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Vista Malfunctioning


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I've had a Vista for several years now. I can't say that I've used it very heavily, I've done a little geocaching. As of late mostly use it on my MTB as a trip computer and to capture waypoints & tracks.

 

Its always had some of what i consider quirks about it. One of the most noticeable is that the slightest jolt to the unit while powered on will cause it to turn off. For example, I like to put it on my dash, use the rubberized body and the flex of the dash material to stick it in an upright position between the dashboard and the winshield.

If it were to just fall over onto my padded dashboard, it will turn off. I would think it would be a little more shock resistant than that. Also while mounted to my MTB which has front suspension, even while riding not so rough singletrack a light jolt will shut it off. Anyone else experience this type of thing?

 

Over the past couple of months it has started to malfunction to the point that it affects useability. A couple of symptoms I have experienced are thus:

- The screen gets vertical lines across it from top to bottom.

- I will try changing pages and it will just shut off cold.

- Click Stick does not work vertically

- Click Stick does not work when depressed in to select something.

 

At first when these symptoms would appear i would suspect weak batteries. But the batteries were verified good and sometimes immediately changed, and the symptoms would persist. These symptoms also appear to be intermittent. The click stick items will hard fail one day and the next be fine.

 

While on a Geocache this past Saturday, with brand new batteries installed, It malfunctioned to the point where it wouldn't even turn on unless i took the batteries out and re-installed them. Even then when it turned on the click stick would not work. It would go left and right but not up and down so i couldn't get to anything... Tried to cycle the power multiple times with the same result.

 

Yesterday and today I power it on and everything works great - same batteries...

 

My unit has had software upgraded as far as 3.6. I was about to put 3.7 on it, but the only change listed from 3.6 to 3.7 is to support manufacturing test.

 

Has anyone else experienced these things?

 

I am ready to upgrade to a Vista HCx (- hopefully they will fix the current errata on that one soon) but would like to salvage my Vista nonetheless. What is Garmin support like to deal with on repairs?

 

If the track log fills up does the full memory affect other functionality?

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I am ready to upgrade to a Vista HCx (- hopefully they will fix the current errata on that one soon) but would like to salvage my Vista nonetheless. What is Garmin support like to deal with on repairs?

...

Regarding the "errata" on the Vista HCx, I think there's just a few people making a lot of noise about really one trivial outstanding issue: the odometer/trip computer doesn't track slow movements. There was only two other annoyances (WAAS sometimes becoming disabled and the "calibrate compass" popup), both of which have been corrected with the latest firmware update. It's a great unit; if you can't resuscitate your Vista I'd recommend upgrading to it. Hard to beat for ~$250.

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Two things:

 

1. I had a similar issue with my old Legend after I didn't use it for awhile. There were the lines, etc. and I thought th eunit was toast. It cleared up on its own and has worked fine since then. Beats me what the problem was, but it works fine as a hand me down unit to a family member.

 

2. I agree completely with SiliconFiend with respect to the "errata" The Vista HCx is a great unit.

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Regarding the "errata" on the Vista HCx, I think there's just a few people making a lot of noise about really one trivial outstanding issue: the odometer/trip computer doesn't track slow movements.

I have to give this a rousing round of applause. It's really a non-issue as "slow" means under 2.2mph. And it may be even less than that since the firmware upgrade; I haven't heard anyone say with any authority what the new number or algorithm is now. Perhaps the above quote should read "very slow movements". And it's not like you can't get an accurate number if you want it; the track log distance is still fine; always has been.

 

I have a Vista HCx, and I LOVE it. You won't be sorry.

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Regarding the "errata" on the Vista HCx, I think there's just a few people making a lot of noise about really one trivial outstanding issue: the odometer/trip computer doesn't track slow movements.

I have to give this a rousing round of applause. It's really a non-issue as "slow" means under 2.2mph. And it may be even less than that since the firmware upgrade; I haven't heard anyone say with any authority what the new number or algorithm is now. Perhaps the above quote should read "very slow movements". And it's not like you can't get an accurate number if you want it; the track log distance is still fine; always has been.

 

I have a Vista HCx, and I LOVE it. You won't be sorry.

Sooooooooo glad to hear that there are others that think the same as me. I'm getting tired of the "it's broken real bad and unacceptable", "Garmin is incompetent" and "it's a conspiracy" threads....

 

It works real well and I LOVE mine too...

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Regarding the "errata" on the Vista HCx, I think there's just a few people making a lot of noise about really one trivial outstanding issue: the odometer/trip computer doesn't track slow movements.

