Warning: Etrex 20 rubber deteriation, again...
So Garman do not seem to have rubber technology sussed. Judging by my orange Etrex 20, but this applies to the etrex 10/20/30s, the rubber disintegrates on the buttons after just a few years of use. This is disappointing to lose water proofing, thus the unit is essentially end of life. I strongly urge all etrex users to add some sort of reinforcement before this happens, something like these ought to help. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hiking-Handheld-GPS-Rubber-Light-Blue-Case-for-Garmin-eTrex-10-20-30-10x-20x-30x/112315121716 The old yellow etrexs also failed after a few years. The rubber rand came unstuck. Ill upload of photo of mine in a bit.
My Etrex 30x is just over 4 years old, frequent use, careful inspection, no deterioration discernable.
Maybe yours was made on a monday. My Etrex Summit is nearly 20rs old and there's no unusual wear on it. My more recent Etrex 10 is perfect after a few years now.
The rubber on the on/off button of my Garmin Oregon disintergrated after about 5 years of use. I believe this is a common if they get a fair bit of use. (mine was used daily for work back in 2011) The unit now over a decade old still works but isn't waterproof any more.
Its not sat in the box thats for sure, perhaps 200 days of use, just a wild guess, but its had no exposure to either sun block or insect repellent. Heres a picture of an extreme case: https://almost-a-technocrat.blogspot.com/2018/07/how-to-fix-broken-disintegrated-garmin.html Mine is just one button so far, and its the one i'm most apt to use my thumbnail with, the lower zoom button.
Ok, heres mine: https://zoneblue.nz/files/P1089216.JPG Rummaging for teh invoice its actually older than i thought: 1/12/2014 There are replacement cases for 60 bucks on ebay, but I guess ill try some 3m adhesive sealent on it. It stuck to the La Sportivas.
My Etrex 20 would be a similar age if not slightly older and has no signs of deterioration. Unfortunately would not have had that much use though. If you are jabbing it with a finger nail as opposed to the ball of a finger/thumb then I would imagine that would speed up wear considerably. One thing I have found with the Garmin watches is I burn through the rubber straps like crazy. Lucky to get a year out of them and that has been the case on both Forerunners and Fenix so I can understand the concerns with rubber durability. I have reverted to using a strap made of nylon webbing and velcro I picked up from work.
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