Recharging my Garmin is like playing Operation or singing in Carmen


When I first started making noises about thinking about doing an Ironman, my wife bought me a GPS watch, the Garmin 910XT.

It’s actually a pretty sweet device. It has a ridiculously long battery life, it connects to all sorts of gadgets that are useful and it’s got a familiar albeit unusable user interface. After twenty years you’d think we’d have something other than that annoying beep beep beep sound…

The on real source of irritation is the power-supply.

Garmin wanted something that would be water and sweat proof and ridiculously robust so it could handle bike falls, collisions etc.. so they need some kind of solution that would work in really rough situations.

Their solution was two contacts on the base of the device


and a castanet that you attach to the device. Every time I charge my device, I keep wanting to sing Toreador from Carmen




(just in case you’re wondering the garmin gadget is the thing on the right).


The problem with this is system is:

  1. Attaching the power-supply is like playing Operation just in reverse. You have to attach the power supply *just* so. 
  2. The contacts get covered in sweat and sea water and require periodic cleaning with rubbing alcohol. The first time I discovered this, I only had vodka – which turned out to work just fine.
  3. And sometimes even when you get the power supply attached correctly, you place it on the table in just the right way and it stops charging. Usually you discover that 10 to 15 minutes before you need it…

This is the one device that I really wish had a power supply with no cable….


Leave a Reply