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Garmin 62 buttons wearing past the black


yogazoo
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I'm having problems with (premature) wear on the buttons of my three month old 62 series. I always baby my GPSR's and I've had a 60 for five years now without a single wear mark on the buttons. My 62's buttons seem less tolerant to friction. The black is wearing off around the edges of nearly all my buttons.

 

It's not too big a deal, I mean I can read the buttons fine and know what each one does without reading the text on them anyway. It just looks unsightly and thinking about resale value it definately makes a used unit less appealing.

 

Has anyone experienced this button wear on their 62's or 60's?

 

Does anyone know how much it is to have Garmin replace the buttons?

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I hear what you're saying about deet but I haven't used any bug spray over the past three months (Not that you were saying deet was the culprit). The wear on my buttons seems to be coming from the friction the buttons recieve from brushing against the inside of the softsided Garmin GPS case.

Edited by yogazoo
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Well.... I wore the buttons off the old 60.

The lights in the buttons would show thru.

 

I'm guessing I'll wear out the buttons on the 62 quicker...due to the fact that I'm doing paperless caching.

Each cache find results in a dozen key strokes.

 

So far... I'm a couple thousand finds into the 62, and I can still see the letters.

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Thanks for all the replys. My plan is to not worry too much about it and keep my eyes peeled for a 62 that someone has run over with their car and wnat's to sell for parts. From this parts unit I'll just replace the button mat. For now It's just cosmetic and isn't a critical problem, it just looks like doodie.

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The buttons on my 62s started wearing at the corners in the first month. Other cachers that I know have had the same issue with theirs. They are wearing WAY faster than on the 60 series. I plan on contacting Garmin about this. You'd think that they would have improved upon this issue rather than having their newest product being the worst case yet.

 

(edit for spelling)

Edited by ElectroQTed
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PC keyboards solved this problem three decades ago by going to two-color injection molding. So rather than paint, both colors have depth and as wear occurs theirs no loss of contrast. While the tooling cost is more, the key cost can be lower, since theirs no secondary painting process.

 

Since handheld GPS' sell at a considerable premium and have much longer product lives to road warrior boxes, a regrettable cost savings measure.

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The buttons on my 62s started wearing at the corners in the first month. Other cachers that I know have had the same issue with theirs. They are wearing WAY faster than on the 60 series. I plan on contacting Garmin about this. You'd think that they would have improved upon this issue rather than having their newest product being the worst case yet.

 

(edit for spelling)

 

Mine is doing the same. Did you hear anything from Garmn?

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The buttons on my 62s started wearing at the corners in the first month. Other cachers that I know have had the same issue with theirs. They are wearing WAY faster than on the 60 series. I plan on contacting Garmin about this. You'd think that they would have improved upon this issue rather than having their newest product being the worst case yet.

 

(edit for spelling)

 

Ugh. Reminds me of my Magellan eXplorist 600 and XL. The buttons all wore out and so did that little click stick in the middle.

Think I'll stay on my Garmin Colorado for a few more years while they fix their product lines up.

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I understand a company trying to cut costs but there's a point at which their products suffer. I think at least half of the problem is that the buttons are square-ish on the 62 (round-ish on the 60) and it causes the corners to receive more of the friction which wears them faster. Part design flaw but also part a cheap layer of not very durable elastic/rubber paint. One solution to delay the inevitable is to buy the neoprene cover/case with the plastic window.

Edited by yogazoo
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I'm going to speculate what Garmin will say,

 

SPECULATION: Thank you for contacting Garmin support. The issue you have with the buttons prematurely wearing is considered normal wear and will not effect the units operation in any way. This wear is not covered under warranty. Thank you for contacting Garmin support.

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Something we did to our 60's to prevent button wear, was to carefully paint them with clear fingernail hardener once in a while. Only the top surface of the button. That should prevent any of the wear you described.

 

I'm having problems with (premature) wear on the buttons of my three month old 62 series. I always baby my GPSR's and I've had a 60 for five years now without a single wear mark on the buttons. My 62's buttons seem less tolerant to friction. The black is wearing off around the edges of nearly all my buttons.

