Garmin Working On Fix For Older Flybuddy Models

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Garmin Model 819 and Model 820 Flybuddy GPS units "stopped working" on or about Aug. 16, according to e-mails received by AVweb from users of those products. Thursday, AVweb contacted Garmin for comment and Friday, Garmin responded with Service Advisory No. 0835 (PDF), which clearly states that the affected units "cannot recover normal operation on their own." Applicable to all Flybuddy GPS Model 2001/2101 GPS owners, Garmin's service advisory differentiates affected models by sensor, stating that "model 2001/2101 Systems with TSO-C129 GPS sensors are not affected." The affected units use GPS sensors purchased from a third-party supplier and Garmin is working with that supplier toward a solution. Garmin hopes to have "a reasonably priced upgrade program" in place as soon as possible.

Garmin's description of the problem states that almanac data stored in the third-party receivers "has reached the end of the programmed GPS week," and that "this has resulted in an interruption of service or degradation of the operation of these legacy Garmin AT products." Affected products may show incorrect dates, fail to provide a fix or provide a 2-D fix only, or offer only brief periods of 3-D fix -- or any combination of those symptoms. "Some units may show the incorrect date but appear to operate normally otherwise," according to Garmin.