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  #1  
Old 08-09-2012, 08:24 PM
butch50 butch50 is offline
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Factory installed Nav system

i have a question about the factory installed nav system. I bought a slidein truck camper in TX so we drove there a little over 600 miles to pick it up. We loaded it and and I had problems with my Sirius which I expected because of the cab over portion covering the antenna. So on the way home we got intermitten signal on the Sirius but the GPS worked fine all the way home (which we took a week to do). So after this I had an external Sirius radio antenna installed on the front of the truck. All was working great till today. We took the truck and camper for a drive and on the built in GPS I got a "No GPS" square on the screen and it did not have any real idea where we were as we were heading south. When we drove north this morning it started the NO GPS but it still knew where we were and told us directions almost all the way to our destination.

Now I think the antenna for the GPS is the black puck right in the center on the dash near the front window. The overhead does not block this so I'm suspect that my GPS took a dump. The book on it states not to tint the windows nor have things on the dash so that is another reason I believe that is the antenna.

Does anyone have any ideas what the problem might be or how I can go about trouble shooting it? I really would like to try to fix myself as I know if I take it to Ford I'll have to remove the camper.

I also run a Garmin 1490T in the truck and with it stuck on the front window on the driver side has no problem with picking up satellites.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2012, 06:17 AM
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Depending on where you are and at what time of day, I can see this occurring based on the way the Sirius satellites orbit. Honestly, Sirius's satellites were far more prone to cutting out than XM's ever were. Years ago when I had XM, it never cut out when going under overpasses. My parents had Sirius at the time, and it was always cutting out, every mile at every overpass (this is when I lived in Phx). Thankfully at least the Sat antenna on our trucks takes advantage of the terrestial repeaters or I bet they'd be cutting out alot more.

I'm not sure exactly where the gps antenna is, and given how great they are anymore with obtaining signal, I suspect you're correct about the antenna. I went on Fordparts.com and checked out the diagram and it looks like they have one diagram where the antenna that's on the drivers side of the roof listed as the gps antenna and another image with the antenna mounted on a clip under the dash, so I'm unsure which one's which.

The gps plugs into the back of the nav unit which is easy to get out. You could just chase the wire from the nav unit to the antenna. I would question the dealer about which part you need so you get the right one, then go online and find it. I've been getting my OEM parts from Tousleyfordparts.com. They have everything reasonably priced and quick shipping.
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2012, 07:36 AM
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First, check out what it does for the next few days. Did you disconnect the battery or run it down flat at any point just before this "no GPS" thing? Reason being, I've noticed that some GPS units, when they lose their time setting, they lose their minds. It can take a while before they get back to knowing exactly where they are. GPS satellites transmit the current time, and the difference between each GPS satellite's time is used to figure out your location (even light speed has a delay to it). The GPS unit uses it's internal time to compare with the GPS satellites. If it's internal time is too far off, it'll take a while before it figures it all out again. The current time zone has to be set correctly, and I'm not sure how it figures that out if it doesn't have a setting for it.

I was once driving in Upstate NY, down a highway I had already come up the day before. My Magellan GPS was telling me I was about 1/4 mile off the highway versus the track from the day before. It righted itself when I got off that highway. Go figure.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2012, 08:44 AM
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I don't think the little dome in the middle of the dash is for the GPS. I have that on mine and don't have the NAV system on my truck. I do know it is for the auto headlights. I think that is why they tell you not to tint the widows.
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2012, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

2000silverbullet,

I well be taking it to the dealer as it is all under warranty so I guess they can figure it out. My Sirius is working great now with the external antenna no more drop outs. It was only after I put my slide in camper on the truck that the cabover covered the antenna on the drivers side next to the clearance light. I have taking care of that. I'm suprised that you found XM better than Sirius. My wife's Toyota Highlander has XM and it is continually losing signal and we can go through the same places with the pickup and our MX5 Miata both with Sirius and they both pickup fine.

Krewat,

No my battery has been up and it worked when we first left home and we were going for a 200 mile drive and about 30 miles into it is where it started to flake out but it still had some idea of where we were at but we ended up when we were comeing home we were heading south and the GPS showed us heading north cross county. Where I park the truck it is heading south so I'm going to see what it does this morning.

I have never had a time when my Garmin was off track. Before I retired I used it on the projects that I was on where I was going into the woods on trails that in some cases hadn't been used in quite some time. I used Terrian Navigator to find these little used roads and downloaded the routes into the Garmin and then away I went and would spend all day out in the brush. I would send a copy of my route to my boss in case I never made it back out so he would know where to come alooking for me or to retrieve my body. The Garmin never let me down. If I ever buy another new truck I won't get it with the built in Nav sustem. My wife talked me into it this time as she has had them in a number of her cars but she stays on road with her cars all of the time so they are fine there most of the time. I would rather have a new Garmin and replace it a couple of times with updated ones. Plus I can build routes on my computer maps software and download it to the Garmin then put it in my truck. Some of the best after market (and not to expensive about $99 per state but if you need detailed topo and trails it is great and the company bought most of mine) maps I have found are the Terrian Navigator. You get each state and they have some good detail in them for off road travel.

Thanks again for the help guys.

Butch
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2012, 09:48 AM
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My xm/sirius comment above was probably around 10 years ago when I had xm. I moved over to Sirius about 6/7 years ago and have been pretty happy with it since (although the sound quality's questionable).

