Unable to acquire satellites
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My Gamin Nuvi 660 Solution
External antenna - Garmin 25MCX low profile remote GPS
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.
May 04, 2008 |