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I Drowned a Colorado 300!


Didjerrydo

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The area around the latch is clearly open and has no O-ring to prevent water from entering beyond this latch. If the unit has been completely submerged, you will see water around both seals. When the back is removed, care needs to be taken to insure that water that may have entered through the latch does not fall into either the battery compartment of the card slot.

 

I was thinking about that as well, once water DOES get into the unprotected areas, It would be very difficult to open the unit without spilling some into the protected areas. While this may meet the specifications, it doesn't seem like a very good design.

 

In reading these other posts, I would also note that if there is indeed a small amount of "Play" in the movement of the back cover (negating the seal) I would think that even for those who set it fully in place upon closure, the rigors or trail use might cause it to partially unseat. This could be corrected by continually checking and fixing the problem, but who wants to keep "pulling up their pants" all day?

 

Edited to add...

 

Then there is always the remote possibility that the problems the OP experienced were another flaw completely, that happened to manifest itself right at that moment (slim, but still a chance) unless you completely disassembled the thing and found water inside the main body(which wound certainly negate the warranty)

 

The last thing that comes to mind...even if water gets to the battery compartmant and/or the card slot, this should not affect the function of the rest of the unit once those parts are dried.

Edited by WRITE SHOP ROBERT
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Take a good look at the battery terminals. No, I mean get your schnozz down in there and look at where the terminals enter the body. I'm freakin blind as a bat but is there epoxy sealing them off? I can't tell and need one of you young bucks to check for me. If so, than at least there is a backup plan if water ever does enter the battery compartment. :D

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Take a good look at the battery terminals. No, I mean get your schnozz down in there and look at where the terminals enter the body. I'm freakin blind as a bat but is there epoxy sealing them off? I can't tell and need one of you young bucks to check for me. If so, than at least there is a backup plan if water ever does enter the battery compartment. :D

That might be your problem. Try usiing your eyes instead of your schnozz (that one is for SMELLING)

 

Anyway, that's what I meant, getting water into the battery compartment shouldn't have an impact on the function of the unit itself, but only on the function of the batteries. Maybe it's not designed that way, but it should be.

Edited by WRITE SHOP ROBERT
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Take a good look at the battery terminals. No, I mean get your schnozz down in there and look at where the terminals enter the body. I'm freakin blind as a bat but is there epoxy sealing them off? I can't tell and need one of you young bucks to check for me. If so, than at least there is a backup plan if water ever does enter the battery compartment. :D

That might be your problem. Try usiing your eyes instead of your schnozz (that one is for SMELLING)

 

Anyway, that's what I meant, getting water into the battery compartment shouldn't have an impact on the function of the unit itself, but only on the function of the batteries. Maybe it's not designed that way, but it should be.

 

Looks like you didn't answer the previous post, or recognize it. Did something happen before you posted your reply?

 

I just check on the terminals in the battery compartment. They are clean. Very clean. But they don't appear to have epoxy filling the holes. I would think they would slightly over-fill these. One might attempt to fill these with silicone sealant, just in case. I don't see how that would hurt, as long as you waiting long enough for the sealant to harden.

 

As far as the battery cover latch being spring loaded and not causing the case to seat into the main body of the case:

 

That spring and roller only prevents the latch from sliding up once the latch is engaged and secure. The physical shape and size of the latch itself forces the cover to seat to the required position (or it is molded too short to seat at all) thus causing the seal around the SD slot to come in contact with and seal with the o-ring around the SD port. You can see this in the tight tolerance there is on position to get the back to close and latch properly. If you are about half way between that position and where the back is completely seated, you will see the cover slide more as the latch is engaged. That slop, while being visible and discernable to the eye, is only about 1/4 to 1/3 the width of the o-ring and well within the tolerance of the seal itself. I do see considerable dust deposited around this o-ring. Keeping it clean and lubricated is very important here.

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The Colorado is useless in a ziplock bag, you can't do any Rocken n Rollen with the wheel in a ziplock.

 

When I played with the 300 and 400t at the REI on a couple different days, I found the back cover hard to seat right, and easy to misalign on the rails.

 

One issue I saw with the Colorados, was the Rock n Roller Wheel, where dust can get behind it, and cause wear and tear.

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I did also drown my Colorado 300.

