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Vista HCx v.2.40 Published


dogwalkers2
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Garmin has published v.2.40 for the Vista HCx (and the Legend HCx, too). On their downloads web page, it still says 3 August, but on the page for the Vista and Legand HCx itdelf, the date is 26 September. It looks like this adresses most of the concerns people have had on this board:

 

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.

 

Edit: Just installed it and the "additional updates" in the second stage of Webupdater, now shows Software version 2.40, GPS SW Version 2.30.

Edited by dogwalkers2
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Just did the update via webupdater and it is showing software version 2.40 BUT it is still showing GPS SW version 2.20

 

What does this mean. Doen't webupdater do the SW part, should I go and do it manually?

try it one more time and click also for additional updates.

then power off and on AFTER update

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The chipset update has really changed the behavior on my GPSr. The satellite enumeration problem has been fixed. I'm getting considerably different data when stationary. The "movement" with the previous version was "blocky" but now it is just wandering... much more like my old Vista C behaved. I'm not sure if this is an improvement or not yet. I need to gather more data. The data points I collected so far seem to wander further away from my actual position than the previous version, but not by much. The data looks more "realistic" now. It was obvious something was wrong with WAAS enabled before.

 

PS. I had to run WebUpdater 3 times & power my GPSr on/off quite a bit before the 2.40 update was properly applied. Fortunately it made it despite the GPSr crashing. The chipset firmware update went smoothly.

Edited by B R H
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Oh I see now there is a checkbox that says "update region chipset M", and that updated the GPS SW to 2.30

 

Why is this optional? I was a bit wary because it said 'region chipset' and I wasn't sure what they meant by 'region'.

 

Also note that after the 2.40 update all the names of cities in my base map have disappeared and been replaced with " , , August 2007 " the basemap is still there though.

Edited by gallet
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I had a chance to take a short hike this afternoon. The trip computer seemed to perform the way that it is supposed to.

 

Are you saying that the problem with the unit not recording tracks or accumulating odometer when traveling less that 2.0mph is fixed? I read about that here http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=173260 and it's seriously put me off from buying a new HCx till I hear differently.

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I had a chance to take a short hike this afternoon. The trip computer seemed to perform the way that it is supposed to.

 

Are you saying that the problem with the unit not recording tracks or accumulating odometer when traveling less that 2.0mph is fixed? I read about that here http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=173260 and it's seriously put me off from buying a new HCx till I hear differently.

 

I have not had problems with the unit not recording tracks. I have had issues with the odometer not recording when moving slowly (actually, based on my experience with the unit, the problem was when traveling less than about 1.5 mph, based on the speed recorded on the trip computer page - someone in on of these threads said it was 2.2 kph, not 2.2 mph and that would be consistent with my experience.)

 

Anyway, the odometer problem seems to have been resolved. Based on my short hike - it was about 1 mile round trip - I did not have the problem and, there were a couple of short, steep pitches in the hike when the odometer would have stopped had it not been working properly. When I downloaded the track, it's length corresponded with the data from the trip computer and I noticed that there were several slow legs in the track log - confirming that the odometer would have stopped recording had the problem not been resolved.

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I'm leaving tomorrow and will be walking lots this weekend. very glad the fix is out, hopefully I'll know how far I walked :huh:.

 

mine updated perfect, both files. didn't have to do anything. gps reset itself after the first file. only thing I had to do was turn it off after the 2nd one finished.

 

went for a 100 foot walk outside. it's probably better but still not great. still doesn't track really slow walking. and once it stops it seems to take some really fast walking to get it started again. I'll have to borrow my friends CX again for a better check.

Edited by Smac999
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Corrected French translation for 'Log track points'.

 

Only? :D Very sad of this since all the menus and options in french really needs to be reworked. Garmin definitly don't know/speak french and they don't know how to hire a good translator either. Maybe they wanted to save money by using an online translation tool? :D

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went for a 100 foot walk outside. it's probably better but still not great. still doesn't track really slow walking. and once it stops it seems to take some really fast walking to get it started again. I'll have to borrow my friends CX again for a better check.

 

Rats....It's still not usable for me then.

 

I'm old, fat and lame and hobble-walk on unimproved, rocky, slippery trails so I average only 1 mph and less in some sections where climbing is involved. I'd never be able to walk fast enough to start it again.

 

Units considered are 60CSX, 76CSX and VistaHCX, the HCX display is supposed to be brighter and the price is lower but it sounds like an HCX is not a valid choice.

