How to Fix a Lowrance iFinder That Won't Lock


Lowrance iFinder satellite navigation systems require a clear view of the sky to operate optimally. This device features a 3-inch display with a 240-by-180 pixel resolution. Mapping memory is up to 512 MB on one memory card. Usually, if the device won't lock on to satellites, it's because the line of sight is blocked. Unblocking can be accomplished through positioning and installation of an external antenna.

Things You'll Need

  • Lowrance iFinder FA8 or RAA 3 Antenna
  • Automobile-grade double-sided tape
  • Remove the iFinder device from the vehicle and walk out to an open space like a field or park and try to get the satellite navigator to lock on to a satellite. If the device locks on, the problem your encountered is with the in-vehicle installation --- the view is restricted to what satellites can be seen through the windows. Even if the Lowrance locks on in the vehicle, there's a good chance it will loose the signal periodically without the external antenna.

  • Plug the external antenna into the iFinder's antenna socket on the back. It's in the upper left corner. If you're using the passive FA8 antenna, press "Menu" and choose "Ext. Passive Ant." Then select "Ent." to turn the antenna on. If you're using the more powerful RAA 3, you can skip this step because the RAA 3 switches between internal and external antenna automatically.

  • Place the external antenna on the top of the dash at the base of the windshield and try the fix again. The iFinder should now lock on to the satellites. If it doesn't, make sure you're not in an underground parking garage, deep forest or canyon. Move to a better location and try the fix again.

  • Stick the antenna down to the position top of the dash with the tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't forget to turn the passive antenna off in the iFinder's menu when you go back to the internal antenna, say on exiting the vehicle.

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