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Etrex Vista


Folshen
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I've got a Vista thats not quite two weeks old and it seems to have a problem with powering itself off. Sometimes it might go hours, other times it may be only minutes. Look down and the screen is blank, unit is off. Turn it back on and it works fine.

 

Now when I bought my Legend three or four years ago it seems like it did the same thing for a short while...but its been so long now that I can't fully recall.

 

Anyone else have this problem and or a fix? I hate the thought of having to ship it back and being without even for only a few days.

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Mine has done that only a few times and I think it has happened when it got too warm, like once when I set it down, face up, while I looked at the swag in an ammo can and then wrote a lengthy log for my visit to the cache.

 

When I turned it back on, it was fine.

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This may or may not be your problem, but it's an easy fix.

 

The Vista/Legend etc. have a clip gizmo in the battery compartment that can under some circumstances lose contact with the battery. The result is an instant shutdown.

 

The high tech solution is to put a piece of foam behind the clip (as opposed to the spring) to hold it firm against the batteries.

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My Vista has done this a number of times too, and I eventually found out it was definitely "loose" batteries. With all the rechargeable batteries in my house, I've found some are ever so slightly smaller than others. I have to make sure I use batteries that fit my Vista VERY snugly and also use the foamy part to prevent them from losing contact when I'm out on the road.

 

(Note: I have my Vista road/mountain bike mounted almost all the time and have witnessed the shutdowns at some of the most inopportune times.)

 

VW

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Well its definitely not loose batteries... I've had it drop out while plugged into the cigarette lighter adapter now too. On a trip back from Kentucky it went seven hours without a problem. Other times, it might drop out, I can turn it back on and then within a few minutes its out again.

 

I just received this unit through Cabela's about three weeks ago. I guess the big question is should I send it back to them or directly to Garmin? I think if I go with Cabela's I've got the "return" tag so shipping wont cost me anything but no idea what the turn around time will be.

 

I hate the idea of being without a GPSr for even a day, let alone several days to a week or better... :lol:

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I just received this unit through Cabela's about three weeks ago. I guess the big question is should I send it back to them or directly to Garmin? I think if I go with Cabela's I've got the "return" tag so shipping wont cost me anything but no idea what the turn around time will be.

 

I hate the idea of being without a GPSr for even a day, let alone several days to a week or better

 

If it isn't the batteries you should send it back. Send it to Garmin. You'll probably have a replacement back in under 5 days. They are very fast. Call first though, get a return number.

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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:

Edited by goodweather
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My Legend does the same thing, here is when I have noticed spontaneous power offs (SPOs):

 

- Overheating the thing (gives message about disconnected from power source and starts countdown to disconnect). Click just about any button to abort.

- Dropping. ALWAYS results in SPO.

- Bumping - Sometimes SPO.

- Setting it down gently - Rarely SPO.

- Looking askance at it.

 

My biggest pet peeve is that heating the thing causes the glue that holds the cowling to break down and the rubber part is basically afloat in a sea of warm stickiness. In the winter it overheats because of the car's heater and in the summer because my stupid AC is of the intermittant variety. (Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't).

 

I am thinking of getting a 60c or 76c and using my Legend as a backup...

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This may or may not be your problem, but it's an easy fix.

 

The Vista/Legend etc. have a clip gizmo in the battery compartment that can under some circumstances lose contact with the battery.  The result is an instant shutdown.

 

The high tech solution is to put a piece of foam behind the clip (as opposed to the spring) to hold it firm against the batteries.

Yeah i had some loose batteries in my legend, so i put some folded papers to make it steady. But did not have the shut off problem

Lurleen: Oh Homer! You're as smart as you are handsome!

Homer: Hey!!.. oh, you meant that as a compliment.

 

;)

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I'm glad to read so many experiances with the same problem. I always used my vista hiking. Not so long ago I used for the first time in my car, but I had not a fitting mount. Is was shaking and bumping. Suddenly the Vista was swtched off.

That was the only time.

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It doesn't seem to matter what mine is doing. It could be setting perfectly still on a bed of feathers and it will simply blink off... Couple weeks back it made it through a seven hour car ride and never had a problem. Seems to have a mind of its own.