 

A major reason for having a GPSr at all is to know how far I walk and where. Will a 60CSX or 76CSX do this for me...at my very slow pace?

 

I hope Garmin does not think they have 'fixed' it and stop there. (Does Garmin "think"?)

 

Don't they actually use these things before finalizing a design and selling the product? I guess not.

 

Sony did the same thing with my 717 camera, all 717's had a focus problem and had to be sent back...Sony knew about it and never did a recall...they just let their buyers live with bad firmware and blurry pictures...on their then top of the line camera. I miss being able to buy Sony products. Burn me once, shame on Sony but burn me twice would be shame on me. I don't need that shame.

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Mike,

 

When I read smac999's post, I wondered if it was the way their unit is set to track. If you tell the unit to track time (as opposed to distance or auto), it may very well take a few seconds to register that it's moving again; maybe even minutes, depending on the value in the setting. If this is the case, that's exactly how it's supposed to work. Perhaps this isn't a problem at all.

 

Since there's no going back to 2.20, I'm holding off until 2.40 has more "user reviews". JMTC

 

edited for Digitus Largus Erronious.

Edited by BelchFire
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Mike,

 

When I read smac999's post, I wondered if it was the way their unit is set to track. If you tell the unit to track time (as opposed to distance or auto), it may very well take a few seconds to register that it's moving again; maybe even minutes, depending on the value in the setting. If this is the case, that's exactly how it's supposed to work. Perhaps this isn't a problem at all.

 

Since there's no going back to 2.20, I'm holding off until 2.40 has more "user reviews". JMTC

 

edited for Digitus Largus Erronious.

 

I'm on hold too. Eventually we will know. Garmin seems to be moving on this, hope they continue until they get it right, if it is not yet right.

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Mike,

 

When I read smac999's post, I wondered if it was the way their unit is set to track. If you tell the unit to track time (as opposed to distance or auto), it may very well take a few seconds to register that it's moving again; maybe even minutes, depending on the value in the setting. If this is the case, that's exactly how it's supposed to work. Perhaps this isn't a problem at all.

 

Since there's no going back to 2.20, I'm holding off until 2.40 has more "user reviews". JMTC

 

edited for Digitus Largus Erronious.

 

I'm on hold too. Eventually we will know. Garmin seems to be moving on this, hope they continue until they get it right, if it is not yet right.

 

What you guys don't understand is that if the accuracy is around 10 feet, then you can't count on ANY GPS to know you've moved at all unless you go at least 10ft from your previous point. The tracking is a series of estimates. The HCX and all the others do a great job of this, but unless you find a GPS with less than 1ft accuracy all the time, you won't be happy. I have used the HCx tracking on many occasions now and it works fine. Just don't expect your "speed" field on the display to show .3 mph when your accuracy is worse than 10ft or so...

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Mike,

 

When I read smac999's post, I wondered if it was the way their unit is set to track. If you tell the unit to track time (as opposed to distance or auto), it may very well take a few seconds to register that it's moving again; maybe even minutes, depending on the value in the setting. If this is the case, that's exactly how it's supposed to work. Perhaps this isn't a problem at all.

 

Since there's no going back to 2.20, I'm holding off until 2.40 has more "user reviews". JMTC

 

edited for Digitus Largus Erronious.

 

I'm on hold too. Eventually we will know. Garmin seems to be moving on this, hope they continue until they get it right, if it is not yet right.

 

What you guys don't understand is that if the accuracy is around 10 feet, then you can't count on ANY GPS to know you've moved at all unless you go at least 10ft from your previous point. The tracking is a series of estimates. The HCX and all the others do a great job of this, but unless you find a GPS with less than 1ft accuracy all the time, you won't be happy. I have used the HCx tracking on many occasions now and it works fine. Just don't expect your "speed" field on the display to show .3 mph when your accuracy is worse than 10ft or so...

 

Good comment, still if I move a hundred feet linear at .3 mph (222 seconds) it should at least know I've moved somewhere between 80 and 120 feet and have calculated an average speed of .2 to .4 mph, should it not?

 

As I understand it, the problem has been that you could move a mile, in an hour, and that the HCX will tell you that you haven't moved at all.

 

If I move 3 miles in 3 hours and it tells me I have only moved .2 miles then that is not even close to being OK. Even with a fix within 15 or 20 feet, each time it takes a location point, it should at least give a total distance, total time and average speed that is pretty close....if you are walking in a reasonably straight line. On the other hand, if the trail has lots of turns and double backs then it would be reasonable for the odometer distance to have a lot of error.

