USB GPS receiver problems (GlobalSat BU-353)
Starting last Thursday, my gps has been acting "flakey". It'll see satellites, but can't always (about 95% of the time) get a lock on them.

The main receiver I use is a BU-353 USB receiver. Up until last Thursday, it worked 100% of the time, with no issues whatsoever. The reciever is mounted outside of my truck, horizontally, on one of the mirrors.

I tried plugging in a different BU-353 with the same results. This one is brand new and has only been used about 1 hour. I bought it as a stand-by in case the other died. I also tried a working receiver from Microsoft Streets and Trips - same results. Lastly, I turned on the GPS receiver on my Sprint AirCard. This receiver actually gets the location from the cell towers, not the satellites. Guess what - exactly the same.

So, what could be causing this? It can't be the receiver, because of the 3 others that do the exact same thing, and one of those doesn't even use satellites.

It's always the same thing - it locates the satellites, but can't get a 3-D fix on them. It will on occasion, but it's always short lived.

Any clues whatsoever? This is the 2nd time this has happened and I don't know what I did to fix it the last time. I'm thinking I formatted the computer before it started working correctly.

As for my setup, I use Franson GPSGate to split the signal between 2 different apps (CoPilot and iGuidance). I uninstalled GPSGate and get the same results. I tried XPort - same results. I ran the GPSInfo utility and get the same results, whether direct to the receiver or running through a splitter app.

I'm at my wits end and am about ready to say the hell with this and buy a standalone Garmin 7200.
Marvin Hlavac
Try to re-read the old thread ( http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/1020-bu-353-died ), it may be the same issue. I agree, I wouldn't suspect the GPS receiver, since all four them them exhibit the same symptoms. It must be either some interference in your truck, or something with your laptop.
If you do (heaven forbid) abandon your laptop for a Nuvi, consider the 5000 rather than the 7200. The 7200 at 7" has a lower pixel count (480x234) than the 4.3" 750 (480x272). I would think this would not produce a very clear display. The 5000 at 5.2" with 800x480 pixels should provide a sharp display. It is also considerably less expensive.

Marvin Hlavac
Originally Posted by tcassidy
If you do (heaven forbid) abandon your laptop...
Yeah, I'd stay away from non-PC solutions. It's much easier to do route planning, for your type of work, on a laptop. You just need to get to the bottom of the problem (or get a new laptop? ).
Ken in Regina
Have you tried the receivers on a different computer?

Have you tried a different USB port?

Have you tried a Bluetooth receiver to bypass the USB ports entirely?

If the PC programs are all working fine and the receivers appear to be working fine and the problem affects all of the receivers, that seems to narrow it down to a problem with the USB port(s) or the related driver(s).

Testing on another PC, even a desktop, should allow you to rule out a problem with the receivers.

If you have Bluetooth built right into the laptop so you don't need to use a USB dongle, testing with a Bluetooth receiver would help isolate the problem. If it works, that would pretty much pinpoint the problem as the USB function (hardware issue or driver problem).

I'm thinking now that it's getting time for a new laptop...

Yesterday I went and bought Streets & Trips 2009 with the receiver. Installed the software, plug it in, receiver is detected by the system. Ran the software and it shows exactly where I'm located. It kept satellites for an entire 5 feet before it dropped every satellite completely and would never see them again.

The laptop detects each and every receiver, but not a single one of them see any satellites. I tried uninstalling/reinstalling them, including in safe-mode. No luck. The laptop has a total of 4 on-board USB connections - same luck in every port.

I finally decided to reinstall XP. After booting to the installation CD, when the installer gets to the "Setup is starting Windows..." screen, the computer instantly powers itself off. I tried 5 times - same thing. Also, when I was doing the uninstalling/reinstalling of the receivers (prior to trying to redo XP), it shut down a couple of times on its own as well.

The laptop is 3 years old and has been in the truck the entire time. It's highly possible that it's just starting to "die".

So, plans are to go to the local Best Buy this weekend for a new laptop - glad I know where it is, hehehe.
Marvin Hlavac
3 years is a lot in a moving vibrating truck. My old PC lasted just about the same time till it started to exhibit all kinds of issues likely caused by vibration. Your driving will be a pleasure again with a new laptop.
Sounds like a memory problem on the laptop. You might pull and clean them and check the slots.

No - it was more than likely in the motherboard itself. The laptop has a total of 4 usb ports. Out of those 4, 2 of them no longer worked at all, one of them would say everything hooked to it was usb1.1 vs usb 2, and the 4th was the final "working" port.

My last day with the laptop was interesting. After numerous attempts to fix the system (restoring the installation from a system backup in november when I last reinstalled), absolutely nothing would work through the usb at all. I finally gave up on it and picked up a new 17" HP yesterday. So far, everything I've thrown at it has worked perfect, except for CoPilot v9. It won't even install on a 64bit system.

Oh well - CoPilot 9 is very aged anyway.
I am not certain if this is coincidental or not, but our 350 acted up once, and my wife simply reloaded the driver and all has been well since.
Trust me, I tried that. But, yes, that has happened to me in the past as well.
Loaded Microsoft Streets and Trips. Had it plan a couple of routes for me. Worked great. Waited a week for my Globalsat BU-353. Put in the disc, loaded the driver for Windows XP, plugged in the bu-353, confirmed com port 4, ran GPS info on disc. Started Streets & Trips, it looked like it was working OK. Showed my location at my home and that I was connected to 8 satellites. I turned off the laptop, came back 30 minutes later, turned on laptop. Windows would not boot up. It would start to, but then stop and go back to the screen that ask you how you want to start, safe, normal, etc. It just kept repeating this.

I don't know how to start other than normally, and it did the same thing when I tried entering from the last known start position. Can't use my laptop. Can anyone tell me what to do.
When you get that screen, arrow to the Safe Mode selection using the keyboard, then press ENTER. This will start your computer with only the bare minimum drivers needed to run Windows (will not load the drivers you just installed). Go to the Control Panel and uninstall the BU-353. Restart and see if it will boot normally. Safe Mode is your best freind when a driver installation goes terribly wrong!

If this works and it boots normally, you might want to download a new driver for the appropriate operating system from Global Sat's Web site. http://www.globalsat.com.tw/products-page.php?menu=2&gs_en_product_id=2&gs_en_product_cnt_...product_cnt_folder=4
GadgetGirl, thanks for replying. I did that and the drivers screen will come up, then the windows screen, and start to boot, then "click" the screen will go dark, then back to the screen with Safe Mode.
Does it ever get to the Windows desktop in Safe Mode? What are you clicking when the screen goes dark and reboots?
I am thinking this is not related to the GPS drivers as these would not even load in Safe Mode. Make sure the GPS receiver isn't plugged in while you are troubleshooting as sometimes new hardware can cause a problem.
How old is your laptop? Have you ever had a similar problem before? Restarting like this can be a power supply problem, an overheating problem, a memory issue, or even a problem with the operating system. Can you boot into the BIOS without it restarting? This would eliminate problems such as the power supply or overheating.
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