 

It's not too big a deal, I mean I can read the buttons fine and know what each one does without reading the text on them anyway. It just looks unsightly and thinking about resale value it definately makes a used unit less appealing.

 

Has anyone experienced this button wear on their 62's or 60's?

 

Does anyone know how much it is to have Garmin replace the buttons?

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Here's the 'non' reply I got from Garmin:

 

Thank you for contacting Garmin International. This is not considered a known issue or a defect in the GPSMap 62s. If the buttons malfunction or become unusable in any way we can set up a repair order for the device. In the event that an RMA is needed please contact Garmin through email or by phone at 800-800-1020 Monday-Friday 8am-6:30pm Central time.

 

Nice.

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So buttons are not a problem (neither is the squeaky case or the errors in how my unit's internal memory handles gpx files). I think I'll just consider any problems to be my own imagination and go out opencaching instead of worrying about them.

 

So that leaves me wondering if some kind of black paint or nail hardener would help.

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My concern using clear nail polish is that the chemical composition of the nail polish itself would weaken or deteriorate the integrity of the black coating on the buttons. Yes, you may be protecting the buttons at first, but when that wears away you may be subjecting the buttons to faster degredation over time. If the button wear is a concern, as it is for me, you may want to consider simply placing a swath of heavy-duty clear packing tape over the buttons. The tape can be replaced when needed by carefully (slowly) removing the tape and installing a new piece. The tape adhesive should be relatively inert and should not pose a problem if removed slowly. Thoughts?

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I just thought I'd add an observation about the button wear. Since the buttons black areas wore off last December in the fridgid temperatures of a Montana winter (-20 to 20 Degrees)I received a new unit. After using it in April exactly how I did when I wore the black off in December I've had no problems at all with wear.

 

The only thing that was different this time was that I've been using it in much warmer spring temperatures. I'm wondering if the polymer in whatever they use as a rubberizer reacts to temperature and become stiffer in the cold making it less durable to friction or more brittle (if you will). Just like how plastic materials get in extreme cold.

 

Has anyone noticed the buttons wearing more in cold temperatures? Just curious.

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Not sure about the 62's, as I don't own one but I do have a 60csx and a PN-40. The CSX hasn't had any problems with button wear after a couple years but the PN-40 has some after 1 year and not that many outings. I keep it in a case and noticed that when I put it into the case with the buttons facing forward all was good but when I put it in with the buttons facing the back of the case, the buttons were starting to wear funny. I then inspected the case and noticed a hard spot where the clip attachment is located on the back that rubs the device's buttons and starts to prematurely wear them out. I now make sure I always put the PN-40 into the case with the buttons facing forward and I have not noticed any new wear on them.

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Based on this thread I ordered Garmin's soft case for my brand new 62S. Guess what? It's not for the 62 series at all, it's obviously designed for the 60 series but can be pulled on over a 62. It has the round hole on the upper back for that knob thingie on the 60, it has the hole in the side for the 60's wrist strap and even a slit next to the antenna hole on the top for that "brace" thing that exists on the 60's antenna but not on the 62's antenna. You have to remove the slip case to get access to the USB port for either unit. It *does* fit the 62 but it's a tight, stretch fit. It covers the slot at the bottom of the 62 that you can use for a lanyard.

 

In use, I think it will protect the screen from scratches and the buttons from excess wear though. It's a little more difficult to operate the panel buttons and the rocker, but you can get used to it. The on/off switch location isn't marked in any way but once you get a feel for where it is you can operate it fairly easily.

 

So, it's definitely not a 62-specific solution, but it does work. Amazon has them for $12.something including 2 day shipping (for Amazon Prime members), and mine arrived in one day via OnTrac shipping. Better than REI's $20 price for the same thing.

