Nexus 7 & Garmin GDL39 - bluetooth issues

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by ChesapeakeJohnny, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    Hi folks.

    First posting here.

    I have a Nexus 7 and a Garmin GDL39. The Nexus 7 keeps dropping the bluetooth connection with the Garmin data link. Further, I have to unpair and redo the pairing each time I link them in order to access the GDL39 via bluetooth.

    Anyone else experiencing such issues? Have a fix?

    Here's the response I got from Garmin. They were very responsive and answered my query within a day!

    "Hello John,

    Thank you for your feedback and using Garmin Pilot.

    We are working on a solution with Android OS Bluetooth. The Bluetooth on Android devices has been notorious so flaking out and we are working with them on a solution."



    I'm thinking that rolling the Nexus 7 back to 4.1.2 may have to be the fix for now.
     
  2. Badger

    Badger Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,540

    Display name:
    Badger
  3. flightwriter

    flightwriter Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    425
    Location:
    Corrales, NM

    Display name:
    Rob Finfrock
    I don't want to hijack the thread, but I have the same issue with my Galaxy Tab 10.1. I hope there's a solution, and it's common throughout the Android OS...
     
  4. aviatingfool

    aviatingfool Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    201

    Display name:
    aviatingfool
    Oh boy.....the Apple cheering squad is gonna love this one..... :eek:
     
  5. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    9,885
    Location:
    Northern Virginia

    Display name:
    Tim
    Huh... I've got over 50 hours of pairing my Nexus 7 with bluetooth serial port profiles from my simulator (MSFlightSim with FSUIPC), my laptop , a HOLUX GPS, and various other network devices with bluetooth dongles on serial ports.

    I've NEVER had any issues with the bluetooth pairing. I'd suspect Garmin is blaming Android instead of the GDL39. I've had occasional issues where I'll have to disconnect/reconnect the GPS device in Garmin Pilot, but that's NOT re-pairing the bluetooth link. I've never had to do that, ever.

    I believe Jay has a GDL39 and uses it with the Nexus and Garmin Pilot app. Hopefully he'll chime in.
     
  6. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    Which OS are you running on the Nexus 7? 4.2?

    I'm thinking it may not be a Garmin issue, as a web search of the last month revealed hundreds of complaints about Android's 4.2 update causing bluetooth issues.

    J

     
  7. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Austin, Texas

    Display name:
    Jim - In Texas!
    Android 4.2.1 is available and contains a bunch of bug fixes.
     
  8. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    I have that update installed. It seems to be the very one that folks are clamoring about as causing bluetooth problems ...
     
  9. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    9,885
    Location:
    Northern Virginia

    Display name:
    Tim
    I'm at 4.2.1 JOP40D on my Nexus 7. Bluetooth is fine.
     
  10. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    324

    Display name:
    Chartbundle
    Yep, I have 4.2.1 on my Nexus 7 3G and it's been nothing but trouble for Bluetooth with the GDL 39. I finally found something that said to kill some random services and that seemed to allow it to connect, but I don't know if that solved it until the next reboot or just for when I tried it. I haven't tested it in a while, busy with other things.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  11. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    9,885
    Location:
    Northern Virginia

    Display name:
    Tim
    ah... mine is wifi-only. may be the difference.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
     
  12. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    I have several Bluetooth devices -- I'm using one right now, in fact (we're cranking Willie Nelson on the hangar stereo, connected via Bluetooth) -- and they ALL effortlessly and automatically connect to my Nexus 7.

    EXCEPT the GDL-39. I have had difficulty with the GDL-39 not AUTOMATICALLY connecting to my Nexus 7 via Bluetooth. This doesn't mean I can't connect, it just means that I have to go through the whole "scan for available devices" process -- which is a PIA but not hard.

    I think Garmin is hosing you. I'm guessing that there is something in their firmware that is not copacetic. Or maybe, worse, you've got a problem with your GDL-39. Or both.

    Can you connect your Nexus 7 to other Bluetooth devices? Gotta start by eliminating some variables.
     
  13. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    Next stop - trying the Nexus w/ other bt devices. Also will try wife's iPhone with GDL39 + Garmin Pilot at same time. Her phone linked to it with no problem during a flight on Saturday, but we didn't try utilizing it via the Garmin software. I'll report the results.


