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Device is locking up and losing satellite signal at times

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  • 571 Answers

Are you sure there IS a signal all times? Especially when driving in cities with tall buildings or near transmission lines the signal may seem to 'disappear' and the screen freezes.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009

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My navigation icon is dark and do not work .what can be the problem and where can I download the maps


  • If your device is trying to acquire satellites for the first time, it may take longer than normal to establish an initial position. If the device is powered on and outdoors with a clear view of the sky, this should not take more than 3-5 minutes.
  • If your device does not have full view of the sky while placed in the car, it may not acquire satellites properly. For best satellite acquisition, mount the device on the windshield or dashboard.
  • If your device has not been used for an extended period of time (more than a month), it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire satellites.
  • If your device is indoors, it may not acquire satellites. Even standing next to a window indoors will block a majority of the sky which is needed for a device to locate and lock onto a satellite signal.
  • If you have just finished updating the software in your device or you have performed a master reset, your device may take 3-5 minutes to acquire while outdoors as the data that is used to locate satellites may have been erased.
  • If your device has traveled over 500 miles while turned off or not tracking your travel, it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire even in ideal conditions.
  • If your vehicle has a protective coating on its windshield or electronic devices which interfere with the device receiving signal, your device may need an external antenna in order to acquire satellites.
    • If you suspect this to be an issue, try taking the device outside of the vehicle with a clear view of the sky for 3-5 minutes so that the device can acquire satellites. If your device loses satellites once moved back into your vehicle, you will most likely need an external antenna

May 19, 2015 | GPS

1 Answer

I have a Garmin Nuvi 300 model and from last few days its not picking the satellite signals when I open the antenna, it keeps saying searching for satellitie signal. What could be problem & can it be...


Hello there,
As GPS units are used, data is gathered which helps them acquire satellites quickly at the start of each use. If a device is used daily it should be able to acquire satellites in a minute or less. Using a GPS device while it is outdoors with a clear view of the entire sky is the ideal condition for acquiring satellites. Please know that there can be several different factors that may cause a GPS unit to not acquire satellites:
If your unit is trying to acquire satellites for the first time, it may take longer than normal to establish an initial position. If the unit is powered on and outdoors with a clear view of the sky this should not take more than 3-5 minutes. If your unit has not been used for an extended period of time (more than a month), it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire satellites. If your unit is indoors, it may not acquire satellites. Even standing next to a window indoors will block a majority of the sky which is needed for a device to locate and lock onto a satellite signal. If you have just finished updating the software in your unit or you have performed a master reset, your unit may take 3-5 minutes to acquire while outdoors as the data that is used to locate satellites may have been erased. If your unit has traveled over 500 miles while turned off or not tracking your travel, it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire even in ideal conditions. If your vehicle has a protective coating on its windshield or electronic devices which interfere with the unit receiving signal, your unit may need an external antenna* in order to acquire satellites. If you suspect this to be an issue, try taking the unit outside of the vehicle with a clear view of the sky for 3-5 minutes so that the unit can acquire satellites. If your unit loses satellites once moved back into your vehicle you will most likely need an external antenna*. If your unit is still having trouble acquiring satellites, please ensure that it has the latest version of operating software by using our WebUpdater program. Once your unit is updated please allow the unit to acquire satellites outdoors in a stationary position with a clear view of the sky.
*Note: Some units may not be compatible with an external antenna. Please check the Compatible Devices tab on the external antenna's page to see if your unit is listed.
Hope this was helpful to you. Goodluck Elect_Comp

Sep 01, 2011 | Garmin GPS

1 Answer

My tomtom keeps losing satelites , what can i do


A TomTom GPS Devices requires a minimum of at 4 satellites in order to triangulate your position. Losing signal can be caused by many different factors such as your in an area with tall buildings or trees, unable to connect to at least 4 satellites, or possibly that the device hasn't been used in a long time. Besides simply exchanging it to resolve the issue TomTom has a feature called QuickGPSFix which determines where the GPS satellites will be located for the next 7 days. This feature is not yet available for MyTomTom but it will either be added by the On Device automatic updates when it is available or for advanced users you can use a Bluetooth connection with a compatible mobile phone.

On your TomTom Device go to TomTomServices > Tap Download QuickGPSFix. Almost any phone is compatible especially newer SmartPhones. Hopefully this helps you resolve your issue.

Mar 01, 2011 | GPS

1 Answer

No satellite signal


Some vehicles have a coating in the windshield that can interfere with the GPS unit receiving the satellite signal. It is not the unit's fault. You may need to purchase an external antenna to allow your unit to work inside your vehicle. These are available at www.garmin.com or at your local GPS retailer.

