How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TV-Tech1 Your Own Question
TV-Tech1, Technician
Category: Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 5316
Experience:  30 years servicing Tellys
Type Your Electronics Question Here...
TV-Tech1 is online now

I have a zumo which was given to me free by garmin as part

Customer Question

I have a zumo which was given to me free by garmin as part of their support for the recent Alpine Rally part sponsored by Rolls Royce for the 20 Ghost Club.Despite charging the screen remains completely blank.others who were also given these Garmin have found that if subjected to charge while in a car they go blank.Please advise .
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Electronics
Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I'm TV Tech1 and I'll be working with you to identify and help you resolve your problem.


My first concern is that while you have charged the Zumo, you didn't state that you connected it to your computer and registered it with Garmin. Garmin does protect their GPS units from theft, so registration of the unit is pretty much the very first thing that should be done after charging it up. These units don't work straight out of the box, they do require the model, serial number of the unit, and Garmin Communicator installed on your computer. It's best you do this on the home computer so you can unlock the unit, download updates, set your account with your name and password. You may have an Authentication code found in your Zumo box too. I'm not 100% sure about that, but the Garmin GPS and the box contents are recommended be with you when you start the registration process.


Overall, it sounds quite odd that several people have experienced the same exact issue. If registering these units has been done, then I do question the enviroment that these were stored in.

If these units were stored in excessive may make the batteries unchargable and would explain why several people have all had the same occurance with their Zumos.


But other than those two possibilities...those units should be turning on, showing the Garmin startup logo and proceeding to the user menu.




Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The units were all provided to us by a Garmin rep in Vienna after any earlier unit had failed many drivers.We were driving 1914 cars and had no facility to register as you say but this was done prior to attaching the units to our vehicles What may have happened is that in these early cars you can chose whether you have the dynamo charging the battery or not and many units caused trouble as mine did within an hour or two of driving.So it may be that putting on the charging mechanism has wiped the should talk to the team at Garmin who were handling all the issues for us as drivers.It was difficult for them to have so much trouble with the units when they were sponsoring the kit to show off to Rolls-Royce drivers!
Sorry to be a complicated case for you,but someone in your UK team is very familiar with this issue,as they sorted it for tween tour so other drivers.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

Interesting situation I find here, it does sound like you have already figured out the scenario was caused by the dynamo charge versus a regulator/alternator based charge. I suspect the solution was to charge the battery with the dynamo, then switch to charging the GPS with the battery, but not at the same time.


Presently the only way I find to protect the GPS is to build an adaptor incorporating a pi filter that feeds a 12 volt regulator that then connects to a 12 volt cigarette adaptor so the GPS can still be adapted to newer vehicles.


A pi filter is nothing more than 2 capacitors with a coil mounted between them to reduce ripple, then past that a zener diode rated above 12 volts to limit inductive kickback, then a standard 12 volt regulator to provide a ripple free 12 volts to the GPS adaptor.


I really would have expected the battery would have protected the GPS from any spikes/ripple ...but it sounds like the connection to older vehicles needs further isolation.


A pi filter followed by a solid state 12 volt regulator would stop the issue you have. I would even consider the 12 volt regulator adequate, but not knowing the nature of the charging system in older vehicles compared to generators and alternators, I can only assume the filtering to be non-existent. And Garmin does need a consistent 12 volts for vehicles, or 5 volts using USB adaptors.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So how do I restart the Garmin?I will not have the dynamo on charge in future so that should isolate the problem.But key question now is how to get Garmin going?
Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

It really depends on how the units got damaged. Did it damage the hardware or only the software.


Bad ripple voltages can damage both.


If you connect your Zumo to the computer and connect it to Garmin Communicator, does your computer recognize the USB connection first? Does Communicator then connect to the Zumo?


If it does, then the hardware is likely ok, and downloading the original operating system software on the Zumo would restore the unit.


From what you stated previously, the startup screen doesn't even appear, and a blank screen could be a "lit, but blank screen" or a "not lit blank screen"

Lit but blank at least indicates the hardware is partially responding.

And I'm sure you've pressed and held the power button for 8 seconds to reset the hardware, correct?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes,button has been pressed.As the Garmin was provided to us to put straight into our cars,I do not have any computer connector.Is this something you can send or is there an outlet where I can go to get this all working.I see your call centre is in Hampshire not far from where I am based.Is that a possibility ?otherwise I fear we may go round in circles without getting it to start.Please advise.
Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

Let me ask you...are you still on the road and involved, and are the Garmin people available to assist you?


My first thought is if they are, they could bang out a few simple adaptors to work with the older cars.


I'm actually in the USA myself, so all I can do is recommend a solution and see if the local Garmin employees nearby can perform for your group.

That's what I hope for.


Do you remember Radio Shack and Tandys over there? We still have Radio shacks, and they are practically in every large and small town where I live in Indiana. Been there, seen them.


The Pi filter, regulator parts...they're in stock


This page here, it has four different adaptors you can use to build a better regulator.


But it also brought up a much more "Adaptable adaptor"


You have AC adaptors included with your Zumos??

If so, the easiest way to protect your Zumo from the dynamo is to consider using an inverter for power tools, and I take it you have a 12 volt to 220 Vac inverter practically everywhere . We have them not only in Radio Shack, but in numerous lumberyards, and they can handle a measly spike from a dynamo.


To be honest, I suspect the Garmin team is going to have to get new units, if they already had to replace them once before.

But to AVOID them getting eaten up by the dynamos...we either build regulators ourselves with local nearby part suppliers, or we adapt and improvise by running the Zumos through their AC adaptors and a 12 volt to 220 volt inverter.

We use 110, so even saying "220 volt inverter" makes me think I'm running a Lincoln arc welder with it, and I'm not.