Edited by michaelnel
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Based on this thread I ordered Garmin's soft case for my brand new 62S. Guess what? It's not for the 62 series at all, it's obviously designed for the 60 series but can be pulled on over a 62. It has the round hole on the upper back for that knob thingie on the 60, it has the hole in the side for the 60's wrist strap and even a slit next to the antenna hole on the top for that "brace" thing that exists on the 60's antenna but not on the 62's antenna. You have to remove the slip case to get access to the USB port for either unit. It *does* fit the 62 but it's a tight, stretch fit. It covers the slot at the bottom of the 62 that you can use for a lanyard.

 

In use, I think it will protect the screen from scratches and the buttons from excess wear though. It's a little more difficult to operate the panel buttons and the rocker, but you can get used to it. The on/off switch location isn't marked in any way but once you get a feel for where it is you can operate it fairly easily.

 

So, it's definitely not a 62-specific solution, but it does work. Amazon has them for $12.something including 2 day shipping (for Amazon Prime members), and mine arrived in one day via OnTrac shipping. Better than REI's $20 price for the same thing.

 

Since we started caching I've always carried my units in a soft nylon case ( belt attached with zipper on top.....99% of the time the zipper stays open for easy grabing )...I have both Magellan and Garmin cases, the Garmin is a little smaller...the Magellan case was made for the Meridian Series and is larger and will hold about any handheld. I always felt that GPS units are like guns....you buy one buy a case for it and leave it in the case. All my GPS screens are like new and the 60 CSx and Platinum buttons show no wear despite thousands of finds.

From reading the complants it seems the button wear is due to finger pressing and normal usage.

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Based on this thread I ordered Garmin's soft case for my brand new 62S. Guess what? It's not for the 62 series at all, it's obviously designed for the 60 series but can be pulled on over a 62. It has the round hole on the upper back for that knob thingie on the 60, it has the hole in the side for the 60's wrist strap and even a slit next to the antenna hole on the top for that "brace" thing that exists on the 60's antenna but not on the 62's antenna. You have to remove the slip case to get access to the USB port for either unit. It *does* fit the 62 but it's a tight, stretch fit. It covers the slot at the bottom of the 62 that you can use for a lanyard.

 

In use, I think it will protect the screen from scratches and the buttons from excess wear though. It's a little more difficult to operate the panel buttons and the rocker, but you can get used to it. The on/off switch location isn't marked in any way but once you get a feel for where it is you can operate it fairly easily.

 

So, it's definitely not a 62-specific solution, but it does work. Amazon has them for $12.something including 2 day shipping (for Amazon Prime members), and mine arrived in one day via OnTrac shipping. Better than REI's $20 price for the same thing.

 

Since we started caching I've always carried my units in a soft nylon case ( belt attached with zipper on top.....99% of the time the zipper stays open for easy grabing )...I have both Magellan and Garmin cases, the Garmin is a little smaller...the Magellan case was made for the Meridian Series and is larger and will hold about any handheld. I always felt that GPS units are like guns....you buy one buy a case for it and leave it in the case. All my GPS screens are like new and the 60 CSx and Platinum buttons show no wear despite thousands of finds.

From reading the complants it seems the button wear is due to finger pressing and normal usage.

I hang my 62s on a lanyard when geocaching and the very nature of the design forces the unit to have the buttons facing outward and not rubbing on clothing, etc. At day's end I wipe everything down with a warm, damp paper towel and then a dry one. Lately, it's been seeing a lot of rough handling as I've been doing a lot of bushwhacking. After reading about the "button" issue on this forum, I've been taking more care putting it back into it's soft case but, despite constant button pressing for cache descriptions, hints, etc., the buttons look okay thus far.

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Stupid me.

 

I had failed to notice that there are two different Garmin soft cases. One is specifically for the 60 series, and there is another for the 62 series. I mistakenly ordered the one for the 60 thinking Garmin had not yet done one for the 62 series. Oh well, it works, but it's not optimal.

 

The one specific for the 62 series has a large rectangular cutout on the back to allow you to use the metal mount surface for bike mount, caribiner clip, etc. You should alLooks like it still requires removal of the GPS to access the USB port though.

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I started getting wear on the buttons of my 62s on about the second day of use...in comparison my (at the time) 4-year-old 60CSx, treated in exactly the same way, showed no sign of button wear at all. I told Garmin about this immediately I returned from my first real trip (2 November 2010) and kept them up to date on the progress of the wear (with photos) over the next few months, so if they are STILL saying several months later that this is "not a known problem" then they are lying.

