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Vista startup.


toyotatechman
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I am just wondering if anyone else has this problem? When cold (under about 55deg) I have to turn my vista hcx on, off, and back on. The reason being is that on the first start up the screen is all washed out and once shut down and restarted it then clears up. I have been trying to get ahold of tech support but have not had 30 mins to wait lately. It is only a minor inconveniance but I am worried that it may get worse. Thanks for your input.

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I have a fairly lengthy story regarding this problem. The executive summary is that I have had 3 Vista HCx's and they have all done this which I characterize as having almost no display contrast. Garmin says they have never heard of this and I have returned the last 2 units to Garmin (one with my 2 GB memory card installed). They received the units just before Christmas and I am waiting for a disposition.

 

For those who like to read, here's the rest of the story...

 

I ordered my first HCx in Nov. from REI. It did this right out of the box so I contacted them and they authorized a return/replacement (great place to do business with by the way). The second unit did the same thing so I contacted Garmin. They claimed they had never heard of this behavior and wanted to see the unit. I didn't want to be without a receiver so I authorized them to charge a second unit to me so they would ship a replacement right away which they did.

 

I did not plan to return my second unit until I had received the third and sure enough, the third unit would also power up with almost no contrast. All the while I had these units in my posession, I had been trying to figure out what makes the units do this but I was not successful. All 3 units worked just fine even when they were in the low contrast condition. The problem was the difficulty in reading the screen. Here are my general observations:

 

1. I saw this behavior almost every morning when I first powered up the GPSr. They were generally stored in my house at 60 degrees (we turn it up to 64 during the day - you get used to it). Sometimes they would also power up with the problem when I was driving home from work but not always. If I left the unit on for the entire drive of 55 minutes, the condition would not go away by itself.

 

2. Generally shutting the unit off and then back on cleared the problem although I did have the third unit do it 6 times in a row once. I also saw it happen twice in a row a few times.

 

3. On the second unit, it only happened when my memory card was installed (SanDisk 2 GB) but on the third unit it did it equally often with or without the memory card installed.

 

4. Units 1 and 2 had the same software version (2.3 ?) and the unit from Garmin had the latest at the time (2.4 ?).

 

5. On unit 1, the memory card had some M.G. 6 on it and in units 2&3 the card had been freshly formatted with no maps on it.

 

6. I had always used NMh cells although 2 different types. One is Powerex 2700 the other Powerex 2000 low leakage.

 

7. On unit 3 I did not change any factory settings.

 

I could go on but those are the main points. I haven't been able to figure any rhyme or reason to it. I was concerned that Garmin would not be able to duplicate the problem so I took pictures of units 2 & 3 with the low contrast condition and with one working and with both working and sent them with the units. I'm gonna give them another week or so to provide some sort of answer. I'll post back when I hear something.

 

C. S.

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Well, It sounds as if you have the same problem I do. I am very interested in hearing what comes of your dillema. We too do not run the heater in our house at night, or day, too much $. At first I thought it did it all the time, but once it got warm around here it started working correctly. I have sent an email to Garmin tech support so I am waiting to hear back from them. The problem doesnt really bother me but I do not want to get into a situation where the unit will never power up correctly. I have noticed though that it seems to boot up faster in the low contrast condition. I have loaded the latest software 2.5 which made it so the backlight did not come on when first powered up. Unfortunately that did not fix the problem.

 

Thank you for your reply. i hope that garmin can come up with a quick fix for this because my wife made me wait till Christmas for this unit, and I do not want to be without it for a long time.

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I have a fairly lengthy story regarding this problem...

You must be the person from Michigan that the Garmin support person I spoke with said he was going to get the unit from. I am having the same identical problem.

 

It sure looks to me like this problem is temperature related as I see the same symptoms - namely that if the Vista HCx has been in a cool environment, the display is washed out when you power it on. I've never had it repeat - if I shut it off and turn it back on it comes on with a normal looking display.

 

This is my second unit, my first never had the problem (but it may never have been in a cool environment) and it was replaced for an issue not related to this. This unit has GPS SW version 2.40 (my first was GPS SW version 2.30). I've had Software Version 2.40 and 2.50 installed and both exhibited the problem.

