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Memory battery in Garmin GPS III

I've had the Garmin GPS III for about 7 years. It no longer works because the memory battery failed. These batteries have a life of up to ten years.
I called Garmin to ask how I should send it in to have the battery replaced, and they were very rude in answering, in an arrogant attitude, saying that the GPS III was obsolete, and they no longer serviced it.
I don't know about you guys, but when I pay $350.00 for something and it needs a new battery that costs about $2.50, I'm not going to throw it away.
I opened the case and it was obvious that the 'coin' battery that I saw, which had metal tabs spot welded onto it and the tabs were soldered onto the circuit board. I was unable to see the numbers that identified the battery so I clipped it out of the circuit, leaving a length of each tab on the board for location purposes.
I was an engineering technician for many years, and I'm completely at home doing this kind of work, but I goofed. I didn't note on paper which way the battery was oriented. It took a month to find the CR 1220 battery with tabs, and in that time, I have forgotten which way the battery was oriented. Does anyone out there have that information? Does anybody out there have a Garmin GPS III that they can open and tell me which way it is oriented?


  • I have a Garmin GPS III Plus with a dead battery. I opened mine up but do not see anything resembling a battery. Can you give me an idea what to look for?
  • KellyJoe 0 Points
    I have a Garmin GPS III Plus with a dead battery. I opened mine up but do not see anything resembling a battery. Can you give me an idea what to look for?
    Yes. It looks like a very slightly thick Dime. It is standing on its edge, just next to the end of the connector , and cross way to it.
    If that doesn't get you there, we can exchange email addresses, and I can send you a picture, unless there is a way to post pictures on here.
    I can get a battery, made for the job for less than $3.00, And since there was a delay in shipping, could increase the order to two and send one to you.
  • KellyJoe 0 Points
    I have a Garmin GPS III Plus with a dead battery. I opened mine up but do not see anything resembling a battery. Can you give me an idea what to look for?
    If you're inclined to sell me your GPSIII let me know, and give me you're price.
  • davebg 0 Points
    Have you got your polarity reply? I also have need for a battery replacement and have not found an economical source. But I can help with the battery orientation.
  • KellyJoe 0 Points
    Have you got your polarity reply? I also have need for a battery replacement and have not found an economical source. But I can help with the battery orientation.
    Yes, I have the info I need.
    I can help you on the battery, it took me nearly three days to find in, lots of searching, and phone calls.
    The place I did find, does NOT stock them, but will special order them. The part number on their catalog page is not the number they go by, which makes dealing with them anxiety raising.
    I'm still waiting for my first order, which of course they had to special order.
    I'm reluctant to give the info until I'm sure I get the right thing. The cells with tabs are less than $3.00
  • davebg 0 Points
    I got these part nos from DigiKey: P080;P080-ND;VL1220-1VC;VL1220-1VCE;VL1220/1VC;VL1220/1VCE.
    The type was 12.5mm 3v 7.0mAh price: $4.45 but not in stock.
  • davebg 0 Points
    I found a source. Mouser Electronics using Panasonic part no. VL1220-1VC . Price is $4.44 shipping for me is $6 .
  • KellyJoe 0 Points
    I got these part nos from DigiKey: P080;P080-ND;VL1220-1VC;VL1220-1VCE;VL1220/1VC;VL1220/1VCE.
    The type was 12.5mm 3v 7.0mAh price: $4.45 but not in stock.
    The 7.0 Mah is definitely too low. It should be 30 Mah.
  • davebg 0 Points
    I also felt 7 mAh was low. That is what the original part number VL1220-1VC specs at. There does not seem to be room for a larger battery. My unit is a GPS III Plus. The VL represents Vanadium Lithium for the rechargeable type, the 1220 represents 12mm dia. I suppose you could go to a 20mm dia part # VL2020-1VC which gives 20mAh. I found this at Allied Electronics for $5.19ea.
    Did you try to charge your unit via a power adapter for a few days which should give a good current to the internal battery?
  • KellyJoe 0 Points
    I also felt 7 mAh was low. That is what the original part number VL1220-1VC specs at. There does not seem to be room for a larger battery. My unit is a GPS III Plus. The VL represents Vanadium Lithium for the rechargeable type, the 1220 represents 12mm dia. I suppose you could go to a 20mm dia part # VL2020-1VC which gives 20mAh. I found this at Allied Electronics for $5.19ea.
    Did you try to charge your unit via a power adapter for a few days which should give a good current to the internal battery?
    I take back what I said. You must not substitute a non rechargeable battery for the rechargeable type, it could cause a fire if you did.
    You have done your homework. I have a GPSIII, NOT PLUS, and it used a NON-rechargeable 1220, which does have a rating of 30 or 35 Mah. If I (or anyone) were to put a non rechargeable lithium cell into a unit that has a charging circut, it most likely would burn.
    The 7Mah rating is probably quite adequate if the system recharges the memory battery on a somewhat regular basis.
    More on this subject later
  • afhead 0 Points
    "I got these part nos from DigiKey: P080;P080-ND;VL1220-1VC;VL1220-1VCE;VL1220/1VC;VL1220/1VCE.
    The type was 12.5mm 3v 7.0mAh price: $4.45 but not in stock."


