1. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    Is anyone familiar with how well the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 works in Manhattan? So far, I've managed to pair the device with my 8320 BB Curve without trouble. My blue indicator light flashes, indicating that the curve and the unit are talking...the problem is that the satellite light remains solid, and I can't seem to get a single satellite signal with either BBMaps or GoogleMaps (even in the middle of Central Park). Any help figuring out where to go from here will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
    05-11-08 06:10 PM
  2. jeffh's Avatar
    I use a Freedom Keychain 2000 paired with a Verizon 8830 in Washington, DC. Let's start with the basics:
    1. In Options/Advanced Options/GPS, do you have the GPS Data Source set to the Keychain 2000 GPS?
    2. In BBMaps/Options, do you have the GPS source set to the Freedom Keychain 2000?
    3. Are you selecting 'Start GPS' in the BBMaps menu?
    4. Does BBMaps respond to Step 3 with 'Searching for satellites...'?
    05-11-08 07:22 PM
  3. FF22's Avatar
    How long did you try out in the open of Central Park? It might take a while.

    Give my regards to Alice and the White Rabbit - one of my favorite locations in the park (Bronx native far from home)
    05-11-08 09:07 PM
  4. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    Hey Jeff! So far so good...options are set correctly, and I appear to be selecting the correct options when starting up BBMaps. If I let it run/search for satellites long enough, it gives me a message about "Can't Find Satellites. Try moving to a location where full sky can be seen" (or something to that effect).

    As for F2, I sat with it for a good 20-30 minutes trying to see if it could find a signal of some sort. haha and I'll be sure to visit them for you...so many awesome places I'm discovering as I'm a new transplant! :-)

    Thanks to both of you for all of your help so far :-)
    05-11-08 09:46 PM
  5. jeffh's Avatar
    Ok, some more things to think about:
    1. Do you have a clear view of the sky? My Freedom Keychain 2000 works well inside an airplane, but I haven't had a chance to try it in dense foliage.
    2. Do you have the time and time zone set correctly on the blackberry?
    3. Try locating your position in BBMaps before you turn on the GPS.
    I'm suggesting Steps 2 and 3 because if where BBMaps thinks you are is too far removed from the computed location, it may be throwing it out. I've had that happen with my Garmin Forerunner and my laptop Street Atlas. The Garmin will ask, "Have you moved hundreds of miles since your last known position?" Street Atlas will just say "Acquiring Satellites" forever.

    Given that you may not want to go back to Central Park at midnight, here's something you can try anywhere you have bluetooth enabled computer.
    1. Pair the Freedom Keychain to the computer.
    2. Turn the GPS off, then back on so it's broadcasting its bluetooth signal
    3. Run Hyperterminal (should be in accessories/communication folder)
    4. If Hyperterminal asks, tell it to use COM:4.
    5. After a moment's pause, you should see GPS text strings scrolling in Hyperterminal. If you do, you've confirmed your GPS works.

    Let me know what you get. My GPS and BB are on the table beside me as I type. It's been 'Searching for Satellites' for 12 minutes now. It can't see any from my interior location. But outdoors, it shouldn't take more than a minute, especially if you've used the GPS in that location before.
    05-11-08 10:09 PM
  6. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    So I actually anticipated that the clear sky thing would be a problem in my building (2nd floor in Manhattan)...so the closest I figured I could get would be the East Meadow in Central Park...but alas, no dice there. Time zone and all other settings seem to be as you suggested as well.

    haha and yeah, I've seen the edges of central park at this point in the evening...I somehow think my BB, GPS and I wouldn't make it too long! I'm on a mac, so will have to try the serial port trick tomorrow. I can pair the unit to my Mac though. The blue light is flashing, indicating that it's trying to talk to the computer. However, in my bluetooth settings menu, it says that it sees the device, that it's paired, but that it's not presently connected? Is it possible I ust have a bad unit? I'll be able to get you more data from one of my work computers tomorrow that's bluetooth enabled!

    Thanks again for your continued help!
    Last edited by NYCNsciGuy; 05-11-08 at 11:20 PM.
    05-11-08 11:13 PM
  7. jeffh's Avatar
    Paired but not connected...do your bluetooth settings tell you what comm port they're mapping to? Might not be COM4: on a Mac. I assume a Mac has an equiv to hyperterminal.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-11-08 11:53 PM
  8. FF22's Avatar
    Make sure you are NOT blocking it with your body although mine is quite sensitive and so far have used it inside my house and in pretty dense forest. But for initial gps capture, make sure not to shield it with your body. I've not tried mine is areas of dense high-rise like Manhattan (or Seattle). It has accurately tracked me on a 56 mile bike ride, cross-country skiing and hiking in forested areas.

