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GeoMiller

Vista HCx Issues

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

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That is the GPSr I am considering upgrading to . . . but not if that is a common problem. Did you call Garmin? I'll be interested to watch this thread to see if others have that problem with the 2.30 firmware.

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

 

I still have 2.20 firmware in mine and am not seeing that problem. I thought you could try reinstalling 2.20 as an experiment to see if that fixes it, but I just found out that Garmin didn't archive that version of firmware, so no way to backup.

 

You could also enable the compass at low speeds to see if that stabilizes the compass arrow. What are your compass threshold settings now for speed and time?

Edited by geo climber

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

 

I still have 2.20 firmware in mine and am not seeing that problem. You could consider installing 2.20 as an experiment to see if that fixes it. Let me know if you need the link to it.

 

You could also enable the compass at low speeds to see if that stabilizes the compass arrow. What are your compass threshold settings now for speed and time?

 

I have the VistaCx that i have been using for caching and found the opposite to be true. I disabled the electronic compass and the display settled down. I also have a 76CSx and had to disable that compass too inorder for it to stop spinning on me when I stop and start moving.

 

Ron

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Yes, I experienced the same problem for the first time last night. I'm not using any add on maps, but did upgrade to v2.30. I didn't think much of the wandering pointer until I read your post. I just changed the compass heading setup back to the default of 10mh/90sec, and will keep an eye on it.

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Is it possible that you have the "Lock on Road" feature turned on. If this is so, the gps will try to point you to the road unless you are a significant distance from the road - if you are routing at the time using Follow Road option.

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

 

I still have 2.20 firmware in mine and am not seeing that problem. I thought you could try reinstalling 2.20 as an experiment to see if that fixes it, but I just found out that Garmin didn't archive that version of firmware, so no way to backup.

 

You could also enable the compass at low speeds to see if that stabilizes the compass arrow. What are your compass threshold settings now for speed and time?

 

I too have had this behavior just today. Hmmm. Does anyone have a backup of the firmware 2.20 that we could roll back to? I don't see it on Garmin's site.

I have my settings set to <3 MPH for >60 seconds. I may set them back to the defaults and see what happens too.

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

 

I still have 2.20 firmware in mine and am not seeing that problem. I thought you could try reinstalling 2.20 as an experiment to see if that fixes it, but I just found out that Garmin didn't archive that version of firmware, so no way to backup.

 

You could also enable the compass at low speeds to see if that stabilizes the compass arrow. What are your compass threshold settings now for speed and time?

 

I too have had this behavior just today. Hmmm. Does anyone have a backup of the firmware 2.20 that we could roll back to? I don't see it on Garmin's site.

I have my settings set to <3 MPH for >60 seconds. I may set them back to the defaults and see what happens too.

 

I called Garmin and they said a version 2.40 is coming out "soon" to address the known problems in 2.30. They said that 2.20 was never published as a download and therefore not archived. Hard to believe but probably sadly true. So much for software configuration control.

 

Try manually turning on the compass when you experience the problem and see if that helps. It is manually controlled by holding in the PAGE key, as I recall.

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

 

I still have 2.20 firmware in mine and am not seeing that problem. I thought you could try reinstalling 2.20 as an experiment to see if that fixes it, but I just found out that Garmin didn't archive that version of firmware, so no way to backup.

 

You could also enable the compass at low speeds to see if that stabilizes the compass arrow. What are your compass threshold settings now for speed and time?

 

I too have had this behavior just today. Hmmm. Does anyone have a backup of the firmware 2.20 that we could roll back to? I don't see it on Garmin's site.

I have my settings set to <3 MPH for >60 seconds. I may set them back to the defaults and see what happens too.

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

 

I still have 2.20 firmware in mine and am not seeing that problem. I thought you could try reinstalling 2.20 as an experiment to see if that fixes it, but I just found out that Garmin didn't archive that version of firmware, so no way to backup.

 

You could also enable the compass at low speeds to see if that stabilizes the compass arrow. What are your compass threshold settings now for speed and time?

 

I too have had this behavior just today. Hmmm. Does anyone have a backup of the firmware 2.20 that we could roll back to? I don't see it on Garmin's site.

I have my settings set to <3 MPH for >60 seconds. I may set them back to the defaults and see what happens too.

My unit lists two SW versions.... SW 2.20 and GPS SW version 2.10 Plus I can't connect to the server even to find out what the newer versions are. Anyone have that problem?

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Sounds to me like you just didn't calibrate the compass. You need to do it every time you change batteries and I'm sure after a firmware upgrade too.

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I've experienced the same problems with my old Etrex Vista. It's not that the compass was wandering, it was always pointing in the opposite direction.

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Well my new Vista HCx just died today. It won't see any satellites what so ever. The GPS software rev. somehow reverted to 0.00 and it won't load the software. I have to send the unit back to Garmin for replacement. And today my copy of CN 2008 arrived. Just my luck. No GPSr for at least a week. :o

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Ok, I finally had time to try a few more things. I calibrated the compass but there was no difference. Like I previously stated, the arrow points in the wrong direction when caching. This happens in both Map and Compass pointer mode.

