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Nuvi 255W loss of satellite signal

 

My 255W has just completed a 4 month 4000 mile trip.I always have good signal strength from its position in the Chevy Astro cup holder.
One day 6 hours in, on a trip segment in Arizona, it suddenly lost the signal for the first time.By moving it up on the dash, the signal returns.Why after all that time has it lost its sensitivity?
I also noticed that since the first failure,its slower in acquiring the satellites.I updated the firmware in January after the first failure and it worked for a few days days travel,then back to the same problem.
I finished the last 1500 miles with it windscreen mounted and it worked fine, but prefer the cup holder where it worked flawlessly for over 2500 miles.Anyone else having this problem.

--
marbil146

Satellites are line of

Satellites are line of sight...and it takes three of them to calculate your position. A clear(er) view of the sky will always produce better results.

I think you need to buy an

I think you need to buy an external antenna, if you plan to use it in the cup holder position.

--
Wilson T * Nuvi 3597 * Romulus, MI

Let it start up on your

Let it start up on your dash, and get a 5-bar signal. When you're moving, put it back down in your cupholder. Expect to lose signal there, because you're placing it in a spot that doesn't work very well.

I don't recommend this as then you have to take your eyes off the road to look at it. It really should be on your dash or windshield.

Beanbag

I like the beanbag mount. It is easy to take off the dash and put in the floor out of sight.

--
Hawk - Nuvi 1450

.

I had a 760 that occasionally lost signal when I put it in the cup-holder between the seats. Now, I just mount it to the tachometer since it has a nice flat face to mount to. I used to put it in the cup-holder and just listen to it. With TTS you don't always need to look at a GPS.

Maybe try a cup-holder mount that boosts it up a little so the antenna sees more of the windshield.

http://www.semsons.com/gncuphocarmo.html

--
Eat at Joes.

Nuvi 255W loss of satellite signal

saxmaniac wrote:

Let it start up on your dash, and get a 5-bar signal. When you're moving, put it back down in your cupholder. Expect to lose signal there, because you're placing it in a spot that doesn't work very well.

I don't recommend this as then you have to take your eyes off the road to look at it. It really should be on your dash or windshield.

My point in the original post was that for many weeks and a few thousand miles,it started up and gave me 5 bars within seconds and worked flawlessly (in the cup holder position). And will still somedays do it for the first few hours of travel,but once it fails,it keeps doing it until I move it up.
So my point is what has changed with its sensitivity?The cup holder position is just a glance over as my "mount invention" sits in the cupholder.This position is also best with my bi-focals.I wish it did have an outside sensor plug in.

--
marbil146

Nuvi 255W loss of satellite signal

Have you updated your 255? I know that their are new updates for the 255. I don't know if better satelite signal sensitivity was upgraded. I use a beanbag and have never lost my signal. I may lose a bar or two, but always receiving a signal.

--
Paul..... Nuvi 765T

Nuvi 255 loss of signal

marbil146 wrote:
saxmaniac wrote:

Let it start up on your dash, and get a 5-bar signal. When you're moving, put it back down in your cupholder. Expect to lose signal there, because you're placing it in a spot that doesn't work very well.

I don't recommend this as then you have to take your eyes off the road to look at it. It really should be on your dash or windshield.

My point in the original post was that for many weeks and a few thousand miles,it started up and gave me 5 bars within seconds and worked flawlessly (in the cup holder position). And will still somedays do it for the first few hours of travel,but once it fails,it keeps doing it until I move it up.
So my point is what has changed with its sensitivity?The cup holder position is just a glance over as my "mount invention" sits in the cupholder.This position is also best with my bi-focals.I wish it did have an outside sensor plug in.

Obviously 'something' has changed but you already know that. There are a few things that can affect the effective sensitivity of an RF receiver.

1. You may have had a failure in the RF portion of the GPS that reduced it's sensitivity. This would mean sending it back to Garmin for repair.

2. Interference with the desired RF signal. This could be either co-channel, adjacent channel or desens caused by a strong signal overloading the receiver. This is going to take a lot of trial and error to id.

3. Something is blocking the signal from the satellite. Could you have added window tint to the windshield as an example.

4. It's been that way all along and you just now noticed it. (not likely).

Try your unit in different vehicles. If you have a friend who has one or if a salesman will let you, try a different 255 mounted in the same position.

Good luck

?

marbil146 wrote:

My point in the original post was that for many weeks and a few thousand miles,it started up and gave me 5 bars within seconds and worked flawlessly (in the cup holder position). And will still somedays do it for the first few hours of travel

Could it be that when you lose reception it is because your location is such that the signals are being blocked by buildings, mountains, or trees, etc. Even the direction of travel can be important -- if you were originally getting a lock through your windshield and you reverse direction, the unit can no longer see those birds when you change directions. Also, the satellites are not in geosynchronous orbit, so the relative positions of the birds changes over time.

