Author Topic: etrex 30 keeps switching off  (Read 3960 times)

etrex 30 keeps switching off
« on: April 28, 2017, 10:37:18 pm »
My etrex 30 has started switching itself off within seconds of being switched on.
On the last audax , last weekend, it did it about 10 times in about 2 minutes until I managed to get it to stay on by moving it on its mount a bit, leading me to think it might be a dodgy connection aggravated by vibration.
But today, with relatively new duracells, it wouldn't even stay on with me holding it, disproving that theory. Changed the batteries for brand new ones and it now stays on, but I don't know how long for!
Can it be repaired? What's likely to be wrong with it? What would you do - assuming I bought it ages ago enough to not have the receipt and any warranty info, I no longer care about the removability of the batteries but I do care about the ability to drop gpx files onto it as a drive rather than have to transfer proprietary Garmin files using proprietary Garmin software.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2017, 07:30:06 am »
I had this issue twice:

First occasion the SD Card holder had broken on the hinges which meant contact between card and device was not good so now I have put a piece of insulation tape over the card holder to hold it firmly in place

Second occasion: Corrupted GPX files ---did factory reset

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 10:12:58 am »
Yes the card holder is awful, and it sometimes results in Tracks/Routes apparently disappearing off the GPS.  Usually retirevable by power-cycling the device.  But the E30 can operate perfectly well without a SD card at all (after all, that is how it is sold - no SD card in the blister pack).

The vibration problem which famously afflicts the older Etrexes (Vista etc) actually is common to all the Garmins that use 2x AAs - including the new Etrexes and the Oregons. They all have the same internal construction 'feature' which leads to this problem. The new models are better but it's not the GPS itself that is any better, it's the improved very grippy mounting system.  So maybe your GPS is rattly in its mount?  Or your handlebars are prone to road buzz?  (Cheap copy-cat Garmin mounts are often rattly, it's worth buying the genuine article even though it is a ridiculous price for what it is.)
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2017, 11:58:20 am »
I use a small piece of Blu-Tack between the mount (genuine) and the unit, to prevent the rattle. (Has to be a small piece, or it seems to encourage the unit to fall out of the mount.) Switching itself off: only once in three years.

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 02:04:22 pm »
Yes the card holder is awful, and it sometimes results in Tracks/Routes apparently disappearing off the GPS.  Usually retirevable by power-cycling the device.  But the E30 can operate perfectly well without a SD card at all (after all, that is how it is sold - no SD card in the blister pack).

The vibration problem which famously afflicts the older Etrexes (Vista etc) actually is common to all the Garmins that use 2x AAs - including the new Etrexes and the Oregons. They all have the same internal construction 'feature' which leads to this problem. The new models are better but it's not the GPS itself that is any better, it's the improved very grippy mounting system.  So maybe your GPS is rattly in its mount?  Or your handlebars are prone to road buzz?  (Cheap copy-cat Garmin mounts are often rattly, it's worth buying the genuine article even though it is a ridiculous price for what it is.)

I thought that but then why would it do it in my hand while stationary...with non rechargeable duracells that had only done about 4 hours in it. Then when I changed them for brand new ones it was fine...?

Got insulation tape on the mounts on both bikes to prevent rattle.... As have had for ages. Only just started doing it.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

vorsprung

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Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 09:25:11 am »
my etrex 20x switched itself off twice during the 200km yesterday

Probably due to rough roads.   Next time out must pack in the batteries with something, see if that helps
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 10:19:45 am »
I have seen it crash and shut down due to attempting to autoroute an impossible route (errors in OSM mapping), but not from switch-on.

I only store maps on the card.  That way dodgy card slot issues tend to result in the map disappearing rather than risking GPX file corruption.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2017, 09:48:03 pm »
I've had virtually no trouble with my various AA powered Garmins turning themselves off.
What I've done is mount them on an accessory bar (Minoura Space Grip) out in front of the handlebar. This seems to take the sting out of the road shock. You get more hand space too.

