Question about GPS Devices
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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.
Posted on Jul 16, 2008
O.k. solution #2 work inmediatly garmin 296, thanks.
Posted on Sep 07, 2008
I have a Garmin 60CS. Solution #2 worked for me. Many thanks
Posted on Jan 03, 2010
For Garmin 296 I had same problem. On another board it said Garmin support said to hold "out" button while turning the system on and to continue holding the "out" button until the unit say "I Agree." I tried it. The unit immediately displayed a different satellite sky configuration and locked onto about 10 satellites within 5 minutes. Based in this, there's probably some simple method for other GPS units as well, but only Garmin could tell you that.
Posted on Sep 01, 2008
I'm having the same issue in North Carolina, very frustaiting and dangerouse. I was driving ou by Camp Lejuene and lost everything....it took a while but I got back to Charlotte, this sucks. Garmin's Website to support won't load either. Does anoyone have the number?
Posted on Jun 16, 2008
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