No matter what option...we need something that can filter that 12 volt supply from the vehicles.


And there is no way that any Garmin employee or Electronic Technician or Engineer would ever consider adapting the vehicle to meet today's vehicle standards. That is the "Untouchable/Do not modify" part of the system we deal with.

Your dynamos and vehicles are off limits to us.


And I honestly hope Top Gear does a special segment on your group. Or the Discovery Channel or Velocity does. There's nothing like seeing a Vintage automobile in HD on TV.


So, all in all....any of these options I suggest, help you in the situation you find yourself in?


I hope they do, because if I was there....I'd have to come up with solutions with what is locally available.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No ,I need to be able to get someone in the UK to get the Zumo working.The vehicle runs most of the time without the need for a dynamo so the key is to know how to unlock the software(so it can also be used on a normal car).What is the way ahead please?

Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

Ok, the first thing we need to do is reload the operating software, but it does have to be connected to Garmin Connect with a USB cable and computer. You mentioned you don't have a cable for that connection.


I know most inns usually have a computer available for customers. The cable is a standard USB to Mini or USB to micro cable like this --


You should be able to connect the GPS if you can find that cable, and most stores like electronic and multi-stores/big box stores will have them. In fact the inn may have one available.


You can try that this evening. Other than that we are stuck waiting until tomorrow.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have the cable and have tried to connect but cannot get on to connect for zumo,just for fitness products.Guidance please

Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

Ok, let's look at the Zumo's model number. They should have a dedicated page for it.{f0a89a90-030a-11dc-e9ab-000000000000}/Motorcycles/{2f4da1e0-030c-11dc-e9ab-000000000000}


And yes...the Zumo was actually designed for motorcycles, but I suspect the reason they use that is because the mounts work better on vehicles in your group's age bracket. That or motorcycle charging systems are a little rougher, and are closer to an older vehicle's filtering systems.

Personally...The battery is nothing more than a gigantic capacitor with huge storage capacity to them. But the whole concept of lighting up a cigarette....they could have cared less if the lighter got a smooth 12 Volt DC to them. And that's why I'm not assuming it is smooth.


I hope that Url I posted takes you directly to all the Zumo models. It shows up on my computer. If not, here's a 4 step procedure to select your Zumo model from that Url --


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for this,but still cannot download as per your red illustrated instructions.,so have not yet been able to restart software.Any further advice?

Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

Ok, the final answer will be in how your GPS and computer responded to each other when the USB cable was connected to the GPS.


Did the computer recognize that it had connected to the GPS via the USB connection?

And when the GPS was turned on, did Garmin connect respond at all to it?

If we got no response, then the GPS hardware is damaged, we need new Garmins.


If the GPS did connect, we need new software re-written to the GPS.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It remains completely dead.Where do i return it to?

Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

I'll have to look that up. Did anyone from Garmin give you a phone number to call them directly? You found a rep in Vienna, and I would suspect they would connect you to the nearest rep in your present area.


I honestly don't think that connecting to Garmin's Warranty replacement centre is the best way to get an exchange. Garmin is interested in "looking Good" by sponsoring your club, and they should have provided you with a contact person throughout your tour.


I would want that person available to me.


Now, I was making notes to you earlier about how to know if the Zumos need replaced or not.


I have important information here, but it's MORE for me, than for you. Essentially it's just info on how I would protect the Zumos from getting hurt again.

You may want to look over the radio part and the magneto part. I think they used coils and distributors back in 1914 but the techonology was only 20 years old at the time.




Ok, the final answer will be in how your GPS and computer responded to each other when the USB cable was connected to the GPS.


Did the computer recognize that it had connected to the GPS via the USB connection?

And when the GPS was turned on, did Garmin connect respond at all to it?

If we got no response, then the GPS hardware is damaged, we need new Garmins.


If the GPS did connect, we need new software re-written to the GPS.


Note this url --


And note the model number is XXXXX I doubt you have a 200, but model numbers are specific to firmware and vice versa. It's like installing a Cadillac engine into your would never do it, and anyone that does would not be in your club.

Plus it won't fit properly, and all sorts of bad stuff would occur. But I need that as my reference point.


Right now I am honestly thinking the Zumos are hardware damaged and unlikely to be repairable.


Plus I really think the next Zumos need to be connected to Garmin's site, new accounts need to be setup first and foremost, I would hope that Garmin's web updater would transfer your firmware to your account (not just store it on the computer you're connected to) and let you download updates.


THEN...before you even connect your Zumo to your Rolls...

1] Does your Zumo come with an AC charger? You need want it, and you want a DC to AC Converter to protect the Zumo.


I don't know if any of your Rolls Royce have radios...I don't even know if they work if they are available. But I do know that old radios can generate massive spikes with their reed based multivibrators, the magneto is another source of possible destruction, the dynamo is another...and the only real way I believe these units can be protected is using a DC to AC converter and your AC charger.

Other than that maybe a solar powered charger, but where would you find those in a village?



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the help.I am now back in Uk and will work out where to deliver it to.Thank you

Expert:  TV-Tech1 replied 4 years ago.

Ok, I hope Garmin will get you new Zumos. Talk to them about what we discussed, the inverters to protect the units.


I'm pretty sure thats a good solution to your issue, but maybe they sell a product that was designed to protect the GPS that way.


I mean....who knows, maybe they have a tractor division that needs a specialized power supply to protect their "specialized GPS units" used for planting crops.


In all honesty, you sometimes have to think "outside the box" and brainstorm together with others, and that's what I'm doing right now. I do hope that Garmin has a special charger besides the standard charger we all use. Other than that...go for the AC inverter and the AC charger for the Zumo.


I'm pretty darn sure Garmin wants a solution too. That's what I can offer.