GPS and LTE signals are by nature inconsistent. They can be affected by the geography, the topography and all elements in your pup's surrounding. 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 Lost Dog Mode, as this will ensure the Fi Collar is attempting to look for a signal every minute.
If your dog is indoors, the Fi Collar should be connecting to your base, Fi App or WiFI (Fi Series 2 customers only). GPS will always be inaccurate indoors. See:
- How to improve your Fi Base Connectivity
- How to improve Fi App Mobile Connectivity
- Understanding WiFi 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 and typically has to be charged everyday.
At Fi, we're balancing a sleek design your dog can comfortably wear everyday, 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 - he will likely walk through areas with very poor coverage, and areas with perfect coverage.
Testing Fi Collar LTE/GPS Reports In 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:
- Go outside, GPS/LTE will not be accurate indoors.
- Open your Fi App
- Ensure your pup's Fi collar is connected to your mobile device.
- To do this, tap Live
- Tap the arrow on the top right
- Tap your pup's profile photo to reveal the connection state
- You'll see a Blue circle with your initial to the right of the battery when your pup is connected to your mobile device
- For trouble shooting mobile connectivity see: How to improve Fi App Mobile Connectivity
- Exit the full map screen by tapping the back button on the bottom left
- Tap your pup's profile on the bottom left to reveal setting menus
- Tap the three stacked lines on the top right
- Tap "System Diagnostics"
- Choose the collar you want to test, and tap the pet's image to enter "Diagnostic Mode"
- Scroll to the bottom of the Diagnostic Report to find, and tap "Test GPS & LTE"
- Tap "Start Test"
- If your test is successful, you will see a result in "Latest GPS/LTE Report" with the location of your pup's collar during the test. If your pup were lost, this is where we'd report their location.
Repeat this test around your neighborhood, or areas you know your pup escapes to often.
We could not get a proper GPS signal / We could not get a proper LTE-M signal Errors
When performing an 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. Depending on the error you receive here are steps you can take:
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 couple of factors, including the number of satellites that the receiver can see and grab a signal from.
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 will 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 different 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 be able 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 different areas in your neighborhood.