I submitted an online support request to Garmin pointing them to this tread but I haven't heard back on anything. I am going to try to call them today.

 

Have any of you who experienced the same issue figured anything out yet?

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I calibrated the compass but there was no difference. Like I previously stated, the arrow points in the wrong direction when caching.

 

I still think it's probably a compass calibration Issue, have you tried turning off the electronic compass and see if it still has the issue? you can turn off the electronic compass by holding down the Page/Quit button(upper right button).

Just like a real compass the electronic compass is effected by any magnetic field. so I always turn it off in the car, on my bike, and always calibrate it outdoors. The other day when riding my bike I had my vistaCX in the handlebar mount and I noticed the compass arrow on the map screen was turned the wrong way even when I was moving. Sure enough the electronic compass was on next to the metal handlebars, that was enough to pull it out of whack.

Edited by hogrod

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I calibrated the compass but there was no difference. Like I previously stated, the arrow points in the wrong direction when caching.

 

I still think it's probably a compass calibration Issue, have you tried turning off the electronic compass and see if it still has the issue? you can turn off the electronic compass by holding down the Quit button(upper right button).

Just like a real compass the electronic compass is effected by any magnetic field. so I always turn it off in the car, on my bike, and always calibrate it outdoors. The other day when riding my bike I had my vistaCX in the handlebar mount and I noticed the compass arrow on the map screen was turned the wrong way even when I was moving. Sure enough the electronic compass was on next to the metal handlebars, that was enough to pull it out of whack.

 

This is really weird! I did not have this problem before Sunday. When my son and I went out caching - I noticed this exact same behavior with the compass! Fortunately or unfortunately, I have returned my unit to Garmin for another issue (power on problem) and I don't know if they will attempt a repair or a replacement. I didn't get too upset about the compass because I knew that I was probably going to be sending it back. Now I won't know until I get the unit back whether this is a common anomaly or some new thing that has cropped up. I'll post a reply when I get the unit back.

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Glad I read this post. I've had the same trouble with the compass on my Vista HCXseveral times and thought I was just doing something wrong, being new to GPS and geocaching. I tried recalibrating, turning the electronic compass on and off, etc. but it still behaved very strangely. I think it's going back while I'm still in my 30 day return window...

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I've only liked using the electronic compas when just starting out so I start in the right direction. I've noticed electronic compasses on Garmins often flip flop when the distance is short...like within 30' or so. I've seen this on my Vista HCx and 60 CSx. I just was used to watching the 'dist to next' or dist to final' and as long as it's decrementing, I'm heading in the right direction. I guess I got used to this on my previous e-trex's w/o electronic compasses. Just remember, if the accuracy reads 20', and your 15' away, the compass isn't the right thing to focus on. Try dist to next or final when your close. Just my observations.

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Ok so I turned off the compass tonight and things seemed to work better.....still not as good as my old Legend. I am hoping that Garmin will fix this unit with some new firmware soon.

 

I actually called Garmin support today but didn't get far, they couldn't confirm my problem and just said that the GPS had to be level and that I needed to calibrate it. Now that both of those are done it still isn't too impressive. I am not positive but I think the unit worked very well with the original 2.20 firmware so I have hope that they will fix it. I couldn't get Garmin to give me any hints on possible release dates for the 2.40 firmware just a confirmation that they were working on several fixes.

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Ok so I turned off the compass tonight and things seemed to work better.....still not as good as my old Legend. I am hoping that Garmin will fix this unit with some new firmware soon.

 

I actually called Garmin support today but didn't get far, they couldn't confirm my problem and just said that the GPS had to be level and that I needed to calibrate it. Now that both of those are done it still isn't too impressive. I am not positive but I think the unit worked very well with the original 2.20 firmware so I have hope that they will fix it. I couldn't get Garmin to give me any hints on possible release dates for the 2.40 firmware just a confirmation that they were working on several fixes.

I noticed a bug in the Vista HCX 2.20 firmware (maybe one of you with 2.30 can confirm if it's still there): If you change the Position format in the units setup to hddd.ddddd (maybe others as well), the format on the map screen is still hddd mm.mmm if you display the location in one wide data field. Weirdly, if you display 2 wide data fields, by default it will show the location twice; the top one will be in the wrong format, but the bottom one will follow your format preferences.

 

Where is the official place to go to report firmware bugs to Garmin?

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Is anyone still having issues with the compass pointing in the opposite direction/jumping around? Had my Vista Hcx a couple of days now, went to find a cache with it today and pointer was all over the place, pointing at just about everywhere but the cache. Tried al the stuff with the compass, i.e. on, off, recalibrate, etc. and no change.

