Thursday, September 18, 2008

2610 Goes CaFlooey

This post is more of an informational post, but of course I have to tell the story first and if you want the information on how to fix the problem I encounted, you have to read the story.

I own a Garmin 2610 which has well over 60, 000 miles on it, providing directions to me to all sorts of places. To say that I rely on this technogadget would be an understatement.

While I was in Maine celebrating the NER BDay, I left the GPS on my bike over night. Now I never ever ever do this, never ever never, except for this night. I woke up the next morning and looked and said geeeezzzzzzz you are getting old, you forgot to bring the GPS in. I approached the bike to warm it up before the days ride and since I have to wind my hand dwon between the GPS and ignition switch, I can't help but look down at the unit. Whoa! there seemed to be a bubble in the screen. I took my hand, gave a slight twist of the wrist and placed my thumb's fingernail directly onto the bubble. I am estimating it was a precise 22 1/2 degrees between the screen and my thumb's nail. I believe my subconcious mind wanted to see if this apparent bubble would move or maybe it was just a piece of stuff lying on the screen. ( I knew it was a bubble and not a piece of stuff, I was just self-justifying my actions, I am just making excuses here) Within a nanosecond of touching the screen, the screen screamed out with a squechnzumbling sound. I know thats not a word, but if you understand onomatopoeia it sounded just like that. That may have been the sound of my stomach made as well as my eyes watched the screen shrivel, crumble, flake, disintegrate, collaspe, turn to powder, cave in, wither, ebb and flow, detonate, squeal like a gutted pig and other such actions and sounds that I can not begin to describe. All of this happened in less that 2 nanoseconds because by the time the 2nd nanosecond elasped, I was running around in circles, jumping up and down, saying "what a fuckin idiot I am" over and over and over.

Since I did not take a picture of the screen, this is what it looked like

My fellow NER friends (at least 6 of them), who were standing around talking about last night , drinking their morning coffee, looked up to see the anguished state I was in and approached me with concern and sympathy. I am sure they thought something horrid happened or that I was seriously hurt. Mental tormentation is more painful than physical pain.

Just like I never ever ever ever leave the unit outside, I know better to try to get the bubble out of the screen with a sharp instrument like a fingernail. My only excuse is it was early and it was one of those situations this never happens to you, it is something that you only read about. Yes I have read about the infamous screen delimanation Garmin StreetPilots and knew within quarter of a nanosecond what my 2610 was doing.
With the initial shock ebbing a bit I started to plan for the future. I quickly threw out the idea of applying for unemployment and decided I could follow one of the other NERds back to MA. Oh the agony of having to follow a paper map and not the lil purple line.
When I got home I ordered a Garmin 2720 StreetPilot from GetYourFeetWet with a 4 year warranty on it. Hey for 15.00 how could I go wrong. The SP arrived before the week was out. But then I began to investigate a fix for the 2610. I called Garmin, told them what had happened and asked if they would like to provide a new one. The representative looked up my unit and said, well it is over 3 years old and well out of warranty. I had to try didn't I ?. With that resolved I began asking questions exactly what the covering on the screen did. Not knowing the technical side of the unit, he patched me over to one of the manufacturing experts. I asked if this was purely a protective element or would the touch screen be effected. He told me it was purely a protective anti-glare covering. I asked if I bought some Palm pilot screen protectors, would this be a solution. He hold me that would be an excellent idea.

Off to Staples, picked up a pack of Palm Pilot screen protectors for $25, which contained 4 or 5 of them. Dang these were expensive, but they could be returned. Next to Best Buy to see if they had a generic version of the screen protectors. Yup, something like $13 for 4 of them, however I did not purchase them at this time. The Palm ones were returned the next day. Next step, research solutions on the Inet. I came across an article that indicated you could get thin clear plastic vinyl from a fabric store. Off to Jo Ann Fabrics and picked up a half yard of the stuff for something like $.93. Now we are talking.

Got home, created a template exactly the right size for the screen on a 2610. Traced the template onto the vinyl, cut a piece out. 2 drops of water on the screen to act as a smoothing/lubricating agent, placed the vinyl on the screen, pressed out the air with a credit card and viola ! The 2610 is in working order.

So now I have a repaired 2610 and a brand new 2720 as a back up GPS. Life is whole again the earth is again, tilting at 23.44 degrees. Oh and I have enough vinyl leftover to repair at least 50 more SP's.

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