19 July 2017

642. Garmin GPSMap 64S and the weirdest hardware bug...

Last year I bought a Garmin GPSMap 64S (https://www.ryda.com.au/garmin-gpsmap-64s-handheld-gps) and while it has objectively made my life a lot more amazing (being able to just walk, without having to look for often hard-to-find maps before and printing them, gives you a great sense of freedom), it comes with a weird bug.

If you change the batteries (runs on 2xAA), you might not be able to turn it back on. I did some troubleshooting:
* If you change the batteries quickly -- within 5-10 minutes -- it would turn back on
* Otherwise the only way to turn the GPS back on was to plug it into your computer -- or another power source such as a phone battery bank -- using the USB cable

I sent the device back to Ryda, but when they tested it they had no issues turning it back on. Egg + Face.

Well, I finally figured it out -- it all comes down to how you put the batteries back in.

Right before Left

If you put the device face down as shown in the photo, you need to put the RIGHT battery in BEFORE the LEFT one, and the device will start fine.

If you put the left battery in before the right one, you'll need to hook the GPS up via the USB cable to a power source to start it.

WHY it's like that, and whether it's a manufacturing defect only present in my device, I don't know. I'm just happy that it's working consistently now.

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