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Baking My Gpsmap 60cs

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I recently purchased my Garmin GPSMAP 60CS and was anxious to get it "up and running". I was reading the directions on starting up and getting the satellite locks and when I went outside to power it up for the 1st time I only let it sit for about 15 minutes or so until it started giving me coordinates. I then powered the unit off and called it good. I realized the next day that I hadn't switched WAAS on before allowing it to get the satellite lock. I read in one of the posts on the forum (I can't find it now) that the GPS should be allowed to 'bake' for at least 45 minutes or more in order for the unit to get a lock on a WAAS satellite (I want to say it was supposed to be a satellite numbered higher than 32(?) ) and that a lower case letter 'd' was supposed to show up below the satellite bars on the GPS. I can tell you that I have since switched on WAAS but I haven't had any luck getting the unit to pick up a satellite numbered higher than 32 and I don't have any satellite bars with a lowercase letter 'd' beneath it. I want my GPS to be as accurate as possible so my question is this. Is there any way to 'reset' the Garmin GPSMAP 60CS so that it finds the higher numbered WAAS satellites when I power it up and allow it to 'bake' for the 45 minute recommended time? The unit currently says the accuracy is is between 20'-30'. If I can get more accurate that would be great. If someone has the magic recipe, could you pass it along to a newb? I'd appreciate it. - Thanks!

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Hey there DeadJim


If your 60 has the WAAS turned on.

You will need a good veiw South. You are looking for a satalite that is low on the horizon. Just about anything will block it, trees, houses and low hills. Find an open area and it will come up quickly. The D's take a bit longer after your lock. I get 7 ft indicated generally IF I have the WAAS sat. Best to date was 3 ft.

Good luck

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Turn on WAAS and forget about it. Go caching find some and let the GPS work itself out. At first I was dissapointed in WAAS. Then one day I turned it on, forgot about it, and finally noticed my GPS was reporting an error of less than 10' and I had d's on my satalite bars.


It takes a GPS a long time to get WAAS working like it should. I'm not sure if that's because it has extra information to download or what. Once it does though accuracy does improve.

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I've got a 60CS and turn WAAS off. Doesn't seem to make a difference. Even if it does, it's negligible. With WAAS off I routinely get 10-17' accuracy (or so it says on the screen) which is plenty to find a cache.


I'd rather save the battery power for the built-in compass. :ph34r:

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The "Bake" time you refer to is the time it takes for the GPS to load an Almanac .... which is a coarse position table of the Sats. To reset a 60 series Garmin hold ENTER and PAGE while powering up to reset the unit (you will loose all waypoints), INSIDE with NO SAT RECEPTION POSSIBLE. Hit menu .... select use with sat off .... reset all your preferences including enabling WAAS and making sure Battery Save mode is "OFF" (battery save "ON" disables WAAS). Turn off .... take outside and turn on and let it sit "BAKE" in a spot with good reception for 30 to 45 minutes so it can re-load a new almanac which includes the WAAS Sats. Your reception and number of visible Sats will affect your accuracy. Some Sats are geosynchronus, others are constantly on the move. Does WAAS make a difference ..... as a pilot I'd like to think it does. Does WAAS help in geocaching ..... well it can't hurt.


You are always at the mercy of the placer's coordinates. This is a game of +/- 30 feet in my opinion. Koikeeper and I have over 400 finds with many "spot on" and several 60 to 80 feet off ..... but the majority are within the 30 foot search zone. Having 2 60C units enables us to approach from different angles .... and believe me when I say the 2 units do not always agree with each other!


:ph34r: ImpalaBob

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Impala Bob gave you the straight scoop on doing a clean reset, but I have to agree with RK. Just turn WAAS on, battery saver off, and use your unit as usual. The 60CS is constantly downloading satellite ephemeris and WAAS data. Whenever it gets a decent view of a WAAS satellite, it will update its almanac.


If your unit were giving you some wild readings, I would go with a reset. If its just needing to add WAAS, patience should work just fine.


No offense to Robert, but I find a noticable difference not only in reported EPE but in actual accuracy when I have WAAS enabled and am getting a little 'd' under my sat bars. YMMV


Oh, and welcome to the recreational activity/sport/hobby, and the friendly confines of the forums.


