Onstar - Page 8 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #141 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by njacobsen View Post
As stated, "AT&T has a roaming network contract with the owner of that tower", the statement in all caps can be modified to THERE IS SHARING. The point of this discussion is that OnStar is not limited to only AT&T towers. There are several other cell tower owners besides the four mentioned, especially in rural areas.
Hence why I said AT&T needs to have a "roaming contract" and regardless it will NEVER work on Verizon as you stated as their equipment is not capable of sharing with AT&T equipment.
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post #142 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:19 PM
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The joint use agreements extend to greater granularity than the towers. Agreements are frequently arranged to place antennas on other provider towers. The use of Verizon as an example should have been further qualified to the level of antenna placement or other compatible antennas on those towers. The cell network is far more complex and in place with sharing agreements to control investment and to keep the number of towers to a minimum while achieving adequate coverage. Placement of towers is controversial in all communities. Customers want adequate coverage, but not the physical tower in their back yard.

So, yes OnStar can get service off a Verizon Tower, if that tower has a compatible antenna through a joint use agreement and many do have that in place.

The cell providers may compete for customers in their advertising, but behind the scenes there is a great deal of cooperation to provide adequate coverage as mandated by the FCC with the fewest number of unattractive towers.

On a recent vacation on the island of Kauai, the tour bus driver pointed out a Verizon Tree. It was a Verizon cell tower covered with artificial evergreen bows in an attempt to make it blend in with the scenery. It did not come off very well aesthetically, but my AT&T cell phone worked just fine getting service from that tower (obviously with the appropriate antenna).

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post #143 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:34 PM
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The joint use agreements extend to greater granularity than the towers. Agreements are frequently arranged to place antennas on other provider towers. The use of Verizon as an example should have been further qualified to the level of antenna placement or other compatible antennas on those towers. The cell network is far more complex and in place with sharing agreements to control investment and to keep the number of towers to a minimum while achieving adequate coverage. Placement of towers is controversial in all communities. Customers want adequate coverage, but not the physical tower in their back yard.

So, yes OnStar can get service off a Verizon Tower, if that tower has a compatible antenna through a joint use agreement and many do have that in place.

The cell providers may compete for customers in their advertising, but behind the scenes there is a great deal of cooperation to provide adequate coverage as mandated by the FCC with the fewest number of unattractive towers.

On a recent vacation on the island of Kauai, the tour bus driver pointed out a Verizon Tree. It was a Verizon cell tower covered with artificial evergreen bows in an attempt to make it blend in with the scenery. It did not come off very well aesthetically, but my AT&T cell phone worked just fine getting service from that tower (obviously with the appropriate antenna).

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post #144 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:18 PM
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OnStar = AT&T = GSM device

AT&T = GSM
Verizon = CMDA
Sprint = CDMA
T-Mobile = GSM

GSM wont work on CDMA networks and vise versa. It's like trying to run your gas vehicle on diesel...not gonna work.

So unless there is a tower that is GSM capable and it either belongs to AT&T or AT&T has a roaming network contract with the owner of that tower, THERE IS NO SHARING. Carry On
One addition.... Gas WILL run on diesel, and diesel will run on gas, albeit VERY POORLY and may damage fuel system parts... Whereas CDMA and GSM won't even connect to each other because of the freq band's they work on. The networks that's aren't compatible with the hardware won't even show up when you populate a list... If you have site survey equipment you'll see everything around you

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post #145 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 02:54 PM
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Does any of this really matter? Either I can or can't connect, anything beyond that is really irrelevant as far as I'm concerned...


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post #146 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Does any of this really matter? Either I can or can't connect, anything beyond that is really irrelevant as far as I'm concerned...


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All I know is I have never seen a gas engine run on diesel, I've seen people accidently try it though. LOL

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post #147 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:25 AM
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All I know is I have never seen a gas engine run on diesel, I've seen people accidently try it though. LOL
I can say that I have seen this personally... It was in Iraq running the pressure washers... The solider put wrong fuel in the pressure washer. The engine was hot and the fuel lines didn't completely empty of gas. It ran for about a minute then smoked real bad and died. Ultimate cause was a wet fouled spark plug covered in diesel... Brake clean the plug, drain the bowl on the carb... No harm at all.

