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Satellite Reception

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Until recently, my Brother cached Georgia with a Vista. Same antenna as the Legend. Once he got under any dense tree coverage, the dreaded, "Satalite Reception Lost" message would appear. I convinced him to upgrade to a 60CSx and he's happier than a pig in..... uh..... mud? I can hide in my closet with the door closed and still get a reading. A very kewl toy!

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I agree. I have the Legend. I love it, it's a great unit. However, it loses signal FAR too easily, and that gets on my nerves. I se an upgrade in my future, but I'll stay with the Garmin line.


I have a Girlfriend and a daughter who both want my Legend when I upgrade. The problem is gonna be deciding who to give it to. :laughing:

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Just bought a used very old Lowrance GlobalNav 12.

The Software is from the old SA days (before May 2000), so it calculates a very big horizontal error, even if it is spot on with the coords.


It has the best signal reception I've seen so far. Much better than my Geko 301. But you can check the signal strength if you use the diagnosis page. (Hold OK while powering on). It gives you a SNR, which is a the Signal to Noise Ratio, a pretty good indicator of the signal's quality.



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I too use the Legend, but I can deal with the periodic loss of satellites because when it is locked it's tight.

I was forced to cache with my explorist 300 once and felt like a chicken with my head cut off.

The funny thing is I can loop my legend over my neck on the way to a cache and lose signal but I will put in my jacket pocket on the walk out and it will keep a lock. Oh well, can't wait to get a 60csx though.

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I have a Garmin Vista that sometimes loses the satellites under tree cover, especially pines. It isn't that much of a problem for me, but it helps to remember that for best coverage, the Vista and the Legend like to be held flat on their backs, face up. If you hang them around your neck, the satellites get lost pretty quickly, but even in a pocket or inside a pack if you keep them in a more horizontal position, they tend to keep the satellite lock.


Edit: meant to say horizontal, said vertical.

Edited by cache_test_dummies
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Well, in our husband/wife team, I use a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx most of the time, and my wife uses a Magellan eXplorist 600. Since I got the Garmin, I have never had a time when it lost a satellite lock, but I have had times when it's accuracy was in then 50-70 foot range (as reported). In the same time frame, the Wife has lost lock twice with her Magellan, and I think one of those was only a few minutes before her battery died (she forgot to recharge that day and luckily I had a spare she could use).

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I have moved from the Legend to a 60Cx.

When it has a sat loc the legend is just as accurate as the 60.

The big differance is that the 60Cx is way more likely to hold the sats.

If you want I can give you the co ords for the furnace in my basement using the 60Cx.

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I have a Garmin Legend and have incredible challenges when I'm in a forest of any density. What GPS do you have... any problems holding a "lock?"


I'd like to put in a positive note for a Garmin ForeTrex 101. The only time I lose the signal is when I'm sitting indoors. It does a fantastic job. I've been very happy with it so far.

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I have a Garmin Legend and have incredible challenges when I'm in a forest of any density. What GPS do you have... any problems holding a "lock?"


I had a Legend and have a Vista and rarely lose a lock under trees. The few times I do, I get it back in moments. The thing you have to remember is that they are very sensitive to position. They need to be held flat, face up to the sky for best reception. If you are under trees and do not have it in this position you will likely lose a lock. I see people with them clipped to their belts, hanging upside down from their necks, or in their hand swinging at their side, then complaining about the reception. You need to hold it out in front of you almost like a waiter carrying a tray of beer (all the time). If you do this you should see improved reception.


Holding it in that position is fine for short walks but can be problematic for longer hikes. For those I clip the unit to the top of my packs shoulder strap where it faces skyward.


It also helps to turn the unit on well before you enter the woods. I turn mine on when I leave the house and stick it on the dashboard.

Edited by briansnat
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I got a Magellan Meridian for Christmas in 2001. I've used in the forests of the Northwest, the canyons of San Diego, the Rain Forests in Hawaii and I've had very little problems with reception. When I took my Meridian for a swim earlier this summer one of the seals wasn't working any more and let some water in. The unit stoped working and didn't want to have to wait to get it fixed before being able to geocache again so I bought a Garmin eTrex. I wanted something inexpensive that I use a replacement. What I got was something cheap that has trouble with reception even under very light leaf cover.


I opened up my Meridian had found some sea salt dried on the circuit board. Nothing a little alcohol couldn't take care of. I put some petroleum jelly in the seals and let alcohol evaporate before putting the unit back together. The unit works once again but there is a black line that runs up and down the very left side of the screen the entire time the unit is turned on. But I still prefer my five year old Meridian over my new eTrek any day.

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I have a 5+ year old Garmin GPS V and a fairly new 60CSx.


With an unobstructed view of the sky, both have similar accuracy. In fact the V will report better accuracy, although I suspect this is just how the calculation is done and not necessarily true. When I first got my CSx I did a lot of field comparisons to my old V carrying both at the same time. The CSx is better, no doubt, but the ol' V was actually quite adequate (why did I upgrade again???)


The CSx does hold location better under tree cover and around ledges, cliffs and other obstructions. I clip it to the carry loop on the top of my fanny pack while hiking, it maintains accuracy, never loses signal. It will even hold acquisition in the side pocket of the pack, but accuracy will degrade appreciably. The CSx records smooth tracks without the spurious odd-ball points that the ol' V is prone to do.


The CSx has a cone-type antenna and will perform best when pointing vertically to the sky.


The CSx reports a position when I'm standing in my garage and will continue to report one when I walk into my basement, reporting an accuracy of +/- 38 ft or better. However, I find these readings dubious at best.

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