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troubleshoot & tech support

FAQ's:

1. The bottom status bar in Netstumbler says "No Wireless Adapter found". What should I do?
2. The GPS unit won't turn on.
3. The GPS turns on, but it just sits there and takes forever and doesn't connect to any satellites.
4. The GPS has locked on to a coordinate, but NetStumbler isn't picking up the latitude and longitude in the status bar.
5. I have longitude and latitude and my wireless card is working, but we haven't been able to pick up a single wireless network.
6. I have another problem that isn't covered in this section.

Q. The bottom status bar in Netstumbler says "No Wireless Adapter found". What should I do?

A. A few things you can try:

1. Verify that your wireless adapter is working (i.e. you can open an internet window, get to Google, etc. THIS OBVIOUSLY ASSUMES YOU ARE SOMEWHERE WITH A WIRELESS CONNECTION, like Suzallo or an internet café.)

2. Remove the wireless card and put it back in and try again.

3. Reboot and try again.

4. Update your Wireless card driver.

This usually fixes the problem.

Q. The GPS unit won't turn on.

A. It's probably out of batteries. Go buy a $4 set of AA's and see if it works.

Q. The GPS turns on, but it just sits there and takes forever and doesn't connect to any satellites.

A. Try moving out into the open air, getting out of a building or the car, etc. I can't get any GPS signals in my large, brick apartment building, for example. You should be able to get a signal after a few minutes.

Q. The GPS has locked on to a coordinate, but NetStumbler isn't picking up the latitude and longitude in the status bar.

A. This could be a number of things. Here are some options:

  1. Close Netstumbler and open it again.
  2. Move the GPS unit to a different USB port (if you're using the Earthmate).
  3. Check that Netstumbler is using the correct port for the GPS unit. Now go back to Netstumbler. Go to View > Options. Click on the "GPS" tab. Under "Port", select the Com port you just saw in the Device manager. Click Apply.
  4. Try opening and closing Netstumbler again.
  5. Finally, check that the GPS unit is transmitting to the computer. Go to Start > Run and type "Hypertrm." This will open a terminal emulation program.
  6. You SHOULD see a lot of lines of complete garbage. This is data being spit out from the GPS unit to the computer. At this point, opening Netstumbler again should do the trick.

Q. I have longitude and latitude and my wireless card is working, but we haven't been able to pick up a single wireless network.

A. Unfortunately, this is a mysterious problem that has no known cause. Here are some possible solutions:

Q. I have another problem that isn't covered in this FAQ.

A. Ah yes, the "unexpected error". Here are some tried-and-true tech support mainstays:

  1. Reboot the computer.
  2. Close Netstumbler and open it again.
  3. Move the GPS to a different port (if possible).
  4. Unplug the Wi-fi card and replug it in.
  5. Unplug the GPS unit and replug it in.
  6. Read over everything else on this page. Make sure the GPS unit is on the right port. Make sure the GPS unit is outputting data to the computer. Make sure the wireless card has the correct drivers.
  7. Read some of the websites linked on the main page; they are very extensive and may have some answers.
  8. If all else fails and you are getting nothing, write down every technique you tried, what error messages you got, and what the system did in response.
university of washington | department of communication | intro to new media