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 Acquiring satellites problem on nüvi

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
admin_0 Posted - 02 mai 2007 : 03:02:07
I have a NUVI 350. I downloaded the latest updates, but it has not solved the following problem:

SOMETIMES ( definitely not always), my unit will be on "acquiring satellites" for about 10 minutes. It will then ask me the following 3 questions:
1) if I am indoors
2) if I am using this far away from the last time I used it
3) if today's date is ..... ( with the correct date)

After that, it will often (one time it still did not work for awhile) start working.

This is not right. Has anyone experienced this? Any thoughts?

150   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
RolandM Posted - 30 mars 2012 : 21:17:24
I just repaired my Nuvi 660 by replacing the defective RF switch: see

Update 23 April 2012: eventually, replacing the RF switch did not solve the problem, but a fix provided by PouchX did: connecting a 1 kOhm resistor between pin 6 and GND (
alandb Posted - 10 déc. 2011 : 00:50:39
treva38, as you can see from other posts in this thread, antenna failure on the 3xx and 6xx series nuvi's with the flip up antenna is a common problem. You can read more about this problem on the site (just Google " antenna repair").

As far as the lifetime map subscription, it is my understanding that if you replace your nuvi through Garmin, they will transfer your lifetime subscription to the replacement unit. If they will do this for you, $69 may be worth it. On the other hand, for about $120 you can get one of the new entry level nuvis with lifetime maps (like the 40LM).
ST-Bob Posted - 10 déc. 2011 : 00:40:05
If the 350 is the one with the folding antenna, it has likely broken a contact in the flex cable. You may be able to fix it but at the price of Nuvis these days you might find it cheaper to just replace it.

Adding an external antenna will fix it if the flex cable is the problem. Around 40 bucks I think.
treva38 Posted - 10 déc. 2011 : 00:23:20
Wow this has happen alot. I have the Nuvi 350, it is about 5 years old and this is the first time it has happen to me. Two days ago I was using it like normal and all of the sudden there was no satellite reception. I get it back every time I shot the Nuvi down for like one min before the all reception is lost again.
I called Garmin at U.S. toll-free: 1-800-800-1020 and they said I had to do the hard reset and you will loose all your favourites. I did the hard rest by shutting down the system and placing my finger on the top right of the screen while turning it back on. I did all this and nothing happen and all my favourites are still there. And yes I was out side on a clear sunny day, no trees or buildings around, and also updated all the software and maps to boot and I still can't get any satellite reseption, Come on Man. The woman at Garmin had no answer for me and said you could get one from us for $69 used as a replacement. I wonder if they want us to spend some money for repaires or a new device. So much for the life time Map Updates.
bimjim Posted - 30 nov. 2009 : 16:41:04
I just got my nuvi 370 back from Raytech in the mail - by Canada Post ExpressPost - next day service.

The work performed section says "Problem confirmed. Following the manufacturer's policy, the unit needs to be replaced. Replacement unit test spec OK". Total extra cost was zero.

So Garmin's Canadian service, through Raytech, was to replace the entire unit at no additional cost.

And let's be precise about this... just the unit was replaced, not anything else. No retail packaging, none of the accessories, manuals, or anything else - just the unit, in a small box of foam peanuts and in a padded bag.

Total price to me was about CAD$135, plus (less than) CAD$10 to send it there by ExpressPost.
bimjim Posted - 19 nov. 2009 : 21:36:31
Garmin told me that a company in Quebec do their Canadian Support...

"Unfortunately at this time it appears our only option will be to have you send the device in for a repair. Garmin uses a Canadian Repair center for all Warranty and Out-of-Warranty service within Canada.

Please visit Raytech at to fill out the Repair Return Form. If you have any further questions regarding your repair, please feel free to contact Raytech directly at 888-887-6627. If you have any further questions or concerns, always feel free to contact us here at Garmin, we’ll be happy to help you."

I have sent it in my Canada Post (I hope this slow mule train does not fall into a lake somewhere), but first I had to pay about CAD$140 up front by credit card for the out-of-warranty repair.

I used a (thinly) padded ExpressPost envelope, which is flat rate of about CAD$10, and to protect the unit I used layers of thick corrugated cardboard cut to a size smaller than the envelope with a centered void cut out - to the size the of the unit - of all the layers but one. I placed the unit screen-down in the void onto the remaining layer so the screen would be protected, shoved the whole into the envelope, sealed and handed it over for my tracking number.

A bit like a hiding place in an old book - with the middles of the pages cut out.

Being a Canadian company - and especially a Quebec company - I fully expect to receive a further demand for payment.

Raytech Electronique, by the way, is in Vimont, Laval, QB.
bimjim Posted - 18 nov. 2009 : 23:39:28
Bought this nuvi 370 in the UK two years ago on vacation, it was invaluable navigatimng the endless roundabouts there.

Last week the unit lost satellites while I was driving westbound on Highway 401 just east of Toronto (where Markham Road is), heading back home. I had been using it up to that point for about an hour to find a location well north of Pickering, all the while plugged into the car power and hanging off the Garmin windscreen suction mount, no bumps on the road, worked perfectly to that point. When I next started it up, the location shown was still on Highway 401 at the point where it stopped receiving the satellites.

I completed a hard reset from the button in the back, then left it out at the far end of the deck outside with the antenna level for about 30 minutes, no signal.

Then I booted up with a finger on the screen in the bottom right, cleared it all out, then back to the deck outside with the antenna level for about 30 minutes, still no satellite signal.

Then I connected to the Net, allowed it to update fully, then back to the deck outside with the antenna level for about 30 minutes, still no satellite signal.

Now that I have erased all my POIs, frequented visited locations and important addresses, what now?

I just sent a message to Garmin about the problem, so I think I'll wait until I hear from them before I start cracking the case and doing any repairs myself. And I will try to report here on my progress.
ernesas Posted - 07 mai 2009 : 13:33:20

Problem fixed as you said...

complete solution here:

danham Posted - 05 mai 2009 : 13:28:24
Have you read this topic:

ernesas Posted - 29 avr. 2009 : 16:16:44
anyone else have the ANTENNA issue (only have reception when ext. antenna is plugged, nothing with flip antenna) on a GARMIN NUVI?

Read some posts that is a burned diode on antenna... someone have fixed it?

thx !
cmhor Posted - 28 avr. 2009 : 04:15:50
I am using a 2006 Honda Accord.

Thank you guys for the comments. I will try to put the Nuvi in another car to determine if the radio is the cause.
ernesas Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 19:00:49
sorry... you are right !

(maybe I'm watching too much DIRECT TV!)
vincentmckenzie Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 18:46:47
Originally posted by ernesas

GPS satellites are STATIONARY, no way to have signal from a moving satellite with a fixed antenna like our garmins have...

Umm... GPS satellites are certainly NOT stationary. They're at a height of 20,200km in Medium Earth Orbit. That's BELOW geostationary orbit. They orbit the earth around every 12 hours.

dequardo Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 16:40:22
danham means GPS RECEIVERS, not the SATs themselves.
ernesas Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 16:02:17
GPS satellites are STATIONARY, no way to have signal from a moving satellite with a fixed antenna like our garmins have...

shielded windows are a big problem but, car makers ALLWAYS set 'clean' area where to place RF / GPS / RADAR devices... look for a black dotted area behind rear mirror... even you think that place is the worst... that is the palce were can have GPS RECEPTION.

dequardo Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 15:52:27
I really feel it's vehicle/gps chip related.
NanaimoRick Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 15:49:48
I would also be interested in the make and model of the car your using cmhor. I use my 2 Nuvi's attached to a Proclip mount in one of our vehicles. The mount sounds like it is in the same place as you place your unit. I have never had the situation that you describe. It certainly sounds like your issue has more to do with your vehicle than the Nuvi.
ernesas Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 15:46:02

Someone had replaced burned diode with succes??
danham Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 15:31:54
@ cmhor:

Thanks for the detailed report. A few comments ...

1) for this to be the cause, I would think the car radio would have to be defective or very poorly shielded. This could explain a situation such as dequardo's. I have also heard of defroster fans (many of which run constantly in modern cars) causing RF reception problems or distortions.

