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GPS rollover April 2019

1 watcher
Mar 2019
3:48pm, 8 Mar 2019
10486 posts
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Badger
I would have sworn I read a post about this the other day, but can't now find it. Apologies if it's a duplicate.

So, public service announcement:

There's a counter in the GPS message for what week it is, and it rolls over every 1024 weeks, or about 20 years. The next rollover is due on April 6th, so there is a possibility your GPS watch will spontaneously party like it's 1999.

theverge.com

That's what most of the tech press posts are saying. Dig a bit deeper, and you find more informed and reassuring posts like this:

spirent.com

which basically says your typical GPS firmware is designed not to decide that the date is earlier than when the firmware was compiled, so unless you have a device that is nearly 20 years old already, it's probably a non-story.

Garmin say "the vast majority" of their kit is OK:
support.garmin.com
Mar 2019
4:08pm, 8 Mar 2019
6450 posts
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chunkywizard
Thanks for the public service announcement. Just watch the Garmin forums if they have an issue!
Mar 2019
4:26pm, 8 Mar 2019
1442 posts
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Oranj
I first saw this here: theregister.co.uk
I guess if you're going out for a run you may need a bit longer for your watch to do that "finding satellites" thing.

Garmin are aware, and have rolled out updates for their oldest kit, e.g. the eTrex H www8.garmin.com

Apparently we're due a bigger calamity in 2038-01-19, but hey, we've got years to prepare for that...
Mar 2019
4:41pm, 8 Mar 2019
3938 posts
  • 0
jdarun
Just perfect to have some garmin snafu the day before my marathon (or even the morning of). Thanks for the heads-up, though it seems unlikely anything will actually happen.
Mar 2019
7:21pm, 8 Mar 2019
1444 posts
  • 0
Oranj
The last time this happened was in August 1999. There were a significantly smaller number of GPS users in those days though; maybe some ships and aircraft were inconvenienced for a bit, who knows? I think we were more worried about the Y2K bug at that time.

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Maintained by Badger
I would have sworn I read a post about this the other day, but can't now find it. Apologies if ...

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