    I have a GPS III Plus. I'm certain that I have to replace the internal battery but I'm trying to make sure that your replacement worked and how you or anyone else have done it.

    My email is
  • afhead 0 Points

    I also need photos on how to change the battery on my GPS III Plus. Your pics would be very helpful.

    My email address is
  • KellyJoe 0 Points

    I also need photos on how to change the battery on my GPS III Plus. Your pics would be very helpful.

    My email address is
    I have not been ignoring you. I appreciate this forum, it has helped me.
    I've been sick as a dog, a bad case of bronchitis on top of emphysema, and I'm 75. My wife has been pretty sick too, and we've been out of it for a week. When I get caught up, I'll be in touch, and maybe I can figure out if this Forum has facilities for posting pictures. If not, I'll send them to you, and to anyone else that wants them.
    I have both a GPSIII and a GPSIII PLUS to install new batteries into, so we should be able to cover both, biggest diference is the type of battery, one is rechargeable, the other is not.
  • I also have a gps III plus about 7 years old. When i press the on button, absolutely nothing happens. is this the same response you others are getting. or does it come on, but you have lost all your settings and waypoints.
    did anyone get the right battery and get thier unit working.
    what is the model number of the replacement battery used.
    any info would be greatly appreciated.

    i saw a post somewhere else about jumpering from the AA battery leads to the solder points for the on board battery, but this didn't work at all

    please advise
  • I have 2 of the old GPS III units (not the "gps III plus), and one has already had a battery die. As for the polarity, mine has the battery info stamped on the side facing the antenna. I can't tell if this is the plus or the minus, but on most button style batteries it would be the plus. If anyone has a good source of the non-rechargeable batteries, I would surely be interested in getting 2 of them.

    It looks to me like the physical dimensions of the battery are almost immaterial as long as it isn't too much bigger than the original. There is lots of room. We just need to get the voltage and current rating right.

    I'm all ears!
  • Radio Shack charges $5 for this lithium Memory retaining battery. Get it online for $1 or so , one with tabs might cost you a little more. If any one needs information as to how to change this battery, please send me an email and I will send the all you need to know.. Its not difficult and I know that Garmin stopped servicing this unit but you can do it for much less than the $75 that they charged to do it.. OK< Polarity. The + side of the battery is toward the short end of the unit close to the soldered in metal plate which is under the control section. The - side is next to the brown resister which is found under the display. Should do it...Dont try to solder it as you will damage the battery. There are other options available. Oh, the old battery can be removed by very carefully sliding the blade of a box cutter down each side of the battery. Then simply remove it.
  • barrys 0 Points
    You mentioned to send you an email regarding getting info on changing the battery. Mine just recently died. I spoke to garmin and actually found a nice tech assistance person who went and got a GPSIII in his hand to try to answer my questions. He still could not find any inmfo on changing out the battery.

