PDA

View Full Version : toasted my GPS rechargeable lithium battery



aostling
12-06-2010, 01:31 AM
I have a Garmin Nuvi 255W GPS stowed in the center console of my Forester. I rarely use it in Phoenix, but today I did because I wanted to find the location of the nearest Batteries Plus, a retail chain that sells the battery I needed for the car's keyless door lock transmitter. I bought the door lock battery, but ironically the GPS battery died en route.

I can get an installation kit for a new GPS battery here: http://www.newpower99.com/Battery_for_Garmin_Nuvi_255_p/garmin%20nuvi%20255.htm. My question is: why did it die? That's not the sort of thing I would expect from a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery.

True, there were multiple occasions during the summer when I'd return from a hike and find the interior temperature in the car was 118F (48C). That is over the listed max temperature in the users manual. But is that really too high for the battery? If so, then what would happen to the lithium-polymer batteries in the upcoming hybrid cars, if left in the heat of a Phoenix summer?

[edit] corrected the link

Evan
12-06-2010, 01:59 AM
Li-po batteries are very sensitive to charging rates and overheating. They are easily damaged. If the unit happened to be in the sun as well as being in the hot vehicle it is easily possible for the temperature to go well above 118F. I have measured temperatures in a vehicle here during hot summer weather as high as 140F on the dash. Every Li-po battery has a charge controller built in but it can't do a thing about temperatures exceeding the storage maximum.

BTW, I may have some very interesting 3D images to post shortly.

aostling
12-06-2010, 02:04 AM
BTW, I may have some very interesting 3D images to post shortly.

Great. As you know, parallel for me works best.

Evan
12-06-2010, 02:22 AM
I think it may have to wait until morning. These are turning out to be very odd images and I will have to play around a bit to see what works best.

batt-man
12-06-2010, 04:10 AM
I'm presuming you kept the battery charged? one thing lithium battery's are really bad at handling is over-discharge; just a couple of deep discharges is enough to kill of "cheap" cells...

Your Old Dog
12-06-2010, 08:29 AM
I have the same unit and my battery went prematurely and mind had nothing to do with heat. I bought a replacement after a log of horsing around and got it working again and seems to be fine now. I suspect they may have had a bad batch of batteries.

aostling
12-06-2010, 09:48 AM
I'm presuming you kept the battery charged?

I only used it with the 12V cord, but I'd store it in the center console (between the seats) for months unused. That should not have discharged it, though. As YOD confirms, we may have got a bad batch of batteries.

GadgetBuilder
12-06-2010, 11:23 AM
There is a lot of info about LiPo batteries on the indoor helicopter forums.

One peculiarity of LiPo's is that they will fail if charged to above normal voltage. In addition, their voltage rises if their temperature rises above the temperature when they were charged.

Thus, fully charging a LiPo at cool temperatures and then raising the battery's temperature causes an over voltage which can reduce its capacity or cause an outright failure.

The helicopter guys deliberately store their batteries partially discharged if they may be exposed to elevated temperatures prior to next use, fully charging just prior to use. For the same reason, LiPo batteries are shipped partially discharged in case they encounter elevated temps enroute.

Another peculiarity of LiPo's is that their life is reduced if they are discharged below 3v/cell so circuitry is usually included to cease discharge at this level.

I'd expect the GPS designers to be aware of these limitations and terminate charge/discharge at a safe level. You may have encountered a bad battery or the charging circuit may be defective (easily diagnosed by checking cell voltage after charge).

John

Carld
12-06-2010, 04:54 PM
I have a reconditioned 255W I bought last January and have not had any trouble so far. Was it much trouble to replace the battery? Do you think I should buy a spare battery?

I bought the life time update and have updated it twice now and it has performed just fine so far. I keep mine stored in the glove compartment in my Ranger trk. I probably use it once a month.

Liger Zero
12-06-2010, 05:15 PM
Never understood why GPS is so popular. It's a little box... that tells you where to go and how to get there. My wife does that and I don't have to update her maps at $99 a pop...

aostling
12-06-2010, 05:54 PM
I have a reconditioned 255W I bought last January and have not had any trouble so far. Was it much trouble to replace the battery? Do you think I should buy a spare battery?