--
Nuvi 660 -- and not upgrading it or maps until Garmin fixes long-standing bugs/problems, and get maps to where they are much more current, AND corrected on a more timely basis when advised of mistakes.

Nuvi 255W loss of satellite signal

Thanks for all the input guys,but every failure has been in wide open country and a constant in one direction.Maybe it is an internal failure as one of you pointed out.One thing I wondered was if certain radio station frequency's were affecting it as the car radio was on each time it failed.
The other factor was that the very first failure came right after driving 125 miles with it turned off and the next time I turned it on I noticed its slowness in aquiring the satellites.(mind you that would be normal)but its been slower ever since.And since then I have given it over an hour sitting in one place turned on,with full bars showing,plus the firmware update.Maybe I'm going to have to live with the new position in the car and hope it doesn't get any weaker.
Right now it will give me 5 bars inside my house within one minute just like before.....strange!

--
marbil146

Similar with my nuvi 750

I have had similar instances with my 750... it is not very frequent but has happen in the past.

I don't use mine all the time so I figure mine is just from having it turned off.

I just bought a 255W yesterday. I'll keep an eye on it and compare the two. Please let us know if you find out anything on your side.

Good Luck,
Ronnie

--
nuvi 750 / nuvi 255W / nuvi 200W / nuvi 1390t

location, location, location

It could be as simple as where you are (on the planet) ... you did say you were on a 4000 mile trip. I'm sure that the 'view' to the sats. up in the sky could change quite a bit as you drive that far.

maybe the angle etc. changed enough for your cupholder position to lose some signal strength

Top of Windshield

I place my 255w at the top of windshield by my mirror. It keeps the sun from shining on the screen and doesn't obstruct my view of the road. I have no problem picking up satellites. I loop the cable over the back of the mirror in case the window mount comes loose it will keep it from falling.

It works for me. I know some people will say that is a bad place for it, but really doesn't obstruct my view in my 2002 4runner.

same problem with 770

I've just purchased 3 nuvi 770 for my office and i currently own a 350. I've tested 2 770 on a short trip to the same destination (Texas) and both have reported signal lost on a clear and sunny day (placed in cupholder).

On the other hand my 350 i've taken on numerous trips to the same location (texas) and have never lost a signal or at least it has never idicated that a signal has been lost (always in cupholder and never mounted).

I've recently taken the 770 on a trip from Tennessee to Georgia and didn't encounter any problems at all. On each occasion the GPS was located in my cup holder.

Is it location? I've just recently sent the 3 units back to the store and we're thinking of just purchasing the 350. Maybe on my 350 it has a stronger antennae since it can be opened up or closed.

Loss of signal

cheweez78 wrote:

I've just purchased 3 nuvi 770 for my office and i currently own a 350. I've tested 2 770 on a short trip to the same destination (Texas) and both have reported signal lost on a clear and sunny day (placed in cupholder).

On the other hand my 350 i've taken on numerous trips to the same location (texas) and have never lost a signal or at least it has never idicated that a signal has been lost (always in cupholder and never mounted).

I've recently taken the 770 on a trip from Tennessee to Georgia and didn't encounter any problems at all. On each occasion the GPS was located in my cup holder.

Is it location? I've just recently sent the 3 units back to the store and we're thinking of just purchasing the 350. Maybe on my 350 it has a stronger antennae since it can be opened up or closed.

I doubt that there will be much sensitivity difference between a 770 and a 350. One thing you have to remember is that you are trying to receive a microwave signal and almost anything will attenuate it. Sitting on the dash, the unit will be able to receive signals from about 180 degrees of sky. Sitting under the dash in a cup holder, it has a very limited view of the sky. You can't expect ANY GPS to work well when it can only get a few satellites. It's kind of like expecting your car to run on water. You can expect it but it's not gonna happen.

Jack j

255w loss of signal

I have noticed since i updated my 255W to the new firmware version it has taken a lot longer than it used to, to aquire a satellite when turned on. Going into the satellite menu it used to lock and give me a signal with 3 satellites now it does not until 5 are locked onto.

--
Nuvi 255W

It tracks well

I don't know Jack. I start up my car in the garage in the morning and let it warm up, it has no view of the sky other than back through my rearview mirror, out the garage door, which faces a bunch of tall trees. EVERY day I get 5 bars in the garage and it can track me pulling out. If I bring it inside, it can track me walking through the house, so long as I'm not in the dead center of it. I don't know how it does it!

