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Air gaps in Oregon (and Nuvi et al) touchscreens


flarbear
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I wanted to start a thread about some issues I've had with touchscreens on a couple of Garmins in case anyone else is having similar troubles and might benefit from my experiences.

 

I bought a Nuvi 200 back in May on a great Memorial Day sale and the touchscreen was really hard to use. I would have just chalked the experiences up to the quality of their touchscreen being just really poor, but there was something odd about the problem that made me think twice. One problem I kept having was that I would touch the screen on one side and yet a button on the complete opposite side would also get triggered. At first I thought maybe I was being lax and dangling another finger on the far side of the screen, but it would happen when I was really careful and even when I used a stylus to do the press very accurately. If it wasn't for the fact that I was nowhere near the button that was triggered I would have just thought that it was a "touchy" or inaccurate touchscreen.

 

In examining it more closely I noticed that there was some give in the top layer of the touchscreen - the matte plastic cover that you make contact with. When I pressed it, there was a visible distortion across the entire display and the distortion would snap back when I released. It was as if the plastic layer was not perfectly flat on the screen when they pressed it into its mount, or some slight movement in the mounting mechanism had caused it to bunch a little.

 

After noticing this I returned the unit to Frys for a replacement and my second Nuvi had a very firmly mounted plastic layer that had no give or air gap under it at all and worked perfectly.

 

Recently I bought an Oregon 400t at REI and noticed that I would have some trouble using the touchscreen from time to time. The problems I had were that I had trouble accessing some rows of buttons unless I was really careful with my finger, and also sometimes I would press a button and as I lifted off the screen it would scroll slightly in one direction and then snap back and fail to register the button press. It was pretty bad when I first got it, so I calibrated the screen and the problem got better, but didn't completely go away. Again I looked closely and noticed an air gap under the matte plastic that would deform as I pressed it. Unlike the Nuvi which would deform across the entire display, the OR screen was simply bubbly and would deform more locally as I pressed. But, it was enough to turn a simple press in to a slight "drag" that would invoke the scrolling or to shift the pressure point to an adjacent button as I lifted off.

 

Remembering my trouble with the Nuvi I looked again at my working Nuvi and noticed that its screen was rock solid - mounted very well into the frame with no give or air gaps. That is how I'd expect a touchscreen plastic layer to be mounted on a $600 device.

 

So, I returned the OR to REI for a replacement and they let me look at the new OR at the Customer Service counter. The new one still had an ever so slight give to it and I was worried and wanted to check another unit, but the CS representative said that it was their last one. I ended up just getting it (with their return policy I can always return it when they have more stock if the second one is also bad), but this one seems to work just fine despite the slight give in it.

 

So, if you are having occasional missed hits with your touchscreen and notice an air gap or a distortion in the plastic layer as you press on it - try getting a replacement rather than living with the frustration...

Edited by flarbear
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Thanks Low Bat, but don't be too picky. The new OR I have now isn't perfect, but the distortion is very low and the touchscreen is working just great.

 

I'd recommend more that if you think the touchscreen is being flaky and recalibration doesn't help - then look for this potential problem to confirm that it may not "be just you"...

Edited by flarbear
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This might be a good thread to draw in comments on--once you know your touchscreen is working okay--adding an invisibleSHIELD on top of the touchscreen to further protect it?

 

This was touched on elsewhere earlier on but it is now later on in the game. Are these shields working okay on the OR? Is there any sensitivity loss noted? Maybe there is enough size difference that the OR SHIELD is not out yet?

 

Can they be removed from the OR touchscreen if need be or is there greater danger in damaging the screen?

 

Thank you... I'll certainly look at my OR screen closely, er, along with everything else including getting it good and wet--something I was afraid to even test on purpose with the CO even though they both are to the waterproof spec.

Edited by Ratsneve
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There are several posts around here indicating that people have had good luck with the InvisibleShield protectors and that it doesn't affect the touchscreen. The problem is that Zagg doesn't make one specifically for the OR, however you can purchase a CO shield and trim about 1mm off the length to make it work.

 

GO$Rs

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There are several posts around here indicating that people have had good luck with the InvisibleShield protectors and that it doesn't affect the touchscreen. The problem is that Zagg doesn't make one specifically for the OR, however you can purchase a CO shield and trim about 1mm off the length to make it work.

 

GO$Rs

 

There's a number of "screen protectors" on the market by various manufacturers, any of which (as long as they're at least 39mmX 69mm), that can easily be cut down and used sucessfully on the Oregons. I'm using an old Fellows brand version made for an older Palm V PDA. It works perfectly. This particular protector has a glossy surface rather than a textured one, which I find to actually improve visibility bt killing the dull, matte surface of the Oregon. It's simply a matter of cutting the protector down to the above size with an X-Acto knife or similar super sharp knife and a straight edge of some sort.

It is important to apply the protector very carefully to avoid air bubbles underneath it. I would also be very cautious in removing an old protector. You should use a wood or plastic toothpick to carefully lift a corner and then slowly peel it off. This is important in order not to possibly pull the underlying surface material away from whatever is underneath it.

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There are several posts around here indicating that people have had good luck with the InvisibleShield protectors and that it doesn't affect the touchscreen. The problem is that Zagg doesn't make one specifically for the OR, however you can purchase a CO shield and trim about 1mm off the length to make it work.

 

GO$Rs

 

You could find a kiosk location for InvisiShield in a mall and they will custom cut to size, and then install it for you. At least I know they have one in our area.

