Question about Garmin eTrex Legend GPS Receiver

13 Answers

Screen goes blank except for a thin line from top to bottom

A few minutes after turning on the screen goes blank except for a thin line running top to bottom. from this point forward it is locked in that position. New batteries same result. Only way to turn off is to open battery compartment and remove a battery.

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  • applecart Oct 01, 2007

    I pulled the batteries for several hours and reinserted them and turned on the unit and waited hopefully, however after about 10 minutes it was back with the same line top to bottom and I had to remove a battery to turn it off.
    thanks for trying, any more ideas of what one does when his thing becomes defunct?

  • demoman1 Sep 17, 2008

    Exact same problem. Mine does it about ten minutes after turning it on. I take the batteries out and restart it.



  • octantman Sep 23, 2008

    Same problem, started out once every couple months, now every time I turn it on. Pried the top right battery terminal out a little and all is fine. Even banged it with the heel of my hand trying to dislodge the barrery but works just the same. Try this before you take the thing apart.

  • Anonymous Oct 27, 2008

    same thing with mine

  • Anonymous Nov 02, 2008

    Updating the firmware fixed mine.

  • mattf41 Nov 12, 2008

    Same issue. Black line, remove batteries and it works for a random amount of time again. I have firmware 3.70, and 3.80 is available. I will first try installing that and seeing if there is any change. Then I will try the battery terminal suggestion, but mine seems tight.

  • tony 2008 Nov 13, 2008

    yes i have the same problum goes dead except for line

  • jimmyv-mn Nov 30, 2008

    Wish I'd found this page before ordering a new Venture HC.

    I turned WAAS off, went to Garmin support and downloaded 3.9.

    This is the first time I've updated my firmware since getting the unit 4 yrs ago. Hopefully this fixes the problem. Guess I'll have 2 units since Amazon is indicating the order for the Venture HC can't be canceled.

  • brez1 Dec 01, 2008

    Shortly after turning the unit on, I get the same problem.....with the same results. This usually happens in colder (35F or less) weather. In addition, mine loses the display at times and a "gentle" tap will bring it back.

  • Anonymous Jan 22, 2009

    Same thin line problem except mine will only do it after acquiring the satellites If I leave it on inside the house the locating satellites screen says visible.

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13 Answers

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Give a good healthy "tap" to the Garmin Logo on the front of the case. Garmin battery connections are renowned for their crappiness!

Posted on Oct 05, 2007

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Turn off the WAAS and update the firmware. Leave the screwdrivers in the tool box!!!

Posted on Nov 03, 2008

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I disabled WAAS per Garmin's advice and I haven't had the problem since. No line and no freeze.

Posted on Oct 19, 2008

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The problem is most likely that your software version needs updating. A recently added satellite creates a glitch in the older software. Go to the Garmin website, load WebUpdater if you haven't already done so, and the updated version (3.8) will automatically install to your Garmin unit. I had the same symptoms, they have now disappeared and my Etrex Vista is back to normal.

Posted on Oct 19, 2008

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Posted on Dec 16, 2009

This is what I got from Garmin Tech Support and after turning off WAAS I've had no problems.

Thank you for contacting Garmin International.

We have experienced this issue due to corrupt data from a recent
satellite the Defense Department has put into orbit. We are currently
working on a firmware update and suggest turning off the WAAS until the
problem is fixed. We have noticed the units with WAAS enabled shows this
vertical line. Once the WAAS is disabled you should not see this
vertical line. Let me know if this is the case


With Best Regards,

Posted on Aug 13, 2008

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Mine has intermittent black lines, scrambles or dark screen, as I have dropped it on one too many hikes. Squeazing the unit side to side or top to bottom, or tapping it's top left corner on my palm or knee sometimes brings it back. I expect this means a connection inside is not tight, so have to figure out what "resetting the ribbon" means -- I took it apart once (pretty easy to do) and there is a part that looks like a thin small printer cable (flat). Didn't have the courage to play with it too much, but it did a little better after putting it back together. (good box tape or strapping tape around the joint will replace the seal to keep moisture out.) Since it still at least worked, I'll try again and be a little more bold wiggling/tightening/cleaning whatever I can.
Garmin, if you pay them $100, will take the chip out of yours and put it in a reconditioned unit. This tells me mine could be revived, just have to keep trying to figure out what THEY tighten/clean/wiggle to "recondition" them.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008

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My Rig just did the same thing 2 days ago. Screen went blank except for a horizontal line. Had to de-energize and re-energize because the On/OFF switch was not responding. Here's the clincher: I was powered up via DC harness to the cigarette receptacle. To me it appeared that the CPU lost its RAM or something. I pulled factory DC to DC adapter out and back in. Rig worked but slow. This happened again (at critical point in navigation of new to me city) but after the second occurrence, all is well.
I like this GPS because it is low power consumption and eye candy doesn't matter. I also thought it was a robust design but perhaps I have been mistaken.

So does anybody else have non-battery terminal issue input into this one?

Cheerios

Johnny

Posted on Dec 12, 2007

"I spoke with a Garmin customer service rep. on the phone and he told me they are having a problem with the screens interacting with the WAAS signal, resulting in the blank screen and line."

I was told the same thing by Garmin, and that it apparently is not an issue on the color units (Cx and HCx). They are trying to address it by the end of the year.

"The problem is the top battery. As one correspondent suggested the battery terminals are poor."

Is Garmin lying? If that's the case, then they must be building the terminal connections better on the color units.

Posted on Dec 06, 2007

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The problem is the top battery. As one correspondent suggested the battery terminals are poor. The top one particularly so. When I complained to Garmin they suggested it might be the firmware - that says it all.
 
Be VERY careful but first prove it is this issue, remove the battery cover and rotate the top battery, note the bottom battery has one spring terminal, much better. By rotate I mean roll it in its fixings just to improve the termination connections. This will make the screen flash back with the previous display momentarily and then go blank. No need to wait 2 hours, do it straight away.
 
Then turn it on as usual.
 
It this works you can try very carefully to prize out the top leaf-springs that pass (only just) for a battery termination. However you can only do this a couple of times before the very brittle leaf-spring flies off into the unknown.
 
What is happening is the top leaf-springs compress and only just make connection with the cell. When any sideways shock is applied to the GPS, the connection is broken for a moment and then reapplied. This causes the micro-processor inside to enter a ?unplanned? state (its crashed !) and just needs to be reset.

Posted on Oct 29, 2007

I spoke with a Garmin customer service rep. on the phone and he told me they are having a problem with the screens interacting  with the WAAS signal, resulting in the blank screen and line. Something about the problem resulting from a change in the WAAS sattelite system, and the problem appeared up a couple weeks ago Currently the only solution is to disable the WAAS (You can do this by going to setup, system, WAAS). I've got my GPS sitting powered on with WAAS disabled right now, and so far so good.

Posted on Oct 12, 2007

Mine did this as well. I removed the batteries for 2 hours and that seemed to fix the problem. I have used it several time since and the problem has not returned yet.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007

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Take the unit apart (peel off rubber grip, tape, and pop the cover with a jewelry screw driver) and reseat the ribbon connector for the lcd screen. It probably came loose. This seems to have fixed mine. New batteries did nothing and waiting did nothing. WARNING! the unit will probably not be water tight any more.

Posted on Oct 02, 2007

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