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Mike,

 

When I read smac999's post, I wondered if it was the way their unit is set to track. If you tell the unit to track time (as opposed to distance or auto), it may very well take a few seconds to register that it's moving again; maybe even minutes, depending on the value in the setting. If this is the case, that's exactly how it's supposed to work. Perhaps this isn't a problem at all.

 

Since there's no going back to 2.20, I'm holding off until 2.40 has more "user reviews". JMTC

 

edited for Digitus Largus Erronious.

 

I'm on hold too. Eventually we will know. Garmin seems to be moving on this, hope they continue until they get it right, if it is not yet right.

 

What you guys don't understand is that if the accuracy is around 10 feet, then you can't count on ANY GPS to know you've moved at all unless you go at least 10ft from your previous point. The tracking is a series of estimates. The HCX and all the others do a great job of this, but unless you find a GPS with less than 1ft accuracy all the time, you won't be happy. I have used the HCx tracking on many occasions now and it works fine. Just don't expect your "speed" field on the display to show .3 mph when your accuracy is worse than 10ft or so...

 

Good comment, still if I move a hundred feet linear at .3 mph (222 seconds) it should at least know I've moved somewhere between 80 and 120 feet and have calculated an average speed of .2 to .4 mph, should it not?

 

As I understand it, the problem has been that you could move a mile, in an hour, and that the HCX will tell you that you haven't moved at all.

 

If I move 3 miles in 3 hours and it tells me I have only moved .2 miles then that is not even close to being OK. Even with a fix within 15 or 20 feet, each time it takes a location point, it should at least give a total distance, total time and average speed that is pretty close....if you are walking in a reasonably straight line. On the other hand, if the trail has lots of turns and double backs then it would be reasonable for the odometer distance to have a lot of error.

 

The problem with the odometer is definitely still there. After updating my unit, it still loses significant distance when going slow. Walking my dog on a known 0.75mile route, the odometer showed 0.67 miles. When I saved the track, it correctly computes 0.75miles.

They did fix a problem where when walking slowly, your speed never shows zero. I had assumed these two issues were related.

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A major reason for having a GPSr at all is to know how far I walk and where. Will a 60CSX or 76CSX do this for me...at my very slow pace?

 

I hope Garmin does not think they have 'fixed' it and stop there. (Does Garmin "think"?)

 

Don't they actually use these things before finalizing a design and selling the product? I guess not.

Calm down. It is not Garmin's fault. Try this. Mark a waypoint. Walk 100 feet away. Do a goto that waypoint and stand still. If the distance to the waypoint changes 30 feet because of error while you are standing still, what should the GPS add to the odometer? The coordinates for the waypoint didn't change so you must have moved, right? Some GPS's would add 30 feet and the HCX doesn't. All GPS psuedo odometers are bad IMHO.
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A major reason for having a GPSr at all is to know how far I walk and where. Will a 60CSX or 76CSX do this for me...at my very slow pace?

 

I hope Garmin does not think they have 'fixed' it and stop there. (Does Garmin "think"?)

 

Don't they actually use these things before finalizing a design and selling the product? I guess not.

Calm down. It is not Garmin's fault. Try this. Mark a waypoint. Walk 100 feet away. Do a goto that waypoint and stand still. If the distance to the waypoint changes 30 feet because of error while you are standing still, what should the GPS add to the odometer? The coordinates for the waypoint didn't change so you must have moved, right? Some GPS's would add 30 feet and the HCX doesn't. All GPS psuedo odometers are bad IMHO.

No, it is Garmins fault. Garmin is losing distance not due to accuracy but due to dropped distance. If you go 1 mile, the track you save (by going to tracks, and selecting save) accurately states 1 mile. The problem is the "Odometer" will say you have only gone something like 0.9 miles. if you are going slow. This is not a sattelite accuracy issue but a software bug.

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No, it is Garmins fault. Garmin is losing distance not due to accuracy but due to dropped distance. If you go 1 mile, the track you save (by going to tracks, and selecting save) accurately states 1 mile. The problem is the "Odometer" will say you have only gone something like 0.9 miles. if you are going slow. This is not a sattelite accuracy issue but a software bug.

 

I don't think its a software bug. I believe the code is running as intended. Here is a story I posted on this problem a while ago. I think it describes the tradeoffs Garmin has to deal with.

