Question about Garmin eTrex Legend GPS Receiver

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ETrex Legend screen issue

Unit turns on but cannot read the screen. There are lines and blank spaces and an occasional number or word. Unit functions if I can remember what buttons to push without looking at screen. Unit was not dropped, water soaked. But it is 4 years old.

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  • Anonymous Nov 21, 2008

    I have a very similar issue. My computer verified I'm getting GPS data, just nothing on screen. I'm going to try the WAAS fix and see if that resolves my issues.

  • greeneteamca Dec 10, 2008

    Found a solution on another blog - evidently there is a defect in some of the eTrex Legends. So if you slam the unit facedown onto a padded hard surface a couple of times, the screen starts working again. The slamming solution worked; just not sure how long it will last and can no longer depend on the unit. Of course it occurred after the warranty expired. :-(

  • compgeek42 Dec 10, 2008

    I had the exact same problem. I tried slamming the screen down hard a couple of times on the palm of my hand and then turned it on. It now works like a charm.

  • greeneteamca Dec 11, 2008

    Agree with risk of breaking it via the 'slam' approach! But nothing else worked and the unit was already inoperable/worthless. Garmin charges more to replace the screen than the unit is worth.

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  • Garmin Master
  • 636 Answers

Due to a new satellite launched this year, the WAAS is affected. Disable the WAAS, go to Garmin and download the latest software version FOR THIS UNIT. Install, enable WAAS and you should be good to go.
Let us know if this solved your problem. Thanks.

Posted on Dec 02, 2008

  • TO Lady Dec 10, 2008

    The 'slamming' solution will work sometimes if it's a loose wire connection problem inside the unit. I don't like to recommend that in case someone slams it down incorrectly and permanently breaks it as well!

    Most of the thin line display problems are caused by the new satellite and will be corrected after a unit software upgrade.


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I had this problem today, updated the software, now the unit seems to be working perfectly. The unit "crashes" (single line down screen center) as soon as it get enough satelites to work with WAAS.

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