2) coated windshields can and do stop all kinds of radiation throughout the spectrum, raising havoc with radar/lidar detectors, GPS, toll transponders, you name it.

3) yes, especially if the sats that day/hour are low on the horizon.

4 & 5) always easier to acquire sats when the GPS receiver is stationary, in part due to #3.

dequardo Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 13:32:00
This is very interesting. I had the exact same thing happen (#'s 4 and 5)with several 2x5 models in my 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix. Indeed #4 was he only way back to a signal and a non-starter for me as to being feasible. No Magellan I used and no Xx0 Garmins did this.

Numbers 2 and 3 of course are known issues and outside the scope of this phenomenon.

People would tell me of all sorts of possible ideas, fixes, etc. but none worked. Curious as to which make/model of vehicle you are seeing this on.

I've since gone to a 2007 version of the same car with zero issues so far on a 255W. (Though I recently sold it and am using a Mag 1470.)
cmhor Posted - 27 avr. 2009 : 12:10:24

I wish to share my experience with the Nuvi 255W.

I have encountered the problem of lost satellite signals while travelling. It happened to me several times per day and continuously for few weeks. I had returned the unit to the agent, he said he could not replicate my problem and claimed that nothing is wrong with my unit. He commented that may be the special coating on my windscreen could be the cause.

Subsequently, by paying attention on the behavior of the satellite signals bars while travelling, I found the real culprit to be the relative strength of the radio stations. I mount my Nuvi over the aircon vent in the center of my dashboard, located directly above my radio. After starting my car and successfully acquired the satellite, I have several full bars on my screen. Whenever, I switched on to a particular radio station, the satellite signals would dropped immediately and eventually the reception is lost. However, if I were to switch to another radio station before the satellite reception is totally lost, the signals bars will be restored to their original strength.

Hence, from my experience I conclude that:

(1) certain radio frequency inside the car does interfere with the satellite reception of the Nuvi.

(2) certain brands of windscreen coating will also impede the ability of the Nuvi in receiving satellite signals.

(3) presence of tall buildings and trees do affect the performance of the Nuvi.

(4) once, the satellite reception is lost, you will need to stop your car by the road side and restart the Nuvi inorder to re-aquire the satellite within a short interval.

(5) if after losing your satellite reception and you still travel on the road at crusing speed, you will only re-aquire the satellite after a long time. Sometime, you will not be able to re-aquire your satellite at all, unless you stop your car.

Hope this is useful to some of you.
ernesas Posted - 20 avr. 2009 : 19:56:59
Irviner... did you try to fix replacing burned diode ?

Have success ?
patssfan Posted - 16 avr. 2009 : 02:09:06
Hi. I stumbled on to this forum this weekend and thanks for some of the information. I might have found some sort of solution. I don't know if it's a fix or temporary. I too own a 660 nuvi. I purchased in late 2006 I think. Anyway I started having cut outs last month while in Toledo Ohio up to Detroit on a business trip. I hadn't used the GPS since that trip. So this past weekend. total loss of satellites and the standard 'searching for satellites.

Upon the suggestions here, I did the hard resets, soft resets a few times to no avail. Anyway, got home hooked up the GPS and downloaded the software (now ver 4.7). still nothing. I did another hard reset...nothing. I did read about sharcnet's suggestion of using a wire to see if the external antenna would work. So I did this. took a piece of 14 gauge multi strand, used a single strand and got the satellites back in my unit. I took the wire out and the flip antenna seems to be working again. I don't know if this will last, but in a fixed spot (driveway), turning the unit on and off it's working again. the length of wire is only about 6". I will be testing the GPS this coming week on my next business trip. For me, there is no time to purchase an Gillson aftermarket antenna and Best Buy no longer carries the garmin version.

Maybe the software or whatever is cannot lock the new satellite information on it's own, but needs a primer using an external antenna or wire.

So to summarize

1) Performed the hard reset where the unit is 'zombied' thinking the location is in Kansas
2) Went to Garmin's website and loaded the latest software ver.4.7
3) After download, re-performed a hard reset. The first one may not be necessary.
4) Used 14 gauge 6" wire, using one thread (don't touch the outer sleve on the antenna input with any of the other strands)
5) As Sharcnet mentioned, bars should slowly start appearing and eventually fill
6) The result of this, I am assuming is that the corrupted satellite information has been replaced.

Let's hope this sticks.

Good luck

John Posted - 22 mars 2009 : 17:10:04
Thank you Dan...
I really don't know what the problem is with the unit. The preferences are right, I have good satellite coverage, I have another unit etrex vista Hcx and I use both of the units: one to go offroad and nuvi on the highways. I compare both units at the same time and nuvi navigation icon (blue car)sometimes is on the road of the map and sometimes is off the road on the map, baring on mind that I am still driving on the same road. I swich the unit off and on again, and the blue car is back on the road again. this malfunction is not there on the etrex vista. and driving a while, again the same problem appear. Garmin changed the antenna for me, it worked well for a day. the next day the same problem reappeared. so frankly speaking, no idea what is the cause!
danham Posted - 22 mars 2009 : 14:40:18
@ John:

Welcome to the forum.

Did you post in this topic because you believe it is a satellite problem? If so, what is your sat screen telling you - IOW, how many sats, what estimated accuracy, etc. when the icon is off the road? Also, how are your preferences/avoidances set, especially off-road vs. on?

uconn husky Posted - 22 mars 2009 : 12:30:26
My skills are probably lower than yours---so no tech help from me (but from my prior experience these knowledgeable guys will help you quickly). In the event that your unit is not capable of being fixed though - I'd consider buying new before getting a discontinued, refurbished unit from Garmin. I notice that has the Nuvi 780 for $249.
John Posted - 22 mars 2009 : 10:06:30
Hi, if anybody can help with the problem I face with nuvi 670:
The navigation icon is outside the road most of the time. when I turn the unit off and on again, it will show the correct position on the map. but after a while, the vehicle icon deviates again !!
I contacted garmin, they said I have to pay $250 and they will replace the unit for me. That's why if someone can assist me before paying these guys $250.
I tried the reset option(hold finger on the screen while turning on the unit), I tried to reinstall the software upgrade of 4.7. I tried to reinstall the map (thought the map is not well referenced), but non of them work. I contacted Garmin again asking if I can format the unit and send me the procedure, they said they don't advise! Here I come to you for help...Thanks
My computer skills is limited
publicpersona Posted - 21 mars 2009 : 22:29:51
OK, I did a hard reset after doing a backup. Cleared all user data. It did not clear my Favorites as I expected but that's a good thing.

It acquired satellites very quickly after that .. probably less than a minute. I hope that means it will every time.
danham Posted - 20 mars 2009 : 13:26:43
There is lots of existing info posted here on downgrading, but first try a full reset and then let it sit with an unobstructed view of the sky to re-acquire sats for as long as it takes, uninterrupted. This may clear out corrupt sat location data.

I'm running 4.70 with no issues and do not believe there is any such bug in that version.

publicpersona Posted - 20 mars 2009 : 02:43:39
My 680, after being upgraded to 4.70, now goes into "Acquiring Satellites" each and every time it is powered up, and it takes 10-15 minutes to become ready to navigate. It eventually does and has no problem until the next time it is powered down. This started when I upgraded. It is mounted in the same place it has always been, and for two years, I never experienced this sort of consistent problem.

Any ideas? Is it possible to downgrade?
NanaimoRick Posted - 18 mars 2009 : 14:40:59
No problem, glad we could help.
Irviner Posted - 18 mars 2009 : 06:56:54
Sorry, I didn't know about that page and for some reason, I cannot email members.

Won't happen anymore.

Thanks for the link.
SHARCNET Posted - 17 mars 2009 : 15:18:58
[ED - Deleted at the request of the user]
NanaimoRick Posted - 17 mars 2009 : 14:50:40
Originally posted by Irviner

Just out of curiosity, what do you charge for a replacement board?

Sparcnet has a repair quote page on his website at

It maybe better to deal with him directly than through this forum.


