Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

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noikmeister
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Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by noikmeister » 16 December 09 10:56 am

With the warmer months upon us there are a few caches accessible by boat or swim nearby to me. The temptation is to rely on my eTrex really being waterproof like they say an putting the lanyard around my neck and swimming out, but I'd hate to be wrong about it. Has anyone actually dunked their eTrex and proved it to be submersible?

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Zytheran
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Re: Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by Zytheran » 16 December 09 12:10 pm

norkmeister wrote:With the warmer months upon us there are a few caches accessible by boat or swim nearby to me. The temptation is to rely on my eTrex really being waterproof like they say an putting the lanyard around my neck and swimming out, but I'd hate to be wrong about it. Has anyone actually dunked their eTrex and proved it to be submersible?
I used to have an ETrex Legend which was meant to be waterproof. After about 5 years of use I did Bent Jetty back in February with it in a (not as waterproof as expected) ziplock bag and the unit died. :( It should be noted the unit stayed on the surface and didn't go down the 5m to the cache, which I would expect to kill most things electronic without specific sealing for that environment.
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... wp=GC10D9A

When pulling it apart I found the reason, the thin clear plastic membrane which forms the waterproof seal covering the join between the top and bottom shells above the micro-switch on the side of the unit had a hole worn through it from use. This let in the seawater which had leaked into the bag and kiss goodbye $350 worth of GPS.

I would say that new units are waterproof but this decreases with age. Mine died with about 1400 finds under it's belt. At the time it died the adhesive securing the external rubber side strip had long died so that might be a cue that it's integrity was failing.

However I'd be willing to do this again with my shiny new but cheaper ETrex.

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Map Monkey
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Re: Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by Map Monkey » 16 December 09 1:05 pm

The etrex range is rated as IPX7 which is equivalent to IEC 529 level 7 or JIS7....equates to minimising water ingress of less than 1m for up to 30 minutes.

Statement from Garmin:

Most newer Garmin® GPS units are waterproof in accordance with IEC 60529 IPX7. IEC 60529 is a European system of test specification standards for classifying the degrees of protection provided by the enclosures of electrical equipment. An IPX7 designation means the GPS case can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. An IPX8 designation is for continuous underwater use.

It should be noted that this tested is not a lifetime coverage rating of the GPSr rather when i would imagine only when the GPSr is new. :-k

This is achieved by the o-ring seal around the battery compartment together with the thin plastic tape and double-sided sticky tape holding the rubber surround on the GPSr. :shock:

Not what i would call waterproof and worthy of trusting. [-(

mm

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Re: Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by ma77hew » 16 December 09 11:48 pm

Can anyone recommend an adhesive to reattach the rubber strip to an etrex? I've tried a couple but it just won't stay put. It all comes unstuck whenever I connect the power/data cable, so I resorted to keeping it in the belt pouch to hold it together. The unit's now in retirement, but it would be nice to stick it back together and hand it on to a new cacher.

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Re: Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by ssmc4 » 17 December 09 8:56 pm

I used clear silicone on my well-used Legend in an attempt to:
a) help with re-sealing the waterproof membrane after I'd pulled it apart; and
b) reattach the black rubber strip surround.

I didn't ever go swimming with it after that but it all seemed to stay in one piece OK.

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Re: Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by Justcameron » 13 January 10 6:44 pm

I have successfully swum with a Garmin eTrex for about a hundred metres :)

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Re: Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by caughtatwork » 13 January 10 7:07 pm

What happened then?

Your GPS filled with water?
You finished the swim so you couldn't test it any further?
You drowned?

Please pick one :-"

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squalid
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Re: Is my Garmin eTrex-H really waterproof?

Post by squalid » 14 January 10 8:00 am

My etrex I took my etrex out to Ozone - about a 50 m swim, and survived on the day, so I thought nothing of it. The unit didn't start a week later, so when I opened the battery compartment, it was full of rust. The connection through the case had gone. Fixed with a wire and some solder, but it is definately not waterproof now. It had also been windsurfing many times, but kept in a special protective pouch.

Collorado went into 1m sea water a couple of weeks ago. Screen worked and it booted up, but the buttons and wheel didn't function. Took it appart and dried it out - the water came in through the SD card slot. All good now although I'm a little worried because I was too chicken to rinse it out in fresh water - might rust. We'll see.

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