The link in the OP doesn't seem to load now. Here is the link to the battery kit, including a video showing that it takes 6 minutes to install the new battery. I've ordered the kit but have not taken delivery yet.

http://www.newpower99.com/Battery_for_Garmin_Nuvi_255_p/garmin%20nuvi%20255.htm

whitis
12-06-2010, 09:24 PM
Garmin has a battery recall on some models. 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT. Yours (same as mine) isn't on the list even though some very similar models are.
https://buy.garmin.com/support/productSupport/kanaCase.faces?case=32e44bf0-b057-11df-7c94-000000000000

Liger Zero: a GPS is much cheaper than a wife and doesn't require monthly shoe updates at $199 :).

Liger Zero
12-06-2010, 10:01 PM
Liger Zero: a GPS is much cheaper than a wife and doesn't require monthly shoe updates at $199 :).

With mine it's jigsaw puzzles, not shoes.

Also the wife doesn't suggest "shortcuts" through the ghetto like Tom-Tom does. I think the damn thing is trying to kill me.

Carld
12-06-2010, 10:40 PM
I visited both the sites, my unit is not on the list and I will keep the battery site in mind. I am a paper map person in that I love maps and collect them. I use a map when traveling but when your looking for some obscure address in a city it can get interesting.

I didn't think I would ever buy a GPS but I finally broke down and snapped the trigger on one. Then I got the life time updates because I plan to keep this one a long time and it was cheaper to go that way. If you buy a new one every year like some people do the free update would work.

The last update for mine took about 5 hours and I am on fast DSL. After the update it was much better than before so something big happened between the first update and this one. There are still many roads not on the system but then nothing is perfect, even the paper maps have issues.

I travel at times with a friend that delivers parts all over the USA and we have had our troubles with paper maps but the Garmin seems to get us to a location easy. On those trips I only program it when we get about 100 miles from the destination. Sometimes finding a business is a real pain in the butt with a truck and trailer.

CCWKen
12-06-2010, 11:55 PM
On the GPS topic....
Do the new models have a real map view option or do they always have that cartoon looking screen? I have an old DeLorme PN-20 made for hiking but I like the map view it has. I can zoom in or out and see nearby roads. I'd like to update to a larger screen and newer model but I don't want to look at a game image of intersections in 3D. I want to see a map that shows where I am on that map. Do the new ones do that?

J Tiers
12-07-2010, 12:13 AM
If the batteries have that sort of problem, as I am aware they do, you MIGHT POSSIBLY think that the designers COULD have thought about the automotive environment, and considered that it is JUST ABOUT GUARANTEED that the batteries will go over "allowable" temps.

That would suggest that the battery type, however great at some things, MIGHT NOT be the best choice..........

Y'know, I'm just sayin, here....... ;)

I have "experienced" one GPS, a Garmin....... To check it out we went out to the wife's aunt's car, (she has one) and set it to find the house where we were in the driveway a short distance from teh house.

The Garmin wanted us to go out to the road, and drive a mile or so farther to approximately where Kramer's Store is....... I was not impressed.

I have discovered that this sort of thing is very common in rural areas, due to county maps and other data being wrong or just "misleading"...... These county maps/data are apparently the source for the route data.

But, I really don't CARE WHY the Garmin sent us a mile away from where we said we wanted to go. I just notice that it DID send us away from the true goal, and decided that I really didn't need to try to de-bug that sort of problem when I already don't know where I am going, or I'd not want the silly thing. Better to keep an eye on the road and LOOK FOR the destination.

aostling
12-12-2010, 01:48 AM
The link in the OP doesn't seem to load now. Here is the link to the battery kit, including a video showing that it takes 6 minutes to install the new battery. I've ordered the kit but have not taken delivery yet.

http://www.newpower99.com/Battery_for_Garmin_Nuvi_255_p/garmin%20nuvi%20255.htm

The kit arrived a week ago, but the included Torx driver, needed to open the GPS casing, was too big for the screws. I emailed the company, and they sent me another Torx tool. I was suspicious when I opened the package because this too was color-coded with the same yellow handle, and it looked like the same size. But the second one fit the screws. I measured both drivers across the flats; the one which worked was 0.048" and the one which did not was 0.052".

The battery is now replaced, and the GPS is working fine. I'll need it for navigating the L.A. freeways and streets when I visit there next week, en route to S.F. for Christmas. I've decided to spent an entire day (and two nights) in L.A., getting to know it better. I might see the Watts Tower. Watts is said to be safe, during the daytime. But my guidebook says that nearby Compton is not safe at any time, day or night.

Paul Alciatore
12-12-2010, 02:09 AM
$99 updates and hours to do so. And people actually pay these amounts?

