Updated Firmware for PM 800, PF 800, PM 100/200, PM 120, 220, MM100, MM120

Spectra just (Tuesday Morning, 9:00 am MST 8 October 2019) released this update notice for users of Legacy Spectra and Ashtech equipment:

Legacy Spectra Geospatial GNSS Receiver Firmware Upgrades
Recently, we have received some reports of positioning issues with Spectra Geospatial legacy receivers encountering an inability to report a position. This is caused by the GLONASS almanac providing some out-of-tolerance data for one of the GLONASS satellites, and the positioning engine in the receiver treating the almanac as accurate.
This issue has been resolved with firmware fixes which you can download through the links below. This should be distributed immediately to all affected users, as it will resolve the issue with the GLONASS almanac.

In addition to the above, we have received some reports of positioning issues with the ProMark 500. We are currently developing a fix for the ProMark 500, and should have a fix available soon.

In addition to the Spectra location, I have mirrored the firmware at this web location for users who have difficulties getting the downloads:



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URGENT NOTICE for users of Spectra SP80, PM500, PM800, PF500, PF800, PM120, MM120

Spectra Geospatial has released a notification that these receivers:

SP80, PM500, PM800, PF500, PF800, PM120, MM120

are unable to report positions because of an errant GLONASS ephemeris issue.

A firmware fix for the SP80 is available now. You can download it with this link: [ Version 3.45 ]

A fix for the remaining legacy devices is planned and should be available soon.

If you have an affected receiver you probably noticed problems beginning last Friday. There is a chance that the SP60 and SP20 are also affected as they share a common engine with the SP80, however the factory has not confirmed this.

Please note that this is not an official notice from the factory, this is a courtesy ‘heads up’.


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GNSS Issues October 1 2019

Several reports of anomalies yesterday (Monday 30 Sept 2019)  and today (Tuesday 1 October 2019).

  1. SP80: these receivers track, then loose tracking, then reset engines if running firmware prior to 3.39. So firmware update is mandatory.
  2. Some Trimble Engines: we have observed BD970 engines with older (~5.25) not floating or fixing. An engine reset with new ephemeris download appears to fix.
  3. ProMark 500’s are seeing a ‘215’ error after booting. There is a chance that turning off GLONASS tracking (in SurvCE see ‘Equip: GPS Rover: Receiver (tab): Advanced’) will fix this issue.
  4. ORGN and INCORS (and probably all Spider based servers) are reporting GLONASS related issues.

I can’t find any buzz online, but enough complaints to know there is an issue.

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Galileo GNSS System: Complete Failure on 11 July 2019

It appears that the Galileo GNSS system has failed (the entire constellation). The official [ status page : https://www.gsc-europa.eu/system-status/Constellation-Information ] lists all SV’s as degraded.

The start of the (hopefully temporary failure) is listed as 01:00 11 July 2019 UTC.

The NAGU [ https://www.gsc-europa.eu/notice-advisory-to-galileo-users-nagu-2019025 ] has details.

All my test receivers are tracking but not using GAL, I have confirmed similar status in Europe.

This will be a good chance to appreciate the system going forward. Hopefully it gets fixed soon.


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End of Customer Support Update

Ref:  [ https://blog.ashgps.com/2019/04/18/the-end-of-non-customer-support/ ]

‘The End of Non-Customer” blog entry that generated the most feedback of any blog entry on this blog. Actually more feedback than all other entries combined.

Most of the new comments are non-customers asking for help with ProMark / MobileMapper 100 / 120 receivers in doing the update! ( Here are my [ step-by-step instructions ]. ) I am deleting these requests because I think they are demeaning to the requesting person. So, in response to a blog entry that says no more endless support for equipment that we did not sell for customers that we will not possibly sell to in the future; the response is demands for more free assistance.

O.M.G. Obviously there is a problem here.

But I want to make one thing clear: if you purchased equipment from iGage we will support you in anyway we can. Don’t hesitate to call us! If you purchase equipment from us, we provide great support.

Again: if you purchased your equipment elsewhere, call YOUR dealer. We are NOT YOUR DEALER. We don’t WANT to be your dealer. You already made this choice, we did not participate in the decision.


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Fixing Verizon Jetpack and iPhone Issues with Data Collectors

Which data collector you ask? A: all the data collectors that we sell.

Verizon JetPack Issue

Windows Mobile based data collectors have a hard time connecting or staying connected to Verizon Jetpacks (Mi-Fi Hotspots).

More data: customer says “it used to work just fine, but … now it won’t connect or looses connection frequently.”

Apparent answer: Verizon pushed a Firmware update that added or changed the default security or made a change the the protocol implementation.

The Solution: log into the Jetpack as an administrator from a computer. (You can connect by Wi-Fi to the Jetpack, then browse to the address typically. The administrator password is on one of the display screens.)

Browse to the Wi-Fi settings screen, then select the ‘Primary Network’ tab:


Find the ‘Security:’ drop down. It will be set to WPA2. Change it to WPA/WPA2. (Note: None works great, but …). Click on Save Changes.

Item #2: Make sure the SSID is simple. I don’t know what the rules are, but I think it is safe that an SSID like “Mark’s JetPack-01” is not OK. Keep the SSID really simple like “MARKJP” using all upper case letters and numbers with no punctuation marks. (This is especially true on iPhones where the default SSID would be “Mark’s iPhone” but the ‘ (apostrophe) is a multi-byte character that Windows Mobile does not support.

Finally: On the data collector, remove settings for the Jetpack, then reconnect.

Problem solved typically.

But, I don’t know if this makes your Jetpack feel insecure or not. We should worry about that.

iPhone SSID

One some iPhones the default SSDI is the iPhone owner’s name. Like:

‘Mark’s iPhone’

However the “‘” between the k and s is a multi-byte character. Some devices (like the Data Collectors) reduce the apostrophe to a simpler single byte ASCII character. This prevents the collector from reconnecting to the phone.

The solution is to change the SSID of the iPhone to something simple. I reccomend:


No spaces, not mixed case, no spaces, no funny characters.

You can get to this from ‘Settings: General: About …’


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Two Feet Forward

Did you watch Dr. Michael Dennis’s ‘Fate of the US-Survey Foot’ webinar? If not, you should. Here is the link:


As always, Dr. Dennis knocks it out of the park. A Geodetic Rock Star. This webinar should be shown at the beginning of every survey course series and every GIS course taught in the USA.


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