    J


     
  14. sonex293

    sonex293 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Cary, NC

    Display name:
    sonex293
    I too have had strangle issues with bluetooth after upgrading to Android 4.2 (and 4.2.1). I've since downgraded to CM10 based on Android 4.1.2. Google introduced a "new" bluetooth stack with Jellybean 4.2. Here is a quote from their developers website...

    http://developer.android.com/about/versions/jelly-bean.html

    ==
    Michael
     
  15. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    Latest from Garmin. Apparently it's a somewhat known issue. The developers were aware; the general aviation portables customer service personnel were not.
    J


     
  16. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    Another thing to try -- reboot your Nexus 7 before flight. This ensures a clean run for Garmin Pilot. If you're like me, you prolly leave it on for weeks, and have a dozen apps running in the background.

    I've rebooted before my last few flights, and have had no issues.
     
  17. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    I'll try (again). Did that last flight and no improvement. My GDL39 is on its way back to Garmin for a trade, so we'll see if the new unit has any issues.
    Thanks,
    J

     
  18. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    Man, that sucks. I got my GDL-39 at OSH, on the second day (I think) they were available. No issues yet! (Knocking on wood.)
     
  19. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    324

    Display name:
    Chartbundle
    Interestingly, mine has been fine since I killed a couple Bluetooth services(both the GDL39 and my Bluetooth keyboard) without any reboots. I'll try and check tonight and see if it gets worse again when I reboot it. And figure out what services I killed.
     
  20. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    We flew 1.5 hours with the new update today. It was rock-solid, with MUCH better Bluetooth connectivity. For the first time the Nexus 7 connected to the GDL-39 automatically -- no futzing around at all, just turn both units on and go fly.

    There was one 15-second period, about 20 minutes into the flight, when the numbers stopped changing and I thought it might be locked up, but it came back after apparently losing GPS signal for that time.

    This seems to happen on every flight, so I think Garmin still has a few bugs to work out (this never happens using the N7's internal GPS) but Pilot and the GDL-39 otherwise performed flawlessly, showing weather, traffic, fuel prices, etc. :D
     
  21. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    One odd thing of note: Since the update we have only seen traffic displayed once, in about 6 hours of flying.

    We flew right over the top of San Antonio's busy airspace twice in two days, and saw NO ADS-B traffic? This seems unlikely. Methinks there's a new glitch in the connection to the GDL-39, but how do you prove a negative when so few people have ADS-B squitters? Everything indicated that we were properly connected via Bluetooth.
     
  22. sonex293

    sonex293 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Cary, NC

    Display name:
    sonex293
    Jay,

    You could also try the GDL-39 Utility from the Play Store as a debug tool. It lists the number of Targets being seen by the ADS/B unit. Not a solution, but definitely a debug tool.

    [​IMG]

    ==
    Michael
     
  23. ryarya

    ryarya Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    18

    Display name:
    Ray P
    Garmin Pilot has the same info as the GDL 39 Utility under the "GDL 39" tab in settings.

    Jay - is it possible that the altitude filter was set wrong?
     
  24. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    Dunno -- I will check next flight.

    I have not changed them. Hell, I didn't know they COULD be changed? Where is that parameter set?
     
  25. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    New GDL39 received less than a week after sending my earlier unit in to Garmin. They also sent an additional 12v power plug for home programming purposes, since my first one for the plane & the existing 496 has now been hardwired.

    Ground tests show that bluetooth connection is immediate and steady, and reacquires without incidence regardless of which unit turned off or on first.

    Don't know if it was the new update or the new GDL39, or both. But, Garmin stepped up and seemingly fixed it in a timely manner so I am pleased.

    I'll let folks know if I have any issues with traffic like Jay is experiencing.
    Thanks,
    John
     
  26. flightwriter

    flightwriter Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    425
    Location:
    Corrales, NM

    Display name:
    Rob Finfrock
    Jay, I've flown over ABQ several times with the GDL-39 hardwired to a GPS696 in the Remos. Sometimes very little traffic (versus actual) shows up on the display. Other times, it shows everything. This might be a ground station or a signal issue.
     
  27. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    This is a great segue -- has anyone hardwired ship's power to the yoke for their Nexus 7?

    I have the wire there from when I had my Lowrance hard-wired there, but I can't figure out how to step the voltage/amperage down to Nexus 7 levels. It's got to be reduced from 12 to 5 volts, and from a zillion amps down to one.
     
