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etrex Legend


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I set out this weekend with my 3 year old daughter for what I thought would be an easy first geoCache. 3 year old girls not so much interested in hiking though the woods for no understandable reason. But thats not the problem. About 300 feet into the woods my eTrex Legend kept losing reception. The trail was very defined and not to much tree cover. Any suggestions on how to get better reception?

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You may need to upgrade your receiver to get better reception. I had an eTrex Vista that lost reception under thin or partial tree cover. I upgraded to a Garmin 60 Csx, which has a high-sensitivity receiver, and that solved the problem. That's a good unit, and Garmin has just upgraded the eTrex line with some high-sensitivity models.

Edited by imajeep
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Keep in mind where the antenna is. The patch antenna on the eTrex line is underneath the globe emblem on the face of the unit. Patch antennas need to be held parallel to the ground for best reception, so use the unit held flat, instead of upright. Don't accidentally cover the antenna area with your thumb or fingers. The Garmin cover for the eTrex will not affect reception.

 

Learn to estimate distances. Instead of trying to find ground-zero, you may be better off 50 feet away, where you have a clear view of the sky, and estimating from there where the cache ought to be.

Edited by Prime Suspect
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The Legend is very sensitive to position.

 

First, you need to hold it flat, face up to the sky ALL THE TIME. If you put it in your pocket, hang it around your neck, clip it to your belt or carry it in your hands dangling at your side you will probably lose reception under trees.

 

Second, turn it on well before entering the woods so it knows where all the sats are.

 

Do this and it should work just fine under trees. If you do lose reception you should get it back right away.

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My Legend works better than my 60CS in tree cover. I also hold it away from my body so it had a clear view of the sky in all directions. I also look for clearings when it gets thick and project from there where the cache should be. Then I put the GPS in my pocket and go find the cache.

Edited by TrailGators
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If you put it in your pocket, hang it around your neck, clip it to your belt or carry it in your hands dangling at your side you will probably lose reception under trees.

 

I agree almost entirely with this statement, except for one thing. Nearly every time time I put it in my front pocket while signing a logbook I actually maintain good reception. Strange, I know.

 

Insert "Is that a Legend in your pocket. . ." joke here.

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A good tip for estimating distance is what we called a "pace count" in the army . visit a local football field and walk at a natural pace from goal line to goal line, counting the number of times your left foot strikes the ground, then when ever you find you need to go a certain distance with out the help of your GPSr just count your steps. although not Exact, with practice it can be a very accurate way to know how far you have walked:)

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I set out this weekend with my 3 year old daughter for what I thought would be an easy first geoCache. 3 year old girls not so much interested in hiking though the woods for no understandable reason. But thats not the problem. About 300 feet into the woods my eTrex Legend kept losing reception. The trail was very defined and not to much tree cover. Any suggestions on how to get better reception?

 

I purchased the etrex legend and took it back. Even with WAAS on it never got me close to the cache, in addition it constantly lost the signal. Even though I just purchased it the software was copywritten in 2004. I have a 7 year old GPS V which seems to work better than the legend. I am going out again tomorrow to look again.

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First, go to the Garmin website, and update to the latest firmware for your Legend.

 

When looking under trees, set the unit down in a spot nearby, that has decent reception. Let it settle for a few minutes, and take a bearing (a GOOD compass helps here). Then walk a few yards away, and take another bearing. The idea is to get two lines that cross over the cache location, forming an "X". If carefully done, this will save a lot of time searching.

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We used Legends to find our first 300 caches, and loved them so much we kept them for guests to use even though we upgraded to units that have autorouting.

 

I do have a few hints that seemed to help me:

 

1) make sure you don't "hover" over the unit--your body can block the signal

 

2) do keep the Legend facing upward as much of the time as possible and aawy from your body

 

3) turn it on a long while before you get to the cache. A half an hour is not too long! The longer it stays on and gets a signal, the more accurate the signal it gets. I would leave mine on all day; I let it sit on the dash under the front windshield while we drove to the cache so the roof of the car didn't block the signal. I got about 22 hours of battery run time from a set of batteries even when I used the backlight fairly frequently at night.

 

4) do let the unit "settle" while you hunt the cache. Use it to get close to the cache, then set it down while you look for the cache nearby. If you don't find the cache in a few minutes, check the GPS again to see if it's pointing out a new spot (Just don't forget to pick it up again when you leve or if you move too far away!)

 

If it does lose it's signal, find a clearing to let it reacquire the signal. I only had to do this twice, ever.

 

If it gets "too bouncy" (compass flipping around everywhich way) that means you are close. Try walking a tad faster--sometimes going too slow confuses the signal.

 

One other trick that helps is to walk away from the area 20-30 feet (or more) and see where it points, mark that spot mentally (pick out a rock or tree that is notable) then walk 20-30 feet away in a different direction and do that again to see if it points out the same spot. Usually you can narrow down the area that way even in the deepest, darkest woods.

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I have found that in this situation, it is easier to pull out the trusty old compass and follow the bearing the GPS gives you from a non-canopy location close to the cache. If you use proper pace count, you can get very close to the location of the cache.

 

I always have my compass and a map if possible. Nothing takes the place of good orienteering skills.

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While this just may be unique to me, I found my Legend works better with alkaline batteries than with rechargables. I am queen of recycling, but the rechargables I have just don't seem to work well for me (yes, I have tried different brand rechargables, different mAh, and did change the Legend from alkaline to rechargable in the menu). Just weird.