A few days ago on the "Stammtisch Oslo" event I demonstrated my Colorado 300. I wanted to show that it was waterproof, put the Colorado in an empty glass and filled it with water. Oh, yes I was sure the unit was properly closed. After 10 sec someone noticed air bubbles coming from the battery compartment. I pulled out the Colorado but it was too late. The unit was full of water, not only in the battery compartment, but we could also see a few mm water level in the display. Well, my Colorado has a new nickname "bathing duck", and after three days it has began to work again. Time will show if the display will be 100% ok. The biggest surprise was that it seems to be openings between the battery compartment and the electronics. My conclusion is that this unit is not IPX7 waterproof.

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I did also drown my Colorado 300.

A few days ago on the "Stammtisch Oslo" event I demonstrated my Colorado 300. I wanted to show that it was waterproof, put the Colorado in an empty glass and filled it with water. Oh, yes I was sure the unit was properly closed. After 10 sec someone noticed air bubbles coming from the battery compartment. I pulled out the Colorado but it was too late. The unit was full of water, not only in the battery compartment, but we could also see a few mm water level in the display. Well, my Colorado has a new nickname "bathing duck", and after three days it has began to work again. Time will show if the display will be 100% ok. The biggest surprise was that it seems to be openings between the battery compartment and the electronics. My conclusion is that this unit is not IPX7 waterproof.

There you go,another drowned Colorado 300! If these things take on water this easily, Garmin is going to see them returning in droves once there gets to be bunches of them out there in use. This has never been a problem with previous designs. I think someone dropped the ball here in an effort to come up with a sleek, sexy body shape.

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I noticed on my 300, that the O-ring around the batteries was rolling out of its groove (near the top) when I closed the cover. The cover would shut enough to engage the clasp but there was a cap between the cover and the main body of the unit.

 

I could hold the gasket in place using a fingernail while I closed the cover and then everything would close correctly! I wrote to Garmin about this problem and they had me return the unit. My new one should be delivered today and I am going to watch and see if the gasket on this one gets out of the groove.

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Just because a vest is bullet resistant, you don't have people intentionally shoot at you.

Well, when I’m sailing I’m used to mount my GPS on the steering consol. It’s exposed to rain and splashing water. In heavy sea hundreds of liters of water will hit the unit during the voyage. If the unit is not 100% water proof the salt water will damage the electronics. So I know that if the unit drowns in a glass of water, I can forget to use it on sea. I think it’s a good idea to test the unit before I expose it to the North Sea (and my previous GPS’ had no problems with a glass of water, nor heavy weather).

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IPX7 states 1meter of water for 30 minutes. It is perfectly justifiable for a customer to test a GPS claiming to be IPX7 in a glass of water and expect it to remain operational.

If someone handed me a vest and said it was bullet proof I would absolutely expect to see concrete data backing up this claim before I put my life on the line on faith alone that the manufacturer was not selling me an untested product.

 

In order to claim IPX7 GARMIN is required to obtain a certificate from an independent certification house. If GARMIN is claiming IPX7 then they need to be able to furnish a copy of their certificate upon request and the paper trail can be traced.

 

It is ridiculous to defend a company that is claiming IPX7 and clearly under repeated tests their units are failing miserably. You can claim “splash resistance” or any other general term, but as soon as you claim to conform to a certification standard it is legally expected that the company has obtained the proper certifications prior to making these claims.

 

If a certification house is freely granting certificates without proper and thorough testing then they will have their license to issue such certificates revoked.

 

Angus

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... but as soon as you claim to conform to a certification standard it is legally expected that the company has obtained the proper certifications prior to making these claims.

No, in many cases not. Self-certification has replaced this scheme in many cases in many countries. This is the case for many of the CE-approvals, for example. It takes that you have done your own design according to certain standards, or according to similar methods, and can present documentation regarding that, if requested. But that's it.

 

Now I'm not saying something labelled IP X7 shouldn't endure some water, I'm just saying something about the testing.

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Anders,

 

You may be correct about IPX7 being obtainable through self-certification.

GARMIN is ISO9001 certified, as such they would have clear test documentation demonstrating how they arrived at the conclusion that the Colorado conforms with the IPX7 standard.

 

1. They never tested it.

2. They performed the test with a special unit that is not equivalent to the units coming off the production line.

 

Bottom line is if you are claiming IPX7 then the device needs to comply with the standard. If this is not the case then at the least it is false advertising.

It is crazy to tell a customer they can’t test their IPX7 unit in a bowl of water! What is GARMIN afraid of, possibly that the unit will fill with water?

 

Angus

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Or their ISO 9001 instructions state that the IP rating shouldn't be tested, just assumed from construction evaluation.

