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Garmin Vista HCx mini-review

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Probably an in situ test is the only way to resolve it for you.

Agreed.

 

Newb888 - I don't know where you live, but I just did an in-situ test on these two units last week. I checked around here (NC), and the only retailer I found that had both units in stock was REI. Not only did they have both units in the same display case, they also had batteries in them. I was impressed!

 

Check the link and see if there's an REI in your area - seeing these units side-by-side is a worthwhile proposition; the improved/brighter display on the HCx units is easily seen.

 

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, no location in Canada. But, yes the brighter display is clearly noticable and great battery life is impressive. The MediaTEK chipset is quite energy efficient.

Edited by Newb888

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I just noticed something. Is the deviation on Google Earth standard? On Google Earth the HCx is closer to the road than the 76Csx but I know first hand that using my Etrex Legend the tracks are quite accurate when I uploaded them to Mapsource compared to Google Earth. In GE the track is further away, so I am more inclined to believe the accuracy of the 60/76 is better.

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@='Newb888

 

I think any inaccuracies are not down to the gps units. I used maps.google recently to navigate by foot to an address I looked up and it took me exactly to spot on the pavement that lead to their front door, and I have repeated this many times with exact addresses on maps.google who have now added street numbers. btw this is with the Vista HCx but my old mono Vista was the same.

 

The MediaTEK chipset is quite energy efficient.

 

This is very confusing. I have also seen reports that the Media Tek is more efficient however I note that for example, if one looks at the specs on Garmin's website that the Venture HC with the Media Tek chip gets 14 hour battery life and the Venture Cx with removable media and the old chipset gets a whopping 32 hours!

 

Yet when comparing the VistaCx with the VistaHCx, the HCx loses 7 hours of battery life with all other specs equal except for the chipset.

 

So it appears that the H chipset pulls an extra 7 hours off the battery life and somehow untis that have removable media (x) get a boost of about 10 hours battery life. Not sure what to make of this.

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Thanks gallet, I must've got confused on the specs on GArmin's site. I also noticed on Google Earth that the addresess or house numbers are not always accurate either. I think Google EArth in general isn't that accurate. I know I read one review comparing the accuracy of their HCx unit on Google EArth which I would say is not an accurate representation. I think Garmin Mapsource should be used for comparison purposes.

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@='Newb888

 

I think any inaccuracies are not down to the gps units. I used maps.google recently to navigate by foot to an address I looked up and it took me exactly to spot on the pavement that lead to their front door, and I have repeated this many times with exact addresses on maps.google who have now added street numbers. btw this is with the Vista HCx but my old mono Vista was the same.

 

The MediaTEK chipset is quite energy efficient.

 

This is very confusing. I have also seen reports that the Media Tek is more efficient however I note that for example, if one looks at the specs on Garmin's website that the Venture HC with the Media Tek chip gets 14 hour battery life and the Venture Cx with removable media and the old chipset gets a whopping 32 hours!

 

Yet when comparing the VistaCx with the VistaHCx, the HCx loses 7 hours of battery life with all other specs equal except for the chipset.

 

So it appears that the H chipset pulls an extra 7 hours off the battery life and somehow untis that have removable media (x) get a boost of about 10 hours battery life. Not sure what to make of this.

I have a theory about this. I believe the internal memory requires more power than the flash memory. If it's RAM, that would make sense, because it has to refresh the memory continually. If it's internal flash, maybe there's another reason.

 

The statement about the MediaTEK chipset being energy efficient is relative to other high-sensitivity chipsets (namely the Sirf Star III).

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Im looking to update my ancient 60C, and was almost convinced to buy this Vista HCx. I find it hard to believe that there is no turn audio beep. Is this correct?

 

thanks!

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Im looking to update my ancient 60C, and was almost convinced to buy this Vista HCx. I find it hard to believe that there is no turn audio beep. Is this correct?

 

thanks!

There is a beep (the same beep for left and right) - but it is rather silent.

remember: the HCX has NO alarmclock

and has NO status bar !!

Edited by freeday

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Hi!

 

There is a new software version

 

eTrex Legend HCx software version 2.40 as of September 26, 2007

 

Try it

 

regards

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Hi!

 

There is a new software version

 

eTrex Legend HCx software version 2.40 as of September 26, 2007

 

Try it

 

regards

Hello fujitsu!

 

Now it works !!! Thanks for the info!!