 

Another major problem I've had with the unit is freezing up - usually at least once on a trip of 2-4 days, with the maximum (immediately after following Garmin support's instructions to upgrade to the latest firmware) being 3 times in one day. I've sent them the tracks, but so far they seem unable to sort the problem out.

 

Then there is the insistence of my unit on splitting tracks into 3000-point segments, with only the last segment of the day running over this limit and up to near 10000 points (it is supposed to split into 10000-point segments). Again, Garmin have not been able to provide a solution and no number of firmware updates have sorted this out.

 

Perhaps most frustrating of all though, are the things that Garmin don't even perceive to BE problems - the utterly bizarre GPX file naming format that makes it impossible to sort tracks by date (yes, I know they will tell you to sort by modified date instead of name, but try this after splicing multiple tracks from one day together!), and the equally dumb waypoint naming (using 12-hour instead of 24-hour time) that means tediously doing manual conversions of date & time of waypoints imported into Excel. To be fair to the 62s, this is something they have sneaked into the 60Csx as well during a firmware update a year or so ago, so I have the same problem there now as well, wheras in the past it was easy to convert waypoints into Excel-compatible format!

 

All in all, I am highly disappointed in my 62s, I always have to take the 60CSx along as a backup in case it freezes and I lose track data, and the only feature it has that I like (even though it has serious limits) is the custom map capabilities.

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I started getting wear on the buttons of my 62s on about the second day of use...in comparison my (at the time) 4-year-old 60CSx, treated in exactly the same way, showed no sign of button wear at all. I told Garmin about this immediately I returned from my first real trip (2 November 2010) and kept them up to date on the progress of the wear (with photos) over the next few months, so if they are STILL saying several months later that this is "not a known problem" then they are lying.

 

Can you please post some close up photos of this button wear? I have had mine for a couple months and used it a lot (without that stretch case, I hate that thing), and I don't see any wear on my buttons at all.

 

I wonder if they have changed the way they finish those buttons?

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I started getting wear on the buttons of my 62s on about the second day of use...in comparison my (at the time) 4-year-old 60CSx, treated in exactly the same way, showed no sign of button wear at all. I told Garmin about this immediately I returned from my first real trip (2 November 2010) and kept them up to date on the progress of the wear (with photos) over the next few months, so if they are STILL saying several months later that this is "not a known problem" then they are lying.

 

Can you please post some close up photos of this button wear? I have had mine for a couple months and used it a lot (without that stretch case, I hate that thing), and I don't see any wear on my buttons at all.

 

I wonder if they have changed the way they finish those buttons?

Me, too. I've owned mine for about 6 months and I took a good look at the buttons with a magnifying glass. I don't see any unusual wear. I also have a soft case but I don't use that case while geocaching, only to put it away at day's end.

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I've had a replacement since my original 62 and the buttons seem to be holding up. Last fall, a few months after the initial release, a few of us had problems with the buttons pre-maturely wearing. It is known that cold weather reduces the elasticity on the cheaper rubbers and plastics. The day I noticed mine wearing through it was -20 and I was out hunting for the day. I always kept it in the case, and I was always very careful. That unit was a very early one (first run) which had the squeak as well. I think a few revisions we're made at the factory in response to some of the heavier early complaints about the 62. The squeak got fixed and, since not many people have complained of wearing buttons since, I'll speculate that they may have changed them up as well.

 

The black buttons are actually translucent rubber with a thin layer of opaque black coating. That black coating could have been mixed incorrectly making the layer rigid in cold weather which in turn would not make it very durable. Or it could have been applied too thin. Anyway, back in the day it was a problem and is not any more so something must have changed. That or the weather is just nice now. Well see come some really cold temps. Those of you living in San Fran or Arizona, I wouldn't worry too much.

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The paint is wearing off the "Menu" button on my 62s that I have had for less than 2 months. Its my second 62s. First one had a bit of a software meltdown after 6 weeks. Basemap got corrupted somehow and the <Page><Enter><Power> reset wouldn't work. Had to send it back.