It seems you can even get them with a built in shock absorber (at a price).
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/diacompe-gran-compe-mh1-handlebar-accessory-mount/

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2017, 11:12:38 am »
Can I make a polite request to steer this thread away from umpteen solutions of how to deal with road shock/vibration? There's loads of threads about that and to be honest it was only because I know it's NOT that ( I've twice stated how I've proved this), that makes my problem slightly mysterious- that's why I started a thread in the first place. I can find loads of road buzz turning of threads, don't need my own one of those.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Phil W

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2017, 01:58:46 pm »
This is too obvious, and a long shot, but I'll state it anyway.

On the etrex you can set the battery type in the settings. Does the battery type in your settings match the type you are using? I don't know what that settings does but I suppose it just might set the voltage at which it will decide to switch off. I know AA rechargables have different voltages to the AA duracells you can buy

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2017, 05:23:17 pm »
I think the only thing this option does on most devices is to 'calibrate' the battery gauge, as the different chemistries have different voltage drop characteristics as they run down.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2017, 06:54:23 pm »
Okay, SCIENCE:
  • eTrex30, firmware V4.30.
  • Constant-voltage regulated bench power supply with hair-trigger adjustment knobs that make fine adjustments (<0.1V) difficult to reproduce.
  • Voltage measured at eTrex battery terminals with a decent multimeter.

Battery set to NiMH:
1.90V No response
2.05V freezes at 'loading maps'. (Undervolting SD card but not eTrex?)
2.13V boots normally, operates for <1sec and shuts down cleanly.
2.18V boots normally, continues to operate.

Battery set to Alkaline:
1.95V Starts to boot and immediately crashes.
2.00V Starts to boot and immediately dies with shutdown screen.
2.08V Boots normally, operates for <1sec and shuts down cleanly.
2.14V Boots normally, gives "batteries low" warning, continues to operate.

Battery set to Lithium:
1.90V No response.
2.05V Boots normally, attempts to shutdown and looks like it crashes.
2.09V Boots normally, operates for <1sec and shuts down cleanly.
2.16V Boots normally, continues to operate.


Conclusion:  The battery setting doesn't seem to make a difference to the point where it actually shuts down, but probably does affect the "batteries low" warning.  The OP's symptoms do sound exactly like undervoltage.  So I'd assume either multiple duff batteries, or a dodgy connection causing voltage drop.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 09:23:11 pm »
This is too obvious, and a long shot, but I'll state it anyway.

On the etrex you can set the battery type in the settings. Does the battery type in your settings match the type you are using? I don't know what that settings does but I suppose it just might set the voltage at which it will decide to switch off. I know AA rechargables have different voltages to the AA duracells you can buy

Good suggestion Phil, I did check that.... It is on "alkaline" with Duracells in.... Which I thought was correct.... The other thing I have noticed is the "battery low" warning is (and has been as long as I can remember) followed by it switching off only about 2 seconds later!.... I'll check whether the other setting is more appropriate.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 09:27:17 pm »
Thanks Kim for such good detail and actual evidence! :)
Now, I'm wondering, have you got a22mm bar mount for a "Constant-voltage regulated bench power supply with hair-trigger adjustment knobs that make fine adjustments" ?;)
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2017, 09:34:42 pm »
Thankfully not, it weighs almost as much as one of my bikes!  Plus I really need to get round to replacing the cheapo pots with some proper 10-turn ones before bike mounting  ;)

Though that does suggest an obvious next course of action: See if it behaves when powered from a USB battery pack.  That would eliminate the AA batteries, the spring contacts and the internal connections to the battery compartment.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2017, 08:35:16 am »
Thankfully not, it weighs almost as much as one of my bikes!  Plus I really need to get round to replacing the cheapo pots with some proper 10-turn ones before bike mounting  ;)