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Last week I returned my Oregon 400t, but I had applied a spare screen protector that I happened to have (i.e. when I had the Colorado 400t, I purchased two screen protectors, but only used one).

 

I applied the screen protector to the Oregon 400t, and later it came off just fine. I had it applied most of the 5 weeks that I had the unit before returning it, and the screen was in beautiful condition when I returned it (which is kind of important).

 

The touch screen worked fine with the screen protector; not any difference that I could detect prior or after applying it. Note that around week #5, my unit developed a strange user interface problem where it would periodically fail to be responsive to user input. This was a sudden onset problem and was intermittent. I don't believe the screen protector had anything to do with it since the unit functioned fine for 4 weeks prior without incident.

 

Regards

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I got the the Nuvi 500 this past weekend and have problems with the lower right corner down arrow icon. With repeated pressing while scrolling through geocache files it will sometimes (about every 10th press) select the file right above the down arrow icon...instead of continuing to scroll. I also have intermittent problems entering my security code...it selects a wrong number making me reenter the 4 digit code again.

 

I don't see any distortion on the what appears to be tight touchscreen. It's not too annoying at this point...but if it gets worse it will become very annoying. I got my unit @ GPSNOW.COM...I hope they have a good return policy? :huh:

 

I'm going to post this information over at the Nuvi 500 thread so others can join in if they have problems too.

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There are several posts around here indicating that people have had good luck with the InvisibleShield protectors and that it doesn't affect the touchscreen. The problem is that Zagg doesn't make one specifically for the OR, however you can purchase a CO shield and trim about 1mm off the length to make it work.

 

GO$Rs

GO$Rs... Do you or did you use ZAGG's shields on your CO or OR? If you don't use any shields I would be interested in your reasoning? Thanks. (One very good reason why you haven't installed any shield would be if the units are only on loan while you thoroughly test them?)

 

:huh: The ZAGG invisibleSHIELD I bought and successfully installed on the CO 400t _was_ about 1 mm to long leaving me thinking now that I might have to trim off 2 mm to work on the OR? Or would that be 1 mm from the top and 1 mm along the length?

 

Okay, I just got off the phone with ZAGG and have ordered, under their lifetime warranty, a replacement SHIELD for the CO. If I do cut the new SHIELD down to size to fit the OR when it arrives this process will void further warranty. For the same original cost you can get custom screen sizes made--not bad for $11.95 with $0 shipping. The CO size wasn't perfect but was of no concern. If that looks true with the CO screen on the OR unit I likely will not bother trimming off 1 mm and thus preserve the warranty.

 

Fingerprints on the exposed surface can be removed of course by wiping but finger prints on the sticky bottom surface cannot be removed. ZAGG does not recommend reusing the shields largely because of finger prints. Using excessive spray will help lining up the shield during installation. Lack of this made my first installation difficult but still successful.

 

ZAGG sells shields to a lot of cell phone types and other touchscreen equipment and they are not tracking any difficulties with touchscreen surfaces for installation _or_ later removal. The only caution was to keep spray off the electronics (keypad & button switch internals).

Edited by Ratsneve
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I had an InvisibleShield on my CO 400t for 3-4 months, I took it off a few weeks ago as I was preparing to send that unit back on RMA and I have a replacement shield I haven't used. No fit problems for me on the CO.

 

I have one on my 60csx, it works great.

 

I tried to convince Zagg to make one specifically cut for the OR but they told me to spend the money on a custom shield. I just haven't had the time to take it any further but I'm thinking I'll probably modify the CO shield I have for use on the OR. If people would like to see one made for the OR drop Zagg a line, if enough people show interest I'm sure they'll make one.

 

GO$Rs

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I got the the Nuvi 500 this past weekend and have problems with the lower right corner down arrow icon. With repeated pressing while scrolling through geocache files it will sometimes (about every 10th press) select the file right above the down arrow icon...instead of continuing to scroll. I also have intermittent problems entering my security code...it selects a wrong number making me reenter the 4 digit code again.

 

I don't see any distortion on the what appears to be tight touchscreen. It's not too annoying at this point...but if it gets worse it will become very annoying. I got my unit @ GPSNOW.COM...I hope they have a good return policy? :huh:

 

I'm going to post this information over at the Nuvi 500 thread so others can join in if they have problems too.

And, just to be sure because you didn't mention it, did you recalibrate the display? For most of their devices you recalibrate the display by holding the power button for on the order of (seems like forever) 30 seconds or so to turn it on and it will go straight into a touchscreen calibration sequence.

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And, just to be sure because you didn't mention it, did you recalibrate the display? For most of their devices you recalibrate the display by holding the power button for on the order of (seems like forever) 30 seconds or so to turn it on and it will go straight into a touchscreen calibration sequence.

 

Learn something every day...I do!

 

Thanks...I'll try that. :laughing:

 

Ok...that didn't work, but I found the procedure in the on board help tutorial. You have to be pressing the upper left corner while powering on...hold it till you get the recalibration screen...it takes 15 seconds or so for it to come on. I recalibrated twice cause the first time didn't help...it seems to be better now.

Edited by Crash & Sunshine
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As far as screen protectors, I'm trying to get Boxwave to release a Cleartouch Crystal protector for Oregon. I might try that as people give it good marks for visibility. The invisibleshield I have on my CO has been just great in terms of visibility, but I want to give the OR screen all the help it can get.

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