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Is anyone still having issues with the compass pointing in the opposite direction/jumping around? Had my Vista HCx a couple of days now, went to find a cache with it today and pointer was all over the place, pointing at just about everywhere but the cache. Tried al the stuff with the compass, i.e. on, off, recalibrate, etc. and no change.

 

P.S. I have updated it to latest software version

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I received my Vista HCx about 2 weeks ago. I also bought and loaded the Mapsource Topo 2008 DVD. This last week I went on vacation and used it extensively. On the car ride to the destination the device worked great, always tracking accurately and without issues. Once I arrived at the destination (1 13 hour drive later) I found out that the new 2.30 firmware had been released. I decided to upgrade and did so without problems. The next day I decided to go Caching.....that is where the problems began.

 

After selecting the waypoint and choosing "go to" we drove to the nearest parking spot without issues. Then as we started to walk the GPSr started to lose it's mind. If I stayed in "GeoCaching Mode" the compass arrow pointed in the wrong direction, if I would turn around and walk in the direction the GPSr said the arrow would suddenly switch to the other way. I switched to the map mode and observed the same behavior. I finally went back to GeoCaching mode and setup a data field to show the "distance to destination". By watching for the distance to decrease I was able to eventually get to the cache all the while the arrow pointed all over the place. I continued to complete 3 additional caches in the same area using this method. I turned the device on and off several times but it didn't make a difference. When we got back in the car and drove away the unit worked fine again.

 

My read on the problem is that at high speeds the device works well but when walking it doesn't know how to compensate for quick changes. Has anyone else experienced issues like these?

 

One last note...before this I have been using a Garmin Legend which worked great, never had issues like this.

I may be way off, but I'm guessing you switched GPS's to one with an electronic compass and you expect the arrow to work the same. It is totally different. When you turn around the electronic compass knows you turned and swings the arrow. Why does it swing the arrow? So the arrow points at the cache. It points at the cache no mater which way you point. If you put a paper map on the ground with N pointing N you can put the GPS on top of the map and the GPS map will be aligned the same as the paper map no mater which way you point the GPS. It is a beautiful thing. Edited by John E Cache

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I also have had the same problem ever since I updated to the new firmware. Tried everything under the sun. Does the same thing weather the compos was on or off. Also tried several other things over the last few months, but the only thing that worked, for a little while, would be just to turn it off then on when its starts to act up while I was caching. I will probably continue to this until the new firm ware comes out. Gotta love updates... <_<

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Does anyone know when they plan on releasing the new firmware?

Edited by GeoKims

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im sure the tech's in their lab do......just do some research, find out their names.....then go hang out around the garmin building with their picture, then carefully pull up in a van.... blindfold them and take them to your local designated Groundspeak information center

 

ask the person when the 60 will be released too, Id like to know that one....if you need any help PM me

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For the recrod - I have the Legend HCx and my wife has her Legend Cx (no electronic compass in either). Her compass works just fine when caching, but mine displays the wrong direction (180 deg off) and often gets "stuck" while searching for the cache. I ran some tests with one in each hand and the Cx was definately working as one would expect while the HCx produced very poor compass points. Both have the latest s/w installed in their units.

Star-geezer

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it shouldnt be that off........do you calibrate it everytime you take out the batteries? I have never had an issue with my vista hcx, its always worked quite well in the brush and in the car

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For the recrod - I have the Legend HCx and my wife has her Legend Cx (no electronic compass in either). Her compass works just fine when caching, but mine displays the wrong direction (180 deg off) and often gets "stuck" while searching for the cache. I ran some tests with one in each hand and the Cx was definately working as one would expect while the HCx produced very poor compass points. Both have the latest s/w installed in their units.

Star-geezer

The two GPSs work totally different. If you wait for a software "fix" you will wait a long time. Did you understand my previous post? I have tried to explain the difference with words several times with no luck and I am tempted to make a youtube video that shows the arrows 180 degrees off and both GPSs working like they are supposed to.

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I guess I am always the naysayer, but I recommended the HCx to a friend who was getting into the geocahe thing. He had used my 76CSx some and wanted it but did not want the price. So I recommended the new HCx since everyone said it was just as good but cheaper.

 

Less than a month of moderate use and it no longer receives any satellite data. The compass seemed ok on the unit but would go crazy if he had his cell phone turned on wearing it on his belt and holding the GPSr. Holding my 76Csx and using the compass did not seem to be affected by the cell phone. He exchanged it and the new one did not work out of the box.

 

He has sent it back to the place he purchased to exchange for a 60Csx - he likes the way it feels in his hand compared to my 76.

 

My $0.02

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For the recrod - I have the Legend HCx and my wife has her Legend Cx (no electronic compass in either). Her compass works just fine when caching, but mine displays the wrong direction (180 deg off) and often gets "stuck" while searching for the cache. I ran some tests with one in each hand and the Cx was definately working as one would expect while the HCx produced very poor compass points. Both have the latest s/w installed in their units.

Star-geezer

 

How do you tell what version of the firmware you have on your GPS HCx?

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