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satellites & windshield


USAdian
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Strange thing. I never had this in my Isuzu. I just purchased a 2000 Pontiac Montana minivan and my Garmin GPS III won't pick up any satellites when mounted on the dash (with a large windshield, mind you, for supposedly excellent reception). When I bring the GPS outside of the van, it starts picking up sats like usual. Anyone else have this strange problem? I do see a factory windshield mounted radio antenna (I think that's what it is). Don't see how that could have anything to do with it. I do have a remote antenna I can hook up but I don't want to have to do that since I have such a large windshield.

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Strange thing. I never had this in my Isuzu. I just purchased a 2000 Pontiac Montana minivan and my Garmin GPS III won't pick up any satellites when mounted on the dash (with a large windshield, mind you, for supposedly excellent reception). When I bring the GPS outside of the van, it starts picking up sats like usual. Anyone else have this strange problem? I do see a factory windshield mounted radio antenna (I think that's what it is). Don't see how that could have anything to do with it. I do have a remote antenna I can hook up but I don't want to have to do that since I have such a large windshield.

 

I'll bet your new windshield is impregnated or coated with something that is blocking the signal. Some vehicles also have problems with the "EZPass" method of road toll payment and require an outside unit. You might want to check with your dealer and see what they can tell you.

 

Rick

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Strange thing. I never had this in my Isuzu. I just purchased a 2000 Pontiac Montana minivan and my Garmin GPS III won't pick up any satellites when mounted on the dash (with a large windshield, mind you, for supposedly excellent reception). When I bring the GPS outside of the van, it starts picking up sats like usual. Anyone else have this strange problem? I do see a factory windshield mounted radio antenna (I think that's what it is). Don't see how that could have anything to do with it. I do have a remote antenna I can hook up but I don't want to have to do that since I have such a large windshield.

Does it have after-market tinting (film)? Some tinting film is also metalized.

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There are basically two solutions to your problem (if buying a new car isn't):

- buy an external GPS antenna and connect that to your GPSr if it has a connector.

- buy a GPS signal retransmitter that has an external antenna and retransmitts the signal inside the car

 

The latter has the benefit to work with more than one GPS in the car.

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Yes, many cars now have heated windshields which can prevent satisfactory reception. An external antenna is almost mandatory in such case. If your GPS has an antenna port, it's as simple as using an external roof mount antenna. If you GPS doesn't, a re-radiating antenna will help. Re-radiating antennas consists of 2 components, a roof mount receiving antenna and an internal transmitting antenna.

Receiving antenna has internal signal amplifier so requires power. Most often they plug into a 12v power source though I've seen a few that are battery powered. The amplified signal is transferred by a cable to the transmitting antenna inside the vehicle which "radiates" the signal to the antenna of GPS. Even in vehicles without the windshield in question, because it's an amplified antenna, one can be used to increase overall signal strength. :D

Edited by Walt_Felix
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Great replies. I do have an external antenna. I may try to find that "sweet spot" near the rear view mirror and mount it there. There's a good chance the windshield will some time be damaged due to our 2 days of travel on gravel road to get out of Labrador each time. I suppose when it comes time for windshield replacement, I could make sure there is no metal in the glass.

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I had heard that some windshields block satellite reception, so when it came time for me to get a new car last winter I took my GPSr with me. The first "test" the prospective vehicle had to pass was the satellite reception test. :D

 

I know - not much help to csonni, but if someone out there is in the market for a new car - take the GPSr with you when you're shopping.

 

cjf

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