I don't know why they'd require you to take your camper off if you took it to the dealer. I'd just show up with it on and let them fix it in the parking lot. They have enough software tools at their disposal that'll pinpoint if it is the antenna that's crapping out.

Keep us posted.
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2012, 10:02 AM
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Well I got it figured out. I got a few minutes to run out to the truck and I disconnected the external antenna and plugged in the factory antenna that comes from the roof and guess what, my Nav is working again. So both Sirrius and GPS appear to use the same antenna.

Now I know how it works but this is not going to help me getting my Sirius and Nav working with the camper on the truck. I don''t know if I'm going to find a way to make it work, I may have to be without one or the other while the camper is on the truck.

So do you folks have any suggestions what I can do to make this silly thing work.
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2012, 10:21 AM
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I don't see how they're using the same antenna, everything I've been reading points to the gps antenna being UNDER the dash towards the windshield (up and to the left of the nav unit). I haven't had issues with either antenna so I could very well be wrong as I haven't researched them enough until now.

If they are sharing the same antenna, I saw on a wiring diagram that the antenna that's on the roof can be bought separately, you would just need to see if you can somehow extend the wires to the top of your camper without degrading the signal.

Or sell the cab over and get a trailer. Sorry, couldn't resist.

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  #9  
Old 08-10-2012, 10:25 AM
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I just remembered there's a system test you can do with the nav unit that'll show you tons of information (gps connection, sat's found, etc). Let me see if I can dig that up.

I think you hold the 3 and 6 key down on the nav unit, then turn the truck on. A speaker test will immediately start and I think you can skip it by hitting a button on the bottom of the screen.

Let me find the thread.

EDIT - Hold down the 3 and 6 buttons and it'll enter the test mode. You can cancel out of the speaker test when it starts. More info here: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/10...av-screen.html
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butch50 View Post
Well I got it figured out. I got a few minutes to run out to the truck and I disconnected the external antenna and plugged in the factory antenna that comes from the roof and guess what, my Nav is working again. So both Sirrius and GPS appear to use the same antenna.

Now I know how it works but this is not going to help me getting my Sirius and Nav working with the camper on the truck. I don''t know if I'm going to find a way to make it work, I may have to be without one or the other while the camper is on the truck.

So do you folks have any suggestions what I can do to make this silly thing work.
I figured this to be the case. Most vehicle now days utilize a single antenna for both radio and gps. I wonder how the antenna connects to the back of the nav receiver...if it has 2 inputs (1 nav/1 sirius) or if it utilizes 1 input.

If its 2 inputs, you could just run the sirius antenna straight to the back of the receiver...might need an adapter to fit particular connect.

If it is only 1 input, you could possibly try and get a second factory satellite antenna and place it in an ideal location on your truck...leaving the original antenna unused. The original antenna is likely permanently fixed to the truck, so moving it would probably leave an open hole on the roof.

I know when using my portable sirius radio unit, I have no reception issues when placing the antenna on the dash against the windshield. That would likely be an ideal place for a second factory antenna...not having to put holes in the truck for external mounting.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000silverbullet View Post
Or sell the cab over and get a trailer. Sorry, couldn't resist.

I have no problem with my Sirius while pulling the trailer, just sayin.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:43 PM
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All right you guys a TT is not an option to me I just traded in my 5er for the new truck camper. When I had my 5er I couldn't pull my trailer to carry toys. I need to be able to tow my AVT and my Harley Trike so we can go play. Either in the woods (ATV) or go to special places to ride the trike.

2000silverbullet,

Thanks for the link on using the Nav unit for diagnotics.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:51 PM
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RAPR,

That is what I think I'll have to do. I think I could mount it right next to the cowl and make a bracket that well mount inside on the firewall. I would have to make sure the hood missed it when I open it. I am going to check with Ford to see how much a new factory antenna is going to cost. I can't take the one off the roof as it would leave a hole there.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:56 PM
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I would just try seeing if putting the antenna on the front dash with velcro would work first, before going through all the trouble or running wire through the firewall.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RAPR View Post
I would just try seeing if putting the antenna on the front dash with velcro would work first, before going through all the trouble or running wire through the firewall.
I already have a small slit I put in one of the rubbers on the firewall so that other wire would go through the same slot. I just went to Ford and spent $140.00 for a new antenna and the wiring harness. I have seen the pictures of another factory one someone mounted and it is just on the plastic to the left of the driver side wiper. So next wednesday afternoon I should have my new antenna and I can wait till I get a moment to install it and I'll report back here.

I was looking at the parts with the part fella and there are 2 inputs into the back of the radio. They come out of a splitter and then into one wire that goes over to the drivers side. So I probably could have pulled the radio and and taken the feed from the GPS and ran it directly to the roof mounted antenna. But if I do something like that it I'm sure they would do away with the factory radio warranty.

I would rather run another antenna than pull the radio right now. I know if I put the lockpic in I'll have to pull it then but I'll wait till then.

The Ford parts guy is getting a kick out of me as I was just in there and ordered the harness for the rear camera that is in the tailgate so I can put a camera on the back of the camper to watch behind. I think my next purchase is going to be the lockpic so I can use the camera anytime and not just in reverse.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:30 PM
 
 
 
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