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I would be very surprised if an external antenna makes a difference. In the consumer world, antennas are typically only used when the device is inside a vehicle that has obstructions. The 60 series (GPSMap 60/62/64) has a quad helix antenna that many people feel is the best in the business already.
Tim's point about expectations is right on target. Consumer devices like the 64 are not likely to give you any better than +/- 5 meters regardless of what you do. The very expensive antennas you have seen are probably intended for use with specialized survey grade gps units that cost thousands of dollars. In the consumer space, spending more money is not likely to give you more accuracy. A ~$100 device like the eTrex 10 is going to be just as accurate as the ~$700 Monterra. Spending more money just gets you more "bells and whistles".
To get the best accuracy with your 64, use the "waypoint averaging" feature. If you stand stationary, the device takes a position fix every second and averages the results. This usually gives better accuracy, but there are a lot of variables such as the position of the satellites at the time you take the measurements.
Interesting that they sell a version with lifetime City Navigator maps. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/539722/pn/010-01607-05
I guess nobody would want to use it in the city though, and anyway it only costs $800 so what do you expect? :D
You could check with this company, they repair out of warranty devices. The owner is a member here. http://www.sharc.net/gps_repair.htm
But you really have to ask yourself whether it would be cost effective, since new devices have gotten so inexpensive...
It's great that you got it working. The last time I tried it would hang part way through the download and I finally gave up and used Express.
If you look at the link @t923347 posted, it shows two versions on the Nuvi 1300. Am guessing that you have the version that included the full North America map along with a lifetime update card. I used to have a Nuvi 1350 which was like the other version that only had the "lower 49" map and no updates.
I have wondered about whether Garmin is strictly enforcing the new 2 year update policy. Some people have reported that they are. I have a couple old units myself (Nuvi 3550 and Dezl 760) that have not been updated for a long time so maybe I will try someday and see what happens. Have pretty much given up on them though, my phone is much better with the Garmin StreetPilot app which looks just like a Nuvi.
Yeah, I would not sink that kind of money into an old device the probably has a limited lifespan. Get a factory refurb nuvi, it will have a one year warranty as well as lifetime maps.
Found the download link for GarminMapUpdater - try this and see if it works: http://download.garmin.com/lmu/GarminMapUpdater.exe