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Posts posted by AlunS

  1. Makes sense. The altimiter works by sensing air pressure. If the case flexes enough to change the volume of the case faster than the external vent thingy will let it equalize, it's going to change the air pressure.

    The old etrex models with barometric altimeter did this as well, but to a lesser degree. I noticed a glitch like this every time I took it out of the holder and squeezed the case a little. I don't think it was so extreme that it produced a glitch every time I pressed a button though, that's very poor. My current GPS, and Oregon 550t, doesn't suffer from this at all, but has a very solid sturdy case which would explain it.

  2. Unless you are traversing up and down lots of remarkably steep slopes over a large distance, the distance travelled over a smooth earth is very close to what you actually did most times.


    Having said that - I do not believe that the Oregon is including vertical travel.

    Yes, it makes surprisingly little difference. Even on a recent hike I did of around 20km with over 1250m of climb it only made about 0.2km difference, about 1% at most, so don't sweat it.

  3. I've been running some tests over the past few days, and have seen some really odd behaviour.


    For example, today I left it in an outside location that was at about 10 degrees celsius today with the back-light permanently full on, just as a test. It went down from 4 bars to 1 in a little over 1.5 hours and then gave a low battery alarm after a further 45 mins. So, I went to the on-board diagnostics screen to see what the battery voltage was (2.37V as it happens, which to me seems quite a reasonable voltage, certainly not empty, for NiMH cells), and then powered off and on again to get out of the diagnostics screen. Not only did it then come back with 2 bars displaying (remember it had shown Low Battery only a few minutes earlier!), but has now been on for nearly 4.5 hours and is now showing 1 bar and still going strong.


    A previous test at room temperature (22 celsius) showed a total run time of 8hr 15 mins, but took 1.5 hrs to go from 4->3 and from 3->2, but 2.5 hrs to go from 2->1 and then 1.25 hrs from 1->Low battery. Even after showing Low Battery it then carried on for another 1.5hrs before finally failing.


    I'm now beginning to suspect the battery indicator is actually connected to an internal random number generator rather than to any battery condition measurement circuitry.

  4. Which version of software are you using? 2.70 is the latest stable and there were some fixes WRT to battery meter stability in prior versions.

    Using 2.70 at the moment. I can't see any mention in the release notes about battery meter stability in the release notes anywhere for the x50 series (there are some for the x00 series though .. maybe they didn't make it through to the x50 series, but that would seem unlikely).

  5. I am not happy with the battery life on the 550 either.

    I was able to get alot more juice on the Colorado 300 than I am getting on the 550.


    I am wondering if besides the altimeter if there is other functions that could be using power even with the unit off?

    Well, that's the thing .. I'm not sure there actually is a problem with the consumption. The fact that the battery indicator fluctuates between empty and 2 bars while I'm actually using it, plus the fact that batteries that are being shown as nearly empty on the Oregon are showing as full on my Vista indicates to me that there's something up with the discharge curves the Oregon is using to display the indicator.

  6. I distinctly remember all the problems with the etrex H series (I also have a Vista HCx) when they first came out, and all the problems Garmin seemed to be having getting to grips with the Mediatek chipset, so when I got my Oregon 550t, which I read had yet another different chipset, i assume rather naively that seeing as the Oregon series had been out a while already that they would have sorted any problems out.


    With my Vista HCx, the odometer distance, and the distance as calculated from my track logs were (after many s/w updates) as near as makes no difference identical. But with my 550t, I'm again noticing discrepancies between the two. OK, not as much as in the early days of the MTK chipset, maybe 5-10%, but annoying nonetheless.


    I've tried searching here to see if anyone else was having issues, but couldn't find anything.

  7. I've just got an Oregon 550t, and am having some issues with the battery indicator.


    I'm mainly using 2000mAh Eneloops, which I understand aren't the longest lasting batteries out there, but they were what I was using in my Vista HCx up until now, and I could get a whole days hiking (7-8 hours) out of them, and the Vista's battery indicator would hardly budge from full, maybe one bar from full at most, and that's with quite a lot of use of the backlight (my eyes aren't that great!)


    Now, with the Oregon, it appears that even with a fully charged set of batteries, it barely stays on 4 bars for 10-15 minutes before it drops to 3. 2 bars seems to appear after a few hours and then it stays on that for ages. Also, if I'm actively using the device, flicking between pages, scrolling the map screen etc., the battery indicator jumps up and down like a yo-yo, sometimes even showing the low battery indicator, but then if I stop, it jumps back up to 2 bars again.


    What's even weirder, is if I get home and put those batteries in my Vista HCx, it shows a full battery indicator!


    So, is anyone else having these issues? I've tried several sets of Eneloops, and even the Garmin batteries that came with the unit, all with the same result.


    EDIT: Also in the Oregon manual there's mention of a special battery type in the setup for Precharged NiMH cells, but that doesn't appear on mine at all, any idea why there should be anything special about the discharge curve for these kinds of batteries?

