The Garmin basic etrex displays very little status information on its satellite screen.
Only 4 satellites are shown and they are not displayed with any geometric information.
(Note that some of the data in this chapter assumes a general understanding of how a gps works.
Given this data the only thing it needs in order to calculate a fix is the precise location of 3 (for a 2D fix) or 4 satellites (for a 3D fix).
The data it needs is called ephemeris data and it is transmitted every 30 seconds by each satellite in the constellation.
Obtaining your first fix is sometimes referred to as initializing your receiver.
There are several methods of initializing a receiver from seeding it with information (called EZinit by Garmin) to fully automatic self initialization using auto-locate.