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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Lowrance GPS Module Not Responding
|Author||Topic: Lowrance GPS Module Not Responding|
posted 03-22-2009 11:09 PM ET (US)
Hello all. Hoping you can help. I have the LMS 335C DF, and it just started saying "GPS module not responding". I've followed the reset procedures on their website but no go. Any ideas?
posted 03-23-2009 08:19 AM ET (US)
If you have any friends with a similar unit, try connecting their Lowrance LGC-2000 GPS receiver to your control head unit. In this way you can confirm your control head unit is OK and the problem is likely in the LGC-2000 GPS receiver.
If the problem is from the LGC-2000 GPS receiver, the only remedy available is to replace it. You'll get a newer model, the LGC-3000, which should work better. Perhaps you can get a replacement from Lowrance with some consideration on the cost. I hope you don't have to pay full price for the LGC-3000, as it is a bit pricey at about $200.
The only other remedy I can think of is to try to open the LGC-2000 module to see it there is anything obviously wrong by visual inspection, such as a wire having come loose or similar discontinuity. I don't recall if those units are completely sealed or not.
Before buying a new GPS module, I would verify that your control head works properly with a known-to-be-good GPS module. The two devices communicate with each other, and it is possible that they're both working and the problem is just related to the communication link. By resetting the devices, you should have re-enabled the communication link. The link could also be broken by something as simple as a bad wire in the cable or a bad pin on a connector. Check that you don't have a simple problem like that by visually inspected the connectors and cable associated with the link between the two.
ASIDE: There are reports about Lowrance customer service currently being difficult to contact, having long delays on the telephone, and offering poor solutions to problems. My own experience is quite the opposite. I will be interested to hear of any report about how Lowrance customer service handles this inquiry.
posted 03-23-2009 08:20 AM ET (US)
On a Lowrance unit you can receive that message for two reasons. 1) You do NOT have power going to the GPS antena module. There is a second power wire to power your NMEA 2000 network which is also the GPS module input if you do not have a network. 2) The GPS antenna may of gone bad. Rare but it happens.
When I suspected my transducer went bad on my Lowrance unit, the Lowrance technician suggested that I find a friend or someone else with a compatable Lowrance unit to hook mine upto their boat. When I did, the unit worked fine confirming that I had a bad transducer. You could do the same to trouble shoot the antenna although it still will not help in troubleshooting the power issue to the module. I suggest you first recheck your wiring to the NMEA network then go from there.
posted 03-23-2009 08:26 AM ET (US)
Joe--That is a good point on the power. If the GPS module is on a NMEA-2000 network, verify that there is power to the network. I think that typically the Lowrance control head can power the network, but it might be separately powered. If there is no network power, the GPS module won't be running at all.
posted 03-23-2009 08:42 AM ET (US)
Typically the LGC2000 has it's own power supply, fuse and switch.
First check the battery or buss connections for the LGC2000 power supply. Next check that the switch is properly operating and in the on position. As the power line is fused check the fuse and the fuse holder. The supplied fuse holder is not of the best quality and this could be a good opportunity to replace it. If the power line to the LGC2000 is in good operating condition the problem is almost certainly in the LGC2000.
I have had an LGC2000 failure and it's more common than one would think. Lowrance repaired mine for no cost although it was out of warranty.
I believe there are trouble shooting guides for the issue on the Lowrance web site. There may also be a way to obtain a Return Autorization number on-line. If you are satisfied the LGC2000 is faulty and can get an RA number on-line just send in your LGC2000 for repair.
If you prefer to talk to a customer service rep by telephone I recommend you call at 8:00 AM CDT Wednesday through Friday. Once you speak to someone get the e-mail address of that person so you can conduct any further business via e-mail as that will eleminate any long waits on the telephone.
posted 03-23-2009 03:55 PM ET (US)
I checked the connections and fuse and all appeared fine. I did not open the LGC-2000 receiver.
I do not have it set up on the NMEA 20000 network.
As anyone had any luck upgrading the software as a solution? My software is not the latest build and there are updates to both the receiver and the head unit. I tried to update the receiver first (as directed by the Lowrance website) but could not figure it out. The head unit did not seem to recognize the software update on the SD card and nothing happened.
