Error Recovery

From time to time you may get an error when using your gps receiver. Most of the time it will give you a message which may not be obvious to a new user. This chapter deals with the messages and other error symtoms. Not every receiver will produce all of the messages listed below.


The messages below are listed in alphabetical order. Some specialized III Pilot messages are not listed.
  1. Active WPT Can't be Deleted - The waypoint you are trying to delete is the destination of a goto or being used in the current leg of a route. You must cancel the goto or stop the route to delete this waypoint.
  2. Accuracy has been Degraded - The satellite geometry or data quality has resulted in an epe of more that 500 meters. Don't trust the gps solution.
  3. Already Exists - The name you have chosen is already in use. Pick another name.
  4. Anchor Alarm - Boat has drifed outside the area defined in the anchor alarm setting.
  5. Approaching ... - You are one minute away from a turn or the listed destination.
  6. Approaching Turn - You are about 15 seconds from the next turn.
  7. Arrival at ... - You are one minute away form the listed destination.
  8. Arriving at Destination - You are within 15 seconds of your destination. If you power off the unit now the route will be terminated.
  9. Base Map Failed - There is an error in the base map database. The unit must be returned to Garmin.
  10. Batteries Low - see Battery Power is low
  11. Battery Power is Low - Batteries are about to run out. They should be replaced at your earliest convience. Depending on the type of batteries and unit you use you will have anywhere from a minute to about 30 minutes to replace the batteries.
  12. CDI Alarm - You are left or right of course more that the limits set on the CDI alarm menu.
  13. Data Transfer Complete - see transfer complete
  14. Database Error - There is an error in the unit's database. Generally if this repeats you will need to return the unit to Garmin. You may be able to reset the unit or reload the firmware.
  15. Degraded Accuracy - see Accuracy has been Degraded
  16. GPS Turned Off (for use indoors). The unit is operating in simulation mode.
  17. Leg not smoothed - The upcoming turn is too sharp to perform a smooth waypoint transition.
  18. Lost Satellite Reception - see Poor GPS coverage
  19. Memory Battery Power Low - The backup battery is low. This battery is recharged by the normal batteries. You need to put a set of new batteries in the unit and wait 24 hours to see if this message goes away. If it does not this means your backup battery is bad and data will be lost if you remove the main batteries. You will need to return the unit to Garmin for a new backup battery.
  20. Need Altitude - Unit cannot obtain a fix with the current assumption about the altitude. You will need to give it a new altitude that is closer to correct.
  21. Need to Select Init Method - Unit cannot locate satellites to compute a solution. You will need to select the initialization method. You have probably traveled more than 300 miles since it was last turned on or the unit has been off for more than 3 months. Perhaps you started with the unit in a house and can now chose Continue to acquire.
  22. No DGPS Position - see No Differential GPS Position
  23. No Differential GPS Position - You are trying to use a beacon receiver as set up in the interface menu but the unit is not able to communicate with the receiver, or there is not enough data to compute a dgps position.
  24. No RTCM Input - The Beacon receiver in not hooked up correctly or the baud rate is set wrong.
  25. None Found - The unit cannot find an address, intersection, point of interest that you were searching for. Modify the search argument as needed and try again.
  26. Off Course Alarm - see CDI alarm.
  27. Poor GPS Coverage - The unit cannot track the minimum of three satellites required and has not been able to do so for the last thirty seconds. You will need to find a place with a clearer sky view to recover from this error. Acknowledging the error does not change the status. Note that there will be a break in the tracklog as a result of this loss of lock. Any dead reckoning performed by the unit just prior to the loss will be removed from the log.
  28. Power Down and Re-init - The unit is not able to calculate a position solution from the available data. Do what it says. You may need to try a new location.
  29. PROX alarm - you have entered the alarm circle defined for the proximity waypoint.
  30. Proximity Overlapped - Two proximity alarm circles overlap. This could cause problems monitoring the distance from each.
  31. Proximity Wpt can't be Deleted - The waypoint you are trying to delete is listed on the proximity alarms page. You must remove it there first.
  32. RAM Failed - The internal RAM memory has failed. If this persists you will need to return the unit to Garmin.
  33. Read Only Mem has Failed - see ROM failed
  34. Received an Invalid WPT - A waypoint was received during upload with an invalid identifier
  35. Receiver has Failed - A hardware failures has be detected. If this message persists the unit will need to be returned to Garmin
  36. ROM Failed - The permanent software memory has failed and the unit is not operable. You will need to return the unit to Garmin.
  37. Route is Full - Attempted to upload a route with to many waypoints.
  38. Route in not Empty - Attempted to copy a route into on that was already in use.
  39. Route Memory Full - There is no more memory available for routes. You will have to delete some routes in order to add more.
  40. Route Waypoint Can't be Deleted - Waypoint is part of a route. It must be deleted from the route before it can be deleted.
  41. Route Waypoint was Deleted - A route waypoint entered does not exist in the database and was, therefore, deleted from the route.
  42. Route Truncated - You were uploading a route that has too many points in it.
  43. RTCM Input has Failed - DGPS data has been lost. You are no longer receiving the beacon signal. Check the cable.
  44. Searching the Sky - The unit is searching the sky for almanac data or it is in Autolocate mode.
  45. Steep Turn Ahead - The message appears when the course change is to abrupt for the speed you are traveling. Generally this message will start to appear above 75 mph and is intended for plance.
  46. Stored Data was Lost - All waypoints, routes, time and almanac data has been lost. Could be a backup battery failure or a full reset.
  47. Timer Expired - The count down timer has reached zero.
  48. Track Log Already Exists - The name selected is the same as an existing tracklog. You will need to pick a different name.
  49. Track Memory Full - All of the saved track locations are used.
  50. Track Truncated - You were uploading a tracklog that is too long for the track memory. You may be able to clear the track log and try again unless the uploaded log is longer than the full length of track log.
  51. Transfer Complete - This message means the upload or download of data was successful.
  52. Transfer has been Completd - see Transfer Complete
  53. Trouble Tracking Satellites, Are you indoors? - Message means that the unit cannot get a fix. You can answer Yes, which means you will be switched to simulation mode, or No which will cause a series of questions to determine whether or not to enter autolocate mode.
  54. Using Simulator for Faster Data Transfer - The PC software is selecting simulation mode to enable a higher transfer rate.
  55. Waypoint Already Exists - You tried to make a new waypoint with the same name as an existing waypoint. Name the new waypoint something else.
  56. Waypoint Memory Full - The full number of waypoints is used. The number of waypoints you can have is dependant on the model. Some have 250, some 500, and some 1000. You will have to remove some waypoints to make room for any new ones.
  57. Weak Signals - see poor GPS coverage
  58. WPT Memory is Full - see Waypoint Memory Full.

