Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

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Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Wollemi » Wed 27 Feb, 2019 10:10 pm

A GPS Week Rollover happens because of the way the navigation signal works. The current week number is encoded into the signal message received from the satellites using a 10-bit field, and this allows for a week range from zero to 1023. The current period began back on 22 August 1999, and on 6 April 2019 the week number rolls over back to zero, where it will start counting back up to 1023.

Source; https://www.zdnet.com/article/some-gps- ... r-april-6/

https://au.pcmag.com/news/60718/your-gp ... on-april-6

How would I know? Runners watch? Car-based TomTom that won't do updates anymore. Garmin e-trex I bought on this site 9 years ago...
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby ribuck » Thu 28 Feb, 2019 8:14 am

Wollemi wrote:How would I know?

The only ways to know for sure are to test it inside a GPS satellite simulation chamber, or to inspect the firmware source code.

For the rest of us, we can see if the manufacturer has anything to say about it, or we can be consoled by the general advice that it's unlikely to affect devices designed since 2010.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby keithy » Mon 11 Mar, 2019 1:23 am

For those concerned, Garmin's response is here: https://support.garmin.com/en-SG/?faq=z ... Y9kDnDBgZ6

This is for their consumer devices and they state that for the majority of their devices the date rollover will not negatively impact the devices. For those devices affected, the positioning accuracy will not be affected, only the incorrect date/time stamps in track logs and for computing sunrise/sunset.

For their aviation devices, Garmin had previously already rolled out a service advisory 1905 in January that informed that there were no issues with Garmin aviation devices as a result of the April 6 2019 date rollover.

And if you have your Tomtom automotive GPS, check it here with the serial number https://www.tomtom.com/en_us/updates/

That said, most newer handheld GPS units will not be affected. I will have to remember to check my older units, those that might already have been through the first epoch without me noticing.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Orion » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 2:37 am

Well? Did anything happen?
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Kickinghorse » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 8:41 am

Interesting that you may ask Orion. Maybe just a weird coincidence but turned on the Garmin yesterday and hung as it loaded tracks and waypoints. Had to restart it to progress to the home screen but failed to find any sats after numerous attempts.
Resorted to removing the battery and replacing after 30 secs which did the trick. BTW the correct date and time was the displayed throughout. Not sure what was going on!

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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 8:47 am

I was curious after reading this thread so just turned my Garmin 60csx on and no problems. Time and date correct.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Orion » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 9:14 am

I have a couple of inexpensive ($16) GPS modules that I bought for hobby purposes. I plugged one in and watched the NMEA messages during the rollover period. Nothing happened. The date remained correct. I could not determine who actually manufactured the GPS module or when it was manufactured but, hey, it worked.

Thinking about this some more it occurs to me that the April 6, 2019 rollover date isn't the only time that an error could occur. It depends upon how the GPS receiver handles the potential for an error. One method would be to include the manufacture date in the GPS firmware. If that is what is done then a rollover error would occur ~19 years after whatever that date is. In other words the error could happen at almost any time.

There are other ways to handle the problem. It's possible that the current date is updated in nonvolatile memory in the GPS module. That way, as long as you use the chip once every 19 years, it won't ever rollover. But is that how the chips I have deal with it? I have no idea.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby peregrinator » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 9:43 am

Etrex 20 shows correct time and date, and has sunrise and sunset almost the same as does Geoscience Aust data. Can't comment on date stamping for track logs.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby johnw » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 9:58 am

Note to self - Check my now quite ancient yellow Garmin eTrex
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby michael_p » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 11:54 am

johnw wrote:Note to self

Yes, I too will be digging out my 2004 Meridian and seeing if it still works. It may be old but it is very reliable and a handy backup to my modern phone.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Lamont » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 2:37 pm

I turned my Inreach on just now on and it worked flawlessly. Going out for a couple of days so thought well, better make sure, even tho' I heard and as keithy said devices after 2010 would be fine.
That is, sent my preset instantly and checked received (instantly) but, why is Vera Lynn's voice emanating from the device singing "We'll meet again"?
Strange... given it has no speaker.
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby keithy » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 7:11 pm

I've been out of town for the past 6 weeks, but have tested almost all my current and older GPS devices and they are fine (including the old etrex H - the "yellow" etrex).

As Orion mentioned, the error change does not necessarily have to occur on the rollover day itself - being due to the 10 bit week counter (1024 week limit). The date error may occur from the date stamped on the last firmware release or what ever date the GPS device sets as its "factory start date".

On my sisters old automotive Garmin Nuvi 500 which she still uses (I reckon this is about 10 years old or maybe a bit younger), it now consistently states the wrong date, starting from around December 2018. Eg. Her GPS stated 17 May 1999 when it was 31 December 2018. This happens to be 7168 days difference, or 1024 weeks.

