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Author Topic:   WAAS Status after January 1, 2009
jimh posted 02-01-2009 10:32 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Based on an anecdotal report from a customer, GARMIN technicians may have been explaining certain malfunctions in their GPS receiver units as being caused by a change in the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) which occurred "around the first of the year."

I am interested in learning about any actual changes to the WAAS which might have occurred around January 1, 2009. There are no changes mentioned on the FAA website which provides news and updates about the status of WAAS. Compare at: service_units/techops/navservices/gnss/waas/news/

The only significant change in WAAS status that I am aware of occurred in July of 2007. At that time the WAAS signals-in-space segment moved to two new PRN sources. This affected many GPS receivers which were not configured to use the new PRN sources. It seems unlikely that this change from a year and a half ago could be related to whatever the GARMIN technicians are referring to as a change in configuration in WAAS.

Have other GPS receivers been affected after January 1, 2009, other than certain older GARMIN units?

Was there any actual change in WAAS configuration on or near January 1, 2009?

fishgutz posted 02-02-2009 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
I use an old Garmin GPSMAP76. It has been working fine lately (post January 2009). I had a problem in September of 2008. The unit would stop working and freeze up when WAAS was turned on. It was always turned on so the unit just stopped working about 1 minute after startup. It worked fine if I turned WAAS off. I never did any computer linked updates as the cord supplied with the unit used a DB-9 connector that my laptop did not have. I got an adapter cable to change the DB-9 to a USB connector. Did the update in late October and haven't had a problem since.

I did several searches, as I suspect you did to see if there were some changes in WAAS. I found none.

It just seemed odd that at a specific date the unit stopped working properly and with an update it started working fine.

As an added note, if you need any cables or adapter for almost anything electronic, I've had an excellent experience with

fno posted 02-06-2009 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
i too have noticed that since just before the new year my GPS locked up after not finding any WAAS info. I had to disable WAAS reception in order to get my unit to lock onto the normal sats and give me GPS info.
jimh posted 02-06-2009 11:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My impression of these receiver problems being reported is that their source is probably something in their own internal algorithms and not a result of any change in the actual GPS WAAS status that occurred around the first of the year. Perhaps something about the code in them related to the date needed revision in order to work after the year 2008.
newt posted 02-08-2009 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Today I fired up my trusty 9-10 year old Garmin GPS 76. The firmware is version 2.2 released Feb 25, 2005 (the latest). WAAS is enabled and the unit had no problem locking in.

The reported accuracy was as low as 25'. I don't know if that should be better or not, but the unit appears to work the same as always.

where2 posted 02-14-2009 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I haven't had my boat GPS gear running this year (Standard Horizon CP150, and CP180i), but I have had some [problem]s with the Survey Grade GPS equipment I use at work and WAAS this year.

I just searched Trimble's website for any WAAS comments and bulletins posted since the first of the year, and came up with no mention of changes...

I'll see if I can inquire with a Standard Horizon or Garmin techs at the Miami International Boat Show on Monday, and see if they'll spill the beans on what happened with WAAS.

Contender25 posted 02-22-2009 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Contender25  Send Email to Contender25     
I have not been able to get one of the Furuno unit's (1953C) on my boat locked in on WAAS mode since this past June in Newport, Rhode Island. I thought it was my geographical location but I am still having the [problem] now that the boat is in the Florida Keys. I recently turned off the WAAS capability as not to continually have an alarm status displayed on the screen.
jimh posted 02-22-2009 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If your GPS receiver developed problems in obtaining a WAAS precision fix in June of 2008, I don't know of any corresponding change in the WAAS configuration that would account for it. For a good summary of changes to WAAS operational parameters which occurred in July of 2007, see the subheading WAAS in my article on the CP300 receiver:

This discussion has focused on January 1, 2009 as a epoch which represented some sort of change in the WAAS precision fix capabilities of certain Garmin receivers, based on anecdotal reports that technicians at Garmin were telling customers a change had occurred at that time.

So far there has been no evidence of any change reported in WAAS which occurred on January 1, 2009. In the absence of any information of a change in WAAS, it seems only reasonable to attribute any problems which developed in certain Garmin receivers to have been caused by limitations of the receivers, and not by changes in WAAS.

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