 

The case squeaks as does every 62s I have every picked up.

 

The alarm clock doesn't work. Wakes the unit up and powers on, but no chirping noise.

 

When the alitmeter Pressure Trending is set to "Save Always" the unit powers on all by itself every 15 mins and doesn't shut off, killing the batteries.

 

These are just the current issues with my 62s. I have about had enough to be honest. Looks like another RMA is in my near future (download all my BirdsEye all over again - Yay!)

 

Think I might try the Oregon 450 this time around and deal with the screen readability in the sun. Haven't heard of any squeaky case issues and there are no buttons for paint to wear off of on the Oregon...

 

Anyone want to try to talk me out of it? Will I really hate the touch screen interface? I know I am definitely going to like it when it comes to text entry. Is screen readability reallyl that bad in sunlight?

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I started getting wear on the buttons of my 62s on about the second day of use...in comparison my (at the time) 4-year-old 60CSx, treated in exactly the same way, showed no sign of button wear at all. I told Garmin about this immediately I returned from my first real trip (2 November 2010) and kept them up to date on the progress of the wear (with photos) over the next few months, so if they are STILL saying several months later that this is "not a known problem" then they are lying.

 

Can you please post some close up photos of this button wear? I have had mine for a couple months and used it a lot (without that stretch case, I hate that thing), and I don't see any wear on my buttons at all.

 

I wonder if they have changed the way they finish those buttons?

I'm new to this group so I'm not sure how to add images - if you let me now how, I'll gladly oblige!

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I'm new to this group so I'm not sure how to add images - if you let me now how, I'll gladly oblige!

 

When you reply to a message there are a bunch of icons across the top. There is one that is square and looks like a monitor screen. Hover your mouse over it and it should say "Insert Image". Click it and a dialog box will pop up for you to fill in the address of where the image is stored. Fill that in.

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Oops! - tried that and got an error message: "You are not allowed to use that image extension on this board." Presume I'm doing something wrong, or don't have sufficient member priviledges...any advice?

 

You can't upload a photo from your local computer. You must first have it hosted on the web and then provide a link. GPSfiledepot.com has just such free hosting if you sign in for a free account. I'm sure other photo web hosts are out there but I'm not intimately familiar with them.

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Think I might try the Oregon 450 this time around and deal with the screen readability in the sun. Haven't heard of any squeaky case issues and there are no buttons for paint to wear off of on the Oregon...

 

Anyone want to try to talk me out of it? Will I really hate the touch screen interface? I know I am definitely going to like it when it comes to text entry. Is screen readability reallyl that bad in sunlight?

 

Khumbu, you may want to look into the Montana 600. Everything you hate about the touchscreen menu system clunkiness has been streamlined in the new Montana series. No more than two taps to any function or feature! Plus the screen readability is better than the 62.

Edited by yogazoo
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Those of you living in San Fran or Arizona, I wouldn't worry too much.

 

That I live around San Francisco did not prevent the buttons on my 62s from wearing prematurely.

 

Was it an early production unit? If not, then others be warned, the potential for wear still exists and my theory is less plausable.

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I started getting wear on the buttons of my 62s on about the second day of use...in comparison my (at the time) 4-year-old 60CSx, treated in exactly the same way, showed no sign of button wear at all. I told Garmin about this immediately I returned from my first real trip (2 November 2010) and kept them up to date on the progress of the wear (with photos) over the next few months, so if they are STILL saying several months later that this is "not a known problem" then they are lying.

 

Can you please post some close up photos of this button wear? I have had mine for a couple months and used it a lot (without that stretch case, I hate that thing), and I don't see any wear on my buttons at all.

 

I wonder if they have changed the way they finish those buttons?