 

I did hear back from the Garmin support person today (via e-mail) and he said he had turned the unit he got on and off over 100 times and still had not seen the problem. He suggested trying version 2.50 of the software since it no longer turns on the backlight during power-up.

 

I wrote back and let him know I had been using 2.50 since last week and the problem still happens and that it appears to be temperature related.

 

Since it always (for me) fixes itself with a power cycle, it isn't a huge problem, but especially since others are having the issue, I'd like Garmin to address it.

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I have had the same problem. I left the GPS in the car overnight in a unheated garage and when I turned it on in the morning, the screen was washed out and difficult to see. I left the unit on for a while and then shut it off and restarted it and then it was okay. I have v2.4 installed and am using alkaline batteries.

 

This is the second Garmin Vista that I have had. The first unit would freeze up during normal operation so Amazon replaced the defective GPS with this one.

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Orum, yes I am the person from Michigan with the problem. It is interesting that some of you are relating this to the temperature of the receiver. At one point, I had left unit #1 in the car during work and it had the problem as soon as I turned it on for the drive home. It was in the low 40's (a nice November day in MI) so I thought it might be related to temp but I subsequently left it in the garage to allow it to get quite cool but gave up after a few tries that did not cause the problem. These weren't controlled experiments and my results could be misleading. My ultimate conclusion was that it was most likely to occur the first time I turned it on in the morning and that's all I could come up with. Oddly, most of the times it did it during the drive home I had kept the unit in my office all day long and it is 70 degrees there.

 

The Garmin tech also reported to me that he had turned the unit on many times and could not duplicate the problem. Although I have tried to be very explicit in describing this problem to him, I had to reiterate that power cycling does not create this problem. When you first turn it on you either have it or you don't and I think all of your experiences also bear this out. I hope he will escalate this issue if he cannot duplicate it.

 

I didn't mention this yesterday but I have seen this same behavior on a 4th unit. Before I purchased my original unit, I looked at one at the local Gander Mountain. The fellow at the counter put in cells that were probably alkaline and fired the unit up. After looking at it for a few minutes I asked him why it was so difficult to see the display. He took the unit back, popped into setup (which I knew nothing about at the time) and finally concluded it was because it was in "night mode". It was after sunset but I knew his explanation was bogus. I didn't press the issue. He had also fired up a 60 CSx which looked just fine.

 

Marvin, your experience is important to me in that you are using alkaline (he was a great first baseman for the Detroit Tigers) cells. I never tried that and was wondering if it could be related to NMh cells. It appears not to be so.

 

C.S.

Edited by Cosine Swanson
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Just to add more weight to the evidence, I received a new Legend HCX yesterday and on first power-up it suffered from the low-contrast / no colour problem as described. I was beginning to consider returning it, but then powered it down and back up and it's been fine ever since. Perhaps coincidence that it had recently been travelling on a cold truck?

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Same thing happened to me with my brand new Venture HC. My answer was to hold the power-on button on past the power up screen 'till I hear the opening beep. Never had it happen again since I started holding the button. I have since changed to Ray-O-Vac hybrids but was using Ray-O-Vac alkalines at the time.

Forget about my previous post. It did it to me today in spite of my hold the button answer. It was left in a 35 degree car when it did it but it worked fine all week when it was left in a 5 degree car. I'm not really concerned about the problem though as both times it happened a power down-power up cycle fixed it.

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Here's one of the pictures I sent to Garmin showing my problem.

The backlight setting was the same on both units.

 

7552750d-f202-43d4-adf7-3de092b6312f.jpg

 

C.S.

 

I got mine around Christmas time and found that if the Vista HCX is left in the car (Michigan) that it has the same problem. So far, turning it off and back on one time fixes the problem. My better solution has been to keep the unit inside and warm which thus far has worked 100%.

 

Garmin has a problem for sure - they just need to witness it themselves since they can't trust us. . . . .

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I got mine around Christmas time and found that if the Vista HCX is left in the car (Michigan) that it has the same problem. So far, turning it off and back on one time fixes the problem. My better solution has been to keep the unit inside and warm which thus far has worked 100%.

 

Garmin has a problem for sure - they just need to witness it themselves since they can't trust us. . . . .

 

I dont think it is a trust issue. But I would encourage each of you to report the problem to Garmin. Maybe if more of us contact them they will devote more man power. I really do think it is temp related though because yesterday after work mine started up just fine.

