Jump to content

goodweather

Members
  • Posts

    25
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by goodweather

  1. I have ordered a RAM mount for my Vista C and it is great. The unit is held a lot better than with the Garmin bike mount and therefore it is shaking a lot less.

     

    The downside is that the RAM mount is a bit bulky but that's not too bad.

  2. Dear de_cache_man,

     

    I invite you to read my posts in this thread: Etrex Vista, Powering off by itself... and especially this one.

     

    I had exactly the same problem (Vista C + Garmin Handlebar holder; shut down while riding road bike). My conclusion is that the problem does not have to do with loose batteries. Of course if the batteries are loose, the unit will shut off but in my case, it wasn't the cause. I have tested my unit with an external power supply (in my jersey pocket) connected to the unit by wires that were SOLDERED on the battery clips. The unit would still shut off when riding.

     

    I did another experiment, I connected this outside power supply to the USB port. The unit never shut down.

     

    Conclusion: there is a bad contact somewhere between the battery clips and the PCB.

     

    I got a new unit from Garmin a month ago and it works fine until now. So I don't know if this was a defect on a specific unit or a design defect that happens on all Vista C units...

     

    Anyway, I have bought a RAM mount and I'll try it this weekend.

  3. I have tested the replacement unit (Vista C) I received from Garmin. I have used intensively over the weekend riding on my road bike. It worked perfectly. It never shut down; not even once. :lol:

     

    I am pretty happy about that. However I can't help thinking that the "power off problem" might develop over the next year as it did with my original unit. :(

     

    I have ordered a RAM mount to try it. Maybe it will help since it holds the whole unit by outside... Remember that with the holder provided by Garmin the whole weight of the unit is held by the two tiny little pins that you find on the rod of the batterie cover... (I will never understand this design...).

     

    Anyway, I think I will never know the real answer unless I buy 10 Vista C and shake them for a year on my bike... :lol:

  4. The LegendC will give you altitude information based on GPS data.  You will still have vertical profile data for the tracks.

     

    Yes, but the accuracy of the barometric altimeter is much better; it is close to 1 meter. The altitude given by GPS data is never more accurate than about 3-5 meters.

     

    Also, an FYI: If you take an altimeter onboard an airliner in a pressurized cabin, it will tell you that you're only 5,000 feet up when in reality the plane is actually at 41,000 feet.

     

    Measuring the altitude onboard an airliner with a barometric altimeter is, in my opinion, not something most people need to do... However, it true that in a car on the highway, the pressure is different from the actual atmopheric pressure because of the air speed around it and this can alter the measurements... ;)

  5. I love my Vista C. I use it for driving (autorouting is great), hiking (the electronic compass is essential), and biking (the altimeter is great for tracking profiles of a route).

     

    I have never used a real car GPRs (like the StreetPilot) but I am sure that these would be better adapted for driving. However, you could not bring them hiking...

     

    My conclusion: if you want a very good "general purpose" GPSr, go with the Vistac C.

  6. Here's my experience with servicing my Garmin unit from Canada.

     

    I have a Vista C and I use it on my road bike. It started shutting off at every crack on the pavement. So I sent an email to Garmin and they directed me to Raytech.

     

    April 18th: Call Raytech. The technician tells me that my unit is under warranty but my unit is too recent so they have neither exchange units nor parts to repair it; they will need to send it to Garmin. Should take 2-3 weeks.

     

    May 17th (week 0): I bring the unit to Raytech; in front of me, at the counter, they confirm the problem and tell me that they will call me in 2-3 weeks when the unit is back from Garmin. :o

     

    June 18th (weeks 4): Call Raytech; they shipped it on May 31st (week 2) but there was a problem with UPS and that there will be a delay of 1 more week. :blink:

     

    July 7th, (week 7): Raytech tells me that the unit is still at Garmin and suggest that I call customer support to complain. The Garmin guy tells me that the package was lost for 2-3 weeks at customs; my unit will be shipped the next day. :D

     

    July 14th (week 8): I finally receive my unit from Raytech. :o

     

    Wait! Wait! There's more!

     

    July 20th: the repaired unit is tried out on the bicycle. The problem occurs again; it has not been solved. I don't blame it on Garmin, they made some changes but they could not try it on a bike for 2-3 hours like I did...