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post #148 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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I can say that I have seen this personally... It was in Iraq running the pressure washers... The solider put wrong fuel in the pressure washer. The engine was hot and the fuel lines didn't completely empty of gas. It ran for about a minute then smoked real bad and died. Ultimate cause was a wet fouled spark plug covered in diesel... Brake clean the plug, drain the bowl on the carb... No harm at all.

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ahahha! oops!

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post #149 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:15 AM
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ahahha! oops!
When you're in Iraq, and you have limited places to store fuels.. Sometimes diesel gets put in a red can, it happens more often then you'd think

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post #150 of 160 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:40 AM
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All I know is I have never seen a gas engine run on diesel, I've seen people accidently try it though. LOL
My comment was more directed to the Cell Tower argument, but I did have an opportunity to see a diesel tractor self destruct when someone accidentally put gasoline in the tank. That wasn't a pretty sight...
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post #151 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 05:03 PM
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I came across this thread and wanted to mention how I disabled OnStar and kept the factory nav on my 2016 Colorado.

There's a splitter box for the GPS antenna on the right side behind the carpet, I took off the Onstar cable from there, then cut down the Nav cable key so it fit the OnStar port and plugged it in there. I suspect the splitter has a DC block and the GPS antenna needs power for its internal amplifier, moving the Nav cable to the OnStar port allows the Nav unit to power the antenna. I don't remember which colors, sorry, I think they're on the wiring diagrams.

This will lose compass functionality, because as it turns out there is no compass, it's derived from GPS and wheel sensors by the OnStar module.

Then I pulled the Onstar module out and removed the wireless module from inside it after disconnecting both antenna cables. I do get codes on a scan and the mirror light is red but no dashboard light. Bluetooth through the head unit still works fine.
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post #152 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:48 AM
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Steve,

Question - can you send or post a photo of your splitter as it is now? I am a bit confused by the signal descriptions in the upfitters manual.

Cell/GPS combined
Cell/GPS combined
GPS Only

I assume GPS only is the GPS antenna but the remaining signals have the same name.

I tried pulling the RF board without changing connections at the splitter and lost compass and GPS. GPS appeared to be working for some time but the system was dead reckoning and slowly drifted off map coordinates. I plugged the board back in for now.




Quote:
Originally Posted by stevedw View Post
I came across this thread and wanted to mention how I disabled OnStar and kept the factory nav on my 2016 Colorado.

There's a splitter box for the GPS antenna on the right side behind the carpet, I took off the Onstar cable from there, then cut down the Nav cable key so it fit the OnStar port and plugged it in there. I suspect the splitter has a DC block and the GPS antenna needs power for its internal amplifier, moving the Nav cable to the OnStar port allows the Nav unit to power the antenna. I don't remember which colors, sorry, I think they're on the wiring diagrams.

This will lose compass functionality, because as it turns out there is no compass, it's derived from GPS and wheel sensors by the OnStar module.

Then I pulled the Onstar module out and removed the wireless module from inside it after disconnecting both antenna cables. I do get codes on a scan and the mirror light is red but no dashboard light. Bluetooth through the head unit still works fine.
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post #153 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:18 PM
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Question - can you send or post a photo of your splitter as it is now? I am a bit confused by the signal descriptions in the upfitters manual.
I thought I had posted the photos somewhere when I did the install, but I can't find them now. I've attached the current photo.
The disconnected pink wire was where the blue wire was. The pink plug that the blue wire is plugged into now had the key filed off so the blue wire worked. The in-dash NAV still works but the compass doesn't.

Note, doing this change is not enough to disable OnStar, both antennas need to be disconnected from the OnStar box(or the RF Module removed).
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File Type: jpg Untitled-1.jpg (54.0 KB, 21 views)
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post #154 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:31 PM
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OK, never mind on the picture

Mixer:
The mixer has Blue, Violet and Brown ports.
DC can pass in either direction between Brown and Violet. These measure basically zero Ohms between their respective signal terminals which mutually measure infinite or open to ground.
Blue is blocked from conducting DC in either direction to Violet or Brown. Blue measures 8 MegOhm to ground.

