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60csx And Battery Problem


jbclimber
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First of all, I my 60CSX works much better under tree cover, compared to the 60CS which I recently sold. However, I have tried 3 different sets of alkaline batteries (from 2 different manufacturers), and I get less than 8 hours of continuous use before the low batter message displays! I only have a very small amount of backlight on, and verified the battery setting was alkaline.

 

Before I contact Garmin to get an RMA, I am curious how much battery life other users are getting? I also plan to do some more testing. I was outside and the temperature was about 40 deg F, but my old 60CS would get much better battery performance under these conditions.

 

Anyone else notice poor battery performance of the 60CSX?

 

-John

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A friend just bought that unit and his lasts a long time on the NiMH batteries he uses. He changed the battery setting to NiMH.

 

Have you considered using rechargeables? I have the 15-minute Energizer rechargeables and they work very well, plus I don't have to keep buying new batteries and throwing away the used-up ones.

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We have a CS and a CSx and noticed the same problem. A little checking and I found that the current consumption on the CSx is the same with the compass on or off. With the CS the consumption decreases by about 40 percent with the compass off. With the compass on both units have the same power consumption. To me it looks like there is a bug in the compass on/off function.

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With fresh alkalines I get about 19 hours with the 60CSx. compared with 30 for the 60CS; similar results with lithiums (30 hours vs. 40 hours) and NiMHs. This is with the compass off and no backlight. It's disappointing, but remember, it's still better than the previous generation (the original Vista in my case) and I don't recall too many complaints at the time.

 

I'd be curious to know whether its the new chip or the memory, or both causing the increased drain. Come to think of it, it would be interesting to know if battery life decreases with memory size. I'm still using the memory that came with it. That would be a real bummer for people who can't wait for 1 and 2G memories!

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Just using round numbers the 60CS at 85 mA should run for about 27 hours with 2300 mAh batteries with the compass off. With the compass on and a current consumption of 125 mA it should run for about 18.4 hours. The 60CSx draws 125 mA with the compass on or off. There are other factors that come into play but if the 60CSx continous to draw the same battery power regardless of the compass setting it leads me to the conclusion that there is a firmware problem with the X.

These 'should be' numbers are very close to what Jon Tyson indicates using alkaline cells.

Edited by Wienerdog
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I should add that my current cunsumption numbers come from 2 60C/CS units and one 60CSx. It could well be that I have a unique CSx with a compass that will not turn off.

 

I didn't check the compass-on drain, but my numbers are consistent with yours if my compass was drawing current, so I think you are right. It would be very nice if they can correct it with a firmware update; then we would be back to the 60CS lifetimes again.

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I only have a very small amount of backlight on-John

 

That's probably your problem. The backlight eats batteries no matter how low you have it set.

 

You may be right. I turned off the backlight and got 18 hours of use. Thanks for all of the replies!

 

Glad to be of service! ;)

 

I spoke with a Garmin rep on Friday regarding the battery life of the new x units. According to them, the battery life is not extended with the compass turned off. Apparently, the new sensors in the x units use minimal power so that the battery life is not affected by the compass/altimeter. He also explained that the reason the unit can not record elevation when the unit is off being due to the type of sensor. The decreased battery life in the new units is directly related to the sirf chip and memory modules.

Edited by yeeoldcacher
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I spoke with a Garmin rep on Friday regarding the battery life of the new x units. According to them, the battery life is not extended with the compass turned off. Apparently, the new sensors in the x units use minimal power so that the battery life is not affected by the compass/altimeter.

 

So they swiched from a compass that they have been using for several generations of models, and was a major drawer of current, to one that draws a negligible current? And they left the capability in the firmware to turn the compass off? I'm not up on electronic compass technology, but this all strikes me as being a bit odd!

 

The key to this would be battery lifetimes on the 60Cx; has anyone reported on the battery lifetimes they are getting on these units?

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I have 4 of the 2500mah NiMH batteries charging up, then Im going to turn on both the 60C and 60Cx units at the same time, and going to run them both down to shut-off time. Will be interesting to see what happens here.

 

-

Geoff

 

Great! Thats exactly what we need. For comparison, I got 18.7 hours out of two new freshly charged 2500 NiMHs in my 60CSx.

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The decreased battery life in the new units is directly related to the sirf chip and memory modules.

 

That's why I reported the news on the new SiRF III LT. Same functions and they say ""Operating at one half the power consumption of existing SiRFstarIII family products, with tracking mode power of less than 50 miliwatts""

 

So ask Garmin if they plan to use this one in the newer models soon.

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Are you guys doing this with the WAAS on or off? Won't that affect the drain?

 

All my measurements have been with WAAS enabled. I don't think it's a major factor, but I could be wrong. I remember somebody doing some detailed current measurements for various operating conditions - on I think a 60CS I think - in 2004; I'll see if I can locate his reported results.

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Hey this will be the definative test. There is probably a lot more computing energy spent with the SiRF front end and, if the Garmin tech reply is true, maybe the compass sensor was changed to keep the battery life to an acceptable level. Either way I will go with your answer and the battery life is still much longer than the GPS V. How easy it is to get spoiled.

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I remember somebody doing some detailed current measurements for various operating conditions - on I think a 60CS - in 2004; I'll see if I can locate his reported results.

