Forerunner rebuild

Erin and I both use my Garmin Forerunner 305 to track runs. I use it for biking and swimming, too (though not in the pool — I clip it to a starting block and use it as a lap counter). Like quite a few Forerunners, the speakers were dead on mine, but other than that, it was working well. Then three months ago, it started to flake out, shutting down unexpectedly. One day the whole top of the unit fell off in my hand. Doh. I did some Googling and found out this wasn’t unusual. Not a very good design… I’m pretty surprised that a unit which claims water resistance has no apparent sealing rings and speakers which admit moisture.

I broke out the electrical tape, and thought I had a free (if ugly) fix. I did, for about two weeks. Then the unit started flaking out again. More research showed the waterproof 310XT doesn’t work that well swimming. And it’s pricy. So we sent the Forerunner off to Garmin for the $80 out-of-warranty refurbishment.

Here’s how that worked: they sent us back a new unit. Cool! When I opened the box and powered up the new 305, I laughed–the buttons felt totally different than our old, well-used machine. And the speaker actually works. So if your 305 is showing its age, and you’re not ready to pop for a replacement or upgrade, this might be a good idea.

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