Lowrance gps help (sorry)

Matt D

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Im fairly sure this has been talked about before but I cant find the thread..

Here is the story, I bought a Lowrance baja 540c for a smokin deal (Thanks Ryan) but it was in a fire. The GPS itself is fine other than cosmetics, it starts up and I can see the last course the truck ran. Also the antenna externally looks fine but when I get everything hooked up it shows "GPS module not responding"

Can anyone point me in the right direction as to what to do?

Thanks
-Matt
 

diirk

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I'd recommend contacting Lowrance, they may be able to walk you through some troubleshooting over the phone.
 

Tipracer

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90% of the time it is either the wire from the unit to the antenna(which can be checked for continuity with a DMM) or what is more common the antennas themselves take a dump...there was a bulletin issued by lowrance on the importance of the direction of the connectors between the unit and the antenna as it is very easy to plug them together incorrectly and if done incorrectly it will screw up the antenna...
The real problem is unless you have a buddy who is willing to lend you his antenna you are pretty much forced into buying a new one just to test, not really a bad thing as it is nice to have a spare but it is not cheap, ~$180.00 I think
good luck
 

Matt D

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I'd recommend contacting Lowrance, they may be able to walk you through some troubleshooting over the phone.

If I still cant figure it out ill do that

90% of the time it is either the wire from the unit to the antenna(which can be checked for continuity with a DMM) or what is more common the antennas themselves take a dump...there was a bulletin issued by lowrance on the importance of the direction of the connectors between the unit and the antenna as it is very easy to plug them together incorrectly and if done incorrectly it will screw up the antenna...
The real problem is unless you have a buddy who is willing to lend you his antenna you are pretty much forced into buying a new one just to test, not really a bad thing as it is nice to have a spare but it is not cheap, ~$180.00 I think
good luck

Ok thank you, Ill check for continuity today..

But now that you mention how important the connection is I bet the antenna is trash :( because in the fire it melted the wire
 

sweetdevil

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Spend a lot less time on the phone calling PCI... :)

1st thing to check is that the power cable has two leads that are connected to power and ground. The fat one powers the GPS screen, the smaller one actually powers the antenna through the GPS. If that is all connected properly, you need to make sure there is an ohm's terminator somewhere in between the GPS and the antenna itself. The 540c came with two different ways to hook this up. Older ones had a T connector that connected the GPS to the antenna, and the third port has an ohm's terminator in it. (will say 120 on the plastic piece.) The newer ones had a 15' extension cable with the terminator built in and it will say 120 in black plastic on the end of it. This does away with the T connector piece.

If that is all hooked up properly, then the antenna probably is bad. We can test it for you at a race, or you can send it into us to test for you too.
 

Matt D

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Spend a lot less time on the phone calling PCI... :)

1st thing to check is that the power cable has two leads that are connected to power and ground. The fat one powers the GPS screen, the smaller one actually powers the antenna through the GPS. If that is all connected properly, you need to make sure there is an ohm's terminator somewhere in between the GPS and the antenna itself. The 540c came with two different ways to hook this up. Older ones had a T connector that connected the GPS to the antenna, and the third port has an ohm's terminator in it. (will say 120 on the plastic piece.) The newer ones had a 15' extension cable with the terminator built in and it will say 120 in black plastic on the end of it. This does away with the T connector piece.

If that is all hooked up properly, then the antenna probably is bad. We can test it for you at a race, or you can send it into us to test for you too.


I was going to call at lunch but I got distracted haha..

Is the "T" connector absolutely necessary? I dont have one, maybe that is my problem
 

sweetdevil

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The T connector is not, but the ohm's terminator is.

The only way around not having a T connector, is the 15' extension cable with the ohms terminator built in. You can tell if yours has this by looking at the end of the cable for a "120" in the black plastic.
 

sweetdevil

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Here is what to look for on the end of the cable. If it's not there, you need the T connector. If you dont have those parts, you are better off just buying this 15' cable with the terminator built in.
 

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Matt D

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The T connector is not, but the ohm's terminator is.

The only way around not having a T connector, is the 15' extension cable with the ohms terminator built in. You can tell if yours has this by looking at the end of the cable for a "120" in the black plastic.

Ok thanks, I dont have the ohms terminator and the cable was melted in the fire so I dont know if it was the 15' extension. So I will pick up one of the two soon.

Do you think it is worth trying to fix this antenna? I dont know if anything possibly shorted out in the fire.

(sorry for being such a pain hah)
 

Tipracer

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If I still cant figure it out ill do that



Ok thank you, Ill check for continuity today..

But now that you mention how important the connection is I bet the antenna is trash :( because in the fire it melted the wire

HMM, let me think..j/k
if the wire melted it did not neccesarilly wreck the antenna , but the likelyhood is high...good luck, call PCI(second pitch for PCI in one day...)
As far as I know the antennas are sealed and have no user servicable parts inside...when they go it is electronics related...
 

sweetdevil

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Oh, if the antenna wire melted and it doesn't have an end on it, then no, it won't work, but it sounds like you were able to connect it somehow??

Is it more than a year old? Lowrance may warranty it! They are really great about that! It's worth a shot if the antenna itself or the cable that is PART of the antenna is fried. If it was the cables between the antenna and the GPS, then you can just replace those for much cheaper.
 

Matt D

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HMM, let me think..j/k
if the wire melted it did not neccesarilly wreck the antenna , but the likelyhood is high...good luck, call PCI(second pitch for PCI in one day...)
As far as I know the antennas are sealed and have no user servicable parts inside...when they go it is electronics related...

Yeah I know I should call PCI and I normally go to them for anything I need but im on an extremely tight budget (witch is why I bought a gps that has caught on fire haha)

Oh, if the antenna wire melted and it doesn't have an end on it, then no, it won't work, but it sounds like you were able to connect it somehow??

Is it more than a year old? Lowrance may warranty it! They are really great about that! It's worth a shot if the antenna itself or the cable that is PART of the antenna is fried. If it was the cables between the antenna and the GPS, then you can just replace those for much cheaper.

Yeah I just did a little wiring, see photos. But ok if the ohms terminator doesnt work ill call Lowrance and see if they can do anything about it
 

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sweetdevil

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What you did will work, but you need a 120 ohm terminator in there somehow... If the antenna is fried it's not worth the effort, and since those units need power, if you reverse polaritize them at all it fries the antenna. This could be from a short in the wires caused by the fire. I may have an old, bad antenna I can cut the antenna end off of, and you can buy a 15' ohm terminator cable, see if the antenna works. If the antenna is still bad, you can buy just the antenna for $185.
 

Matt D

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What you did will work, but you need a 120 ohm terminator in there somehow... If the antenna is fried it's not worth the effort, and since those units need power, if you reverse polaritize them at all it fries the antenna. This could be from a short in the wires caused by the fire. I may have an old, bad antenna I can cut the antenna end off of, and you can buy a 15' ohm terminator cable, see if the antenna works. If the antenna is still bad, you can buy just the antenna for $185.

Thank you for the explanation!

Im going to kartek later for some other stuff for the bug so ill pick up a ohm terminator cable and if that doesnt work ill just buy a new antenna from PCI Race Radios


Thanks for the help!
 
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