I have to give this a rousing round of applause. It's really a non-issue as "slow" means under 2.2mph. And it may be even less than that since the firmware upgrade; I haven't heard anyone say with any authority what the new number or algorithm is now. Perhaps the above quote should read "very slow movements". And it's not like you can't get an accurate number if you want it; the track log distance is still fine; always has been.

 

I have a Vista HCx, and I LOVE it. You won't be sorry.

Sooooooooo glad to hear that there are others that think the same as me. I'm getting tired of the "it's broken real bad and unacceptable", "Garmin is incompetent" and "it's a conspiracy" threads....

 

It works real well and I LOVE mine too...

I'm just trying to bring some perspective back here. I keep reading posts from people who are "waiting for Garmin to fix the bugs" but really, when you think about all it does, it's been nearly flawless since even the original software version (compared to most field-upgradeable consumer equipment) and there's no showstoppers. Simply put, it's a great piece of hardware for a great price. My only gripe is just what applies to all GPS devices on the market today--poor support for geocaching (I shouldn't have to carry an extra piece of paper or a PDA to get complete cache information).

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dropthehammer, this might help. Check the contacts from the battery to the unit, it's just a pressure contact, not welded.

 

I'm getting tired of the "it's broken real bad and unacceptable", "Garmin is incompetent" and "it's a conspiracy" threads....

 

While I agree that the odometer issue is a non starter, I still believe that Garmin has shown ample proof of incompetence.

 

Most glaring is their lack of support for OSX as if it had only just come out. A few things are starting to come on line, but still can't use Mapsource.

 

There certainly *is* a conspiracy by Garmin to trick customers, how else do you explain the eTrex and the eTrex H both being available at the same time for the same price? Another one is that they did away with the Vista C and the Legend C and put the H chip in the Cx making a HCx but they didn't do that with the Venture C, there, they put the new H chip in the crappy C model and left the Cx in production. Thus if you want a Venture you are forced to choose between crap battery life and an H chip, or good battery life no H chip and the ability to load a lot of maps, of course there just happens to be a third choice, move up to the Legend or Vista. Incompetence or conspiracy: You decide.

Edited by gallet
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dropthehammer, this might help. Check the contacts from the battery to the unit, it's just a pressure contact, not welded.

 

I'm getting tired of the "it's broken real bad and unacceptable", "Garmin is incompetent" and "it's a conspiracy" threads....

 

While I agree that the odometer issue is a non starter, I still believe that Garmin has shown ample proof of incompetence.

 

Most glaring is their lack of support for OSX as if it had only just come out. A few things are starting to come on line, but still can't use Mapsource.

 

There certainly *is* a conspiracy by Garmin to trick customers, how else do you explain the eTrex and the eTrex H both being available at the same time for the same price? Another one is that they did away with the Vista C and the Legend C and put the H chip in the Cx making a HCx but they didn't do that with the Venture C, there, they put the new H chip in the crappy C model and left the Cx in production. Thus if you want a Venture you are forced to choose between crap battery life and an H chip, or good battery life no H chip and the ability to load a lot of maps, of course there just happens to be a third choice, move up to the Legend or Vista. Incompetence or conspiracy: You decide.

I see your points, but I wouldn't label them as incompetent or consipiracy.

 

I understand the frustration of not having MapSource for your Mac. That does suck. But (and this is coming from lack of knowledge of the Mac - I've never used one) isn't this life for a Mac user for most software choices beyond the basics? As you said, more are coming online, so maybe there's hope for "MAcSource" soon.

 

The final issue I see as marketing issues. I have never seriously looked at the Venture in any of its incarnations. The Legend had what I wanted in its day and the Vista HCx had what I wanted when I upgraded this summer. What are the advantages or unique characteristics of the Venture (other than the odd combinations)?

 

The conspiracy theory I was thinkinng about are the continuous complaints that Garmin knew about a problem, but hid it and did not do anything about it as discussed in another thread. There are other similar discussions on this board. Like the non-starter you mentioned.

 

Thanks to you guys in this thread for "putting it back in perspective" and carrying on a decent conversation without resort to panic (for the lack of a better word).[/rant]

 

Back to the original post, it does sound like the battery contacts could cause the OP's problems. That would also explain the similar problems I had on my Legend and the fact they mysteriously cleared up on their own (the contacts shook tehmselves back into place?). Sounds like a good place to start.

