Garmin 478 users/owners thread

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by spidennis, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. HMR

    HMR Alps & Dirt Roads

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Vitemölla, Österlen, Sweden
    One solution is to buy a 2GB memory card to the 478. This would give you a total of 3.6GB memory for maps.

    See other thread for details.
  2. tenfiddy

    tenfiddy Demotivational P C

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Apalachicola National Forest
    I just picked up a 478 on ebay that was advertised as having a dead battery. Sure enough, once it got here the unit reported "Battery Missing". Thanks to the instructions in this thread I disassembled the battery, attached a 6v wall wart directly to the +/- leads on the battery and charged it for an hour before popping it in the 478 for a full charge. Now, 24 hours later, the battery is working again and the charge indicator is showing a full charge. I'll cycle it a couple times to see how long the life is but, from what I can tell, it's going to be fine! (the display shows better than 9 hours with the backlight turned off)

    Note, before I disassembled the battery, I did try the trick of powering on the 478 before installing the battery to no avail. I also found you don't have to peel the label off before removing the plastic plate. EDIT: I'm getting at least 8 hours use out of a "dead" battery.

    The 478 seems like a really a nice unit and I can see investing in the 2GB memory card to give it some more life with modern maps. I guess it's not totally necessary but for the cost, why mess with a 512MB or less?

    Now I need an XM antenna and a subscription. w00t
  3. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    46,764
    Location:
    Gates of Moscow
    Biggest regret I have is selling my 478. Newer ain't always better.
  4. DeeG

    DeeG Huh?

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    471
    Location:
    Central WA
    After several years of use, the USB input port on my 376C broke. I took the GPS apart and it looks like the soldering that attaches the port to the circuit board gave up.

    Garmin says they "don't have any parts like that left", and they won't fix it.

    Pretty sure it can be re-soldered, but it would be nice to have a new part. grrrrr.

    In the mean time, I opened up the 478 and took the piece out of there and stuck it in the 376C.

    Anyone have any sources for parts?????


    [​IMG]
  5. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    673
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains of Alberta
    Maybe stick a "wanted" post in the respective flee market threads. Someone may have a bricked unit laying around they'd part with for cheap.
  6. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,042
    Location:
    N Colorado
    I may have one depending on what way the USB is (they aren't all the same way some are wide part on top and some are wide part on the bottom) and they don't interchange.
  7. Hog Rider

    Hog Rider The Professor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,531
    Location:
    Fenner Windfarm N.Y.
    I have had 2, 478's do the same thing, one 9 months after its alleged refurbishment. Please report back if you find a fix...
  8. DeeG

    DeeG Huh?

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    471
    Location:
    Central WA

    It looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    What I found that was interesting is...I have three of these GPSMAPS. A 376C, a 396 and a 478.

    The 376C has the lifetime maps on it (the 396 has an aviation database in it), so it gets used the most, and of course, its the one that failed. I opened up the 478 (which has a screen that i thought was going TU) and took the USB port and stuck it in the 376C. At first I was just going to swap the guts from one to the other. But that didn't work. It wouldn't turn on. So, I put the guts back into the respective cases. I wasn't paying attention when I put the back on, and I grabbed the 478 back and put it on the 396C.

    It fired up, but I could not get the line out to work. Not with external speakers not with headphones. When I put the proper back case on the 396C, the sound worked just fine.

    I guess the electronics are not compatible with the different units. I would have thought they were, as they have pretty much identical hardware.

    And the 478 screen works fine, it just had a strange orange colored dust all over it. Not sure how that happened..... weird.

    I am going to take the failed USB port to work on Wednesday and see if I can't get my radio guy to solder it for me.
  9. Starchamp

    Starchamp Rebel Scum

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,305
    Location:
    Out there
    My 478 failed me this weekend, Oregon saved the day (believe it or not). So the 478 restarted in the middle of a route, and when running off external power, just keeps recycling the start-up screen. On battery power, it brings up the start-up screen, then shuts off after about three seconds.

    Any thoughts?
  10. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    Doh!!!! I did it again, this time in the California desert. But I think it was traumatically ripped off in one incident. The participants of this thread came through last time. Anyone have a recent lead on an antenna?
  11. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,533
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Just as an FYI, but the really old and outdated Garmin GPS II, III, V all use the same antenna. I recently broke one (well rather a buddy did after he hit a tree while using my GPS :lol3). I stole an antenna off my GPS III that has been gathering dust and it worked fine.
  12. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,042
    Location:
    N Colorado
    I have a spare it ain't perfect but it works.
  13. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    Perfect. I had a Garmin III+ gathering dust as well. I swapped the antenna to my 478 and it works. Thanks so much.

    I used to have two III+'s and gave one away. I wish I had it back now so I had a spare. I'm going to have to screw with my 478 mount on my 950SE so the antenna stays away from the front brake line.
  14. Starchamp

    Starchamp Rebel Scum

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,305
    Location:
    Out there
    Anybody? If not, I guess it's time for some exploratory surgery...
  15. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    673
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains of Alberta
    Have you thought of using One OF These?
  16. drewjb7

    drewjb7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    MA wishing I was in VT
    My 376C had a similar problem. Turned out to be a corrupted data card. Replaced it with a new one and all was good.

    A couple of other things to try if you haven't already:
    Holding down the Power on and Enter button gets you to a internal diagnostic screen.
    Holding down the Power on and Quit button allows a reset to factory default settings.

    Hope this helps.

    Drew

  17. Starchamp

    Starchamp Rebel Scum

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,305
    Location:
    Out there
    You are my GPS hero!! Not sure why I even had a data card for the Aleutian Islands in there, but it (mostly) works fine with it removed. Still fighting an issue where it shuts off after a bump or two, battery or external power.

    Thanks D!!!
  18. drewjb7

    drewjb7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    MA wishing I was in VT
    Glad that helped. Bump related on/off does sound more like a hardware issue, maybe bad solder joint. Looks like you'll have to explore inside after all.

    Drew



  19. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    46,764
    Location:
    Gates of Moscow
    After losing my way, being tempted by the new hotness, I have realized my sins and have returned to the fold.

    Got another 478 coming my way.

    I tried a Montana. A Zumo 550. A Nav IV.

    None could do it for me.


    Still confused as to why I have to go back 3 levels of evolution to find a gps that works well on a bike, guess I'll go to my grave not knowing the answer. Everything I tried was lesser in some major area. Yes, they were much better in some major areas, but then just abysmal in those others. What gets me is that Garmin doesn't have to invent any new technology to fill this need.


    :cromag
  20. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,042
    Location:
    N Colorado
    I agree just picked up a Montana and am not impressed at all. As a matter of fact if I would have paid what most are for them I would be downright pissed. Going to stick with my older units for now and when they die I will just use a smartphone (unless garmin gets their head out of their ass and makes truly modern unit). All they would have to do is make a "modern" version of the 276c and call it good. By modern I mean don't change much other than ditch the proprietary data card and use more modern computer.