 

I recently did a hike that started with a 20% or higher grade. I reset my 60csx and immediately started hiking. I'm going rather slow, <1 mph, up this steep grade. After half an hour I stop for a drink. The trip computer showed I as moving for 10 minutes and was stopped for 20 minutes. The funny thing is my legs and lungs were telling me I was moving for the whole half hour. So my trip computer recorded only 33% of the time I was on the move. Later on this hike near the summit I came upon a couple and they asked me "how much further to the top?" So I grabbed my gps, went to the track screen, saved the entire track, brought up the saved track to see how far we were from the trailhead. Since I knew how long the hike was I was able to answer their question. It's too bad, but the trip computer is not as accurate as the track log when hiking at "slow" speeds. The trip computer is much better when hiking back down hill at higher speeds.

 

It seems to me when you are moving at a slow speed this movement is considered by the gps as drift, the movement you see on your screen when in fact you are stationary. So Garmin has to determine what movement is drift and leave it out of the trip computer and what movement it should include into the trip computer. Perhaps add an option where "all" movement is added to the trip computer and thus there would be no stoppage time and when a person is stationary the gps drift is added to the trip computer. So the trip computer would error on the high side versus the track log. What I would like is an option where the trip computer simply shows the length of the active track log.

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The odomoter problem is clearly a software bug. If you travel exactly a mile, it shouldn't say .9 miles. The error is far (order of magnitude) more than the error from the sattelites. The unit is clearly getting the correct coordinates because if you save the track (track page / save), it correctly tells you that the track is a full mile. Further more, it does this even if you travel in a straight line if you are going slow. It seems to be randomly dropping distance from the odomoter if it was traveled below a certain speed.

This error is enough that this unit is nearly useless for measuring distance when hiking for example. If I had bought mine locally where I could easily take it back, I probably would.

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The odomoter problem is clearly a software bug.

 

I hope to do some more checking with my Vista HCx over the weekend, but I my initial experience with the recent upgrade has significantly improved my satisfaction with this GPSr. Clearly, 2.30 had a bug in it and Garmin, imho, has done a lot to correct the problems with that bug in 2.40. I think it is important that we remember the context here - we are talking about a consumer grade GPSr. It is a unit that functions well, but with an established margin of error. As near as I can tell, the Vista HCx that I own is now functioning within the margin of error that comes with the product's description. If you need something more accurate than that, perhaps you should consider spending several thousand dollars for a survey quality instrument and the software necessary to calculate the correction.

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I have never seen another GPS with this kind of error. What is the point of having a more accurate attena if it can't use it. I have had a Garmin III, the original Vista, and an Edge 305. None have ever had this kind of problem. The error here isn't minor. It isn't just off by a few feet.

 

The drift excuse would work if it was on a curved or winding path. But in a straight line, it should be smart enough to know the minimum distance between two points. Last I heard, tele-porting hadn't been invented yet.

 

For me knowing my distance while I am on an outing is important, not just once I am done. The unit does have a lot of benefits, mostly the hugely increased accuracy of position regardless of the terrain. The odometer problem is something that should be easy for them to fix and is unacceptable that they haven't.

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The odomoter problem is clearly a software bug.

 

I hope to do some more checking with my Vista HCx over the weekend, but I my initial experience with the recent upgrade has significantly improved my satisfaction with this GPSr. Clearly, 2.30 had a bug in it and Garmin, imho, has done a lot to correct the problems with that bug in 2.40. I think it is important that we remember the context here - we are talking about a consumer grade GPSr. It is a unit that functions well, but with an established margin of error. As near as I can tell, the Vista HCx that I own is now functioning within the margin of error that comes with the product's description. If you need something more accurate than that, perhaps you should consider spending several thousand dollars for a survey quality instrument and the software necessary to calculate the correction.

 

If the track distance and the odometer distance don't agree closely then clearly something is wrong.

 

Buyers should not be involved in the debugging-the-new-product do-loop. Debugging should happen Before sales begin. This ain't rocket science, it's simple and easy to understand.

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The odomoter problem is clearly a software bug.

 

I hope to do some more checking with my Vista HCx over the weekend, but I my initial experience with the recent upgrade has significantly improved my satisfaction with this GPSr. Clearly, 2.30 had a bug in it and Garmin, imho, has done a lot to correct the problems with that bug in 2.40. I think it is important that we remember the context here - we are talking about a consumer grade GPSr. It is a unit that functions well, but with an established margin of error. As near as I can tell, the Vista HCx that I own is now functioning within the margin of error that comes with the product's description. If you need something more accurate than that, perhaps you should consider spending several thousand dollars for a survey quality instrument and the software necessary to calculate the correction.