If I do have to replace the receiver, is the 3000 an upgrade over the 2000 which I have now? I see them both still listed for sale.
posted 03-23-2009 06:40 PM ET (US)
The LGC3000 is an improvement over the LGC2000. I believe the latest version is the LGC4000 but I don't have any idea if it is useable with your 335C DF. You probably really need to speak with customer service to get an answer to that and to the software update questions.
When dealing with the LGC2000 failure on my boat I was able to contact Lowrance by telephone. The CS Rep was helpful but clearly the reps are not service/repair technicians. Don't expect too much from them but in my experience they will try to work with you. The rep I spoke with sent me an SD card with the software updates for my unit. There was a minimal charge for that.
I was totally satisfied with my one experience with the Lowrance customer Service folks.
posted 03-23-2009 07:13 PM ET (US)
Jeff, I got the same unit. Out of the box my receiver did not work. I swapped receivers with Lowrance and it worked fine for a couple of years. Twice last year I got the "GPS module not responding". Powering down then back up cured it. I think I got the 2000, hope it's not a weak link.
posted 03-23-2009 09:57 PM ET (US)
I have the same system. If you have power to the network and the network is setup properly - chances are your module has gone bad. I had two stop working last year. The first one was replaced with a module out of another box by my dealer. The second was replace by lowrance even though the waranty had expired by a couple of months.
Call them - they will stand behind their product. There are issues with some of the modules and they know it. I was amazed at the support I got even with the unit being out of warranty.
posted 03-23-2009 10:13 PM ET (US)
Jeff--Did your boat happen to be near to any other boats using a RADAR? Were you recently out in a thunderstorm?
posted 03-23-2009 11:52 PM ET (US)
I keep my boat in a local marina. I went to start everything up as I normally do and the problem was there. I can't be sure of whether neighbors were using radar at some point. I'm going to call Lowrance tomorrow and see if they can help.
Thank you everyone for your help...what a great site.
posted 03-23-2009 11:53 PM ET (US)
Just as a point for comparison, the cost of a modern GPS receiver with an integral data interface has fallen absurdly low. I have a GPS receiver built into a little puck about 2-inches in diameter, and it has a built in USB interface. It sends NMEA datagrams via USB to my computer. This GPS receiver has excellent performance. Sitting here in the living room under the roof of the house it acquires and tracks seven satellites and does WAAS precision enhancement. From cold start to fix is usually a few seconds. It is powered by SiRF Star III chipset, a new-generation GPS chipset that has extremely high sensitivity, lower power usage and more rapid time-to-fix. It comes with a five foot cord and a magnet for mounting. And it costs $37. And that is from a retailer selling them on the internet. The device is the Globalsat BU-353 GPS USB Receiver.
When I see these marine GPS receivers prices at $200 to $300, I have to figure that the cost of the GPS receiver chip in them must be a few dollars, and the rest is pure profit for the marine electronics company. It is hard to figure how a molded case, twenty feet of wire, and a connector could drive the cost so high.
posted 03-23-2009 11:54 PM ET (US)
I forgot to ask a question. When you hard reset the unit, are there any prompts or indications that it actually resets? I followed the directions but don't really notice a change when the unit boots up.
posted 03-24-2009 06:01 PM ET (US)
On some Lowrance units a hard reset will result in lost trails and/or waypoints.
posted 03-24-2009 08:36 PM ET (US)
Check the owner's manual to see if you can off load any user data like waypoints onto a memory card before you perform a reset operation that will erase the data from the control unit.
posted 03-25-2009 07:51 AM ET (US)
Forgot to add that the replacement modules that Lowrance is providing have better shielding. You shouldn't have anymore problems once you get your replacement. I haven't.
posted 03-26-2009 03:46 PM ET (US)
Update to my issue:
i was finally able to wait through "on hold" long enough to speak with Lowrance CS.
I found them to be very helpful. My unit has been out of warranty 7 months and therefore, they offered to sell me a new unit for $95.00 which I felt was fair and agreed to it. He said that if I was still under warranty it would have been no problem to send me another at no charge.
I should be back in business in 10-14 days.
Thanks for your help,
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