    Do we remove every screw on the back? Are there any screws under the rubber "Garmin" labelled non-skid panel?

    If you could email any info, I'd appreciate it. barryseybert(at)

    Thank you
  • Any info/photos/cost would be great on changing a memory battery in my garmin 3.
    I live in Belfast and I'm a complete novice.

  • kjo 0 Points
    This thread looks old but nobody has posted working results...
    The GPS3 I have uses a Panasonic VL1220 ~3V battery. This is a rechargeable Lithium battery. It CANNOT be replaced with a CR1220 type primary battery.
    The POSITIVE terminal connects to the square pad (toward antenna).
    The internal charging circuits will soon cause a CR1220 to leak! It is also very likely that the internal circuits are set for the 1220 size (~500uA), so a larger rechargeable cell may never fully charge.
    I was able to remove the entire battery using solder wick and a small solder sucker. It helps to actually add some new 80/20 electronic solder before attempting the removal. Try these steps using a SMALL iron:
    1) Disconnect both PCB connectors. (one for battery case, one for LCD display. For the LCD, you must release the flat cable locks with a small tool)
    2) add a small amount of solder to the pads on the back of the board.
    3) Using solder wick, remove as much as possible from the back pads. Take no more than 5-10 sec of heating! The round pad is ground and is more difficult to clear due to internal PCB planes.
    4) From the front, quickly heat the positive joint of the battery and work its leg out of the hole. Then repeat on the negative leg. The POS hole is likely open now. The NEG is likely still filled.
    5) Add some fresh solder to the filled hole. Using a solder sucker on one side, heat pad from other side. Suck hole clear.
    6) replace with VL1220 type minding proper polarity. (Get one from, or the like)

    Post your results!


    PS My GPS 3 is vintage 1998 (early model) Other PCBs may use other battery technologies)
  • kjo 0 Points
    I successfully replaced the VL1220 rechargeable with a CR1220 lithium primary cell. I simply soldered two short wire leads to the battery sides (~28AWG solid) and stuck them thru the holes and soldered them in place. You need to take care not to short the battery!

    The GPS now holds its memory! But I see a long term issue with using the CR1220. The GPS likely uses the Panasonic recommended method of charging the VL1220. At 3V the charging current is <500uA and the charge voltage is 3.4V. As long as the CR1220 is in good condition the charging circuit will likely not cause a problem. But as the battery ages and nears EOL its voltage will drop. The charging circuit can then supply a LOT more current to try to recover to 3-3.4V. This WILL eventually cause the CR1220 to fail by leaking and possibly overheating. It will also cause a drain on teh external supply and batteries. Its best to order a new VL1220 if that is what your unit uses.

    One final caution. Take extreme care regarding that coax wire from the circuit board to the antenna terminal. If you flex the joint, you may easily crack the soldered braid shield (either end) and create an antenna open circuit. Trust me, it is very tricky to repair!

    See link for battery specs & charging info:
  • BobC 0 Points
    Which GPS III uses the rechargable battery? The Normal or the Plus.

    Also, can you remove the circuit board without damaging the LCD and its connections? I would like to unsolder the battery and then solder wires in for a new cell. This way, if the battery starts to fail again, it will be an easy fix.

    Garmin lost a customer because they don't stand behind their products or their customers. I hope it was worth it. We just bought 2 GPS navigation units -- one for our new car and one for hunting. I would have bought Garmin if they had treated me decent.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    Garmin lost a customer because they don't stand behind their products or their customers. I hope it was worth it.
    Are you are upset because they won't support a 10 year old product? Or was it something else?
  • BobC 0 Points
    More for their attitude.

    Also, I have a 25 year old Pioneer laserdisc and Pioneer serviced it a few months back. My 1967 Ford still is serviced by Ford. My Montgomery Ward microwave oven is still serviced by Sharp who made it. The point being is that most expensive appliances are covered after they are no longer being sold.

