WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

For everything Garmin Zumo XT related
Ezayakyala
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Jul 2020 04:11
Canada

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by Ezayakyala »

I purchased a Zumo XT right before a big trip. I installed it on my Triumph Rocket 3RL spent the time fishing the cable under the tank. Tapping into an appropriate power connector installing a fuse ..etc. Took me about 2 hours to get it done and perform the cable management to my liking. It performed flawlessly on my 3500km round trip. A day after arriving I noticed it would not charge .. bottom pin in completely sheared off. Emailed garmin they immediately told me power cords are out of stock until August and they shipped me one without asking me too many questions other than does the unit power up with connected to a USB. Which leads me to believe they are hearing about this issue more and more.

I have a DIN connector that I hooked up the GPS to for now. I don’t even know if it’s worth recabling the new power cable when it arrives to only have to pull it again. I might just go to the battery and call it a day.

Annoying but also surprising for a company that builds glass cockpits to not be able to get a power connector right.
mastercore
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Australia

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by mastercore »

Yeah I agree,
Thanks for sharing your story.

I too am wondering at the quality of the product managers. The ones that give the thumbs up or down to parts that will make up their products.
I have done this job in my past and I must say it really tests your integrity. The temptation to succumb to financial controller pressure to accept a cheaper option is large, but they will tear you apart if you have a serious quality issue in life cycle that costs them not only money, but reputation.

Zumo XT is still a rather new product, It would surprise me if they have not yet had a meeting internally about this issue and wonder what to do.
I gave them a roasting about this in this forum, but my actions was a raindrop to a duck.

Think of Apple.
They have a chronic and widespread issue with proprietary changing cables that cost about 5-10x the cost of a micro USB cable, and seem to have the equal quality to the cheapest of them.
They thumb their nose at their customers and keep leeching fat profits from replacement sales from their loyal followers.

Are the apple fans simply too stupid (or too addicted to the apple world) to change, (and/)or is Apple simply being a good capitalist: Squeeze as much money from your clients as possible, and test the boundaries of their loyalty at all time.

If this truly the capitalist way, then its bad!
mervingry
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Mar 2020 02:54
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Canada

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by mervingry »

mastercore wrote: 29 Jun 2020 14:39 Hi Guys,
I am sorry to poopoo on the otherwise nice Garmin Zumo XT unit, but I have a story to tell all those thinking of buying one, or have one and should know about this weakness.


I bought my unit about a month ago and installed it pretty much a few days after I got it.
My bike is a Africa Twin 2017
I have done one short tour with it and it has worked to my expectations except for one large issue

The mount! In particular the hot shoe connector

I have the mount center above the dash of the bike and nicely tucked in behind the windscreen.
img_7235_modified.jpg

One day during my ride, I noticed the navi just switched off!
It would not switch back on and so I began to investigate.
Seems the battery was flat, so when I powered it with the USB cable, it powered up.
A further look around uncovered this...
Screenshot from 2020-06-24 15-32-32.png

The metal sheath of the lower pin is badly damaged.
If you mount the unit to the cradle and the lower pin is bent upwards, no power is fed to the unit.
I found that the pin is still connected to power, but for how much longer?
So how did this happen?

I have a few theories:
  • During packing and riding around, something snagged onto the pin while the unit was off, and the hot shoe rubber cover was not on.
    Considering how weak these pins seem, I think it could easy be done with a jacket or some other bit of riding gear carelessly thrown over the dash during wardrobe adjustments
  • Or, it is the rubber cover for the hot shoe connectors. After inspection, I noticed this thing is rather finicky to get on and one is tempted to push down on it to make it catch and seal the connectors. Upon closer inspection of this cover, seems it is not inconceivable that the act of covering the pins with this cap could damage the pins.
  • The pin was damaged from the start and was made worse with use. I did not look so carefully at the state of the pins when I got the unit. It is off course possible that these sensitive pins could catch on something and get damaged, e.g. the loop side of a Velcro tab on clothing(This is more a reinforcement of point 1 I think).
I felt it is my duty to inform you all, that this is, in my opinion, is a serious quality/durability oversight of the Garmin Zumo.

I want to qualify something about my opinion here:
This is my first Garmin product.
I have never had an electronic product with such hot shoe connectors on any of my bikes before.
I do not know if my unit was unusually harshly treated to result in this damage, or is this a weakness these connectors suffer from? What I do know is that my bike is meant for enduro and as such, will be bashed around a bit. I expect Garmin to have designed this unit to hold up to such use considering it is marketed to adventure riders.

next steps for me...

