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Garmin Colorado 400t. Is anybody else having issues?


normandcat
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Okay...

 

Has anybody else had the same amount of problems with their Colorado units? I'm just so tired of sending them back.

 

Now don't get me wrong on one front, I really like these units. If the back light wasn't so necessary to view the dang screen, it would be great (as long as the USB port worked). The unit has been extremely accurate and easy to use. I just wish there wasn't the engineering problem with the USB port.

 

I have two Garmin Colorado units (the reason for two is a long story...)

 

Both have been back to the factory at least twice for each because the USB port has broken.

 

I'm an avid Geocacher but not that hard on my equipment (My 60CS took far more punishment and is fine).

 

Yet again, my Colorado's USB port got messed up and is so loose that I cannot connect it to my computer any longer (just happened today).

 

Just trying to see if I've been cursed... : )

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I've had and have the same problem with my Colorados.

 

I have now bought a Montana 600 instead and is very happy with this unit so far, better in everyway, touch screen is much better than expected (especially compared to the wheel on the Colorado).

The screen is great and the unit has a lot of more features and is also much more configurable than the Colorado.

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It’s never been a problem for me but has been reported in these forums many times. If I were you I would avoid using the USB. This is an obsolete GPS so the need to use the USB to update the software is unlikely. Otherwise, maps, caches, POI’s, etc. could be put on the SD memory with a card reader eliminating the need to use the USB.

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The only problem with that, unless it's been changed due to a firmware update since the Colorado wiki was written.

 

D7.) Will the Colorado load gpx files from the SD card?

 

Yes. Create a directory called [sD drive]:\Garmin\GPX and place the gpx files there. Note that gpx files loaded from the SD card are handled differently from those stored in internal memory. The gpx files on the SD card are loaded every time the Colorado starts. This has two drawbacks 1) all tracks, routes and waypoints will be reloaded even if they have been deleted on the Colorado and 2) large gpx files like pocket queries will be reloaded slowing down the startup process. For these reasons it is probably best to manage gpx files in internal memory rather than the SD card.

 

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Forgot about that so I just tested it. I blew the dust off a Colorado 400t and checked to make sure the software was up to date. I put 2000 caches (2 gpx files) on the SD card and fired it up. It took 1 minute 15 seconds to boot the 1st time. I shutdown and booted again. 2nd boot took 26 seconds. Looks like the Wiki is not up to date.

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This may sound strange, but in a way you are 'lucky'

Many of the Colorado's didn't work and many must have ended as a paper weight.

Others were taken back by Garmin and after about 6 months Garmin stopped the Colorado series.

 

Maybe you can contact Garmin and ask to replace the Colorado's with a refurbished Oregon, if you have a Colorado with a low serial tell them, because that series was taken in by Garmin due to faulty hardware.

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Forgot about that so I just tested it. I blew the dust off a Colorado 400t and checked to make sure the software was up to date. I put 2000 caches (2 gpx files) on the SD card and fired it up. It took 1 minute 15 seconds to boot the 1st time. I shutdown and booted again. 2nd boot took 26 seconds. Looks like the Wiki is not up to date.

Handy to know, thanks for testing :)

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I think I've had mine for 3 years and it still works fine. Sometimes you need to put a little pressure on the usb plug but it still works. I do find that not all cables work, but this is true with every Garmin GPS I own.

 

It takes two minutes to take the thing apart and it would be simple to repair the usb plug if desired.

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I think I've had mine for 3 years and it still works fine. Sometimes you need to put a little pressure on the usb plug but it still works. I do find that not all cables work, but this is true with every Garmin GPS I own.

 

It takes two minutes to take the thing apart and it would be simple to repair the usb plug if desired.

 

The cables are fine... Pressure works on occasion to get power to the unit.

 

Trying to get a data connection is just not possible.

 

Two minutes to open it up and re-solder the lose USB jack that's broken off of the circuit board? I can touch the USB port and it just wiggles... This isn't a two minute repair, sorry...

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I've returned mine twice for repair and it needs another. This time I have treated that dadgum socket with kid gloves. Hardly ever removing the cable.