ISO 9000 has nothing to do with absolute quality. It's just administrative backing to handle the kind of quality you've decided to have.

The reason I know a bit about these things is that it happens to fall within my profession.

 

Again, I too think an IPX7 unit should be able to handle a quick dive.

Edited by apersson850
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I was doing a web hunt to find out exactly what IPX7 requires in terms of design, physical testing, certification, etc. My understanding is that IPX7 means that "Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion)." To the best of my knowledge, to attain a rating of IPX7, physical immersion testing would be required. Obviously, you would first design the product with an objective of meeting IPX7, but then you would have to physically test the product before claiming it as being IPX7 rated.

 

This link was interesting: http://www.adaptaflex.com/news-archive.asp?year=2006

 

... we have seen that spray tests up to IPX6, are quite different to immersion tests for IPX7 and X8. Indeed, products that have IPX7 or IPX8 may well fail the IPX6 test, as the jet of water can, in some cases, force its way past a gasket or seal, that seal perfectly well under static loads when the weight of water is helping to compress it even further.

 

I am not aware of anything in Garmin's publicity which implies other than that the units are fully IPX7 rated, which certainly suggests they should have been tested. I can also find no qualifications along the lines of "don't try this a home"! :blink:

 

I then came across this link, which may be instructive. (Even though it is quite out of date, it might shed some light on Garmin's philosophy as to IPX7 rating): http://www.gpsinformation.net/main/garwater.htm

 

Phrases I found interesting:

 

Garmin now factory tests the GPS MAP 175, 38, 12, 12XL, II, II+, and all the fixed mount GPS units (120, 125, 130, 135, by "proof" testing by applying a vacuum. We have established a good correlation between the ability of the unit to hold a vacuum and the ability to pass an immersion test per IEC 529 IPX7.

 

[While this info is several years old, it does make you wonder whether Garmin actually tests for water-tightness?! I can certainly understand that you don't necessarily do an immersion test of every single unit, but I would think you should be doing something like a full immersion test on a sample from each manufacturing batch, followed up by some production quality testing on each and every unit.]

 

... we don't test as many of them due to the higher volume

 

... designed to be immersible per IEC 529 IPX7

 

[My emphasis]

Edited by julianh
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If you read the Colorado spec info from Garmin you will see several references to waterproofness.

 

1. Rock on. Find Fun

Intuitive and fun, Colorado features a Rock ‘n Roller input wheel for easy one-handed operation and supports Geocaching.com GPX files for downloading geocaches and detail straight to your unit. Customize Colorado's interface based on your favorite activity. Even show off photos of your excursions with its picture viewer. Slim, lightweight and waterproof, Colorado is the perfect companion for all your outdoor pursuits.

 

2. Plug in and Go

Conveniently plug in optional preloaded SD cards for all your outdoor activities on land or water (see maps tab for compatible maps). Just insert a MapSource card with detailed street maps, and Colorado provides turn-by-turn directions to your destination. Add detailed trail information by purchasing additional TOPO maps for national parks and more. The card slot is located inside the waterproof battery compartment, so you don't have to worry about getting it wet.

 

3. On the Specs tab: Waterproof IPX7

 

4. Logo at the bottom of the Features page reads: Submersible IEC 60529 IPX7

 

So would you infer from these points that this unit would remain dry after a quick dunk in water? The heck Yes!! I have owned a Geko 301 that has been wet on many occasions. I have never worried about it because the specs clearly point out that it meets the IPX7 standard for waterproofness and that has been my experience with the Geko. I expect that to be the truth and nothing but the truth. So from my previous experience I would expect that the Colorado would perform in similar fashion. From the posts in this forum I think that there are reasonable doubts about the IPX7 claim.

 

So from some of the Colorado users posts you can see that there is a water leaking problem here. To me ,this is false advertising by Garmin. These units should have been dry inside the battery compartment and the SD card compartment after such a simple water exposure test. Consider that the standard calls for a max of 30 min under 3 ft. of water. If the o-rings can move unexpectedly from their tracks and the lid does not fit squarely (because of significant wiggle room ) to the frame, there is no way Garmin can honestly claim adherence to the IPX7 standard. This variables should be controlled by a better design and proper execution/manufacture. Either they remove the conformance to the IPX7 standard claim or redesign the battery cover. I think that the o-rings should be placed on the edge of the cover as to make the whole compartment waterproof. The cover should be under pressure against the o-rings.

