Garmin GPS reliability

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Hi there - Im brand new here but been tramping for 25 years or so. Have a question about Garmin GPS. I bought a Garmin Legend yellow GPS with colour screen about 10 years ago from a commercial NZ seller, he is a really good guy. Soon after receiving it, the unit started shutting off by itself at the worst (or totally random) times. Sent it back, the seller sent it back to Garmin - he then returns it to me. Shortly after, it starts doing it again. I send it back to the seller, he updates the firmware. The unit works fine. I keep it for a few more years then sell. About 3 years ago I buy a Garmin etrex 30 from the same seller - NZ maps are built in. This unit is also brand new. After a couple of weeks use - once again - the unit starts shutting off randomly, or not turning on at all from off. I return it to the seller - pretty annoyed its happened to me twice. He sends the unit back to Garmin. They replace it with a brand new unit, which I get a couple of weeks later. No issues with this new unit until recently (about 2 and a bit years later) and then guess what - it has randomly shut down or rebooted itself at least three times that I have seen (I have seen it rebooting) when I pull it out to check it when Im on the trail. Am I so cursed that I have had 3 Garmin units have the same problem? I use nimh batteries - I havent checked the unit battery setting - but if this was set to alkaline batteries, would it cause this? Could updating the firmware (I have never connected this unit to a computer - can I do this on a Mac?) fix this? Has anyone else had these issues with Garmin units? I would switch to another brand but I think that otherwise, Garmin is the shizzle.
It's not helpful but I'm on my second Garmin unit (first eTrex Vista, then eTrex 30), and have never experienced anything like you describe. The main problem I've had has been the water seal not lasting around the back, but even then long past warranty.
Here's someone from 2 months back on their 4th eTrex Vista, 3 of which have seen random crashing. No answers, though. Maybe you could ask if they got a better explanation once they took the 4th one back.
I currently have an etrex 30x. I had a Colorado previously and it occasionally rebooted itself but would also lock up - couldn't reset or power off - had to remove the batteries. It was improved (as well as overall power management) by applying the latest firmware. The etrex has been pretty reliable and with good (relatively) power management. It has, to memory, locked up once. My advice would be to apply the latest bios, monitor and record glitches then return it to the shop (assuming its still failing) and require a full refund (as not fit for purpose). Then buy an etrex30x. Garmin customer service is a joke and the interface is poor at best (but for tramping, at least, it's better that other manufacturers).
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I have had a Garmin Oregon since 2009 and have never had any trouble with it. [It does turn itself off if the batteries are almost totally flat though!]
Thanks all - very strange and annoying as I have to admit I do rely on my GPS a lot in the Tararuas. I will update the firmware and see how I go. The issue has only come to a head recently so I am hoping its a glitch that can be ironed out. I absolutely love the thing apart from that.
Hi si-dog. I literally bought a Garmin fenix 5x watch with GPS maps of NZ and Aus included. It's really good because it's complete...but I suppose Garmin create problems to anyone...Sometime my watch doesn't not update the activity that I have done during the day...then I went online and I found out that there is a lot of people that get frustated with Garmin.... I suggest to write on the garmin's full of informations.
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I have had a Garmin 62s for around 7 years I'm guessing. Never had a problem and it is an indispensable piece of kit.
Hmm, the fact that I have had this problem with two different units suggests that its me, rather than the equipment at fault. I did find some threads online about using rechargeable batteries and that they are generally larger than alkaline/carbon types. This can push the terminals out and result in intermittent connection. I still need to investigate my unit to see exactly how this could be causing the problems.
NiMH cells are 1.2 V, Alkaline cells are 1.5 V. Is it possible the unit has a 'shutdown when batteries are going flat' function that activates due to the lower voltage of the NiMH cells? The first thing I'd be trying would be going back to Alkaline cells and seeing if you get the same problems with them. I'm not sure NiMH cells are the ideal for this sort of use in any case - low drain appliance that is only used from time to time. I think they lose charge just sitting around so if you don't remember to fully charge them before each trip they could be low on charge when you start. I use alkaline batteries in my marine VHF radio for that reason. If I was making significant use of it every day rechargeable might make sense, otherwise not.
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Forum Gear talk
Started by si-dog
On 20 February 2018
Replies 15
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