Coaxial Cables:
Violet sources 5.5 Vdc when the ignition is powered on.
Brown measures 0Vdc with the ignition powered on when disconnected. Brown draws 5.5Vdc from Violet when connected per factory color codes.
Blue sources 5.0Vdc but normally flows zero DC current due to a blocking capacitor in the mixer.

I suspect Stevedw left Brown connected to Brown and plugged the Blue cable to the Violet mixer port. This would power the active antenna (Brown cable) from the NAV (Blue cable).
The Violet cable likely supplies 5.5Vdc from the comm module - until the RF board is pulled anyway.

I'll dig a little deeper and check this out.

Last edited by Chuck_B; 04-20-2017 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Thanks Steve, looks like our postings crossed.
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post #155 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:41 PM
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First the disclaimer: Anything you choose to do to your vehicle and any consequences thereof are solely your responsibility. In other words, Don't come whining to me or anyone else if you break your truck. You know your limits - stay within them. OK, that's done.

I now have the mixer rewired per stevedw picture to power the active antenna from the NAV. I pulled the RF board from the NAV module so the violet connector is hanging disconnected. I used zip-ties on both ends to avoid rattles.
You need to remove the upper index rib (not the clasp lug) from the Violet coax connector on the mixer to allow the Blue coax to mate. You could probably swap connector shells as well but that might be a PITA.

The violet coax runs to the lighter Brown (or lower) coax connector on the comm module (I forget the GM acronym). This connector could be unplugged but the cell radio may run hot or be damaged from the high SWR. I would expect some battery draw as well with the transmitter pinging for a cell tower. I opted to remove the board.

The module is located above the passenger kick panel fuse box. To remove it you must:
Pull glove box door
Pull panel below glove box/blower
Pull fuse cover/kick panel/door sill
Disconnect blower power, unclip and move wire to make clearance to pull Bose amp
Pull Bose amp
Unclip comm module, remove connectors and remove from vehicle

The four torx screws that hold the cover on the module also secure the main board.
Lift the main board and you will see the RF board.
Remove 3 screws and remove RF board. I blue locktited the RF board screws in place as I tend to loose small parts like those.
Reassemble with main board only in reverse order.

Now to make sure the system isn't dead reckoning as it will if only the board is removed. Film at 11:00...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Location.jpg (210.2 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Cover off module.jpg (721.7 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Main board lifted.jpg (467.6 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg RF board removed.jpg (421.5 KB, 19 views)
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post #156 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:55 AM
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Thanks to stevedw and a couple observations:

First - this works as described and keeps GPS alive so long as it has signal. Concrete parking structures and such will still cause temporary dropouts of course. A no signal indicator will be issued and the system dead reckons through the outage just as before any mod.

The compass appears to work for a few miles/turns after the modification. The system is dead reckoning off speed and steering angle for lack of direction calculations. After a few miles the compass direction changes to 3 dots and the DIC displays CAL where it used to display direction. The compass remains in 3-dot/CAL status on subsequent starts.

So - no more unexpected voice messages, service nags or data collection. Works for me!
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post #157 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:47 PM
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Is there a way to disable onstar?
Yup don't pay the bill.
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post #158 of 160 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:48 PM
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Yup don't pay the bill.
News flash.... There is no bill for the first 5 years of basic onstar... You get premium services free for 6 months, basic service free for 5 years

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post #159 of 160 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 08:48 PM
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"So - no more unexpected voice messages, service nags or data collection."

What about the monthly system status reports?
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post #160 of 160 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 12:51 AM
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Monthly status reports?

Well - I'm invisible now so it won't be business as usual. My first experiment disabled the cell radio but left the GPS receiver powered down. Following that I received a letter from OnStar asking if I still owned the vehicle. I enabled everything before a Death Valley trip where I expected to be out of cell range (Android Auto) and wanted OEM GPS.

Now the cell radio is disabled and I have factory NAV, exactly as I prefer.

It hasn't been a month so I'm uncertain what I will receive for a status report if anything. OnStar is not receiving telemetry so there will be no status/service data to report.

Bottom line is that one way or another it will kill the status reports.
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