 

It interesting to note that some users point out that they have no problems with water entering the battery compartment. Is there a sporadic quality control problem? Are some users not following the "correct" methodology when securing the battery cover?

 

I would encourage Garmin to respond and clarify this issue. I would not spend over $500 for a "rugged" GPS that I have to worry all the time about getting it wet from a rainshower and to be concerned about how carefully I placed the battery cover. The Colorado has great potential to be a best seller for Garmin, so I hope that this issue is solved to everyone's satisfaction. Garmin has a good reputation for solid customer support, so I hope that this issue is dealt with promptly.

 

vtgeckos :)

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As the current cover is desgined with a large hole where the latch, to lock the cover in place, is located, sealing the cover where it meets the housing is like closing the window when the door is open.

 

What I tried to convey here is that you can specify IPX7 without involving a third party certification, that IPX7 specifies a very "static" test and that moving the unit around under water usually creates tougher dynamic conditions than the static test will create.

 

What I also want to emphasize is that I consider it appropriate that a unit, that's rated IPX7, should be able to withstand immersion in a few decimeters of water for a few seconds without any harm, even if the movement througih the water is significantly tougher than what happens when doing an immersion test.

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After reading this thread almost everyone is saying this is not a design flaw and have no issues with water entering the unit. Well this is all well and good, but bottom line you are just asking for trouble. By default, you should not allow water to get into the unit in the first place. That's like NASA sending up a rocket and saying hey, we'll let the outer door allow in the outer atmosphere and rely on the internal door seal to the spacecraft with no backup to protect the astronauts.

 

How completely ridiculous does that sound?? To design the Colorado this way is absolutely dumb and I believe you are going to see more and more failures with water. If you are all so confident about this, why don't you all go dunk your units and take your chances. Everyone says it's not a problem but in the same breath say I wouldn't do that. That's real encouraging, thanks.

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My Colorado has also drowned a couple of times from getting splashed on a kayaking trip and on a backpacking trip. It does eventually come back to life after a week of drying out. The back light though gets dimmer with every soaking. The GPS takes a bit longer now to aquire satellites too. The first time it happened I figured it was my fault by not closing it completely or having sand in the seal but after it got wet the second time I am sure its a defect in the design.

 

The battery compartment in mine does appear to have epoxy around the terminals, but there is no second line of protection for the SD slot that I can see. The holes mentioned for the latch are not through holes. Since Garmin has chosen not to warrant my unit I will probably take it apart to dry it better and attempt to fix the backlight. Its a shame to have this problem on a $600 GPS when my friend's 60CSx was half the price and never leaked.

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Why did Garmin fail to warrant your unit? I'm just curious because it just came out and of course hasn't been on the market a year yet. Hmmm.

 

EDITED TO ADD: I'm not doubting your story either. I would just love to know whats going on with Garmin.

Edited by yogazoo
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That's my thought, I'd be real interested to know why garmin would not replace a unit that is getting water in it while being splashed on a kayak or backpacking trip?

 

To clarify I don't doubt your story at all, but I'm curious what excuse garmin used to refuse to replace it.

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While showing a customer in our store a Colorado 300, I did a little demonstration that I've done many times in the past with other Garmin handheld GPS units. We have a small goldfish pond at the front of the store into which I dipped a Colorado 300 about a foot deep for around 10 seconds. I brought the unit out and pushed the power switch to find it totally dead! The screen flickered a few seconds and quit.

Upon removing the back, I found water inside the unit. I removed the batteries and SD card then used a dust removal product to blow out the card slot and battery compartment as thoroughly as I could, but to no avail.

This amazed me to discover that this unit, that is supposed to withstand a 1 meter submersion for 30 minutes, leaked from this quick dunk! Previous models never had a problem with this. As a matter of fact, in dealing with Garmin handhelds for over 15 years, I've never seen a single unit with water damage and we've sold many,many units over the years which have been used very hard. A co-worker here has a 60 CX which mounted on his motorcycle and rides in pouring rain and has never had a problem with water! Upon closer examination, it seems like the opening in the back where the latch engages with the body is the problem. It's wide open for water to enter. This oversight in the unit's design seems unbelievable!

I called Garmin and told them what happened and they said to send it in for replacement, but said that I shouldn't have done this and that the unit should never be submerged whatsoever. Apparently the Colorado units don't have the water resistance, let alone waterproofness ,as stated in the specifications, of other Garmin handhelds. Anyone with a Colorado should be aware of this and realize that the "IXP7" rating apparently doesn't mean much and is certainly not meant to be taken literally!