  8. It makes a little more sense if you know that, in the UK, "fell" means a moor or a highland plateau.

    True, but it's really confined to Northern England though. It's an anglicization of the Scandinavian word fjäll which means mountain. There are many other examples of Scandinavian words appearing in the names of features, or village names in that part of the world. It's all the Vikings' fault, you see :laughing:

  9. Just to add ... a guy in our hiking club yesterday had a brand new Venture HC which exhibited the same thing, i.e. only showing one version (2.8 as he'd updated it already) on the S/W version page. His was Bravo version 3 too.

  10. That's interesting. I do not get anything that indicates GPS SW Version on mine. I'll try and post a screenshot tonight.


    AlunS, can you run the diagnostics on your Venture HC and post a shot of that? How old is the unit? I just got mine 10 days ago. I'm wondering if there is something different about the newer shipping units.

    Here you go ...




    Bravo version 2 as you can see. The unit is just short of 1 year old.

  11. I found that if I went to the System page and looked up Software version that it would only give me the system software version and my ID# but not the GPS chipset version.

    This is the s/w version page from my wife's Venture HC ... updated without any problems at all.



  12. In the UK you can get tidal predictions for today and up to 6 days in advance for free from ...




    So just print out the tide tables for some of the places you want to visit in advance (assuming you're not away from a computer for more than 7 days before your visit to a particular place!).


    On the other hand, if you're wanting to visit some of these small islands separated by causeways, you can't always rely on tide predictions alone, as you don't really know how much time either side if low tide you have to complete your crossing. In these cases it's best to Google the island in question and see what the recommended crossing times are, for example for Lindisfarne ...




    Unfortunately in the UK the UKHO (UK Hydrological Office) have copyright on tide information and it's not public domain (and therefore free to the likes of Garmin) like it would be in the US.

  13. Thanks for the link. I was previously running 2.60 and had good results and would like to try returning to that rev if possible. I'm noticing that rev 2.80 produces very noisy satellite signal strength. (signal strength bars are all over the place) I didn’t see this at all with rev 2.60. Also 2.80 drops satellites much easier.

    Maybe that's a good thing? Maybe it was the receiver hanging on too long to bad signals that was the cause of the drift problem?

  14. GPS Chipset Type M software version 2.80 and M2 out today. Not sure what models, but might be the etrexssss and/or the Colorados!!!




    Edit: OK, these should be for the "H" series etrexes and the Colorado, AFAIK!!

    Just updated to system FW 2.80 for my Vista HCx, and got this as well under "additional updates". I have also updated the wife's Venture HC. So yes, it'd definitely for the etrex H series Mediatek chipset, and I assume also Colorado's with the same chipset.

  15. eTrex Vista HCx Ver. 2.80 firmware Change History below.


    Changes made from version 2.70 to 2.80:

    - Fix 'Highway Page' shutdown issue with menu key operation.

    - Correct power-on failure issue.

    If you use webupdater, there's a GPS chipset update too, which brings it up to 2.80/2.80.

  16. Did the update, now we would like to know what a splash screen is and how to use it? Have checked garmin site and that did not help. We have the venture hc.



    It's the screen that first appears when you switch the unit on. I put my name and contact phone number on it with a kind request to return the unit if found.

  17. From what i can read it looks like the OS maps are routable. This would suggest that they are no just pure raster but a raster vector hybrid?

    Yes, I saw that too. My own take on it was that it was capable of using an installed routable map to route with, but that you could hide that map and display the OS map instead, and see the routing information with that as a backdrop, as it were.

  18. It's finally on the UK Garmin website!




    It's still not clear to me from the marketing-babble on the website whether these are actually raster maps or what they are. What did surprise me though was that they say they'll work on the Colorado 300 (only the 300 or others as well is not clear) and I thought the Oregon was the only one capable of displaying raster imagery.

  19. Updated mine as well, and the odometer is much improved ... from yesterdays short hike ...


    Recorded length : 17.4 km

    Track length (as reported by OziExplorer) : 17.32 km


    I still reckon the reported "stopped time" is waaaay over estimated by a factor of x2 at least. It reported 1h16m of stopping time in 5h19m, total time when the only significant stop was a 20min lunch break (it was raining too much to stop for any significant time!) But then, every GPSr I've ever owned has over reported stopping time like this.

  20. the mount they list doesn't fit. the micro sd card slot is in the way and it is too narrow for my unit. this bracket works for the older etrex units. i went to REI the other day and tried it out already so i was bummed and lucky i didn't buy it online before seeing it in person. i like the flush mount that they offer but it doesn't work. any suggestions for my bike mount?

    You have to remove the bracket itself from the supplied back cover and screw it into the threaded portion on the back of the Vista. The back cover supplied is for older etrex units that don't have the screw threaded part the newer ones have. In your case you can just throw that bit away.

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