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Old 04-06-2019, 11:14 PM   #1
Trail Boss
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Do you have an *old* GPS receiver?

Do you have an old model of GPS receiver, possibly sitting in a drawer, waiting to be used on your next trip? You may be in a for a little surprise.

On April 6th, GPS clocks came to an end of the current 'epoch', namely a period of time since August 21, 1999. What happens now? New and old GPS receivers will start a new epoch. However, some older models of GPS receivers may 'rollover' and start the new epoch using the previous epoch's date: August 21, 1999. As far as your old GPS is concerned, you can now party like it's 1999.

I turned on my circa 2008 Garmin Rino 530 HCx (same generation as the 60 CSx) and, for a fleeting moment it displayed today's date, then it displayed August 21, 1999.

To fix it, I installed a software update.
  • Go to Garmin's Support page: https://support.garmin.com/en-US/
  • Enter your GPS model and let it search for it.
  • You'll be presented with the Support page for your GPS receiver.
  • Click 'Software'.
  • You'll need to download installer software. New models use Garmin Express whereas old models, like the 530 HCx, use Garmin WebUpdater.
  • Download and install Garmin WebUpdater.
  • Connect your (powered) GPS receiver to your PC via its USB cable.
  • Run Garmin WebUpdater.
  • In my case, it claimed my device already had the latest available software.
  • However, if you continue it will indicate there is a 'GPS Update' available.
  • Select it and allow it to install the update.
  • When done, the GPS receiver will restart.
  • Initially there will be no date. Give it time to establish a connection with the GPS satellite constellation and 'do its thing'.
  • Some time later, your GPS receiver will have the correct date again.

If you're interested to learn more about the epoch renewal, here's a helpful article: GPS rollover event could have some side-effects.
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