I was wondering what u guys prefer when u use your gps unit in your vehicles. Do u guys have it connected to the power supply when in use or do u guys charge it and then use it without the cord until the battery runs low? Any benefits for whichever choice?
I use the cord when i am in the vehicle. Might as well use the power while its there. That way if you need to take it out and walk you will have full power available.
I got mine at Xmas and haven't taken in long trips yet, so my car cord is still in the box at home and when I take the Nuvi out for a drive, I just run it off the battery since it is good for several hours off a full charge.
But of course I will bring the charger along if I take any long trips or travel outside of my home area.
I use the power cord all the time. I don't always connect it when I'm playing around with it at home, but mostly always in the car.
From what I understand the number and depth of discharge is a factor in battery life. So use power when in the car.
yea i thought that for example, charging your cell phone each day/night will ultimately lower the battery life down the road. I usually let my cell phone run to a single bar before i charge it. I was wondering the same about the gps unit.
I am seeing people are choosing to use the power cord when in use in the vehicle...
I use the power cord in the car, but that also has to do with the fact I have the MSN service. If I didn't have that, I would probably use the battery and charge it when needed, like my cell phone.
In my case, no. I tend to fully charge my C530 at home by using the AC adapter then not connecting the power cord in the car. I always have the power cord with me, just in case, but since I've had the unit, we haven't taken a trip long enough to run down the GPSr's battery.
One factor that led me to doing it this way, was that when I first got the unit, its suction cup came off the windshield and the unit hit the dash. I figured that if I eliminated the extra drag the the power cord exerted, it might help the suction cup suck better. FWIW, I got a beanbag mount so that argument is moot.
I just got my GPS as well and I treat it like my cell. I don't charge it unless the baterry is running low and I've been taking it in the house to charge for longer periods of time. I always keep the car charge handy when I am driving just in case. I was once told short charges by a car charger for example will shortern the battery life.
I always had it charged it the car in case I need to use it in another car.
This question and the answers posted helped save me some money. I was debating on getting a hardwire kit for the 200w I am thinking of getting...but with the decent battery life, I think I'll just keep the cord in the car and only use it if I have to. I hope the battery life stays ok for a long time.
You were told wrong then. The only charging protocol for Li-ion batteries like in the Garmin is to run them down about once a month and give them a full charge. Nothing else you do will significantly lengthen or shorten the lifespan of the battery. I have heard that the lifespan is a little bit better if you use external power whenever possible, but I don't know the tech behind it. Li-ion batteries irreversibly break down over a finite period, but they do NOT develop a charge memory like Ni-cad batteries do.
I use the power cable on longer trips but for around town I mostly use the battery. I also for the most part have it plugged into my computer all evening while playing with poi files so my battery is always charged.
Just a few suggestions:
*Buy lithium-ion batteries only when needed as shelf life begins at time of manufacture.
*Keep lithium-ion batteries cool whenever possible. (The high temperatures found in cars can damage lithium-ion batteries.)
*Lithium-ion batteries should be charged early and often.
*If lithium-ion batteries are not used for a long time, they should be stored in a cool place at a charge level of approximately 40%.
*Lithium-ion batteries should not be fully discharged and recharged often. A discharge may be necessary to calibrate the 'Charge Gauge'. This should be done every 30th charge if the gauge is important to you; not necessary if it isn't.
Good info RT. I had seen some of that before, but didn't remember the details. Thanks.
I have MSN so I need to use the power cord.
Just to add to the good information that RT said. I use Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries in my hobby, and I can say that continually running the battery low will shorten the life. I try to never use the last 25% of the charge.
Of course, I am using these batteries at much higher discharge rates than we do with our GPSs. The batteries get hot, and the ending temp is a good indicator how much I have abused them. They don't really get hot until I have discharged close to 100% of the capacity. Discharge them too low and they may not come back.
I have historically used the power cord, even on short - 15-20 minute - trips. Since reading this thread, I believe I will use the battery more ofter - not always - and make sure I charge at the first indication the battery is running a little low.
RT - is that a little more consistent with what you were saying?
I use the car adapter with the bean bag mount always. It is easy enough to stuff the bean bag out of view and take my 650 with me.
I have the charger and the mount in my Toyota so I use them.
I don't use the charger and rely on the battery when I drive my Chevy. But then, this is my second car, and I only use it for in-town, short-distance drive.
No... actually he said to "charge them early and often". Don't run them down... the only thing that does is reset the charge indicator, it does nothing for the life of the battery.
I always run mine off of the car charger unless my wife or I need to charge our cell phones. We only have one outlet in the car so we can't charge the phone and the GPS. The GPS runs for several hours and easily gets us through for a couple of hours of phone charging.
You can buy a power plug splitter to enable power to two devices. Under $10.
Many people don't fully understand the differences between battery types and will often treat their devices' batteries in ways that can actually be quite harmful. This website has a handy reference chart to help manage your GPS batteries:
Keep in mind, most, if not not all, GPS units use lithium-ion batteries these days.
I keep my 680 in my car continuously so I always have it plugged into my lighter adapter, except when I bring it in to update the poi's and then have it connected to my computer via usb.
I always have mine charging when using it. The battery on mine doesn't last that long, and I wouldn't want it to completely drain or else I'll have to do a cold boot!
I pretty much always have mine charging when its in the car, but in my case that's pretty much my only option other than forking over extra money for an A/C charger that wasn't included. I don't know if its ever reached full charge though, sinc I tend to take it out when I'm not in the car and I know the streets enough that I don't use it often in day to day commuting, so I don't really bother to take it with me unless I'm going out of my way. I figure I should get around to charging it all the way sometime soon though.
Should we assume that the life of the GPS is going to be bound by the life of the battery? or, if the battery eventually dies, can it be replaced?
How long does these batteries last anyway?
Good question, I'd like to know the answer to that too, LSchwabe.
When miine is in the car it is on the cord, and the beanbag, it is just to easy to disconnect it and take it with me and not have to be conserned about the battery.
As you can see i do not have choice:
Wal-Mart sells onw with two outlets and a USB port that you can use to charge some other device or play mp3 stored on a flash drive. It's less than (1 cent less) $10.00.
I use the charger all the time in the car, but I also have the MSN service plus 2 outlets for power. I've heard a lot of different stories about what to do and not to do to preserve battery life and there just doesn't seem to be one perfect answer
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