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60CSx - Battery Saver Mode Question


Alan Ellis
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Also, (I could be wrong on this) I think the GPSr switches off a couple of channels (apart from WAAS) so instead of processing data from 12 satellites in normal mode, in power saver mode it processes something like 6 or 7.

That is the first time I have heard that. I understood that Battery saver mode turned WAAS off and reduced the satellite signal interval from 1 second to 5 seconds. I may be using the wrong terminology, but basically it only updates the info from each sat every 5 seconds.

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What's the increase in battery life while in Battery Saver mode? Also, is there any unit performance difference while in Battery Saver mode? Thanks for the help.

 

AE

Do a search of the archives for "battery saver mode" (or something like that). We had a nice long discussion on the subject a few months ago, and you will find all you want to know about it there (too lazy to go back and find it myself :) )

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What's the increase in battery life while in Battery Saver mode? Also, is there any unit performance difference while in Battery Saver mode? Thanks for the help.

 

AE

18 hours (typical) with Battery Saver off, 30 hours with it on.

 

AFAIK, the performance difference is that it turns off WAAS, and switches from continuous channel scanning to 1/second scanning (that's not 1 channel per second, but 1 scan of up to 12 channels per second).

 

I've never heard of any reduction of the number of channels being scanned (other than WAAS, of course). Would like to see the documentation for that.

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Thanks for the responses. I did a search and didn't have much luck finding what I was looking for, but this answered my questions. Much appreciated.

 

On a related topic (and other question):

 

I will be in the backcountry of Colorado for several days so I'm interested in extended battery life. So the question: Is WAAS effective in the the backcountry? I'll be in the middle of the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado and was wondering if WAAS works that far into the backcountry. Thanks.

Edited by Alan Ellis
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Thanks for the responses. I did a search and didn't have much luck finding what I was looking for, but this answered my questions. Much appreciated.

 

On a related topic (and other question):

 

I will be in the backcountry of Colorado for several days so I'm interested in extended battery life. So the question: Is WAAS effective in the the backcountry? I'll be in the middle of the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado and was wondering if WAAS works that far into the backcountry. Thanks.

 

It is not really a question of whether you are in the backcountry or not. It will pick up WAAS if it has a descent view of the southern sky. If you are in the shadow of a mountain, it may not pick it up, but otherwise it probably will. I have used min in the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico, and it picks up the WAAS sats.

 

Now the real question is, is it necessary? the difference is probably 10-12 feet of accuracy vs 20-25 ft. If you are finding your position on a map, or finidng landmarks, that ammount of accuracy may be sufficient for your needs. You might try to run it for a day with Battery saver off, then run it with batt. saver on and see if the difference in battery life vs increased accuracy is worth it for you.

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Since you're concerned about battery life, get some lithium AA batteries. They run about 2-3 X alkalines, but last 5-7 times as long.

That's a bit optimistic for GPSr use; they actually last only about 50% longer. The 5-7X claim is presumably for high current drain devices, where alkalines are a really lousy choice to start with.

 

Still, the lithiums are a good choice for backpacking, particularly under extreme temperature conditions. Also, they are lighter. The only downside is some 60CSx's (mine included :rolleyes: ) don't like them.

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Since you're concerned about battery life, get some lithium AA batteries. They run about 2-3 X alkalines, but last 5-7 times as long.

That's a bit optimistic for GPSr use; they actually last only about 50% longer. The 5-7X claim is presumably for high current drain devices, where alkalines are a really lousy choice to start with.

 

Still, the lithiums are a good choice for backpacking, particularly under extreme temperature conditions. Also, they are lighter. The only downside is some 60CSx's (mine included :D ) don't like them.

 

I have had good results from Duracell 2650 Mah rechargeables from Walmart. They seem to go forever. The only problem is they show as full 4 bars of charge right up until they die suddenly with no warning. I have had a many days use out of two of them with 2 to 3 hours use per day.

