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Garmin chart plotter shows intermittent location

Jan 20, 2009
Endeavour 32 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
Jan 11, 2014
Sabre 362 113 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.


Jun 4, 2009
Pearson 530 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.


Feb 11, 2017
Gulfstar 1979 Gulfstar 37 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.


Mar 16, 2010
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
It is so, but your conclusion is mistaken. Here's a 30 dollar puck
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!
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Likes: Gene Neill
Jan 11, 2014
Sabre 362 113 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.
Jan 20, 2009
Endeavour 32 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.
May 17, 2004
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE 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.