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Drivesmart 50 won't charge on USB

I have Drivesmart 50 unit. Usually, it is connected to the car charger for traffic data but last weekend, I had a long trip and at the end of the trip, I noticed that the unit was low on battery. It was connected to Garmin genuine cable all throughout the trip. I thought the power supply was loose. It powers up if I connect the car charger.

I thought I can charge at home using a phone charger but it didn't charge and discharged the battery completely.

If I connect to the laptop, it doesn't show computer sign (probably because the battery is depleted.

Any idea why it doesn't charge on a phone charger or over the USB? It seems it will charge on Garmin branded charger


  • privet01 231 Points
    When you say using the garmin genuine cable, you are talking about the one that you plug into the 12 powerpoint or cigar lighter in your vehichle..... correct?

    If not, then that is what you should be using. USB plugs just don't supply enough juice to keep the unit running and charge at the same time.

  • Kevin_hutch 116 Points
    USB chargers are a minefield of variations over a wide range of current capacities and a number of "standard" USB cables are also not up to scratch. Compound that very few USB outlets can supply the current required to charge and GPS units are very unreliable transferring files when the battery is low.

    I have found that if you have a 5v 2amp charger and a good short cable the GPS will charge at 400-700 mA, but it is quicker/easier if, when plugged in, you switch off or dim the screen, as the screen drags the maybe half the operating current. Long ago I invested $5 in a USB volt/amp meter so I could see what was going on.

    The exact same thing occurs with phones, I have often heard people say their car charger takes forever to charge their phone and this is why. The charge chips for lithium batteries are quite smart in identify what rate it can drag from the charger and if indeed it is capable at all.
  • oldyellr 181 Points
    The standard cigar lighter power cord can have problems, especially in an older car, especially if the socket has been corroded by lighting cigarettes. You used to be able to buy replacement sockets at auto parts stores, not sure about now, but a lot of people don't work under the dash of their cars. You could probably clean up the contacts with a wire brush attachment on a Dremel. But in this case it would almost seen that the charger cable adapter has failed, maybe a broken wire. Just buy a new one.
  • teejay 91 Points
    Update - It was a hardware failure. Garmin replaced the unit.
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