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The only downside is some 60CSx's (mine included :D ) don't like them.
What do you mean by......"some 60CSx's don't like them."

The voltage level of fresh Lithiums is too high for the Map60CSx, where each battery can be above 1.7 volts each.

From what I've heard on other forums it has only been a problem on 60CSx's and maybe 60Cx's, and it may not be a problem on newer units (mine was one of the first). To see if you have a problem, just insert a pair. If the unit comes on and stays on, you are good to go (I would try more than one pair just to make sure). If it comes on momentarily and fades, you have a sensitive unit. The GPSr won't be damaged by this test, and the battery setting options don't make a difference for this problem.

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30-18 = 12 hours saved. Just bring another pair of regular batteries and enjoy your trip with all the bells and whistles on. Keep the backlighting to a minimum and enjoy yourself. If batteries were $10 a pair I would sweat battery life. Go to the dollar store and get a dozen for a buck and take them all.

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I have had good results from Duracell 2650 Mah rechargeables from Walmart. They seem to go forever. The only problem is they show as full 4 bars of charge right up until they die suddenly with no warning. I have had a many days use out of two of them with 2 to 3 hours use per day.

 

You did change the setting for battery type to NiMH, right (I'm assuming that's what those are). I think the one thing that setting does is affect how it shows remaining battery life.

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I have had good results from Duracell 2650 Mah rechargeables from Walmart. They seem to go forever. The only problem is they show as full 4 bars of charge right up until they die suddenly with no warning. I have had a many days use out of two of them with 2 to 3 hours use per day.

 

You did change the setting for battery type to NiMH, right (I'm assuming that's what those are). I think the one thing that setting does is affect how it shows remaining battery life.

 

Yes, I did change the setting to NiMh. I am not too bothered as I always carry a couple of spare sets of batteries anyway and I always make sure they are fully charged after every 10 hours of use or before a hiking or caching trip. I would not really expect to see an accurate battery guage on rechargeables anyway as they discharge suddenly and not gradually. For me though the Duracells are not only cheap at Walmart but at 2650Mah they sure do the trick for me.

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I will be in the backcountry of Colorado for several days so I'm interested in extended battery life. So the question: Is WAAS effective in the the backcountry? I'll be in the middle of the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado and was wondering if WAAS works that far into the backcountry. Thanks.

 

Now the real question is, is it necessary? the difference is probably 10-12 feet of accuracy vs 20-25 ft. If you are finding your position on a map, or finidng landmarks, that ammount of accuracy may be sufficient for your needs. You might try to run it for a day with Battery saver off, then run it with batt. saver on and see if the difference in battery life vs increased accuracy is worth it for you.

 

Where did you get these numbers? I have done a fair amount of testing and I have never been able to distinguish the difference in accuracy between using SBAS (WAAS and EGNOS) and not using it. In a conversation with a manufacturer's rep (who had nothing to gain by telling me this) I was told that SBAS has a *very minimal* impact on accuracy, about 1.5 to 2 meters. SBAS was actually developed to provide verification of accuracy so GPS could be used for aircraft landing. If you check the accuracy numbers from the manufacturers they are all over the map. So I don't believe any of them since accuracy depends greatly on conditions.

 

If you have been able to actually measure this degree of accuracy change when you disable WAAS, I would be surprised.

 

Your accuracy will only vary in the back country depending on the terrain (valleys between high hills will see fewer sats and they will be tighter together giving a higher DOP) and cover (some GPSrs are less sensitive so they lose sat signals under heavy tree cover) and possibly weather (similar issues as cover).

 

If anyone can conclusively show me that WAAS makes a bigger improvement in accuracy than 2 meters, I will be happy to change my opinion, but I have not seen it in objective testing.

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What's the increase in battery life while in Battery Saver mode? Also, is there any unit performance difference while in Battery Saver mode? Thanks for the help.

 

AE

 

My understanding is that WAAS does not work when in battery saver mode.

 

I can confirm this.

