Gpsmap 64s won't turn on

Discussion in 'Garmin GPS' started by Angelo Vimeney, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Angelo Vimeney

    Angelo Vimeney

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    Hi guys,

    I have a Garmin gpsmap 64s. I've been using this device for a couple of years without any problems. Unfortunately, in the last months I started experiencing an annoying, intermittent problem. Sometimes, the device simply won't turn on. I press the power button and its screen remains completely black, no initialization messages are displayed at all. The only way to bring it back to life is plugging it to the computer via USB cable. Once the device is plugged and unplugged, it works properly again... Until the problem arises once again. Has anyone ever experienced that? Could it be some sort of internal battery problem? I would appreciate any guesses on how to solve this issue.

    Regards,
    Angelo
     
    Angelo Vimeney, Oct 26, 2017
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  2. Angelo Vimeney

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    Do you lose stored data such as waypoints, tracks and routes after this problem, if you do I would say that the internal backup battery is faulty, if you don't lose data, it could be a problem with the main battery connectors, corrosion on the metal terminals that contact with the main batteries or internal metal contacts that transfer power between the front and back halves of the unit

    The internal metal contacts can also fail to make good contact if the two halves of the case are not fully together, due to screws not being tight or a damaged case
     
    Nuvi-Nebie, Oct 26, 2017
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    Angelo Vimeney likes this.
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  3. Angelo Vimeney

    Angelo Vimeney

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    Thanks Nuvi-Nebie for your quick reply!

    In fact, I don't loose any data when the problem happens.

    Initially, I was investigating for some corrupted file. I have spent hours loading and unloading different sets of data, trying to figure out if I had a damaged file. The unit's behavior was unpredictable, although. In the end, I couldn't correlate the problem occurrence with any data set. Garmin's support recommended me to master reset the unit. It didn't solve the problem either.

    My recent approach was investigating for some internal battery failure. I start by turning up the device correctly, so I power it down and remove its batteries. Some time later, I put the batteries back and try to start the unit once again. I realized that a couple of hours or, sometimes, just half a hour, is enough to break down the unit. When the failure occurs, its date and clock gets wrong.

    Due this behavior, I was led to believe that it could be caused by some sort of internal battery failure. However, you got a point there when you ask for the user data. As I said, the user data remains untouched. I guess the user data is stored in some non-volatile memory, while the date and clock is stored in a volatile memory. The latter depends on this "internal battery" to works properly. The same battery is, somehow, necessary to startup the unit. Plugging in the USB cable provides some energy to the internal battery come back to life and pushes the unit to startup. For some reason, the AA batteries can't do the same job. What you think?

    You've raised the hypothesis of some contact failure between the the front and back halves of the unit. Maybe. But the device has never felt down, nor I have never ever tried to unscrewn the device. The unit has faced some wet weather during its life but never got soak, although.
     
    Angelo Vimeney, Oct 27, 2017
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  4. Angelo Vimeney

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    I'm told some of the newer units do have nvm so you may be correct, I think you are also right in saying that the real time clock is failing when the main batteries are removed due to a faulty internal battery. The unit would need to be opened to prove this
     
    Nuvi-Nebie, Oct 27, 2017
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  5. Angelo Vimeney

    Angelo Vimeney

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    My unit was purchased more than 3 year ago, so it's not under warranty anymore. I found some tutorials on how to replace the internal battery of other Garmin models but nothing about the 64 series, nor even the 62 series. Do you know where I could get additional information for this eventual surgery?

    I didn't get the nvm part. Could you explain more about that please?
     
    Angelo Vimeney, Oct 27, 2017
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  6. Angelo Vimeney

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    I think this is correct, memory holding waypoints etc is in nvm and the 'clock' has an internal battery.

    I could only find videos of gpsmap60 also, but I think the way the case opens will be similar for the gpsmap64
     
    Nuvi-Nebie, Oct 28, 2017
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  7. Angelo Vimeney

    Angelo Vimeney

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    Ok! Now I see! nvm stands for non-volatile memory! ;-)

    I'll try to find more info on how to disassembly this unit and evaluate the possibility of sending it to Garmin's assistance.

    I'll keep this thread updated with the next steps.
     
    Angelo Vimeney, Oct 28, 2017
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  8. Angelo Vimeney

    Tom Dahl

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    Exactly same intermittent problem here, whatever batteries I use. USB connection normalizes the GPS. Garmin support have not been able to come with suggestions. Did you find any internal battery, Angelo?
     
    Tom Dahl, May 7, 2018
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  9. Angelo Vimeney

    Angelo Vimeney

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    Hi guys,

    Since my last message here I went through several tests with my device. These test were based on keeping the unit with / without, the batteries for a specific amount of time and trying to power it on after this amount of time. Based on my experience I could say:

    - If you store your unit for a long period (months) without batteries it may enter in a failure state.
    - In such failure state, the unit refuses to start up when you put the batteries back.
    - Once in failure state, no matter how long the batteries are back in the unit, it wont start up.
    - A workaround for this situation is plug the unit in via USB connection. You can connect the unit to a computer or even a USB power bank. After only some seconds connected, the cable can be removed and the unit is expected to start up normally.
    - However, if you remove the batteries after a couple of hours, the unit may enter the failure state again. To avoid this situation, be sure the workaround above was successfully executed, power off the unit and then store it with the batteries in for several days. After this "recovery period" the batteries may be removed and the unit will survive for a extended period without entering the failure state.

    That said, to avoid problems, I suggest:

    - If you're going on a trip where GPS navigation is fundamental, always have a backup plan. Even a sturdy, reliable Garmin GPSMap can leave you in the lurch.
    - Periodically check your unit during long term storage. If you realizes it entered failure state, recover it in advance to be sure it is working properly before your next trip.
    - Once your unit was set up to hit the road, don't remove its batteries unnecessarily.
    - Count on a computer and USB cable to workaround the unit during a trip could be difficult, but a power bank and USB cable might come in handy.

    Finally, I suppose all this mess is caused by an internal battery that get discharged when the unit is kept without batteries for a long time. This battery would be responsible for keeping the internal clock and play some important role in the start up process. However, I still couldn't find any official information on it. As long as my unit started working properly after that "recovery period", I haven't opened my device for further investigation.

    Best regards,
    Ângelo Vimeney
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    Angelo Vimeney, May 9, 2018
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  10. Angelo Vimeney

    Tom Dahl

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    Well written, thanks a lot Angelo!
    I have exactly the same experience with my device and have come to the same conclusions.
    It can be an internal battery or a special type of memory-power capacitor that gets discharged - have experienced that in similar electronics.
     
    Tom Dahl, May 9, 2018
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  11. Angelo Vimeney

    djh53

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    Well analysed, Angelo.

    My gpsmap64, which is only a couple of weeks old, is experiencing identical issues.

    We'll see what Garmin has to say.
     
    djh53, May 31, 2018
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  12. Angelo Vimeney

    jovanderaa

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    Hi All, I have a Garmin GPSMAP 64st since mid 2016. From the beginning, I have had this identical problem. However, my experience about how to workaround it is different. I keep my device with batteries charged all the time. When the power-on problem occurs, removing the batteries and replacing them after 15... 20 mins has always solved the problem. Connecting to a powerbank via USB usually but not always solved the problem. Very annoying, because other than that the GPSMAP 64st is a very reliable device. I think Garmin really needs to solve this problem not just on the 64st but I read about same problems with other Garmin devices. This will hurt their reputation.
     
    jovanderaa, Jun 30, 2018
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