Dueling 340’s… or an interesting experiment? This past weekend I spent traveling from Ontario, Canada to Florida. Prior to the trip I took the girlfriends c340 and set it up identical to my c340 and mounted it to the windshield on the passenger side of the truck for her. Both units were absolutely identical with the latest firmware and the same Custom POI’s and set for the same destination – the only difference was my 340 was hooked to the external antenna. For those of you who like “Karen” (Garmin Voice), you just gotta hear her in stereo. With one unit external and the other on the internal antenna, there was a reverb and echo effect due to the response time of the units.
Acquiring satellite signals was far quicker on my 340 on the external antenna and there were no “Lost Reception” notifications although the 340 running on internal lost reception a few times during the trip. Another interesting note was the 340 running external antenna (better reception) received the “Better Route Available” notice a few times whereas the 340 on internal antenna never received this notification.
The Custom POI’s for Reststops in the various States downloaded from this site (very good by the way) were set for a 5 mile proximity and alerted without fail on my 340 but some were missed on the 340 running internal antenna.
My unit (external) at one point wanted me to turn off the interstate and loop right back on whereas the internal unit sent me right on through that section of road. Both units performed very well but the external antenna seemed to give mine a significant edge – enough that I am going out to pickup another external antenna for the girlfriends Garmin today. The return trip to Canada in a few weeks will have both units on equal footing and we’ll see if there’s any noticeable differences then.
Not that it didnt, but I dont see how the external antenna would make a difference if both had a good signal.
Both seemed to have 'Good' signal... but mine on the external aquired signal faster and held it. Perhaps it locked onto more satallites or (as the anttenna boasts) the 58Db gain of the antenna boosted the signal to the point of picking up more information faster. Whichever, I'm sold on the external antenna.
True, that is one thing that I wish the 530 did, show how many satellites it locked onto.
Any idea why the proxminity alert would fail on the internal antenna? Seems like if both had reception then they both would alert..
The only thing I can suggest would be signal strength. I picked up another external antenna and now they are both equal and performing identical for local driving around here. The "Trip Test" will be in a few weeks as we head back to Canada and we'll see how the proximity alerts are picked up.
I have a c340 too. Keep us posted on your dueling experiment on your return trip. Will you let me where to buy the external antenna and where to attach it to the Garmin c340. How much does the antenna run?
If your dueling experiment pan out, I might be convinced to dole out some $$ from my penny jar if it is not too expensive or complicated.
You can get an external antenna compatible with a c340 for under $20. I got one for my Nuvi 350 from seller northstar_gps - no problems with transaction.
I got my first external antenna through Ebay (also from Northstar GPS) about a year ago with no problems. Since I'm traveling right now, Ebay was not practical so I went to the neighborhood Circuit City and picked one up for about $30.00.
They simply stick on the roof of your vehicle (magnet base) and plug into the connector on the back of your Garmin. I can quickly take one from the truck and set it on the roof of the RV while playing with the c340 inside the trailer and map out my next route with excellent reception.
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