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bmc

GPS module not responding......now what??????????????

Question

I've got a Lowrance LMS-480 graph/gps unit. It had been working fine, then a couple weeks ago for no reason I can think of the dreaded "GPS module not responding" came on.

I disconnected the plug in close to the GPS receiver and all 3 plug ins off the back of the unit. I sprayed them w/ dust remover and it worked for about a half a day and back to not working.

I sprayed some electrical cleaner on the connections yesterday and it's still not working.

Any suggestions??? The GPS cable from the receiver to the unit is only 1.5 years old so it shouldn't be that.

Could I be missing an update for the unit?

Thanks,

Brian

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Double check your power connections, then recheck the cables, and T connections if your networking it.

Have you installed any updates recently?

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Ed,

No T connections or networking going on here. I got the unit used from a good buddy of mine 2 years ago. I think he did some updates to it, but I haven't done any.

Thanks,

Brian

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That message means the GPS module and/or network is not getting power. It doesn't have anything to do with software updates.

There should be a connection about a foot away from the gps puck, as well as on the back of the unit. And also the connection for the terminator (I think that module uses a Y cable and 1 terminator, correct).

If it's not in those connections, then it's probably in the power getting too the unit itself, or in the power getting through the unit to the network cable. Check the power connections to the unit to see if there's a set of network power cables (in addition to the unit's power cables) that are not connected any more.

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Brian I use to have the same thing happen to my LMS 350A every spring and the only thing that seemed to help was to disconnect the cable feeding the module and power up the unit and then plug it in. To me it was like a jumpstart to the module cause it would seem to work fine for the rest of the year. It seemed like there was nothing else that would work like trying a cold start or any of the other type of restart/reset. I hope it works for you as well as it worked for me.

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Hope this helps.

Here is Linda Colt's info in-case anyone else has a problem with a Lowrance unit.

Linda Colt

Customer Service Department

12000 East Skelly Drive

Tulsa, Ok 74128

1-800-324-1356 #8747

Direct line 918-438-8747

Fax 918-234-1745

Email: linda.colt@navico.com

They are the best when it comes to helping at no charge.

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Are you kidding me? My LMS-520 gps stopped working this spring, it's 2 months after warranty, I've given Lowrance $325.00 plus my own shipping costs, I've spent well over 6 hours of my time on hold and talking to people who have no idea what there talking about and I still don't have my GPS working!!!! Talk about being frustrated...I will never buy Lowrance ever again.

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bmc-

Did you get your gps figured out yet? If you did, let us know how you fixed it.

Here is a list of things I have compiled that might fix this issue:

1. Make sure battery is charged up

2. Make sure there is good power to antenna

3. Make sure BOTH the ground & shield (bare wire) are grounded properly on the NEMA 2000 power cable

4. Make sure inline fuse is not blown and or corroded

5. MAke sure the data cable wires (blue yellow orange and shield)individually wrapped and then all four wrapped together if not connected to anything else.

6. If you have a t-connector(between gps antenna and head unit), make sure the resister/terminator is not fried. Also check these connections.

7. Un-plug cable(s) from back of head unit and plug back in.

8. Buy a lottery ticket and hope for the best.

9. Try a soft reset.

10. Recheck all connections. Maybe use electric grease.

11. Replace antenna. Might want to try yours on a friend’s boat to make sure it is the antenna.

Bouncing around on waves and trailering down the road overtime may cause your connections to worsen.

If none of this fixes it try something else. Too bad these thigns are so touchy.

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Ok. So I had the same thing happen this Spring. When I put my boat away in the Fall the GPS was working fine. When I hooked it up this spring - everything worked - except the GPS. I get "GPS module not responding". People have mentioned Checking power connections...but the depth part and the temp work fine..just not the GPS. I was going to bring the unit into the fish lectronics store on university and see if they could hook it up to their stuff and then i could at least narrow down if its the unit or the wiring...does anyone know if they can do that? Also, the little plastic housing that screws the plug into the unit came loose on the part that does the GPS. I have plugged the prongs in though...and they fit very tight...so you would think that even though the plastic screw in connector isnt there it should still work?

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I get "GPS module not responding". People have mentioned Checking power connections...but the depth part and the temp work fine..just not the GPS.

There are two power connections in these units, one for the unit itself, the other for the network (the gps antenna is on the network). The GPS Module Not Responding means it's not getting power through the network. I've only heard of a few gps antennas that have gone bad and none of them had the GPS Module Not Responding message --- they just wouldn't lock on to the satellites.

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Still trying to figure this stupid thing out. I want to use it now more than ever to map weeds/rocks/etc on musky spots I'm fishing and I can't. Very frustrating!

Brian

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Ok. Bear with me...keep in mind I know nothing about these things!!

I just looked at my GPS/depth finder.

Its an LMS 480.

It has 3 plug ins.

One says "sonar" the middle one says "network" and the other one says "PWR/DATA"

So, when you say it has "2 power" connections...is that 2 of these 3 plug ins ??

Would it mean the middle one "Network" is not getting power for some reason? Thats the one with the loose plastic screw on...but it is really plugged in tight.

Is there a way to tell if it just isnt getting power...or if its something else?

Maybe has to be reset or something?

Dont mean to hijack this original thread...but it sounds like we have the same issue? and maybe this would help both!

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BMC...try a different receiver..find a friend with one that is working..swap it..test...see if it reads then.

If it does not...more problems internally are very likely.

If for some odd reason the GPS function was mysteriously turned off..(weirder things have happened with Lowrance units..trust me on that)..than a "Hard Reset" will return it to factory original settings...if it still will not communicate with the GPS receiver in a clear unobstructed view of the horizon...well...it's time to send it in for a look.