 

Has anyone tried to repair these? It looks as if you have to remove the main board to get to the area holding the usb socket but I can't see how to get that board removed. Any suggestions (full graphics of a pull-apart would be great ;-)

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The cables are fine... Pressure works on occasion to get power to the unit.

 

Trying to get a data connection is just not possible.

Actually this is what I find. All cables work for power. Only Garmin brand ones work reliably for data.

 

Two minutes to open it up and re-solder the lose USB jack that's broken off of the circuit board? I can touch the USB port and it just wiggles... This isn't a two minute repair, sorry...

I guess I work faster than you. Regardless it is not a complicated thing to work on.

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I was an early adopter of the Colorado. Only had one issue other then the numerous software bugs but they eventually got most of those worked out although it took a long time. The hardware issue was with the wheel. It started acting erratically, was really evident when trying to add a notes to cache finds, rotate and just as I would slow down near the letter I wanted, it would jump past the desired letter, repeatedly. Irritating to say the least and when it started impacting normal operation of the unit I called Garmin and they sent me a new wheel. Duh, I tried the tell the CSR that I was confident it was not that but what would I know, with only 25 years in the electronics maintenance and repair field. Anyways, a week later I'm on the phone again because, surprise surprise, the wheel didn't fix it. Sent it to the one and only Canadian repair center where after 4 weeks and 2 phone calls later they decided to replace it. No further hardware issues with the replacement. When they brought out the Oregon series, it seemed like they pretty much abandoned the Colorado users. I stuck with the Colorado for a couple of years but finally got tired of waiting for colored tracks which I believe they added to the Oregon on the first or second firmware update. I upgraded to the Oregon 450, loved the touch screen but the USB plug on the bottom was problematic when used on my ATV. Also found the "Hi Res" screen to be hard to read for aging eyes. So along about 6 months or so it started acting wonky and within 2 days became pretty much unusable, sent it for repairs and got a replacement which worked fine and is still working as far as I know. I upgraded to the Montana once the firmware seemed to becoming mostly bugfree. After a month it started with the screen calibration issue, sent it for repair and in 3 weeks got a replacement. I guess they had quite a batch of defective displays. So far, no more issues and the Montana has been the best I've seen, large, bright screen, easy to read "low res" screen. Not to mention rotating screen capability uber configurable! Edge connector for power in cradle saves the USB port for file transfer.

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This may sound strange, but in a way you are 'lucky'

Many of the Colorado's didn't work and many must have ended as a paper weight.

Others were taken back by Garmin and after about 6 months Garmin stopped the Colorado series.

 

Maybe you can contact Garmin and ask to replace the Colorado's with a refurbished Oregon, if you have a Colorado with a low serial tell them, because that series was taken in by Garmin due to faulty hardware.

My USB port died this afternoon. I called Garmin and they didn't offer me anything. And they wanted $90.00 plus shipping to fix it. Time for a new GPS I guess.

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I've had a Colorado for years... I guess since about 3-4 months after they hit the shelves... Only problems I have ever ad with mine is the dang thing just seems to suck the batts dry... I will not leave the house with it with out 2-3 sets of extra batteries... Then every few times out, it will randomly shut off... I power it back on and it works fine for a good long time..

 

Now I use the Montana and I've not had any issues with it either.. I still keep the Colorado as a backup unit.

 

I will amidt, I don't use many of the advanced features.

 

I go on Geocahing.com find the caches I'm interested in and push them into my GPS from the web/mapview, get to the area where I think they are, turn on the GPS, Geocaching mode and go to town looking for the cache and adventuring as I go...

 

Mark Them found when I find them, come home and update the site with my Finds or DNFs onto the next mission...

 

I've been really happy with both my GPSrs....

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Actually this is what I find. All cables work for power. Only Garmin brand ones work reliably for data.

 

Thanks for that!

went caching yesterday and could not 'goto' any of my loaded caches. Tried to reload them to no avail, some 'goto', and some would not. After I read this thread on a hunch I dug out the 'garmin' usb cable (not the one i had been using) reloaded them and what do you know.. works fine now. I like the colorodo and have never found it problematic except for this. It had done this before but im willing to bet i was using a different cable then too.

