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sammydee

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Posts posted by sammydee

  1. So much fail. If Milpitas had learned about geocaching before doing this. If Groundspeak had educated Milpitas before taking their money. If everything hadn't been done at the last minute in order to cash in on the Super Bowl.

     

    Milpitas looks bad. Groundspeak looks bad. The community is really annoyed. Everyone loses.

     

    Moral of the story: if Groundspeak is going to take money to promote more GeoTours, they need to do a better job of managing them. This one was clearly a massive failure on every level.

     

    The simple solution is still to relax the .1 mile limit for GeoTour caches. Then GeoTours can do what they want without impacting anyone else. Groundspeak's arbitrary rules caused the problem, they can solve the problem with an email. Reinstate the old caches and leave the GeoTour caches as they are.

     

    ...Sam

  2. Now the site's completely down.

     

    Server Error in '/' Application.

     

    Runtime Error

     

    Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

  3. This was with "Track Log Record Method" set to "Auto".

     

    On the GPS itself the track clearly shows that I walked all of each switchback, so the GPS itself recorded the complete track. But when exported into a GPX file it chose to really over-simplify it.

     

    As an experiment I've now set the unit to record based on time (one point every 20 seconds), and will walk the same switchbacks in a week or two. But I would have hoped that "auto" would properly mark the turns on the switchbacks without making me do the work for it....

     

    ...Sam

  4. Check out my track from today's hike vs. the trail imagery from Google Earth:

     

    wtf1.jpg

     

    I promise, I stayed on trail. Really!

     

    There's no tree cover, the GPS was on my shoulder in the proper orientation. I've seen cases before where the 62 seems to have inappropriately dumbed-down the recorded track, but this is the worst example I've seen to date.

  5. I upgraded my 62st from 2.60 to 2.70 tonight, and had nothing but trouble afterwards. The upgrade appeared to go well, but all the geocaches loaded into the GPS were gone. I confirmed that the GPX files were still on the internal storage and were still just fine, but the GPS wouldn't show any data from them.

     

    I also had trouble getting the GPS to mount as drives on the PC, and had to reboot both the PC and the GPS numerous times before it would appear.

     

    I eventually got the GPS mounted on the PC, and then deleted all the GPX files. I then rebooted the GPS and powered it back down. I then mounted the GPS again and copied my PQ GPX files back onto it. After that the GPS would finally display the cache info.

     

    SO ... I would be quite careful when upgrading from 2.60 to 2.70.

     

    ...Sam

  6. Yes, I think this is all about psychology.

     

    The conversation started with comments like, "if it's squeaking it's going to fail, break and leak". A reasonable reality-based concern.

     

    But a month later that's evolved into something quite different. Now folks seem no longer concerned that the squeak makes the unit likely to actually fail, but instead they just want to make the noise stop. So folks are actively opening up the cases (the failure they want to prevent) and sticking foreign items in just to make the noise stop.

     

    This is borderline crazy, of course. Surely opening the unit makes future leakage and damage MORE likely, not less. And since it seems now that the squeaking isn't related to anything that would cause future damage or leakage, "fixing" the squeaks ironically is likely to do more damage to the units than just leaving them alone. Oh, and violates the warranty, which would have protected them if in fact the squeaking units did fail.

     

    But human psychology being what it is, people are happier with a non-squeaking but opened and warranty-violated unit than with one under warranty, uncompromised, but that makes little noises. :unsure:

     

    Bottom line: Human beings are not always rational, but that's not news. B)

     

    ...Sam

  7. For what it's worth, I took the 62st on another 7+ mile geocaching hike today. We found 20 caches. The 62 was extremely accurate and easy to read and use. I completely disabled the built-in topo map, and instead used a calibrated version of the park map that I made using Google Earth following Garmin's procedure.

     

    Downloading caches and maps into the unit and uploading the track afterwards is simple and easy. Battery life was excellent.

     

    This is 4 long hikes that it's been on, in a variety of conditions including deep redwood tree cover. It's performed as well or better than any other GPS I have ever owned.

     

    In short, I'm very happy with the 62 at this point, when running the current beta firmware. Anyone want to buy a PN-40? :unsure:

     

    ...Sam

  8. Going back to the original question ... I don't think there's anything particularly exciting about "Tracks" in the PN-60 vs. what the Garmin 62s does. If "tracks" on the PN-60 was some sort of selling point for the unit, can you explain further?

     

    ...Sam

  9. I have yet to be able to figure out how to modify the coords so I can do the "next" stage of a multi. I have had to resort to using "mark" and generate a new waypoint.

     

    With the new beta firmware for the 62 (discussed in another thread) you geocaches get a "Record Next Stage" button you can use to enter the coords for the next stage as you figure them out. Repeat until you find the final.

