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I resurrected my dead LINK

Hi, Having had the Link for just over a year and getting problems with finding the Link had discharged its battery in under a week I wasn't too happy with the response that it should be left on charge until next outing. Not good for the Lithium battery or the environment.

Well, last November it finally gave up the ghost. The unit would vibrate when on charge and sometimes I could get the unit to stop vibrating by slowly pulling the USB plug out and in of the wall socket. However no matter how many days I left it plugged into a 2.1A outlet it wouldn't switch on. I wrote to Cindy and she said as it was out of warranty then there was nothing that could be done. This is a design defect because in the Link instructions it recommends, when storing the Link for a length of time, to store it fully charged for up to three months. That really would kill the damn thing if the battery was deep discharged over that period of time.

Then I have just read that the Link has been discontinued!!! Now, my Toyota which is eight years old has just been recalled by the manufacturers for a power management update and an airbag replacement. Three years out of warranty!!! If the Link cannot hold its charge without having to have the charger plugged in all of the time then I suggest that these units that had the design defect should have bee recalled and either repaired or replaced.

Anyway, that's not going to happen so I decided to do my own update and get the Link back on it's feet because the whole system is bloody great and I missed it!!!

So, last November I purchased a battery from China 40x30x5 mm 800mAh 3.7V. it never arrived. So in January I complained a received a refund. I'm still waiting the arrival of the second one I ordered.

Then I thought, what if I removed the original battery and hook up a larger capacity Lithium battery in a small thin case that could slip into my back pocket. So I found a source of Lithium batteries form RS Components here in the UK and they offered next day delivery. So I bought a 2,000mAh 3.7V battery and a suitable small case.85x48x15mm (much smaller than my Samsung Galaxy 5 that I pair the Link with) and waited their arrival which arrived today.

I undid the two screws and gently removed the lid. I gently unplugged the antenna and unsoldered the Red & Black battery wires. Make a note of where the Red and Black wires go on the circuit board. The battery has a double sided sticky pad so carefully and slowly lever the battery out. I measured the voltage of the faulty battery....0.0V. It was as flat as a pancake. I then drilled a 4.5mm hole in the base corner to the right of the micro USB hole. I then threaded some thin 6 core alarm cable through the hole and stripped back the outer covering and soldered the Red and Black wires to the circuit board. Using some quick setting epoxy resin I coated the cable and case with the goo inside of the case. This was to stop any ingress of rain water that may be around (loads in the UK) and when set will stop the cable being pulled and stressing the solder joints. After the goo has set I replaced the antenna plug and closed the lid and screwed it up. I then connected the battery to the other end of the wire and the Link burst into life. Linked to the phone and read the tag on my 5 iron. Result!!!

I took the lid off of the new battery case and drilled a 4.5mm hole to take the other end of the cable. Stripped some of the outer covering away and soldered the Red and Black wires together making sure they didn't short and insulated them. The best bet is to use a piece of double sided tape to secure the new battery in the case and depending on what thickness of case you use maybe a bit of packing. (Folded Tissue.) I also glued the cable inside of the case for the same reasons as I did for the cable in the Link.

I then plugged the unit into a charger and left it to fully charge overnight. The battery was showing a 25% charge when I first tested the setup. That was three hours ago on a 2.1A charger. It is recommended that the original battery has a six hour charge when first received so I'm going to leave this on charge overnight.

So to those who are interested in this project I hope I have given you some ideas as how to keep your Link going. If you are not handy with a soldering iron or intricate drilling, seek out a local Radio Ham or electronic hobbyist to carry out this task, A few drinks should be reward enough but give them to him/her after the job. :) Let us know how you get on. Any questions, just ask.

Following on from last night's posting I will be adding a battery on/off switch to the battery case to prevent the battery discharging once charged between rounds whether it's a week, month or many months. Also interrupting the power to the circuit board will reset the device so when out on course should the unit misbehave then instead of hunting around for a paper clip, (yeah there's always one or two on the tees right?) simply switch the on\off switch off and back on again and the device is reset. As the memory is non volatile then strokes recorded on the device, if used in stand alone mode, are not lost but remain in memory.

I hope you find this article useful. I'd love to hear/read your thoughts.

Nice work Peter! I have had exactly the same problem as you (and i suspect most other users), the 48 hour charge worked once but next time out i left the link in my golf bag for 2 days and it flattened the battery again! This time the 48 hr charge had no impact so I just left it on charge,checked it every day and 10 (yes TEN) days later the light was green. I, too, have tried to find a replacement battery bur no success. I'm not sure about the external battery idea but I'm sure it wil work for you and the on/of switch is critical as there is clearly a design fault which drains the battery quickly. I will keep looking. Bad service I'm afraid by golfpad and they will go out of business soon i suspect,shame.

Hi Richard - thank you for your comment and feedback. Golf Pad prides itself on delivering the highest level of service possible to all users. Our core product, Golf Pad GPS remains at the heart of what we do. We are developing several new and exciting features and products - including a stand-alone watch feature and tournament management software.  Our aim is to continue to make it the most feature rich and user friendly golf GPS app on the market. In addition, we recently launched iPhone compatible TAGS.  

I see a resolved support request from you from several months ago, but nothing more recent. If you haven't already contacted our support team, I encourage you to do so. so we can see what options may be available to help you resolve your situation.  