     

    Aug 1st: I call Raytech again. They say that they will have to ship it again to Garmin. They need to wait until they have enough units before sending it at Garmin so they cannot guaranty to ship right away. I call Garmin to complain; I insisted but the guy tells me that I will have t go through Raytech again, period. :D

     

    Aug 19th: After having tried differents things to solve the "power off" problem myself (or at least, understand it better), I call Garmin's customer support; I explained my issue and the guy tells me that if I go directly to Garmin, I will have to pay taxes and custom fees. I tell him that I don't care and I finally obtained an RMA #. :D

     

    Aug 22nd: I ship the unit by Fedex.

     

    Aug 24th (work day 2): The package is received at Garmin

     

    Aug 29th (work day 5): They confirm the problem

     

    Aug 31th (work day 7): They ship a new unit.

     

    Sept 2nd (work day 9): I received the package at home; free of charge (no GST, no duty) :D

     

    MY CONCLUSION:

     

    First, I want to say that the guys at Raytech always seemed to care about me; at all times I felt like they wanted to help me out. While I was waiting for my unit, they even proposed to rent another model to me for a fair fee (they mention that if I had bought my Vista at Raytech, they would have done it for free).

     

    However, the fact that they don't ship the unit right away to Garmin is unacceptable. I my case, my unit stay 2 weeks in Laval before being shipped to Garmin. Also, I don't know who I should blame for the 2-3 week delay at customs; I hope that it was just an isolated screw up; a bad luck.

     

    In comparison, when I shipped the unit directly to Garmin, I got it back within 2 weeks...

     

    Therefore, my advice for my fellow Canadians, is first to call Raytech and ask them if they have everything to repair your unit. If so, the turn around should be rather quick. However, if they need to ship it to Garmin, then, call Garmin yourself and insist until you obtain an RMA #.

  7. Follow up on my story posted: Aug 3 2005, 06:06 PM about my Vista that would power off when I used it on my road bike.

     

    I have finally decided to call Garmin and request permission to send the unit back directly to them (I'm in Canada so the usual procedure is to send it to the canadian sevice center). They gave me an RMA # and I sent it with this note:

     

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Unit:

    Garmin etrex Vista C (S/N *******) bought in October 2004 from a Canadian vendor. The unit is used on a road bicycle and it is held to the handlebar with an "eTrex Handlebar Mount".

     

    This unit has already been sent to Garmin for the same reason in June 2005. It came back and the problem is still present.

     

    Description of the problem:

    The unit shuts off by itself at every little bump of the road. While riding, I turn it on again and it shuts off at the next crack on the pavement. Sometimes, the unit does not even have time to boot up before it shuts off. The unit is therefore unusable.

     

    It also turns off when:

     

    • the unit is squeezed on the rubber band; a centimeter lower than the buttons

     

    • I give it a little knock with a finger on the front face (where there is a world map and the "eTrex" word).

     

    NOTES:

    The problem does not always occur when the unit has just been turned on. But it becomes very severe when it is "warmed up" i.e. after 15-20 minutes of riding on the road. I have tested it with different brand of AA batteries. The batteries fit very tight and are not moving in the battery compartment.

    When the unit is powered through its USB connector, the problem never occurs; I have tested it in the same conditions but with an external battery connected to a "mini USB type B" connector and the unit is working perfectly.

     

    MY GUESS:

    It looks likes there is a bad contact somewhere between the battery compartment and the printed circuit board.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    I shipped the unit on Monday PM. They received the unit on Wednesday AM (fedex tracking), looked at it on Monday and shipped me another unit on Tuesday. I received it on Friday. 9 working days total turn around; that's pretty good service. :o

     

    The unit I got has a higher serial number so I assume that it is newer than my original unit. It looks brand new; nothing indicates that it was ever used.

     

    Next weekend, I'll make a road test to see if the "power off problem" is a design problem or not... :blink:

     

    I'll keep you all posted.

  8. I tend to agree with most of you, guys.

     

    I ride about 3000 miles per year on my bike and I use a VistaC and a regular cycling computer.

     

    The computer gives me the speed, the cadence and the mileage. The only reason I use the Vista C (which is a wonderful device, by the way) is for the maps and the altimeter. I do not fully trust the measured distance because they are too many reasons for this measurement to be wrong (the batteries die while riding, bad GPS reception in the city, forgetting the Vista in the car, etc...).

     

    Although I am glad to see that Garmin cares about cyclists, they are not quite there yet. As long as the Edge does not have mapping features, I find it useless.