Garmin have stated that the Nuvi 500 is no longer supported, so it seems unlikely that an updated firmware would be released for it.

Of note, the GPS on that Nuvi 500 still functions normally - the time is correct, and the GPS positioning is as accurate as it was previously. The incorect date is the only error. For her it isn't much of an issue, but if you were to rely on the sunrise/sunset data from a device with an incorrect date, obviously this information would be incorrect. And if your GPS device did not have a way to manually set the date, your track logs will be 1024 week behind.

Orion wrote:There are other ways to handle the problem. It's possible that the current date is updated in nonvolatile memory in the GPS module. That way, as long as you use the chip once every 19 years, it won't ever rollover. But is that how the chips I have deal with it? I have no idea.


In the ongoing effort to modernise GPS, around 2014 some satellites started broadcasting a an additional 13 bit date signal (this allows 8192 weeks or about 157 years for ongoing date rollovers, compared with the 1024 week/19 year limit for curent 10 bit date signal). Of course, legacy GPS devices need to account for the new signal, and where possible this might be accounted in firmware software updates).

Disturbingly though, I read yesterday on twitter that some Boeing 787s in China were grounded as they exhibited GPS date rollover error in their nav systems https://twitter.com/ChinaAvReview/statu ... 8919411712 Surprising for an aircraft model that is under 12 years old.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Orion » Mon 08 Apr, 2019 7:26 pm

keithy wrote:Of note, the GPS on that Nuvi 500 still functions normally - the time is correct, and the GPS positioning is as accurate as it was previously. The incorect date is the only error.


Wouldn't an incorrect date cause the time to be wrong certain periods of the year due to miscalculated daylight saving time shifts?


keithy wrote:Disturbingly though, I read yesterday on twitter that some Boeing 787s in China were grounded as they exhibited GPS date rollover error in their nav systems... ...Surprising for an aircraft model that is under 12 years old.


Not really, given the recent revelations about Boeing engineering decisions.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby keithy » Tue 09 Apr, 2019 4:37 pm

Orion wrote:Wouldn't an incorrect date cause the time to be wrong certain periods of the year due to miscalculated daylight saving time shifts?


That's true. My sister currently lives somewhere where DST doesn't apply. Everytime I go see her, one of my jobs is to update the automotive maps on her Garmin. The official Garmin maps are long out of date and that model didn't have lifetime map updates, and for the past 6 years or so I've installed some very good OSM maps on to it for her. She also has an old nuvi 250 but I hadn't checked that one for the date error.

Back in the day the Nuvi 500s were advertised as do-it-all GPS units - for driving, biking, hiking, water activities - it was waterproof, and had a user replaceable battery which could last about 8 hours. It came with topo maps in some regions (not aus though).

The old nuvis could only set the time format (12/24hr), time zone, and DST (on/off/auto), so you could manually adjust the DST on those units.

Newer handheld units (like my Garmin Oregon, the etrex 20/30 series, and the etrex 25/35) do not seem to have the DST setting anymore, with the only settings available is time format (12/24hr) and timezone.

I've been wondering what happens with units that don't have user adjustable DST settings if governments decide to change DST, like currently being discussed in Europe, or like what happened for the 2000 Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Without firmware updates to adjust for the new DST regimes, the time will be out by an hour.

Orion wrote:Not really, given the recent revelations about Boeing engineering decisions.

:shock:
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby ribuck » Tue 09 Apr, 2019 8:22 pm

keithy wrote:Without firmware updates to adjust for the new DST regimes, the time will be out

For internet-capable devices, the DST rules are not in firmware. They are synced online from public databases.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Orion » Wed 10 Apr, 2019 4:56 am

Tangentially related (and pretty funny):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4EUTMPuvHo
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby neilmny » Wed 10 Apr, 2019 7:56 am

Very funny :lol:

My Etrex Vista HCx seems to be functioning correctly, though I probably should put it to a more stringent test than just seeing if it shows me as being at home.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby michael_p » Wed 10 Apr, 2019 9:51 am

One foot in front of the other.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby keithy » Thu 11 Apr, 2019 6:29 pm

Had a funny video chat with my sister yesterday as I was trying to get her to test her old Garmin nuvi 205 for the date. It was hidden under Tools/Settings/Time/World time (instead of being under Tools/Settings/Time/Current time). Under just the Time option, it would only give option for 12/24hour and the ability to manually set the time. No option for auto DST adjustment.

But surprisingly, the nuvi 205 (which I believe is older than the nuvi 500) actually displayed the correct time and date. So the rollover hasn't affected this model yet. No guarantee it won't happen in the coming years though.

Garmin issued a support update on the nuvi 500 https://support.garmin.com/en-HK/?faq=B ... Sg4DtAI5c9 saying it is a result of the GPS date rollover, but of note, the unit I tested exhibited the GPS date issue a number of months before the April rollover date.

ribuck wrote:For internet-capable devices, the DST rules are not in firmware. They are synced online from public databases.