Hi Cindy, you're right about the resolved case,although i did have to send the Link back to the US from the UK and wait whilst it was sorted but then it has gone wrong again and I see that you are no longer offering the Link product and also appear to be limiting support for units more than 12 months old. I will let you kmow when it goes wrong next time. 

Same problem for me is obviously a know defect.

Happened to me once after about a week finally got it to work again.

Then have been charging the LINK after every use to make sure it didn't happen again. Charged it after a round and 5 days later would not turn on again and haventt been able to get it to turn on since.

I have had it on charge for about 5 days and nothing.

It's a joke the lack of service especially considering it's an obvious fault.

Hi Adrian - thanks for your post. I'm not sure if you've already reached out to our support team about the charging issue you are having. If not, please email so we can help you out. We are here to do everything we can for our customers. We're here to help you solve the issue. 

Hi Adrian, Thanks for your reply and sorry to hear of your similar problems. How long have you had your Link? Mine was just over 12 months old and Cindy said it was out of warranty and that was that. are you in the UK or USA? Having used my redesigned set up I can say that it really does work. I have noticed though that using the on and off switch to disconnect the battery from the Link does, after a while, require the Link unit to re-install version 7 of its software. Wasn't a problem and hopefully Golf Pad will leave version 7 on their server to enable us to download when required. The link was such an innovative product. It was a shame it had this design fault whereby the electronics required a permanent supply to maintain its volotile software memory. Cindy, when are you going to publish Golf Pads first newsletter? Regards, Peter

I have had my Link since the first funding and have used it regularly year round. It now does only 11 holes and from then only occasionally finds the satellites and registers the shots for a hole or two and then nothing despite restarts. Time before last I had a little portable battery booster/charger with me and plugged that onto the Link and finished the round OK. Yesterday I did not have the booster with me and had to manually enter the gross number of shots for the remaining 5 holes.

So just when my Link finally started working properly, for 2 rounds anyway, I plugged the USB lead on to charge it and there was nothing to plug into. Removed the cover to find that the socket had come off the board and so the Link is finally laid to rest. Such a disappointment. Has anyone tried the Game Golf device? Looks very similar but not many bad reviews, I might move to that.

Many more problems than listed with mine.  Now wont read the tags. I gave up and moved on to a Galaxy watch.  No happy about time and money I spent on the link. 

There seems to be a growing ground swell Cindy of disgruntled users. Surely you can't just sweep this under the carpet? If the golfing press get hold of this then the reputation of Golf Pad will be in tatters. You say you're developing a watch; what for? What confidence will prospective purchasers have that the units produced won't develop a design fault and Golf Pad support washing their hands of it once again?

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I share all the above frustrations, I suspect that there can be no resolution as clearly Link is fundamentally flawed and to compensate all the purchasers would be prohibitively expensive. I didn't know about the watch but I have zero interest in that, there are already plenty of watch and tag options out there. The attraction for me was the ability to use this software on my Samsung smart watch and not fiddle around trying to find he NFC aerial on me phone in my back pocket. I have been told by support that they honoured the 12 month warranty which is industry standard and also that companies regularly take items out of production. I did suggest that usually this was because they were replaced with new improved versions, but because they were not fit for purpose. Would like to see link replacement device, perhaps like the Game Golf Pro, that doesn't need using at all. But would need to have extended warranty before I would invest more funds. Please do not bother with a watch, Shot Scope have already got there.

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I'm interested in the watch. I use one anyways for yardages instead of pulling out my phone. Now that iPhone supports NFC outside of ApplePay, watches having NFC readers, and issues with the Link, a reader on the watch for tagging is a logical choice. I think GolfPad has that in the works, and I look forward to it.

Shot Scope and some of the Garmin options don't interest me. I want to see the full hole map (new course, hazards), scorecard, etc., on my phone through the round when necessary, Plus the ability to see how I've played holes previously when looking through Playing History. And many other options that you currently get with the app.

When the watch tagging is operational, that will be one less thing to charge and carry with me. 

The Game Golf Pro is similar to the Arccos, meaning no actual tagging. A friend of mine has the Arccos, and I don't care for it. Misreads, batteries, carrying your clubs around the green 'upside' down (so they stay 'off'), carefully placing your wedge on the ground so it doesn't register a shot, etc., is a high price to pay for that one convenience. He has to monitor activity constantly to ensure it didn't pick up a shot it shouldn't have, and vice versa. He sees the features in my app, and wished he had got it instead.

So, yes. It's disappointing that the Link has had its problems. But moving to watch-based tagging is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

Thank you for your continued feedback. Sorry for any confusion about the watch. We are developing a stand-alone watch version of the Golf Pad GPA app. This means you'll be able to do all the essential functions on your watch while on the course. We're currently beta-testing this feature and will announce it when it's available and which watches are compatible.

As previously mentioned, effective November 1, 2018 new Golf Pad TAGS are now available for both iPhone and Android. Therefore, we've decided to stop LINK production. TAGS provide automatic game tracking at a more affordable price, allowing more golfers to enjoy this technology. Future innovation will focus on TAGS and continued user-friendly app features to give users the best possible experience.

If you have additional or new feedback on the subject of LINK, the warranty or other topics, please contact us via a support ticket so we can help you directly. It's the most effective way to resolve individual questions or concerns.