I have some scenic s#*#? land in Florida I can show you. Just a few lots left. Hurry before they are gone.

halac
12-12-2010, 06:12 PM
On the GPS topic....
Do the new models have a real map view option or do they always have that cartoon looking screen? I have an old DeLorme PN-20 made for hiking but I like the map view it has. I can zoom in or out and see nearby roads. I'd like to update to a larger screen and newer model but I don't want to look at a game image of intersections in 3D. I want to see a map that shows where I am on that map. Do the new ones do that?

I've had a Magellan Maestro 4250 for several years now. You can choose a 2-D map or 3-D aerial view. I prefer the 2-D as I find 3-D to be confusing and cluttered.

One feature I wish it had was the ability to preview a route on my laptop, edit it to my preferences, then upload the map to the GPS. My previous GPS was my laptop with a MS Streets & Trips USB GPS receiver. This was fine in my F-350, but it is impractical in a MINI Cooper. Has anyone seen a GPS with those features?
MagellanModelMaestro 4250

PixMan
12-12-2010, 07:38 PM
I had bought my Garmin Zumo 550 several years ago for use on my motorcycle. It's been great, but time to update the maps. I couldn't see paying the $99 every year. This year they did an offer of "lifetime" maps for $89, I bit.

Though now older, it's still one of their higher-end models because it's water-resistant (I've had it on through some torrential downpours on the bike), fuel-resistant, bright screen when I need and has excellent Bluetooth connectivity.

The maps default to the "cartoon"-like 3-D view, but one touch and it's a 2-D flat map that I can use to preview my route, zoom in or out, pan, whatever. It's really quite good. I'm still on the OE battery, though I use it tethered to 12v power every time anyhow. I'd definitely buy a similar one if this failed for any reason.

Carld
12-12-2010, 08:58 PM
J Tiers, your Garmin may have had the basic program in it because they are supposed to display the location your at if you ask for it. Then you can set that location as home if you want to.

Our subdivision street is not on many maps as it is a private road but I was still able to set my house as HOME and it will take me home from where ever I am at.

Paul Alciatore, it's another money maker for them and I suspect all the GPS's are that way. The thing is, if you need or want a GPS you just deal with it and decide how long you will keep it. If you will replace it every year then go with the one time update. If you plan to keep it for several years go with the life time update.

Remember, it's only ink and paper.

J Tiers
12-12-2010, 09:56 PM
J Tiers, your Garmin may have had the basic program in it because they are supposed to display the location your at if you ask for it. Then you can set that location as home if you want to.



That's all very well, but.........

it wasn't my house

it wasn't her house.

The device could not guide anyone to the house we were at, and didn't know it was already AT that house.

I have been told that they are really good in towns of some size. And often really BAD out in the sticks, because the input information is not very good..... many times apparently, the "reference" for a number of addresses is put at one point, which is where it will send you.

Nobody is going to bother correcting all that information for houses onesey-twosey on roads in rural areas.

CCWKen
12-13-2010, 01:06 AM
You're quite right Jay. I'm in the sticks and none of the map look-ups put my address in the right place. They're all off by about 1/2 mile. Some show the address too far East and some too far West. Had a lot of problems with a care giver for my Mom because of a broken hip last year. She kept calling wanting to know where the address was. The CG kept trying to use the GPS and I kept giving her a simple location like "the NW corner of roads X and Y". She couldn't get it in her head that the GPS was wrong and asked where's North. The CG even asked where SHE was over the phone. I guess she thought I had a GPS tracking her. I couldn't help but laugh and said I couldn't help her with that. I ended up talking her here through roads and landmarks. :rolleyes:

aostling
12-13-2010, 01:18 AM
She kept calling wanting to know where the address was.

Well, what's so hard about it, you are "deep in the heart of Texas." That narrows it down to a triangle with Austin, San Angelo, and Waco at the corners.

Carld
12-13-2010, 10:52 AM
If your at a location and it does not show as an address on the GPS then you have to go to "Where am I" in the menu and find the coordinates of where your at. Then you have to have the person coming to you enter those coordinates in their GPS and start traveling toward you.

Another way is to go to a spot that shows on your GPS and pass that address to them to get close to where your at.

The GPS is a tool to HELP you get somewhere and it's not perfect just as maps are not perfect. Anyone that thinks that a map is never wrong is fooling themselves. The only map that is near correct is a Topographical map by the government and they are not perfect.

