Increase Nokia N95 GPS Sensitivity




Introduction: Increase Nokia N95 GPS Sensitivity

Those of you with a Nokia N95 will like myself understand when I say the phone leaves something to be desired when it comes to GPS sensitivity. The aim of this guide is to give you a simple way of increasing this sensitivity a little without making any permanent changes to the mobile phone.

For the non squeamish go to otherwise read on:

What I'll be doing in this guide is essentially hooking a naked wire around the contact from the gps antenna and wrapping that wire around the phone in order to form a crude improvement upon the existing built in antenna.

What you will need:

1x Nokia N95 (any variety will do)
1x piece of wire

You will not need a screwdriver as we won't be undoing any screws. That said I'm pretty sure that getting the back off your phone will invalidate your guarantee.

Please be advised that the use of this guide is your entire responsibility. I hereby disclaim all responsibility and will not be made liable for any damages of any kind.

Step 1: A Simple Brief

Before we begin we will locate the GPS chip and the antenna on the phone itself.

With the phone facing you and display pushed up to reveal the keyboard you'll find the antenna stuck to the plastic housing around the MiniUSB and power connector.

Just to give you an idea of the location I have used an image of the N95 motherboard devoid of all other components. The chip itself is located on the back of the motherboard behind the keypad.

The antenna is attached via a sort of metal prong to the motherboard in a similar way a speaker or microphone would be attached.

Step 2: Remove the Cover

Ok let's get stuck in.

Remove the battery and SIM then get the plastic backing off.

Working from the right side (with the camera button) prise off the cover. It is held on by sticky pads so it should come off quite easily.

Step 3: Remove the Keyboard

Remove the keyboard by using your fingernail to prise away the keyboard at the bottom.
This then comes away to reveal the keypresses themselves.

Step 4: Fit the Wire As an Extended Antenna

I stripped my wire out of a mains lead.

Form a hook at one end and use the hook to hook under the GPS antenna contact.

Pull this lightly such that the wire is under tension then wrap it round the plastic bottom end of the phone.

Take care to ensure that the wire touches no other metal component including the screws.

Earthing the antenna is IMHO a bad this as you'll be exposing the GPS chip and quite possibly other sensitive circuits directly to any static shock that the phone may get as part of it's daily life.

Step 5: Put Back Together

Put back the keyboard carefully ensuring the black rubber flanges on the keyboard go under the plastic surround.

Put back the plastic cover starting from the headphone socket on the left. Click it back into place.

Insert your SIM and battery.

Step 6: Go Outside and Navigate

Check and see if this makes your GPS experience better.

In my case I was able to lock on outside the Lyon PART DIEU train station even with the gps assistance disabled. Before this was impossible.

Let me and others know how you get on....

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    12 years ago on Step 6

     Excelent. I just did it  yesterday and really works. First time after turning on the phone took about 3 minutes to get GPS signal, but after that everytime took less than a minute with strong signal. I got signal in my house too.

    Today I improved a little your idea. In the base plate there is a little hole near the GPS receptor, I passed another wire many times in the hole and then attached it to the wire that goes to the gps antenna. I don´t have a pictureof the process now but that improved even more the reception. Outside got the signal better than ever.
    I work in a 30 floor building, at third floor , and even here I got signal, a little weak but before I didn´t get anything.

    Good luck


    12 years ago on Step 6

    Brilliant. I am a little more confident as have changed the whole facias of my N95 which involved taking the whole thing apart. Screws, screen and all. I ran the wire along the front, (do be careful not to get the wire near the vibration motor like I did or it makes a rattling noise when the motor bumps against the wire), around a screw and then up the side and around the carriage screws on the side of the phone. I tested it outside and picked up a signal instantly. Not in a bit but instantly, turned on the map function and got signal and the screen homed in on me before I had chance to do anything. Well done! It was no signal at all before (didn't help that I'd damaged the original GPS antenna!)


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I have now gone one step further than this, I thought of writing my own page but thought that still think that duxxyuk should be getting the credit for without the first steps I wouldn't be able to do this.

    As before up to step 4 but instead of using a piece of copper wire I used a screwdriver to remove the base plate.

    Be careful of both the mic and GPS antenna contacts. Holding the main bulk of the phone horizontally in your left hand with the base on the right pull it slowly horizontally, this should prevent damage to the contacts.

    Carefully remove the GPS contact (its a gold triangular type arial that is very delicate) from its housing. Then using the arial extension as a visual template (this is the copper arial stuck under a green protective sticker, I wouldn't recommend removing it unless you are very confident indeed as the adhesive, although not super strong, can make things a little difficult with such a delicate piece of kit) I made an exact copy of this out of tin foil, although I imagine any conductive sheet metal could be used, so long as it is very, very thin. Make sure that, in this case though, an elongated stub is cut out to ensure that this stub will enter the same housing the gold triangular antenna was removed from. Be sure to leave enough space on your template so that the little stubs that hold the keypad in place are not obscured or it'll not fit flush.

    Place the freshly made arial extension in place over the original. Carefully replace the gold traingular arial. I did this using a cocktail stick to gently push it back into the housing. Making sure again that attention is paid to the contacts on both the arial and the microphone gently slide the bottom cover back on and screw it back securely.

    Then follow steps 5 and 6 as above. Should any damage occur to the contacts of either the mic or GPS arial then new ones can be purchased of the internet very cheaply, but since originally reading duxxyuk original article I have been taking the bottom cover off many times to try different set ups with no damage, Just be careful if you're going to try! Good luck and thank you again to duxxyuk for starting me off.


    Reply 12 years ago on Step 6

    Nice one - cheers for the info... I still wonder why Nokia didn't get this right first time...


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Hello duxxyuk! very nice Instructable! I have tried it on my nokia n95 8gb. but unfortunately it kinda disturbed my gps signal :S I made it just like you, even ductaped it to the back of the gps cover. checkt if the gps connector (what the antenna connect it to the phone) was reaching the phone and it was.. but it still had a very poor signal... when i removed the (just added) copper wiring i had full gps connection again :S i was hoping that it would work on my phone but it didn't.. anyway Thanks! greetings AWester2 Ps. Sorry for my bad English