Irviner Posted - 17 mars 2009 : 07:09:04
Understood. Thank you.

Pre-amp. That complicates everything. I don't think it would be as easy to replace the failed pre-amp. Too many leads, to little room for error.

I guess I just have to shorten the external antenna cable and glue the antenna right on top of the flap (it is square and fits by size), forever plugged in. No way to fit in a pouch anymore....

Just out of curiosity, what do you charge for a replacement board?

And, thanks again. I really appreciate your expertise.
SHARCNET Posted - 16 mars 2009 : 03:42:37
[ED - Deleted at the request of the user]
SHARCNET Posted - 16 mars 2009 : 03:28:31
[ED - Deleted at the request of the user]
Irviner Posted - 16 mars 2009 : 03:16:17
Wait a second, did you say ADHESIVE? Can it be lifted off without taking any surface mounted elements with it?
Irviner Posted - 16 mars 2009 : 03:12:42
I have looked over that board... Pretty nifty small. Surface mounted, no way to solder/desolder with my skills or equipment.

I was thinking of cutting the foil strips (lines) before and after the diode. Then paint it over with an isolating paint. Next, glue a replacement part, and finally, "soldering" it on to the cut lines with a conducting glue.

Bad idea?

As for the replacement of the board, pretty easy, although it would require to open the unit to unlock the antenna bus. Or, may-be it's just better to undo the plastic around the coiled part and use that connector? I'd rather leave it, since it is that black plastic wrap that keeps the bus coiled and protects the bus from wearing out on fold / unfold.

Either way, three problems arise immediately:

1) price and source of replacement board.
2) will the diode on it die again in a few month, or a year?
3) will there be any kind of impedance mismatch, code mismatch, serial mismatch, batch, version, and so on? Were the motherboard and the antenna board supposed to be tuned together?

If the switch died, and it was a diode, then it died in either open or closed state, correct? Then, wouldn't it be easier to either shunt or open the switch circuit, so that the situation remains in reverse, and the unit is forever locked on an internal antenna?

Lastly, I kind of shudder when thinking of opening that shield. It is soldered onto the board. I wouldn't risk heating that much of a surface to desolder it. Cut through? Then put that flap of foil back in place and attach it around a remaining perimeter with a conducting glue?
SHARCNET Posted - 16 mars 2009 : 02:35:37
[ED - Deleted at the request of the user]
Irviner Posted - 15 mars 2009 : 20:26:05
My Nuvi 660 has stopped receiving satellite signals. The satellite status screen shows no bars. After a while the unit is asking if I an indoors, and if I am in California. I have performed a user data reset, which had fixed nothing, but now Nuvis is wondering if I am still in Kansas, LOL.

I have read this topic, and purchased the external Garmin antenna ($32 after tax) from a local Fry's Electronics.

Plugged it in, and viola, tracking 9 to 12 satellites.

It appears that the suggestion that Nuvi is "thinking" that the external antenna is always connected is the correct one.

My problem is, that I don't really like to have any wires on my dashboard. I was using nuvi with only a suction cap mount and one wire to the power, on a long trips, but on a short ones, just using the batteries. Now, I have to carry the antenna around, plus, deal with it's wire.

Since, we assume, that there is a diode that is burned out, I was wondering if there is a way to short/open/replace(by cutting existing foil track and glueing a replacement diode with a conductive glue) the failed diode.

So, I have opened my Nuvi antenna flap, and took a look at the board. Unless that diode is under the shielding, I didn't see anything that might look like a diode. There are quite a few maintenance contact point there for reading data, loading data, measuring and resetting the board.

(click to see larger picture)

I am wondering if someone knows the location of a diode in question, and can help me find it. Alternatively, does someone know if there is a maintenance point that can be shortened or powered to lock the antenna circuit to an internal antenna only?

Point me to it?
Thank you.
dequardo Posted - 18 déc. 2008 : 13:46:13
I've had a near identical problem in a 2004 Grand Prix. All STM-based chips will drop signal periodically when I have the Nuvi near the dash (with quick TTFF and clear sky view). If I move it to a side window the reception starts again immediately. VERY annoying and I assume some similar RF interference to yours. AARRGGH.
Repoman Posted - 18 déc. 2008 : 10:06:18

Well, I may have narrowed the problem down a bit. When the 660 is attached to the cradle without the cradle being supplied with 12V, it appears to work okay. When power is supplied to the cradle the problem shows up again.

I recently bought a new 780 and, to some extent, the 780 exhibits the same strange behavior. Also, I moved both GPS units to another vehicle and the appear to function normally.

I guess what this means is that there is some strange RF or electrical interference issue in my Suburban that wasn't there before. My guess is it's an electrical issue. Unfortunately, it exhibits the problem whether the engine is running or not - which will make it much harder to troubleshoot. I also have a Tahoe (same year as the Suburban) and in the Tahoe both GPS units work great. Both cars have the same engines, same stereos, same options, etc. Go figure.

SHARCNET Posted - 12 déc. 2008 : 18:14:54
[ED - Deleted at the request of the user]
Repoman Posted - 12 déc. 2008 : 09:12:14

Thanks for the response. I'm pretty sure it's not an open connection or bad flex cable to the antenna. The antenna doesn't change position when removing from the mount.


Thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed and insightful response.

To answer your questions:

1) When I unclip it from the mount, I am keeping the GPS as close to the mounted position as possible. I've held the GPS so the bottom of the unit is hooked into the lower part of the mount but the top isn't locked into place. I get excellent reception. As soon as I rotate the top of the GPS into place (locked into the mount) the indicated signal strength drops dramatically. If I unlock the GPS from the mount and old it in place (bottom still hooked into mount) or directly to the left or right of the mount, the reception returns to normal.

2) In California, we're not supposed to have anything attached to our windshields, so I try to keep it low on the windshield. I've done this for years and never had any reception issues. I can't imagine anything would change under the dash to affect reception. For the hell of it, I'll do some experimenting and let you know if relocating the mount changes reception. I wish the solution were that simple. I'm fairly certain it's not a positioning issue. If it were, the reception wouldn't change so drastically by moving it just a few millimeters.

I also don't think it's a flex cable issue. The antenna position doesn't change at all whether it's in my hand or on the mount. It's also never been opened, so there shouldn't be any internal grounding issues.

I'm wondering if I might have a power cable that's going bad or maybe an issue with the mount. If I remember correctly, the pinouts on the connector (that mates with the mount) don't have a provision for an external antenna, so I'm a bit puzzled why the reception drops the way it does when the unit senses power from the mount. Am I crazy in thinking it could be a software issue?

I'll keep playing with it and see if I can find any more answers. Thanks again for the response!

SHARCNET Posted - 11 déc. 2008 : 18:17:32
[ED - Deleted at the request of the user]
bwhite Posted - 11 déc. 2008 : 03:26:13
Based on other posts I've read elsewhere sounds like the beginning of an intermittently open connection in the fold up antenna. I have a 650, I'm guessing my day for this will come too. I believe other posters just resorted to an external antenna for it stating the cost of a fix wasn't worth it.
Repoman Posted - 10 déc. 2008 : 22:08:56
Ok, so I've been following this most recent thread and have an issue with my 660 that I've never had before. I tried searching and couldn't seem to find anyone who has experienced the same problem. I apologize, in advance, if it has been discussed before.

I've got my OEM Garmin suction cup mount attached to the bottom center of my windshield. With the power cord plugged into the cigarette lighter (and the unit turned off) I attach the 660 to the mount and it powers up. However, it has a very hard time (and sometimes not at all) acquiring the satellites. If I touch the signal strength icon in the upper left corner to view the actual signal strength of the satellites, the screen indicates it's not receiving anything. I can leave it there for 5 minutes or more and still nothing. It will ask me if I'm indoors and for the date - the usual questions. Now for the fun part. If I unclip it from the mount it immediately starts to "see" the satellites and will lock onto them in under a minute. Once this happens, I can clip it back to the mount and instantly see how the signal strength of the satellites is reduced to 50 - 60% of full strength. If I pop it off the mount the signal strength goes back to just about 100% for most satellites. I'm not moving, I have a clear view of the sky and, like I stated, I get excellent reception until the 660 is clipped to the mount.

