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Leupold GX-3i -- no response from buttons


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#1 Muse

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 08:04 PM

I bought it new almost 5 years ago, never used it much. It's not suffered any kind of abuse. I hadn't used it in at least a year (didn't play), maybe more. Played a few days ago and I'm getting nothing when I press the buttons. Changed out the battery for a new one, same behavior (i.e. none). The new battery shows 3.24 volts with a multimeter, the old one 3.05 volts.

I searched online and found a thread where people talked about over voltage protection for a Leupold laser rangefinder. But at 3.05 volts on the old battery, I can't imagine that it wouldn't work.

I should maybe not have left the old battery in there, but the battery itself looks fine. Of course, it's lithium, non-rechargable.

Any ideas? Is it just plain dead and a throw away? I seem to remember having a similar problem and it started working again, this was a few years ago, but I don't remember any details.

Edited by Muse, 04 August 2018 - 08:05 PM.


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#2 adsc4s

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 10:31 AM

Call Leupold, get an RMA# and return.  They will inspect and if it is possible, repair.  

However, more than likely, they will send you a brand new version of the 3 �.

Greatest customer service ever.

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#3 the bishop

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 10:34 AM

even a dead battery will sometimes register normal voltage if you just put a voltmeter across it.  its the ability to sustain a load.
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#4 1t2golf

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 06:57 PM

View Postadsc4s, on 05 August 2018 - 10:31 AM, said:

Call Leupold, get an RMA# and return.  They will inspect and if it is possible, repair.  

However, more than likely, they will send you a brand new version of the 3 �.

Greatest customer service ever.

They don't do that anymore per another thread. iirc, they offer you a 60% discount if the rangefinder is no longer under warranty.
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#5 larrybud

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 08:01 PM

So no display at all? Probably a broken wire to the battery compartment or from the battery to the main board.


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#6 Muse

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 12:04 PM

View Post1t2golf, on 06 August 2018 - 06:57 PM, said:

View Postadsc4s, on 05 August 2018 - 10:31 AM, said:

Call Leupold, get an RMA# and return.  They will inspect and if it is possible, repair.  

However, more than likely, they will send you a brand new version of the 3 �.

Greatest customer service ever.

They don't do that anymore per another thread. iirc, they offer you a 60% discount if the rangefinder is no longer under warranty.
That's exactly what I was told (Mike on phone). He didn't give me an RMA, though. He told me to include a note with my name, address, phone#, email address and a short description of the problem and they will get back to me with their determination. If unfixable, they'll offer me a new RF at ~60% discount.

A broken wire? Well, I gotta say I treated it great, don't remember dropping it, certainly, and used it almost not at all. Probably got less than 200 readings from it all in all. What I use on most every hole is my uPro GPS. However antiquated and unsupported it is, it's still my go-to device, it's so easy to use... much less work than a RF, which I have to point at something. I use the RF if I'm uncertain... the GPS can be very wrong sometimes for some reason.

The battery said 3.05v with multimeter, however I had two new batteries in the fridge since I bought the RF, and I tried one of them in it (said 3.24v with multimeter) and still zero response.

Mike had me put a dime on + end of battery and press the cap over it (wouldn't twist shut like that) to test if there wasn't enough pressure to get battery continuity, but still nothing (I knew it wouldn't because I'd already tried ulling out the negative terminal spring some with a needle nose, but didn't tell him that).

I mailed the RF with note to them yesterday.

Edited by Muse, 07 August 2018 - 12:06 PM.


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#7 larrybud

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 08:11 PM

Sometimes cold solder joints happen and just some jostling in the cart or trunk can make a wire come loose.

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#8 Muse

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:42 PM

Got email from Leupold today asking me to contact them about the GX-3i. I call them and the guy says they can't fix it, they'll offer me any of their rangefinders at 60% off the MSRP price they have at their website. They will add on CA tax, the shipping is free. They have around 8 different models shown along with the MSRP. The GX-2i is a step below what I have. At Amazon it's said to have an unlimited warranty, I should find out if Leupold would extend me that before I buy. The cost to me would be $188.77. I have not much idea that it's a good one for me to get. I sure feel burned on the GX-3i. I doubt I got more than 200 readings off it since I bought it new in 2013 for around $360. It was never dropped, gotten wet or mistreated. The guy said they tried a new battery, poked around some inside, decided it was dead or something.

I'm looking at the Golfbuddy LR5 right now. Looks like good bang for the buck at under $150, Leupold's 60% off their own MSRP offering notwithstanding. I'm unconvinced they couldn't have fixed my old one but just didn't want to bother.

Edited by Muse, 10 August 2018 - 10:13 PM.