 

 

Yup have you heard about the yellow Etrex?? It's not sealed with the proper glue.

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Just a few general and perhaps slightly off-topic comments:

 

Be careful if you apply any kind of sealant to your O-rings. It's my understanding that Vaseline brand or any other kind of petroleum jelly (normally used on baby's bottoms) will eventually degrade a rubber seal. If I remember correctly this is because petroleum jelly is a petroleum product, as is rubber, and will eventually dissolve the rubber. But a real scientist out there should confirm or deny this.

 

If your unit does get wet, there are ways of dealing with the water once the unit is back in your hands. Us camera owners are very aware of these methods. Power the unit down immediately. Dry the outside of the unit thoroughly before opening any hatches. Remove battery covers carefully, holding the unit flat and still. Dry the area around the battery compartment carefully and thoroughly. If possible let the unit dry out before powering it back on. If the unit gets wet, and is still functioning, it might be best to dry off the exterior and NOT open any battery compartments. It sounds like the Colorado has a seal inside the cover. If you remove the cover it could allow water past the seal you have now removed.

 

Re factory-testing to meet standards, there is something called type-acceptance in the electronics field, as it relates to satellite upink dishes, transmitters, etc. The FCC and other licensing agencies set specifications for equipment. If your gear is designed according to these specs, then it is assumed that it will function within specs without having to be submitted to actual testing. Perhaps Garmin DESIGNED a unit to IPX7 standards but it may not have ever actually been tested, which would be a shame. I'm sure there are others here who can elaborate on this.

 

Regarding the idea of testing your unit to see if it really is waterproof, I have mixed feelings about that. While it's in our geek nature to want to experiment with such things, I get the willies when I think about dunking my Legend HCx on purpose. I think for now I will take it on faith that it will hold up as specified.

Edited by TeamEcuador
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I think the idea of not testing a units water resistance is just poor judgment.

 

For those that actually use these things in the field it's imperative to have faith in your gear and know that it's going to perform. While something can go wrong with anything, and a person should always have a map/compass and backup for any important piece of gear in the field that is not the place I want to find out that my gps unit can't take some rain or a dunking because if it can't then steps need to be taken to ensure it can such as waterproof pouches etc.

 

Going into the field with a gps you hope is going to take a dunk or a serious rain when you may need it most without testing it, borders on irresponsible.

 

I see it all the time with guys that buy "waterproof" bags and never test them, they shove hundreds if not thousands of dollars of gear into them that they need to rely on, go into the field and then end up with wet and ruined gear when they need it most.

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Let me relate my unintentional waterproof testing of my 60CS. At the time this occurred it was more than a year old and had found over 500 caches. I was caching on a trail along a river in Illinois. When I found the cache I put my GPS on its belt clip. The problem was that my Garmin Belt clip had broken and I had replaced it with a cheap clip. While logging my find the GPS came out of the belt clip and dropped to the ground. It started to roll down the hill toward the river. Did I mention that the trail was about 30' above the river. It rolled hit trees and bounced down into the river. I am pretty sure it took me about 15 minutes to get down to the water because the embankment was so steep. When I got there I found me GPS sitiing on the bottom about 1 foot under water. It was still working. In fact I can attest that in the sun light under water the screen is very bright and can easily ben read. From what I have read above I must assume that the Colorado would never have survived this impromptu if unintentional test......

 

Glas my GPS survived since I had been geocaching with it for several hours getting further and further from my motel. I am sure I would have had a lot of difficulty finding my way back without it.

 

:blink:

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Yup have you heard about the yellow Etrex?? It's not sealed with the proper glue.

 

I haven't heard about the yellow Etrex, please tell me what all you know. I have a yellow Etrex H, and have unintentionally completely drowned it twice and it worked immediately upon retrieving it both times. The first time, we stopped to go potty, apparently when we closed the doors it slid off the console directly into a glass of iced tea sitting in the drink holder below the console. Worked fine as soon as I pulled it out. Second time was last weekend, when I got dumped out of my kayak and it filled completely with water and had to be taken to shore to dump with the Etrex submerged in water. Again, worked fine as soon as I pulled it out. Just wondering if I've been lucky and should not count on it being water proof in the future.

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I haven't heard about the yellow Etrex, please tell me what all you know.
The yellow eTrex should be more waterproof than the more expensive eTrex's that take a memory card. If there is dirt on the gasket between the GPS, and the battery cover, then water may get inside, and do more damage to the eTrexes that have a memory card.