I originally thought a dirty contact or loose cable connection might be the culprit but I've checked and rechecked just about everything I can think of.

Software Version 4.60
GPS SW Version 3.00
BT Software Version 3.40

I upgraded to 4.60 not too long ago but didn't notice any satellite reception issues until a couple days ago. I have reset the unit a few times and nothing seems to help. Anyone had an issue like this before? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
dequardo Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 17:30:54
I did see that SergZak. Unfortunately no CD playing anytime during this. Thanks
SergZak Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 16:45:20
Here's a repeat of what I posted in the other forum in case you missed it there.
One other thing I thought I'd mention was that years ago, I had a similar problem with one of my older GPS unit's (either GPS V, Quest or nuvi 350) sat signal dropping by about 50% whenever my Sony in-dash CD player was playing a CD and the GPS was too close to it...the AM/FM radio did not affect the GPS in any way.
dequardo Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 16:16:43
Good point. I've tried testing with and w/o other units running. Made no difference. The 2x5 units would eventually drop signal totally (though it could take as long as an hour!)
Th3Zodiac Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 16:15:29
My Wifes Nuvi 360 was also getting stuck on "Acquiring Satellite" if we turned it on and choose our destination immediately. Then we discovered you must "View Map" first, then select your destination, seems to have solved our problem for the most part.
gpspassion Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 16:11:36
Did you have these other GPS systems placed in the same spot at the same time? Only way to draw any conclusions. If it's the case, might come down to shielding and/or interference with a specific component.

I remember seeing degraded signal levels when I used to test Bluetooth GPS receivers when they were placed in one particular spot on my dash, lost a few dB's, still worked ok though.
dequardo Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 16:00:08
I think you both are on the right track. It's mounted mid-console very close to the CD slot. I've done the engine off test already and it never loses signal while stationary. Just odd though isn't it that this never happens (to anyone else presumably here) with SiRF, Atlas, or MTK chipsets? Just the ST Micros!?
SergZak Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 15:44:32
Dan makes an excellent suggestion. I'd definitely give that a try.

It seems where you have it specifically mounted (center console) is causing the problem. Is it high up *on the dash* or low near the main electronics in the console? Can you possibly move it to a different location (higher/lower/left/right) of where it currently is? Does that help? Sometimes, just a small movement can make a difference.

Even if you do somehow locate what is causing this (if it's electronics, part of the car or otherwise), how feasable will it actually be to remove/modify what the culprit actually is? If it's an integral part of the car itself, I don't know how that will be possible.
danham Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 15:34:43
Seems like one simple (though time-consuming) test would be to mount the GPS in the car and let the GPS run for an hour or more - all with the car stationary and everything in it, including the engine, turned off. If the GPS maintains sat lock the whole time, you can conclude that there is something in the car electrical system that is causing the problem.

SergZak Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 15:14:04
Hmmm, as was mentioned by gatorguy here & myself in the other forum, you'll have to try to isolate the problem by turning off/removing/moving devices within the car in the proximity of your mounting location...if that indeed is the problem. It has to be something near where you have the unit mounted since moving it to the side window clears it up. That's not much area to search but if you don't know what you're looking for, it can be a problem.

As far as locating a spurious magnetic field generated by the car itself? I dunno, maybe try a divining rod?
dequardo Posted - 05 déc. 2008 : 14:36:11
It has to be either the small magnetic field or the car itself. If I move the unit to the SIDE window reception starts up again immediately. At that point theres no magnet involved but it could be something else (maybe a HUGE magnet inside the dash as part of the radio where I have it mounted?)

Sergzak, if you are out there. Any input on this one?

I'll keep hunting. Thanks.
gatorguy Posted - 04 déc. 2008 : 00:01:34
I've seen mention on occasion that some car electronics can also interfere with signal reception. I thought Sergzak had mentioned it in this thread somewhere but couldn't find it. Perhaps try turning off radios, etc. and see if the problem still exists. And as mentioned above, if the problem doesn't occur in any other vehicle you have access to (without using your magnetic button), then the car or something in it must be the culprit.
mnorton Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 23:46:09
I'd try it in different vehicles. If it works, then your car is the problem. Isolate and analyze.
dequardo Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 23:40:02
Well I don't know but excellent question. Even if it didn't I'm left with the same conundrum.
mnorton Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 23:35:04
I can't remember if you mentioned this before or not, but does it lose reception in other cars?
dequardo Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 23:09:22
That was a supposition but it happens w/o the use of the button also.
smp01 Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 23:03:02
you mention "small magnetic button"

would the small magnetic force so close to the electronics do something that takes time before losing reception.
dequardo Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 21:57:04
It hasn't come to that. All the ones I've tried, 205, 255, 255w, 265wt have done this within a day. Taking them back is no problem-other than the hassle. Thing is I really want to use the 265WT for its advanced features and price point but simply can't because of this.
dequardo Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 21:46:11
Basically shut it down as it's useless as a GPS device at that point. Holding it against the side window is not an option of course. WHY seemingly only with a certain chipset??
mnorton Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 21:44:37
The what do you do to get reception again other than moving it to a side window? How long does the reception last after you do that?
dequardo Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 21:43:26
Turning it off and on doesn't make a difference. Moving it to the side window has an instant effect. It's as if there's an electrical 'force field' around it.
mnorton Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 21:38:10
Deguardo, what happens if you turn it off and right back on after it dumps the satellites? Does it immediately reacquire or does it have to sit and "cool off" for a while?
dequardo Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 21:36:24
Right. No special coating on the windshield.
mnorton Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 20:44:47
This is weird as electronics usually work or they don't. This diminishing satellite reception is interesting. At first, I thought the problem might be with some sort of coating on the windshield that won't let signals through, but if that were the case, you'd never get any reception at all.
dequardo Posted - 03 déc. 2008 : 20:20:59
I've written about this before but have some more insight and data on the issue.

In the same vehicle (2004 Grand Prix) I have chronic problems with any Nuvi NOT using a MTK or SIRF chipset. Here's what happens consistently with a 265WT, 255, 255W, etc.

I have my units mounted with a small magnetic button to a velcroed attached connection (Belkin 3 in 1 Vent Mount) to the center of my dash/console. Every GPS and phone I use I've mounted the same way.

I get an initial and strong SAT acquistion very quickly with any of the XX5 units. However after xx minutes (could be 10, could be 60) the reception basically goes to Zero and stays there! No difference if I unplug and run on battery power. IF I move the unit to the side window the reception instantly comes back.

This doesn't happen with any other Nuvi (760, 350, etc) that does not use the 'B' chipset. It also does not happen with any Magellan I've used.

Does ANYONE have this same phenomenon? Am I just screwed from using the cheap and very good 255 for instance?

Thanks much.

lcubed Posted - 16 nov. 2008 : 14:57:37
i recently sprung 20$ for an external glisson antenna w/ mcx connector.
what a huge difference. now, my 350 locks on before i've even left my garage.
previously, since the gps antenna was partially obscured by the car's metal roof,
absolutely no signal while in the garage and i'd be two miles down the road
before getting a useable first fix.
grenger Posted - 16 nov. 2008 : 14:47:58
I have the same problem. NUVI350 1.5 year old.... no signal. Garmin says 275.00 to fix.... GPS now in garbage can.
dequardo Posted - 07 nov. 2008 : 13:04:02
Well I'm not sure we're describing identical issues. I have no problem with the first fix. It's fast and strong. The thing that prevents me from using a 255 at the moment is the fact I'll suddenly lose all signals 30, 45, or 60 mon. into a trip when I have no idea where I am. That's why we use a GPS in the first place.

