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Satellite Reception Problems


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it seems after reading recent post lots of readers are having bird problems, locking onto satellites. recently I thought it was my new explorist unit but it may not be ,but tracking satellites.


who's having trouble recently.?


any website we can check the status of the satellites?

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Last Sunday, the best i could get in one area was an accuracy of 35'. ;)


I placed a cache anyway and apologized if the coords were off.


Tuesday the weather was clearer, but I still couldn't get better accuracy than about 19'.


A couple of months ago when I was out in Joshua Tree National Monument, I got an accuracy reading of 7'. :D

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It's interesting you brought this up. Just this morning I was out birding and was easily locking on to 11 satellites (explorist 200).


Only two hours later, around 12:30 p.m. (CDT) I went back out and was having trouble getting even four satellites. At times it would drop back to 3, go back to a 2D fix, then back up.


I, too, was wondering if there was something up with the satellites. Perhaps sunspot activity?


This evening I went back out to the same area and easily locked on to 9 sats.



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There are times when my Merigold thinks it is a stereo equalizer, and the signal bars rapidly fluctuate, even after it has been on for several hours. It can happen at any time, but most often as dusk approaches. But that my just be my perception since I usually cache more in that time period. Doesn't sun spot activity increase in the spring and fall -- could that be a factor?

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What type of explorist are you using. I just ordered the 200 and I hope I didn't make a mistake.

I have the 200. Don't worry...I usually have fantastic reception and I'm used to very often having accuracy in the 10' range, often 7'. No, this was definitely an anomaly.


I can't say enough good things about the ex200. Sure, it doesn't have a pc connection, but that has not been an issue with me. I would buy another one in a heartbeat.

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sunspots didn't even think of that one. i've had similiar problems 1 minute no satellites a while later all the birds work fine.


I read everyone else's post alot were in the garmin and had bird problems so I said what the heck and create topic for it. for better tracking.

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I've had this happen on some occasions. Sometimes it's weakening batteries, sometimes it's the inability of the unit to "see" the birds on the horizon, and sometimes, I'm convinced that aliens are messing with me (like when the unit said that I was not only 350 miles from my actual location but moving NE at 35 mph as well...)


There was a stretch about a month ago when my accuracy ranged from 50-300 ft for over a week - had to send it to Magellan for a repair. Their phone reps didn't seem to know what they were talking about, but they fixed it for free and threw in some extras when they shipped it back.

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Whatever issues were around earlier this week, they seem gone now (and thanks to Redthorne, who recommended visiting spaceweather.com I even had them bookmarked, but didn't think to check them). Presently, I'm in my computer room, on the 2nd floor of a concrete block building, with a slate roof, 12' away from a north-facing window (bedroom-window-sized) in northern Minnesota and I have locks on 8 satellites (strong on 4). GPS: explorist 200. I really do wonder if solar activity played a part the last few days.

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There are just certain times of day in certain areas that the satelites are not as high in the sky as other times. In the Chicago area here I seem to notice a 'window' of rather poor availability from very late AM to early PM. During those couple hours I usually get minimum sats. I usually take that into consideration now when caching around midday.


There was an interesting program from Leica I think called Satellite Availability I believe. It was a bit difficult to use at first but if setup correctly and current data you could see in advance what the weaker and better times of day will be for sats.


Occasionally if we had a problem with a cache or two back to back I'd run the program and it would usually correlate with a time of minimum sat availabilty for the day. Hi tech excuse making I guess.



Heres the link


Satellite Availabilty


You need both the program and the current almanac.

Edited by maleki
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