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 English Forums - Hardware
 Garmin nüvi forums
 lost satellite signal on nuvi 660
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robonaut

2 Posts

Posted - 21 oct. 2009 :  00:48:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can confirm that the fix detailed by ernesas also works for the Garmin Nuvi 660. You will need:
1. hex bits of the appropriate size to unscrew the antenna flap panel
2. a soldering iron with a narrow or pointed tip
3. a short wire
4. solder

The connection at the coax cable has solder you can melt to use for the connect. The connection at the internal antenna has no solder so you will have to supply some.

This repair is simple but you should have very steady hands and possibly a magnifying glass. I did the repair with the naked eye but it took several attempts. There was definitely a risk of slipping with the soldering iron and damaging components. Also the plastic panel is a pain to remove and replace. The fit is very tight and finicky.

The only downside I can see to repairing the unit in this way is that I assume you will no longer be able to use the external antenna. I never did use it so no loss to me. My unit has been working fine for a few days now. I will check back in if it should fail so if you don't hear from me again you can assume it was a permanent fix.

My Nuvi 660 was just out of warranty. Garmin offered to replace the unit for $110 USD. When I pointed out this was a known defect in the product, they offered to cut the cost %50 to $55. Frankly I think they should have replaced a product with such a well-known and documented defect for no cost. The only reason this defect went unnoticed in my unit for so long was because it was used only rarely in the first year of ownership.

Edited by - robonaut on 21 oct. 2009 00:54:35
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Landscaper2009

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 21 oct. 2009 :  18:48:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The wire fix is only a temporary fix. The real cause of this problem is a defective part that is right at the external antenna input. The part is damaged, thereby fooling the unit into thinking an external antenna is connected. When the part fails, it becomes resistive, drawing current (simulating that an external antenna is connected) and also affects receiver sensitivity. Eventually the part may short to ground and you will no longer have signal again or notice that the signals will be weaker. Even if your unit is working with the wire jumper, the sensitivity is not as good as it should be as a result of the failed part, which is still in the circuit (RF path). The part needs to be replaced with a new part that has a higher rating than the factory original. The wire fix affects the circuit impedance and since the internal and external antenna are now jumpered together, using an external antenna will give unpredictable results. It also places a standing 3V bias on the internal patch antenna. The better replacement part is only 41 cents and the unit will work again with either the internal or external antenna like it was originally designed to do.

Edited by - Landscaper2009 on 21 oct. 2009 19:42:18
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sandsukka

1 Posts

Posted - 18 févr. 2010 :  16:04:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For those that are interested, the Skyworks switch can be purchased from the Digi-Key Corporation for ~$0.53 (USD). Here's the link: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=863-1003-1-ND

Has anyone successfully replaced the actual switch? Can it be done with a traditional soldering iron or is more advanced surfaced mounting equipment needed?

Thanks!
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PouchX

Poland
272 Posts

Posted - 20 févr. 2010 :  00:08:45  Show Profile  Visit PouchX's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think using traditional soldering is some kind of hardcore.
Try to use hot air.
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Terrence L Daniel

1 Posts

Posted - 14 mai 2010 :  03:08:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You guy's ROCK! I almost paid $200.00 for another Nuvi. After reading your posts and trying your fix, the unit work great. It connected to 6+ satellites and has an accuracy of 29 feet. Thanks so much.
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kb0nly

1 Posts

Posted - 12 août 2010 :  21:50:29  Show Profile  Visit kb0nly's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the pictures guys!!

I took a slightly different approach to applying the same fix. Rather than replace the part or put that long jumper across the jacks i just installed a small jumper at the chip.

Look at the datasheet for this component, a previous poster put up the link to the .pdf file (thanks!).. In the picture above showing the jumper wire the right hand center pin of the chip is the common, or input to the receiver, and then the two inputs are the upper and lower left pins. Install a small jumper between the right center and whatever jack you want to be permanently selected.

