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gallet

Repaired worn out rubber button with 3D printed part.

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Posted (edited)

Every single frikken Garmin hand held I've had from the early eTrex, late eTrex and now the Oregon has a chad, pop out on the rubber surround. This time is was on my Garmin Oregon. OK so I phoned Garmin Australia and they were sarcastic, rude and extremely unpleasant. I bought it off someone who only had it for a couple of months for a specific trip, it was spanking new and it's perfect for a motorbike. However after a couple of years the on/off button, which gets pressed a lot because (it is a multi function button), well not the button itself which is attached deep in the circuit board but the rubber surround that connects to it. So there's a hole in it now but worse I need a toothpick to turn it on.

 

OK so I called Garmin and they were really happy to tell me in not so many words to go and have sexual congress with myself. They said, if only I had bought it new for an extra $300 then they would replace it with a refurbished one for only another $140, but as I did not buy it new I they hope I have learned my lesson. They also said that they had never heard of this problem before. Yeah right, just like they never heard of the glue melting on the old model eTrex. 

 

In fact it's so such a rare even that there's someone in the Netherlands who designed a new one and had it 3D printed in a rubber factory and it's worth his while to do that, that's how rare it is.

 

So I'm writing this post to say that the replacement, is frikken awesome, it's much better than the original. The original has a little bit of a groove around the inside of the rubber button, that makes it apparently a bit softer to press, because it's more flexible. However that is where it wears out and just pops out, almost like those hanging chads in the 2000 US elections. The new replacement one does not have that groove and it makes the button much *easier* to press, because the connection to the little micro switch deep in the body is a more positive connection so you can feel the tactile 'click' very easily instead of trying to press it multiple times.

 

I just glued it on with some glue that didn't stick well because it's the type of plastic that glue won't bond with, but it's been there for a couple of months just taped into position. I'm finally getting around to gluing it properly now that I see how good it is. I had to buy a special two part glue especially for this type of plastic.

 

So here's a shot of the part and the Oregon with the piece cut out that I'm going to replace. This guy has done a fantastic job, super accurate, including the locating pin. If Garmin made them like this in the first place then there wouldn't be this chad problem. 

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Rubber-Power-button-part-switch-for-Garmin-Oregon-600-600T-650-650T/312647906211

 

https://www.selleys.com.au/products/adhesives/minor-repairs/selleys-all-plastic-fix

 

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Edited by gallet
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Me too with my Oregon 550 . Gave up with Garmin Support- as if they can't carry spare rubber surrounds for a £400 device and need you to pay another £400+ - 30% to have a device with a button that works. This button cover and the aerial brace on the G60 series are the parts that fail most. OK mine is 5 years old but I am not about to exchange it at that price. I too bought the replacement rubber cover from the Dutch guy and saved myself a lot. I expect he was pretty happy at €24 for a piece of rubber. It fitted well and I found the correct glue he recommended. Back in business, until I noticed that the same GPS had lost some base software. I did a factory reset, but the missing stuff, chiefly the Profile Templates did not reappear. Anyone any ideas on how to reload original base software ( I can't find my backup - must have gone 2 or 3 computers ago). Just need a Geocaching and Automobile Profile. At the moment I only have Recreational. Garmin not interested. Change it for 30% off again.

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The rubber surrounds went on my Garmin etrex 30 too. Besides that, the unit is still good.

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Thanks for posting this.  On my 66, the rubber power button is also the screen lock button. Terrible design given the history of these Garmin rubber button/seals.  When hiking, it is necessary to lock the screen while the unit is in by backpack strap or buttons get pushed and frustrating things happen to my tracks, navigating, etc..  That means on a hike day, the button gets pushed once to power on, once to power off, and 20 or 30, or who knows how many times to lock and unlock.  I think is just a matter of time before the rubber breaks down like on other units.  Hope this person, or someone, has printed and is selling one like this for the 66 when that happens!

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I found a guy in Spain that sells a replacement as well.  The Chicago fix appears to be cut pieces of a bicycle inner tube in the hole, and a piece of electrical tape over that.  Still hoping for a better solution, but for now, I just keep a screwdriver bit holder in my car or pocket and use that to turn my 450 on and off.  

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6 hours ago, Siamese Retriever said:

I found a guy in Spain that sells a replacement as well.  The Chicago fix appears to be cut pieces of a bicycle inner tube in the hole, and a piece of electrical tape over that.  Still hoping for a better solution, but for now, I just keep a screwdriver bit holder in my car or pocket and use that to turn my 450 on and off.  

I patched my Oregon 300 with a pencil eraser then covered with duct tape. Cut the eraser to the appropriate length slightly above the case.

 

 

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2 hours ago, mty55 said:

I patched my Oregon 300 with a pencil eraser then covered with duct tape. Cut the eraser to the appropriate length slightly above the case.

 

 

 

8 hours ago, Siamese Retriever said:

I found a guy in Spain that sells a replacement as well.  The Chicago fix appears to be cut pieces of a bicycle inner tube in the hole, and a piece of electrical tape over that.  Still hoping for a better solution, but for now, I just keep a screwdriver bit holder in my car or pocket and use that to turn my 450 on and off.  

 

On your 300 and 450 models, does the power button control functions other than just on and off?  I would think these fixes work OK I guess for turning on and off. But I wonder if they would hold up on a 66 where I am using the screen lock and unlock frequently.  Turning on and off is only a very small percentage of the button's use in my case.  I am just hoping that maybe the 66 has a better covering than previous models and might hold up to heavy use.

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Yes, the power button is also used for screen lock and brightness control settings on the Oregon.

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Same thing happened with my eTrex 30 after only a couple years, very bad for equipment that's supposed to be rugged. I rough-repaired it with a properly cut piece of pencil eraser and sealed with flexible Silane glue (goes under names such as Loctite Repair Extreme, but there should be other brands as well). Works ok, but would not bet on its waterproofness.

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