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60CSx Accuracy questions


VTtrader
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I bought my first GPSr (Garmin 60CSx) in July, I really loved it. I was very impressed with the accuracy of the tracks and waypoints when plotted with mapping programs loaded with aerial photos. On the satellite page the accuracy was usually reported as 12-14' (WAAS enabled) and I don't ever remember seeing a blue circle on the map page. It also obtained a fix very quickly.

 

After about 3 1/2 weeks the on/off switch failed, the retailer had a "30 day return for replacement" policy, so I returned it.

 

As soon as I turned on the replacement, I noticed that it was taking longer to get it's first fix. Once it obtained a fix, the coordinates showed that our deck had been mysteriously relocated. Although the reported accuracy was only slightly more (13-16') the coordinates were off by more than that (20-30'). On the map page I get a blue circle (I assume a margin of error circle) that is probably 100-150' in diameter. When I plot the tracks on the aerial photos, it frequently has me 50'+ away from where I'm actually walking. I turned off the "lock on road" feature, since I read that can cause problems, and I saw in plotting the tracks that it was so far off that it had "locked" me onto the wrong side of a divided interstate.

 

Needless to say, I have not been very impressed with the accuracy of this replacement. With only these 2 units to judge by I'm left wondering, was the first unit unusually good, or is this one unusually bad. I'm going to call tech support tomorrow and run it by them, I'll post any info I get from them. I just wanted to see if anyone in here had any opinions.

 

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

VT

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If this were my situation, I would have it sit out to under the sky for a while listen to the satellites for about 20 minutes so as to get the latest almanac data. I would also verify that you have "Battery Saver" off. WAAS does not need to be on in the CSx (I find that it does not help enough to merit itself on this unit). If the behavior persists, then definitely call Garmin.

 

Verify also that under "units" you have the right Datum (WGS 84).

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On the map page I get a blue circle (I assume a margin of error circle) that is probably 100-150' in diameter.

 

The blue circle is an accuracy circle that is relative to the positional accuracy of the GPS and the accuracy of the base map that you are currently using in your GPS. Standing in a stationary position, if I use the World Base map the circle is 500 ft in diameter. If I use Topo the blue circle is 40 ft in diameter.

Edited by ergomaniac
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Hynr, hogrod and ergomaniac thanks for your responses.

 

Settings all seem to be right, software/firmware is all updated, and I've tried WAAS both on and off (you're right, I didn't see much difference either way). As for the blue circle, my concern with that is how much it changes size for no apparent reason. Sitting on my deck holding the unit the size of the circle goes from about 20' away from my position clear across our pond 100'+ away without changing anything, it just constantly resizes itself.

 

I mentioned this on another forum and someone suggested it might be an antenna problem.

 

I talked with tech support yesterday, he wasn't much help and suggested that it was within "normal bounds" for a GPS. From the responses I've received on the forums and my experience with the other unit, it seems to indicate that it is not functioning correctly. He did say I could send it in and they would go over it. He also said I could try a hard reset by starting it by holding down the quit, menu, out, and power buttons for about 10 seconds. I had some stuff on there I wanted to get off first so I didn't do it while on the phone with him.

I had already done a hard reset using a different key combination, but thought I would try his. Freaked me out a little because his combination made it so the unit wouldn't even start up. I eventually got it started again by changing the batteries, I'm not sure what his key combination did, but it sure didn't reset it.

 

Thanks again for your input.

 

VT

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Hynr, hogrod and ergomaniac thanks for your responses.

 

Settings all seem to be right, software/firmware is all updated, and I've tried WAAS both on and off (you're right, I didn't see much difference either way). As for the blue circle, my concern with that is how much it changes size for no apparent reason. Sitting on my deck holding the unit the size of the circle goes from about 20' away from my position clear across our pond 100'+ away without changing anything, it just constantly resizes itself.

 

I mentioned this on another forum and someone suggested it might be an antenna problem.

