Fixing the unfixable

I wrote a wee while ago about the death of my SatNav.

Poor old Roger had steered me on many a trip around Ireland and France and apart from trying to kill me a few times by directing me off a bridge or sending me the wrong way into a one way street, he has been a good and faithful companion.  I decided that his death was possibly a little premature.

I have no real need for a SatNav these days.  I think my French trips are possibly a thing of the past and I know my way around most of Ireland, so a SatNav isn't exactly top of my priority list, but seeing as I have one, I might as well use it.  It makes an excellent hands-free device for my phone anyway.

I decided that the problem lay with the battery.  It won't charge properly, and even after many hours of charging it dies the death again shortly after.

I decided to put in a new battery.

I searched the Interweb but do you think I could find one?  Amazon came up with a few but none delivered to Ireland.  I searched for Garmin dealers but there aren't any that I could find, or at least none that fix things.

I looked up the Garmin website.  Nah!  They stopped making them ages ago and don't want to know.

At this point I had decided that I was facing a challenge.  I can be quite stubborn at times and I was now determined to fix the fucking thing even though I don't really need it.  My quest was to get it working, not have it working, if you know what I mean?

I wrote to Garmin.

Several days later I got a reply –

Thank you for contacting Garmin Europe.

I am more than happy to help.

Unfortunately, battery in this model is not replacable.

If there is anything else I can help you with then please let me know.

Now it that's their idea of help, I'd hate to see their efforts at being obstructive?

I knew they were talking through their arses and were probably just trying to get me to shell out for a new unit, so I became more determined than ever, just to prove them wrong.

I found a site in Merka that not only sold Garmin batteries but included the special tools needed.  They had thousands of the damn things except for my model.  I wrote to them, and got a fairly prompt reply.

We are sorry, but it is not available due to our supplier’s production issue.

Now that wasn't very helpful, was it?  Production issue?  Did their conveyor belt break?  Are they on strike?  Have they gone bust?  I wrote back and asked it they would be taking in stock in the future.  Again I got a reply by return.

We have no eta at this time for that battery kit. It went out of production a while ago. We do sell the tool kit.

Why the fuck couldn't they say that in the first place?

OK.  Back to square one.  I decided to order the toolkit anyway as I could then properly dismember Roger in revenge, and anyway it was only $9 and they promised free postage anywhere in the world.  I filled in the details on their site and the site asked my to select my shipping.  They gave only two choices – USPS Priority [$42.15] or USPS Express [$62.74].  What the fuck?  So much for free worldwide shipping!

I went back to my searches.

I found another site.  It looked a little iffy but it had two enormous advantages – it sold the toolkit and they had my battery in stock.  They also offered free delivery worldwide.  I decided to take the plunge.  I placed an order and got my confirmation –

Battery (1200 mAh, Black) suitable for Garmin Nuvi 2460 1 € 21.99
Tool kit 1 € 7.49
Shipping:   € 0.00
Total amount:   € 29.48

The excitement mounted as the days passed.  I expected the parcel to arrive any time.  It didn't.  But after a couple of weeks I discovered a small package had arrived through the letterbox.

My battery had arrived!

Sure enough, there was the battery, beautifully packed and they even included a bookmark that was transparent plastic with a little ribbon at one end tied in a bow.  I wasn't quite sure the significance of the bookmark but assumed they sold a lot of batteries for Kindles so a bookmark would be handy for those customers.

However, I now had the battery but there was no sign of the Tool Kit, and the battery was fuck all use if I couldn't dismantle Roger.  The battery was now sitting on top of Roger when it should be inside him.

I wrote to them.

I got a prompt reply.

Thank you for your e-mail. Orders consisting of 5 items or less are always sent separately. It is therefore possible that not all items you ordered arrive at the same time.

So I sat back and waited for my toolkit to arrive.  It struck me as being a tad strange to send two packets at twice the postage but then I'm not paying for the postage.  A little suggestion there for their business model?

Two weeks later my toolkit arrived.  It was small and flat and would easily have fitted inside the battery box but I presume they have their reasons.

At last I could set to work.

I unscrewed the four screws with the tiny little star screwdriver that was the size of a pin.  So far so good.  I then prised off the back with a special little plastic wedge thingy.  Not easy but I managed.  There was the old battery languishing in its own decay.  I tried to remove it.  The fuckers in Garmin had glued the fucking thing to the fucking case!  No wonder they said it couldn't be replaced.

