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Garmin chart plotter shows intermittent location

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by FundySail, Jul 10, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. FundySail

    FundySail

    Joined Jan 20, 2009
    15 posts, 0 likes
    Endeavour 32
    CA Fredericton, NB
    Strider's chart plotter (Garmin 3205) has been screwing up lately. The GPS location is intermittent and getting worse. On our recent cruise to Passamaquoddy Bay we relied a lot on our backup systems. Garmin support helped us troubleshoot and guessed that we need a new antenna.

    Our current attenna is a Garmin 17 HVS, they say its obsoleted and we should get a 19X HVS. My questions are:
    According to the manual (we attempt to RTFM), it sounds like we could use any NMEA 183, 12 volt GPS puck antenna, which are available for about $30. Does anyone have any experience with these, or should we just bite the bullet and order the Garmin antenna?

    Thank you in advance if you have any thoughts or experience to share.
    Paul Meyer
    New Brunswick, Canada
     


  2. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,245 posts, 769 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    $160.00 versus $30.00...that's a toughie! o_O
     


  3. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    2,104 posts, 742 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Risk $30 to save $160? Sounds like a no-brainer to me. The worst case outcome is that the the less expensive unit doesn't work out and you have to buy the expensive Garmin unit. If that happens some of the cost can be recouped through eBay.
     


  4. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,434 posts, 607 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    If I remember correctly, the GPS receiver is in the antenna, not the chartplotter. If this is so, you must use the Garmin antenna.
     


  5. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,245 posts, 769 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX


  6. nat55

    nat55

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    98 posts, 94 likes
    Gulfstar 1979 Gulfstar 37
    Un BELFAST
    I would do a factory reset (look in the settings menu) before spending any $$. This function sometimes will reset the antenna, and help to get an updated fix. After doing the reset you will have to reconfigure and you will lose way points and routes.
    I'm pretty sure that you will have issues if you use a generic GPS antenna.
     


  7. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,074 posts, 957 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    That device is designed to provide GPS signal to a PC, not a chartplotter, not in an on-deck scenario. Rather than second-guess the Garmin support techs, just install their GPS antennae and then lean in on them to make it all work. First rule of the technology slacker apologists is, "well, you will have to call the people who made that aftermarket part for support". Take that off the table, I sez!
     


    Gene Neill likes this.
  8. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,245 posts, 769 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    Ayup. Thus my mention of the interface wiring.
     


  9. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    2,104 posts, 742 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    There might be a really simple and cheap fix. Take a look at all the connections to the GPS and make certain they are clean and tight. If the cable can be replaced, replacing might be a more cost effective solution.
     


  10. FundySail

    FundySail

    Joined Jan 20, 2009
    15 posts, 0 likes
    Endeavour 32
    CA Fredericton, NB
    Here's an update. The Usglobalsat units are all 5 volt according to their product support - which makes them considerably less attractive. I can get the Garmin 19X HVS attenna for $144 Canadian which is about $110 US - one of those cases where an item is cheaper in Canada than the US. I like the idea of a factory reset but unfortunately Strider is over an hour away right now and I may not get there for a few days. I will update when I decide what to do. Right now I am leaning towards buying the Garmin 19X unit. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts.
     


  11. Davidasailor26

    Davidasailor26

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,176 posts, 200 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    I'd be pretty surprised if the USB puck could be adapted without significant surgery. The guts of the receiver itself might be the same, but the USB model will have voltage regulators and interface chips designed to talk USB protocol. Replacing that USB circuitry with NMEA stuff wouldn't be trivial.
     



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