The common advice is there's something in my vehicle (flaky power voltage?) causing this. May well be but it has zero affect on the Magellans I've used to compare. I still think this is a Bravo chipset issue.
The Max Posted - 07 nov. 2008 : 09:00:25
I have the same problem, sometimes direct fix, other times searching, searching, searching... minutes...
If you are on home ground and know the first part of the route, no problem, if you don't have the time or don't know the enviroment, problem!
dequardo Posted - 07 nov. 2008 : 04:02:24
Sorry, I had this exact same problem with bith a 255 and a 255w.
boltjames Posted - 06 sept. 2008 : 03:46:25
I know that this may not help those of you that can't afford a new one, but the answer to this acquisition problem is a simple one:

Get a new XX5 version.

I struggled with my 200w for months and the thing finally let me down so hard when I needed it the most (screen freeze in Boston, got completely lost) that I gave up and bought a new 255w the very next day and it's like a dream.

So.....find someone to take your non XX5 off your hands on Craigslist or eBay and buy one of the new series. Trust me, it's the answer. Stop trying to fix what can't be fixed and move on.

No need to dump Garmin or Nuvi. Just dump the bad egg they released and get one of the new ones and you'll be thrilled.

gilligan Posted - 05 sept. 2008 : 18:39:41

My wife has a Garmin Nuvi 250W and she has the same problem. Sometimes we get to the destination and the GPS still shows "Acquiring satellites". My GPS, the Magellan Maestro 3225 North America works right after I turn it ON. With my experience with the Garmin units, I'd say sell it, give it away, and buy a Magellan.
norm1968 Posted - 04 sept. 2008 : 18:47:22
Hi, this is my first post. I had the same problem with my nuvi 350, it started out that occasionally the sat reception would be lost for a couple minutes, over time it got worse until it never would aquire any sats even after 45 minutes. I tried all the master resets, etc. to no avail. Even though the unit was outside the warranty period, I wrote Garmin a polite letter explaining the story and saying I was disappointed that an expensive device failed in such a short time, and they decided to exchange mine for a new overhauled unit for no charge.

I give Garmin high marks for their support! Maybe it didn't hurt that I mentioned I own 4 Garmin GPS units. Just thought I would mention this, it may be worth a try.

NanaimoRick Posted - 04 sept. 2008 : 15:39:47
You possibly got a newer 710 as the 610 has been discontinued and may not be in stock at Garmin to offer as a replacement.
Amazing Marie Posted - 04 sept. 2008 : 09:48:47
Hi, as I desperately need my sat nav as my job involves a lot of travelling, I paid Garmin £120 to repair it, they replaced it with the 710T which I was a bit upset with as I dont think it is as good a quality (exception of course of lost satellite reception, it sounds a bit tinny and the screen is not as clear but it does react faster. It is a shame, the 610T had a good clear screen and clear voice commands and felt more solid. This one however appears to work OK, only time will tell. Thanks to all who responded for all your help and suggestions.
SHARCNET Posted - 03 sept. 2008 : 21:56:27
[ED - Deleted at the request of the user]
grease Posted - 03 sept. 2008 : 15:40:59
Since all units mentioned here has foldable GPS antenna I'd speculate that problem in the design. Most likely internal flexible cable that connects GPS antenna get's broken. That also explains why it would work with external antenna when internal one gets broken. I'd recommend to keep antenna unfolded all the time. No surprise Garmin is getting away from foldable antenna design in their newer units even at cost of lower GPS signal sensitivity.
bwhite Posted - 03 sept. 2008 : 04:28:26
Well just taking a shot here, by any chance did the external antenna reduce or eliminate lag ?
toomer Posted - 02 sept. 2008 : 06:19:42
My Nuvi 350 just started doing this today (Sept 1st). Have had it for a bit more than 15-16 months - I can remember the date because I bought the external FM antenna which had a 15-month traffic subscription, and it just ran out last month. Did the clear all user data reset - no change. Seems hosed. I'm likely out of warranty (I assume) and not to keen on giving Garmin another shot at it if so many of these units are prone to breaking this way at the 8-18 month mark (there are lots of reports of this on the Internet, not just here on GPSpassion).

Anyone who had this give up on Garmin as a result? If so, what did you buy as a replacement?
Johnny Knoxville Posted - 16 juil. 2008 : 04:56:05
My 660NA version started acting the same way on July 13, 2008.
Maybe a year old and treated like a baby.
I did all the resets, updated software etc.

It has performed flawlessly for about a year. Never left in the sun to bake. I always take it off the mount and put it in my briefcase.

I don't want to use an external antennae. That's bunk.
nypdblue06 Posted - 16 juil. 2008 : 04:16:53
My Gamin Nuvi 660 Solution

External antenna - Garmin 25MCX low profile remote GPS antenna

I have been experiencing the same problem many have been having with the Nuvi 6xx and 3xx series giving an error message “Lost satellite reception”.

My problem started mid April 2008 and got progressively worse. I would use my GPS on weekends and it would work perfectly for the first 10 – 30 minutes and then would loose satellite reception, rendering it useless.

I bought my Nuvi 660 when it first came out in October 2006 for just under $700 and is now out of the 1 year warrantee.
I called Garmin Technical Support and we checked my Software version (4.40) and more importantly my GPS SW version (3.00). According to the tech I had on the phone, the GPS SW version was more important then the Software version. It was in fact already updated to 3.00, I did master reset, after master reset, but regardless, nothing helped.

I contemplated what I should do.
Return mine and get a refurbished unit from Garmin for $225 with only a 90 day warrantee?
Buy a new Nuvi 660 for around $300
Buy a new Nuvi 2xx series with fewer features for $200 to $275.
Buy a Megellian GPS?

I read through this forum and came across one person that was told by Garmin “that they are aware of an issue with some Nuvis involving the failure of a diode in the unit that senses whether or not an external antenna is connected.” Apparently this diode failure is caused from the high heat these units experience from being left in a hot car for long periods of time. This would explain why mine would work in the beginning and then die.

So my thinking was, if the diode “thinks” there is an external antenna attached when it isn’t, what would happen if I “did” connect an external antenna?

Garmin recommends the Garmin GA 25MCX low profile remote GPS antenna for the Nuvi 660 and costs $31.49 (not sure about additional costs for tax and shipping)

So I purchased the NEW antenna from a seller on eBay for $25.90 total and IT WORK FLAWLESSLY.

Just to make sure it really was the new external antenna that was working and not the unit coming back to life, I started my 3 hour journey with the external antenna NOT connected. As usual it lost satellite reception in about 15 minutes. I plugged in the GA 25MCX and it immediately connected to the satellites and never lost them.

I repeated the same process coming home and once again, I connecting the external antenna after the unit reported loosing satellite reception, and it worked perfectly.

Conclusion: if your unit is experiencing loosing satellite reception, and is under warrantee, return it ASAP. If it’s out of warrantee, get an external antenna. There are other manufactures of external antennas and all should work as long as it has an MCX connector.

Side Note: This external antenna also worked perfectly on a friend’s Nuvi 350 with the same problem.

I wanted to share this with everyone because I’ve been racking my brain for months over this. I hope this helps.
pomme-homme Posted - 22 juin 2008 : 20:08:58
d gohari:

can you try the unit with an external antenna?

gatorguy Posted - 22 juin 2008 : 01:04:56
I suppose anything would be possible. I don't think the problem is very common.
d_gohari Posted - 22 juin 2008 : 00:00:13
I have a NUVI 670 and from last month it started to lose its satellite connection. It has happened several times so far. Most of the time it loses the signal in the middle of a road and never reacquires the signal again. I have tried everything from program updating to resetting (hardware). Nothing seems to solve the problem. I have requested an RMA from Garmin to repair the unit but I haven't got any answer yet. What could be the reason. Since it has been working about 9 months, the problem can not be a software bug! The hardware problem seem to be unlikely too as it works sometimes. Is it possible that the vibrations disconnect something in the unit?
pomme-homme Posted - 14 juin 2008 : 20:51:20
It is disturbing that this began happening after 18 months; most of the other cases in this thread (including mine) happened with new units after only a few weeks-months. Most happened in late spring-early summer 2007 and the posts tapered off until this spring (I have been monitoring this thread since the beginning.)

Stay on Garmin customer service, they were systematic but once they determined that my nuvi(s) were defective, they promptly sent replacements.