    In the OPTION Menu, under Advanced, there is a gps option - try looking at that. Also, maybe under Bluetooth icon, there is something to show Properties of your various BT devices, find the gps, then Refresh Service List.

    Edited to add: If that YELLOW light never blinks after good open field exposure, it could be the unit. Where did you purchase it? You might want to return it for another.
    Last edited by F2; 05-12-08 at 09:30 AM.
    05-12-08 09:11 AM
  9. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    Hey Jeff and F2! So I tried to connect the gps to my computer at work, but it won't go (though that's likely due to a bunch of software restrictions from the IT guys, and not necessarily an issue with the device per say) You're definitely right though, there must be some way to do the same trick on my mac...I'll have to check when I get home tonight. Like I said, it pairs, it's recognized, just doesn't seem to want to register as connected. Btw, are there any free nav/gps programs I should download to try and test the mac-gps connection with?

    Hmmm, so I don't think I've been blocking with my body during my first attempts to acquire a satellite lock...though I've definitely been shielding the device with 13 floors of building above me. Perhaps I should try again in central park (after the rain, wind and flooding subside)...perhaps delete the gps, re-pair it, and then give it a go?

    As for the light, last time I tried it in central park, it definitely never started to even consider blinking. haha I bought the unit right here from shopcrackberry, so I'm assuming returning it should be no trouble. I'm really glad to hear that it's worked so well for you though...I'm looking forward to using it to track my cycling as I build up for century rides, etc... Glad to know it definitely should work in Manhattan and other urban areas too! :-)
    05-12-08 03:10 PM
  10. jeffh's Avatar
    F2 made an important point about 'Refresh Service List.' It's in Bluetooth Options. Select the device, click the trackball, click on Device Properties, push the Menu key, and select 'Refresh Service List.' You'll get a dialog box that says 'Waiting for Keychain GPS 2000.' If that's followed by 'Unable to Connect to Keychain GPS 2000,' and you are paired, then try it again. If it persists, you can delete and re-pair. If it still persists, there's something wrong.

    If the two devices are communicating properly, 'Waiting for...' will go away with no other messages. You can do this test whether you can see the sky or not. Like the serial comm test, it doesn't depend on a GPS lock.

    If you have a car, you can just take the GPS for a drive. You don't have to be motionless in open air for it to lock. But I understand that folks in NYC often don't have cars. I don't need or want a car in Washington, DC, either.

    I don't think you'll have any problem returning the GPS if you need to.
    05-12-08 03:46 PM
  11. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    Ahhh so I've given that a try, and it refreshed w/o any trouble. Opened BBMaps again, sent it searching for satellites, but still no luck. haha even got bold and took it to the roof of my building (can't get much more open sky then that on the Upper East Side), and the satellite LED just remains a nice, solid orange/yellow color. haha so I guess at this point, looks like I should just sack the unit, and return it for another! Thanks to both of you for all your help though :-)
    05-12-08 05:12 PM
  12. jeffh's Avatar
    Just did a check. I wasn't sure until now if the Orange LED would blink w/o a computer connection, but it will. I got a flashing Orange LED within five minutes of turning the GPS on, standing on the roof of my building, with no Blackberry. So even if there is a Bluetooth problem, you should still get a blinking Orange LED. Since you don't, that would seem to rule out connection issues and point to the GPS itself, and render moot using Hyperterminal to check your connectivity.

    Only one more point to be sure of, and that's that you turn the GPS on with a sky view. I mean, you can't turn it on in your apartment and wait 10 minutes before exposing it to the sky. It'll time out. But if you stand on your roof, with or without a blackberry, turn on the GPS, and wait 10 minutes without a blinking Orange LED, then I think that pretty conclusively proves you have a bad GPS.
    05-12-08 06:02 PM
  13. organman's Avatar
    I agree with Jeff about your GPS "dud". Even if the failure rate is only 1 in a thousand, SOMEONE's gotta get it, right?

