Question about Garmin GPS Devices

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I have a Garmin Nuvi 310 and whilst driving the other day it said "lost satellite reception" and has not been able to pick up reception since. I have updated the software from the Garmin website and tried resetting the unit but still no joy. I live in the countryside so no large buildings to obscure reception. Any suggestions? p.s. it is just out of warranty

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There is a known problem with the Nuvi antennas. Press the wrench icon, then the "gear" icon and then "about" and tell me what the GPS S/W field says. If it says a number like 2.9 or 3.0 that is good and tells me that the antenna is communicating with the main board. If it says 0.0 then the antenna is defective.

Also, try using an external antenna or just for fun, insert a piece of wire in the external antenna jack (with no shield) on the antenna and hold your finder over the satellite bar graph. You should then get a screen with all of the satellites in the sky.

Set the unit down with the piece of wire in the external antenna jack and see if it locates satellites after 10-15 minutes. If it's tring to find them, you'll see hollow blue bars appearing on the right and eventually they will download the data from the satellites and turn solid blue. When you get (4) solid blue bars, you'll see the accuracy rate start to go down and the GPS get more accurate.

There is a known problem with the Nuvi antennas where a part fails causing the antenna to no longer use the internal antenna and only will grab a signal from the external antenna port.

I am working on a fix for this.

- Jim

Posted on Sep 29, 2008

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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.

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