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Hi all,

 

I'm facing the same problem with the USB port on my Colorado 300 wich seems to be broken, the metallic part moving in the slot. The USB contact is not that great, from time to time it is possible to have the USB connection when moving the cable in some positions in the USB port.

 

Could not be blocking for use as, as said above, the SD card can be use to put GPX files. The problem is that I use it in my car too (helpful for FTF ;) with a Garmin cable. The electric contact is no more relaible enough to have the power supply.

 

Fortunatelly, when I bought it, I took an extended warranty and I'm going to ship it to the retailer.

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I had problems with the usb port on my Colorado (350). I use it in the car as well so use the usb port a lot. The port got loose in the unit and it could not decide to go in PC mode, power mode or just switch off. In the end I superglued it tight on the outside. A delicate procedure! I did in the car while the unit was in the power mode. Working fine now for a couple months with this fix.....

 

MaSL

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I'm really disappointed with my Garmin Colorado 300 because of the loose USB port.

 

When I got started with geocaching 3 years ago, I didn't have much money to do it, and still don't. Despite that, I spent more than I planned to when buying the Colorado because it was higher end, and I thought it would last me a long time. The loose USB port causes all sorts of problems because the intermittent connection with the computer causes corruption of the operating system & its files.

 

Now my Garmin Colorado 300 barely functions.

 

All that money down the drain for a piece of hardware that only worked for one year without problems. I can't afford to buy another GPSr for geocaching.

 

I guess I'm going to try to superglue the cable into the port, and hope that it will work. I'm afraid that I will just make a mess, and the connection still won't work.

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I just started having issues with my Colorado 400t. It worked great for the past two years. Now it's locking up. I did plug it into my PC to load caches when the PC said it didn't recognize the Garmin and since then it's not been able to get past the loading maps screen. Twice I got it to.

 

Time to upgrade?

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I just started having issues with my Colorado 400t. It worked great for the past two years. Now it's locking up. I did plug it into my PC to load caches when the PC said it didn't recognize the Garmin and since then it's not been able to get past the loading maps screen. Twice I got it to.

 

Time to upgrade?

 

Oh I hope not! I love this unit. And it was given to me by a member here a few years ago. It's all I know! Lol. It's been through so much.

Edited by SeekerOfTheWay
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My apologies for the necro-bump, but my usb port broke two weeks ago and I depend on this unit greatly for my work. It has an intermittent connection that makes it difficult to use during driving and for downloading tracks and waypoints to my computer.

 

I did find this on eBay but I do not know if the female USB connector will fit a Colorado: http://www.ebay.com/itm/LOT-2x-mini-USB-connector-GARMIN-Oregon-200-300-400-440i-400t-450-450t-550-550t-/261333963555?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd8b7d323

 

I haven't yet opened my unit so I don't know if repair is still a possiblity. The center plastic little part in my unit moves now, sort of like a loose tooth; I don't know what that means.

 

Questions:

  • Have any of you successfully re-soldered your usb port, or replaced it?
  • Would the above linked part work?
  • If you ordered the usb connector from another source, would you link me to that source, please?
  • And finally, does anyone know of a repair shop that can fix these things. I called Car Toys but they don't do that sort of work, so I'm at a loss as to who else might be able to accomplish this.

 

Thank you for the help! If I should start a new thread please let me know.

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quintios was asking me how to repair the Colorado. It had been awhile, so I decided to take mine apart and provide some guidance.

 

First, I will say that if the problem is just an intermittent USB connection, I would first try bending in the USB external support and get more pressure on the terminals. Most of the time, this is the problem.

 

First remove the battery cover, batteries and SD card. Then remove the 6 screws. These are Torx T6.

c1.JPG

 

Lift the back half of the case off. Be careful to watch the case seal. It may stick to either side and you don't want to break it. It is best to keep it on the bottom half in the groove.

Lift the brown cable clamp on the ribbon cable for the barometer and pull the ribbon cable free. The back half of the case is now loose and you can put it aside.

c2.JPG

 

Remove the two ribbon cables by lifting the brown clamps. The left one is the USB and the large middle one is the Rock and Roller.