Having come this far I wasn't going to be beaten.

I toyed with the idea of breaking it into little pieces but it's one of those Lithium thingies and I thought that mightn't be wise.  I turned a hair dryer on the back casing and heated the whole yoke up.  That seemed to loosen the glue a bit so I prised and prised and eventually discovered that slipping a credit card under the corner worked wonders for cutting the glue.

I replaced the battery.

Putting the back on was fiddly because there was a pinhead sized microphone had come loose and had to be popped into its receptacle while the case was half closed.  I snapped it all together and switched on.

I got a white screen with nothing else on it.  Just blank white.

I removed the back again and noticed as I did it that the screen was now the usual welcome screen.  I reassembled and it is now charging as I type.

I have learned some lessons:

1. Garmin are liars – the non-replaceable battery in a Nuvi 2460 can be replaced.

2. Garmin have a crap support system.

3. Battery Upgrade may have a bland website and a weird business model but they do supply the goods if you don't mind waiting a few weeks

4.  I am far more pig-headed and stubborn than even I thought possible.


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Fixing the unfixable — 6 Comments

  1. Been there, done that, replaced the battery in my Pom-Pom SatanicNav- living in (ok, 'survivng' in) Norfuck means knowing that 'you have reached your destination' means you are actually parked in the middle of a sugar beet field and you need to find the nearest moss covered tree to navigate further. 

    Ok so there are large chunks of Norfolk with no GPS reception, along with no cell phone reception…hell some of the smaller villages are still waiting to be connected to his Britannic Majesty's Optical Telegraph network so they might finally get news from Crimea…but WHY then do the RAF insist on flying those Fuck-Off-&-Be-Vapourised Apache thingys all over the place? Do they fly by sextant?!?!

    Back on topic sorta; I really wish I could solder…paying for new laptop batteries always pisses me off when I know that I could get the cells off Ebay for pennies.



    • Surely satellite reception is available everywhere [unless there's a roof over Norfolk]?  Mobile phone reception isn't too bad up here, provided you either go into the attic bedroom or out on the roof.  Broadband is reasonable too as it's wireless, but I am soon going to lose it as the trees across the road are growing up into the signal path.   I'm going to have to do something drastic about that.

      Did you ever think of investing in a soldering iron?  They're handy yokes to have around.

      • “[unless there’s a roof over Norfolk]?”

        If there is then it will be fashioned out of wattle & daub, Norfolkers not having truck with them there new fangled ‘slate’ thingys.

        "Did you ever think of investing in a soldering iron? "

        The problem isn't not having the tool but the tool behind the tool. I can do myself enough damage just brushing my teeth without wanting to handle something that any sane person would solely use to light cigarettes with.

        • Where's your spirit of adventure?  Live dangerously!  You may wreck a few laptops but you'll have fun doing it?

        • The Blocked dwarf,

          From The Daily Mash some years ago for your entertainment;

          Humans in East Anglia may have been using tools as early as just before the Second World War, it has emerged.

          It had been believed that technology was first used in the remote region in 1994, when a local man picked up a stick and used it to attack a tree.

          But archeologists have uncovered several items which they believe will lead to a radical rewriting of Norfolk history to be read by people who are not from Norfolk.

          Among the dramatic finds were a spoon, a box of half-eaten crayons and a device which experts believe was used for putting make-up on a cow.

          Meanwhile a Bakelite radio dating from the late 1930's has also been discovered in a shed near Saxthorpe, where it is still worshiped by local tribes as a prophet.

          Wayne Hayes, a hedgehog wrangler from Corpusty, said: "Old Talky has been round these parts since before the time of memory. It's inhabited by the magical Archer family and their tales from the future."

          Other artifacts included an unread PG Wodehouse novel and shards of broken pottery that seem to indicate early Norfolk Man had tremendous difficulty in coordinating his three-fingered hands.

          Archeologist, Tom Logan, said: "Local folklore tells of a creature called 'Ali' that brought humans to Norfolk, though we think it probably means the A11.

          "Nobody knows what drove early Norfolk Man so far East but one theory involves a strong desire to be as far away from Essex as possible without having to live in the sea."

  2. Why do you need a soldering iron?  I once repaired a set of headphones with nothing more than a disposable fag lighter and a tiny bit of multi-core solder! Granted, I didn't need reading glasses back then…

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