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  • Magellan GPS – Questions, Tips and Help

    Home Forums Outside the box Magellan GPS – Questions, Tips and Help

    This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

    • Author
    • #1903248 Reply


      I want to start a Magellan GPS forum here at Woody’s. Hearing that the admins do not like people re-posting an article from elsewhere, I have the below links to articles posted as a courtesy.

      My desire is to have people helping one another with Magellan GPS products like we do in the computer sections of Woody’s.

      Magellan 3250 Screen Replacement & Repairs

      Magellan 3250 Maintenance Options

      Magellan 3250 has trouble locking onto satellites after Suspend

      Thank you.

      Moderator note: Moved Topic to “Outside the Box” a forum for non-Windows subjects.

    • #1918407 Reply


      Hello, I have a little more information on the “Magellan 3250 has trouble locking onto satellites after Suspend” problem.

      The problem is Magellan will usually not get satellites upon a short term off (suspend) period. If one holds the off button down for 5 seconds, it turns it off. Turn it back on and it will find satellites within 30 seconds and lock on.

      I have noticed if the list in the satellites acquired screen is short then there is a 99% chance it will not get a satellite lock. If the satellite list has 10, definitely 11 or 12 (full list) then it will get a satellite, then lock on within seconds. I have noticed if the Magellan is in this suspend mode as the car is off, for overnight, the next day it will get a satellite lock just fine.

      The problem is more the short term off cycle. Off for a minute, 15, or an hour, then back in the car and nope, no satellites locked on. Turn off, then back on, its fixed.

      I have had some people say maybe it is the satellites have moved on. Nope, it can have 9 satellites locked on (green) and see 11 total. Turn off the car (suspend mode), restart in a minute or two and Magellan is lost. If it has a short list just “reboot” and save time. We have driven 20 minutes, stopping at stop lights, and still no satellite lock. Reboot the Magellan and its back to normal again.

      Thanks to anyone with an idea.

      • #1918468 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        Has anyone called the manufacturer?
        Lifted from here:

        If troubleshooting doesn’t fix your Magellan GPS device, contact the company’s technical support line toll-free at 800-707-9971. Technicians are available Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST/PDT.

        • #1918569 Reply


          Thank you for your answer it is appreciated. NOPE, I have not called nor expect to call Magellan support.

          1) this 3250 is a 12 year old device and no-one is going to support it at the manufacturing level today.
          2) have you seen some of the comments people have made of the lack of knowledge the support people have reading from script and then saying send it in?

          I have more faith in Woody users having a reasonable suggestion than “manufacturing support” would today.

          Thank you again.

    • #1919666 Reply


      Hi anonymous, I am not familiar with the product so I have never experienced the problem. But I think your comment 1918407 contains the clue. “Turn off, then back on, its fixed.”

      This reads as a user error in not powering down the device in the proper manner. Remember twelve years ago was the first iPhone, technology has really changed since then. Even Windows today will give errors if you cut power without initiating a proper shutdown sequence. Shutting off the car by stopping the engine without first turning off the Magellan could give a similar difficulty.

      Test by first operating normally. Then when you park, before turning the key or pushing the OFF button of your vehicle, turn off the Magellan 3250. When it indicates an “off” condition, then stop the vehicle engine as normal.

      If your car also shuts down in idle conditions like a long red light, remember that also was not a feature for most drivers twelve years ago.

      Please post back if this test gave better service, also post if it did not help.

      • #1919683 Reply


        Hello Anonymous #1919666 and thank you for your ideas.

        The Magellan 3250 has a “suspend mode” that it went into when power was cut from the unit. In other words it knew the car was turned off and turned itself off (suspend) accordingly. This was never an issue until recently, lets say this year 2019. (We did read where there was a “Y2K” bug in the satellites this year from poor programming. “That’s 20 years from now (2000) no one will know…”)

        GPS Rollover is today. Here’s why devices might get wacky

        GPS Rollover is today. Here’s why devices might get wacky

        I don’t think ours suffered from that but it is a recent new problem. Today I had some good results with the Magellan, having less than 10 satellites seen and once out in the open it found the satellites, locked on and I had 5 or 6 in 60 seconds. THAT is the way it use to work.

        I will try your suggestion of turning it off first, then shut off the car to see if any difference happens.

        Thank you again.

        • #1921384 Reply


          Cutting power supplied to the logic board would create unpredictable results. A suspend mode as you describe would require a small power source to complete the action before suspending then a smaller demand to hold the information state while suspended. I suspect there is an internal battery that has aged very well, but is now more recently showing a weakness. Like the CMOS battery for a laptop.

          Is there documentation that gives direction to replace a “backup” battery? Or is this device completely powered internally, by alkaline or other standard battery designs? I had imagined the unit plugged into the 12V DC outlet, or cigar lighter.

          • #1921411 Reply


            Anonymous #1921384 that is a very good idea! I do know that some of the older Magellans of the 1990’s did have an internal battery to keep data, separate from the main battery.

            I changed the battery back last year, and had to swap the touch screens with another “parts” Magellan recently. I did not see any small battery (like a CMOS) inside when I was inside, but I also was not *looking* for any either. However, I do believe if I had seen something like a CMOS it would had caught my eye.

            That was a very good suggestion. If by chance I ever do have to go back inside that Magellan, I will make a special note to specifically look for anything that could possibly be a CMOS battery setup.

            Thank you.

    • #1926636 Reply


      Update to the satellite acquisition problem.

      The problem is more the short term off cycle. Off for a minute, 15, or an hour, then back in the car and no satellites locked on. Turn off, then back on (reboot), its fixed.

      I am noticing if the Magellan is in suspend for over 3 hours, it seems to be able to get a lock on. If it is less than that, it will usually fail. These hours off (suspend) are approximate. This is an ongoing evaluation of a problem.

      I also have noticed that certain satellites must have the data Magellan needs. The satellites have a Pseudo number, so they say, and it appears numbers; 10, 12, 13, 20, 22, 25, 29 and 51 have the data Magellan wants. Satellites 05, 11, 14, 15, 24, 27, 32 may not. Just today satellites; 05, 10, 15, 24 struggled for 15 minutes “talking” to Magellan and never locked on.

      Therefore I was curious if anyone knows, are some satellites having issues or have bad data that Magellan can not benefit from, so it fails?

      There is the programming error called the satellites Y2K problem that happened in April of 2019. This was supposed to be a time/date issue. I do not think our Magellan 3250 has an issue with that but it is strange that it can see the satellite, have a “long discussion” with its orange bar displayed, and never get a lock (green bar). Is there a type of handshake similar to a modem connection that data is exchanged and if it is corrupt or wrong, it is ignored?

      Some very good ideas have been offered here. Is anyone out there a GPS satellite communications expert?

      Thanks again.

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