Re: What sort of internal memory battery is in my garmin...
You can find the battery here: http://www.mouser.com/Search/Refine.aspx?Keyword=658-VL1220-1VC
To open the case, scrape the sealant in the grove around the unit; then use a flat screwdriver, as wide as possible, that fits in the grove. Place the screwdriver on all sides and different places. Rotate the screwdriver gently until the glue tears and both gps housings can be separated.
To replace the battery you will need to be handy in soldering in tight spaces.
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try swapping out the batteries, no harm in opening it up with a screw driver (will void the "warranty" that expired 12 years ago) check if there is an internal battery (usually a coin cell battery like cr 2025 or CR2020) otherwise it is dead and time to get an e-trex 30... great simple little unit with lots more features
The memory battery is normally charged by the AA batteries. Leave the batteries in for 5 days. If this doesn't recharge the memory battery then it needs replacing. It's recommended that you send the unit back to Garmin to have it replaced. The memory battery is a Panasonic VL 1220. If you want to attempt changing the battery yourself there's some information on how to do so at http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/lofiversion/index.php?t38975.html
The memory battery is a BTR2032 or a CR2032. This is one of those coin type batteries. To replace it you need to open the case and depending on when your unit was made you will either find a battery hold or the battery will have wires soldered to it.
The batteries are cheap. Usually under $1. Getting someone to change might cost a bit. If this battery goes out then your unit will forget settings and so on and have to reload everything from scratch every time you use it. It will work fine but might take 5-10 minutes (depends on how many sattilites it can see) to get running.
I have an older Garmin 12XL and suddenly the screen turned very dark. I tried replacing the batteries and let the GPS rest for a week so the internal lithium battery could re-charge. But that did not work. I just got an email from a friend who had the same problem... it turned out that his unit had changed the screen contrast setting all by its' self. This may not be the cause of your problem but it's worth trying... go into your "Settings" menu and reset the contrast and see if that cures the problem. Good luck.
Wildstreak, same happened to my GPSMAP 180. Its old and no longer supported by Garmin. I did call them and they gave me the model and number of the battery (mine is a Panasonic) Also advised that units are heat sealed so I am taking mine to a local electdronics shop that also sells Garmin and have them replace the battery.