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Author Topic:   Garmin GPS Receiver Slow To Acquire and Track Satelllites
sheikofthesea posted 04-17-2009 12:12 AM ET (US)   Profile for sheikofthesea   Send Email to sheikofthesea  
This is the third year I have had the [GARMIN 498] GPS receiver and fishfinder. As I fired it up, [The GARMIN 498] was having trouble locating satellites. About half way through the trip it found enough to track the boat. Today I went out and it never succeeded in locating any satellites. Everything else seems to be working properly.

Any ideas?

Chuck Tribolet posted 04-17-2009 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
1. Make sure you have the latest firmware. You can download
it from Garmin's website.

2. The next thing to be looking at is the connection between
the display and the "antenna".


jimh posted 04-17-2009 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Most GPS receivers have an information display that shows the signal strength and status (tracking or not-tracking) for all satellites in view. Check the signal strength levels. To deduce a 2-D position a GPS receiver only needs to track three satellites. Typically there are at least eight satellites in view.

Check the date and time on the GPS receiver. It may need to be reset.

Check the GPS receiver for the general location it believes it is located in.

HAPPYJIM posted 04-19-2009 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
You can go here and check for updates.

I had an old Garmin handheld that wouldn't acquire satellites and after calling customer service I decided to send it back to them for repairs. I was told to include a check for $80 to cover what would be the highest repair amount and if it was less they would refund the remainder.

i got it back after about a week and found that they gave me a brand new unit. I thought that was very good of them and why I'm a big Garmin fan. Call them and see what can be worked out.

btb posted 04-23-2009 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for btb  Send Email to btb     
I have a GPSMAP 276C and have been very very happy with it. Lately - it goes into Autolocate every new day I turn it on, which means it starts hunting for satellites from scratch, rather than remembering which birds were in view and starting with those.

The upshot of this is that it takes longer to get a fix.

In researching this issue (Garmin have been slow to respond to my tech inquiry), I came across several similar issues where a GPS unit slowly loses its ability to get fixes. According to several threads I found, this is due to a built-in battery losing its power over time. This is not a user-replaceable battery, is apparently hidden deep inside the unit and costs $175 to have replaced.

This information is purely gathered from various internet sources and has not been independently verified - but its sounds like a possible explanation. If true, its also an example of built in obsolesence and I for one will be upset, as they said nothing about this "feature", of course, in all their cute sales stuff.

Anyway, the Garmin folks are sure to get back to me one day and when they do I will post the results of any discussion I have.


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