Question about Garmin nuvi 350 GPS Receiver

7 Answers

Nuvi 350 satellite reception problem

I am having issues locating a satellite with my nuvi 350. It neither detects the current location nor the local time (current time is wrong). Any resolution or trouble shooting before I ship this back?
Please e-mail me at bchung@cdgco.com or call at 703-989-6384 for any suggestions. Thank you.

Brandon

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  • Anonymous Aug 24, 2008

    Same problem. Exactly a year after we've purchased the unit.

  • Anonymous Aug 24, 2008

    Same problem.

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7 Answers

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  • 2,124 Answers

Having taken several Nuvi's apart, the flip up antenna has a 1/4" wide flat flex cable that runs from the flip up antenna assembly to the main board.

The flex cable carries the voltages required to power the antenna assembly and bring the signals back to the main board.

There is actually a printed circuit board in the flip up antenna assembly. It's possible that this is the receiver itself.

The flex cable runs through the round center hinge of the antenna assembly on the right (looking at the Nuvi from the rear) back to the main board.

There is also a magnet involved with the flip up antenna assembly that tells the main board whether the antenna is up or down. If the antenna is down, the Nuvi will NOT look for satellites.

A couple things can happen here that can make your Nuvi not find satellites: Assuming you have tried a hard & soft reset:

1. The antenna flex ribbon cable has become damaged.
2. The antenna flex ribbon cable has become detached from either end (it's held in with just a snap down flap).
3. The magetic switch isn't operating correctly and the main board thinks the antenna is down.
4. The front-end receiver has failed.

If your good at taking things apart (and the Nuvi is a little tricky to take apart), you might be able to verify some of the possibilities I mentioned above.

You might also try looking for a Nuvi for parts on eBay. Maybe you can find one that has a bad LCD screen and salvage the antenna from it.

Good luck!
- Jim

Posted on Jul 10, 2008

  • 2 more comments 
  • SHARCNET-USA
    SHARCNET-USA Aug 25, 2008

    Make sure your not trying to acquire satellites while your moving in the car. Do it while being stationary.

  • SHARCNET-USA
    SHARCNET-USA May 06, 2009

    Please see this link for more specific information about this problem. I will be more than glad to help you with this problem.

    http://www.sharc.net/gps_antenna_repair....

    - Jim
    SHARCNET-USA
    http://www.sharcnet-usa.com

  • SHARCNET-USA
    SHARCNET-USA May 06, 2009

    Please see this link for more specific information about this problem. I will be more than glad to help you with this problem.

    http://www.sharc.net/gps_antenna_repair....

    - Jim
    SHARCNET-USA
    http://www.sharcnet-usa.com

  • SHARCNET-USA
    SHARCNET-USA Feb 17, 2010

    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.

    - Jim
    SHARCNET-USA

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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:

  1. Strip a ¼” of a wire twist-tie end (the kind found on bread wrappers) bare exposing the fine wire core.
  2. Power up your nuvi 350/360 and confirm that you are not receiving any signal.
  3. While still powered on, insert the bare 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. Purchase & use an external antenna.
  2. Return the GPS to Garmin for repair ($175 if its out-of-warranty). Or,
  3. 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. To initiate your repair contact us at westek12@hotmail.com.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Mar 05, 2009

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Just to let anyone interested know, I did send my Nuvi to Westek Electronics for the $55 repair of the "no satellite" problem. I received the repaired Nuvi back in 3 days and it has been working perfectly ever since (about a one and a half months now). They provided great & fast service at reasonable price. If you are having this same problem I highly recommend you send it to them for repair. Thanks, 36rn

Posted on May 15, 2009

  • demerson01 Sep 04, 2010

    Same good experience. My nuvi 350's internal antenna stopped working, although my unit passed the "twist-tie" test, and would work on an external antenna. I had extremely good service from Westek Electronics, with a fast turn around. Wes very responsive to email before, during and after the repair. My unit now appears to be working perfectly again. I think the $55 cost, which includes postage, was very reasonable. A pleasure doing business with Wes.
    Just for the record, I have no connection with the company other than as a very satisfied customer. Darrel.

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Westek12 is charging a premium price to repair a simple issue, it's not a surprise that you received it fixed. You can pay a little more and buy a refurbished one with updated maps and all easily. They should lower their repair cost to maybe $30 including shipping and then it would make sense, otherwise nobody should fall for this despite how many times they post on here under how many different user names.

Posted on Jun 27, 2009

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Had mine fixed by SHARCNET-USA for $35 and included a free firmrare update and powe switch modification. Much better deal.


- Jeff

Posted on Oct 09, 2009

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I also sent my Nuvi 350 to Westek Electronics for repair for $55.00 because of "no satellite". They returned it to me the same day they received it, and it's working o.k! I was VERY pleased with the customer service. I was a little concerned about sending my Nuvi and the money to "someone on the internet" HOWEVER, they kept in contact with me by email through the process so we both knew when it was shipped and received etc. I never would have gotten that service with Garman. I would definitely recommend Westek, their service is excellent and much cheeper that Garman!
Kate

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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Try flipping the back part up.

Posted on Jul 08, 2008

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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:

  1. Strip a ¼” of a wire twist-tie end (the kind found on bread wrappers) bare exposing the fine wire core.
  2. Power up your nuvi 350/360 and confirm that you are not receiving any signal.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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Your choices to remedy this issue is as follows:

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This issue is typically due to a hardware malfunction and cannot be remedied by software upgrades, resetting, etc.

Do this test:

  1. Strip a ¼” of a wire twist-tie end (the kind found on bread wrappers) bare exposing the fine wire core.
  2. Power up your nuvi 350/360 and confirm that you are not receiving any signal.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

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  2. Return the GPS to Garmin for repair ($175 if its out-of-warranty). Or,
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