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Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:21 pm
by djw47
I've noticed recently that my Garmin 510 battery life is getting noticeably worse. It's fine for short ride and would realistically probably last 8 or 9 hours (I'd estimate) based on the rate it drains during a ride. I'm planning on doing some 10+ hour rides in the new year and I'm concerned that it won't last the pace. I'm reluctant to fork out on a new Garmin though.

Has anybody successfully attached one of those phone backup power packs to a Garmin and had it charge while recording a ride? Any suggestions on a good place to buy a backup power supply that won't cost a fortune (like the official Garmin one)?

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:03 pm
by BenGr
I would look into your battery problems first, my 3yo 510 which has been charged hundreds of times still has very good battery life. I've never fully drained it in one go, but regularly get 10hours with 50% left.

Things to check are backlight, smart record (not 1sec, unless you need that) and possibly using only GPS and not GLONAS as well.

The only problem you might come across is once you unplug the charger it may trigger an auto shutdown timer. I'll have to do a quick test now.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:17 pm
by V8rider
I've used a power bank several times with my 510 with no problem. I bought a no name brand from office works (I think!), it's a pretty small stick style one which I tape underneath my stem and have a short usb cord to connect to my garmin. If you unplug it does go into auto shutdown, but you can cancel that easy enough. Great peace of mind if you're doing fairly epic rides, you can get decent life without using an external battery (I've done more than 12 hours without it), but it usually means dropping the screen brightness etc. Generally when I'm using it, I'm using the navigation function also, so I'd rather not run out of juice and know where I'm going!

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:58 pm
by Comedian
I reckon you could do that .. just get one of the very short cables and you could velcro it to the underside of the stem. Or if you're riding for 8 or nine hours, just give it a little jolt on a break.

I've had three garmins, a 800, and two 810's and they have all had excellent battery life even after a lot of use.

I think Garmin have a refurb service which could be worth considering.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:13 am
by TheWall
Yep. As per V8rider I have done this on longer rides using black electrical tape to secure the sub battery pack to the stem with chord attached. Handy as a back up for phone as well. On the 220klm TOOMOO last year I almost had a line of people seeking charge at the rest stops!

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:53 am
by outnabike
Hi djw47,
Not all devices work off these back up batteries but the Garmin should. I am using this one from office works to power a bike camera I am trialing and should get a min of six hours use.Yet it will not run my Sony action cam.

You can get larger capacity for only a few more dollars but I like the rubberised edging of this one for bike use. It comes with a short Micro usb cable. some things require a Mini usb cable but they are easy to get as well.

http://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/Sear ... &pageView=

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:42 pm
by kb
You might want to check that you can physically fit a plug in while the Garmin is mounted too. Some combinations don't leave enough room.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:51 pm
by biker jk
kb wrote:You might want to check that you can physically fit a plug in while the Garmin is mounted too. Some combinations don't leave enough room.


Yes, good point. With mine mounted on the stem I had to buy a right-angled USB plug.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:11 am
by djw47
So, for future reference, I discovered that if I disable all Strava Live segments on the Garmin, the battery life improves enormously. Now draining at a much more acceptable 5% per hour with GPS and Glonass enabled.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:54 pm
by bitstuffer
It's a shame we can't get a Sanyo generator and put it through a rectifier bridge and box of tricks to output 5v and just chuck the gennie on down the hills .... riiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrr! I suppose a solar solution could work as well.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:04 pm
by Comedian
djw47 wrote:So, for future reference, I discovered that if I disable all Strava Live segments on the Garmin, the battery life improves enormously. Now draining at a much more acceptable 5% per hour with GPS and Glonass enabled.

Fascinating.. I've never bothered with that stuff but there you go.

Do you think it could be due to the device switching the backlight on for notifications or the processing required?

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:39 pm
by madmacca
Comedian wrote:
djw47 wrote:So, for future reference, I discovered that if I disable all Strava Live segments on the Garmin, the battery life improves enormously. Now draining at a much more acceptable 5% per hour with GPS and Glonass enabled.

Fascinating.. I've never bothered with that stuff but there you go.

Do you think it could be due to the device switching the backlight on for notifications or the processing required?


Or possibly just that the Bluetooth chip is powered up for a much greater proportion of the time to handle the data transfers. Particularly as it uses the higher power BT 2.0, rather than the low energy BT 4.0.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:14 pm
by Discodan
I believe the Garmin doesn't communicate with the phone when it's doing live segments so wouldn't be consuming bluetooth power. The segment details are synced to the device and it's measuring you against your PB or someone you follow from the last sync

madmacca wrote:
Or possibly just that the Bluetooth chip is powered up for a much greater proportion of the time to handle the data transfers. Particularly as it uses the higher power BT 2.0, rather than the low energy BT 4.0.

Re: Garmin back-up battery

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:19 pm
by djw47
Discodan wrote:I believe the Garmin doesn't communicate with the phone when it's doing live segments so wouldn't be consuming bluetooth power. The segment details are synced to the device and it's measuring you against your PB or someone you follow from the last sync


Correct, it doesn't use Bluetooth. The Garmin downloads the routes and must be constantly checking live GPS co-ordinates against those stored for the routes which I assume uses a heap of additional processing power. I have always kept BT switched off unless I am using it at the end of my ride to transfer data to my phone.