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  #1  
Old 07-04-2005
shadyluke's Avatar
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GPS question

I have a Garmin GPSmap 76 and I am having a really hard time getting satellite signals. I have yet to take it out in the woods but I can barely get a signal in my driveway. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. We have had the unit for about a year and a half or so but it just came out of the box today. Are there any updates or anything that I need to do? Any kind of help would be great. I know nothing about using these except for the manual which I am only about half way through.
-Luke
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2005
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Is your driveway covered by trees or surrounded by big tall buildings? You need a good view of the sky. Trees will reduce the coverage however shouldn't totally inhibit it.
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Old 07-05-2005
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Even being in my truck and holding it in my hand not near a window gives me issues. And it's not an instant track. Takes my Garmin eTrex Legend about 5 minutes to get enough satellites to track me. So give it some time in a clear view of the sky and you shouldn't have any problems.
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2005
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Turn it on and leave it out in the open until it gets the initial lock on the satellites. If it's never had a lock, then it has no idea where it is and needs to figure it out which takes time. Once you do the initial cold start, it should be quicker to lock unless you travel 300 miles or more with it turned off.
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2005
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i have a garmin antenna for my laptop and i get signals in my house . . . how old are these units?
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2005
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Yes, Garmin has updates you can download from a PC via the serial connection cable. You can download the updates from www.garmin.com. I just updated my eTrex a few days ago. It's cake.

Like has been said, give it a few min to lock up. Out of the box mine thought it was in Taiwan or something. I guess that's where the factory is. They probably burn them in over there and do the final testing before putting them in the box. So the device thinks it is in SE Asia and is looking for the satellites from that side of the plannet. Give it a few and it should find the satellites for our neck of the woods.

That said, don't expect it to work very well when in thick tree cover either. I was disapointed as well when I bought my etrex and found how easily it would loose signal. When hiking I usually mount it on my shoulder strap to my backpack.. This seems to give it the best possible reception. But I still loose the sky all the time leaving gaps in my track.
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2005
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i never have signal problems with my gps v, unless i am in a tunnel, under a bridge(for a prolonged period of time), in a garage, or under a big tree...

driving, though, i have never had it lose signal... and mine just sits on my dash...
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2005
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I got it figureed out. It was doing the thing where it thought it was in Asia and couldn't finad any satellites. It would just shut off after so long. I found a setting where I could pick a round about location and it was then able to find where I am. My house is on top of a big hill with no trees around. Thanks a lot everyone, I appreciate it.
-Luke

Last edited by shadyluke; 07-05-2005 at 03:39 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2005
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OK next question.....How do I go about adding maps to this thing so I can see some local streets rather than just major highways?
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevelyn1015
i never have signal problems with my gps v, unless i am in a tunnel, under a bridge(for a prolonged period of time), in a garage, or under a big tree...
I betcha it does.. Well, I betcha it would anyway. It would if it were sampling & recording track points fast enough. Since you're driving fast enough, the device doesn't loose contact w/ the sky long enough for you or the track to notice. However when hiking in thick cover you can easily be out of contact for several yards or more. Especially if the terrain is rough enough (ie climbing hills), you could take quite a while to cover that distance. In that time the GPS 'looses' contact w/ the sky.

Happens to me all the time w/ trees. Some said that leaves are transparent to the microwave signals these devices use. I find otherwise..
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Happens to me all the time w/ trees. Some said that leaves are transparent to the microwave signals these devices use. I find otherwise..
True that! Back in my backpacking days I'd get the same thing from my GPS, I would frequently find holes in my track, never really buged me though, it was close enough.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2005
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It drives my OCD *** crazy! I love plotting the tracks over a topo map.. and especially like looking at the cross-section to see changes in elivation. When it looses contact w/ the sky I end up w/ straight lines on the maps and inaccurate cross sections. Kinda a bummer.
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2005
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Ah yea, that might have bugged me too.. see I have the old, (it was new when I got it.. like everything..lol) Garman GPS 12 and no software for it. So basicly it was just stored on the machine for future referance.
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2005
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If you have a serial link for it, you might be able to download the tracks. There are countless freeware tools available to read track lists off of garmin GPS units. A google should show the better ones. Plus many mapping softwares work w/ them. I don't own any of the Garmin software. I use the National Geographic North Eastern USA Topo map series software. It has USGS 7.5' maps for the whole region. The best part is I can layout waypoints and tracks on the software and then re-up to the GPS. You need internal memory for that though.
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  #15  
Old 07-05-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
If you have a serial link for it, you might be able to download the tracks. There are countless freeware tools available to read track lists off of garmin GPS units. A google should show the better ones. Plus many mapping softwares work w/ them. I don't own any of the Garmin software. I use the National Geographic North Eastern USA Topo map series software. It has USGS 7.5' maps for the whole region. The best part is I can layout waypoints and tracks on the software and then re-up to the GPS. You need internal memory for that though.
Can you say that again in more stupidfied terms. I think that is what I wanna do. I think I need better maps for mine. Mine only has 8MB if internal memory tho. I was looking into the mapsource software but that stuff is expensive.
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  #16  
Old 07-23-2005
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How about an external or remote antenna?
http://shop.garmin.com/accessory.jsp...0%2D10052%2D05
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