     

    As for the heart rate monitor feature, I have tried many different brands and only few of them are reliable (remember that this thing must measure tiny voltage changes through your skin). A good HRM is expensive and I would not trust an HRM from a GPS company (even if they are the best GPS company in the world), unless they tell me that they have a partnership with a good HRM company.

     

    In my opinion, Garmin should concentrate on doing what they are good at (making GPSr smaller, faster and with more memory). I don't think that they will succeed in gathering technologies that they do not master and package it with the GPSr. I mean that people who really need to ride a bike with the whole hardware (GPSr/HRM/Cadence meter/Speedometer/everything-o-meter) will buy everything separate.

  9. As Elracs says, some devices need a certain voltage to work and when the voltage delivered by the batteries goes under this limit, the device stops working. It only depends on this limit, which is lower for remote or a clock than for a GPSr or a digital camera.

     

    Also, the main difference between alkaline and NiMH batteries is that when discharging, the alkaline battery will progressively drop voltage as NiHM batteries will keep a constant voltage and drop to 0V suddenly. See for example:Energizer Web Site.

     

    That's why you have to "tell" your GPSr what type of batteries you are using so it can correctly predict how much charge is left. Example: Let's say that the battery life of your GPSr is 20 hours. If you set your GPSr to Alkaline and you actually put NiMH batteries in the unit, after 17 hours, it will still measure about 1.3V per battery and it will assume that the batteries are almost fresh. Then the unit will suddenly turn off without any notice.

  10. I have no experience with this particular USB adapter but here is some physics behind this.

     

    A standard USB port will deliver between 4.75 Volts and 5.25 Volts (Voltage is the equivalent of water pressure in your garden hose). Your GPSr has a USB connector and it will accept such voltage. It will not blow up. Since the GPSr electronics works with only 3 Volts, it will internally bring the voltage to 3V when the power comes from the USB connector.

     

    As for the 850mA that you read on the adapter, it represents the maximum current (water flow) that the adapter can deliver while keeping a voltage (water pressure) of 5 Volts. 850 mA is more than plenty to power your GPSr.

     

    I am however a bit worried about the comment on the PC-MOBILE page:

    We would advise disconnecting the car adapter after the ignition is turned off as a habit.
    .

    It seems to imply that the adapter does not have a surge protection circuit and that when your turn your car ignition on, the adapter could send a voltage spike (much higher that 5V) to the GPSr and blow it up... I the case this would happen, I don't know what Garmin would say about your warranty...

     

    For this reason, I would advise you to use a Garmin adapter, even if it can be a bit more expensive.

  11. I also experienced this problem with my eTrex Vista. I fixed it myself during a rainy Sunday. ;)

     

    I removed the whole rubber bumber. I took me a while to remove Garmin's gooey adhesive from the rubber band and from the unit itself. I finally achieved it using some Goo Gone.

     

    Then I used bathroom silicone sealant to glue the rubber band back.

     

    It worked very well and took less time than sending it back to Garmin! :laughing:

  12. I own a Vista C and I am also experiencing the "power off" problem. Since I bought it (Oct 2004), I use the unit for road biking and it is attached to the bike with the handlebar mount bracket.

     

    It worked great for a few months but then it started to shut down by itself when the unit was shaken too much (ex. hitting a hole in the pavement). The problem worsened until the unit was shutting down at every little pavement crack, thus making it unusable. Moreover, It was also shutting down when I squeezed the unit between my fingers on the rubber band; an inch lower than the buttons.

     

    So I sent it to Garmin (through my Canadian service center) and after 2 long months, I got my unit back with a report saying that they had modified the battery compartment and that the unit had passed all tests. I figured out that they have added tiny foam pads underneath the battery clips. They must have done something else because the unit does not shut does anymore when I squeeze it.

     

    But the "power off" problem is still unsolved. Although it is less severe, the unit still shuts down when it's shaken hard. I must admit that my bike is a racing bike and therefore it does not have anything to absorb vibrations from the road (it has no shock absorbers and the tires are inflated at 120 psi).

     

    ;) At this point, I don't know what to do. I do not want to send it back to Garmin and lose the unit for another 2 months. Maybe, I just use it in extreme conditions and the unit is simply not made for that… Any suggestions?

     

    P.S. Other than that, this device is amazing! :laughing:

×
×
  • Create New...