My comment was more directed at my non-smartphone handheld GPSs which are of the non-wifi, non-internet-capable variety. Units like the Nuvi 205 and the Nuvi 500s I tested both allow ability to manually set the time - You can deselect the "Automatic" time setting and manually set a time instead. Although somewhat frustratingly on the Nuvi 500 the +/- buttons adjust the time only in 15 minute increments....

There is however, no option to manually set the date.

My current handheld Garmins (the Oregon 600 and etrex 30) do not have the ability to manually set the time that I can find. So my comment was more what happens if the government changes the DST regime, and there is no further firmware update to account for this, it is likely my GPS's time will be incorrect at least once a year.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby north-north-west » Thu 11 Apr, 2019 7:11 pm

I'm struggling to understand why it's a problem. So the unit won't show the correct time and date? - Big. Effing. Whooppee. Who uses their GPS to keep track of time anyway?
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Orion » Fri 12 Apr, 2019 2:34 am

keithy wrote:So my comment was more what happens if the government changes the DST regime, and there is no further firmware update to account for this, it is likely my GPS's time will be incorrect at least once a year.


I think it would be at least twice a year and potentially four times.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Orion » Fri 12 Apr, 2019 2:40 am

north-north-west wrote:Who uses their GPS to keep track of time anyway?


Me.

I purchased an inexpensive GPS module specifically for the purpose of building a clock that I'd never have to set. It replaces the aging VHS player that we were using for a clock in our living room. That thing had DST logic but the government has changed the date rules since the device was manufactured. So I had to manually adjust the time at least twice a year. It was actually more often because of the occasional power outage. And the clock drifted too.

So now I have a tiny little homemade clock that keeps time perfectly, recovers gracefully from power outages, and knows about the current DST rules. But it's possible that the GPS rollover will affect it at some point in the future. If that happens I'll have to either turn off the DST option or just modify the firmware.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby michael_p » Fri 12 Apr, 2019 1:31 pm

michael_p wrote:Yes, I too will be digging out my 2004 Meridian and seeing if it still works.

Did some testing and my 2004 Meridian works fine. Only odd thing was after I turned it on the time was 2 hours out. I did a reinitialise and the date field showed "19". Created a track and the time on the track was OK. Looks all good to keep using as a backup for my phone.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby neilmny » Fri 12 Apr, 2019 2:58 pm

neilmny wrote:Very funny :lol:

My Etrex Vista HCx seems to be functioning correctly, though I probably should put it to a more stringent test than just seeing if it shows me as being at home.


Proper test done. A recorded track of about 4 km overlayed "right" on the mark in Mapsource.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Wollemi » Sat 20 Apr, 2019 7:57 pm

April 6, and my Garmin eTrex Vista was reading correctly. April 8, and since - the time has been stuck on 19 July 1958.
I correct it manually - and the date and time revert back 6+ decades...

I do a three-finger reboot, and the time is stuck on 20-Jul-58, and the hours and minutes are advanced seemingly randomly, too.
Three-finger re-boot, (unrelated to 6 April problem); http://www.fixya.com/support/t260605-ga ... te_problem
Other resource for hidden commands here; http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/secret.htm#reset

https://support.garmin.com/ms-MY/?faq=z ... Y9kDnDBgZ6
What is the Effect of a GPS Week Number Rollover Issue?
For GPS devices that are affected, after the rollover occurs, an incorrect date and time will be displayed. This incorrect time will also be used to timestamp track logs, compute sunrise and sunset, and other functions that rely upon the correct date and time. However, the positioning accuracy will not be affected. The device will continue to deliver the same positioning performance as before the rollover.


I have scrolled through the decades to the present time and checked moon phases/tides and sunset/sunrises, and these are very correct for Sydney region on any select date. The location is and are very precise, too. But the date and time... :(

Oh well.
The most commonly used way I used this small GPS unit was to select large numbers and try to maintain 7.5km/h, say, when kayaking.
Have just used google maps when long-distance cycle touring, and strava on my 'phone when canyoning, together with topo maps.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby Orion » Sun 21 Apr, 2019 1:59 am

Interesting the date, 19 July 1958. It's close to but not quite 3 x 1024 weeks. A curious puzzle.

Is there any means of updating the device's firmware? Given what Garmin wrote on their website I gather the answer is no. Oh well. Still tells you where you are.
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Re: Is your GPS April 6-ready ?

Postby tastrax » Mon 22 Apr, 2019 10:11 am

There is a webupdater for garmin devices that you can use to check the firmware.

https://www8.garmin.com/products/webupd ... nstall.jsp

The hardest thing with older models is you may need a computer with an old serial port rather than USB (depending on age of etrex)
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