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Nexus 4 GPS not Fixing after Screen Replacement FIXED , GPS Antenna MOD!

422 posts
Thanks Meter: 90
By boltthrower56, Senior Member on 3rd October 2014, 11:18 PM
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So fellas , my family has a lot of nexus 4s , one of them had a broken screen which we replaced. I also fixed the proximity sensor issue with it more than once so feel free to ask questions about it too. After the replacement and fixing those issues , we had another problem which is GPS taking 2 minutes to get a fix , despite the clearly visible sky and whatnot it refused to get a fix. So i set out to find the issue. The internal antenna that is connected to the back cover of the phone (behind your front camera) was clearly making contact , the antenna wire was plugged properly which i tested thoroughly with my trusty fluke on probe setting. Anyway , the problem was the Digitizer , if you can believe that.
Remember the original comes with aluminum tape wrapped around it. I always thought it was to protect it from external interference. I was half-right. It does protect it from external interference but it also protects the antennas from the digitizer's interference. I got some aluminum tape , wrapped it around the Digitizer's IC and et voila! We got a fix in 16 seconds from 14 satellites.
I also came up with a mod on the back plate.
What we did was , we cut 2 aluminum foils to 3-4 mm width and then starting from the gps contact zones which are located at the right corner of the back plate we started to lay them down avoiding other antennas as best as we can. We worked our way to the bottom with that foil and then connected that foil to the ends of an antenna sticker that we bought off ebay. Then we secured everything in place , and closed the device up. Another et voila , Fixes the position in 5-8 seconds on the same spot. This could theoretically work on the gsm/3g antenna as well although we haven'T tried that , we got pretty good reception where we live. I think those are also on the back plate.

Anyway folks , that's about it. I thought i'd share my experience with you guys so you don'T have to live through the same thing and even make it better. I wish i could provide some pictures but we closed the device up to test it and did not pry it open again. It gets really tense when you're prying open your only phone.

Note : Use copper foil if you can find that , it has better conductivity.

On top of all those , you need to ground your antennas on the designated places around the frame. Mine came with the pads although some assemblies apparently don't have those , i recently had one. The original has sponge pads to provide contact since those parts of the board are recessed a bit. So , the ground connections need elevation to make contact. Use conductive tape (stack 3-5 together that should be enough) to elevate the points. The ground point just below the front camera is responsible for grounding the gps antenna , i'll mark that in the picture.
The other pictures are there to point out other components. The reference one is the one with the blue tape all over it.
That blue tape insulates the the chips , especially the emmc from the frame. You also need to do the same. You don't want the frame to accumulate charge , because then it won't ground.


Thanks to Eriol The Mariner for bringing the grounding issue to my attention.
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Last edited by boltthrower56; 6th April 2015 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Update
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to boltthrower56 For This Useful Post: [ View ]
4th October 2014, 07:53 AM |#2  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
Hello, I'm interesed in some pics and also with the proximity sensor issu that i'm facing to... Thank you very Mutch from a french Guy with a poor N4 (GPS ans proximity issu)

Sent from my Nexus 4 using XDA Free mobile app
4th October 2014, 10:16 AM |#3  
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 90
Originally Posted by jmouf

Hello, I'm interesed in some pics and also with the proximity sensor issu that i'm facing to... Thank you very Mutch from a french Guy with a poor N4 (GPS ans proximity issu)

Sent from my Nexus 4 using XDA Free mobile app

I'll make the pictures on Monday. I'm going on a short vacation now. If you want i can also help you on skype when i'm free.
4th October 2014, 11:09 AM |#4  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
OK thanks. No problème for the wait... I'm already waiting for 6 month ( when i changed my broken screen!!)
I use proximityscreenoff app for now.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using XDA Free mobile app
8th October 2014, 12:15 PM |#5  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
So, i manage to fix my proximity sensor with the "black ruber" method but if you can show me how to fix the GPS that will be pretty cool !
Thanks in advence
11th October 2014, 06:49 PM |#6  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
Same problem here!
I also have exactly the same problem. Waiting for the photos of your work! Thank you for your post!
14th October 2014, 03:16 AM |#7  
Senior Member
Los Angeles
Thanks Meter: 32
I bought my Nexus 4 the day it came out. I was one of the lucky ones. Since then ive had an attachment to it. The only problem is that the gps stopped working after fixing the LCD. Hopefully we get the images soon so I could fix my GPS as well. You sir are amazing
14th October 2014, 03:53 PM |#8  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
I'm also patiently awaiting a response too!
I bought my phone used and the GPS was probably always wonky, always losing its fix and taking forever to get a lock. It's really annoying when you're driving using the GPS and it loses GPS signal and then I get lost lol!
The GPS works sometimes but not very well, which makes me think there is something wrong with the GPS receiver.

I'm guessing the previous owner replaced the screen (the bezel was a bit weird around the screen, made me think it was replaced), so that would explain it... I'd rather try to fix this myself though.
19th October 2014, 09:10 AM |#9  
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 90
Sorry boys , i had a crapton of work to do , i didn'T have time for pictures or anything. I made a picture for you now , it's not my phone but i marked what i did.
1. You have to make sure that your digitizer has this aluminum shielding or else it will cause interference.
2.Don't over-tighten the screws around the proximity sensor which are marked.
3. Below the middle cover is the proximity sensor , which i marked. Insert a paper shim there to make sure it is in position.
4. If you make the foil antenna , avoid other antennas AT ALL COSTS! It will not explode or anything but the other antennas' signals will degrade.
5. Make the antenna very narrow so it doesn't interfere.
6. Place the antennas on top of gps contact points and make sure they don'T touch each other.
7. Antenna material has to be conductive.
8. You cannot possibly brick your device with these instructions. So , if you brick it , it's totally your fault.

The picture :

Good Luck.
22nd October 2014, 08:41 AM |#10  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
Hi !

Thanks for the help and sharing your tips.

I have a similar problem : I replaced my Nexus 4 broken screen but also the battery one week ago.

After the replacement, a GPS problem shows up: the GPS is taking a few seconds (around 20 sec) to fix for the first time but the signal is very weak (low accuracy on GPS tester app) and eventually the fix is lost after 30-40 seconds, recovered for 30-40 sec and lost again etc. When the weather is cloudy, it's even worse : the GPS can't keep the fix more than 5 seconds. It's acting like the GPS antenna has an issue.

I have tried to reopen the phone, to check if the aluminium shielding was here and it was. Just in case, I wrap another aluminium tape around the Digitier's IC with no result

The replacement screen seems to be a genuine one, everything is working fine (proximity sensor for example) except the GPS.

I haven't tried the antenna mod yet but I think that it should be working fine without it.

Does anyone has another idea to help me ?

PS : sorry if my english is wrong, I tried to do my best
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