    I mean, changing a battery isn't like replacing the i386 surface mount CPU.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    I see. I guess we just have different views of the world. For a gadget like a GPS I don't expect anything close to a 10 year life... 3 or 4 years is probably pushing it in today's disposable world. But that's just me... I would not be happy with the features or performance of a unit older than this anyway.

    I had a 1967 Ford too... but that was in 1967.

    Good luck with the other manufacturers who you've given your business to as punishment for Garmin. My experience, and that of many others, has been very positive with them. I hope you didn't buy from Navigon.. (
  • BobC 0 Points
    I've been only moderately happy with Garmin and the GPS III Plus now that I finally got a working one. The first one died in 3 months but it autolocated within seconds. Garmin replaced it. The new unit took 20 minutes to lock so I sent it back to Garmin and they replaced it with one that they had no record of the serial number for. Now, I have this one that is always slow to autolocate (about 2-5 minutes but Garmin said that's normal) but, it has everything I need for what I use it for. It has the topo maps, waypoints, tracking, MOB (for point location) decent battery life and is portable. I can transfer to/from the Delorme Topo maps. I don't need a color screens, bluetooth, telephones, wireless transfer of data, corner by corner talking navigation, etc. I just need to know where on the mountain I was and if there is an easier way down from how I got in.

    But, why is a battery change is a massive effort for them? That is a bad design/engineering/product management call. That reminds me of the same mentality as the battery in the Apple products requiring a factory change. Garmin isn't the only vendor out there. I have not had these kinds of issues with Magellin GPS products so I'll probably go back to them for my GPS needs in the future.

    I'll change the stupid battery and configure it for easy replacement next time. I just need to know if it is the rechargable cell or not and if there is anything to be concerned with pulling the board (LCD contacts, rocker switch alignment, etc.). I'll get out my isotip solder station, solder sucker and change it out.
  • BobC 0 Points
    Thanks to the others on these forums for all your advice, experience and tips.

    Thanks to kjo for his excellent guidance on the connectors!!!

    My GPS III Plus is now very happy with its new battery. Everything downloaded and uploaded fine and I even upgraded the software in the process. Topo maps uploaded as did my waypoints and routes.

    Thanks too for this forum!

  • Um, maybe it's just time to step up to the plate and replace these ancient units?
  • BobC 0 Points
    Um, maybe it's just time to step up to the plate and replace these ancient units?
    Maybe but, why spend around $500 for basically the same thing? What do the new units have that this one doesn't? Color screen? Big deal. Wireless transfer and bluetooth? Who or what would I transfer to? Beeps and talk to scare away the wildlife I'm looking for? Not.

    I looked at the new versions of what I have and read their operations and they are really just the same thing in a different package. Why would I spend $500 for that? a $6 battery made a lot more sense and then I have almost $500 to spend on more fishing gear, a fish finder and a new fly rod!
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    If something meets your needs and you are happy, there's no reason to replace. Expecting a company to support a 10 year old product is another issue.

    But regardless, to answer your question, modern GPS chipsets are much, much, much better at acquiring and holding onto a signal than something of your vintage. I have been through many different units over the years, and the older technology chipsets in my StreetPilot 2620, Legend C and Meridian Gold all had pretty substantial issues under any amount of tree cover or around large buildings.

    Nothing is perfect, but the newer chipsets rarely have these issues. I almost never lose satellite lock driving around these days, but driving on the same tree-covered country roads with the 2620 I would frequently lose it.

    The new chipsets are also faster at processing the data which means the unit is more responsive as you move and you can zoom/pan the map faster. Touchscreens also make this much, much easier. Entering street names or coordinates with a cursor button really frustrates me.

    Depends on where/how you use your unit. If this isn't an issue for you then fine... no need to upgrade. But I try to use my units as a replacement for paper maps. That means I want a high quality color screen with lots of pixels, and fast response so I can drag/zoom the map around to "explore". I would not be happy with a 4 year old unit, let alone a 10 year old one.