Of course the other documented fix with the jumper between the two jacks also works just fine. After fixing a few now i see no apparent problems and no reason to spend all the time and effort replacing the chip unless you need the functionality of switching between antennas.
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PouchX

Poland
272 Posts

Posted - 28 sept. 2010 :  07:09:20  Show Profile  Visit PouchX's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maybe this will help in the future:
http://www.garniak.pl/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8887

Use Google Translator.

Edited by - PouchX on 28 sept. 2010 07:10:10
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RolandM

6 Posts

Posted - 30 mars 2012 :  20:34:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sandsukka

For those that are interested, the Skyworks switch can be purchased from the Digi-Key Corporation for ~$0.53 (USD). Here's the link: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=863-1003-1-ND

Has anyone successfully replaced the actual switch? Can it be done with a traditional soldering iron or is more advanced surfaced mounting equipment needed?

Thanks!



I just did it! With a traditional soldering iron (Weller) at 450°C and a 0.8 mm tip. And: a 9 x loupe.

I had bought two S79's, 75 eurocents each. The first time I messed up with too much solder on all pins, so I removed it and took the second S79.

Now I glued the new one to the tip of a needle using superglue, put some glue at the bottom of the S79 and put it in the right place using the loupe. The dot on the S79 idicates pin1 by the way. After a minute or so I pulled loose the needle. Then I pushed the solder tip shortly on the pins, one by one, without using any solder. With a steady hand and the loupe it was possible, although there was only 2 cm between the loupe and the pcb.

To my surpise: everything is working correctly, I succeeded!

Both internal and external antenna work now independently (my car has has a sort of heat-resistant shield in the window, therefor I need the external antenna in the car).
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RolandM

6 Posts

Posted - 19 avr. 2012 :  11:06:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately after a few days it stopped working again.
When I switch on the unit now, it works fine for a minute or so, i.e.: it normally uses the internal antenna but switches to the external one when an external antenna has been connected.
After a minute, however, it stops using the internal antenna and only works with the external antenna.
Maybe the S79 switch is blown up again?
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PouchX

Poland
272 Posts

Posted - 23 avr. 2012 :  07:20:23  Show Profile  Visit PouchX's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maybe this will help:
http://www.garniak.pl/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8887

Use Google Translator.

Edited by - PouchX on 23 avr. 2012 07:20:45
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RolandM

6 Posts

Posted - 23 avr. 2012 :  19:42:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi PouchX,

Thanks for the link. You figured out all of that by yourself? Good job!
Although the garniak forum seems to be off line, I managed to use google's cache www.garniak.pl/viewtopic.php%3Ff%3D14%26t%3D8887+" target="_blank">http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9JqRgwibp-0J:www.garniak.pl/viewtopic.php%3Ff%3D14%26t%3D8887+http://www.garniak.pl/viewtopic.php%3Ff%3D14%26t%3D8887&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=firefox-a
and put it in google translaten.

I am going to try the fix where you put a 1 kOhm resistor between pin 6 and GND (= pin 2, correct?).

If that works, I understand the switching between internal and external antenna will still function normally.

Edited by - RolandM on 23 avr. 2012 22:45:58
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RolandM

6 Posts

Posted - 23 avr. 2012 :  23:15:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I could not wait so I started working on the unit immediately and...
wow! this is a great fix! I did even solve problems I did not know about!

Both internal antenna and external antenna work now independently, so full functionality is back.

And this is the bonus: reception of the internal antenna has drastically increased! I always had "No sattelite reception" when I was in my car. Now I have a fix right away and a 10 metrs accuracy. Ok, when I step out of the car or connect the external antenna accuracy increases to 5 or 6 meters, but I never had a fix behind my heat-resistant wind shield.
Let's see if I still get a fix using the internal antenna at a cloudy or foggy day.

So I assume, after all, that replacing the S79 was nice to improve my soldering skill but was of no use for solving the antenna problem.

Thanks again PouchX for providing the "1 kOhm fix"!!
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PouchX

Poland
272 Posts

Posted - 26 avr. 2012 :  06:48:29  Show Profile  Visit PouchX's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
You figured out all of that by yourself?

Yes

quote:
Although the garniak forum seems to be off line


Now is back. We've had maintenance break.
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