 

Take care,

Outspoken1

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I set out this weekend with my 3 year old daughter for what I thought would be an easy first geoCache. 3 year old girls not so much interested in hiking though the woods for no understandable reason. But thats not the problem. About 300 feet into the woods my eTrex Legend kept losing reception. The trail was very defined and not to much tree cover. Any suggestions on how to get better reception?

 

I purchased the etrex legend and took it back. Even with WAAS on it never got me close to the cache, in addition it constantly lost the signal. Even though I just purchased it the software was copywritten in 2004. I have a 7 year old GPS V which seems to work better than the legend. I am going out again tomorrow to look again.

 

I really appreciate all the input from everyone and maybe if I was more patient I could have made the entrex work. There were two problems first we were going out of town for two weeks and secondly I found out the store we purchased from had a 15 day return policy.

 

Consequently I returned it before our trip but upon returning I purchased an explorist 210, this seems to be working out quite well. It has not lost coverage yet even though we have occosionally chased a few ghosts.

 

We probably had a defective etrex and if we got another one it may have worked out just as well for us. My sister just purchased the exporist 500 and we can't see much diffeerence except for the color. Thanks again.

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I started geocaching with the eTrex Legend back in February of this year and really like it however like you, I had issues under tree cover. I tried all the recommended methods and had mixxed results. I guess it's all about how dense your cover is.

 

By March, I had upgraded to the 60CSx and LOVE IT!! Rarely loose lock in the densest of woods but found that it reacts very odd around tall buildings. I still keep my Legend as a spare and have used a time or two since upgrading but there is a huge difference in performance.

 

Jim..

 

 

I set out this weekend with my 3 year old daughter for what I thought would be an easy first geoCache. 3 year old girls not so much interested in hiking though the woods for no understandable reason. But thats not the problem. About 300 feet into the woods my eTrex Legend kept losing reception. The trail was very defined and not to much tree cover. Any suggestions on how to get better reception?

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While this just may be unique to me, I found my Legend works better with alkaline batteries than with rechargables. I am queen of recycling, but the rechargables I have just don't seem to work well for me (yes, I have tried different brand rechargables, different mAh, and did change the Legend from alkaline to rechargable in the menu). Just weird.

 

Take care,

Outspoken1

 

I will echo this response. Rechargeables have never worked well in my Legend. Not just battery life, but somehow it does seem to affect reception.

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The brand of rechargeables is important. I have had no problem with Energizer rechargeables, but some off-brand ones did not work very well, and even made my Vista misbehave . . . :rolleyes:

 

Good-quality rechargeables are a much better choice than Alkaline batteries if you use your GPSr frequently.

Edited by Miragee
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Volts are volts, regardless of the battery type they come from. If the GPS has enough volts to power up, it will work, no matter what type batteries are in the device. If you want to believe the battery type affects reception, go ahead, and if you want to believe in the tooth fairy, that's ok too. Both are equally likely to be true.

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Volts are volts, regardless of the battery type they come from. If the GPS has enough volts to power up, it will work, no matter what type batteries are in the device. If you want to believe the battery type affects reception, go ahead, and if you want to believe in the tooth fairy, that's ok too. Both are equally likely to be true.

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Volts are volts, regardless of the battery type they come from. If the GPS has enough volts to power up, it will work, no matter what type batteries are in the device. If you want to believe the battery type affects reception, go ahead, and if you want to believe in the tooth fairy, that's ok too. Both are equally likely to be true.

 

You can believe what you want to also, but I know what works well in MY GPS, and you don't. I do know that it will power off every 5 minutes or so with completely charged rechargeable batteries, something that doesn't happen with alkaline. If it powers off in dense cover, I may and have had trouble re-locking on satellites, and that lock is much quicker if I replace the rechargeables with alkalines.

 

And for what it's worth, I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny explained it all to me! :rolleyes:

Edited by pater47
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We used Legends to find our first 300 caches, and loved them so much we kept them for guests to use even though we upgraded to units that have autorouting.

 

I do have a few hints that seemed to help me:

 

1) make sure you don't "hover" over the unit--your body can block the signal

 

2) do keep the Legend facing upward as much of the time as possible and aawy from your body

 

3) turn it on a long while before you get to the cache. A half an hour is not too long! The longer it stays on and gets a signal, the more accurate the signal it gets. I would leave mine on all day; I let it sit on the dash under the front windshield while we drove to the cache so the roof of the car didn't block the signal. I got about 22 hours of battery run time from a set of batteries even when I used the backlight fairly frequently at night.

 

4) do let the unit "settle" while you hunt the cache. Use it to get close to the cache, then set it down while you look for the cache nearby. If you don't find the cache in a few minutes, check the GPS again to see if it's pointing out a new spot (Just don't forget to pick it up again when you leve or if you move too far away!)

 

If it does lose it's signal, find a clearing to let it reacquire the signal. I only had to do this twice, ever.

 

If it gets "too bouncy" (compass flipping around everywhich way) that means you are close. Try walking a tad faster--sometimes going too slow confuses the signal.

 

One other trick that helps is to walk away from the area 20-30 feet (or more) and see where it points, mark that spot mentally (pick out a rock or tree that is notable) then walk 20-30 feet away in a different direction and do that again to see if it points out the same spot. Usually you can narrow down the area that way even in the deepest, darkest woods.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try them out this weekend!

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