    Again, this is just my personal preference. But I also drive a 2009 car instead of one made in 1967 (which was the year I graduated from high school) :D
  • BobC 0 Points
    I use my unit for going deep into the back country far from roads or anything man-made. I'm off searching for very out of the way fishing and hunting areas. Often, the way I go into an area is totally different than the way I come out. I may go up a mountain from the east face and come out on the west face -- or even a different mountain.

    My requirements are pretty basic really. lightweight, portable, absolutely quiet, MOB feature, route tracking, waypoints, topo maps. Beyond that, I don't need anything else.

    When I treked over the continental divide via a long forgotten mining area, I located an old steam engine from 1892 used for cutting logs. I made a waypoint so I could go back later and study it. I've mapped game trails and other aspects of the Colorado mountains with this GPS III + for years.

    Maybe I'm wrong to not want a new unit. So be it. The new ones may be better in cities and traffic but I don't need one for that. They have more bells and whistles that I don't need and that are definitely not worth hundreds of dollars to me. Looking at the capabilities of the newer units, there was nothing they have that the one I have doesn't have except for maybe more sensitivity and

    As for servicing an expensive appliance, well this was a first. My 15 year old LaserDisc player was just serviced by Pioneer. My old 1980 2m HT was serviced by Kenwood and its almost 30 years old. I have excellent results with all kinds of vendors servicing old stuff -- even Sharp serviced an old Montgomery Ward microwave oven they built. Ford still services the 1967 Fairlane. So, I was surprised that Garmin wouldn't perform a simple battery exchange. I mean, thanks to this forum, I did it in about 20 minutes and I had never seen the inside before. Obviously, not a difficult task and one they could have made money on.

    Anyway, I'm up. I'm happy now.
  • nicholette 0 Points
    edited May 2009
    Hello, the attitude of Garmin does not surprise me at all. However to get over your problem of identifying the correct way round of the Panasonic LV1220 nominal 3 volt Rechargeable Lithium Battery used in the Garmin GPS III Plus. The Positive terminal is the one adjacent to the white rectangular connector with the negative one being adjacent to the electrolic capacitor. If you are in doubt about this I never fit one without rechecking by using a multimeter for continuity between a good earth plane and one of the battery terminals which will of course be the negative one. Double check this by checking that any big electrolic capacitors which have their negative terminal marked also have this negative terminal connected to the same earth plane.

    Personally I would say in this case it is important to replace the battery with the same type as it is recharged when power is connected. Using a NiCad or non-rechargeable cell is not an option for safety, leakage, possible thermal transfer, as the charging requirements are pretty narrow for the type of battery fitted.

    Actually this is a pretty odd battery one of the few using vanadium as denoted by the V(l) +V2O5 -LiAl manufactured is smallish batches so may be harder to find the exact vertically orientated replacement so.. I expect you could mod the horizontal mounting version to suit. It is unlikely to be of any benefit to try and fit a higher capacity 3 volt lithium battery as the room in side the unit is limited. Repositioning it may cause rf type problems degrading operating parameters.

  • BobC 0 Points
    Thanks nicholette. The GPS has a new battery and is very happy and working fine again. Simple task to change really. You are correct, use your VOM to check BEFORE removing the cell and again after replacing it. It's a 2 second safety check.

    kjo has excellent instructions earlier in this thread.
  • nicholette 0 Points
    Thank you BobC yes I did note the instructions given by kjo, the poster to whom you refer, however as he correctly states there are likely to be problems long term with the type of battery he has used. If you want to keep this unit in your 'grab bag' then your life may depend upon the thing working after many years of storage. While in an ideal world we may all change these things at regular intervals, 'Murphy's Law' dictates that it will be needed when you have not brought that new unit or have not taken your primary SAR unit. So if backup, or double backup is your use then I would go for a long term viability and reliablity route and do it the way I have outlined.

