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Electronic Compass


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The pointer spins because you are standing within the error of your GPS when looking for the GPS.


Where the GPS thinks you are in relation to where the cache is changes by a random amound with each position cycle. The pointer updates to reflect that. As long as you are far away it points at the cache since being 10' off in position doesn't matter if the cache is 400' head. But if you are standing 5' off that can be 5' to one side of the cache or 5' to anothera and the pointer just can't point correctly.


In other words it's normal.


I don't think an electronic compass change this issue when you are standing that close to the cache. What it can change is when you are 400' away and stop. The GPS will still point at the cache, where without it the GPS can't tell your orientation (and uses the random error to guess your orientation and so the pointer goes whacko).

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It can be useful in situations where you have limited sat visibility. Suppose the cache was hidden under tree cover and you can only see sats in a small clearing 100 feet away. The compass will set things up such that you are pointing towards the cache area. Without the compass your GPS does not know your orientation unless you can give it a series of reliable differences - in other words, you have to walk some distance and get a series of readings before your GPS will 'know' you are pointed in a particular direction. Thus, without the compass your GPS will get reception in the clearing but not know what way to point - and it usually just gives it it's best guess.


I've found difficult caches because my compass pointed me towards the search area even when I couldn't get reception at the hide site. Not everyone is a fan, but I am.

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My eX600 has one and it seems to work just fine. Calibrated it in March when I got it. never since, and it still works just fine.


... waiting for JohnnyV to show up and call me a moron because e-compasses are completely useless in GPSr's :unsure:


Oh yeah, I also carry a pocket silva. :( just in case

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I've found difficult caches because my compass pointed me towards the search area even when I couldn't get reception at the hide site. Not everyone is a fan, but I am.

Count me as another big compass fan. I'd rather have a compass than mapping ability, which is why I bought the eTrex Summit. Herky-jerky at ground zero, but nowhere else.

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I've found difficult caches because my compass pointed me towards the search area even when I couldn't get reception at the hide site. Not everyone is a fan, but I am.

Compass fan here (Garmin 60CS), but there is a bit of a learning curve. I generally turn it off for use in the car and then turn it on for the walk. The electromagnetic field of the car can do strange things sometimes. Also you have to remember to calibrate it occasionally, especially after changing batteries. Is it worth the extra cost? It is to me--for others its not.

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I'm also a Garmin 60CS user and a BIG FAN of electronic compass.


Here in the Great North West we have a lot of wooded hiking tails.


It is nice to get a fix on the GPS sats in the open then use the E.C. to point the direction and distances to the cache. The E.C. has assisted me in a few finds all ready!


For Garmin 60CS users the compass feature is nice where you can easily configure the compass to get its baring from the SAT to electronic when you slow down to a specified speed. Example while in the car it can track your heading from that SATs and when your walking from the electronic magnetic compass.


Of course I use "Follow Road" while in the car and "Off Road" when on the trail for routing. With the Garmin it is so easy to "PAGE" between the different screens.


I love my Garmin :unsure:

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I know a guy who leaves his off because he says he has problems with it and says he gets better results without it. He got the EC because he hunts and such and also for off road caching. If you break a leg or ankle in the woods you can crawl back to your truck (assuming you marked a waypoint there) and do it accurately with the EC. You won't be able to crawl fast enough to make the regular compass work.


I use mine ALWAYS and love it. It's extremely fast and easy to recalibrate it so I do it at least once per cache trip and always after changing batteries. I use rechargeable batteries and have a 15 minute charger that even works off the cigarette lighter if I want so I really couldn't care less that the EC uses batteries faster. I love the things - both the EC and the charger.


Having said that it is not at all necessary for finding caches - I just find that it makes it easier and I like being able to stop and stand still and still have the thing point in the right direction. :D

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When we bought our Garmins, one of the specific things we looked for was the electronic compass. In general I think it really helps us. Of course, we calibrate regularly....the the point that our 4 and 5 year olds have come up with their own little "calibration dance"....turning around in place slowly while holding theirs hands out in front of them. 'Sigh. :D

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