    I just turned on my keychain 2000 inside the middle of my building. It took about 30 seconds, but it still started blinking!
    05-12-08 06:33 PM
  14. FF22's Avatar
    Training for a Century Ride in Manhattan has to be a trip. Hmmm, got me reflecting - I just last week at a garage sale, sold my Peugot Bicycle that I purchased as some bike shop on the upper east side, ahem, back in 1971 or 1972. It went on its first ride in Central Park. That was about 4 road bikes ago. I'm also training for a Century in about a month.

    To bring this kind of back on topic - the Freedom has done much better than my Garmin 76cs - I believe the gps chip is more sophisticated and sensitive.

    Hope you get a good one in the next try.
    05-12-08 10:10 PM
  15. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    LoL...so the "dud" hypothesis is making a lot of sense at this point! Definitely climbed to the top roof of my building this morning, held my unit aloft, flicked the switch...and alas, no blinking orange light! haha what can I say, we tried!

    I'm glad that everyone agrees with the positive reviews I had read online regarding the freedom GPS...can't wait for the new one to arrive in the mail so I can start playing :-) And F2, nice to meet a fellow cycling/crackberry addict! haha I can honestly say that I haven't quite figured out where to train for the century in the metro area...worst case scenario, just lots and lots of laps around the main loop of central park perhaps?

    Thanks to all who helped, and I'll let you all know what happens when the new unit arrives :-)
    05-13-08 10:57 AM
  16. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    So I returned the "dud" GPS (a very quick and extremely simple process) and just received my replacement this morning. Good news is that it worked exactly like it is supposed to...at least for the first 2 hours. I've since run into some troubles, however I'm presently assuming that these are primarily b/c I'm no longer in the middle of Central Park! For the time that I had the puck working, however, it was quite sweet!!

    Now for the only remaining problem that I can think of...I couldn't seem to get BBMaps to accept the GPS (though it worked fine with Google). I ran through all of our previous trouble shooting, but without any luck. Any suggestions? Already tried to re-install BBMaps without any effect? Thanks again for everyone's continued help! :-)
    05-20-08 01:17 PM
  17. jeffh's Avatar
    What version of BBMaps do you have? I have 1.2.30 and it works fine. I was trying to help a user yesterday who has 2.x, and we could not get it to work.

    In BBMaps, Menu/Options/GPS Settings/GPS Source: do you have the option to select the "Keychain GPS 2000?"

    And in Options/Advanced/GPS, set GPS Data Source to "Keychain GPS 2000" and GPS Services to "911 Only." I suspect you did that already, based on our earlier troubleshooting.
    05-20-08 01:24 PM
  18. NYCNsciGuy's Avatar
    Hey Jeff....version number is 1.2.26. The good news is that I have finally succeeded! Took a field trip to the middle of Central Park today for lunch, sat for a minute or two, and everything seems to be working just fine now?!? Very weird, but I'm certainly not going to question it :-P As far as I can tell, there is just something about my building such that it is next to impossible to get a GPS signal within a 2 block radius or so...oh well, at least I know now! I can't thank you enough for all the help with troubleshooting my issues...it's been quite an informative and fun time!
    05-21-08 12:58 PM
  19. jeffh's Avatar
    Outstanding! Glad to have helped. The Freedom Keychain 2000 is a really cool gadget. Did I mention I figured out how to use it with my desktop atlas? Off topic for here, but you can use your puck with any computer with bluetooth. Enjoy.
    05-21-08 01:11 PM
  20. mobillwill's Avatar
    I had a similar issue with the Keychain 2000 GPS when I was visiting NYC. I could not get it to work with BB Maps at all, but it worked ok with Google Maps. I purchased it in Atlanta and it worked fine, and flew through DC, where it worked there as well. But while I was in NYC it NEVER locked to a satellite with BB Maps.

    Sometimes I have to turn off GPS navigation and back on again in BB Maps to get it to work properly in my hometown, Atlanta.

    Now I'm looking for some better software to use with it. Is there better software available that is free/ cheap?
    05-23-08 04:20 PM
  21. jeffh's Avatar
    Nav4All is free. Some people have had good results with amAze, also free. Surf around in this forum and you'll find a lot of info.
    05-23-08 10:29 PM
  22. yogi's Avatar
    I enjoy BB maps with the freedom keychain gps 2000. It works perfectly.
    05-24-08 05:49 AM