Question about Northstar 951XD GPS Receiver

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The DGPS doesn't seem to pick up a usable signal. After message of "init or synch" I get "Poor Beascon DOPS", it then may read "in Use-OK" for a few seconds and goes back to "Poor Beacoon DOPS". I have two units and I swapped them and get the same messages for both. The 8410ACU was replaced last year. The unit was not experiemcing this problem until now, ran fine for several months.

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  • reelken Jul 22, 2009

    I can't take it out of the dock. I can't imagione it to be simple interference, as the unit has operated for many years in the same place.

    Many years ago I would temporarily lose the signal if the boat battery was not fully charged. I wonder if this could be the probalem now, though I initially ruled this out because I received the message while the boat was underway, and I assume at 4000rpm the battery is getting ample current.

  • reelken Jul 22, 2009


    I called Northstar Tech direct. It turns out that the Gov't added another satellite that is incompatible with pre-2003 GPS software, causing various bugs. I was able to download a software update directly from their web-site that appears to have remedied the problem.

    I appreciate your effort and realize that only a OEM Tech would recognize the fix. I am relaying this info to you in case you have a similar problem in the future ( we all need to learn from each other).

    I will accept your effort so you can be paid.



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Wow that is very peculiar. Can you take the GPS out of its dock and try it in different locations? It definitely sounds like interference, that's the only possible explanation since you have tried two units with the same results. Either that or the incredibly unlikely scenario where both units had failing internal antennas.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009

  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Jul 22, 2009

    Yes that definitely sounds like the machine is getting enough current, there's no way a power cable is loose underneath? You could try it on another battery but I know that would be a pain. The only possible explanations are interference which it sounds like is unlikely since it hasnt moved (nothing new has been installed around it has it, that could be causing new interference?) or a wiring issue that somehow the wiring is corroding and power's not getting there or the connections are loose.

    Let me know what you think



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