  10. I was quite frustrated with the 60csx until someone told me how to completely disable the magnetic compass.

     

    Because pressing the page button (complete with compass symbol) for a second or two to toggle the compass off/on with that big COMPASS TURNED ON (OFF) box at the bottom of the screen was so hard? :laughing:

     

    Seriously, I've seen this complaint before and can't understand what's so hard about it. Unlike Garmin's road units, the 60CSx actually DOES come with a somewhat decently printed owner's manual and, if the unit was used and came without a manual? No excuse. It's still available on-line for free. It's not like it's some hidden easter egg feature.

    Plus, there's actually a compass icon printed on the button.

     

    And folks wonder why the geocaching.com forums are considered the worst.

     

    The only thing you two can contribute is to laugh at me for using the words "until someone told me how to" instead of "until I"?

     

    At what point did I say that I was annoyed that I couldn't figure out how to turn off the compass? I NEVER DID. I said the compass was annoying, which on that unit it absolutely was.

     

    Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  11. OK, one more report on the 62st. I took it on its first Deathmarch today. Both I and the GPS made it back home. <_<

     

    This was a super test of the 62st.

     

    We were in deep tree cover all day. Several other GPSes along on the trip lost lock for miles at a time, but the 62st kept lock all day without any lossage whatsoever.

     

    I had loaded up a Pocket Query for the trip, and we found several caches. I got a bit better at using the geocaching features of the unit, which I am now quite pleased with.

     

    I had made a calibrated map of the park in Google Earth, which was pretty painless and simple. It worked quite well. I left the built-in Garmin topo turned OFF all day, choosing to look at the park map alone.

     

    The elevation problem seems FIXED. The total altitude that the 62st reported was very close to what at least one other GPS reported, and matches my expectation. I don't see any hint of problems when I was pressing buttons on the GPS. The new beta firmware seems to have done it's job.

     

    The magnetic compass did a good job of orienting me - even through I never calibrated it. (But see below...)

     

    I got back to the car after a 7 hour hike, and the GPS claims that the alkaline AA batteries I used all day still have 4 out of 4 bars worth of power in them. (The PN-40 would have gone through one set completely, and most of a second.)

     

    Wow, that's a glowing review. What DIDN'T go so well?

     

    The "beep" from the GPS when I got close to a cache was somewhat faint and hard to hear.

     

    When navigating to a cache under deep tree cover the magnetic compass DID seem to cause trouble one time. When I first got my 60csx I absolutely hated it and it's magnetic compass. I would frequently be walking straight towards a cache, with distance clicking down on the GPS confirming that I was indeed walking straight to the cache ... but with the arrow pointing wildly off to the side, not pointing straight ahead. I was quite frustrated with the 60csx until someone told me how to completely disable the magnetic compass.

     

    ONE time today I had a similar problem with the 62st. On most caches it did fine, but in a particularly dark and gloomy spot this happened today. (My PN-40 NEVER did this, so it's some artifact of Garmin's magnetic compass technology I guess...)

     

    Bottom line ... on two hikes now I have had very good results with the 62st. The MAJOR issue that I had last week with the altimeter has now been fixed in the most recent beta software.

     

    My recommendation, for now, is that most people should still wait a bit. I'd prefer to see that fix show up in a non-BETA firmware release before folks make the jump. But if you can't wait, or if beta firmware doesn't scare you, then I'm confident you'll be well served by a 62s or 62st.

     

    As for 62s vs. 62st ... honestly I've cached two weekends now with calibrated maps I made, and with the built-in topo disabled. So for ME I think I should have bought a 62s and saved $100. Your decision might be different.

     

    What a difference a week makes, eh?

     

    Everytrail trip including the track: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=759020

     

    ...Sam

  12. OK, so I loaded the new 2.44 beta firmware into the Garmin 62st, then did my normal commute home. As before, the PN-40 and the 62st sat beside me, tracking the trip. Every 5 minutes or so I reached over and pressed the "Page" button on each GPS ... 15 times.

     

    I graphed the results as I have before ... using Emacs, Perl and Excel to make a plot of time vs. altitude. The resulting chart is here:

     

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/53807584@N00/...in/photostream/

     

    Before we analyze the chart, for comparison look at this similar chart I made a few days ago, on more-or-less the same drive home, with the original firmware in the 62st.

     

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/53807584@N00/...in/photostream/

     

    My first impressions:

     

    1. The 62st and the PN-40 disagreed by quite a bit in the Y axis, but that's OK. I have not calibrated either altimeter, so I'm discounting the height difference between the lines. Instead let's focus on the shape of the curves.

     

    2. The crazy spikes on the 62st are clearly gone. The shape of the curves on the 62st and the PN-40 are essentially the same.

     

    3. From these charts I can't tell if the impact of pressing the buttons on the GPSes is GONE, but it's at least no worse on the 62st than on the PN-40. There are quite a few "spikes" in the curves ... are these due to me driving over freeway overcrossings, or are these due to me pressing buttons on the GPSes?

     

    To try to get another visualization of this, I used another trick. I loaded both tracks into Google Earth, but when I imported the GPX files I UN-checked the "adjust altitudes to ground height" box. When I did this with the earlier software, you could easily see spots where I had pressed buttons on the 62st; the track left the ground and jiggled wildly in the air (and under the ground).