Receiver Sensitivity Varies Greatly even with Same Model

I placed two Nuvi 350's side by side, my trusty old one (~2 years old), and a new "Refurbished" unit ($109 fresh from TigerDirect). Inside my family room about 6 ft from a window, the new unit tracks at a steady 26 ft. accuracy. The older unit barely makes 56 ft. and would often "lose satellite reception", droping in and out.

The older 350 was always like that, so I wasn't expecting that a refurb would be much more sensitive. Outside (again side by side) or in the car the new unit consistently locks much, much faster, especially when "cold". At first I attributed the difference to the newer Software and GPS chipset firmware in the new Nuvi 350 (5.6 and 3.0). So I fired up web updater and updated the older one to 6.0, 3.0. I think it had 5.4 and 2.9 originally.

Nope, it did not help. The older unit was still much less sensitive to the satellite signals. I work in the electronics field, and know that chips can vary from batch to batch, but not *that* much.

Anyway, tried another place with bad reception, a downstairs bathroom. The new unit held a steady two or three bars, whereas the older one received nothing at all. Some are born better than others. Unfortunately, one wouldn't know until after the purchase, and even the less sensitive GPSrs are still quite usable, so they can't be returned on account of not being as quick as another one.

The new one is a keeper!

still strange if you ask me.

still strange if you ask me. 3 units that was purchased together had the same lame results. Then again, it could be a bad batch.

255W Loss of Satellite

I have now gone through 2 Garmin 255W units in 3 months. Both lasted around 1.5 months before they 'lost satellite signal' permanently.

Methinks there is a problem with this series as prior Garmin GPS units I have had - i2, i3, C340, Nuvi 650 never had a problem. In all cases I have the GPS plugged into my car cigarette lighter adaptor so the GPS comes on when I start the car and turns off when I turn the car off.

I drive maybe 3 hours a day - 7 days a week.

I called Garmin & they said they know of no problems with this series.

how to interpret # satellites locked onto

Ok, I stumbled across a menu by pushing the satellite strength and it went to what looks like a screen with I guess 12 satellites with numbers, it says like 14 ft, and the things go up and down. is 14 ft good? Also it shows I am moving at like .7 mph at sometime, is that just due to the satellites aligning? I really did not get a manual with my unit, just a quick start guide.

Satellite screen.

14 foot accuracy is very good. I have seen it go below 10 feet, but 20 to 30 feet is common. Realize that this is just an estimate calculated from the satellite signals being received. The faux speed variations you are seeing are position jitter caused by variations in the received signals. It is also why you wll see the breadcrumb track jump around creating a "spider web" when you are sitting in a static location.

--
Alan - Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

That's good to know, I was

That's good to know, I was wondering if there is a detailed satelite strength menu. Thanks.

Did you find it, I just held

Did you find it, I just held down my finger over the satellite bars and wallah I go this surprise. Another surprise is doing the same over the battery, it goes into diagnostics and gives some stats. I got out of that because I was not sure what it was doing when I hit next and it popped to a weird screen. I will stay out of that for now.

cup holder

my cup holder mount works rather well with the 255w

--
-CC4

Go ahead and see all the screens

rjg202 wrote:

Did you find it, I just held down my finger over the satellite bars and wallah I go this surprise. Another surprise is doing the same over the battery, it goes into diagnostics and gives some stats. I got out of that because I was not sure what it was doing when I hit next and it popped to a weird screen. I will stay out of that for now.

You will cause no harm viewing all the screens. Just keep tapping the lower right corner of the screen even if you cannot see any words on the screen. You will eventually wind up at the first screen again where you can tap Exit to get out.

Certain FM Radio Frequencies Interfere With Garmin GPS Satellite

I found the source of interference with my Garmin 255W satellite reception. We were cruising in our old beater, a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with the GPS in it's beanbag on the dash. This happens to put it directly above the factory Delco AM/FM/ Cassette unit. We have listened to AM radio kazillions of times with no GPS problem. Today we were listening to the iPod broadcasting into the FM tuner. All was well until I tuned to 87.7 MHz (a clean frequency which us THE last on the digital tuner). Shortly thereafter the GPS lost all satellites and navigation went to pot. After much confusion (swearing) and testing, I found the problem. Using the satellite reception screen I observed that all satellite activity diminished rapidly when tuned below 88.1 MHz. At 87.7 MHz all reception fell to zero. All FM frequencies over 88.1 MHz (and the entire AM band) caused no noticeable reception problem. There must be a harmonic frequency as part of the PLL circuit or some sympathetic from within the hysteresis system which causes this. Fascinating stuff!

--
MusicPAD

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