 

26.09.2007_10:50:05_version240.gif

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Hi,

 

apparently the new software version is only for the Etrex Legend HCx (??). I don't see it for the Vista HCx.

 

Well I have the Legend so I'm happy with it <_<

 

So freeday do you notice some improvements. I will update mine GPS only at night if my little daughter aloud me

 

regards

 

Thank you Garmin.

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Hi,

 

apparently the new software version is only for the Etrex Legend HCx (??). I don't see it for the Vista HCx.

 

Well I have the Legend so I'm happy with it <_<

 

So freeday do you notice some improvements. I will update mine GPS only at night if my little daughter aloud me

 

regards

 

Thank you Garmin.

i have a vista HCX, so the update is for both units.

(sorry but i am to stupied to change my signature, i tried it already a lot of times, but it's still the old one.)

 

It will take some days for me to test if there are improvements -

Changed odometer calculation to more closely match track log distance.

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Quick question on custom POI's for the Vista HCx. I assume that you can turn off custom POIs so they dont show up on the map all the time? Same question with geocaching waypoints. If I have 300 geocaches on my screen, I know you can set the default zoom where waypoints will come on, but can you custom select geocache waypoints to turn off and leave others on?

 

Thanks for the answers. I purchased my HCx a few days agon, knowing Garwin would fix the odometer problem, and evidently they have... (I hope).

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What did the latest firmware fix?

Changes made from version 2.30 to 2.40:

 

Fix compass hint message issue when compass turn off.

Changed odometer calculation to more closely match track log distance.

Change number of lines of text in the address field on map feature review page from 4 to 6.

Limit number of custom POI bitmaps to 64 to ensure enough memory resources.

Added better compatibility with Mac computers in USB mass storage mode

Improved pedestrian route calculation for shortest distance method.

Changed datum used in the SWEREF 99TM grid from GEO_NAD83 to GEO_NONE_GRS80.

Changed datum used in the Estonian grid from GEO_NAD83 to GEO_NONE_GRS80.

Fix potential shutdown when using TOPO West 1999.

Fix potential shutdown on track setup for data card when track log files have long file names.

Corrected French translation for 'Log track points'.

Improve track log recording for sensor products to continue recording sensor data even when GPS doesn't have a fix.

Fix potential shutdown when propagating in a cul-de-sac across a map boundary.

Add A905/D900 unlock code communication protocol.

Make route recalculation on MPC maps behave like City Navigator maps.

Fix second power on issue.

Fix WebUpdater issue of GPS firmware.

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Thanks, looks like the WAAS issue and maybe the Odometer issue (< 2 mph) is not fixed yet.

The issue with WAAS sometimes being disabled after cycling power was fixed in the previous software version. And if you look at the change log, the odometer issue was addressed, too (matches the track log now). Note that the track log has ALWAYS shown the correct distance--it was just the trip computer/odometer which was not correctly accumulating distance at slow speeds. But now that should be fixed.

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Same question with geocaching waypoints. If I have 300 geocaches on my screen, I know you can set the default zoom where waypoints will come on, but can you custom select geocache waypoints to turn off and leave others on?

 

 

I'm pretty sure the geocaches are combined with the way points. so yes you can turn all waypoints off. but you can't only turn the geocache ones off.

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I just wanted to bump this thread up to see how everyone is liking their vista hcx? I have been having the wash out screen upon start up and the odometer is showing my speed about 3 mph slower than my car. Not sure if it is just the lag of the gpsr catching up or what. I want to hear what everyone else is seeing.

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I just wanted to bump this thread up to see how everyone is liking their vista hcx? I have been having the wash out screen upon start up and the odometer is showing my speed about 3 mph slower than my car. Not sure if it is just the lag of the gpsr catching up or what. I want to hear what everyone else is seeing.

Every car I have seen overestimates the speed. I've read that car manufacturers do this so as to prevent liability issues if the speed displayed was too slow and people got tickets because of it. Displaying a higher than actual speed allows for variability in displayed speed due to tread wear and other factors and still keeps the displayed speed at or above true speed.

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I just wanted to bump this thread up to see how everyone is liking their vista hcx? I have been having the wash out screen upon start up and the odometer is showing my speed about 3 mph slower than my car. Not sure if it is just the lag of the gpsr catching up or what. I want to hear what everyone else is seeing.

