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Navigation Devices used by VK3KHB

Navigation Aids:

As the owner of 2 Navigation devices:
Magellan GPS310 (2002 Hand-held walkabout text display) and a TomTom XL Classic (XL250, vehicle mount, pictorial display, bought 2012)

My first TomTom XL classic lasted 14 days of daily use before failing to power up. A simple impressive device that detects where you are and tells you where to go, after calculating how to get you there. It was while using the device to navigate home that it reported its battery was empty and promptly shut down.
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It was plugged into my vehicle's accessories socket and I was under the impression it was fine but a bad connection is possible and the devices battery status indicator is not visible unless you've got the overall route displayed; So as home was not that far away, I waited and re-charge it there. After two hours of charging the unit would not power up, perhaps it needed more time so left it over night. In the morning still no joy, what could be wrong!

Now this is where you turn to the internet, TomTom website and trawl through 100's of FAQs, none with a straight answer, most are off the subject but there are lots of interesting tales. Eventually you give up on all the distractions and put in a service ticket request, "how long should my device take to charge up from a flat battery" and within the allotted "we reply to you" period you get a friendly email stating no more than the user guide booklet does. As expected we have a basic starting point and from here work up through the technical competency levels of each other, ho hum...

As the device was purchased recently, I had my docket, the original packaging and took it back to the place of purchase and asked them to look at it. After a while (20 minutes) they conceded it was dead and issued me with a new unit, box and all, Great!

However will this one go the same way, statistically unlikely but the thought is always there. So to safe guard the possibility I continued my research on this device.
Some technical details & device measurements:
TomTom XL Classic
4ET0.002.03, 4ET03, 6027A0106801
Highly sensitive GPS chipset
2GB Internal flash memory No external memory option
Battery Type:

1100 mAh
Voltage: 3.7V
Re-charge when temperature above
0'C & below 45'C
# Vehicle dash board temperature range
< -5'C to > +60'C
Battery Life up to 3 hours
autonomous operation
Cig. Charger 24/12Volt
@1Amp to USB socket:
5.17 Volts DC on
Pin 1 = +5 and Pin 4 = Gnd
(Pins 2&3 Data)
Charge Current when:
Battery almost empty
(Red bar flashing)

Display off: ~190mA or less
Display on: ~280mA or more
Battery ~1/2 full
(Yellow bar)
Display off: ~180mA to less than 1mA
Display on: ~310mA to less than 150mA
Battery ~full
(Green bar)...
Display off: ~30mA to less than 10mA
Display on: ~150mA to less than 120mA
Force Power On Sequence: Insert known good external power source &
hold power button down for 20 seconds
Reset Device:
(alt power restart)
Use a straightened paper clip or similar to push the reset button (see bottom of unit) for at least 20 seconds
Size 4.3" (11cm)
Type 16:9 LCD wide-screen
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
118 (W) X 80 (H) X 25 (D) mm
183 grams

As you can see this device is quite compact and functional. It is a dedicated microprocessor that continues to operate when switched off as it checks for power on button presses, reset switch presses and battery power level. So it must eventually run the internal battery "dead flat" and then stops.

Using observed drain and battery capacity
1100mAhr / 10mA/hr drain = 110 hours or 4.5 days operation. Under normal operation, in your vehicle and plugged in to power, this problem won't occur, however, once stopped by "dead flat" battery, the device will need a power on reset.

First allow a few hours to charge the battery, then press the power on button down for 5 seconds, no joy? Wait about ~20seconds and hold the button down again for 20 Seconds with external power supply connected.

Still no joy, using a paper-clip (as above) press the RESET button (in hole on unit's bottom), leave it charging for a few more hours and try the power on button again. You may need to repeat this step a few times to get the internal battery up to some threshold or have a known good external power supply connected, able to supply battery charge and the units powered on current needs. I suspect this could be close to 1amp as the supplied 12V to USB socket charger is rated at 1.2Amps.

If you still can not get it to power up and it is out of warrantee, consider a purchasing a new unit. Repairing these devices is usually as much if not more than the original cost, if bought by credit card you may have an automatic extended warrantee/replacement, check your credit card conditions, see your financial institution on how to claim.

If you are really keen and don't care if you break it any further, open it up, carefully! Screws are under the printed label on the bottom, once label is removed or holes made to access screws it will be obvious you've tampered.

Remember some under paid, exploited Chinese worker(s) with the correct tools, jigs and parts slaved to put it together and you want to pull it apart and hope you can put it back together working?

Gary, VK3KHB

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