

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