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Did I Fry It?


Mearth
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I scored a great deal on a Legend on Ebay. It arrived today, as did a cigarette-lighter power cable, from a different seller. The GPS worked beautifully for an hour around the neighborhood, then died within 5 minutes of being plugged in once in the car. Changed batteries. Dead. Took out batteries and tried cable alone. Dead. Tried new batteries. ACK! NEW GPS DEAD????!!!

 

The power cable did not come with it's original packaging, but the description online stated (in bold colorful letters) that there was no need to remove batteries to use the cable.

 

Oh, what have I done? It was so much nicer than my Geko for just a little while...

 

I find no related info in the manual, so any hints or ideas or direct simple instruction would be appreciated.

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The cord didn't fry it. In my opinion you got a bad GPS, the power cell inside the GPS that recieves energy and converts and distributes the power within the GPS probably was "bad" the seller on eBay knew this and decided to make a couple bucks off it. That's why I just buy retail. I don't know eBay's return policy, but I would be reading it right now if I was in your situation.

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The documentation is correct, you don't need to remove the batteries to use the power cord. You didn't do anything that would cause it to break, so it must have been had a defect already. It may have been pure bad luck, or your seller may have known it was flaky -- but in either case, it may be difficult to get a refund. You might want to consult the eBay bulletin boards for advice, but if the seller didn't claim the GPSr was brand new or offer any kind of warranty, they may be reluctant to give all your money back in return for a device they can't re-sell -- if they're honest, and it was just a used GPSr, from their perspective you either managed to break it in an hour or just had terribly bad luck, but it isn't their fault. And if they're dishonest, they'll probably say the same thing more loudly B) .

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Ew. I don't like this answer. I'm willing to consider it, though. The GPS did work without a single hitch for an hour or so before the screen reverted to a single black vertical line, then died. I will look into your return idea, but, um...anybody have better news?

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A voltage spike from the car might have fried it. The cable doesnt have an inline fuse, does it? Does the car have the correct AMP fuses in the fuse box? Sometimes people will substitute a higher amp fuse when they run out. This allows a higher than acceptable current to go places where you dont want it to. There is a transformer in the GPS which converts 12volts to 3volts, but I dont think that would be it. I know Garmin will repair it, but the charge will be around $100. If you bought an identical one from a store like Wal-mart that accepts returns, and somehow got the two "mixed up" ........B)

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Try contacting Garmin to see if it is still under warranty. I bought a Magellan off of Ebay and it worked fine for a few months and then the display went bad. I was about to chuck it in the trash, then decided that I might as well check on a warranty, even though I didn't expect them to honor it. I was shocked when they told me that it would be covered and just send it in. I even told them I bought it used. They didn't care. Two weeks later, they sent it back to me, good as new, no charge, along with a car mount and a case. Dont' know about Garmin, but Magellan's (Thales Navigation) customer service is the BEST!

 

So give 'em a call, you've got nothing to lose.

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The cord didn't fry it. In my opinion you got a bad GPS, the power cell inside the GPS that recieves energy and converts and distributes the power within the GPS probably was "bad" the seller on eBay knew this and decided to make a couple bucks off it. That's why I just buy retail. I don't know eBay's return policy, but I would be reading it right now if I was in your situation.

I have to agree, I sell fitness equipment and this happens all the time with people buying off ebay...faulty or bad equipment. Stick to retail

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something to consider...

 

I have an eTrex Legend, bought it new 2 years ago. Recently the display started acting up, it'd get lines in the display, horizontal, then next time vertical. A firm but gentle tap to the side of the case made it come back to normal.

Then the display started to fade and also at one point disappeared, looked just like it had turned off. Again, a tap or 2 to the side of the case brought it back to normal.

 

So, could it be that ?? a bad display ? especially if it's used it might have been dropped or jarred somehow to make the display goofy.

 

Also, I contacted Garmin using their website and told them almost exactly what I typed above and even tho the unit is 2 years old they said to simply send it in and they'd fix it for free :blink:

 

I was gonna buy a new one as well, but instead I'm looking forward to having my handy dandy Garmin repaired.

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Thanks for all the feedback! I have contacted the seller and Garmin, so I will hopefully know soon what the source of the problem is. A very frustrating development. I was so happy with my Geko until I got to play with the Legend for an hour. Now I want to just fling myself on the floor and wail over this delay. In fact, I might, since nobody else is home...

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Since your etrex worked fine on batteries, and went bad shortly after connecting it to the power cable, this is the first thing to suspect and is the probable cause.

 

The power cable should have a regulator in it that reduces the car voltage to 3V DC. The good ones have a switching regulator. There is no regulator in the eTrex so it is important for the cable to work correctly. Check the voltage out of the cable (where it attaches) while the engine is runnning. It should be no more than around 3.5V. If the voltage is too high it very likely caused your problem.

 

To test the voltage, put your meter probes on the two outer pins (of the four), the one on the cable side being ground (-).

Edited by EScout
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