Discussion

    wjbBlaster
    BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass
    Discussion posted April 30, 2012 by wjbBlasterLandline (10+ points) , last edited May 17, 2012 , tagged DROID RAZR by Motorola, DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola, Verizon Wireless
    6064 Views, 25 Comments
    Discussion Subject:
    BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass
    Comment:

    The frozen compass problem on my Droid Razr Maxx is been resolved!

    (NOTE: This known compass problem is documented in other threads in this forum, such as: My Compass is Frozen, but I wanted to make sure that this potential compass solution was documented at the highest level).

    My call to Verizon - After a lengthy discussion with Verizon Level 2 Tech support yesterday, and his subsequent call to Motorola Tech support, I learned that Motorola is claiming that they are completely unaware of any compass problems with the Razr or Razr Maxx smartphones.  The Verizon engineer was initially also unaware of any compass issues, but after he did some research understood that there is a whole population of Razr and Razr Maxx users afflicted with this problem.  Bottom line:  Verizon tech authorized a warranty replacement for my Razr Maxx. I thanked him, but told him that I wanted to do some more testing before I requested my replacement phone.

    Testing Hypothesis - To confirm that it is a magnetic field sensor problem, and not a firmware or app problem.

    Facts - Using the Phone Tester app, my Magnetic Field Sensor values were: X=-1159.9 uT (Never changes...same value ALL THE TIME), Y=30.5 uT (constantly changing slightly); and Z=-640.8 UT (constantly changing all the time).  The fact that the X coordinate was constant after forced reboot indicated there was a problem with the sensor.  The other values, Y and Z were also highly suspected of being wrong, but they were at least changing.

    (WARNING:  What I’m about to describe is a process using a magnet that can potentially be destructive to any electronic device, especially smartphones.  Continue at your own risk.)

    Testing Methodology - Since my belief was that my magnetic sensor was frozen, my plan was to introduce a high magnetic field around my phone to see if I could change my frozen Magnetic Field Sensor X coordinate and possibly cause enough magnitism to unfreeze the Magnetic Field Sensor.  To do this, I used a small high-power neodymium magnet. (http://www.magnet4less.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_11&products_id=1032)(magnet BrMax: 14200 gauss)

    Testing Procedure -

    1. Power off the phone.  Remove the External microSD Card. Power on phone and open the Phone Tester app.  Click on the sensor status.  At this point, the status of the Accelerometer, Compass, Magnetic Field Sensor, Proximity Sensor, and Light Sensor values are present.  We are interested in the Magnetic Field Sensor X coordinate (mine was fixed at: X= -1159.9 uT).
    2. Lay the phone flat on the counter.  Using my cylindrical neodymium magnet (1/8 in. x 1/2 in.), I slowly moved the magnet towards the left side of the phone trying to change the value of the X coordinate.  Then I reversed the magnet poles and repeated.  Some fluctuation of the X Coordinate was noted.  Then I repeated it again, this time slowing moving the magnet toward the top of the phone.  This is where I started seeing the X Coordinate values really start to change.  I did the same exercise on the right side and bottom of the phone.  The magnet was never moved any closer than 2 in. from the phone.
    3. At this point, the Magnetic Field Sensor X, Y and Z values were all fluctuating.  The X Coordinate was now responding.  The magnet successfully made the magnetic field sensor start to work again. Now my magnetic field sensor values are functioning normally: X= 19.2 uT; Y=6.5 uT; and Z=-43.2 uT.   To me, this validated that this was indeed a sensor problem and not an OS or app issue.
    4. To verify my success, I opened my Compass app and the compass was pointing to North. In the Google Maps and Navigation apps, the blue pointer arrow was again functioning pointing to the direction that the phone was facing.  Google Maps and Star Chart were working again.  All GPS apps (GPS Status, c:geo, etc. were now working again.  Every app that is mentioned in the Motorola Forum that depends on a functioning compass should now work.
    5. Turn off phone, reinstall external SDCard, and reboot.  Reverify that compass works - IT DOES...Success!

    For me, this was a huge success as it meant that I didn’t have to replace my Droid Razr Maxx phone.   Hopefully, there are others that can fix their phone, but as I mentioned before, this procedure is potentially very, very risky, so if you decide to do this, have a warranty replacement approved, just in case things don’t work out as planned.  Good Luck!  BTW, this same procedure may also apply to the DROID RAZR smartphones.

    Answer

    • bammers

       I was just about to do the same thing... JKLaughing Great job.

    • stef7

      Very cool. Hopefully the fix holds up long term.

    • androidcore

      I, for 1, dont have the compass issue. 

       

      Issue 1 --- Do you ever re-instert the SD card?????? Your instruction manual never said what ou do with the card.

