Hack to Improve GPS on Sprint Motorola Q9c

So as a few of you may know, the Motorola Q Q9c on Sprint is the first Windows Mobile device on that network to have GPS enabled (throw your hand-made confetti in the air!). Not only is it enabled, but it is fully “open” meaning the COM Ports are visible to external programs, like Google Maps or the arguably superior Microsoft Live Search with Speech input (cue more confetti).

Interestingly, it appears that the GPS enabled on the device is only set for direct satellite connections--there are no connections to Sprint’s aGPS assistance servers. In this sense, the Moto Q9c’s GPS is more like a true-standalone unit. Good, right? Not really, it could be better.

StarmanDX over at Sprint Users kindly posted this little trick which will not only keep your satellite guidance, but add Sprint’s assistance servers. The benefit? Your GPS signal acquisition should be a lot faster, stronger, and work indoors as well as city environments. Win-win if you ask me.

Full instructions after the break!


One caveat: you need your MSL, which stands for "Master Subsidy Lock" and is a 6 digit code to program your phone. Remember when you called Sprint to activate your phone and they had your program in your number in that “special menu”? To get there you had to enter your MSL. Some of us tricksters now know to write that down for future use. But you probably haven’t done this, so here’s the trick: you need to call Sprint and get it. It’s technically not a big deal and are supposed to give it to you if you ask, after all it is your phone not theirs. So here are some things to say to the Sprint CSRs or better yet, try Tech Support:

  • Just ask, sometimes they give it. Worked for me!
  • Say you took your phone to a Sprint store and they need your MSL to reprogram part of the phone
  • Tell them that you are trying to change your user name within the settings on your phone and the phone is requiring the MSL code
  • Say you are developing application for the phone

Yeah, it’s a wee bit of a white lie, but it’s worth it. Now once you have that number, store it somewhere safe and remember to do this for all your WM devices in the future, you may never know when you need it.

One other note before the actual hack: you have to trust the settings are saved. If you go back into this menu, it’ll all be erased, but once entered it’ll stay. So have faith that they stuck.

And now for the trick and thanks again to StarmanDX!

Enable aGPS Sprint assistance servers for Moto Q Q9c

  • Dial ##073887*
  • Hit Send/Green Key
  • Enter your MSL
  • Hit H (GPS Settings)
  • Enter for the IP address
  • Enter 5017 for the port number
  • Save/Exit

(ps Nope, I do not know how to do this for AT&T Q9h's or Verizon's Q9ms. Sorry, Sprint only!)

WC Staff