 

If the rubber band around your yellow eTrex is solid, not having received heat damage, the GPS should be fine. The yellow eTrex should be the better option for out on the water, then the more expensive units should have a higher level of protection against water intrusion.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-0-0-0-0--=-=-=-=-0-0-0=-=-=-0-0-0-0==-=-=----

 

The back cover of the Colorado's is shaped like an icecream scoop that can hold a bit of water, except for the hole in the cover where the latch is. Try it at home, with your finger over the latch hole of the cover, and the Colorado sitting in a safe place away from any water, take just the back cover, and scoop up some water, from a bowl, then dump it in a measuring cup quickly before water leaks through the latch hole.

 

The shape of the Colorado's back cover holds enough water, that it can be forced into the battery compartment and/or the SD card slot at the bottom. What I am thinking is that the SD card slot itself should be sealed with a piece of tape, and that the SD card inserted is semi-permanant, until the next time you use a new piece of tape to seal off the SD card slot. The tape over the SD card slot should keep water out as the Scoop shaped cover is slid off, for if there is no tape, the cover being romoved, the water will enter the slot as the latch is popped open and the cover slid off.

 

The backcover should have had better sealing out of water, and have drain holes at the bottom, so that water can't be forced past the SD-card slot gasket.

 

----------

 

The Colorado needs a better design against water intrusion.

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They said the splashing action voided the warranty since the IPx7 rating only works in a controlled environment. 'Splashing creates more pressure than the rating requires' is approximately what they said.

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Would it be worth while drilling a couple of small holes into the bottom of the back cover to allow for better drainage before removing the back cover? Seems that intrusion likely occurs after immersion from the residual water inside the back cover. Alternatively,one could hold the unit in a manner that would allow the water to drain out of the latch assembly until it was safe to remove the back cover.

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They said the splashing action voided the warranty since the IPx7 rating only works in a controlled environment. 'Splashing creates more pressure than the rating requires' is approximately what they said.

 

That is a pathetic cope out in my opinion by garmin they should be ashamed. They market it as waterproof to a standard as an outdoor unit. "Slim, lightweight and waterproof, Colorado is the perfect companion for all your outdoor pursuits." Unless it rains or you might get some water on it. Misleading marketing flat out.

 

So basically then the whole waterproof statement by garmin is a joke, because if you have a problem they won't take care of it. Rain is splashing, falling into a stream is a splash, so is use in a kayak basically any outdoor situation where the unit gets wet voids the warranty as they can claim it's not a controlled environment.....how convenient for them to cover a poor design.

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They said the splashing action voided the warranty since the IPx7 rating only works in a controlled environment. 'Splashing creates more pressure than the rating requires' is approximately what they said.

 

Sorry to hear that. Have you tried to escalate your claim to another Garmin rep, or maybe get the vendor whom you purchased from go to bat for you with garmin. I find it odd that a GPSr designed and marketed for outdoor use IPX7 rating, be limited to a controlled environment I mean here in Texas, We have a saying " If you don't like the weather just wait a minute". The IPX7 waterproofing is a know issue You should really escalate your problem till you are satisfied. Good Luck. I think I would not use the term "splash", if that is the so called deciding factor.

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IPx7 is for immersion in water up to 1 meter deep. This is much HIGHER protection than that from "splashing".

Not necessarily so - the numeric codes are not meant to be hierarchical, so it does not follow that IPX7 is better than IPX1 to IPX6.

 

The IPX7 test is a static test, while the IPX3 to IPX6 (splashing and spraying) tests involve moving water, which can possibly force its way past a seal which is strictly designed only for a small amount of static pressure. It is possible for a piece of equipment to pass IPX7 but fail some or all of IPX3 to IPX6. (Although to be fair, you would generally expect a piece of equipment which passes IPX7 testing to be good for IPX4 as well, but you can't just "assert" this - you are supposed to test. IPX6 - powerful water jets - can often generate local pressures that are substantially higher than the static presser test for IPX7.)

 

The real question is whether Garmin has actually TESTED these units at all?

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One thing I find interesting is that ALL the current Garmin handheld units are rated as being "waterproof to IPX7" - even the 76 series, and these ones are marketed as being ideal for boaties because they float! Does Garmin's attitude on the Colorado mean the at the 76 series would hypothetically float if they were ever dropped in water, but because you should never actually dunk a Garmin which is rated to IPX7, there is no way of actually finding out whether it would float? I think not!