    Another consideration is that to place a soldering iron on a button cell without solding tags fitted, is to risk your sight as someone will one day heat it to the extent that it explodes in their face. If you must do it then PLEASE wear a safety visor if your are pretty or goggles if not and a bit of a risk taker by nature. I will not go into the dangers of inhaling the vented gasses. This is why the soldering tags are auto HF spot welded where there is no heat build up to degrade the cell or risk explosion of the cell by heat casuing gas overpressure.

    Thank you for your comment tho bye bye nicholette
  • BobC 0 Points
    I replaced the cell with the same type and ratings and did NOT use the standard cell. Using the wrong cell will probably cause more damage than not and using a non-recharging cell in a recharging unit can be dangerous.

    I have also been working on "the bench" since the 60s and am very comfortable around VLSI and surface mount technology. I managed a VLSI test lab for years. I've also been to NASA soldering school and understand the do's and don'ts about soldering. I have an thermstatically controlled iso-tip solder station and silver solder for micro work.

    I epoxied a cell holder to the inside of the case and the cell pops into the holder. The 8 inch wires run to the circuit board now. If the cell ever dies again, it will be a LOT easier to change next time.

    Your advice is very welcome as others are probably reading these forums too. Batteries are as weird as semiconductors when it comes to heat and I used heat sinks for the wires to the new cell clip (new design - quick change the next time!) but not for removal of the bad one. Goggles or safety glasses are a good idea IF you can see through them. I leave it to the reader to determine if they can do this themselves or not. I have 40 years as an electrical engineer. Others may not.

    The GPS gets used quite a bit every year so it doesn't sit idle very long. If it did fail, I could get down -- it would just take longer :) I have been all over those mountains for years long before GPS and survived. The GPS is a "convenience" and not a "life saving device" for me. I have all my stuff copied to the computer too as I move things between DeLorme Topo maps and the GPS frequently -- depending on which mountain range I'll be on and the time of year.

    A lot depends on people use their GPS. These are wonderful and have a variety of uses -- in an aircraft, on a boat, hiking and outdoor sports (my use), driving, etc.

    I just had a problem with trashing a $400 GPS over a $6 battery. I still use my HP-35 calculator with home-made NiCad batteries in it. I don't throw a car away when it needs a new battery. I don't throw a flashlight away when it needs one. I didn't throw the MP3 player away when its battery died but, for some reason, I'm expected to throw a $400 GPS away when its battery dies. That is a sign of a wasteful society. No wonder our landfils and India's slums are full of all our toxic waste.

    Thanks again for your advice. Adding something new is always a good thing!
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    Haha, you guys remind me of my dad, who was an engineer and loved to fix things. He never threw any gadget away... in fact I still have his HP-35 calculator too. It "sort of worked" the last time I tried a couple years ago. It took me a couple months to clean out his apartment after he passed away and much of that stuff ended up at the dump...

    As I said above, if something works for you then by all means keep it forever. OTOH, I think there is a tiny flaw in on aspect of your logic. A 10 year old GPS is no longer a "$400 GPS". And furthermore, if you have advanced electronics skills - as you obviously do - you have to place some value on your time. And I don't think it's completely fair to compare a GPS (which is a computer) to other kinds of more basic electro-mechanical appliances.

    But you seem to enjoy tinkering with this stuff, so God Bless... you're like my Dad in that respect. I have taken a different philosophy and embrace our displosable society because I couldn't change it no matter how much I wanted. I would rather work, make money, and buy stuff - it's good for the economy! :lol:

    I am not making excuses for bad design or poor tech support. But back then your only other option for a GPS would have been a Magellan product I think. Based on what I've read, you would be even less happy with their support.

    Glad you've got your units working and I hope they will provide you with another 10 years of service.
  • mjb84202 0 Points
    Hello, I just found this web site tonight while searching for repairs on my Garmin GPS 3 plus. It looks like I am not the only person that would like to keep using his 3plus. I have the exact same problem as has been stated here. My internal battery is dead and needs to be replaced. Could the posters that have done this repair themselves email me what I need to do this. My email is

  • Changing a GPS III battery is quite simple if you tackle it methodically although be prepared as with any repair of this type to bin it if it all goes wrong. Life is too short to worry too much, it was fun trying wasn’t it?

