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The Garmin StreetPilot c330 mounted in a vehicle, using the windshield suction mount.
By Nicole Bremer Nash
The Garmin StreetPilot c330 is a great GPS navigation device, that’s been getting rave reviews. One thing the reviews don’t mention is the c330’s rugged toughness – something we had to tackle in order to crack it open.
Read my Geek Gift review of the Garmin StreetPilot C330 GPS Navigator.
The c330 comes with an AC cord for plugging into a car lighter, a suction mount that allows the unit to be mounted on the windshield or dashboard, and the unit itself — a small T.V.-like touch-screen unit.
Other side view
This model features an SB memory card slot, and one speaker on each side.
A simple nut and bolt on the back is the first step to cracking the c330 open.
Sawing on the c330
Removing the nut and bolt from the back did not allow the unit to be opened, so we had to get creative and saw all the way around to open the case.
Cracking the StreetPilot c330 open
Unscrewing, sawing, and prying didn’t work, so we decided to try driving over the unit. The c330 is built super-tough, with screws and glue points inside that cannot be accessed from the exterior.
Backing over the c330 with a mini-van finally cracked it open!
When the c330 finally cracked, there was a flash of orange and blue, and a good puff of smoke.
Partially open side view
At this point, the unit is still stuck together along one side.
Partially open other side view
The power and volume switches and USB port have been successfully released from the housing.
A considerable amount of force still had to be applied in order to force the unit apart.
The screen did not hold up well to being driven over.
Inside the unit-- battery and speakers.
Notice the blackened wires coming out of the battery. That’s probably what created the sparks and smoke when the unit was cracked open.
Covered circuit board
The metal plate in the middle is probably supposed to protect the circuit board from being touched by the battery wires. Note the blackened mark on the bottom left of the metal plate. That is probably where the batteries hit during the crack, causing the sparks and smoke.
Crushed USB port
Note the crushed USB port — it held up surprisingly well.
Exposed circuit board
The protective metal plate is easily lifted off the circuit board.
Exposed circuit board, close-up
A closer look at what the metal plate protects.
Lifting off the circuit board
Three screws removed, the circuit board still must be pried off due to glued bolts on all four corners.
Circuit ribbons under circuit board
Prying up one side of the circuit board reveals circuit ribbons that will need to be detached.
Pre-pried circuit board
A look at the interior side of the circuit board before the hard prying begins.
The power button is still mostly intact. The StreetPilot c330 is surprisingly tough.
Circuit board removed
The circuit board is pried off, and flipped over here. You can see how it would fit back into the monitor side of the unit.
Circuit board fully exposed
The monitor side of the circuit board also had protective metal plates that were easily lifted off.
Screen and monitor
The screen did not hold up to the cracking, but the monitor looks as if it might still work if put into a new unit.