 

If the track distance and the odometer distance don't agree closely then clearly something is wrong.

 

Buyers should not be involved in the debugging-the-new-product do-loop. Debugging should happen Before sales begin. This ain't rocket science, it's simple and easy to understand.

Heh. You clearly misunderstand how the sales department operates. The job of sales is to promise the moon to the customer and sell things that engineering hasn't developed yet. Then Marketing sets arbitrary "release" dates which gives engineering even more heartburn. (No, I'm not a bitter engineer. Why would you think that?)

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If the track distance and the odometer distance don't agree closely then clearly something is wrong.

 

The one test that I have done since the update indicated that the odometer and the track distance were the same and, on that particular hike, they would have been noticeably different if I had not done the update.

 

Buyers should not be involved in the debugging-the-new-product do-loop. Debugging should happen Before sales begin. This ain't rocket science, it's simple and easy to understand.

 

Theoretically, I agree with you. But, consumer debugging seems to be the standard for most technology. At least it's a lot easier to update my GPSr than it is to do the operating system on my computer. In this particular matter, I'll at least give Garmin credit for getting on the issue quickly - although the people who write their responses to email requests for technical support when the problem is a system issue could use a refresher in customer service.

 

Part of the problem here is us - we all want bigger, better, faster, more and we wanted it last week. Evidence for that is abundant here in this forum - myself included. Look how quickly several of us jumped on the HCx series. How long have many of us wanted a faster, more accurate handheld mapping unit that holds the signal when the view of the sky is impaired. Garmin tried to serve that need - we were a little too impatient and they were a little too quick to market. At least an issue with the trip computer is not quite like lead paint on children's toys. The problem can be corrected and Garmin gave it a reasonable shot.

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If the track distance and the odometer distance don't agree closely then clearly something is wrong.

 

With my 60CX and vistaCX I usually do have differences when comparing the odometer and tracklog, the tracklog usually being a bit shorter than what the GPS odometer says. When taking a 6-8miles hike it can be off as much as a half mile. I also remember taking my magellan meridian gold for a hike and it having an even larger discrepancy between the track log and odometer. This is probably due to a difference in the way the odometer reading is calculated and how good of GPS signal you have when recording the tracklog.

 

After reading quite a few post on this topic it seems the real issue was people registering little or no odometer reading while hiking, that now seems to be fixed with this firmware update.

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Part of the problem here is us - we all want bigger, better, faster, more and we wanted it last week. Evidence for that is abundant here in this forum - myself included. Look how quickly several of us jumped on the HCx series. How long have many of us wanted a faster, more accurate handheld mapping unit that holds the signal when the view of the sky is impaired. Garmin tried to serve that need - we were a little too impatient and they were a little too quick to market. At least an issue with the trip computer is not quite like lead paint on children's toys. The problem can be corrected and Garmin gave it a reasonable shot.

 

BINGO I give Garmin a thumbs up on this one so far. Sounds like, not only are they listening, but they worked quickly to get an updated firmware out there. Life is good.

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If the track distance and the odometer distance don't agree closely then clearly something is wrong.

 

Buyers should not be involved in the debugging-the-new-product do-loop. Debugging should happen Before sales begin. This ain't rocket science, it's simple and easy to understand.

You are right something is wrong[different]. In my opinion, both the track distance and odometer are bad when compared to a "real" odometer. Zoom in on a track and look at it zig-zagging off trail. Look at the cloud of points when you stop. Some GPS's try to mathematically smooth the track, but then these GPS's have over shoot with actual zigs and zags for turns in the trail. You prefer the track number even though it is garbage too IMHO.
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Unfortunately, they have not fixed the odomoter problem with the update. All of my comments have been with an updated unit (both software and firmware).

A couple people note it isn't suprising to have the distance read high due to the minor fluctuations when stopped. That isn't the problem here and I wouldn't have complaints with that. The problem is that the odometer can read significantly short, even in a straight line. Unless I turn my unit off, it should always be able to assume I at least traveled the shortest distance from start to end.

Furthermore, when I have contacted customer support about this, they claimed they hadn't heard of the problem and suggested I send my unit in to be checked. Clearly it was known and not an issue with just my unit.

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