XM Outage Darkens Garmin Weatherlink

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Owners of Garmin weatherlink-capable portable navigators found themselves flying blind over the weekend because of an as-yet-to-be diagnosed technical fault that may be days away from a solution. Spokespersons for both Garmin and WxWorx, which massages the weather data for delivery through the XM Radio system, told AVweb on Monday morning that no one seems to know why the failure occurred or when it will be fixed. Evidently, the failure affects only some GPSmap396, 496 and 696 models, but not the panel-mounted G1000 system. Also, Garmin's marine portables, which receive marine-related weather datalink, are similarly unaffected. One possible fix, says Garmin, is to refresh the XM receiver, which you can do by typing www.xmradio/refresh into a Web browser and then entering your receiver code. (It's on the back of the puck-type Smart Antennas.) Make sure the antenna has a view of the sky for at least 30 minutes. Garmin says it doesn't expect a solution before the middle of this week.