If you can get your hands on an external antenna, give that a try, too.

Keep us posted and good luck.

Amazing Marie Posted - 14 juin 2008 : 20:15:53
I have a Nuvi 610T about 18months old. Whilst driving home yesterday, it lost satellite reception, more than once. Tried again today and it lost it after a couple of hours. Did the master reset and redownloaded software, now I have no reception at all. Seems like, looking at all these posts, Garmin is a load of rubbish!!
merlin2375 Posted - 11 juin 2008 : 19:49:19
I'm not really sure it's a software failure. You might be right, but I don't see why a master reboot wouldn't do the trick. I did all my updates and they were 100% successful every time.
PhilHornby Posted - 11 juin 2008 : 14:51:41
But all that 'reinstall' does, is copy the corresponding .BIN file to the Nüvi. When the Nüvi reboots, it will only load Sirf firmware from that .bin file, if it is a higher version number than that already loaded.

There's no means (that I'm aware of) of forcing it to reload an existing or earlier version (as there is in the case of say, the bluetooth firmware)
mikejack12 Posted - 11 juin 2008 : 14:05:23
Using WebLoader there are two options. Continue to check for additional updates or reinstalled the current update.
PhilHornby Posted - 11 juin 2008 : 12:57:29
Originally posted by Gage Gecko

Simply reloading the chipset software will fix this problem 99 times out of a 100.

But how do you that on a Nüvi

(Yes - I know how to load a new version (if one exists), but how do you reload the existing version?).
Gage Gecko Posted - 11 juin 2008 : 00:58:15
It's a simple software failure. Simply reloading the chipset software will fix this problem 99 times out of a 100.

As to why it happens, these units are basically specialized computers and as such do not like it when you interrupt their boot process.
merlin2375 Posted - 10 juin 2008 : 23:05:39
I guess this thread has been dead for a while but my nuvi 370 started experiencing issues at about 8 months old. I got an RMA and just recieved my "new" nuvi back from garmin. Will report back when I know more, initial tests are leaving me skeptical all ready.
nübi Posted - 10 oct. 2007 : 02:05:16
I emailed Garmin about my 350, and they gave me the instructions on doing a reset (not with the button on the back). I performed this reset, and my sat aquisition time is back to a relatively quick time now, anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds for full sat signal. I've only tried it a few times, but it seems much better. Will see how long this lasts.


Thank you for contacting Garmin International, I am happy
to help you
with this.

Sometimes the almanac data that your nüvi stores for
acquisition becomes corrupted. This causes acquisition to
become slow.
To correct this we need to perform a master reset. This
procedure will
erase all user data.

With your nüvi powered off, press and hold the lower left
corner of the
screen. Next, turn the power on. Continue to hold the
screen until it
asks if you really want to enter maintenance mode. Next,
choose clear
user data. The screen will flicker a bit and then start up
like it did
when it was first turned on. Follow the directions to set
time and
location. You will have to reacquire satellites by turning
on your nüvi
with the antenna up outside in full view of the sky. This
one time
acquisition may take up to 30 minutes.
gpspassion Posted - 06 oct. 2007 : 20:36:36
A note to say that this useful thread is make a long story short, something went wrong when I did my monthly removal of inactive accounts, sorry for the interruption.
vinzchlortho Posted - 02 oct. 2007 : 01:10:58
Hey Dan,

Nevermind, if it's the two-tap, on the strength bars in the top left corner of the screen. What should I see that may be of help. Right now there is no information on the left side of the screen, just the dashes. The right side shows 2,4,7,9,11,17,20,28 and the heading says Locating Satellites. Strange, must have been one of the company people that had it last. It asked me if I was inside or outside and I told it, outside. Then it asked me if we were still in Kansas. That's great. I wanted to answer that I think we're in OZ. Anyway. Any clue?
vinzchlortho Posted - 02 oct. 2007 : 00:16:58
Hey Dan,

Yes...I went through the entire procedure and then left it outside, in the clear for thirty minutes. Nothing. How do I go to the SAT screen? And what should I look for?
Thanks Dan...
danham Posted - 01 oct. 2007 : 23:02:38
Just double-checking - it no longer can acquire the sats at all, even if you are outside, free of obstructions and let it sit still for 10+ minutes? I assume you have gone to the sat screen to see what is going on under these circumstances.

If so, sounds like it has to go back - sorry to say. But depending on where you are, turnaround time (actually they ship you a refurb) can be remarkably rapid.

vinzchlortho Posted - 01 oct. 2007 : 22:33:11

My 660 just stopped acquiring satellites. I've read almost the entire scenario about this and tried the updates and re-boots that were suggested. I have just replied to a second level tech support person from Garmin, who sent the solution to the problem, which was the procedure for loading the latest software (4.10) and then doing the re-boot. I did that, using WebUpdater and then again, doing it manually. Same satellites. I am hoping that tech support will reply with a solution. I'm afraid the next step is to send it back. Bummer...
Does anybody have the miracle cure for this? It's a wonderful little just doesn't know where it is. For six hundred bucks, it better find out real soon.

pomme-homme Posted - 25 sept. 2007 : 19:08:25
Sorry you are having the problem. If the unit works with an external antenna, you have made the diagnosis. Keep after Garmin, they will do the right thing eventually (it took two replacement 360's to get one without the problem.)

Good luck!
nübi Posted - 25 sept. 2007 : 16:49:34
Now my 350 has been doing this for about a month or so. I'm not sure I buy the "burned out diode" theory, because if that were the case, it seems as though the antenna wouldn't work at all, hence never get a satellite signal. Mine is currently in the really slow aquisition mode of this problem. Hasn't failed altogether... yet.

I will probably contact Garmin when I'm back from my current business trip. I've never been too fond of the fold-out antenna on this thing, and it's extremely disheartening to find that others are experiencing the same issue with their replacement units. Doesn't sound like anything was really corrected on the hardware.

In light of this, the 250 is starting to look pretty good. Given the opportunity I think I'd swap for one, despite it's lesser chipset.
Max Nuvi270 Posted - 17 sept. 2007 : 19:34:04
Hi Everybody,

From the previous posts it seems like this is a 3xx or 6xx problem. I have a 270 and(as I posted in another thread-somehow I missed this one:-( mine had the problem of to slow acquiring sats but otherwise worked super. It also seem that if I keep it in a vertical postion it is a lot faster. I didn't contact Garmin yet and I don't know if I should do it. Any ideas?
Flibster Posted - 17 sept. 2007 : 16:30:56
I kept getting 'lost satellite' and 'acquiring satellite'. Called Garmin tech support this morning and they sadi they will overnight one to me. Can't get better than that. Had to give them a credit card number until I send mine back, but its well worth it to get the replacement so quickly.
smiley1081 Posted - 03 sept. 2007 : 17:01:10
Originally posted by smiley1081

I will keep the A/C blowing along the windshield, to keep Ginetta fresh...

And yesterday she parachuted from the windshield, yelling "Folgore!"...

That even if I had cleaned the glass and the cup.

Now recurring to spittle.
TAL2GK Posted - 03 sept. 2007 : 14:56:43
One more addition to the list. I bought my 660 back in January from Amazon and LOVED IT! My "acquiring satellites" problem hit in late spring/early summer in mid-trip with open skies. That really sucks, because I had no back up maps to try and figure out where I should have been going.

I did a firmware update, though, and it may have helped - although its hard to tell since the acquiring satellites problem came and went randomly. When it would go out, though, it would be out for days at a time and no amount of resetting would help. All of a sudden, it would come back.

