Question about Garmin GPS Devices

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I get a 'battery missing' indication on my Garmin 478. The battery is in place, I'm on 120v external power and the battery does not indicate that it is cahrging. I have a Log Entry - battery low 14-aug-08, 3:54:59pm.

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Although the WebUpdater should always be the first stop, the instructions do state that you need to have full charge to ensure you don't "brick" the unit.
I've had the unit about 3 years. I already replaced one battery for this issue. I got the new battery, charged it up, and was happy. Several months later I tried to charge it up again, and got the same "Battery Missing" message. It can't be the battery!
I think it's when the battery is COMPLETELY discharged the battery can't be properly detected. You have 2 choices:
1-Leave the unit on the charger for several hours. It may trickle in enough power to recognize the battery eventually.
2-The other option is NOT AUTHORIZED by Garmin, and you do it at your own risk! Find a 12v car charger you don't need. Expose the wires if necessary. Tape the positive to the contact on the far right of the battery, the negative to the middle, and nothing to the left (that's a data connection). Plug the 12v car charger in, and let it sit for a few minutes, not long or the battery could overheat.
I left it on for under 10 minutes. When I inserted the battery back in the unit, it recognized the battery immediately and happily charged the battery.
Long term, this is probably not an ideal solution. The voltages might not match, there are computer chips in the battery that are designed to receive power the "Garmin" way, and you could severely damage the battery (even explode?).
But if it's this or trashing a $700 unit, it might be worth a try.

Posted on May 20, 2010

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GO to the Garmin site, download the WebUpdater and do a firmware upgrade.

Posted on May 17, 2009

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