Nov 29, 2009 | Garmin nuvi® 200 Car GPS Receiver

1 Answer

While driving Garmin Nuvi 250 constantly loses satellite signal. The screen says that it is aquiring a signal. It is also constantly refiguring the route.


Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} As GPS units are used, data is gathered which helps them acquire satellites quickly at the start of each use. If a device is used daily it should be able to acquire satellites in a minute or less. Using a GPS device while it is outdoors with a clear view of the entire sky is the ideal condition for acquiring satellites. Please know that there can be several different factors that may cause a GPS unit to not acquire satellites:
  • If your unit is trying to acquire satellites for the first time, it may take longer than normal to establish an initial position. If the unit is powered on and outdoors with a clear view of the sky this should not take more than 3-5 minutes.
  • If your unit has not been used for an extended period of time (more then a month), it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire satellites.
  • If your unit is indoors, it may not acquire satellites. Even standing next to a window indoors will block a majority of the sky which is needed for a device to locate and lock onto a satellite signal.
  • If you have just finished updating the software in your unit or you have performed a master reset, your unit may take 3-5 minutes to acquire while outdoors as the data that is used to locate satellites may have been erased.
  • If your unit has traveled over 500 miles while turned off or not tracking your travel, it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire even in ideal conditions.
  • If your vehicle has a protective coating on its windshield or electronic devices which interfere with the unit receiving signal, your unit may need an external antenna* in order to acquire satellites.
    • If you suspect this to be an issue, try taking the unit outside of the vehicle with a clear view of the sky for 3-5 minutes so that the unit can acquire satellites. If your unit loses satellites once moved back into your vehicle you will most likely need an external antenna*.
If your unit is still having trouble acquiring satellites, please ensure that it has the latest version of operating software by using our WebUpdater program. Once your unit is updated please allow the unit to acquire satellites outdoors in a stationary position with a clear view of the sky.

Nov 12, 2009 | Garmin nuvi 250 GPS Receiver

1 Answer

Nuvi350 doesn't locate any satillites. What can I do?


Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} As GPS units are used, data is gathered which helps them acquire satellites quickly at the start of each use. If a device is used daily it should be able to acquire satellites in a minute or less. Using a GPS device while it is outdoors with a clear view of the entire sky is the ideal condition for acquiring satellites. Please know that there can be several different factors that may cause a GPS unit to not acquire satellites:
  • If your unit is trying to acquire satellites for the first time, it may take longer than normal to establish an initial position. If the unit is powered on and outdoors with a clear view of the sky this should not take more than 3-5 minutes.
  • If your unit has not been used for an extended period of time (more then a month), it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire satellites.
  • If your unit is indoors, it may not acquire satellites. Even standing next to a window indoors will block a majority of the sky which is needed for a device to locate and lock onto a satellite signal.
  • If you have just finished updating the software in your unit or you have performed a master reset, your unit may take 3-5 minutes to acquire while outdoors as the data that is used to locate satellites may have been erased.
  • If your unit has traveled over 500 miles while turned off or not tracking your travel, it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire even in ideal conditions.
  • If your vehicle has a protective coating on its windshield or electronic devices which interfere with the unit receiving signal, your unit may need an external antenna* in order to acquire satellites.
    • If you suspect this to be an issue, try taking the unit outside of the vehicle with a clear view of the sky for 3-5 minutes so that the unit can acquire satellites. If your unit loses satellites once moved back into your vehicle you will most likely need an external antenna*.
If your unit is still having trouble acquiring satellites, please ensure that it has the latest version of operating software by using our WebUpdater program. Once your unit is updated please allow the unit to acquire satellites outdoors in a stationary position with a clear view of the sky.

Jul 11, 2009 | Garmin nuvi 260W GPS Receiver

1 Answer

Brought my NUVI from NY to San Francisco and it doesn't locate any satillites. What can I do?


Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} As GPS units are used, data is gathered which helps them acquire satellites quickly at the start of each use. If a device is used daily it should be able to acquire satellites in a minute or less. Using a GPS device while it is outdoors with a clear view of the entire sky is the ideal condition for acquiring satellites. Please know that there can be several different factors that may cause a GPS unit to not acquire satellites:
  • If your unit is trying to acquire satellites for the first time, it may take longer than normal to establish an initial position. If the unit is powered on and outdoors with a clear view of the sky this should not take more than 3-5 minutes.
  • If your unit has not been used for an extended period of time (more then a month), it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire satellites.
  • If your unit is indoors, it may not acquire satellites. Even standing next to a window indoors will block a majority of the sky which is needed for a device to locate and lock onto a satellite signal.
  • If you have just finished updating the software in your unit or you have performed a master reset, your unit may take 3-5 minutes to acquire while outdoors as the data that is used to locate satellites may have been erased.
  • If your unit has traveled over 500 miles while turned off or not tracking your travel, it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire even in ideal conditions.
  • If your vehicle has a protective coating on its windshield or electronic devices which interfere with the unit receiving signal, your unit may need an external antenna* in order to acquire satellites.
    • If you suspect this to be an issue, try taking the unit outside of the vehicle with a clear view of the sky for 3-5 minutes so that the unit can acquire satellites. If your unit loses satellites once moved back into your vehicle you will most likely need an external antenna*.
If your unit is still having trouble acquiring satellites, please ensure that it has the latest version of operating software by using our WebUpdater program. Once your unit is updated please allow the unit to acquire satellites outdoors in a stationary position with a clear view of the sky.
Good Luck

Jul 07, 2009 | Garmin nuvi 260W GPS Receiver

2 Answers

Magellan roadmap 760


The Magellan 760 has been around for a few years now, and unfortunately, isn't one of the fastest units around when it comes to synchronizing to a satellite. I find with mine that the time it takes to lock onto a signal depends on several factors:
1) Having the GPS mounted in a way that allows the antenna to have a clear view upward 2) Having my vehicle in the open, so that the signal isn't impaired by adjacent buildings, overhanging trees, etc. 3) Being stationary while the GPS attempts to get a lock. It has more problems locking while moving. 4) Ensuring that the GPS is used frequently, as it loses its memory of what satellites it's synchronized with if you happen to be in a different place when you turn it on than the place you were at when you last turned it off.
Those last two points have the most affect on my GPS's performance. I find that by turning on the GPS and just parking in my driveway or parking lot for a few minutes will allow the GPS to acquire a signal in a much shorter time than if I start to drive immediately. While this will waste a bit of time on the front end, it does help you get synchronized more quickly

May 27, 2009 | Magellan Roadmate 760 GPS Receiver

1 Answer

Garmin 260w won't acquire satellites


Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} As GPS units are used, data is gathered which helps them acquire satellites quickly at the start of each use. If a device is used daily it should be able to acquire satellites in a minute or less. Using a GPS device while it is outdoors with a clear view of the entire sky is the ideal condition for acquiring satellites. Please know that there can be several different factors that may cause a GPS unit to not acquire satellites:
  • If your unit is trying to acquire satellites for the first time, it may take longer than normal to establish an initial position. If the unit is powered on and outdoors with a clear view of the sky this should not take more than 3-5 minutes.
  • If your unit has not been used for an extended period of time (more then a month), it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire satellites.
  • If your unit is indoors, it may not acquire satellites. Even standing next to a window indoors will block a majority of the sky which is needed for a device to locate and lock onto a satellite signal.
  • If you have just finished updating the software in your unit or you have performed a master reset, your unit may take 3-5 minutes to acquire while outdoors as the data that is used to locate satellites may have been erased.
  • If your unit has traveled over 500 miles while turned off or not tracking your travel, it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire even in ideal conditions.
  • If your vehicle has a protective coating on its windshield or electronic devices which interfere with the unit receiving signal, your unit may need an external antenna* in order to acquire satellites.
    • If you suspect this to be an issue, try taking the unit outside of the vehicle with a clear view of the sky for 3-5 minutes so that the unit can acquire satellites. If your unit loses satellites once moved back into your vehicle you will most likely need an external antenna*.
If your unit is still having trouble acquiring satellites, please ensure that it has the latest version of operating software by using our WebUpdater program. Once your unit is updated please allow the unit to acquire satellites outdoors in a stationary position with a clear view of the sky.

Jan 30, 2009 | Garmin nuvi 260W GPS Receiver

3 Answers

Aquiring satellites


Are you outside with a clear view of the sky? It should find satellites once the unit is turned on. Does it say "Looking for satellites" or "Acquiring satellites"?

If it is "looking for satellites" then it means that the unit have lost all data (time, date, location). If it is "acquiring satellites" then it have date and time, but not location.

Looking for satellites require a longer setup time (could be as much as 15 minutes). Acquiring satellites is much faster (not more than 2 minutes).

Date and time is updated from satellites once the unit gets a satellite lock.

Jan 31, 2008 | Garmin StreetPilot C330 GPS Receiver

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