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#9 Bowlorgolf

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 05:23 AM

Remember it is 5 years old and an electronic item and as the OP said being in your bag or cart it will be bounced around.  IMO they make a great unit and 60% off a new one is reasonable. Get one and if you don’t like sell it and get the LR5 and play a round on Leupold after sell & purchase.

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#10 Muse

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 10:43 AM

View PostBowlorgolf, on 11 August 2018 - 05:23 AM, said:

Remember it is 5 years old and an electronic item and as the OP said being in your bag or cart it will be bounced around. IMO they make a great unit and 60% off a new one is reasonable. Get one and if you don’t like sell it and get the LR5 and play a round on Leupold after sell & purchase.
I'm not comprehending this. You're suggesting buy a Leupold and what? Sell it new on ebay and keep the LR5 (just got that idea), or use the new Leupold and (if I don't like it)sell it as "As New" on ebay and go with the Golfbuddy LR5?  

I spent 6 hours last night researching the RF scene, whew! Came upon an LR5 review where the guy noted that it's slow compared to high end RFs. It might take a second, even two whereas the high end units take maybe 1/2 second. So, I searched a bit and saw that the Nikon Coolshot 40 is a 1/2 second, also lighter (and probably smaller) than the LR5. It's more expensive, though. Then there's the Nikon Coolshot 20, which is way light at 4.4 oz. Haven't been able to find out how fast it is, though. It's a little cheaper than the 40.

Slept on it all and am thinking the LR5 still looks like a decent idea.

Edited by Muse, 11 August 2018 - 10:48 AM.


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#11 Muse

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 10:46 AM

View PostBowlorgolf, on 11 August 2018 - 05:23 AM, said:

Remember it is 5 years old and an electronic item and as the OP said being in your bag or cart it will be bounced around.  IMO they make a great unit and 60% off a new one is reasonable. Get one and if you don’t like sell it and get the LR5 and play a round on Leupold after sell & purchase.
Oh, OK, I think you are saying to buy an expensive Leupold and see if I like it, sell it and make a net profit which should be enough to buy the LR5 and have enough left over to pay for a round of golf. That's what I make of this, although I don't think the profit would be enough. Best I could do, I figure, is buy and sell the top of the line Leupold New on ebay and the profit would cover a new LR5, and that's it.

Edited by Muse, 12 August 2018 - 10:47 AM.


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#12 ecfritts

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 02:05 PM

I sent mine in to them and got the same response.  I was really hoping for a new unit but then again I can't really blame them - my unit was probably over 5 years old.  Now I have to decide if I want to drop more $ on another Leupold device.  Was not really wanting to drop another $200-$250.

Edited by ecfritts, 02 September 2018 - 02:05 PM.

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#13 Bowlorgolf

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 02:24 PM

Demo the Nikon 40i you might like it and fine it at a great price. Remember that electronics can change significantly in 5 years for the better. So $200-$250 today buys something better than 5 years ago.

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#14 Muse

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 02:27 PM

View Postecfritts, on 02 September 2018 - 02:05 PM, said:

I sent mine in to them and got the same response.  I was really hoping for a new unit but then again I can't really blame them - my unit was probably over 5 years old.  Now I have to decide if I want to drop more $ on another Leupold device.  Was not really wanting to drop another $200-$250.
Yeah, if I do buy a Leupold now it would be to turn around and sell it new on Ebay and pocket a profit. I bought a Golf Buddy LR5 for $120 total a few weeks ago and am very happy with it. True, it is useless in fog but other than that, it does the job. It's simple, about the same size and weight as the Leupold and way cheaper. Got mine through Walmart.com, a 3rd party, Buyer's Direct... best price I could find. I find myself using it a ton more than I ever used my Leupold, don't know why, I just like it! Read a lot of reviews before making my decision. I use my old Callaway uPro GPS more, but I'm going to the rangefinder a lot, seems like 5x more than I ever did with the Leupold.

Edited by Muse, 02 September 2018 - 02:36 PM.


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#15 Muse

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 02:33 PM

View PostBowlorgolf, on 02 September 2018 - 02:24 PM, said:

Demo the Nikon 40i you might like it and fine it at a great price. Remember that electronics can change significantly in 5 years for the better. So $200-$250 today buys something better than 5 years ago.
I read some reviews for the Nikon 40i but decided on the Golf Buddy. Never did demo anything, just went with info I garnered online. I think the Nikons are all significantly more expensive than the Golf Buddy LR5, which is really fine except maybe in fog. But I don't remember using the Leupold in fog mode successfully. I hardly used it at all, really. The LR5 has no slope or tone or vibration, there are versions that have that but I opted not to bother with them. Especially the vibration/tone, I don't need. Slope, I figure I can estimate... there's so many things to consider when planning your shot, it's just one of many factors.


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