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I got mine around Christmas time and found that if the Vista HCX is left in the car (Michigan) that it has the same problem. So far, turning it off and back on one time fixes the problem. My better solution has been to keep the unit inside and warm which thus far has worked 100%.

 

Garmin has a problem for sure - they just need to witness it themselves since they can't trust us. . . . .

 

I dont think it is a trust issue. But I would encourage each of you to report the problem to Garmin. Maybe if more of us contact them they will devote more man power. I really do think it is temp related though because yesterday after work mine started up just fine.

 

ToyotaTechMan, I was mostly kidding about the issue of Garmin trusting us. I know from dealing with tech support in the past (and understanding the skills of normal tech users) that if the support can not replicate and see an actual problem that they tend to consider unknown issues to just be user error and misunderstanding. I'll give Garmin a call on Monday and add another voice to the roster on this problem!

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Had this problem with mine today for the first time. It had been in in the house all day at 20C, and was in the car driving to the start of the walk for no more than 30 minutes. Outside temperature was about 3C.

 

Switched it on and got the washed out screen, switched it off and back on again immediately and it was OK. My wife's venture HC which had been in exactly the same conditions was fine.

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I must be lucky because I've not experienced this problem with my Vista HCx. I leave my GPSr in my car while at work and we've had a few days with temps below 10 degrees F. I've only seen the unit get a little sluggish in very cold temps, but no problems with the backlighting or the start-up cycles.

 

Oops! I almost forgot. About 3 weeks ago, I started up the unit and no caches or WP's were showing in the menu. I quickly shut down the unit, counted slowly to ten, said 10 Hail Marys, and everything was fine.

Edited by 3 Hawks
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Got a hold of Garmin today - took less than the estimated 20 minute hold time. The person I spoke to said that this is a known problem and that the engineers are looking into it. He said that they expect to have some type of solution within 30 days. At this time, they have not decided if it can be fixed with software or is a hardware issue.

 

Makes the Colorado look even more tempting (but, I could buy two Vista HCX's instead of one Colorado)

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I kind of glad that i am not the only one to have this happen--I was at my cabin and its about 30 degrees and this happened-I thought that, as usual, I'm the only one in the whole world that has this problem-i got my vista hcx last week--i will be curious to know if Garmin finds a cure(as soon as they notice the problem)--

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On Monday I received an e-mail from the Garmin tech who has my returned unit and he said that over the weekend he saw the problem 4 times. He also said he reported it to his supervisor who has been in contact with engineering. This agrees with TBG's report except there was no time frame mentioned to me.

 

WVRadar's observation indicates this is not just happening with new units because he reports that he saw it during the summer. Interesting! It also indicates this is not strictly a cold temperature problem which agrees with the 3 units I have had that have all done this while being stored indoors. AlunS had a similar experience. I don't disagree with those who have associated this with cold temps. I just want to point out that some units do this at normal room temperatures too. The folks I have talked to at Garmin are really stuck on the cold temperature thing.

 

I'll report back if I hear anything more.

 

C.S.

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Hello

 

Just to add another voice to this problem, my Vista HCx is experiencing the same washed out screen problems.

I received mine as a Christmas gift and the screen has washed out twice. (it has seen very little use to this point) The first time it happened was indoors. The second time, I was ice fishing with the GPS on my belt and underneath my coat. The outside temperature was plus 4 degrees Celsius. Underneath my coat must have been considerably warmer.

 

I reported this to Garmin and was advised to try lithium batteries in cooler weather. I have since forwarded the link to this forum to the Garmin tech with whom I am in contact. I do have to say that the Garmin tech has been very good about replying promptly. His last email indicated that he has escalated the issue to his Supervisor and will get back to me when he has further information.

 

If the problem really is temperature related, then this would mean that the temperature parameters for our units are far, far more restrictive than what the Garmin specs indicate. I live in Saskatchewan and use my GPS in the bush in late November. At this point I would be more than a little hesitant to take my Vista. My LegendC

has never had any of these issues.

 

I hope it is not their new processor.

 

I will watch this forum with interest and relay any new information I may receive from Garmin.

