My wife and I own several Garmin GPS units, one of which is a StreetPilot 7200 that we use in our motorhome. On a recent cross-country trip, the 7200 started acting up and is now effectively non-functional. The initial symptom was that the unit would lose satellite reception for 10 or 15 minutes, then come back to life. That occurred on a clear day on Interstate 40 in the middle of Arizona and New Mexico (i.e., not exactly an obstructed view of the sky).
The unit did the same thing over the next couple of days, but eventually got to the point it would not acquire satellite reception at all. I tried it again yesterday, here in the Phoenix area, and it still will not acquire any satellites. When I bring up the screen that shows the satellites the unit is trying to acquire, all of them show zero signal strength.
I called Garmin and the only option they had to offer was to send the unit to them, along with a payment of $190, after which they will send me a working (presumably refurbished) unit. Since I could (and did) buy a brand new Garmin unit for less than that, I passed on their offer.
The new unit I purchased is a Nuvi 1450, which has the largest screen size of any Garmin GPS unit currently on the market. I considered one of the Magellan units which has a larger screen size than any of the currently available Garmin devices, but since I’m now very familiar with Garmin’s user interface, map updating procedures, etc., I elected to stick with Garmin.
I do still like the larger screen size of the StreetPilot 7200, especially for use in a motorhome, and would like to find a way to get it back in operation without spending $190. So here are the questions:
- Is there anything obvious I should check or replace? For what it’s worth, I have done a couple of hard resets of the unit. I also reloaded the operating software, even though it was already current, and also updated to the latest map release available at the time. (I’m aware Garmin just released another map update, but I highly doubt that is going to fix my problem.)
- Is there a shop or individual out there offering repair services on these units at reasonable prices?
- Garmin offers a “GA 25MCX Remote GPS Antenna” for the 7200. It’s not very expensive (a little over $30), so I’m wondering if it’s worth the gamble to see if the addition of the remote antenna would get the 7200 to acquire satellite reception. I tend to doubt it, but would welcome opinions from those more knowledgeable than myself (which doesn’t take much).
Thanks in advance for any advice & assistance.
I have been through (3) 7200's for the same thing. 1st one lasted a few months of usage of a 12 month period. It was 30 days out of warranty. Garmin was nice enough to replace it. The replacement lasted 630 miles on the dashboard of my motorhome... a day and a half, before it lost satellites. They just sent me my 3rd one and it is sitting on a table by the window in our stick house running fine. My RV is in storage so I won't be able to give it a full workout for a while. So I figured I would burn it in 24x7 and see what happens.
It could have been damaged by heat. If so, it is toast.
Thanks Richard, good info. Our 7200 was just a few days shy of three years old when it died and has been used frequently in two different motorhomes we've owned during that time period. Based on your experience, I guess I should feel fortunate it lasted as long as it did. I'm also inclined, after reading your comments, to conclude it may not be worth spending much if any money to fix this one.
Thanks again for your insights -- much appreciated.
Anything is possible, but as mentioned above the unit is three years old and has been used in two different motorhomes, both of which have been stored in an enclosed RV garage at our home when not in use. All GPS units get hot sitting on the dash of cars, trucks, motorhomes, etc. but this one has had less of that than most. Because of where it sits in the motorhomes, it's rarely been in direct sunlight.
As for it being toast, I suspect you're right about that. I was hoping against hope there might be a GPS-junkie/electronics-whiz around somewhere who likes to work on these devices and knows how to fix such problems. Probably not, but I thought it was worth asking.
I would assume that the antenna is the problem. See if you can get the antenna from a store that allows you to return it without a restocking fee if it doesn't fix the problem.
It is hard for me to tell without looking at it. You may be able to find others with similar problems that fixed it themselves. If you can open it up (after trying above) see if anything looks wrong on the wiring.
cold solder joints
Thanks Daniel, I was thinking along the same lines -- find the best price I can on the external antenna, see if it works, if not try to return it for credit or attempt to sell it to someone who may need one. Garmin's list price for the external antenna puck is a little over $30, so I'm hopeful I can find it somewhere else for less than that. It would be a gamble, but a relatively inexpensive one.
On edit, GPS City shows a price of $21.95 + $2.49 shipping for the external antenna. So the gamble would be about $25.
I would also try ebay and places like craigs...
Let me know how it turns out. I am still using my c330, c580, nuvi 200 and 760. I do not see any reason to upgrade at this point. They have served me well.
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