UPDATE: Is your older GPS device about to go bonkers? Statement from Garmin

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Did you see our post last Saturday asking if you own any GPS devices or equipment that relies on GPS to function? Some of them may be affected by the GPS Week Number Rollover issue — a sort of mini Y2K Bug for GPS receivers that will occur in April.

Veteran RVer and RV tire expert (not to mention tech savvy) Roger Marble located this article from Garmin explaining the Week Number Rollover issue and whether this Bug would affect their GPS units:

Garmin GPS Week Number Rollover Statement

What is the GPS Week Number Rollover (WNRO)?
The GPS system is world renowned for its ability to provide accurate and reliable positioning and timing information worldwide. The GPS satellites transmit to users the date and time accurate to nanoseconds. However, back in 1980, when the GPS system first began to keep track of time, the date and time was represented by a counter that could only count forward to a maximum of 1024 weeks, or about 19.7 years. After 1024 weeks had elapsed, this counter “rolled over” to zero, and GPS time started counting forward again. This first rollover occurred in August of 1999. The second rollover will occur on April 6, 2019. [Emphasis added.]

What is the Effect of a GPS Week Number Rollover Issue?
For GPS devices that are affected, after the rollover occurs, an incorrect date and time will be displayed. This incorrect time will also be used to timestamp track logs, compute sunrise and sunset, and other functions that rely upon the correct date and time. However, the positioning accuracy will not be affected. The device will continue to deliver the same positioning performance as before the rollover.

Is My Device Affected?
For many years, Garmin has anticipated and prepared for this event. Regardless, Garmin has been performing exhaustive testing of current and legacy devices to determine if they will be affected by the GPS week number rollover. Our testing shows the vast majority of Garmin GPS devices will handle the WNRO without issues.

Roger adds: Looks like not much to worry about unless you use a GPS as your timepiece.


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John
John

Does that mean we should hoard cash, water, food like Y2K?

Jeff
Jeff

This is why it is important to have a GOOD ATLAS in your RV and BE ABLE TO READ and Understand it. Don’t depend solely on a GPS to get you to your destination. Believe me, A GPS will get you lost!

The BEST Road Atlas to have is the Over The Road Truck Drivers Atlas, published by Rand McNally!

Mike Sokol

That’s a great recommendation. When I’m traveling cross-country to teach seminars I always have my Garmin GPS, WAYZ app on my phone, and a Rand McNally road atlas. I’ll also print out a cut sheet of where I’ll be teaching, staying overnight, and all contact information I could possibly need. Oftentimes when the weather gets crazy, I just pull into a truck stop and confer with the atlas for alternate routes. I find it much easier to get the lay of the land from a large printed map compared to looking on a cell phone or GPS screen.