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Author Topic:   GPS Receiver: Time to Position Fix from Start Up
zeaga posted 06-09-2009 06:17 PM ET (US)   Profile for zeaga   Send Email to zeaga  
I have a lowrance GPS/Fishfinder. The GPS takes anywhere from about a half hour to an hour to lock on. I called lowrance and after about three days and several times a day I finally got hold of a person who told me that the antenna was the the problem. I did not agree with her because looking at the signal bars I was getting very strong reception from about ten sattelites. However, I did went ahead and replaced the internal intenna with an external unit. No change, Very good reception(the same strength of signal I get on my other GSPes.
Does anyone out there have any ideas as to what might be the problem? Could it be the card the antenna is wired to.I am trying to avoid calling Lowrance. Getting hold of them is like trying to get hold of the president.


jimh posted 06-09-2009 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
First, let me say that your experience with Lowrance is completely opposite of my experience. I have owned four LOWRANCE devices and they have all worked flawlessly. While I have sold three of the devices, as far as I know they are all still working, and the Lowrance device I continue to own also continues to work flawlessly. I recently tested a fifth Lowrance device over a period of a week or more, and that device performed well, too. So my first-hand experience with five different Lowrance devices has been one of total satisfaction. In addition, the only time I have had occasion to call Lowrance for customer service, I got very prompt response and the ultimate remedy provide by Lowrance exceeded my expectations and was provided very promptly. How different could our experiences be?

Now to your direct question. A modern GPS receiver should establish a position fix in less than a minute when beginning from a hot restart, that is, from a previous operating state where it was aware of the time of day and date, and had been receiving a particular constellation of satellites. Any delay in establishing a position fix greater than two minutes indicates something is awry with the device.

You did not provide any details about the Lowrance product you are using. If you give the model designator for the device you have it will help others to formulate a cogent reply.

Your mention that there is an "antenna and the card it is wired to" implies you have an older unit in which the actual GPS receiver is contained in the main unit, and the antenna is just that, simply an antenna. More modern devices have the entire GPS receiver contained in the assembly with the antenna, so when the antenna is replaced the entire GPS receiver is replaced. If your unit is older and uses a separate antenna and receiver, replacement of the antenna alone may not remedy the problem. Again, knowing the model would be helpful.

If you think that getting hold of President Obama would be easier, you should consider calling him. President Obama seems inclined to enter into the arena of private businesses to help resolve problems in those businesses, so he may be a good choice for help in this matter.

Landlocked posted 06-19-2009 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
Just a longshot hunch. Check the clock setting on the GPS. If its off like a.m. instead of p.m., it could be looking for sattelites that aren't there yet or have already passed by.
Landlocked posted 06-19-2009 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

What I meant to say is I recently saw this occur on a friends Garmin. It sat and chugged for like 4 hours trying to get a lock even though plenty of sattelite signals were showing up. We noticed the time was off but didn't get a chance to re-set before it locked on by itself. Apparently it downloaded the new correct time setting when it did. Worked flawlessly after that.


Jefecinco posted 06-19-2009 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Consider manually entering your lat and lon. This will often help a unit realize where it is and where in the sky the sats should be.

If a long period between uses is common with your unit it can forget where it is. However, if you are using it with some frequency and it takes a long while to acquire a fix you may have a more serious issue or perhaps require a software upgrade. Is your software the most recent version?


jimh posted 06-20-2009 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Some LOWRANCE units have a routine to help the GPS find its location. At start up the device asks the user to input the approximate location by using the display and its cursor. The display shows a small scale chart and the user is asked to move the cursor to the approximate location.
190Montauk posted 06-23-2009 07:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for 190Montauk  Send Email to 190Montauk     
How old is the unit? It sounds like it is not retaining the ephemeris data. Often an internal non-user-serviceable coin cell is used to retain the data.
btb posted 06-23-2009 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for btb  Send Email to btb     
see this post: Garmin GPS Internal Battery Replacement
Jefecinco posted 06-23-2009 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
This morning my Lowrance LCX-111cHD locked on in about fifteen seconds. Yesterday I was using it to enter some waypoints so it was running for about thirty minutes then.

I do turn the GPS antenna/receiver on before powering the MFD.


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