  28. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    324

    Display name:
    Chartbundle
    If you're in to build your own there's a nice $13 power converter board on Mouser, just add a fuse(if the input line isn't already fused or 2 if you want one on the output side as well) a capacitor and a little box.

    Murata Power Solutions 78SR-5/2-C
     
  29. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    There's a glitch in Pilot that I keep forgetting to mention: The "Track Up" button doesn't "persist" from flight to flight. It always reverts to "North Up", even when Track Up is selected.

    The fix is to unselect Track Up, and re-select it. Then Track Up works every time. Goofy.

    Let's hope Garmin catches that one in the next update.
     
  30. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    New GDL39 functioning well

    Just an update: The new Garmin GDL39 that Garmin shipped to me is functioning well, for the most part. Unfortunately, it arrived and was installed the same day that Garmin updated their Pilot software with bluetooth glitch fixes, so I'll never know what resolved my issues with the system.
     
  31. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    Glad to hear it.

    Does anyone else giggle when they fly with this set up? I remember sitting in a rich buddy's plane in the '90s that had a very early "glass cockpit"-style instrument. It was a cathode ray tube, cost $10,000 (plus installation), and did 1/10th of what the Nexus 7 does when linked to the GDL-39.

    That, my friends, is stunning progress.
     
  32. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    Too bad our powerplants and fuel source haven't advanced similarly ;)
     
  33. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    And the airframes are still ancient, too. But take a gander at this month's AOPA magazine. The promise of 3D printing for aircraft manufacturing is JUST over the horizon -- and it could change everything!
     
  34. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    Well, if you followed my comments on the general Nexus 7 thread, you'll know that the bluetooth issues have not gone away (though they are better).
    Here's the exchange between Garmin Support and me on Monday, 4/1/2013 regarding this known issue:


    ____________________
    Garmin Support-
    Thanks for sending the new GDL39.
    Please reference the following forum for multiple reports of long-term Bluetooth issues between Asus/Google Nexus 7 and GDL39 units: http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1130019#post1130019
    I’m wondering if there’s a way for your team to link up with Asus/Google programmers in order to resolve the compatibility issues?
    Regards,
    John


    Brief description of the problem:
    Hello John,

    Garmin is working on a solution to the issue. There isn't a time frame as to when an update will get released but we are activly working on addressing the bluetooth connectivity issue with the GDL-39 and Android tablets/handsets.

    Russ
    Aviation Support

     
  35. FORANE

    FORANE Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    TN

    Display name:
    FORANE
    John

    Have you installed this app:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=googoo.android.btgps&hl=en
    I needed it when I tried pairing an external bluetooth GPS to my Asus TF700.
    Also, do you have any power supply issues with the Nexus or GDL39?
     
  36. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    324

    Display name:
    Chartbundle
    So, after 6 hours over 2 flights with the iPad Mini I can say the GDL-39 works much better there. Of course the iPad still managed to crash twice.

    I'm definitely looking forward to them getting the Nexus 7 Bluetooth fixed though.
     
  37. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    Yes, & Yes.
    The Nexus 7 stopped charging while turned on and I had to have it repaired by Asus.
    J
     
  38. Carl C

    Carl C Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8

    Display name:
    Carl C
    I have a GDL-39 and it worked good on my Nexus 7 until the OS upgrade. During the same time the GDL-39 worked on my iPad just fine. (I say worked fine, but the range was not great, but then there are not many ground stations in our area) Then Garmin came out with an upgrade for the Android and the Bluetooth began to work fine on both the Android and the iPad. Then a week ago the Bluetooth quit working with both the Android and the iPad. I tried turning off the WiFi and shutting the tablets down, but nothing would work to connect.

    I contacted Garmin who suggested the same things that I had tried and then said to send it back to the vendor as it might be defective. I have emailed my vendor, but they have not responded.
     
  39. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,068
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    I am personally starting to suspect that the Bluetooth in the GDL-39 is the culprit. I have zero problems with Bluetooth and my Nexus 7 -- until I use the GDL-39. Then, things get sketchy.
     
  40. ChesapeakeJohnny

    ChesapeakeJohnny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    eastern shore, MD

    Display name:
    John
    I would have to agree. Currently I'm pondering whether to return the 1stGen GDL39 and wait out for an updated model.