The last time it worked for me now was about a month ago, so I suppose its about time I sent it back to Garmin. It sounds like their support team is pretty good. I keep putting my 660 up in the car hoping it will magically start reading satellites again - but, like I said, its been a month since it read anything.
pdxa4 Posted - 14 août 2007 : 01:26:57

Good to hear...
JACK_NUVI_350 Posted - 07 août 2007 : 01:06:56
Well, I said I would report on my Nuvi 350 progress. Garmin might of made or used some flakey components when they built these nuvi's; but you sure do have to give them a Great BIG Hand when it comes to service. I sent my nuvi in for repair on July 31st and I received what appears to be a brand new Unit today August 6th. Got it out of the box and it found sats in less that 45 seconds. Lets hope it stays that way. Thanks to all of you for the help and advice.

smiley1081 Posted - 01 août 2007 : 08:46:51
I will keep the A/C blowing along the windshield, to keep Ginetta fresh...
MikeF74 Posted - 01 août 2007 : 05:36:28
I'm about to buy a Nuvi and read this thread from beginning to end with great interest and worry. But in the end, I'm no longer anxious about my upcoming purchase.

I just wanted to add my observations...

In all cases, it seems the units started to fail in late spring / early summer regardless of when it was purchased. It seems to me that the units are overheating now that warm weather is upon us (perhaps combined with extended usage). As someone gleamed from Garmin support, it sounds like this diode is burning out, making the unit believe that an external antenna is attached.

I wonder if southern hemisphere users saw the same behavior 7-8 months ago.

It's good to see that Garmin is replacing the units with little fuss, though is sounds like its no fun to do RMA's in Canada.

NanaimoRick Posted - 01 août 2007 : 03:00:26
I think what the Garmin tech meant was that it was only a temperary fix in so far as you could get a signal and use the Nuvi with the external antenna but the unit still had a hardware problem that needed to be fixed.

I think the better thing for her to say would have been - using an external antenna is only a workaround.
pomme-homme Posted - 01 août 2007 : 02:55:30
I had not heard that using an external antenna was only a temporary fix. It did work for me until I sent the 2nd nuvi in for replacement: with external antenna attached, excellent signal. Detach external antenna: NO signal.
JACK_NUVI_350 Posted - 01 août 2007 : 02:11:49
Pomme, I read alot of the posts and some said that we could get around the problem by connecting an external ant. I asked the garmin tech about this and she said that would only be a temperary fix. I did not go into detail about it, but thought it is worth mentioning.
Jack, nuvi 350 losing satellites
pomme-homme Posted - 01 août 2007 : 00:00:15
The latest on my problem with acquiring satellites with my first and second nuvi 360s.

After the problem recurred with the second nuvi I emailed Garmin CS with my dissatisfaction and observation that the use of an external antenna appeared to bypass the problem. The tech responded that he had set up an RMA with direct shipment to an engineer who "had a fix for the problem." I UPS'ed the nuvi to Garmin last Thursday (overnight at their expense) and just received a replacement today(overnight).

It appears to acquire satellites normally so far, is a much different serial number from the original two (16L03XXXX) AND has the updated North American 2008 map! There was no explanation about why the old unit was not repaired or what was wrong with it, so the problem is still a mystery, but I can't complain about Garmin customer service.
JACK_NUVI_350 Posted - 31 juil. 2007 : 23:06:11
Well you can add my Nuvi 350 to the list of garmins losing satellites. I purcased it May 31st of this year and it has worked flawlessy until Saturday July 28th about 1:00 pm central time. It found the Sats a little later but once again it lost signal. It got worse as the weekend went on. On Monday it never did find any sats. I called Garmin and they instructed me to do the master reboot (which I did) no help. They had me send it back to them for repair. I will let you know how this turns out.

NanaimoRick Posted - 24 juil. 2007 : 15:55:36
Although there maybe differences in the time it takes for any Nuvi to acquire a satellite lock when moving it will always take far longer than simply waiting for a minute while standing still.
pdxa4 Posted - 24 juil. 2007 : 07:23:04
Yes it can find it's position when stationary. But really the unit should be capable of finding where it is when it has clear skies and when moving...My older and simpler i5 can do this without issue...
blane Posted - 23 juil. 2007 : 02:42:45
Wait a minute in an open sky area before starting to drive to allow your unit to acquire satellites.
pdxa4 Posted - 23 juil. 2007 : 02:29:14
Well I have had our 660 Nuvi since late May, got it from costco online for the great price of $500. Now we successfully did a cross county roadtrip and the unit worked very well.
However I have noticed how very difficult it is for the unit to lock onto satellite's when moving, the unit is very disappointing from this point of view, my older i5 unit would have a much stronger grip on satellite reception.

Now I'm looking for some advice, I'm considering returning the unit to Costco, but I would like a replacement one. Does Costco do a reorder for a replacement good or do they only offer a refund on the spot.

I do love the 660 features, the touchscreen and it's size, but I would hope for better reception.
I know I could go though Garmin support, but I'm worried about the turnaround time.

Any advice is appreciated, thanks.
pomme-homme Posted - 22 juil. 2007 : 01:16:51
Well. The good news is that I think I have this problem figured out. The bad news is that it has happened to my replacement unit. As previously posted, I bought a Gilsson external antenna just in case and used it without a problem on a recent road trip. I used it all the time, not relying on the 360's antenna at all.

Today, I started wondering if the 360 would acquire satellites without the external antenna. I walked outside to a clear spot, opened the antenna, and there was no signal from any satellite. I got the dreaded three questions about whether I was indoors, etc. I connected the Gilsson and within 5 minutes had 20 foot accuracy. I disconnected the Gilsson and within 15 seconds: NO SIGNAL. I reproduced this several times.

The replacement unit I was sent had a similar serial number to my original: 1034XXXX. I wonder if there is a bad lot?

I have emailed Garmin for RMA again and hope the next replacement is without the problem.
jr461 Posted - 21 juil. 2007 : 06:02:18
Kudos to Garmin for the fast turn around on the replacement of my unit. They received it Monday this week, sent it out to me on Wed and I received it today.

All I had a chance to do was check that it acquired the satellites in my driveway, which it did easily. Hopefully this is it.
jr461 Posted - 20 juil. 2007 : 14:36:43
My 660 (purchased the end of Oct '06) first lost satellites with an inability to reacquire them back in March. After E-mailing Garmin, they advised about resetting and updating the software. I did this and it actually worked...until the end of June/early July, when the problem reoccurred. I did the reset and update again and it only solved it partially, meaning sometimes it would work for a while or even a day, then nothing again.

I sent it back after getting an RMA and they received it Monday 7/16 (per UPS). I have not heard back from them (despite E-mailing for the status) but hopefully I will receive either mine back repaired or a replacement by the end of next week.
KF4OD Posted - 17 juil. 2007 : 00:58:22
I've had my 660 for just under 3 weeks. Today (16JUL07) while driving on I-89 northern Vermont I got the lost satellite reception message. I tried multiple soft & hard resets, no change. I connected a GA25 external antenna and all is fine. Garmin tech support and the Montreal Garmin agent both advised that I needed a re-load of the operating system to restore the connection to the internal antenna. This seems strange - however I need the unit for a trip this Friday and decided to continue by using the external antenna. I'll turn it in for repair when I return from the trip and advise of the outcome.
Desert Rat Posted - 12 juil. 2007 : 20:22:11
My 650 has reception problems during hot afternoons, but works great at night or early morning. I remove it from the car at work and take it in the office, so the unit does not get overheated sitting in a closed vehicle.
pomme-homme Posted - 12 juil. 2007 : 19:40:18
This is an interesting problem: it occurred starting in early May and appears to have tapered off at this point (at least according to the posts here.) So perhaps there was a time-limited satellite problem? This would seem to affect ALL GPS units equally, wouldn't it?

I sent my nuvi 360 to Garmin after receiving an RMA # and got a refurb unit back (a little older if you believe the serial number) and with SW version 3.40 but all of my favorites loaded. No explanation as noted above. I still like the idea of the unit looking for an external antenna signal as the cause of this issue and have purchased a Gilsson antenna to carry in the car just in case. So far the replacement unit seems to be working fine; I have a trip this weekend and will try it out. Updated the SW to 3.90 with the beta Mac Webupdater: worked perfectly.

Overall I am happy with the nuvi and with Garmin. I wouldn't hold off purchasing for something this bizarre.
fchen Posted - 12 juil. 2007 : 08:39:08
I got my Nuvi 350 2 weeks ago and out of the blue it shows lost satelit reception. And I was in a city I never drove before. I manage to navigate using it as map viewer and the list of turns.

