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GPSMAP 66st - Battery Issues

I used my new GPSMAP 66st this weekend. Needless to say I experienced I was not to happy. Saturday morning I turned it on and begin a track. I walked for about 4 hours saving way points as I went. Well, when I got back to camp the GPS unit was off. When turning back on, I received a replace battery message. I dismissed the message and when the GPS unit powered on the battery indicator was showing full. After reviewing my track, I determined the GPS power off about an hour before my hike was complete.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks in advance,

RJ

Comments

  • sussamb 786 Points
    What batteries were you using?
  • DaveM 104 Points
    Do you have the battery type set for the batteries you are using?
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    Duracell AA
  • sussamb 786 Points
    How do you carry your GPS? Maybe the off button was pressed. If it happens again and you're sure you didn't accidentally press it then it may need returning. I don't have a 66 but I'd also check to see if there is an auto shut down?
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    I was carrying it with the carabiner on my backpack should strap. I thought I may of accidentally turned it off, but I don't think so. I just find it strange that it gave me a battery message when powering back on. I've sent an email to Garmin support. I'm just waiting to hear back from them.

    Thanks for the replies.

    RJ
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    DaveM said:

    Do you have the battery type set for the batteries you are using?

    Dave,

    That may be it! I just checked and it's set to NiMH. Do you think this would cause the issue?
  • DaveM 104 Points
    Yes. The discharge for NiMH and Alkaline is different. The NiMH won't drop much until it's almost dead the Alkaline will start dropping from the start so will be lower than the NiMH with very little use. At that point the GPS will think it’s almost dead.
    Change the setting and let us know if it works.
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    I made the change and will test this weekend and will let you know. Thank you both for the quick reply's.

    RJ
  • TCMan 0 Points
    Interesting - I am having a similar issue with my Garmin 66st. On two longer walks recently the unit turned off by itself. After the first time, I thought it might be the batteries so I ditched the cheap AA batteries for a Garmin rechargeable battery pack. But the unit turned off again today. I spoke with a Garmin rep and he said to update the firmware and try it again. So I updated it (I thought this would be done automatically through Garmin Connect, but it turns out I had to connect it to my PC using Garmin Express) and will try it again in a few days.
  • sussamb 786 Points
    Connect is a mapping, information program. Express is the app used for updating. As I posted above I don't have a 66 but do they have an auto shutdown setting?
  • TCMan 0 Points
    Thanks sussamb -- I checked my settings but both Expedition Mode and Battery Save were set to Off. I'm hoping that the firmware upgrade will fix the issue. Icy weather at the moment prevents me from trying it out.
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    My device was updated before I had this issue.

    I haven't had a chance to test again, but will this weekend. I just checked these settings and both of are off.

    TCMan, please keep us posted and I will also

    RJ
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    I would not automatically assume this is a "battery issue". Software bugs can cause a device to crash and shutdown. The 66 is a new model and Garmin's early firmware is notoriously buggy, typically taking as much as a year before it gets stable.
  • TCMan 0 Points
    Latest status -- did two 1hr+ walks and the unit worked fine. Today, however, the unit switched off by itself after about two miles. I will contact Garmin Support tomorrow, but I am leaning towards returning the unit. Very disappointing, as aside from the software issue, I really like the unit.
  • sussamb 786 Points
    edited December 5
    I've seen no other reports of this happening so either you have a faulty unit or it's accidentally being switched off. If the former take it back and get another one. I wouldn't be without my Garmin handheld :)
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    This isn't good news. I'll be testing mine this weekend in the hopes it doesn't shut off again. Even if it doesn't shut off this weekend, it still scares me to think it could in the future. TCMan, can you ask Garmin if they've received any other reports of this issue? I sent Garmin support an email and all they did was reference me to the user guide to turn off power saving.

    Thanks,

    RJ
  • TCMan 0 Points
    Spoke with Garmin Support this morning and the tech advised me to do a Master Reset, and that I was the first person he's spoken to with this type of issue. I've completed the Master Reset and will check for proper operation over the next several days. Stay tuned....
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    Thanks for the update!

    RJ
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    sussamb said:

    I've seen no other reports of this happening

    forums.geocaching.com/GC/index.php?/topic/349766-garmin-gpsmap-66-series-announced-on-2018-08-06/&page=3&tab=comments#comment-5752165

    "It still just crashes all the time in a manner that turns itself off, or requires you to pull the batteries out to reset it or it stays frozen on a screen."

    "In my view, it’s a paperweight, at least until it has some work to it’s device software.
    I’d by no means trust it to even maintain a track log for a long hike without just turning off, or freezing."

    "To be honest, more often than not, mine just turns off by itself, but occasionally, and especially that time int he car, it freezes and needs batteries removed."
  • sussamb 786 Points
    Ah, am not on there anymore ... seems like a few folks have issues lol

    I'll stick with my bombproof Etrex 20 :)
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    edited December 7
    IIRC, there were some issues with the eTrex 20 when it was first released too. :) IMO you are taking a big risk when you buy a new Garmin handheld that has been on the market for less than a year.

    But hey, it could be worse.... think about all the problems Garmin had with the Monterra, a $700 device that was never fully de-bugged before it was discontinued. Or the GPSMap 276cx, a buggy $800 device that infuriated many early adopters (who were all big Garmin fans). After two years, I'm not sure if all those issues have been addressed.

    I'm sure the GPSMap66 will eventually work properly though, it's an evolutionary device, unlike the 276cx and Monterra. But you will just need to be patient, and have a backup device for anything critical. If you aren't a patient person and are still within the return/exchange window, you might give it some serious consideration.
  • sussamb 786 Points
    edited December 7
    There was an issue early on with the Etrex, which in extremes could lock out and not be recoverable, even by removing batteries etc. Garmin replaced them all FOC as of course they needed to, and released a software update that resolved it for others.
  • TCMan 0 Points
    Latest status -- five walks completed since I did a master reset. Unit did not shut off unexpectedly during any of the activities. At this point I am cautiously optimistic that the master reset somehow fixed the shut downs. I have also been locking the keypad during my activities, and I haven't been stopping and resuming the recording when I go into stores or buildings.
  • rjmlakota 181 Points
    I used my unit all day Saturday and walked a total of just over 6 miles. I did a master reset before and installed brand new Duracell alkaline batteries. Unit did not shut off unexpectedly, but when I pushed a button to activate the display light I'd receive the following message.

    "Batteries too low for full backlight or tones. Use Rechargeable NiMH or Lithium batteries to prevent this limiting"

    I'd press enter to dismiss the message and the display brightness would automatically be down to 50%. This occurred on a full battery.
  • sussamb 786 Points
    Try Sanyo or Panasonic Eneloops. ... Mine last about 18 hours.
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