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I too have a Vista that has the "shutting off" problem. I've tried different batteries, foam pads behind the battery terminals, using batteries that i'm sure are fully charged, etc. The problem still persists. I've noticed that mine seems to be unaffected by being jostled or bumped. It seems to work fine when the unit is being handles roughly. The problem seems to happen when I set the unit down on a flat surface. I'll be using it, put it down, turn my back, and when I go to resume operation I notice that the ubit has shut off. I tuen it back on and it seems to work fine. This seems to happen once or twice per outing.

 

I don't know what the solution is but I mow in my case it isn't because of loose or slightly undersized batteries. I've only had the unit turn off while it is sitting absolutely still.

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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.

Edited by goodweather
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Grr. I have a Legend that is shutting itself off too. Won't even stay on long enough to find any satellites. Its a few years old, and has never done this before today. I've tried new batteries, and stuffing paper in there to keep them in tightly, but neither works. Has anyone found the definitive answer for this problem?

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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:

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My Vista does this occasionally, and it has since i first bought it, my legend has never done this and niether did my yellow etrex when i had it, i think its just something with the vista, a heat issue or low battery seems most likely. also at times it will have a full battery and after being on for a while it gets very low, if i leave it off for 10 mins or so and turn it on the meter reads full again and it will work again with no probs. i usually keep the compass off and such to save battery power, but the vista seems to use way more battery power than my legend, but the larger memory for maps is why i bought it in the first place, and it was such a great deal ($170 if i recall)

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My Etrex Vista was turning off intermittantly (sp?)and the batteries were only lasting about three hours. I sent the unit to Garmin, and they returned it saying that I should use the batteries with the built in testers, as they were larger. No comment on the battery longevity issue. After a month of the exact same problems, I called in and complained. They took it back, and issue me a brand new unit. That was back in the early spring. The battery longevity and turning off have been resolved, however, it seems that if I hike in the sun, the unit gets warm and "loses" satellite reception, which is pretty ridiculous - standing on top of a hill with no trees around. I am about to call in again, and was wondering if there are other heat issues... although the paperwork states that the operating range is 5 to 158 degrees (F).

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I sent my original Vista in last summer after having the problem of it powering off. New unit was shipped to me via DHL a week later. Nobody was home so I had to go pick it up at DHL. Upon doing so, I got back in my truck, opened the box, took out the new unit, dropped in fresh batteries, set it on the dash and headed for home.

After a couple minutes I grabbed it to see if it had got sattelite lock and guess what....yeah, it had already powered off. Thought maybe it was just a fluke incident but over the next week or so it was doing it as much if not more than the first unit.

Went back to emailing Garmin as I didn't feel I should have to pay the shipping this time around. They were nice, sent me a pre-paid shipping tag and a week later, I got my third new Vista in the mail. I didn't do much caching at all over the winter but so far this spring the problem is back.

I think I'm still just inside the first year since purchase, but at this point...why bother shipping it back. Each time I've tried the battery issue and that is definitely not the problem. I've always used mine in the vehicle too and have the cigarette lighter adapter. They like to power off when running on that too. I think there is quite simply a design flaw somewhere and Garmin never stepped up and admitted it nor done anything to correct it.

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It also turns off when:

 

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

*Exactly* my problem. I appear to have fixed it (after 10 minutes of testing! hehe mind you I could consistently make it turn off by doing the above). Mine would work, no problem, with USB power. It was only battery power that caused a problem. Hence, must be a battery thing. Probably a loose connection.

 

WIth fine sandpaper I sanded all the battery terminals, tried again - no change. Dah. Next, I pulled the rubber off, the double sided tape off, opened the unit, and on the back of the battery section is two terminals that connect with two little rectangular metal bits on the unit. I sanded the lot. They used to be a gold colour (with some black on - possibly the problem). They be silver now. hehe The only way I can turn the unit off now is with the button. :P

 

Mind you, *early days*. I reserve the right to revoke my "I've fixed it" statement, and declare myself an idiot at any stage. :blink:

 

btw, my unit's out of warranty (vista c). If it was under warranty, no way I would have done this. If there would have been a local repairer for this kinda stuff, I probably would have just taken it to them. But, in the absence of all of the above, thought I'd give it a swing.

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