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Battery Problems with Oregon 600T


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We bought an Oregon 600T last week to replace one of our two eTrex30's, which we love. Although the functionality and the touch screen are great on the Oregon, the battery situation is horrible. They do not last more than a few hours - should be up to 16. We set it on Battery Saver mode, but that does not help. Even 1 hour into fresh batteries while geocaching, we get the message that the batteries are too weak to use the backlight, even with 3 bars out of 4. After that the battery bars go from 3 to 2 to 1 to 3 to 2, etc- bouncing all over the place as time goes by - even when we are not using it much. We turned it off for an hour on the way home and it went back to 3 bars for a while when we checked at home. We turned it off overnight and it went back to 4 bars for a while in the morning, then 3 then 2 quickly. I am ready to send it back. As far as batteries, we use Amazon brand alkaline batteries. We have been using these in our eTre30's for years and have had no battery problems at all.

 

Any insight from anyone on this situation would be greatly appreciated.

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I believe the 16 hour rating is using lithium AA's. You'll get about 8-10 hours using the regular Eneloop rechargeables, and about 6-8 hours using standard alkaline batteries.

 

By the way, with the Oregon 600, there's no reason to have the backlight on at all while outside except at dusk or at night.

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Geodarts: Hi - Please explain to me what the "plastic-in-the-case trick" is. I have always used the alkaline batteries up until now. The re-chargeable NiMH route is new to me. Thank you

 

Garmin sells a battery pack that is rechargeable within the Oregon itself - plug the unit into a power source with a usb cord and there is no need to remove the pack. The pack has a strip that holds down a button in the battery compartment to allow the unit to charge. I liked the convenience of not having to take the batteries out - or not to have to carry a separate charger - but I thought the batteries within the pack ran down rather quickly. So I switched to a stronger Eneloop Pro. Others reported that you can cut a small piece of thin plastic to hold down the charger button beneath the batteries and continue to use the unit to recharge NIMH batteries that are not packaged by garmin. It worked for me, and I have not read of any problems, but like any other consumer bypass, use with caution at your own risk.

Edited by geodarts
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As geodarts explained the plastic strip will keep a switch down and you will be able to charge the rechargeables IN THE BODY of the Gps.

Be aware this is a trick and as far as I know there is NO automatic switch off of the charging cycle.

Don't keep the charger longer then about 4 hours connected, then see if that's sufficient.

In the beginning feel your unit now and then, if it gets to warm (hot) the charge current is to high.

Edited by splashy
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We bought an Oregon 600T last week to replace one of our two eTrex30's, which we love. Although the functionality and the touch screen are great on the Oregon, the battery situation is horrible. They do not last more than a few hours - should be up to 16. We set it on Battery Saver mode, but that does not help. Even 1 hour into fresh batteries while geocaching, we get the message that the batteries are too weak to use the backlight, even with 3 bars out of 4. After that the battery bars go from 3 to 2 to 1 to 3 to 2, etc- bouncing all over the place as time goes by - even when we are not using it much. We turned it off for an hour on the way home and it went back to 3 bars for a while when we checked at home. We turned it off overnight and it went back to 4 bars for a while in the morning, then 3 then 2 quickly. I am ready to send it back. As far as batteries, we use Amazon brand alkaline batteries. We have been using these in our eTre30's for years and have had no battery problems at all.

 

Any insight from anyone on this situation would be greatly appreciated.

 

I have experienced the same issue. I keep the backlight off at all times, and use alkaline and start getting the low battery notification after maybe 2-3 hours. Except for short hikes/outings I almost always have to change batteries at some point in the day. It's maddening. My ancient GPS V would easily last 20 hours or more with alkaline batteries. I didn't try the garmin battery pack or the more expensive batteries because I never needed them with my old unit, but maybe I should get it a shot.

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I use the 2500 mAh Eneloop batteries and have the battery type set to NiMh (not Precharged NiMH). I can get easily 12 - 14 hours on my Oregon 600.

 

I find the Precharged NiMH setting is not very accurate and indicates that the batteries need to be changed, when they still have plenty of power left.

When using a Garmin battery pack or the plastic strip trick, Precharged NiMH is automatically selected.

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