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  1. #1
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    Default eTrex Woes and a Solution...

    I posted a thread on the "give it away before I toss it" type thing, reckoning somebody may have had an olde eTrex10/20 garmin GPS they wanted to get rid of, as mine has been giving issues. In the meantime, I've got a fairly useful fix for the thing... Thought I would post it here, as it is apparently a common problem with these GPS units. Although getting a new GPS is on my list of priorities, having just come through a very nasty divorce, I don't feel like buying a new one at the moment, so I'll just make do with what I have for a bit. I'll get a new one when my finances have recovered from this all...


    In any case, I've always used a Garmin eTrex20 unit (not to be confused with the eTrex10 - which does not allow maps to be loaded etc). It is probably a little more upmarket than the entry-level Nuvi type GPS, although probably a little annoying to navigate with as it has a super small screen. However, it is an excellent GPS and supports most of the capabilities of more upmarket units. And it is perfect for what I've always used it for (hiking, offroading etc).


    The eTrex units are more rugged GPS units than Nuvi, with IPX7 (ie: water and dust) ingress ratings. This does, however, come as a trade-off. After years worth of use, the rubber waterproof buttons on the side of the units disintegrate, and one can no longer operate the GPS easily. One can easily cut off the rubber buttons and operate the thing with a stick (as I did when my GPS packed up after being man-handled by customs on the way back from Namibia last year), but then it becomes difficult to operate the unit when driving. Attempts at finding a replacement "front cover" for the unit which would have replacement buttons were also unsuccessful. So I eventually came up with quite a novel way of repairing the unit.


    Since my trip to Nam last year, all the rubber buttons have started failing. So step 1, was removing them all. Easily accomplished with a craft knife... The first photo shows the GPS with rubber buttons intact. The second one, shows the rubber buttons removed, and one can see the actual electrical connections in the holes where the buttons used to be...

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    I also had a few 3D printed push buttons lying around from an electronic project housing I finished a few months ago.

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    Finally, for the princely sum of R199, I ordered a protective cover for the Garmin eTrex20 from BidorBuy (this one - https://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/4793...lor_Black.html).

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    In any case, my 3D printed buttons were not 100% the correct size, but I chopped them down a little using my Dremel so that they fitted as so.

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    And voila - an operational GPS unit again.

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    Great - my unit has now lost it's IPX7 ingress rating, but I am not intending to get it wet for a bit. I'll replace it at some point when I can.
    Ian de Villiers
    Nissan Patrol GRX 4.5

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: eTrex Woes and a Solution...

    Thanks for the tip.

    I bought the 22x late last year and haven't had a chance to use it much as my bikepacking race got cancelled.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: eTrex Woes and a Solution...

    Any chance of "marketing" the blue 3D printed buttons?? I need to do the same.
    Live life to the fullest....no matter what!

  5. #4
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    Default Re: eTrex Woes and a Solution...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniek View Post
    Any chance of "marketing" the blue 3D printed buttons?? I need to do the same.
    It will be more of a headache "marketing" buttons than just printing a set and sending them down to you...

    I will be in touch when I've done so to arrange this ?
    Ian de Villiers
    Nissan Patrol GRX 4.5

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Noordhoek, Cape Town
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    Default Re: eTrex Woes and a Solution...

    Hi There

    Very glad you got yours working. I have a diferrent problem. My eTrex 20 is still in very good condition but somehow the SD card or the map set that came with it has been corrupted. Garmin said to me that they don't do map sets for them anymore and closest they could recommend was the Topo Maps which by the way also did not work and they also did not refund me as was agreed. What am I to do to get detailed mapping for the Western cape and West Coast as I doubt it if T4A will enable street navigation as well as show all the gravel roads I wish to investigate. Any advice please?

    Regards

    vellies

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: eTrex Woes and a Solution...

    Quote Originally Posted by vellies View Post
    Hi There

    Very glad you got yours working. I have a diferrent problem. My eTrex 20 is still in very good condition but somehow the SD card or the map set that came with it has been corrupted. Garmin said to me that they don't do map sets for them anymore and closest they could recommend was the Topo Maps which by the way also did not work and they also did not refund me as was agreed. What am I to do to get detailed mapping for the Western cape and West Coast as I doubt it if T4A will enable street navigation as well as show all the gravel roads I wish to investigate. Any advice please?

    Regards

    vellies
    You should be able to reload the map that had before, directly on the unit or on the memory card. Alternatively you should be able to load a new version of Garmin's Street map and/or T4A. T4A does street navigation. Last time I check, you just couldn't search for a street address.

    I use both Streetmaps and T4A and between them there are plenty gravel roads to navigate.

    PS. I must say that I have not loaded Streetmaps on my eTrex as I did not want to purchase another license. But it should theoretically be able to work with Streetmaps.
    Last edited by Daniek; 2021/04/05 at 02:27 PM.
    Live life to the fullest....no matter what!

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