 

I talked with tech support yesterday, he wasn't much help and suggested that it was within "normal bounds" for a GPS. From the responses I've received on the forums and my experience with the other unit, it seems to indicate that it is not functioning correctly. He did say I could send it in and they would go over it. He also said I could try a hard reset by starting it by holding down the quit, menu, out, and power buttons for about 10 seconds. I had some stuff on there I wanted to get off first so I didn't do it while on the phone with him.

I had already done a hard reset using a different key combination, but thought I would try his. Freaked me out a little because his combination made it so the unit wouldn't even start up. I eventually got it started again by changing the batteries, I'm not sure what his key combination did, but it sure didn't reset it.

 

Thanks again for your input.

 

VT

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Hynr, hogrod and ergomaniac thanks for your responses.

 

Settings all seem to be right, software/firmware is all updated, and I've tried WAAS both on and off (you're right, I didn't see much difference either way). As for the blue circle, my concern with that is how much it changes size for no apparent reason. Sitting on my deck holding the unit the size of the circle goes from about 20' away from my position clear across our pond 100'+ away without changing anything, it just constantly resizes itself.

 

I mentioned this on another forum and someone suggested it might be an antenna problem.

 

I talked with tech support yesterday, he wasn't much help and suggested that it was within "normal bounds" for a GPS. From the responses I've received on the forums and my experience with the other unit, it seems to indicate that it is not functioning correctly. He did say I could send it in and they would go over it. He also said I could try a hard reset by starting it by holding down the quit, menu, out, and power buttons for about 10 seconds. I had some stuff on there I wanted to get off first so I didn't do it while on the phone with him.

I had already done a hard reset using a different key combination, but thought I would try his. Freaked me out a little because his combination made it so the unit wouldn't even start up. I eventually got it started again by changing the batteries, I'm not sure what his key combination did, but it sure didn't reset it.

 

Thanks again for your input.

 

VT

 

Same problem here, sent one unit back, Garmin sent a new unit......same thing with it, roads don't line up with the black triangle while you are driving, about 50' off, drive one way and turn around shows two tracks. Couple of calls to tech support.... they can't answer the question of why....say thats the way it works in showing your location on the Mapsource software. On the NP24K maps however I experience my location almost right on. Findng geocaches just fine with it though.

Edited by brew15
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Hynr, hogrod and ergomaniac thanks for your responses.

 

Settings all seem to be right, software/firmware is all updated, and I've tried WAAS both on and off (you're right, I didn't see much difference either way). As for the blue circle, my concern with that is how much it changes size for no apparent reason. Sitting on my deck holding the unit the size of the circle goes from about 20' away from my position clear across our pond 100'+ away without changing anything, it just constantly resizes itself.

 

I mentioned this on another forum and someone suggested it might be an antenna problem.

 

I talked with tech support yesterday, he wasn't much help and suggested that it was within "normal bounds" for a GPS. From the responses I've received on the forums and my experience with the other unit, it seems to indicate that it is not functioning correctly. He did say I could send it in and they would go over it. He also said I could try a hard reset by starting it by holding down the quit, menu, out, and power buttons for about 10 seconds. I had some stuff on there I wanted to get off first so I didn't do it while on the phone with him.

I had already done a hard reset using a different key combination, but thought I would try his. Freaked me out a little because his combination made it so the unit wouldn't even start up. I eventually got it started again by changing the batteries, I'm not sure what his key combination did, but it sure didn't reset it.

 

Thanks again for your input.

 

VT

 

Same problem here, sent one unit back, Garmin sent a new unit......same thing with it, roads don't line up with the black triangle while you are driving, about 50' off, drive one way and turn around shows two tracks. Couple of calls to tech support.... they can't answer the question of why....say thats the way it works in showing your location on the Mapsource software. On the NP24K maps however I experience my location almost right on. Findng geocaches just fine with it though.

When you notice this on the map display, does it say "Overzoom" on the distance legend? If so, what you're seeing is normal.

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On the map page I get a blue circle (I assume a margin of error circle) that is probably 100-150' in diameter. VT

 

Isn't this your proximity circle? See page 15 in your GPSMAP 60CSX Owner's Manual.