 

I think that since Garmin advertise their units as being "waterproof", there is a clear implication that they are designed (and should have been tested!) to survive accidental dunkings etc, and Garmin should be prepared to back this up with warranty replacement if a unit fails after such an event.

 

(Happy owner of a Summit HC, which has not yet been dunked - intentionally or otherwise!)

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The IPX7 test is a static test, while the IPX3 to IPX6 (splashing and spraying) tests involve moving water, which can possibly force its way past a seal which is strictly designed only for a small amount of static pressure. It is possible for a piece of equipment to pass IPX7 but fail some or all of IPX3 to IPX6. (Although to be fair, you would generally expect a piece of equipment which passes IPX7 testing to be good for IPX4 as well, but you can't just "assert" this - you are supposed to test. IPX6 - powerful water jets - can often generate local pressures that are substantially higher than the static presser test for IPX7.)

 

The real question is whether Garmin has actually TESTED these units at all?

 

I don't agree. It is accepted that they are in order of water tightness. I buy electrical equipment all over the world and asking for IP67 means water is note getting in.........

 

The denial of a warranty claim is stupid and very bad for their reputation...

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In the interests of science.... I just ran the tap over mine in all directions and then stuck it under water for a minute to test. I got not water ingress into the unit past the seals. Mine is stopping water fine.

 

One thing...make sure you push the cover on fully before clipping it in order to make sure the SD card seal is seated.

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The IPX7 test is a static test, while the IPX3 to IPX6 (splashing and spraying) tests involve moving water, which can possibly force its way past a seal which is strictly designed only for a small amount of static pressure. It is possible for a piece of equipment to pass IPX7 but fail some or all of IPX3 to IPX6. (Although to be fair, you would generally expect a piece of equipment which passes IPX7 testing to be good for IPX4 as well, but you can't just "assert" this - you are supposed to test. IPX6 - powerful water jets - can often generate local pressures that are substantially higher than the static presser test for IPX7.)

 

The real question is whether Garmin has actually TESTED these units at all?

 

I don't agree. It is accepted that they are in order of water tightness. I buy electrical equipment all over the world and asking for IP67 means water is note getting in.........

 

The denial of a warranty claim is stupid and very bad for their reputation...

Not trying to start a war of words here, but IPX3 to IPX6 involve sprays and jets of water under controlled flow rate and pressures, which can DEFINITELY get through some simple water seals which will pass IPX7. I am inclined to agree that I would generally EXPECT something which passes IPX7 to be able to pass IPX3 or IPX4, but the point is, they are actually different test specifications, and need to be treated as such.

 

Note for example that the Garmin eTrex units have a small pinhole in the back of the casing, which is used to equalise air pressure on models with barometric altimeters (and is a redundant hole in models which don't). This hole is not physically sealed on any models as far as I know, but should not leak in a simple 1-metre immersion test, as the combination of surface tension effects and the air pressure inside the unit etc should stop water passing. However, it is conceivable that water spray and / or jets could pass this hole, as fluctuating effect from impacting droplets could break the surface tension and force some water ingress. I don't know whether this is actually the case, and I am not suggesting this is a design flaw - the point is, waterproofness is supposed to be tested, and you can't automatically assume that IPX7 is always better than IPX3 or IPX4.

 

I also agree that denying warranty claims on units which have been dunked is bad business, and possibly illegal (misleading advertising and all that).

 

Test Level Definition

0 Non-protected, No special protection

 

1 Protected against falling water. Equivalent to 3-5 mm rainfall per minute for a duration of 10 minutes. Unit is placed in its normal operating position.

(Basically - this is testing against heavy vertically-falling rain.)

 

2 Protected against falling water when tilted up to 15 degrees. Same as (1) above but unit is tested in 4 fixed positions - tilted 15 degrees in each direction from normal operating position.

(This allows for the unit to have some deviation from its "normal" position. Probably not an appropriate test for a hand-held unit, which can be held in ANY orientation, unless you test at all possible angles.)

 

3 Protected against spraying water, Water spraying up to 60 degrees from vertical at 10 litres/min at a gauge pressure of 80-100 kPa for 5 min.

(That's roughly equivalent to a typical bathroom shower - lower apparent pressure than a simple 1-metre static immersion test, but the spraying action can potentially be more intrusive than simple immersion to 1 metre depth. Basically tests for intense driving rain or similar.)

 

4 Protected against splashing water. Same as level 3 but water is sprayed at all angles.

(Allows for hand-held units which can be held in any orientation, for example.)

