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Dakota 20 having trouble acquiring satellites


A friend of mine asked if I could try to fix his gps. It's Dakota 20, and is in a pretty good shape, looks brand new. Unfortunately, it's having trouble acquiring signal. When I turned it on for the first time, it shows no signal whatsoever, and the screen shows the satellite "map", but the bargraph below doesn't show a single bar.

After 10 - 15 minutes, a single bar shows up, and approximately hour in, it acquires the signal. My GPSMap 62s acquires signal in 20 seconds.

I tried truning the gps off and back on, and it worked immediately. The same if I removed the battery for ~15s and put it back. However, if I left the gps turned off/indoors for around 30 minutes, the problem reappears.

I opened the unit to see if there is some sneaky liquid damage, but haven't found a problem. While I was in, I checked the battery and it measures 1.5V (I'm not sure what type it is, as it has no markings on the visible side.

I've tried resetting the device (touching left upper corner while turning on) and re-flashing the latest firmware (5.80), GPS software version is 5.00.

Any ideas? It'd be really a shame to throw such a nice device away.



  • privet01 195 Points
    edited November 2016
    When gps's have not been used in a month or so, and/or the location has changed several hundred miles since it was last turned on, it can take quite a while for it to locate itself. For older devices an hour is not unheard of, though I think the Dakota 20 is new enough to not need that much time. But once it's gotten that initial fix, it shouldn't take very long to acquire them when turned on within a few days.

    Also, if you are letting acquire the satellites inside a building, that may take longer as it doesn't really take much to attenuate the satellite signal.
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    edited November 2016
    If I understand @Krakonos correctly, he is giving it an hour and it is correctly acquiring the satellites. But if he turns it off for awhile, he has to start the whole procedure over again. If that's what is happening, it sure sounds like there's something wrong with the Dakota. :)

    "approximately an hour in, it acquires the signal…. However, if I left the gps turned off/indoors for around 30 minutes, the problem reappears."
  • privet01 195 Points
    But if it is being done inside, then it's anybody's guess as to how long it may take. I have a few places in my home that my gps's won't acquire a signal at all.
  • It's as Boyd says. Of course the hour is outdoors, under a clear sky. The indoors mentioned is in "off or indoors", that is if I leave it off or indoors, I have to wait an hour again (possibly just 30 minutes, but still...).

    I've also tried leaving the gps outdoors during the night, so it has enough time to update all the internal state it possibly can, but the results are the same.
  • sussamb 787 Points
    edited November 2016
    If your device is continuing to need 30 minutes or so to locate itself when outdoors something is wrong. I'd try a master reset again, instructions are here{6c1afe20-b718-11de-6a18-000000000000}

    If afterwards it's still having the issue then as Boyd says, something is wrong, and probably terminal.
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    Doesn't sound like something you will be able to fix yourself. FWIW, Garmin will usually offer a replacement at a discount for non-repairable out of warranty models. Sometimes it's a substantial discount, other times, not so much.

    For example, a friend had a problem with his old Oregon 450 that has been constantly used and is really beat up. He contacted Garmin to see if a part was available so he could fix it himself. They said no, but offered to sell him a refurbished Oregon 450 for $100. That seemed pretty reasonable to me, you can't buy this old model anywhere today, and I don't think you can buy any handheld for that price. He took the deal and is happy with it.
  • Thanks. I have tried master reset twice already, with no change.

    Unfortunately, the local Garmin dealership/service is really shitty. I have a gpsmap 62s that turns off few times a day, without a reason. It was still under warranty, but they completely failed to even acknowledge the problem, and returned the device, wasting 3 months of warranty with no result.
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