       

      Issue 2 --- Where does a common person obtain a "cylindrical neodymium magnet (5mm x 10mm)"??????????????

       

      Issue 3 --- In test procedure 2, what is the distant of magnet to phone you used???? .5in?????? 1in????? 3in????? 10in???????????????????????? 

       

      lastly... The compass issue only affects a small number of RAZR/RAZR MAXX phones. If it was an "extreme" issue with A LOT of users, it would have made the news blogs on the top android sites, thus indirectly notifiing Verizon and Motorola. I take great offence in your "typical customer" attitude towards Verizon/Motorola employees, regardless if they are Tier 1s or Teir 3s, or customer service or tech agents or finacial agents. A typical teir 2 makes $9.25/hr-$10/hr, depending on his/her time of employment. They are not engineers. They are typical working class people with a HS/GED, and maybe 2 yrs of college (if they are lucky) making ends meat. They come to work, find a available computer in a warehouse sized room, log in, start working, and take about 50 calls a day on avg from "people". Time to read emails and learn anything extra outside of training or learning lab environments (such as forums) must be done on their 2 15 minute breaks or at home on their spare time.

       

      And no... Most dont read thier own CUSTOMER SUPPORTED forums. If tech (teir 1s-3s) receive an issue they cannot fix, they can always make a ticket/case (depending on wireless carrier). Enough tickets of the same issue (say this compass issue) are reported, then engineering (a dept customers never will or get to speak to) will look into it... and if a valid issue is found (meaning a hardware or software issue is found that is NOT cause by USER ERROR and the issue can be duplicated in a lab), the Engineering will supply a mass notification to all employees at all all tech centers and maybe even 611 customer care centers (if the issue is very significant). Ergo, since they did not know your compass issue, means, and i say again, affects a small number of RAZR/RAZR MAXX phones. And, these affected users must have called Verizon or motorola or both to report the issue. If no one calls, or if not enough people call, and I mean ALOT of people (causing the word-buzz of employees at break/lunch time around the break/lunch tables), no one will know. 

       

      Please stop directly/indirectly stating that Verizon/Motorola employees are ignorant for not know all of their technology/issues. Know your facts before blurting out crude/uneducated/stereotypical statements.

    • grandsport

      One thing to note - even though you remove the Ext SD Card, not sure what affect it could have on the internal memory storage if not done exactly right, if there is an exactly right.

      @wjbBlaster did not have that problem, but that doesn't mean you couldn't or wouldn't. Seems like a fairly complicated and risky procedure for the novice.

      Just be sure for any of you wanting to try this, that you weigh all of the possibilities and potential for inadvertant results before you do. Not sure what it would do to your warranty either.

      Just a word of caution

    • crystallet

      For those of you with the knowledge, it might be a good idea if you could tell the forum what the risks might be.  I've tried a few searches to figure out what could go wrong, and I'm finding conflicting information.  For example, Flash storage shouldn't be affected by magnetism, but some people start digging really deep and talk about what might go wrong after exposure to a very strong magnet.  I found a post about Samsung warning about putting their phones in pouches with magnetic closures because it might interfere with/harm the NFC functionality which Razrs don't have, but then there's some question as to whether or not the Razr actually has an NFC chip for future functionality.  The OP removed his external SD card before exposing the phone to magnetism, but theoretically, the card should not be affected by magnetism, so maybe there's a different reason he did that.  Don't get me wrong, I know that the bigger the risk, the sweeter the rewards, and I'm truly pleased that it worked out so well.  But before people with less knowledge try this on their own, maybe someone can lay out what the consequences might be if the process doesn't work so well.  I don't have a stuck sensor, but I am curious about all of this, and this old dog would really like to learn a new trick.  Smile

    • joelbon

      This issue has been brought up to Motorola and there should be some official word on whether or not this is a good or bad idea to do. It is going to be discussed by the Motorola engineers, so give this a little time and you should know whether or not you want to try this. Hope this helps.

    • JBass
      androidcore said:

      buzz of employees at break/lunch time around the break/lunch tables), no one will know. 

       

      Please stop directly/indirectly stating that Verizon/Motorola employees are ignorant for not know all of their technology/issues.

       Know your facts before blurting out crude/uneducated/stereotypical statements.

       So how do you like working at VZ? Laughing

    • customer22
      JBass said:
      androidcore said:

      buzz of employees at break/lunch time around the break/lunch tables), no one will know. 

       

      Please stop directly/indirectly stating that Verizon/Motorola employees are ignorant for not know all of their technology/issues.

       Know your facts before blurting out crude/uneducated/stereotypical statements.

       So how do you like working at VZ? Laughing

       JBass, I have to agree with the post.  It really does get old and your response is childish at best.  You are better than that.  THere are a lot of Moto and Verizon employees that know a great deal and are extremely helpful.  SUre, there are a few that are not, but I think that you paint them all with too wide a brush.  It makes you look bad, not them.