Edit: In response to stevesisti's comment below, I live in Houston, where this virtually nothing to block my view of the southern sky or oncoming hurricanes.

Edited by Sputnik 57
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Interesting differing viewpoints...I leave mine off all the time. I live in the northeast, and do a lot of hiking. 90% of the time, my view of the wass sat is obstructed by mountains. Out on the water (Hudson River), I get an excellent view of the wass sat, and have gotten EPE's of 6 ft.


If I am in "marginal" reception areas, it almost appears as if having wass on, the reception (as determined by # of sats and signal strength) seems to deteriorate over time. Switching wass off gives me a more constant lock on the few sats available.


I guess whether you use it or not depends on where you live and how reliable a view you have of the wass satellite. The idea of leaving it on all the time to take advantage of it when and if you can get a lock doesn't seem to work for me owing to the reasons mentioned above. I would be curious to know if any one else has found deteriorating reception when leaving wass on in an area where the sat can't be received.


The first time I used wass I also had a somewhat difficult time waiting for the "d's" to appear, but my second attempt was in a clearing with a good view of the sat and all went well.

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Baking a 60cs:  15-20 minutes in the upper 1/3 of a pre-heated 400 degree oven.  Using parchment paper helps to prevent getting melted plastic on the baking sheet and makes clean-up easier.  Cool at least 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Better be careful, jacques, someone will do it! I personally believe everything I read in the forums. :ph34r:


I compare WAAS to HDTV. It looks great on the showroom floor, and it will be really cool when (if) they get it to work consistently in the real world. I live in MN where there is a lot of tree and brush cover.


If I really want to dial in, I set a new waypoint and use averaging to work my way closer to GZ. I only take the time to do this if I know the cache owner has a reputation for tight coordinates. This method has never failed to bring me within 10 feet of a cache, although I did DNF one that was hanging over my head.

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Thank you all for your information! I'm a little leery about doing the hard reset on the unit. After reading everyone's responses, I think I'll just keep WAAS enabled and let it do it's thing (when it can)...I live in Nebraska and perhaps my view of the South isn't as good. I appreciate all of your help. -- Happy caching all! <_<

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I live in ILL and have never received WAAS reception. I understand that the WAAS satellites are orbiting on both coasts which makes reception nearly impossible in the central part of the country. Where are you located?

You should be able easily to get WAAS in IL unless you are in a valley or something. I live in N. Minnesota (i.e., more central and farther below the horizon from the WAAS sats) and get WAAS almost 100% of the time. The people I go geocaching with also get WAAS easily. What gps are you using?

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I live in ILL and have never received WAAS reception. I understand that the WAAS satellites are orbiting on both coasts which makes reception nearly impossible in the central part of the country. Where are you located?

I live in the Chicago area western suburbs and was able to lock on to a WAAS sat almost out of the box. I have known other to take a day or two to catch they're first one.


Leave WAAS on, it takes little to no battery, and (as I have heard said around here in Chicago) "fogetboutit!".

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I compare WAAS to HDTV. It looks great on the showroom floor, and it will be really cool when (if) they get it to work consistently in the real world. I live in MN where there is a lot of tree and brush cover.

From what I have read, WAAS was never intended to help with geocaching :laughing:


The application is for commercial transportation such as airliners and ocean going vessels. That is why the initial sats are over the two oceans. Airplanes can see them from pretty much anywhere and ships can see them over a wide area. But us land locked mortals have to live with the limitations of their low equatorial orbits and tall obstructions. Even so, I normally get WAAS most everywhere I cache in the greater Maryland area. Once in awhile a building or hill gets in the way, but trees don't seem to be a problem.

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I am in the Central Valley of California and getting Sat #47 from the WEST? Don't see anything to the south.

WAAS satellites are geosynchronous at the equator. So they are always south. But there are initially two that you can see from the US, one over the Pacific and one over the Atlantic. So they are referred to as W and E respectively. I believe there is another one going up that will be centered more on the continental US. So nearly everyone here should be able to pick it up. It will still be low in the south sky however.