Or there is "Plan B"...An aluminum softball bat will not send it all the way back to Lowrance Service Dept in Kansas..but just far enough away to resolve the problem permanently....with free shipping. crazy

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One says "sonar" the middle one says "network" and the other one says "PWR/DATA"

So, when you say it has "2 power" connections...is that 2 of these 3 plug ins ??

Yes the network cable will give power to the external gps antenna. The"PWR/DATA" is the main power for the graph.

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The springs in the fuse holders have been known to cause power loss problems (weak), try bypassing the fuse holder for the gps power, one of the two included in the PWR/DATA chord.

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Thanks guys...

My issue is that the GPS antenna dealy is located all the way back on my boat bolted down on the rear casting deck. There is no way to get at the electrical wiring I dont think without unscrewing the floor or side panels. The guyI bought the boat from did a lot of nice things to the boat...but I dont understand the reason for locating the GPS deal way down there and running the wiring where a person cannot easily get to...otherwise I would have checked all that out already. Before I dig around I am going to bring the unit to the electronics place and have them hook it up so that I know its either the unit or the wiring...

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What perchjerker is talking about, is that on your one power cord you have two red and two black wires that both need to be connected to power. One set is to power the head unit and the other is to power the GPS module, if either one is not connected properly to power, then the unit turns on and you receive the warning "module not responding." Its a pretty common thing to see that warning and its almost always that the module isn't getting power.

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Even after all my proposed fixes, I’m now getting the dreaded GPS module not responding message again. It is intermittent and gains signal and loses signal through out the day- very annoying.

Here is another fix I was thinking of:

Does anyone had the main head unit power and the network/GPS power on two different power hook-ups or do you have them hooked together to one power line/switch?

I have mine hooked together and am wondering if having the gps power on its own individual line would help. Doesn’t seem like it would matter but stranger things have happened.

I'm starting to think the antenna is the problem, but im trying to avoid buying a new one.

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Does anyone had the main head unit power and the network/GPS power on two different power hook-ups or do you have them hooked together to one power line/switch?

I have seen it done both ways but for my own boat I have a separate power lead for the network.

The "best" connection would be to power your unit and your network using 2 sets of power wires, with heavy enough gauge to rule out any voltage drop problems, and run each set of wires directly to the battery and use an in-line spade fuse on each red wire near the battery.

If you have your network on a power switch you may want to check or replace that too, I know of boats that have had problems from the switches getting bumped or jarred while underway.

I can't guarantee you that it's not your gps antenna, but typically when they go bad they just lose the satellites and the gps module not responding message usually doens't appear.

Good luck getting it figured out.

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Perch im guessing your GPS works good?

I will try the two separate power sources. It seems like I have checked everything else. If that doesnt work I may have to try a new antenna eek

I think im heading to lake of the woods next weekend so having a working GPS would be nice.

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Perch im guessing your GPS works good?

I get Rock Star performance from it laugh

I hope you get yours hammered out and working before your trip - good luck!

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Are you using fuse holders that are supplied with the locater/GPS? They're the black rubber jobbies. Even if they're not, make sure you fuse is making a solid connection in it's holder.

edit: oops, I see Minneman already mentioned that.

How far away is your GPS puck from the graph?

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On my boat, the gps antenna is about 8 feet away from the head unit.

I called lowrance yesterday. After telling them all the other things I did to try and fix it, he said "its an 85% chance its the module". I think im still in warrenty and am getting a new LGC-4000. Im looking forward to the new antenna. Hopefully that fixes it.

Anyone else use the 4000 antenna? Sounds like this one updates more often than the 3000.

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I still cant get mine figured out at all.

I looked under the dash where all the wires come in and you would...

1. have to be half-snake with a 2 foot long neck to actually work around under the dash..and

2. Have to have some kind of degree from NASA to figure out all the wires. Its crazy.

So, i went to the back of the boat to see if I could see anything around the wiring where the GPS antennae is. I had to take off a side of the boat - unscrewing 11 screws...and you still cant see anything where the wires go to. It would take unscrewing the whole back casting platform - and I am just not going to do that. I guess I just have to bite the bullet and bring it in this Fall - and have someone who is an expert take a look. I am going to bring the unit itself in to see if its the unit or not..will post again once I find that out.

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I had a similar problem last year. What worked for me was making sure the nuts were tight securing the unit to the boat. At least that's what I think worked. Maybe it was something else. Perhaps the unit uses the bolt/nut as a ground and not having a good seat there disrupted the device. It hasn't failed since, but that's not to say it won't again. I've got my fingers crossed.

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Grounding shouldn't be an issue. Electronics use the battery as ground and nothing should use the boat as a ground.

Hoffer - The GPS puck will unscrew from the base it's on. Give it a counter-clockwise twist and the head should separate from the base. The wire to the GPS puck should pull through the hole in the center of the base. You really won't see much as it's a sealed unit, except if the wire has rubbed through somewhere near the puck. Based on your description of how it's routed it might be tough to pull the wire completely out, but if someone got it there it should be able to be replaced too. I know, easier said than done!

I guess I would try to trace the wires coming from your 480 and see where they go as best as you can. This can help the troubleshooting process if you want to tackle it yourself. The first time I dove into the network setup on my boat I grabbed a pencil and paper and started drawing it out. I also took some masking tape and labeled the cables so I could identify as much as I could to make it easier to understand what was going on and how the factory wired it. Again, easier said than done, especially if you have a console boat.

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