Trouble Shooting Problems

SymptomUnitTrouble Shooting tips
Fails to highlight any satellitesOlder Multiplex receivers Occassionally these units will simply fail to find any satellites when first turned on. The solution is to turn off the unit and turn it back on. The second time it always seems to work.
All UnitsIf you have moved more than 300 miles or had the unit off for several months you will need to reinitialize it before you can use it.
Unit fails to turn onAll Units Check the batteries. Be sure they are install correctly. It is also possible you have water damage. Dry the unit out and try again. If this fails you may need to return the unit to Garmin for repair. If desperate you may want to read the chapter on secret commands and see if you can revive the unit yourself but you are likely to lose all user data.
Poor GPS Message or GPS signal weak is almost constant All units Your location is marginal. Turn off battery save mode. You may need to find a better sky view.
Clock is off by more than 3 secondsAll units You do not have a current almanac in the unit. Therefore you are not correcting for leap seconds. You will need to collect a new almanac by leaving your unit on with a clear sky view for 15 minutes.
Clock is off by more than a minute.All Units You don't have a lock yet or if you do the time zone setting is incorrect. Make sure you have a lock and if the problem persists check the time zone setting.
Unit turns itself off for no apparent reason on my motorcycle, offroad vehicle or bicycleUnits with more than 2 batteries. This is caused by battery vibration. Some batteries are shorter and narrower than others. You can try a different brand of batteries. You can tape two together or place some tape around the batteries that will be on the outside to minimize vibration. You can gently pull the springs in the battery housing to make the connect tighter. You can ask Garmin for some small springs that will set between the batteries to make contact better. You can use external power.
Max Speed shows really large speedAll Units While the max-speed indicator is a reliable indication of the minimum "max speed" you have achieved since last reset it is unreliable when it comes to displaying the real maximum speed. This means you can use it to prove you have gone no faster than what it displays but you can't use it to establish a new speed record. As the satellites drift in and out of sight or you encounter some multipath interference your unit will compute a slightly different solution based on the available satellites and this difference can result in an instantaneous change in position. This change can confuse the max speed indicator into thinking you traveled rapidly to the new location. Luckily these are usually very easy to spot. Hopefully Garmin will figure out a way to filter out these kinds of changes in a future release.
Interface problemsAll UnitsPlease see the interface chapter for these kinds of problems.
00/7/14 initial error data
00/7/29 added a few more

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