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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > GPS Fix Lost
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Thread: GPS Fix Lost Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-07-2012 10:51 PM
travlineasy
Re: GPS Fix Lost

One of the things I recommend is to install a quality battery monitor on the boat. There are times when the house batteries are below the nominal operating voltage of the GPS, particularly when other items are running. My Lowrance has a built-in battery voltage monitor, which is extremely accurate. Keep in mind that if the voltage drops below a certain point the display may come on, but you may not have sufficient voltage to accurately acquire a satellite signal, which is very weak to begin with. Additionally, if your GPS/Plotter has a built-in antenna, which the vast majority do, you must keep the top of the GPS free of dirt, which can impede the signal strength. Same holds true with the GPS position on the boat. Under certain conditions, the sails, boom, stainless rigging, bimini frame, and lots of other items can block the satellite signals. A good example of this is the Spot, which relies on it's ability to send a miniscule signal to an orbiting satellite. It must have a completely unobstructed view of the southwest sky or the signal is blocked.

Lots of think about with these devices, but they still, IMO, are great navigational tools.

Good Luck,

Gary
05-07-2012 05:42 PM
SEMIJim
Re: GPS Fix Lost

Our Garmin GPSMap 392 did something similar last fall. On the way to haulout: No GPS. It would show only one satellite acquired and a bunch of others there, but not acquired. I think at one point it acquired two.

So this spring, before embarking on a New GPS Quest, put a battery aboard and tested the GPS. Worked right off, no problem .

Gonna have to test it again.

We're thinking a backup GPS would be a Good Idea.

Jim
05-06-2012 04:50 PM
travlineasy
Re: GPS Fix Lost

From the sound of things, I think you may have an antenna problem. BTW: I've owned Lowrance GPS system since they first became available. The first one I purchased was DOA, called Lowrance and they overnighted me a new one. I've NEVER had a GPS failure--even during the nastiest storms anyone can imagine. I currently use the Lowrance HDS7, which has performed flawlessly for two years. I have friends that have used Raymarine gear, switched to Garmen after encountering similar problems, and never had a problem since.

First, I would contact Raymarine factory service and see if they have a solution. Do this with the GPS-Plotter in place and talk with them on your cellular telephone while the GPS is running and the problem is present. There are certain reset functions they can walk you through that may provide a solution, especially if it's a software problem. If it is a hardware problem, they can walk you through a series of tests to determine exactly what is taking place, and at that point they'll either provide you with a fix, or have you return it for service.

Hope this helps,

Gary
05-06-2012 12:24 PM
MikeGavel
Re: GPS Fix Lost

I had a Raystar 125 as well. It worked great for 1 year on then it started having trouble. It Gets a fix for about 5 minutes and then loses it for about 5 minutes.It blinks yellow while it has a lost fix and then goes green again. Very frusterating as it beeps "Lost Fix" and I have to go in the cabin and "Aknowledge" it. I have purchased a RS 130 GPS anntena but it uses a Seatalk ng network and I am trying to figure out how to connect the cable it comes with to my C120 chartpltter that runs a older seatalk network. It has a 3 wire cable on the older network. Anybody out there know how to connect this without the 100 dollar adapter?
06-24-2007 09:54 PM
yotphix
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Sapperwhite...
I think i remember reading about this type of senario in a thread called Celestial Navigation?....Forget It! I don't have an answer for your problem, sorry,, but this is a case in point for that other thread.

Yeah...it belongs on the part of the thread where I said you need multiple GPS's. A Celestial Fix on lake champlain will put him somewhere in the adirondacks..since it is pretty darn hard to get a horizon there!! (G)

Buy yourself a three arm compass and turn that sextant on it's side and you can place yourself very accurately by measuring the angles between known points. How do you know the points? Accurate DR will give you a very good idea of how the chart you are working with corresponds to what you see. I have found my way quite accurately all over the great lakes using nothing little else. (Occasionally and RDF for an LOP, and the odd measurement of known object heights to get a distance off.) It is certainly less convenient than a plotter but waaay more entertaining!

Edit: And have a couple of GPS around.
06-24-2007 09:35 PM
sailingdog AtEaseNYC-

There might be a firmware update to fix that. I'd contact Raymarine to see if that is the case. I know other GPS units, from Garmin et. al. have software updates that can be user uploaded .
06-24-2007 07:13 PM
AtEaseNYC I had a similar problem. I found that the fault was in the wind instrument transducer (a shorted cable?). when I disconnected it from Seatalk, the chartplotter receives the GPS signal. Reconnect it and I lose the GPS fix on the plotter. Try disconnecting other instruments from Seatalk and see if this solves the problem. So now I can either know where the wind is or where I am but not both.
06-22-2007 12:05 PM
Idiens
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddata
So, I figure the issue is a hardware failure with the receiver. The only issue is the GPS receiver blinks green as if it has a fix, but again, no data comes to the chart plotter.
Does your GPS have a display page indicating satellites received and their signal strengths? You might try changing the antenna and/or the antenna cable in a temporary rig. My oldest GPS is a wonderful anxiety tester, it starts to loose satellites the moment it is really needed. The other two are OK. However, I know its problem is a poor antenna cable, coax doesn't seem to live long on my boat, it doesn't like being sea washed frequently and salt air soaked, I guess.
06-22-2007 09:46 AM
Sapperwhite "A Celestial Fix on lake champlain will put him somewhere in the adirondacks..since it is pretty darn hard to get a horizon there!!"

In Labatts case, yes carry an extra on board, maybe just a nice handheld with all the bells and whistles. But, I have seen screenshots of a chartplotter showing some boat to be about 300' inland when they were actually tucked safely in the slip, so GPS isn't foolproof. Sorry about not knowing Labatts cruising area.
However, where is Maddata sailing when his GPS turns into a field improvised doorstop? Half way to Bermuda maybe???? I don't know. All I'm saying is that the Polynesians didn't settle the south pacific by carrying extra GPS units with them. Magellan didn't get where he was going by having the latest toy loaded with his favorite tracks and waypoints.
Sorry for hijacking the thread, hope someone can help you guys with the technical problems.
06-22-2007 09:19 AM
sailingdog I generally don't recommend Celestial Navigation for inland sailing.. LOL
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