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Garmin Aera 510 GPS


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jun 29, 2010
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Mount Hairy, MD
Several years ago, I bought a Garmin handheld, at the lower end of their line. I don't do any real cross-country flying, but it is foolish to fly in my area unless you have something better than a sectional on your lap. A quarter of a mile in the wrong direction and you get a Blackhawk on your 6. It works pretty well, but has some limitations. With all of the windows in the L-4, it is necessary to set the screen brightness all the way up, which means the battery lasts about an hour max. So on a 2 hour round trip, I carry 2 and a spare to go home on.

Recently, it seemed that the batteries were not holding a charge, however. I would charge several overnight, but a few days later, the screen would go dark 30 seconds after I turned it on with a fresh battery. I thought it was a problem with either the charger or the batteries themselves. I found an internet address of a guy who specializes in handheld electronics repair and contacted him. He said he'd seen this before and might be able to help. I sent him the unit, the 4 batteries I have and the charger. Couple of weeks later, he had tested the components and recommended a course of action. Turns out that the sound chip for the unit sometimes has a cold solder joint on assembly, which is not a solid connection to the motherboard, which causes problems, one of which is the unit will turn off at the worst possible moment. He replaced the sound chip and so far the unit seems to be working as advertised.

Just wanted to let folks know that it seems to be a somewhat common problem, and it's a simple fix.

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