    Before starting any repair project it is always a good idea to take pics of the item BEFORE disassembly - Insurance!

    Required –Patients, tiny fingers, good eyesight clean work area, box for screws, sticky tape. New Battery VL1220/1VC or VL1220/1HF (mark positive side BEFORE removal). Small posidrive screwdriver (or tiny jewellers flat if none). Solder wick additional flux (helpful). Eye protection (recommended – using any hardened steel tools can produce high velocity fragments able to puncture your eye so are they worth $2 safety specs?). Mask (recommended for any vapour producing process)

    The battery Panasonic VL1220/1VC For mounting Vertically these are only batch made and none were available locally so I brought the Horizontal mount version VL1220/1HF
    Then flattened the tags adding wires to make it locate the existing circuit board holes and fitted it vertically.

    Note that the both the above are identical except for the tag orientation both are 7 mah. While it would make sense to have gone for a slightly higher capacity consideration has to be given to the fixed charging current, also the physical space available to fit as higher capacity = bigger physical size. I did the exercise and found that the only suitable battery just would not fit in the space.

    Link to Panasonic -

    Caution one - Too much heat can separate the circuit copper tracks static can zap chips. So to minimise the heat sinking of the old battery while removing it I cut the tags from that battery while in situ. Very little heat is then required to remove the just the remaining old battery tags.
    Observe Panasonic Safety notice

    Caution two - If the tags break from the battery case and not from the tags then the spot weld will leave two pin holes exposing a route to the toxins inside the battery so stick tape over them and dispose of at your local recycling plant.. I used a craft knife (also safety specs) blade to slowly do this

    Caution three - Touch something grounded to discharge any body static before touching the circuit board – static electricity zaps chips and this is basically a 286 computer.

    Caution four – Look at the ribbon cable link to the LCD display. Note how it is fixed as it will probably part company from the board at some point and you will have to slide it back in place.

    Mark the Positive side before removing old battery. (in the Garmin positive is at the antenna side of the board. To double check this use a Multimeter to confirm circuit continuity between and ground plane (checked by reference to any electrolic capacitor negative mark) and to each of the battery pads. One will read zero resistance between it and earth so this is the negative side.

    After remove tags next remove excess solder so as to expose two tag holes.
    Dry fit battery tags or wires into holes and temporary tape in place to that it is held in place when you turn it over to solder it.

    Quickly run solder round tags and pads make sure they are nice and shiny as these are ‘feed thro’ holes so are linked to the other side of the board too.

    Before reassembly check you have the LCD ribbon cable attached, make sure you have no solder overspill or droplets.

    Reassemble do not over tighten remember there is a rubber gasket to squeeze it does not need to bulge out the gap.

    Ok if it worked switch on and it will spring to life. If not open up and recheck polarity and check the LCD ribbon cable! Any other problem then check the internal cables which connect the antenna and aux power to the board as you may have broken them during fiddling. All being well if it looks like rain pop in a plastic bag (yes I know it is waterproof I just like mine nice and clean too) after switching on and leave outside in clear sky view for about 20 minutes for the GPS to acquire the almanac data and locate it self which mine did and is back to being like ‘out of the box’, good for another 5 years at least.

    Now why would I do that? - well when I brought this it was a lotttttt of money! You have to pay for quality and reliability. Secondly it is well engineered with a shower proof case and is 'crushproof' accepting a variety of power sources (batteries and aux). I also purchased the maps for it which you can load so was not going to just bin it for Garmins latest model or pay a big re-battery fee either. The final score was Me one, Garmin Shareholders zero. Happiness rating +10. On reflection I said well engineered. Now if I had desiged it I would have put a battery clip inside and a dab of silicon sealant to ensure vibration proof working. That would have made it a 2 minute job!