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My rep has dissapeared. Well not really. about a week ago I got an email saying he needed to know what model I had. Which I thought was weird because he had my SN and I had said in previous emails but anyway, I replied and he never got back to me. he was supposed to send a return authorization.anyway, It seems that maybe he is waiting to see if it can be fixed with software. I wanted to have it for this upcoming 3day weekend so its ok with me. Please let me know if any of you get any info thanks

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I have also experienced this problem with my Vista HCx using alkaline batteries 3 times. Once the unit had been sitting in the cold car (~30F) and it took two restarts to return to normal operation. Twice the unit was in my pocket and fairly warm. The car was about 30 F, but I started the unit fairly quickly, so it shouldn’t have cooled much. These two situations only required a single restart. I have only seen this problem in cool air.

 

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. I will also report my problem to Garmin.

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I have only had this problem once. When I first recieved my Vista Hcx from fedex the package was freezing. I took out the GPSr, loaded in the batteries, and turned it on. The screen was washed out. I thought that I got screwed from ebay, but I just needed to let it warm up and turn it off and on again and it was fine. I have been careful to keep it warm since then. Hopefully this is something that they can fix with a software update, but I am skeptical.

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I have only had this problem once. When I first recieved my Vista Hcx from fedex the package was freezing. I took out the GPSr, loaded in the batteries, and turned it on. The screen was washed out. I thought that I got screwed from ebay, but I just needed to let it warm up and turn it off and on again and it was fine. I have been careful to keep it warm since then. Hopefully this is something that they can fix with a software update, but I am skeptical.

 

I recently purchased a Vista HCX and had this problem occur multiple times yesterday in 35-40F weather with Alkaline batteries. As others have stated, turning it off and back on seemed to solve it.

 

Talked with Garmin and they said they have 3 units they've had sent back that they're working with to try and determine the problem.

Edited by rrwantr
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I had to go and say something today :) I grabbed my vista out of my drawer today and turned it on and the screen was washed out again. This was being stored inside......is your vista hcx being returned for your screen problem? Maybe I should of went with the 60 CSX.

Edited by DruNuts
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I have been hearing nothing from Garmin and they've had 2 of my receivers since 12/27/07. Last week I called and spoke to a different tech and also forwarded to him the e-mail "conversation" I had with them up to that point. I haven't received an e-mail or phone call back from him or my original tech. I'll send another e-mail tomorrow to ask what the status is. It must be tough to figure this one out or maybe easy to figure out but tough to decide what to do about it. It's good to see others reporting this problem to this thread and to Garmin. It's gotta help.

 

I'll report back if/when I hear something.

 

C.S.

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I received this back from Garmin yesterday.

 

"Thank you for contacting Garmin International.

 

Thank you for the feedback. Garmin has recently released an update that

is designed to help resolve this issue. I would also suggest updating

your unit's operating system using the link below.

 

http://www.garmin.com/products/webupdater/...stall.jsp"

 

I thought they had written something to fix the problem but when I ran Webupdater I was already running the latest versions :P .

 

How many of you are still having this problem with the following versions installed:

 

Software Version - 2.50

GPS Software Version - 2.60

 

I'm pretty sure that when I contacted Garmin I was running the latest updates but now that I want to confirm the problem still exists, I can't make it happen.

Edited by ergomaniac
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I received this back from Garmin yesterday.

 

"Thank you for contacting Garmin International.

 

Thank you for the feedback. Garmin has recently released an update that

is designed to help resolve this issue. I would also suggest updating

your unit's operating system using the link below.

 

http://www.garmin.com/products/webupdater/...stall.jsp"

 

I thought they had written something to fix the problem but when I ran Webupdater I was already running the latest versions :mad: .

 

How many of you are still having this problem with the following versions installed:

 

Software Version - 2.50

GPS Software Version - 2.60

 

I'm pretty sure that when I contacted Garmin I was running the latest updates but now that I want to confirm the problem still exists, I can't make it happen.

 

I have installed:

 

Software version - 2.50

GPS Software Version - 2.60

 

I believe these versions have been out for at least a couple of weeks, so I am confused as to when the techs would have issued the new fix. ( I just checked the Garmin site and there are no newer updates)

 

Last week, I took my HCx from the warm house and set it on the console of my car. The temperature in the car was above freezing. The screen washed out when I turned on the unit. I just finished putting the HCx in the fridge for 5 minutes and then turned it on. The screen was washed out.

 

Back to the drawing board.

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