GPS and LTE signals are by nature inconsistent. The geography, topography, and all elements in your pup's surroundings can affect the signals. Even a cloudy sky can substantially weaken GPS signal.
In poor signal situations, GPS tracking devices can die very fast, as they will feed more energy to the antenna to try to get on the network. The key technological advancement of the Fi Collar is that the software running in the collar will detect these situations - and avoid over-feeding energy to the battery. This results in longer battery life for your dog to walk to an area with a good signal.
Depending on the state of your pup's Fi collar, you can expect a GPS update every 1, 5, or 15 minutes.
If your dog is lost, we recommend enabling Live Tracking/Lost Dog Mode. This will ensure the Fi Collar is attempting to look for either a live signal for Live Tracking or for Original Lost Dog Mode, attempting to look for a signal every minute. See: How Do I Turn ON/OFF Live Tracking/Lost Dog Mode?
If your dog is indoors, the Fi Collar should be connecting to your Fi Base, Fi App, or Wi-Fi not to GPS (***Series 1 Fi Collars cannot connect to Wi-Fi). GPS will always be inaccurate indoors. See:
- How to improve your Fi Base connectivity
- How to improve Fi App Mobile connectivity
- Understanding Wi-Fi connectivity & coverage
My phone has perfect LTE, why does my Fi collar not find a signal?
While your cell phone may have a strong LTE signal, it is significantly larger in size (which means there is more room for a larger antenna) than the Fi Collar.
At Fi, we're balancing a sleek design your dog can comfortably wear every day, and a long-lasting battery, to ensure we can pick up a signal when it is available. The reality is that if your dog escapes - especially if it is in a rural area or in the woods - they will likely walk through areas with poor coverage and areas with perfect coverage.
Testing Fi Collar GPS/LTE reports in the Fi App
The best way to truly understand GPS coverage in your area is to do some testing, and we've built a function just for that! To test GPS, see: Testing GPS/LTE
Repeat this test around your neighborhood, or areas you know your pup escapes too often.
We could not get a proper GPS signal / We could not get a proper LTE-M signal
When performing a GPS test within the Fi App, it is possible you will see one of the errors above, or both. In order to provide a GPS update, we need both a GPS report and a signal from the LTE-M network to communicate that report to your Fi App. Follow the below steps, based on the error you received:
We could not get a proper GPS signal: GPS is a global positioning system determined by a network of satellites that orbit the earth. These satellites regularly beam their locations down to earth, where GPS receivers (such as the Fi Collar!) can use the signals to determine their own location. The position accuracy of this location report depends on a few factors, including the number of satellites from which the receiver can see and grab a signal.
A minimum of 4 satellites is required for any positioning, but often to get an accurate position, a GPS receiver will need to see as many as 20 satellites. GPS signals also do not travel through structures (walls, buildings, trees, etc.) and often rebound on hard surfaces, meaning indoor positioning is much more difficult to report.
If your GPS test fails, ensure you are outdoors with a clear line of sight to the sky, and try testing a few spots in your neighborhood.
We could not get a proper LTE-M signal: LTE-M is the short name for the LTE CAT M1 network. Like the LTE used on cell phones, it’s a cellular network. The reason the Fi Collar needs to use a cellular network is because when your dog is lost, and out of reach of any Wi-Fi or owner’s cell phone, it will use GPS to compute its location, and then use the LTE-M network to send that location to Fi systems (and your Fi App).
As such, it is always important for the collar to access the network whenever it needs to.
If your LTE-M test fails, it is possible to be in an area with poor coverage. To understand coverage, try a few areas in your neighborhood.