  • I accidentally broke the wires off of the PCB that attach to the internal battery. For the life of me I cannot see where they attached to the circuit board. Does anyone have pictures or schematic of the circuitry of the GPS III plus? Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks, Norm
  • If the battery is completely separated then it can only fit back in one place. Orientate the board so the antenna is to the left. The ribbon cable leading to the LCD Display to the top and to the right. You are looking for a gap between a vertical black cylindrical capacitor and I think the right end of the rectangular white cable connector at the top mid left. The holes for the + and - battery pins are offset from each other like this ' U. where the letter U is the vertical battery (the ' = positive pin and . = negative pin). The open end of the letter U towards the top board edge. The + is to your left. This is all from memory so check polarity as detailed in my original above. I know the battery only fits in one place (in the line of components at the top of the board which fits in to the inverted V case space when reassembled), as I tried to fit a larger capacity Panasonic battery with no luck. Space is tight. Lol yes a pic would be better although it would mean opening it and retaking one.
  • BobC 0 Points
    I ran wires (red and black for + & - respectively) from where the battery was and attached the battery to the inside of the case so, if there is ever a "next time" to do this, it will be a whole lot simpler!

    Always check that polarity!!
  • Thanks for the reply, but it is the wires soldered to the circuit board that broke off. Not the location of the battery. I am desperate to find out where on the circuit board the wires get soldered to. That is where a picture would come in handy.

    Thanks for any help, Norm
  • Ahhh you mean the leads from the four cell battery box/aux input part of the case to the circuit board. Well these leads go to the white rectangular plug in connector at the left of the board (antenna to left) the battery leads connect to this plug so you can easily separate box from board. Now as to which lead goes where. Before I take mine apart try this. There are I think about four wires leading to this in line plug/socket therefore there will be two missing wires (two gaps with no wires). (Connect a mutimeter between the ground of the circuit board (look for any electrolic capacitor and the marked negative - leg) and first of all the 'landy parts of the board when the reading should of course be zero. Then test the missing pins/wire positions in turn. One of these pins will read zero this is the negative pin from which the black wire parted company. The other missing pin will be the positive although check this by repeating the above with the other leg of a large electrolic capacitor which will normally be across the power rail. In fact if you turn the board over you may be able to see which of the missing wire pins are connected to the 'landy' negative part of the circuit board.
  • I really appreciate the help that you are giving me and I think I might be a little confusing in the description of my problem. I guess I should be more specific. The red and black wires soldered onto the CR2032 internal memory battery are soldered onto the battery correctly, but the wires leading from the CR2032 internal memory battery to the circuit board broke off. I cannot see where they get soldered onto the circuit board. That is my delemma. I wasn't gentle enough with the wires and they broke off without a hint at where they go.

    Thanks, Norm
  • dentheman 0 Points
    edited September 2009
    Why in the world would anybody make a product with a memory battery that is not easily user replaceable (soldered)? Both of my Canon cameras have easily replaceable memory batteries! Even my HP laptop computer has a user replaceable memory battery, though I have to remove the bottom to get to it. Are there any GPSr's with user replaceable memory batteries? ADDED LATER: I found in the Vista HCx specifications that a memory battery is not required, so I don't need to know if there are any GPSr's that have user replaceable memory batteries after all.
  • I have the back off my GPS 111+ so can tell you about the battery. I stupidly pulled a wire off when I opened up the back so need to know where the black and red wire solder to ? I think it is by the antenna at the bottom of the battery tubes but do not know if red goes closest to antenna (back of unit) or front...can you help please ?
    thanks :)
  • I can take my unit apart and see if I can tell which direction the battery is installed if you can tell me where you found a replacement CR1220 with circuit board leads.
  • I bought my internal batter (CR2032) from digikey dot com. You can call them at 18003444539.
  • Anybody? Noone can open the unit up and take a picture? Only 4-5 screws and a digital camera and about 10 minutes.
  • I guess I will have to go to another forum since noone here is willing to actually help.
  • I guess I will have to go to another forum since noone here is willing to actually help.
    Wonder if you'll get any help there with that attitude. Have you considered that a) people don't have the time to satisfy your every whim or b) simply don't have the know how and/or answer? :roll:
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