 

The tests I remembered were for a 76CS:

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Garmin_GPSmap_76C/message/213

 

From this the compass draw was about 40 mA. The WAAS enabled/disabled measurment wasn't done, but the GPS on(WAAS enabled)-GPS off was only 12 mA.

Edited by John Tyson
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Just this one so far, the older map60C still going with it's energizer 2500mah batteries.

 

-

Geoff

 

Your time for the 60Cx is basically the same as I got for the 60CSx, which supports Garmin's claim that the compass is not a factor. One thought I had though, were you using the memory card that came with it or a larger card? If a larger card, that might be a factor, but it would be quite a coincidence that the larger card in the 60Cx happened to draw exactly the same current as the compass in the 60CSx.

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It looks like they did change both the front end and the compass then. In a way that is good news because it means that there is no penalty for extended compass usage. The extra 8 or so hours of run time that was lost is a tough give up but the performance under challanging conditions more than makes up for that. What was the run time on the 60C?

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I remember somebody doing some detailed current measurements for various operating conditions - on I think a 60CS - in 2004; I'll see if I can locate his reported results.

 

The tests I remembered were for a 76CS:

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Garmin_GPSmap_76C/message/213

 

From this the compass draw was about 40 mA. The WAAS enabled/disabled measurment wasn't done, but the GPS on(WAAS enabled)-GPS off was only 12 mA.

 

Not all have account on yahoo, here is the rest of the post:

 

I was curious to see how much power my 76CS consumed under various

conditions. Here's the results.

 

Methodolgy

Removed the PowerEX 2200mAh NiMH batteries from the unit and connected

a Tektronix DMM916 multimeter (10A terminals--mA wouldn't work) in

series with the (now removed) batteries. Measured the current on the

Amps(A) range and used the min/max/average feature to measure the

average over 1 minute of operation.

 

Results

 

GPS off, Compass off, on Satellite page

67mA

 

GPS off, Compass on, on Compass page

107mA

 

GPS on (WAAS enabled), Compass off, Satellite page with 8 satellites

locked +/-9ft

79mA

 

Gilsson external antenna, GPS on (WAAS), Compass off, Satellite page

with 9 satellites locked +/-9ft

89mA

 

Gilsson external antenna, GPS on (WAAS), Compass on, Satellite page

with 9 satellites locked +/-9ft

131mA

 

As you can see turning the compass on dramtically increases power

consumption. This probably explains the difference (30hrs vs 20hrs) in

Garmin's battery life specifications for the 76C and 76CS.

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First of all, I my 60CSX works much better under tree cover, compared to the 60CS which I recently sold. However, I have tried 3 different sets of alkaline batteries (from 2 different manufacturers), and I get less than 8 hours of continuous use before the low batter message displays! I only have a very small amount of backlight on, and verified the battery setting was alkaline.

 

Before I contact Garmin to get an RMA, I am curious how much battery life other users are getting? I also plan to do some more testing. I was outside and the temperature was about 40 deg F, but my old 60CS would get much better battery performance under these conditions.

 

Anyone else notice poor battery performance of the 60CSX?

 

-John

Hi , John............yes the csx will have one third of the power that the 60cs thus the reason i kept the 60cs........a csx owner here in town has the same complaints .............carry lots of batteries and have fun............you do have the memory card which is a plus though.

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Hi , John............yes the csx will have one third of the power that the 60cs thus the reason i kept the 60cs........a csx owner here in town has the same complaints .............carry lots of batteries and have fun............you do have the memory card which is a plus though.

 

It's actually more like 2/3rds, and that's with the compasses turned off (see earlier messages in this thread). The compass on the 60CSx apparently doesn't draw significant amounts of power, so with the compasses on the 60CSx may actually be comparable to the 60CS (something I haven't directly checked yet; may do a side-by side check on this tomorrow).

Edited by John Tyson
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[

Hi , John............yes the csx will have one third of the power that the 60cs thus the reason i kept the 60cs........a csx owner here in town has the same complaints .............carry lots of batteries and have fun............you do have the memory card which is a plus though.

 

Yes, the battery drain is unfortunate, but overall the 60csx has been a great unit. I especially like the ability to maintain reception under tree cover. It has been a worthwhile purchase for me. No regrets. Thanks for the replies!

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I, likewise, really enjoy having a GPS that I can hang on my belt and have it track wherever I am in trees and otherwise. The 60CSx is an amazing unit. I have especially found the compass useful. The altimeter is very good and it is fun to see how much elevation change I have covered.

 

I just resigned myself to the fact that when I geocache, I spend money for gasoline, and don't think alot about it, then why worry about batteries that cost less than what it costs to drive 5 miles. I just buy mine in bulk at Costco and carry extras.

 

The one thing I will do is that when I am hiking in unfamiliar areas in Oregon, I always carry my compass and hardcopy topo map of the area. Technology can always fail even with a fully charged gps.

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Battery saver mode would work just fine on a trip but the update rate is so slow that it is hopeless for locating a cache. As for how it affects battery life I don't know but now that I know what is going on with the Cx run time I am fine with the 16-18 hour numbers. Much better than the GPS V we use to use all the time.

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