 

I could never great accuracy on my CSX, I would be standing next to someone with the exact same model and they would have 5' of accuracy and I would have 14 or something else. I compared settings and changed my battery saver mode to OFF from ON and all of a sudden I had better accuracy and satellites I had no idea I even could access.

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Sanyo Eneloop batteries are your best investment for GPS use. I've tried EVERYTHING and will continue to advise new cachers to choose these batteries for geocaching! The most important feature for GPS/geocaching use is that they hold their charge for extended periods of time. Koikeeper and I each have 4 eneloop batteries (2 in the 60Cs and 2 spares each). These 4 batteries each have been supplying GPS service for over a year (with recharges of course!) and they are still going strong!!

 

Use the PowerXs and others in high demand devices .... but Eneloops work the best for hand held GPS/geocaching IMHO.

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A lot of information here, some true, some false.

 

Yes, battery save mode works by reducing the update frequency from once per second to once per a few seconds. It's not a fixed limit, but depends upon what kind of reception you have.

 

As it will still provide all navigation functions in the unit with data every second, it's obvious that it will make more or less clever guesses, like extrapolate current speed and heading for a few seconds. Then it turns the reciever back on, reads the satellites, compares to the extrapolation and corrects as needed. If it was right, then back to sleep for a few seconds. If not, it may read more often a couple of times, before it returns to once every four seconds or so.

 

Since Egnos/WAAS requires reception of data transfer every second, it can't be used if the receiver is turned off now and then.

 

It's also true that at least some receivers will lift the mask-off angle a bit when in battery saver mode. My eTrex Vista does, for example. They simply save some electrons by not trying to process satellite signals from satellites very low on the sky, as these satellites are likely not to be received anyway. The CPU uses less current in IDLE than when running code. This then implies using fewer channels when in battery save mode, but it's not a fixed number, but depends upon where the satellites are.

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I will be in the backcountry of Colorado for several days so I'm interested in extended battery life. So the question: Is WAAS effective in the the backcountry? I'll be in the middle of the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado and was wondering if WAAS works that far into the backcountry. Thanks.

 

Now the real question is, is it necessary? the difference is probably 10-12 feet of accuracy vs 20-25 ft. If you are finding your position on a map, or finidng landmarks, that ammount of accuracy may be sufficient for your needs. You might try to run it for a day with Battery saver off, then run it with batt. saver on and see if the difference in battery life vs increased accuracy is worth it for you.

 

Where did you get these numbers? I have done a fair amount of testing and I have never been able to distinguish the difference in accuracy between using SBAS (WAAS and EGNOS) and not using it. In a conversation with a manufacturer's rep (who had nothing to gain by telling me this) I was told that SBAS has a *very minimal* impact on accuracy, about 1.5 to 2 meters. SBAS was actually developed to provide verification of accuracy so GPS could be used for aircraft landing. If you check the accuracy numbers from the manufacturers they are all over the map. So I don't believe any of them since accuracy depends greatly on conditions.

 

If you have been able to actually measure this degree of accuracy change when you disable WAAS, I would be surprised.

 

Your accuracy will only vary in the back country depending on the terrain (valleys between high hills will see fewer sats and they will be tighter together giving a higher DOP) and cover (some GPSrs are less sensitive so they lose sat signals under heavy tree cover) and possibly weather (similar issues as cover).

 

If anyone can conclusively show me that WAAS makes a bigger improvement in accuracy than 2 meters, I will be happy to change my opinion, but I have not seen it in objective testing.

 

I didn't get the numbers from anywhere. And if you are focusing on that part of my post you are missing the point I was trying to make--which is to play with the unit yourself and see if you prefer the way it runs with Battery saver on vs off. Combine the difference in accuracy (whatever it is) with the slower position updating and the boomeranging you occasionally get by doing it and find out how you prefer your unit to perform. I have always had the attitude that I paid for performance and I want the maximum performance that I paid for. Of cource YMMV.

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