Bug: False GPS fix when no CPE or almanach data is present

I think I've found a bug on the Instinct Solar. I guess it's fairly easy to miss this, as it only happens when there is no CPE present, and there perhaps additionally has not been a GPS fix for many days, thus no almanach data.

I pressed the key to save a GPS point. Instead of the watch waiting for a fix, which should have taken many seconds up to minutes with no almanach data present, the watch immediately assumed it knew where I was. It didn't. N and E coordinates were displayed as '------', height as somewhere above 20.000 Meters (which is unfortunately not enough to make me an astronaut). But it would immediately have been possible so save this point.

When I went into 'hiking', the point was acquired in an orderly fashion over about a minute, and I could then save that correct point.

The same thing happened a day later, after travelling hundreds of kilometers by car. The watch immediately assumed it knew where I was. Again, it didn't. A regular 'hiking' fix took half a minute.

What is happening here, I guess, is that the GPS-data is falsely marked as 'healthy' / up to date. I can well imagine that this was missed in testing, as almost everyone uses the CPE data.


  • Thank you for all the detail you gave for the issue you are experiencing. If your CPE is missing altogether, there is a bigger issue with your watch. Your CPE can be "Expired" - which is the status my own Instinct Solar is currently showing. When attempting to replicate the issue you are experiencing with your Instinct Solar watch, even with the CPE being expired on my own, I had no issues with the long hold of the GPS shortcut providing my accurate location and elevation.

  • Hi Chris, thanks for looking into this!

    My CPE is also 'expired' and not 'missing'. But as this seems to be no problem with your watch, no idea what is going on with mine. GPS per se is working, though. I'll see how it develops.

  • If your Instinct Solar odd behavior continues, you may need to reset it. Hopefully, that will not be the case but keep in mind as you monitor the pattern.

  • Here, Chris, this is what I meant. Perhaps some buffer is filled with garbage or some flag has not been reset, thus the health of the GPS data is not honoured and simply the first numbers available are grabbed.

    Edit: I restarted the watch with a long press of the top left button, that (for now?) seems to have solved the problem.

    Edit 2: No, only temporarily.

  • When the CPE is expired, the GPS data still comes back accurate but it just takes longer. For your Instinct Solar to be having the specific issue you are experiencing, your watch is defective. The CPE can expire reasonably quickly but that does not stop a GPS device from functioning correctly. By obviously keeping CPE current, you are going to receive position must quicker.

  • The GPS chip on the watch works fine most of the time, the incorrect fix is not something that usually happens, but only in specific circumstances. I really do not believe this is a hardware defect, as those are incredibly seldom in comparison to software defects. It's just one more of those many little bugs that won't be fixed, because it isn't a showstopper or can easily be reproduced. I did coding myself when I was younger, and with a picture like the one above, I would have asked myself: Okay, in which situations can that arise?

  • Just a short update on this issue, going into 'favourites' via the 'navigation' menu instead of accessing 'favourites' directly via hotkey seems to have gotten rid of the problem.

    I guess something is reset when one does it that way.