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What's DOS?
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-01-2010
Location: United States
Message 1 of 26 (465 Views)

BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass

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.

802.11n
Posts: 330
Registered: ‎04-10-2011
Location: United States
Message 2 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass

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

Token Ring
Posts: 446
Registered: ‎07-27-2011
Location: United States
Message 3 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass

Very cool. Hopefully the fix holds up long term.

What's DOS?
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎03-31-2012
Location: United States
Message 4 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass

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.

Broadband 3G
Posts: 1,298
Registered: ‎12-09-2011
Location: United States
Message 5 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass

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

Moto Sr Moderator
Posts: 11,301
Registered: ‎02-02-2016
Location: US
Message 6 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass

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

Moto Sr Moderator
Posts: 15,412
Registered: ‎02-03-2016
Location: United States
Message 7 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass

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.

I am not a Motorola/Lenovo Employee. I am just a volunteer who happens to be a Moderator. All comments are my own and are not necessarily Motorola/Lenovo's position.

Bit Torrent
Posts: 4,261
Registered: ‎09-08-2010
Location: United States
Message 8 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass


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

What's DOS?
Posts: 255
Registered: ‎11-26-2011
Location: United States
Message 9 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass


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.

Bit Torrent
Posts: 4,261
Registered: ‎09-08-2010
Location: United States
Message 10 of 26 (465 Views)

Re: BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY - Solved Frozen Compass


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...