Every car I have seen overestimates the speed. I've read that car manufacturers do this so as to prevent liability issues if the speed displayed was too slow and people got tickets because of it. Displaying a higher than actual speed allows for variability in displayed speed due to tread wear and other factors and still keeps the displayed speed at or above true speed.

Cool, well thats good to know that my GPSr is more accurate than my car :yikes: I'm wondering if having the screen wash out on me is worth contacting Garmin about or just dealing with restarting everytime to fix it.......

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I just wanted to bump this thread up to see how everyone is liking their vista hcx? I have been having the wash out screen upon start up and the odometer is showing my speed about 3 mph slower than my car. Not sure if it is just the lag of the gpsr catching up or what. I want to hear what everyone else is seeing.

Every car I have seen overestimates the speed. I've read that car manufacturers do this so as to prevent liability issues if the speed displayed was too slow and people got tickets because of it. Displaying a higher than actual speed allows for variability in displayed speed due to tread wear and other factors and still keeps the displayed speed at or above true speed.

Cool, well thats good to know that my GPSr is more accurate than my car :yikes: I'm wondering if having the screen wash out on me is worth contacting Garmin about or just dealing with restarting everytime to fix it.......

Another topic was discussing this very problem. They seem to think that this is caused when the unit is cold when first turned on. Unknown if the internal thermometer is the culprit here or not but at least they have a plausible explanation. Users have reported that units that were kept overnight in a cold car would behave this way but then the problem would go away if it was simply stored indoors. Sorry I can't remember more. Maybe try the search function for "washed out display" Best of luck!

Edited by cacheninja

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I just wanted to bump this thread up to see how everyone is liking their vista hcx? I have been having the wash out screen upon start up and the odometer is showing my speed about 3 mph slower than my car. Not sure if it is just the lag of the gpsr catching up or what. I want to hear what everyone else is seeing.

I like the great reception of the HCx. I don't like the way that the HCx and CN NT maps apparently don't play well together.

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whenever you have compression you need something to decompress

 

I really dont know how NT compresses their maps to fit into smaller dimensions, but it would seem the compression is beta and needs a more powerful CPU to compute the results

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whenever you have compression you need something to decompress

 

I really dont know how NT compresses their maps to fit into smaller dimensions, but it would seem the compression is beta and needs a more powerful CPU to compute the results

I can certainly understand that, and if the only problem were delays in re-drawing maps or searching for POIs, that would make sense. What's strange is the flaky behavior occurs when doing things that are completely unrelated to the NT map data. (The NT maps can even be temporarily turned off, with the "Hide City Navigator maps" option in the map setup; just their very existence causes problems. I don't see how this would have anything to do with decompression.)

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I just picked up a Vista HCX receiver. Haven't looked at the book yet. I was wondering what size micro SD card the unit will accept. The salesperson at the store said not to put anything larger than 1 GB. So, my question is, can a larger card be used? If so, how large?

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I just picked up a Vista HCX receiver. Haven't looked at the book yet. I was wondering what size micro SD card the unit will accept. The salesperson at the store said not to put anything larger than 1 GB. So, my question is, can a larger card be used? If so, how large?

  1. Yes
  2. 2GB

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You should be able to fit all the maps from City Navigator Nt plus some maps from Topo 2008 and still have enough room on a 2 Gb card to log tracks onto the card.

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You can also take larger cards, but for maps you may only use 2048MB. With current prices and practically no difference between 4GB (7€) or 2GB (5€), I wouldn't see the point in buying a 2GB (plus generally 4GB SDHC are faster than 2GB SDHC).

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I was just comparing my current Vista to the new HCX, and it turns out the Vista is superior in 2 places:

 

Display resolution

Vista: 160 X 288 (46,080 pixels)

Vista HCx: 176 X 220 (38,720 pixels)

 

Built in memory:

Vista: 24MB

Vista HCx: None

 

Of course, the HCx trounces mine in almost every other important area, especially battery life, USB, auto routing, color screen, high sensitivity receiver, expandable memory, etc etc etc. I'm not sure it is enough of an improvement for me to replace mine just yet, especially considering that I am leaning towards the 60 CSx. I would so love to have better satellite reception when in the woods. I did a NYC cache the other day, and my GPS was useless. It was giving me an accuracy of 167 feet. Found the cache simply from the cache description.

 

admo1872, you do know that the HCx takes microSD cards, right? So there is no need for built-in memory. I just bought a 2GB Sandisk microSD card for under $25 with free shipping. FYI.

 

could you post a link please.

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