You really have to know all the features in the GPS and be smarter than it is. If you only use the point A to point B feature and don't understand how to use all it's features then don't blame the GPS.

garagemark
12-13-2010, 12:22 PM
Carld is on target. A GPS is only a tool. A map too is only a tool, as is a map reader (although trust me, the map reader is an EXPENSIVE tool). I have been quite happy with my GPS, especially when I'm alone. It can be a PIA to read a map and drive in heavy traffic at the same time. The alternative is to pull over and read the map- not the best option. Much easier to have a little voice and an arrow in the corner to show your off ramp or turn lane. And using the coordinates feature will put you there perfectly.

I suggest the next time you all have your GPS out, play with it some. Let your wife drive while you learn the machine. Push all the buttons and find out what it CAN do, before you condemn the thing (I still find new features once in a while). It truly is a great little gizmo.

Carld
12-13-2010, 05:22 PM
That's how I learned a little about my Garmin, playing with it while someone else was driving. You will not learn anything if your driving. I still don't know everything it will do and when you update it there are more things it can do.

JohnHarbeck
12-13-2010, 06:46 PM
While planning a trip from NW Indiana into Ontario, about 60 miles NNE of Sarnia, GPS insisted instead of going thru Port Huron, it routed me near Buffalo, NY. Only about 900 miles out of my way. I finally forced it to chose a more reasonable path by forcing a route via the Blue Water Bridge and Sarnia. Garmin said it was because I had selected AVOID TOLL ROADS! So, to avoid one short toll bridge, it took me to Buffalo and back to avoid the toll -- at ANY COST. Genius simplistic programming, instead of weighting time/distance traveled vs one toll!

John

J Tiers
12-13-2010, 10:46 PM
of course not perfect.

but so reliable when used in cities, one feels that it should be so everywhere.

As for the "where am I? solution............ that takes TWO GPS....... One "fixed" to ID the location, and one "mobile" to find it. Useful only if you have a person with GPS there.

Not so good if you must find someplace on a dark, rainy night, when the maps don't help so much because you can't see things until you are "at" them.

I think they are good devices, better than map because map does not usually have the address on it.

PixMan
12-14-2010, 09:33 AM
of course not perfect.

but so reliable when used in cities, one feels that it should be so everywhere.

As for the "where am I? solution............ that takes TWO GPS....... One "fixed" to ID the location, and one "mobile" to find it. Useful only if you have a person with GPS there.

Not so good if you must find someplace on a dark, rainy night, when the maps don't help so much because you can't see things until you are "at" them.

I think they are good devices, better than map because map does not usually have the address on it.

Agreed. The vast majority of times, the GPS is dead accurate, can find an individual street address that a paper map would never have. Using coordinates to find a location isn't very practical because if the street map layout loaded into the unit doing the guiding is wrong, you still get bad information on where to turn. I've taken time to report errors to Navteq before, if it's an error on a major route.

Speed of the GPS is also a major differentiating factor between the cheapies and the good ones. You generally get what you pay for. The older CD-based maps of the built-in navigation of my '02 BMW is s_l_o_w to identify position of the vehicle. Its great for telling me I just passed the the street I was looking for. It was state-of-the-technology in 2002, not so much now.

I wouldn't be without a GPS now that I've had them. However, like the radar detector, it takes intelligence of your own to use it effectively. After I've used it to get somewhere once, I try to get there next time without it so that I better-understand how I got where I'm going and to gain "a sense of place" about where I am.

Carld
12-14-2010, 10:00 AM
Well, it's obvious they use coordinates to locate where your at and the location of the addresses. I sent a question to Garmin before I looked in my downloaded instruction manual and that was stupid. Then I looked in my pdf manual and here is what I found.

Entering Coordinates, if you know the geographic coordinates of your destination, you can use your nuvi to navigate to your destination using latitude and longitude coordinates. This can be especially helpful when geocaching.

1 touch Where To and scroll to coordinates and touch that.

2 touch each box and enter the coordinate and it will set up a map to take you there.

I am sure the Tom Tom does the same. If the person your going to has a GPS they can give you their coordinates and if they don't they can locate them on a Topo map. It would be easier for them to borrow a GPS and read their coordinates off the GPS.

I just don't see what is so hard about doing that especially if they are out in the boonies somewhere, like in the middle of a forest or desert or mountain range. These things have so many features it's hard for a part time user like me to really know everything they will do.

The one thing it needs but I can't find is an instruction manual in the system. If it had a manual in it I would really like that feature. I think I will suggest that when they reply to me and see what they say. What good is the manual at home when I am on the road.