I have been in touch with Garmin support online, and they juggled me around various departments and then landed me in the European support, which I am now wait a reaction from. (I am based in Switzerland)

During the support case chat, I mentioned that the replacement of the cable is not the end of the story for me. I am refering to the elephant in the room: the installation cost!

I am curious to learn how Garmin will address this.
Stay tuned for more...
I'm having the same problem with the pins in the mount. Both pins were loose and wobbly from the very beginning. I've been waiting for a replacement cable for there weeks.
dunaj
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Jul 2020 09:56
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Slovakia

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by dunaj »

now I have a new one.
P1220522.JPG
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mastercore
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Australia

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by mastercore »

With each passing case, the certainty that this is a systematic problem grows.

I can think of only 2 possibilities causing this problem and the 2 are complementary:

1 The pins in the plug head are too weak, and too exposed. In addition to this, the rubber cap to cover the connectors itself poses a risk to the connectors. When trying to put the cap on to the connector, one is never sure it is properly on. It is tempting to use more force than required.
Upon closer inspection of the cap, there are small penetrations in it to match the location of all possible pins. I feel it is possible to slightly mis-align the cap as you try to push it into place, it is then quite possible to snag and bend the fragile connector pins.

2 If you, like me have the hot-shoe cradle mounted up high, above the dash on your motorcycle, but behind the windscreen, then this location is prone to being a place where items of clothing are placed during wardrobe adjustments on the road. Riding gear makes heavy use of Velcro.
I can see a case where randomly the loop side of a Velcro tab lands on the exposed pins of the cradle. The potential for these 2 to snag is significant. Together with the pins being fragile, this is not inconceivable to see a pin damaged like this.

I do not have enough experience with such sprung loaded hot-shoe connectors to say if Garmin's unit is particularly sensitive or not.
Maybe someone else on the forum could add their experience, good or bad.

But I do have experience in industrial design. What I see here is 1 of 2 things happening:
A very lax and un-serious approach to testing. Reduce the project budget by reducing testing. If you do not test, then you do not find problems. No problems, then you can release on time. If there is monetary incentive on the project management to stick to release dates, then this is almost certainly going to happen. Just call it rugged and make it look like it is, and take care of all problems in life-cycle when they appear. Basically a policy of: "Let our customers be our testers and tell us what breaks first." BAD!
or,
They did discover this problem and thought it was either too expensive, or loo late in the project to change anything, the product manager basically deciding to deal with the problem in life-cycle management. i.e. "Let's ignore and downplay the problem to the best of our ability and just replace cables all the time." BAD!

Is this what companies do to stay competitive now? Elon seems to think its OK and check out his stock price!
mastercore
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Australia

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by mastercore »

dunaj wrote: 19 Jul 2020 19:40 now I have a new one.
This one looks completely stuffed!

The damage I had to mine was a bent pin casing (the tube in which the pin moves)
This meant that if I moved the pin with my finger nail till it was straight again, I could make it work.
So I have a somewhat fragile truce with my cradle, but I now have a replacement cable from Garmin, so now I have to get the new cable refitted.
mito
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 Jul 2020 14:00
Spain

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by mito »

I have just received a replacement cable from local Garmin Support in Spain.
They worked as expected: no questions and fast delivery of a brand new cable.
A+ for Garmin Support.

After three GPS cables installed on my bike (one TomTom Rider 550 shit, unable to connect with iPhone bluetooth... and two Garmin XT) I can say I'm a skilled GPS cable installator, it takes me just one hour. :lol:
mastercore
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Australia

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by mastercore »

Glad to hear the Spanish support is up to scratch.
Pity that the cable fails at all!
donws
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Jul 2020 11:46
United States of America

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by donws »

Has anybody tried a dab of silicone dielectric grease on the pins and contacts. I wonder if it would help relieve any stresses and friction of the pins sliding in the bores and/or the pins sliding on the Zumo XT contacts? I may give this a try. It certainly can't hurt as a preventative measure.

Cheers,
Don
Hati
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Australia

Re: WARNING - Garmin Zumo XT hot-shoe connector weakness

Post by Hati »

donws wrote: 29 Jul 2020 23:25 Has anybody tried a dab of silicone dielectric grease on the pins and contacts. I wonder if it would help relieve any stresses and friction of the pins sliding in the bores and/or the pins sliding on the Zumo XT contacts? I may give this a try. It certainly can't hurt as a preventative measure.

Cheers,
Don
You DEFINITELY don't want dielectric grease, dielectric being insulating (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dielectric). A bit of carbon grease used in connectors exposed to weather may be a better proposition...

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