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Jim Vander

Routine battery replacement

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Jim Vander

I have had my Garmin Alpha and 2 collars since 2013. One of the collars does not show fully charged on the indicator light but continues to function and gets through the day with no issues. 
I'm wondering if its time to preemptively replace the batteries in the handheld and the collars to avoid having a failure while on a trip. Has anyone taken this step or have any experience with modes of failure?

 

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Cooter Brown

Make sure the contacts on the collar are clean.  This can cause the issue you describe--it happened to one of my collars the other day.  Clean with warm water and a toothbrush.  Also make sure the metal on the contacts is undamaged and not worn.  Inspect the charger contacts as well.

 

I have a TT15 about the same age as yours and it started acting even more strangely toward the end of the season this year--the LED was flashing red.  The Garmin documentation on this is not real clear, stating that a red or flashing red LED is a "charging issue"-- which means it could mean a battery issue, or it could mean something else, like dirty/damaged contact.  I called Garmin and they said given the age of the thing it might be best to replace it under the out of warranty policy.  I figured for $75 dollars it was a good idea.

 

Problem was that per the rep the out of warranty charge recently went up to $150.  When I said something along the lines of "yikes" he offered to do it for $100.  I took that deal and now have an essentially brand new TT15 for 100 bucks.

 

With Garmin products I'm a proponent of updating the software.  It might have helped in this case with getting the better replacement price--the rep was able to see all the Garmin products I have and said "you're a good customer!".

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Speaks

If in doubt I would swap it before season, thats an old battery. 

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gunsrus
8 minutes ago, Cooter Brown said:

Make sure the contacts on the collar are clean.  This can cause the issue you describe--it happened to one of my collars the other day.  Clean with warm water and a toothbrush.  Also make sure the metal on the contacts is undamaged and not worn.  Inspect the charger contacts as well.

 

I have a TT15 about the same age as yours and it started acting even more strangely toward the end of the season this year--the LED was flashing red.  The Garmin documentation on this is not real clear, stating that a red or flashing red LED is a "charging issue"-- which means it could mean a battery issue, or it could mean something else, like dirty/damaged contact.  I called Garmin and they said given the age of the thing it might be best to replace it under the out of warranty policy.  I figured for $75 dollars it was a good idea.

 

Problem was that per the rep the out of warranty charge recently went up to $150.  When I said something along the lines of "yikes" he offered to do it for $100.  I took that deal and now have an essentially brand new TT15 for 100 bucks.

 

With Garmin products I'm a proponent of updating the software.  It might have helped in this case with getting the better replacement price--the rep was able to see all the Garmin products I have and said "you're a good customer!".

Cooter , are you saying that the needed batteries have to be installed (replaced) by Garmin Service ?   You cannot just buy for $75 and replace your self ?

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Cooter Brown
1 hour ago, gunsrus said:

Cooter , are you saying that the needed batteries have to be installed (replaced) by Garmin Service ?   You cannot just buy for $75 and replace your self ?

You can buy the batteries from any number of places on line and replace them yourself and I doubt the cost would be anywhere near $75.  I thought about doing that but decided that given the age and mileage on the thing I'd go ahead and replace the collar itself.  It might have been the battery, it might not have, but for $75 dollars it made sense to start with a new one.  6-7 years is pretty good service life for any electronic product, especially one strapped to a bird dog.

 

When I called Garmin and told him what was going on the rep agreed, offered the out of warranty deal, and then told me about the price increase.  The out of warranty replacement used to be $75 for collars, $110 for the Alpha handheld.  When a pin in the plug on my handheld broke in October I got a new Alpha for $110--sometime between then and Februrary they raised the price to $150 for collars, $200 for handheld.

 

I thought about it for a day or two before deciding to go ahead and take them up on the offer of $100.  I figured I probably wouldn't get that deal in the future and it was worth getting essentially a brand new unit, whether it was the battery in my old one or not.  Fortunately they're good at documenting stuff and the rep had written the offer in notes on my account.

 

With the out of warranty deal now $150 it might make sense to try a new battery first, depending on the cost of the battery.  That might be why they raised the prices--75 and 110 bucks were screaming deals to replace those devices.

 

For what it's worth, the one with the dirty contacts that did what Jim's is doing is just as old as the one I replaced.  Since I cleaned the contacts it's operated perfectly normally.

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