 

5 Protected against water jets. Water projected at all angles through a 6.3 mm nozzle at a flow rate of 12.5 litres/min at a gauge pressure of 30 kPa for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 metres.

(Now we are talking about holding your garden hose on the unit, with the tap turned fully open, and the nozzle set to "narrow jet", not "spray". This can easily be imagined to be worse than a simple static immersion test in some cases.)

 

6 Protected against heavy seas. Water projected at all angles through a 12.5 mm nozzle at a flow rate of 100 litres/min at a gauge pressure of 100 kPa for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 metres.

(This is basically a fire hose test!)

 

7 Protected against water immersion. Immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 metre.

(Note this is a static immersion test, so there are no "impact" or "flow" effects which can force water through simple seals, for example.)

 

8 Protected against water submersion. The equipment is suitable for continuous submersion in water under conditions which are identified by the manufacturer.

(This is full "scuba-diving-grade" waterproof testing, but the manufacturer must nominate the depth and other conditions of the test.)

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Yes, I have heard this argument before, but it is is NOT how anyone in industry views it. A higher number is always viewed better. When I buy IPx7 electrical equipment, I know that it can be firehosed down and nothing gets in. I've never seen any IPx7 piece of equipment let water in, ever, and they are cleaned very aggressively all the time....

 

Nobody in their right mind ever says I want something that is IPx4 AND IPx7..... It is understood that 7 meets and exceeds 4.

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Yes, I have heard this argument before, but it is is NOT how anyone in industry views it. A higher number is always viewed better. When I buy IPx7 electrical equipment, I know that it can be firehosed down and nothing gets in. I've never seen any IPx7 piece of equipment let water in, ever, and they are cleaned very aggressively all the time....

 

Nobody in their right mind ever says I want something that is IPx4 AND IPx7..... It is understood that 7 meets and exceeds 4.

Red90,

 

I know that most people in industry assume the higher the number, the better the protection, but it ain't necessarily so, bro! There are SOME suppliers in the electrical industry who do know and understand that IPX7 is not necessarily "better" than IPX4 (for example). While it is not too difficult to make a housing which is both submersible and can be sprayed or even fire-hosed, there are also plenty of relatively flimsy housings around which can be immersed to 1 metre depth but will not pass a good spray test.

 

Check out this presentation by a manufacturer of submersible lights, for example:

 

http://www.bronzelite.com/ppt/IP%20Ratings...pt#264,10,Water intrusion dual IP ratings

 

Water intrusion dual IP ratings

 

Per the IEC standard, enclosures only rated IPX7 or IPX8 are restricted use and are unsuitable for exposure to jets of water.

 

Dual ratings are more versatile.

 

For example, IPX6/IPX8 designates an enclosure that protects against both powerful jets (such as from power washers or driving rain) AND against continuous immersion (such as when installations in low lying areas results in pooling of water on top of the luminaire or submerged in fountain installations).

 

Also, in this link by a manufacturer of thermal imaging cameras (TICs) for fire fighters (a fairly critical application, I would think!), it states explicitly that

 

Note that, while an IP-X6 rating includes those ratings preceding it, an IP-X7 rating does not include the preceding levels of protection. Therefore, though it may be able to withstand temporary immersion, a TIC may not keep out water if it is subjected to a streaming jet of water.

As stated earlier, though most Fire Service TICs are rated to at IP-67, this may not be the most applicable rating for these TICs. Each model within MSA’s line of Evolution TICs has been subjected to the full scale of IP-testing rigors enforced by the IEC tests for water ingress. These tests included the IP-X6 test, perhaps the toughest level to pass.

[My emphasis added]

 

http://media.msanet.com/NA/usa/TIC/Thermal...IC_Magazine.pdf

Edited by julianh
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Sorry to hear that. Have you tried to escalate your claim to another Garmin rep, or maybe get the vendor whom you purchased from go to bat for you with garmin. I find it odd that a GPSr designed and marketed for outdoor use IPX7 rating, be limited to a controlled environment I mean here in Texas, We have a saying " If you don't like the weather just wait a minute". The IPX7 waterproofing is a know issue You should really escalate your problem till you are satisfied. Good Luck. I think I would not use the term "splash", if that is the so called deciding factor.

 

I had also submitted this problem through the online contact form. Another rep replied to that and had also seen that I called in. They decided to fix it on warranty. I sent in my damaged one and they sent me a brand new one a week later. I guess I will need to try to take better care of this one.

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