Though that does suggest an obvious next course of action: See if it behaves when powered from a USB battery pack.  That would eliminate the AA batteries, the spring contacts and the internal connections to the battery compartment.
The problem is it's intermittent, it's been working fine for the last 3 days with batteries. An un reproducible problem.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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    • the Igloo
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2017, 08:45:24 am »
My etrex30 munched through two sets of new Duracells in ~85km on Saturday. I'm not sure if the batteries were from the same packet. A new set of Energizers was still showing as full on the GPS display after 44km on Sunday. I've not had this issue before.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2017, 08:51:06 am »
Duracells are greatly overrated.  Especially by Duracell.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2017, 08:54:48 am »
Possibly, but I've not had this problem with them before. We'll see how long the current batteries last.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2017, 11:42:37 am »
Duracells are greatly overrated.  Especially by Duracell.

There's a great taboo around actually specifying a capacity for alkaline primary cells, not even in bunny-bashes.  It's one of the all-time biggest triumphs of marketing over common sense.  Like Jesus or McDonald's.

Duracell Procells are okay.  But *those* have a datasheet.


I suppose you don't get the same opportunity to notice when you have a duff cell as you do with rechargeables.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2017, 10:21:19 am »
ok, given Kim's great idea about the batteries and the idea up thread that the sd card or sd card mount may be defective I have two suggestions

1) run the etrex off usb power, using an external usb battery pack. 
2) remove the sd card and use the small built in storage for the map

If it turns out that either of these are a problem then see my other thread https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=102112.0 which has info on out of warrantee repairs from Garmin
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2017, 12:13:56 pm »
ok, given Kim's great idea about the batteries and the idea up thread that the sd card or sd card mount may be defective I have two suggestions

1) run the etrex off usb power, using an external usb battery pack. 
2) remove the sd card and use the small built in storage for the map

If it turns out that either of these are a problem then see my other thread https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=102112.0 which has info on out of warrantee repairs from Garmin
Both 1 and 2 are daft ideas if you don't mind me saying. Thanks for the link about out of warranty repairs though, that might be useful.

I have decided to buy an edge touring so I will see how I get on with that. I have come to the conclusion the AA batteries are more of a hindrance than a help - I do think it could be the quality of some of them that is lacking, either that or the unit's lack of tolerance to only slight deficiencies in quality. If/when I next do a 300/400/600 I may either be on the bike with a USB light or not need it on all the time... . I mean for instance in 2019 I could do the BCM with an edge and not even need a charger cos most of the time you can remember the route so you could turn it off most of the way.

I won't lower myself to the shame of strapping an anker to my bike on an audax though, that's a travesty - I'd rather get lost.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2017, 12:41:44 pm »
With Etrex (HCx) units I've also had issues with fractured battery contacts in the AA compartment (as well as the sprung internal contacts).  AFAIUI your average 2500-3000mAh NiMH is physically larger than an alkaline AA so pressure on the contacts can vary depending on battery type &/or vibration level.

I would test an 'Anker' powering the unit*, though may require a fair few uses if the prob is intermittent.  On a recent mandatory DIY, when other Etrex HCx died, an anker (5600mah) inna tribag connected to my back-up GPS logger (phone) saved my validation, which would have been a shame not to get...  ;)

* having said this, with my older HCx units I've found surgery and component/casing transplantation quite useful.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2017, 12:59:44 pm »
With Etrex (HCx) units I've also had issues with fractured battery contacts in the AA compartment (as well as the sprung internal contacts).  AFAIUI your average 2500-3000mAh NiMH is physically larger than an alkaline AA so pressure on the contacts can vary depending on battery type &/or vibration level.

I would test an 'Anker' powering the unit*, though may require a fair few uses if the prob is intermittent.  On a recent mandatory DIY, when other Etrex HCx died, an anker (5600mah) inna tribag connected to my back-up GPS logger (phone) saved my validation, which would have been a shame not to get...  ;)

* having said this, with my older HCx units I've found surgery and component/casing transplantation quite useful.
See I don't have any of these issue since I have zero interest whatsoever in doing DIYs or even recording rides at all.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: etrex 30 keeps switching off
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2017, 01:03:59 pm »
Fairynuff.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.