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Old 01-23-12, 12:46 AM   #1
volosong 
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Garmin Edge 500 took eight miles and half an hour to get a fix today.

Uugh! I don't know what's going on with my Edge 500. I've noticed that it is taking longer and longer to obtain a fix when I start out on a ride. Today, it took almost a half an hour and I rode just over eight miles before it locked in a GPS fix. That's awful! And, this is on an open desert, without trees, hills, buildings, etc. There is no reason it couldn't find at least four satellites needed for that initial fix.

Anybody else notice their unit taking a long time to get a fix?
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Old 01-23-12, 12:52 AM   #2
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How long does it take if you leave it stationary? Mine struggles when I just turn it on and take off, probably because then everything's a moving target. If I stand still and don't change its orientation, it generally is ready in 30 seconds or less, depending on obstructions.
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Old 01-23-12, 01:07 AM   #3
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It's taken about five or so minutes to get a fix when stationary. I'm itching to get moving, so usually take off. In the past, it gets its initial fix about four or five houses down the street from where I start. I can live with that ... but eight miles???
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Old 01-23-12, 01:08 AM   #4
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How long does it take if you leave it stationary? Mine struggles when I just turn it on and take off, probably because then everything's a moving target. If I stand still and don't change its orientation, it generally is ready in 30 seconds or less, depending on obstructions.
This has been my experience too.
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Old 01-23-12, 01:31 AM   #5
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One issue is that when it's first turned on it needs to receive a data message specifying details of the satellite orbit. The data link is very low bandwidth (50 bits/sec), so it takes 18 seconds for a complete message and it only repeats once every 30 seconds. If anything interrupts the signal then the unit has to wait for another repetition. When you're standing still in a reasonably clear area then the process shouldn't take too long - less then 30 seconds after it locks onto the satellite signal. But if you're moving then there are likely to be moments where the signal is blocked (by your body, by a tree, a building, etc.) and then it has to wait for the next repitition and try again. So if you're having an issue with this it really helps to turn the unit on and leave it sitting in a good location while you get other things ready for your ride.

But if the OP's unit is taking much longer now than it used to then it may well be defective. Try calling Garmin's customer service number and see if they'll authorize an exchange or repair.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:14 PM   #6
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It may not be the Garmin. A large solar flare happened on Sunday, and one of the potential effects of the flare is interference with satellite communications and GPS systems.

Google "solar flare" for the news stories.
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Old 01-24-12, 05:52 PM   #7
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It also has to do with the time of day and your latitude. Please go read up on GPS almanac . If you turn it on inside and then wait 5 minutes, you have other problems
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Old 01-24-12, 07:14 PM   #8
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I've been using a GPS on my fishing boat since they released them to the public after Desert Storm, they all say to stay put when turning the unit on.
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Old 01-24-12, 11:12 PM   #9
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Hmmmm, I think my Garmin Dakota 20 takes about 20-40 seconds to get a fix from cold. Maybe a different GPS chip or antenna though. I'll test it again tomorrow to confirm. Of course the Dakota is 3 times the size and weight of the Edge models.
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Old 01-25-12, 04:02 AM   #10
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Also take into consideration how long it's been since the unit was last used. The longer the period, the long it will take to get a good lock since it has to update it's data base of where the satellites are. Plus like already mentioned, moving while it is still initializing, even on a bicycle, will make it take longer. For this reason I usually turn on my unit while i''m getting ready.
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Old 01-29-12, 04:19 PM   #11
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Me 2 . Turn it on when getting ready.
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Old 02-12-12, 02:26 AM   #12
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I don't have a problem with mine.
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Old 02-12-12, 10:03 AM   #13
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I don't have problems with the unit acquiring satellites if I turn it on while stationary, but the past couple of days (it has been overcast) on my regular ride the unit has under-reported mileage and on examining the route, it seems to have lost signal at a couple of points and used something like dead reckoning to plot the route between loosing and regaining signal. That shows that I went across the river a couple of times and to the best of my recollection that did not happen ) Maybe it was the solar flare that caused this since I have not had the same problem on other overcast days along the same route
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Old 02-22-12, 06:36 PM   #14
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No problemo. I just upgraded from a 305 and the 500 fixes the location much quicker. Most of them time it will fix a location if it's indoors by a window.
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Old 02-27-12, 04:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by metalheart44 View Post
I don't have problems with the unit acquiring satellites if I turn it on while stationary, but the past couple of days (it has been overcast) on my regular ride the unit has under-reported mileage and on examining the route, it seems to have lost signal at a couple of points and used something like dead reckoning to plot the route between loosing and regaining signal. That shows that I went across the river a couple of times and to the best of my recollection that did not happen ) Maybe it was the solar flare that caused this since I have not had the same problem on other overcast days along the same route
Weather really does not affect GPS. Solar flares will. You really have to figure out how many sats are overhead if you have bad problems during certain parts of the day. Do not turn your GPS unit on until you get outside. I know many poeple say to stay still to get a fix but I don't see any difference. I also live in central CA and its flat and open to space most everywhere.

http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/gpsfix.htm
http://gpsinformation.net/gpsclouds.htm

If you really want to nerd out, you can mission plan.
http://www.gpsworld.com/survey/satel...-planning-8635
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Old 02-28-12, 08:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sjvcycler View Post
Weather really does not affect GPS. Solar flares will. You really have to figure out how many sats are overhead if you have bad problems during certain parts of the day. Do not turn your GPS unit on until you get outside. I know many poeple say to stay still to get a fix but I don't see any difference. I also live in central CA and its flat and open to space most everywhere.

http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/gpsfix.htm
http://gpsinformation.net/gpsclouds.htm

If you really want to nerd out, you can mission plan.
http://www.gpsworld.com/survey/satel...-planning-8635
Haven't noticed any trouble with my eTrex 30 recently - still picks up a signal within 30 seconds of turning on, even in my crowded residential compound surrounded by 12 storey buildings. I think the fact that my receiver picks up GLONASS as well as GPS helps acquisition time, though.
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