When I got home, I rush to the store where I bought it and they offer a replacement but did not have any in stock. I did not want to risked it and asked for refund instead.

Is there a way to find out if this is known issue with Nuvi? I want a Nuvi but hesitate due to this issue.

I read about this in this forum before but dismiss it because I thought this issue is isolate to a few people only. Should I get another Nuvi?
danham Posted - 09 juil. 2007 : 15:55:54
Originally posted by salsaguy

Dan, do you think some will try and send back their 6xx's in for replacement saying it has a sat lock problem but really its that they got a unit with older v8 maps. If Garmin replaces with a new one and we know Garmin has the new maps on their own stock, then problem solved? Or will they make sure the problem is valid?

I have no inside knowledge on this, but based on reports here and my own experience sending my 350 back with directory corruption a long time ago, it seems to me that they turn on a returned unit and do some cursory testing. Then they grab one from the refurb pile that has the same specs and versions (if available) and ship it out right away.

The up-side is you get a working nuvi back faster (4-day turnaround for me). The down-side is that the "trick" you describe is unlikely to work reliably.

Jay911 Posted - 09 juil. 2007 : 06:15:17
For what it's worth, the lady behind the counter at GPS Central replaced my nuvi with no problems, though she did want to power it on and see if it exhibited the same behaivor there.
petlaur Posted - 09 juil. 2007 : 06:03:32
salsaguy, don't you think that Garmin will test out the returned nuvis to confirm the sat lock problems before they send back replacements?
salsaguy Posted - 09 juil. 2007 : 02:50:40
Dan, do you think some will try and send back their 6xx's in for replacement saying it has a sat lock problem but really its that they got a unit with older v8 maps. If Garmin replaces with a new one and we know Garmin has the new maps on their own stock, then problem solved? Or will they make sure the problem is valid?
danham Posted - 06 juil. 2007 : 14:15:21
Hanging on is often a smart move with new consumer electronics, but I do have to point out that if you buy a 660 or 680 that has the sat lock problem, Garmin will exchange it for free and quickly. If you buy a Mio and if the reports of lousy support and other glitches are true, then no exchange can fix that [g].

therock Posted - 02 juil. 2007 : 23:57:27
Sorry to hear about the signal losses on the Garmin units. I'm looking to buy a GPS and am researching between the 660 and mio c520.
As a former owner of a VII I was surprised to hear what is posted here.
If it's of any comfort, the mio c520 folks report lackluster audio, poor bluetooth, no map updates and most of all lousy customer support.
I'm hanging on to my wallet for a while longer.
danham Posted - 30 juin 2007 : 21:30:08
That language seems to be pretty standard boilerplate for repair invoices. I wouldn't read too much into it. They don't fix yours (until later); they send you one that is already refurbed, so no telling why it was returned.

tjmcwiz Posted - 30 juin 2007 : 15:56:23
Just an update on getting the replacement unit from Garmin for the acquiring satellite problem.

Garmin's support was top notch - they paid for the shipment back of the unit to their center. Replacement was done with a refub unit in less than a week. The replacement unit works great just like the one it replaced before the problem. However, their repair summary provided with the replacement unit wasn't so great It stated the unit meets "operational performance specifications" - which sounds like they got it working but I don't see how. The only information I received over the phone was that the support person believed the problem was with the SiRF chip. Which, if true, isn't a comfort since it's core to the unit's design.

BTW - it seems if you only had the unit for a short period of time that Garmin is willing to replace it with a new unit. You send back the entire GPS package and you receive a new one from Garmin.

We'll see how long this one works. I noticed a post earlier stating that using an external antenna may bypass the problem. Can anyone else confirm that? I might buy one as a extra layer of insurance.
pdxa4 Posted - 29 juin 2007 : 01:19:35
Wow this is a scary thread for me to read, I'm just about to go on a cross country road trip, and we bought our 660 a few weeks ago for this purpose.

Fingers crossed for me, I may bring along my older i5 just in case...
NanaimoRick Posted - 28 juin 2007 : 16:11:44
Welcome to the forum J. My experience with both GPS Central and GPS City in Canada have been excellent. You should be able to get a replacement or repair with little difficulty, especially if your unit is only a week old.
Jay911 Posted - 28 juin 2007 : 15:26:12
I guess I'm part of the group as well. Bought a 660 from GPS Central last week. Was working fine until Tuesday; suddenly the signal is dropping randomly. I can sit on the sat screen and watch it go from full bars (or partial bars) to zero across the board suddenly and randomly. To me, that SCREAMS loose connection/failed diode somewhere.

GPS Central's phone line opens in a few minutes - when it does, I'm gonna call them and see what they have to say.
danham Posted - 26 juin 2007 : 13:10:24
probably my same case with refurbished parts, but if it works it works right?

Welcome to the forum.

Actually, it's more likely to be a refurb exchange unit. That makes for faster turnaround.

isoman2kx Posted - 26 juin 2007 : 08:45:15
I'm glad I found this thread a little over a week ago. I have a Garmin Nuvi 350, which is roughly about 3 months old. About 2-3 weeks ago it starting to lose it's ability to maintain a signal, but just periodically, nothing lasting longer than a few minutes tops. Then, a week after that period, it'd go dead for hours on end with no signal or satellite reception at all. Since this has happened, I obtained an RMA from Garmin and sent it back to a local facility of theirs in Kansas. Their support lines were pretty good about the whole return process, albeit a slight pain (asking me twice what the same problem was), but then again what RMA process isn't?

It does work flawlessly here in the states (Houston, TX), so to get a unit that works once again would be excellent. Will post with updates once the new unit comes in from Garmin once again (probably my same case with refurbished parts, but if it works it works right? lol)

NanaimoRick Posted - 26 juin 2007 : 04:06:09
As they say 'Any similarity between the sudden loss of satellite reception and a firmware update, living or dead, is purely coincidental'.
RedRover1 Posted - 26 juin 2007 : 03:33:15
Danny Boy,

pomme-homme mentions Garmin is aware of problem with some Nuvi's hardware. Again, I don't see anything here that indicates updating the software is causing the problems.
Danny Boy Posted - 26 juin 2007 : 00:28:12
What you described here is exactlly what I experienced - starting with the 3 hour, 20 min, 5 min..... Just send you unit back. Garmin will replace your unit.

Think twice, or maybe three time, before you do anyother update.
pomme-homme Posted - 25 juin 2007 : 23:46:51
Update on the loss of satellite signals:

I called Garmin tech support this morning and, as expected, was told to do a master reset. The same thing happened again with loss of signal after 5 minutes. After a second master reset, I only had the signal for a minute before it was lost and could not be reacquired. The tech agreed that if the problem continued after two master resets, I should email him and he would arrange for an RMA.

He also told me that they are aware of an issue with some nuvis involving the failure of a diode in the unit that senses whether or not an external antenna is connected. This could explain the sudden loss of signal, as the unit would be looking for a stronger signal than the built-in antenna could provide. One of the previous posters noted the problem disappearing with the use of an external antenna. Interesting, huh?

Will update this as I learn more.
pomme-homme Posted - 25 juin 2007 : 05:39:29
Add me to the list. Nuvi 360 purchased in March worked perfectly until 6.22 driving from LA to San Francisco. Sudden loss of signal after about 3 hrs and unable to reacquire. Got the three questions about indoors vs. outdoors, etc. Satellite display showed NO SIGNAL from any satellite. Has worked intermittently since then which is as good as not at all. Will call Garmin later this week for RMA.
Squeek Posted - 24 juin 2007 : 01:11:28 finally got a lock on the satellites right before our day trip so we took it along. Over the ~3 hours of driving it lost the signal about 10 times, though only for a minute at the maximum each time, beautiful clear skies on the open road, no reason at all to have any difficulty.

I am now certain that this unit is defective. I assume it is only a matter of time before it loses the satellites for a greater amount of time. I'm glad I have my order in for the replacement but will continue to use this one until it shows up.

My replacement better have the new maps though, as this unit has the 2008 maps.

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