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Author Topic:   Garmin GPSmap 276C Dead after Winter layup
swist posted 05-29-2007 01:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for swist   Send Email to swist  
I just put my Montauk in the water today for the season (yea!). My Garmin 276C has sort-of died over the Winter. If I press the power button I get a beep but then nothing happens. It must be getting power if it beeps (same behavior with battery pack removed). Cables and connections all look good. Any ideas before I call Garmin?
Whaler_bob posted 05-29-2007 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob  Send Email to Whaler_bob     
Connect a voltmeter to the positive and negative power leads to the GPS and observe the reading when you attempt to power up the unit. You may have a corroded connection that is providing voltage under no-load, but insufficient voltage/current under actual load due to high resistance.
swist posted 05-30-2007 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Voltages are normal.
Whaler_bob posted 05-30-2007 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob  Send Email to Whaler_bob     
Any corrosion in the male or female quick connect at the rear of the unit? If not, and you've confirmed supply voltage/ground is nominal under load... then give Garmin support a call.
swist posted 05-30-2007 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Garmin has no idea, but wants a $200 flat-rate repair fee. What a racket. Time for a new unit.
Whaler_bob posted 05-30-2007 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob  Send Email to Whaler_bob     
$200? That's kind of high, but maybe you get all new innards and LCD for that price. The 276C is still a $500 unit today, so if you can get the working parts replaced for $200 with a new guarantee- it may be worth it.
HAPPYJIM posted 05-30-2007 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
If you like that unit then send it on to Garmin. I did the same with an older unit and mine was returned with a brand new unit. I was very happy with their service.
tmatt posted 05-31-2007 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for tmatt  Send Email to tmatt     
I had a strange problem with my Garmin 198C last year. It appeared to power up, beeped, but no display. I finally discovered that I had accidentally set the display brightness to nil. I believe if you press the power button briefly while the unit is on, the up/down arrows adjust brightness...check your manual for better specifics. You might want to try this before mailing it off.


swist posted 05-31-2007 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
That was one of the things Garmin had me try - no soap.
davej14 posted 06-01-2007 03:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Is there a way to reload the operating system software to the Garmin unit? It could be corrupted.
Peter posted 06-01-2007 07:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I have had the same thing happen with a fish finder. Wouldn't turn on but voltage was correct at plug. Turned out to be a corroded fuse holder.

Lesson learned: clean and check all the contacts at the battery and any joints/splices/fuse holders etc. in the power circuit for the Garmin. As WhalerBob said, just because the proper voltage appears at the plug does not mean that it will work. When you check voltage with a volt meter, there is no load so voltage will appear normal with essentially zero current, however a corroded joint will not allow sufficient current to pass through to the GPS to power it (much like a kinked garden hose won't allow sufficient water flow through the part of the hose down stream of the kink). I'll bet you have a corroded connection somewhere in the circuit.

Chuck Tribolet posted 06-01-2007 08:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The software can be reloaded into the Garmin but you need to
get it booted up first. Garmin may have an internal way to
reflash the system, but it won't be accesible to the rest of

I'd charge up the battery pack for a couple of days and see
if that fixes it. If not, Either pack it off to Garmin,
or decide what new unit you want.

Where was the unit stored over-winter?


swist posted 06-01-2007 03:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I don't see or measure anything wrong with the electrical supply and/or associated wiring & connectors.

It was stored on the boat. Was that a mistake?

Peter posted 06-01-2007 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Attach the power (with a fuse) and ground leads of the GPS wiring harness directly to a different battery to rule out the wiring.
davej14 posted 06-01-2007 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Most electronics will tolerate winter storage but anything with an LCD display should not be subject to long periods of extreme cold. Precipitates can form in the LCD fluid which are not reversible. This would be mainly cosmetic and does not sound like your problem.
Chuck Tribolet posted 06-02-2007 12:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
From looking at the manual, it looks like the 276C came with
a 110V power adaptor. Try charging the batteries with that.
If it doesn't work in 30 minutes, let it charge overnight.

If that doesn't work, find a bud with the same unit and try
swapping the batteries.

If that doesn't work, and you like the unit, send it to


swist posted 06-02-2007 07:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
It behaves the same connected to boat power or not (internal battery power). Beeps when you hit the power button. Wouldn't this rule out the power wiring?
Chuck Tribolet posted 06-02-2007 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
It's possible that the internal battery got deeply
self-discharged over the winter, so a thorough charge with
a different charger and then trying a different battery
eliminates both that possibility and the possibility of a
wiring problem.

This is a relatively low probability of being the problem
(10%?) but since the test is easy and free, it's worth

You might also as on sci.geo.satellite-nav (you can get there
on Google Groups).


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