Release the external antenna connector. Just pry down to pop it off.

c3.JPG

 

Now you need to lift the main board and screen from the case. The main board is held in with a catch on either side that the screws go into. Pry between the grey case and the brown center screw pieces. The main board will come up and free. Keep the screen with it to avoid disconnecting the screen cable.

Note that the main antenna is soldered to the board and unless you are replacing it, leave it attached and just swing the board to the side.

c4.JPG

 

Remove the two T6 screws. These hold in the top black cover. With these free, pull the top cover off of the front case.

c5.JPG

 

You now have access to the rest of the parts. The antenna can be repaired or changed out and you can access the USB/antenna board. The USB board is epoxied into the recess. Cut the epoxy, if you need to replace or repair the board.

c6.JPG

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I'm quite surprised that so many seem to have had trouble with the Colorado 400t. I bought mine within the first two weeks they were available. I guess that was 2007 or 2008? Anyway, the only trouble I had was sometimes pressing on the power button wouldn't turn it on or off. It was like the button itself could go in another direction other than straight up and down and it wasn't making contact with the circuit board inside. Other than that, no real issues. Even the battery life is good (I've used both Energizer rechargeables and standard AAs) and even when I was caching a lot a set would last the weekend.

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and the rock and roller wheel center portion came off. It just popped out! I put it back in but it wouldn't stay. I figured out that the outer ring could also come off and if I put the center piece in first and then the outer ring it would hold it in a little better. However, after using it for just a few minutes the center part worked its way out again. Also, when trying to enter a log it jumps past letters sometimes (others have said erratic behavior) so it's very hard to enter more than a couple of words per cache.

 

I've tried looking for replacement parts but can't seem to find a replacement rock and roller wheel. Any suggestions?

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I posted 15 August 2012 that the USB port of my Garmin Colorado 300 was loose and would only connected intermittently to my computer.

 

Update: :sad:

 

Autumn 2014 Summer 2013, the batteries would last only for only 2 hours of "on" time, even Lithium batteries.

 

Spring 2015 Summer 2014, I gave up on the Colorado entirely because with brand new Lithium batteries installed, it would die within minutes. It also would not connect via USB anymore.

 

The failure of this expensive piece of equipment has contributed to my not geocaching much anymore. I've tried using my Android phone for geocaching, but the lack of GPS accuracy with it is frustrating.

 

Overall, I wish I had purchased a lower-priced GPS receiver for geocaching. Or basically any other model than the Colorado. :(

Edited by Bruce A. Johnson
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I posted 15 August 2012 that the USB port of my Garmin Colorado 300 was loose and would only connected intermittently to my computer.

 

Update: :sad:

 

Autumn 2014, the batteries would last only for only 2 hours of "on" time, even Lithium batteries.

 

Spring 2015, I gave up on the Colorado entirely because with brand new Lithium batteries installed, it would die within minutes. It also would not connect via USB anymore.

 

The failure of this expensive piece of equipment has contributed to my not geocaching much anymore. I've tried using my Android phone for geocaching, but the lack of GPS accuracy with it is frustrating.

 

Overall, I wish I had purchased a lower-priced GPS receiver for geocaching. Or basically any other model than the Colorado. :(

 

which model?

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Correction to the timeline of my Garmin Colorado 300.

 

2009-Aug: Bought Garmin Colorado 300, Garmin topo & road maps, Garmin power adapter for car, Garmin belt clip. Total: $719.70 CAD

 

2010-Summer: USB connection tempermental. Not connecting unless I held the cable "just right".

 

2012-Summer: I could no longer use rechargeable batteries, because even with fully charged NiMH batteries, the device would try to power up, then immediately power down, or not be able to fully power up. Yes, I did set the battery option to "NiMH" batteries.

 

2013-Summer: Fully charged lithium-ion batteries would last only 2-3 hours. Yes, I did set the battery option to "Lithium-ion" batteries.

 

2014-Summer: Fully charged lithium-ion batteries would only allow the device to begin to power-up, then die.

 

So I only got 4 years use out of the Garmin Colorado 300, and after the 1st year, it was difficult to use.