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Check out this post. It looks like it has fixes almost all of your problems (Joystick and LCD problems). It inspired me to take my Vista Cx appart and replace the cracked outer screen. It's a play by play teardown of a Vista. :D

 

http://californication.mtbguru.com/2005/11...in-etrex-vista/

 

There are even links at the bottom of the article to Digikey to buy a new joystick. Hopefuly your handy with a soldering iron. :D

 

For the record, if you are very careful with the sticky tape, I was able to save both pieces of mine and re-use them. Here is a link to my teardown and repair.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=172724

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...

I am ready to upgrade to a Vista HCx (- hopefully they will fix the current errata on that one soon) but would like to salvage my Vista nonetheless. What is Garmin support like to deal with on repairs?

...

Regarding the "errata" on the Vista HCx, I think there's just a few people making a lot of noise about really one trivial outstanding issue: the odometer/trip computer doesn't track slow movements. There was only two other annoyances (WAAS sometimes becoming disabled and the "calibrate compass" popup), both of which have been corrected with the latest firmware update. It's a great unit; if you can't resuscitate your Vista I'd recommend upgrading to it. Hard to beat for ~$250.

 

It is a good unit and there's nothing wrong with recommending it. But all of you saying the odometer bug is trivial are just assuming that everyone else's needs are the same as yours. It may be trivial for you, but for those who need the feature, it's NOT trivial. It IS a bug and it is NOT acceptable. There's no conspiracy... they're not incompetent... they're working on it. BUT it is also unreasonable to suggest that we should forget about it or not mention it when people ask about buying the HCx. You don't know whether or not it will be trivial to someone else, so let them read "the noise", consider their needs, and decide for themselves whether or not it matters enough to postpone their purchase or buy something else. In the meantime, I'll go on record as saying that I very much appreciate those who have been making noise about this bug. It is a feature that matters to me and their posts were extremely useful in helping me decide whether, and when, to buy the HCx.

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...

I am ready to upgrade to a Vista HCx (- hopefully they will fix the current errata on that one soon) but would like to salvage my Vista nonetheless. What is Garmin support like to deal with on repairs?

...

Regarding the "errata" on the Vista HCx, I think there's just a few people making a lot of noise about really one trivial outstanding issue: the odometer/trip computer doesn't track slow movements. There was only two other annoyances (WAAS sometimes becoming disabled and the "calibrate compass" popup), both of which have been corrected with the latest firmware update. It's a great unit; if you can't resuscitate your Vista I'd recommend upgrading to it. Hard to beat for ~$250.

 

It is a good unit and there's nothing wrong with recommending it. But all of you saying the odometer bug is trivial are just assuming that everyone else's needs are the same as yours. It may be trivial for you, but for those who need the feature, it's NOT trivial. It IS a bug and it is NOT acceptable. There's no conspiracy... they're not incompetent... they're working on it. BUT it is also unreasonable to suggest that we should forget about it or not mention it when people ask about buying the HCx. You don't know whether or not it will be trivial to someone else, so let them read "the noise", consider their needs, and decide for themselves whether or not it matters enough to postpone their purchase or buy something else. In the meantime, I'll go on record as saying that I very much appreciate those who have been making noise about this bug. It is a feature that matters to me and their posts were extremely useful in helping me decide whether, and when, to buy the HCx.

I agree that it's a bug and needs to be fixed. I'm sorry if the trip computer is a critical function for you, but I get embarrassed to think that Garmin sees the griefers as representative of normal users. Honestly, when you look at the unit software and all of what it does, it had remarkably few (and minor) bugs when it was released. People are making a HUGE deal about this and scaring people away from getting a fantastic GPSr.

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I agree that it's a bug and needs to be fixed. I'm sorry if the trip computer is a critical function for you, but I get embarrassed to think that Garmin sees the griefers as representative of normal users. Honestly, when you look at the unit software and all of what it does, it had remarkably few (and minor) bugs when it was released. People are making a HUGE deal about this and scaring people away from getting a fantastic GPSr.

 

In my book, that's a good thing! If Garmin doesn't think it might affect sales, then they have no incentive to fix it. Since you're happy with the unit the way it is, and have nothing to lose by having them fix it, then why not cheer on those who are making a lot of noise about it to Garmin? You lose nothing, we recover a feature we already paid for and Garmin sells more units because they have a better product and have demonstrated a strong commitment to their customers. It's win-win-win. BTW, don't feel sorry for me. I knew exactly what I was buying when I bought it. In fact, that's my point... thanks to the people on this forum, I did know what I was getting. I would have been upset, though, to have found out after buying it that everyone else knew but decided not to mention it because they were afraid it would hurt Garmin's sales.

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