    • JBass
      customer22 said:
      JBass said:
      androidcore said:

      buzz of employees at break/lunch time around the break/lunch tables), no one will know. 

       

      Please stop directly/indirectly stating that Verizon/Motorola employees are ignorant for not know all of their technology/issues.

       Know your facts before blurting out crude/uneducated/stereotypical statements.

       So how do you like working at VZ? Laughing

       JBass, I have to agree with the post.  

      It really does get old and your response is childish at best.  You are better than that.  

      THere are a lot of Moto and Verizon employees that know a great deal and are extremely helpful.  SUre, there are a few that are not, but I think that you paint them all with too wide a brush.  It makes you look bad, not them.

       I believe this is a perfectly reasonable question... Surprised

      I cite my direct experiences without personal attack. Those with different experiences are free to post them.

      Those who work at VZ are free to defend their personal performance, but their posts in no way justify or invalidate the generally poor VZ service that I document from time to time...

       

    • customer22
      JBass said:
      customer22 said:
      JBass said:
      androidcore said:

      buzz of employees at break/lunch time around the break/lunch tables), no one will know. 

       

      Please stop directly/indirectly stating that Verizon/Motorola employees are ignorant for not know all of their technology/issues.

       Know your facts before blurting out crude/uneducated/stereotypical statements.

       So how do you like working at VZ? Laughing

       JBass, I have to agree with the post.  

      It really does get old and your response is childish at best.  You are better than that.  

      THere are a lot of Moto and Verizon employees that know a great deal and are extremely helpful.  SUre, there are a few that are not, but I think that you paint them all with too wide a brush.  It makes you look bad, not them.

       I believe this is a perfectly reasonable question... Surprised

      I cite my direct experiences without personal attack. Those with different experiences are free to post them.

      Those who work at VZ are free to defend their personal performance, but their posts in no way justify or invalidate the generally poor VZ service that I document from time to time...

       

       

       

      I don't work at Verizon.  I have never worked for Verizon.  I don't even know anyone personally that works for Verizon.  I think that they do a good job though, but I don't bring it up every time someone mentions anything remotely similar to or even remotely attached to Verizon.  But even then, giving examples of what you feel is poor service is considerably different than what you do.  What you do is throw in a low blow every opportunity that you get.  It makes you look small.  Let it go for crying out loud.  You may enjoy making fun of them, but I have gotten advice from them and have seen the advice you give here.  I will stick with theirs man.  Verizon does have forums and if you want to be constructive why don't you bring up your problems there?

    • joelbon

      OK, I think that this is starting to get out of hand and this post needs to get back on topic please. Thank you.

    • JBass
      joelbon said:

      OK, I think that this is starting to get out of hand and this post needs to get back on topic please. Thank you.

      Joel,

      as always you are correct.

      This discussion has taken a decidely personal tone, which does not comply with the forum rules...

      https://forums.motorola.com/pages/afe9e9ba5d

    • subgunfun
      Okay, so I been having trouble with my compass on my razor max like everyone else. I called verizon and talk to motorola too, who told me there is no compass. A test app told me the compass is an Asahi Kasei AK8975 3 axis magnetic field sensor. I uninstalled apps tried rebooting and do ing everything I could in the thing work. Finally, with a test app open that shows the field streangth values I decided to use a magnet to see if I can change the values. Low and behold the magnet freed the sensor and it started working.I hope others can try this and see if it works for them. And I just used a regular magnet near the center back side of the phone and that did the trick. Good luck! 
    • eaccents
      subgunfun said:
      Okay, so I been having trouble with my compass on my razor max like everyone else. I called verizon and talk to motorola too, who told me there is no compass. A test app told me the compass is an Asahi Kasei AK8975 3 axis magnetic field sensor. I uninstalled apps tried rebooting and do ing everything I could in the thing work. Finally, with a test app open that shows the field streangth values I decided to use a magnet to see if I can change the values. Low and behold the magnet freed the sensor and it started working.I hope others can try this and see if it works for them. And I just used a regular magnet near the center back side of the phone and that did the trick. Good luck! 

      If you could provide a little more information, like what test app you were using to test the field strength values and specifically what a "regular magnet" would be (perhaps links to examples available online?).  Consider it a "for dummies" list of instructions for people like me! Smile

      Thank you!

    • subgunfun
       the app i am using is Z-Device Test. The magnet was a typical magnet about 2 inches long x 1 in wide and 1/2 in thick. I got the magnet from work somewhere and we use them to hold electrical/schematic prints up on the walls of metal buildings when are doing electrical troubleshooting or check out. I think most any magnet would work as a pretty good field to it. I'm just happy as a lark to have google sky working again.