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Discussion: Garmin 235 owners: have you had this problem?

in: Orienteering; General

May 20, 2020 12:54 AM # 
You know the Garmin 235 connects to the computer for charging ad download by way of a cable with five teeth connecting to the watch and through a USB port.
Today a problem occurred and it was replicated on two more computers after the first. The watch is charging by way of the cable but the computers each send me a message that the USB device malfunctioned and Windows does not recognize the device.
Have you had this problem?
Any idea how to fix this?
Fortunately this was not after a hard day of fieldwork, just a COVID-inspired bike ride around the beautiful city of Ottawa.
May 20, 2020 1:00 AM # 
I have a different Garmin with a similar cable, but that happens to me once in a while (including tonight!). Things to try:
1) Re-seat the watch on the cable/cradle.
2) Make sure you're plugging into the same USB port that you usually do.
3) Reboot the computer and try again.
4) Try a different cable.
May 20, 2020 1:05 AM # 
The FR 235 has bluetooth for connecting to a phone or computer, have you tried that instead?
May 20, 2020 1:06 AM # 
I have the 235, but honestly never use USB for data transfer - everything I need gets automatically uploaded or downloaded via bluetooth, so I only use the USB for charging. But I just connected it to both my machines - one linux, one Windows - and it connects as a storage device on both systems.
May 20, 2020 1:07 AM # 
Same here, I didn't even know the cable could be used for data transfer and not just charging!
May 20, 2020 1:07 AM # 
Use Bluetooth to download and usb cable to an adapter to charge. No computer needed.
May 20, 2020 1:20 AM # 
Same here. Had some trouble when I paired the watch with my iPad and my phone via Bluetooth on separate occasions. Then when I wanted to sync with the phone it wouldn’t do it because it was pairing with the iPad. Took me a while to figure it out and solved it by having the iPad forget the device.

I’ve used the cable when downloading workouts I made in garmin connect on my laptop but usually it’s just a charger.
May 20, 2020 3:37 AM # 
I've had the same problem with my 735. Gordhun did it start after you clicked Install on an update in Garmin Express, because that's what happened in my case? It will work if you power your Garmin off and on, but (a) has to be done for each activity upload, and (b) the time of day has to be reset by going outside to find some satellites.

cmorse, Cristina et al - if you have no need for a smartphone or bluetooth device, then you have to go through the usb cable.
May 20, 2020 4:43 AM # 
I've had similar problems with the FR 310 and 910 (with ANT stick), always after a Garmin Express update. Usually have to reinstall the device or in one case, wait for their next update.
May 20, 2020 4:49 AM # 
May be something to do with the computer.
1. I regularly use the cable for both charging and download of my 235. AFAIK it hasn't malfunctioned.
2. I periodically get trouble having my Garmin 64S handheld recognised as a USB device. Its random, and I don't know whether my habit of trying the other USB ports actually works or just makes me feel i'm doing something.
3. I've been charging my cellphone by USB lately, since the wire with the wall plug appears to be faulty. I've been getting "USB device malfunctioned" messages from my computer when doing this in the last few days. But again not conclusive, am having trouble getting a good connection with the same wire into a power pack.
4. I had some odd failures of USB ports when I plugged in a USB charger that came with a headlamp I borrowed recently, but I can't be sure of the details, and the owner says its charging perfectly for him. Since that episode a restart seemed to get all USB ports functioning on a test device - my mouse.

So it's like a detective story.
May 20, 2020 5:05 AM # 
Also Gordhun, after charging does your 235 remain on the charging screen when you disconnect it from the usb cable? Mine does, so have to power it off and on anyway.

There's a new software update on Garmin Express, hopefully it will fix this.
May 20, 2020 5:29 AM # 
cmorse, Cristina et al - if you have no need for a smartphone or bluetooth device, then you have to go through the usb cable

Which means ... If you can't go through the usb cable, then you have a need for a smartphone or bluetooth device. :-)

For the record, I usually charge my 235 by USB from my computer. And, it syncs automatically when connected to the computer by USB (I guess Garmin Express is running in the background). It also syncs by Bluetooth through my phone.
May 20, 2020 6:57 AM # 
What does sync mean? To me it means the two devices are operating together or by chance is that what they call sending information from one device to the others? If the latter why don't they just say 'transferring'?
Until today the transfer via USB worked so well I didn't even know the FR 235 could transfer by bluetooth.
But folks I may have found the solution and therefore the problem. I washed out the metal pads on the watch. There certainly could have been a salt/dirt build up there and I used an emery board to lightly file the tips of the posts on the cable. The connection now works on one computer, two more to try when I get a round tuit.
Thanks for the advice.
May 20, 2020 7:19 AM # 
Sync is what happens when you drop it in the ocean while paddling (not recommended).
May 20, 2020 7:39 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I bought both a 735 and a 235, the latter intended for my son.

The 235 have always connected as a storage device, while the 735 now has entered its 5th iteration of failing to connect. Each time the workaround is to do the magic multi-button press to do a full reset, after which I have to redefine my profile and the tracking every second, using both gps & glonass, for both running and biking.

I.e. it is a hazzle so I tend to fall back on BT/cell phone uploads as a fallback for a while before I bite the bullet. I did manage to get it to reconnect once without a full reset, just a normal power cycle.
May 20, 2020 10:20 AM # 
if you have no need for a smartphone or bluetooth device,

Like a computer? Do people have computers today without bluetooth?

In any case, I’m glad to have learned about the usb cable option for syncing. Could be handy some day.
May 20, 2020 10:48 AM # 
Cleaning the contacts on the watch is a good move, related to what I said about reseating the contacts. I would not recommend the emery board because the posts may have plating on them that you don't want to remove/damage, though non-abrasive cleaning is a reasonable idea.

It's "sync" because... there's a set of data stored on the watch, and a matching set on the Garmin website, and it's synchronizing the two. I think that's their reasoning. Also "sync" is a short word that sounds cool.

(There are computers without Bluetooth in use out there. In my case, I have a FR10 which does not have any wireless capability at all, but which I've been very pleased with.)
May 20, 2020 11:12 AM # 
Cleaning the contacts typically solves this issue for me
May 20, 2020 11:57 AM # 
gordhun, Bluetooth is what happens when coronavirus closes all the dentists.
May 20, 2020 2:07 PM # 
Cleaning the contacts should help. Garmin suggested a bit of rubbing alcohol on a q-tip. Works for me on my fenix.
May 20, 2020 2:35 PM # 
Do people have computers today without bluetooth?

I disabled it on my laptop with Windows XP. My other machine runs Fedora.
Do you want creepy Bill Gates spying on you 24/7?
May 20, 2020 3:51 PM # 
And trying to cure your malaria?
(Cristina, at least, uses Apple products.)
May 20, 2020 4:05 PM # 
I also, for some reason, still use Facebook. Zuck spying on me 24/7 seems a lot scarier than Bill Gates doing it.
May 20, 2020 4:31 PM # 
Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop
May 20, 2020 4:37 PM # 
A phone without Bluetooth would be a more rare item, I think.
May 20, 2020 4:49 PM # 
Thanks folks.
The cleaning the watch and cable terminals seems to have done the trick but next time I'll use the rubbing alcohol and q-tip suggestion.
Also thank you for the information about bluetooth 'syncing'.
I do have one computer without bluetooth. It is a fairly old one and is used mostly as an old file archive. For instance if anyone wants photos from COC 2008 mine are stored on my Toshiba laptop.
Thanks for the laughs tRicky.
Zuck, Gates, spying on me? I don't care and their targeted ads are sometimes useful, sometimes funny, never really annoying.

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