 

OK - here are some images via dropbox this time:

 

62s%20%288%20days%29%20-%2060CSx%20%2846%20months%29%20keypads.jpg

 

my 60CSx after 46 months with a lot of hard use, next to the 62s after 8 days light use (no squeezing through dense bushes etc),

 

62s%20keypad%20%288%20days%29%20before-after%20dusting%20off.jpg

 

another double shot showing the 62s at the same time, before & after briefly rubbing the dust off on a soft cotton T-shirt (note the change in the quit button!) and:

 

6%20months.jpg

 

the 62s at 6 months

 

10%20months.jpg

 

and 10 months...

 

Note that I haven't simply worn through the black, but even through the next (white) layer, and into the underlying grey layer. I've looked closely at both units under a microscope and it's clear that the 62s buttons are made from a very fragile rubber with an extremely thin protective layer on top...as soon as this is slightly scratched, the underlying layers rub away rapidly (in contrast the 60CSx rubber, while equally soft, simply does not abrade as easily). And my wear is not from my fingers - it's mostly around the edges where the unit rubs against my clothing and the vegetation I'm walking through. I'll admit I'm hard on my GPSs (note how the rubberising around the sides of the 60CSx is worn), and I'm quite happy to accept cosmetic wear & tear...but before long the 62s button wear will no longer be cosmetic, as no-one who isn't very familiar with the unit will be able ti use it once the buttons become illegible...

 

Certainly the 62s is nowhere near as rugged as the 60CSx and given that "rugged" is what it's advertised to be, I reckon we can expect it to be at least as hardwearing as its predecessor.

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It might be interesting to compare serial numbers to see if this is an "early production" vs "recent production" issue.

 

My serial number is "21F081822". I was wrong about it being a couple months old, I got it 5/17/11 from REI, and have used it almost daily since then.

 

I don't drag it behind my truck on a chain though.

Edited by michaelnel
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Aside from the possibility that the materials used on the 62 could be different than the 60, there is also a design issue. The buttons are rounded on the 60 making them less susceptible to hot-spots or focused friction points. Notice where the wear is on the 62? On the corners and edges. The designers of the 62 buttons didn't seem to take this into account. Poor design.

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Just a thought, but the 62s in the picture looks very dusty/dirty. Is it possible that the dust/dirt is abrasive? I'm guessing that you might have the same dusty dirt all over your hands when you use your 62s "in the field", acting like a sandpaper. My hands get dirty as well but I usually log the find before actually putting my hands on the cache thereby keeping the unit a little cleaner. I'm not saying mine is sterile but for the last 6 months I've used it everyday and it doesn't look like that.

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Yes, it is quite possibly the dust (the first 8-day trip with the 62s was in the Namib desert...fairly cool with peaks of no more than 20-25 deg C, but very dry & dusty) that initially abraded the top clear coating on the buttons; not only my hands, but also my clothes against which the unit was swinging, were probably very dusty. With the work I do there is no way of keeping hands clean until after using the GPS - it gets used all the time through the day, in between bouts of digging up specimens, scrambling up mountains etc...

As I said, I don't deny that my units get rough treatment - they are for work & are treated as workhorses! - but the point is that the 60CSx went on the same 8-day trip in the Namib (being used by my assistant), getting the same abrasive treatment AFTER an estimated 50 times this amount of similarly harsh (and often much harsher) treatment over close to 4 years, and yet there is no noticeable wear on the buttons to date. The term "rugged" is thus perfectly appropriate to use in advertising the 60CSx but NOT the 62s.

 

I know a lot of people in the same line of work as me (environmental impact assesments) who use the 60CSx - many of them on my recommendation - who are definitely not going to buy a 62s after seeing what's happened to mine, and also many people in mining exploration etc, who likewise cannot afford to have a unit that can't take a bit of dirt & rough use. We simply don't have the time in the field to pamper our equipment! This WAS the reason for buying Garmin, but it seems that this has changed withy the 62s...

 

I agree that there is a design issue with the 62s buttons being much less rounded, but there is also definitely a materials issue as well...

 

I think the idea of collating info on serial numbers to see whether there is a defective batch issue involved is great - mine is 21F005598...it looks as though mine is a very early unit (I ordered it a month prior to product release)...if we can show a trend to Garmin, perhaps they will realise they need to recall a cerain set of these units.

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