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Author Topic:   Intermittent Power to GPS
Buckda posted 04-24-2008 06:56 PM ET (US)   Profile for Buckda   Send Email to Buckda  
I had the opportunity to splash my Whaler for the first time this year on Sunday in Lake Michigan to do some fishing. The batteries were not disconnected over the winter, however, they were on float chargers to keep them at a healthy state of charge.

I rigged up my two Garmin units for the day and put the boat in the water.

I’m running an older (5 years or so) Garmin168 GPSSounder for depth, water temperature and back up GPS, and a 2210c for my navigation unit.

The 168C would turn on fine, and go through the warmup, find satellites and then, after about 2 or 3 minutes, it would “die”. By “die,” I mean that the screen would go blank, with a single line down the left side. The power button was unresponsive and I had to disconnect the unit from the serial connector at the back and then re-install it to allow it to turn on again.

This happened 4 or 5 times on the way out the river to the lake, which wasn’t a big deal, since I’m familiar with the depths in the river…but I needed it to help me find the fish!

Eventually, it turned on and stayed on.

The unit has been disconnected from the boat since late October and stored inside the house in a temperature controlled environment inside a box. The serial cable has stayed on the boat, in a dusty barn with no cover over the console.

Finally, the question: What was/is the problem, and will it happen again when I go boating this Sunday?

What happened (likely), how do I fix it, or how do I keep it from happening again?

Chuck Tribolet posted 04-24-2008 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
At least design-wise, your Garmin GPSMAP 168 is older than
that. My 162 (same generation) did its first back up June
6, 2000.

Do you have the latest firmware in your 168? There have been
fixes for shutdown problems. See

Or it may be a bad connection.


jimh posted 04-25-2008 12:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There maybe some moisture in a connector which accumulated over the winter. Give the connectors a spray with a water dispersing agent like WD-40.
David1877 posted 04-25-2008 12:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     

How was the fishing?

Buckda posted 04-25-2008 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Thanks guys - I'll update the firmware and also use the WD-40 on the connector.

The fishing was...well....

The day before, guys were complaining about limiting out on Steelhead before they could really settle in, and had to come home and get started on honey-do lists at home.

When Matt and I hit the water, the fishing shut down completely. Not even a strike...and no one else was owning up to catching any fish on the radio either. There were probably 300-400 boats out trolling in about 18-25' of water from the St. Joseph Pier down to the Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman.

Lots of sunshine though and it was a nice day with big rolling swells (4-5 foot swell) and about 1' chop on top. Rarely does Lake Michigan roll like that - usually it's choppy. It was much more akin to lake Superior that day. Lots of fun.


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