     

    When I did this with the new results, I saw no such effect. Both the 62st and PN-40 tracks stayed smoothly at or very near ground level, with no wild swings of any kind from either unit.

     

    From this I conclude that the spikes seen on the charts linked above are due to actual terrain features, and are not due to both the PN-40 and the 62st glitching when I pressed buttons.

     

    Bottom line: there's reason to believe that 2.44 fixes the altimeter issue. That would be super if true!

     

    While I am VERY encouraged by this experiment, I'm going to reserve judgment until I get a chance to hike - not drive - with the unit this weekend. If it records a useful track then I'll pop out the champagne. Or something similar. :blink:

     

    Things are looking up. Way up. :P

  13. Any updates on the altimeter issue?

     

    I exchanged emails with Garmin Support. They confirmed that the information about the problem has been sent to Engineering, but did not confirm whether Engineering had looked at it yet. They estimated that it would be a few days or weeks before we get any feedback of any sort from Engineering.

     

    I sent a polite letter to the VP of Marketing and the VP of Sales informing them of the issue. (No replies; I don't expect any.)

     

    I discussed the issue on several additional websites, to increase the issue's visibility (and thus the pressure on Garmin to fix it).

     

    I ordered two vuvuzelas from Amazon ... but that's for a different project. :unsure:

     

    ...Sam

  14. FYI, here's the review I just submitted to amazon.com for the 62st. It should appear in 48 hours or so.

     

    ...Sam

     

    One star - Super unit - with one major flaw, August 11, 2010

    By S. Drake (San Jose, CA) - See all my reviews

     

    This review is from: Garmin GPSMAP 62St 2.6-Inch Handheld GPS Navigator (Electronics)

    I purchased the 62st recently and took it out for a 9 mile geocaching adventure. While I like the unit very much in general, it has one major problem. Like any hiking GPS, the 62st will record your track as you hike, letting you upload it to your computer when you return home. This is very useful for keeping track of your adventures. The accuracy of the 62st's GPS, combined with its barometric altimeter, lets you accurately record your track for later use.

     

    Sadly what I discovered is that on the 62st simply pressing buttons on the GPS interferes with the barometric altimeter. Pressing even a single button on the GPS can result in spikes in the recorded data of 30 feet or more! On my first test hike, my 62st GPS said that I had climbed more than 8000 vertical feet, while the other GPSes carried by my friends on the same hike recorded only 2000.

     

    I did apples-to-apples comparison experiments of the Garmin 62st, Garmin 60csx and Delorme PN-40, and only the 62st exhibits this bug. Pressing buttons on the other GPSes does not interfere with the recorded track data.

     

    I have been in contact with Garmin Support about this issue, but as of today there is no fix.

     

    Until this issue is resolved sadly I cannot recommend the Garmin 62s or 62st. I hope for a fix soon!

  15. Just got this email from Garmin:

    .... There is not a software bug with the altimeter but if you feel the unit is not working correctly please exchange it at your retailer....

     

    Technically true. There is a *hardware* bug with the altimeter. :)

     

    I finally got a written (email) reply from Garmin, asking for patience with this issue but with no other information. I will reply to them, asking why other reps are denying the problem exists and asking them to do a little internal education on it. I will also point them to the earlier German report of the same problem. Still no case number or other tracking information provided by Garmin.

  16. I'm sure I'm going to feel like an idiot for asking once I see the reply to my question, but why is a momentary spike with a button press an important issue? If just holding the unit in a normal manner interferes with the reading, I can see that being more serious, but even that - why is that so important to a geocacher?

     

    Personally I like recording my tracks so I can tell how many miles I have hiked and how many feet I have climbed. (340 miles and 78000 feet so far this year.) My first hike with the 62st came in at 8000 vertical feet, when my hiking partners logged 2000. For me this is a fatal flaw. But sure, you can certainly find caches without looking at altitude at all. If you don't care about altitude tracking buy a 60 (not s or st) and save $200.

     

    I think we all want the 62st to be a deserving successor to the 60csx. With this flaw it does not deserve that title. With a fix for this I suspect it will. That's why I expect Garmin to fix the issue asap.

  17. until now product.support@garmin.com (just got an email) does NOT confirm that there is any altimeter bug which has to be fixed.

     

    Sure, that's to be expected. At this point just one support engineer has seen my data, has shown it to one help desk person, who has forwarded it to one engineer - who hasn't yet looked at it. Nobody else knows even this much is going on. Patience is a virtue at this point. Let's give them a few days to digest the situation and decide what to do next.

     

    Of course, the clock is ticking and lots of folks are watching. A point I made to them firmly, by pointing out that i'm posting the info here and elsewhere. If I don't hear positive feedback in 7 - now 6 - days, we should go postal on them. But for now let's let them investigate and ponder for a few days.

     

    If you want to call or email to let them know you are concerned about the issue that's super, but I wouldn't be surprised if the low level rep you talk to doesn't know anything about the issue yet.

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