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Re: Lost satellite reception
This problem is not caused by poor solder joints. It's caused by a defective part. We sent a "marked" defective unit to the repair shop mentioned above and upon its return, disamantled the GPS receiver assembly and made the following evaluation:
1. The shop did NOT replace the defective component causing the initial problem in the 1st place. The defective part was STILL in the circuit.
2. The shop placed a wire jumper between the internal antenna and the external antenna port. This type of modification places a +2.5VDC bias on the internal antenna and essentially shorts the internal antenna to the external antenna (when connected), giving unpredictable results. It also affects the circuit impedance and signal strength. This is not the correct way to resolve this issue.
3. The defective part needs to be replaced with a higher rated part. This type of repair returns the unit to full functionality and allows the unit to properly switch between the internal and external antenna as it was intended to do by design
- Jim SHARCNET-USA
Comments: I will aso add, as the part deteriorates, it becomes resistive and can eventually short out and shunt the incoming RF signal to ground......EVEN with the jumper procedure performed by the shop mentioned above.
I own & operate the electronics repair company, Westek Electronics in Nashville, TN. We repair & refurbish GPS units among other things. We have repaired many nuvi 350/360 units with this issue. This issue is typically due to a hardware malfunction and cannot be remedied by software upgrades, resetting, etc. Do this test:
Strip a ¼” of a wire twist-tie end (the kind found on bread wrappers) bare exposing the fine wire core.
Power up your nuvi 350/360 and confirm that you are not receiving any signal.
While still powered on, insert the bare-wire end of the twist-tie into the center female external antenna jack located on the side of the antenna. If done correctly the external antenna jack will firmly hold the twist-tie in place. You cannot damage the unit by doing this.
If you now have satellite reception then proceed to step 5. If you still do not have any reception then I have no further advice other than to try all of the update/reset procedures. If all else fails return to Garmin for repair.
Once you have established that you have signal using the twist-tie, remove the twist-tie and confirm signal loss.
Your choices to remedy this issue is as follows:
Purchase & use an external antenna.
Return the GPS to Garmin for repair ($175 if its out-of-warranty). Or,
Send your Garmin Nuvi 350/360 to us for repair. We charge $55 (return shipping included) to repair this malfunction. We can also accommodate this repair transaction via eBay in order to provide you with additional reassurance (an addition $5 is added to cover eBay fees, etc. when using this option). Our eBay ID is westek_electronics, feel free to review our feedback ratings. Our repairs are covered by a 30-day warranty. If for some reason we are unable to successfully complete the repair we will return the unit to you and charge only $10 for return shipping. To initiate your repair contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Press and hold the antenna signal strength icon on the display to bring up Satellite reception information. This will show you what, if any, satellites are being tracked. It will also tell you if you're in DEMO mode, in which case real satellite signals won't be used for the position.
Additionally, you can check the hardware by using the built-in hardware self-test features by pressing and holding the battery icon. Examine the information presented on multiple pages by pressing 'next'. Look for the hardware TEST button and press it. Wait several seconds for results.
These two steps should at least tell you where the problem is. If you ARE getting Satellite signals but they aren't being used by the hardware, you may need to reset your unit. Also check for firmware updates by using the Garmin Update utility available on their web site.
I have been experiencing the same problem many have been
having with the Nuvi 6xx and 3xx series giving an error message “Lost satellite
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
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
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.