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Old 08-06-2019, 05:15 PM   #1
Forester 3051S 2015
 
Join Date: May 2015
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"GPS Signal Lost" notification

Our Forester 3051S (2015) has its original Jensen VM9726BT mobile multimedia receiver & navigation unit installed.

We keep experiencing an annoying "GPS signal lost" notification regardless whether we have an active route set up or tracking. It's not a new thing .. been doing it for years.

I've googled the FR forum and the internet in general ... can't find anything that reports the problem or a fix. I wonder if someone out there has experienced and resolved the same issue, even with another Jensen or other nav system?

DW and I have travelled through the pacific north west (Canada & USA) in places that have sight of at least a dozen gps satellites at any time. We've still been getting the "GPS signal lost" notifications. Sometimes the unit is quiet for hours, then it repeats every other minute. It drives us nuts. I haven't found a way to suppress the 'gps signal lost' notification, otherwise I would've done it. I've 'reset' the receiver a few times by pressing the front panel reset button. Makes no difference.

Obvious causes of lost signal are usually tunnels, forest, excessive cloud cover, rain, heavy metalwork above as in bridge superstructures, or even some magnetized instrument set too close to the GPS receiving unit. However, the problem exists when none of these conditions are present, and it's intermittent but frequent enough to force us to switch off the sound system.

Can anyone help?
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:27 PM   #2
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Have you noticed if it times itself to something else in your rig running? Fridge compressor, ac compressor, fridge exhaust fan if you have and rv fridge? With the problem being intermittent, I would guess there is either a motor of some type causing the interference or it's just a factory defect.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:33 PM   #3
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As mentioned possibly a motor. You may also have poor antenna connection. Check connection on back of unit and if possible the antenna.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyduo View Post
Have you noticed if it times itself to something else in your rig running? Fridge compressor, ac compressor, fridge exhaust fan if you have and rv fridge? With the problem being intermittent, I would guess there is either a motor of some type causing the interference or it's just a factory defect.
Hi Valleyduo,
Thanks. No. The fridge is a Dometic absorption cooling unit. As best I know, it houses nothing powerful enough to interfere with a gps receiver. Nothing else operating intermittently in the vehicle either (except cockpit A/C)
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
As mentioned possibly a motor. You may also have poor antenna connection. Check connection on back of unit and if possible the antenna.
Thanks Flybob. You may be onto something there! We've travelling a few hairy roads that nearly shook the teeth out of my mouth, since 2016. I hadn't thought to check rear connections but will do so and update the forum if it works.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:01 PM   #6
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I recently had a very similar issue with my NAV radio installed in my RAM truck...

navrepair dot com was able to fix it. Call them

https://navrepair.com/
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:02 PM   #7
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The GPS receives the signals via a small antenna. My guess would be that the antenna is hidden under the dash (for cosmetic reasons) where its reception is limited. The overhang above the cab is probably the frosting on the cake. If you can locate the antenna (about 1.5" sq and 3/4"high), locate it on top of the dashboard as far forward in the windshield as possible. There should be adequate cable to do it.

We had a reception problem with out free standing Garmin in our Sunseeker 2500TS. Far forward on the dash worked most of the time. Depending on the satellite location, we had to get it outside with no obstructions to get reception. We have run into dead zones where nothing worked, but those are rare. Note, there was nothing else running in the MH when we were having reception problems.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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Have you replaced any old incandescent lighting with LED lighting over the years? There could be interference due to this.

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Old 08-07-2019, 04:02 PM   #9
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GPS Signal Lost, now found - aka Journey to the interior

Many thanks for all the suggestions. Here's what I did:

Step 1: took photo of GPS signal quality in parked position at home (image). 1 dot as usual (= weakest reception).

Step 2: in search of the GPS antenna wiring, I removed the centre console above the gearbox. Two surprises (or three, depending on your expectations of Forest River):

1. cylinders 8-10 and 7-9 are real close DW' and my ankles, respectively;
2. found a critters nest deep in the V block between those same cylinders (image), with stomach-churning contents.

[We had 'solved' last winter's mouse-rat infestation by feeding Tomcat bait to the critters, but never found a corpse until yesterday. A gruesome find that DW left me to clean out, disposal of remains being something I enjoy. As if]

3. A couple of communication cables slung that hung loosely across the engine block (image) after removal of the console. Forest River must have run out of cable ties that day. I tied them all up neatly and out of the way.

Step 3: From the GPS receiver velcro'd to the front left edge of the dashboard top shelf, I tried to trace the GPS cable to the back of the nav unit, but couldn't. However, I located the antenna cable where it connects to the Sirius receiver under the passenger side cubby, and from there is must go to the back of the NAV unit. So it seems the GPS antenna is routed thru the Sirius receiver.

Step 4: Expecting nothing, I unplugged and replugged the antenna connection into the Sirius receiver several times to scrape off any corrosion (image) and presto ... GPS strength is suddenly the full 3 dots (image) and holding. Same place, same time of day and clear sunny weather --- minor strength to full strength. Can't be a coincidence.

I have no idea if this is a permanent solution, or whether step 2(3) made any difference, but time and travels will tell. Next long trip is in 4-5 weeks. I'll report back if and when.

Happy travels all!
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:26 PM   #10
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Our Sunseeker 3050s has a Jensen system. Worthless. In my opinion. I bought Garmin RV 760 for a reliable GPS. I also have a backup on...Waze, just to see if there is a traffic delay. 95% of time, Garmin is accurate. We do review our route on a papermap, before our drive begins.
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