 

I don't think so, this circle is around my position, not around a waypoint, and I don't have any proximity waypoints identified. My concern with the blue circle though is that it constantly resizes (even while stationary) to diameters far beyond reported accuracy.

 

I was not able to find this circle in the manual, but it is referenced in the FAQs on their website. I'm not sure why it's not in the manual though.

 

From their FAQ:

Question: Why is my position on the map screen not accurate?

 

Answer:

The basemap in your unit has been drawn from a map with a scale of 1:1,000,000. You can expect an accuracy of .25 miles (1,320 feet) from a map of this scale.

 

Additionally, when you view your position on the GPS map page, you will notice that a circle displays around your current position. This circle shows the area you can expect your actual position to fall within. The less accuracy the unit has at the time, the larger the circle will be. The diameter of this circle considers both your GPS accuracy and the accuracy of the map to which you are trying to plot your position.

 

City Navigator, which is a more detailed mapping program, has an accuracy of about 40 feet. Therefore, you would see a smaller circle around your actual position (assuming you have a good GPS position fix), than you would using a basemap.

 

VT

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Interesting....On my unit I can set a Proximity Waypoint as per Page 15 in the 60CSX Manual, I can set the radius of it (It defaults at one mile) this causes a dashed red line to outline around the waypoint, when I get inside this redline the line turn to blue & keeps moving relative to the accuracy or closeness to the waypoint.

 

I will look at the FAQ's also as you have suggested.

 

These units have so many features that one has to be constantly using them to appreciate all their uses.

I checked the accuracy of mine by going to the Provincial Survey Grid to get their Lats & Longs for several monuments, by letting the unit average for at least 500 cycles it gets very good accuracy. I think the accuracy depends on your location, time of day, etc.

Anyhow I am very satisfied with mine, have had absolute zero troubles with it & use CN v8 (for road travel), USA TOPO & Canada TOPO.

Edited by canuck travellers
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That circle should represent the accuracy. To verify, do the following:

When on the Map screen pull up the menu and select "Data fields..."

Select 2 Data Fields

Pull up the menu, select "Change Data Fields"

Change one of the fields to "Accuracy of the GPS"

 

Compare the accuracy value to the size of the circle. You should find that they correspond.

 

Dan

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I have been comparing "accuracy of GPS" and the size of the circle, I'm doing a test right now to gather some data to give to tech support. Currently the circle has a 61' radius (122' diameter) and is reading a GPS accuracy of ±15'. This is more the norm on this unit rather than the exception.

 

VT

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On the map page I get a blue circle (I assume a margin of error circle) that is probably 100-150' in diameter.

 

The blue circle is an accuracy circle that is relative to the positional accuracy of the GPS and the accuracy of the base map that you are currently using in your GPS. Standing in a stationary position, if I use the World Base map the circle is 500 ft in diameter. If I use Topo the blue circle is 40 ft in diameter.

 

The blue circle is nothing but annoying, I wish I could turn it off. It may be some form of accuracy measurement but as Ergomaniac points out; depending on what mapset you have loaded can also effect how small this circle is represented.

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It's perfectly normal for the accuracy circle to vary in size even though you are not moving or touching the receiver in any way. The accuracy of the signal is degraded by numerous factors external to the receiver. Among other things, these include atmospheric disturbances, solar activity, RF interference, and signal reflections. The receiver does it's best to quantify the error as +/- __feet. Most consumer grade receivers do a poor job estimating the error.

 

If you really want to test your accuracy, find a surveyed benchmark and see how far you are really off. I did and found the error to be much smaller than the unit (a 60CSx) was reporting.

Edited by Glenn W
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VT.

You said the settings were all correct, but didn't say if you turned off the "battery saver" mode.

I had trouble with my first unit, and sent in and received a replacement. The replacement was all over the place for accuracy, and would wander around. Nothing like my original unit.

I inquired on the forums, and was told to turn off the "battery saver" mode. I did that, and now my unit is performing flawlessly, with usual accuracy around 9-12 ft.

Don't know if you have tried this or not, but I hope this helps.

 

Team "TB"

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