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shutting off waas to conserve battery life?!?! you have to be joking. with a good set of 2500ma nimh batteries i get at least 20 hrs of life, with waas on, and using the backlight now and then. bring an extra set or two and that's good enough for a long weekend. waas can't consume that much battery.

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WAAS satellites are geosynchronous at the equator. So they are always south.


Unless you live south of the equator where they are always north!


I however, live in Connecticut and always pull in #35 (WAAS) on the highways and infrequently in the woods. I found #33 would come in (but not lock) when I travelled south on the eastern seaboard this past summer.


I always turn the GPS on in the car ahead of arriving at a geocaching area to lock in the most sats possible (including WAAS) and thereby have more to work with in the woods as they come in and out.


Locking the WAAS birds tends not to be as much a factor of time as view, as others have said. Check your sat screen for where it's located in relation to you (#33 to the E of me close to the horizon, #35 45 degrees up to the SSE).


I've found it takes 2 minutes of WAAS view (sat bar filled in or not) to get full differential info (D's on each other sat bar). The WAAS birds seem not to stay locked as readily as normal GPS sats but differential info doesn't expire immediately (meaning you can walk from a nearby clearing where you have WAAS lock to a cache under the trees nearby successfully).





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I'm in the western suburbs of Chicago too and can only remember getting WAAS reception one time. I'm using the Extrex Vista C and am overall not pleased with the unit. The battery life is pitiful. And I lose reception all the time even under only moderate tree cover. I've always wondered if the unit is defective. My old Garmin GPSII Plus is looking better every day.

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There are several persistent myths about WAAS that are being perpetuated in this thread. Let's correct them right away, OK?


Myth: WAAS satellites are "low on the horizon" because they have geosynchronous orbits.


Truth: This is hogwash. The regular GPS satellites orbit at an altitude of 20,200 km above the Earth. Geosynchronous satellites have significantly higher orbits: they are about 35,000 km above the Earth. So they are easier to see than "regular" GPS satellites. And geosynchronous orbits are only low on the horizon when they are significantly to the east or west of your position.


Myth: The WAAS satellites are close to the southern horizon.


Truth: More hogwash. In fact, from where I live (in northern California), the WAAS satellites are almost due east and due west. And they are pretty low on the horizon here, but only because they are so far east and west of our position.


If you'd like to see where the WAAS satellites appear from your position, I recommend using this page to calculate the elevation of the WAAS satellites above the horizon from your position. The WAAS satellite over the Atlantic, AOR-W, is on INMARSAT 3F4, which is located at W 54 degrees. The WAAS satellite over the Pacific, POR, is on INMARSAT 3F3, at E 178 degrees.


Let's do a couple of calculations: OP lives in Nebraska. From Omaha, NE, AOR-W is at an elevation of 26.2 degrees and a bearing of 126.4 degrees. That's quite high in the sky, and it is SE, more E than S.


How about Chicago? El = 30.8 degrees, Az = 135.1 degrees. Even higher, and exactly SE.


Boston? El = 38.1 degrees, Az = 155.6 degrees. Quite high in the southern sky.


San Francisco? El = 8.1 degrees, Az = 103.5 degrees. Low on the horizon, almost due east. In California, we can also see POR; it's at El = 15.5 degrees, Az = 250 degrees, almost due west.


Seattle? For AOR-W, El = 5.9 degrees; for POR, El = 11.5 degrees. They have the worst view of the WAAS satellites in the continental US, but my friends from up there tell me they have no trouble acquiring and using WAAS.


Myth: WAAS was only designed for aircraft at high altitude, and is of no use to people on the ground.


Truth: The WAAS system was originally designed for aircraft use when they are landing and close to the ground. The primary WAAS correction is for ionospheric delay, and the first-order effect of errors in this delay is poor accuracy for elevation (altitude) above sea level. WAAS was designed to allow aircraft to use GPS for landing; in that case, it is awfully important that the elevation be accurate! But the WAAS corrections also significantly improve the accuracy of the latitude and longitude calculated by the GPS, making consumer-grade GPS devices more accurate for little additional cost.


I beg people to stop spreading misinformation about WAAS around. If you don't know what you are talking about, there is no shame in staying quiet.

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