 

I found the proper timeline when I found my e-mail to Garmin asking why such an expensive device lasted such a sort time. Their response was that the warranty was 1 year, but they had heard of some of them working for 4-6 years.

Edited by Bruce A. Johnson
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I posted 15 August 2012 that the USB port of my Garmin Colorado 300 was loose and would only connected intermittently to my computer.

...

 

which model?

 

As I said, the Garmin Colorado 300. There was only one of the name.

 

i should have quoted only this section, that i was interested in:

 

'i've tried using my Android phone for geocaching, but the lack of GPS accuracy with it is frustrating.'

 

which model phone?

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I posted 15 August 2012 that the USB port of my Garmin Colorado 300 was loose and would only connected intermittently to my computer.

 

Update: :sad:

 

Autumn 2014 Summer 2013, the batteries would last only for only 2 hours of "on" time, even Lithium batteries.

 

Spring 2015 Summer 2014, I gave up on the Colorado entirely because with brand new Lithium batteries installed, it would die within minutes. It also would not connect via USB anymore.

 

The failure of this expensive piece of equipment has contributed to my not geocaching much anymore. I've tried using my Android phone for geocaching, but the lack of GPS accuracy with it is frustrating.

 

Overall, I wish I had purchased a lower-priced GPS receiver for geocaching. Or basically any other model than the Colorado. :(

 

I feel compelled to reply to this as I experienced nearly the same thing with a different set of issues on a different GPS. I've owned an Oregon 400t since shortly after it came out. For awhile I was very gung-ho about the sport of Geocaching until markedly it dropped off after about nine months where I distinctly remembered having problems with the GPS not being able to effectively "lead" me to a position.

 

Now, if I use the Oregon for just tracking a hike or other activities it seems to work fine. However for Geocaching the unit effectively gave me less than a whole year of service.

 

Years pass until this June when I realize how much I miss Geocaching and plunk down the money for a GPSMAP64. First trip out I had the Oregon in one hand and the GPSMAP in the other and the difference was shocking; The Oregon acted like it had just come off of a Tilt-A-Whirl where the operator decided to let the riders stay on for an extended run while he went to take a smoke break. I could literally stand in one spot and watch the Oregon change heading about once every few seconds. Walking at a slow pace also produced the same results. I estimate that about 60% of the time the Oregon was actually pointing me to the right place.

 

"Oh....so THIS is why I stopped doing it" was all I could say.

 

For general hiking and other uses the Oregon works reasonably well. I'll pass it along to my son now that he's in Boy Scouts and he can use it for going on trips or any electronics projects where he needs a GPS.

 

However I just found the original box for the Oregon last night and the receipt showing what I paid for it. I contemplated not looking for awhile, I knew it would only anger me.

 

I think what bothers me is that other series like the GPSMAP have the well-earned reputation of being the workhorses of the handheld kingdom. To this day I still see people using the GPSMAP60 model and swearing up and down that they work better than anything else they have laid their hands on. And that sort of thing is an achievable goal for any product Garmin has put out.

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The Oregon acted like it had just come off of a Tilt-A-Whirl where the operator decided to let the riders stay on for an extended run while he went to take a smoke break. I could literally stand in one spot and watch the Oregon change heading about once every few seconds. Walking at a slow pace also produced the same results. I estimate that about 60% of the time the Oregon was actually pointing me to the right place.

 

I agree that this sounds like an issue with the electronic compass. You have to keep in mind that you have to calibrate the electronic compass. I had to calibrate mine on the Colorado 300 every time I used it.

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The Oregon acted like it had just come off of a Tilt-A-Whirl where the operator decided to let the riders stay on for an extended run while he went to take a smoke break. I could literally stand in one spot and watch the Oregon change heading about once every few seconds. Walking at a slow pace also produced the same results. I estimate that about 60% of the time the Oregon was actually pointing me to the right place.

 

I agree that this sounds like an issue with the electronic compass. You have to keep in mind that you have to calibrate the electronic compass. I had to calibrate mine on the Colorado 300 every time I used it.

 

That was actually the last thing I did trying to troubleshoot it. Still had the same results when trying to geocache.

 

I'll read up on the process of calibrating it again and see if anything is different with it.

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