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Best Setting Vista HCx


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I got a Garmin Vista HCx. The manual is PITIFUL. Is there a place with detail info of what each setting will do?

 

I have some annoying issues I can't seem to find.

 

The pointer will at times not point the way I am going (Electon compass is set to off). Should it not follow the direction I am walking?

 

Most times the coords are dead on. I was on top of a ride today and the signal kept bouncing up to 30 feet in any direction. Any reason why? (Leaves off trees so cover should not be an issue)

 

What are the base settings you feel are essential (and the reasons you chose them)?

 

This seems to be a great receiver for GeoCaching except for limited space for a hint and crappy manual.

 

Thanks for your help.

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Here's a link to Garmin for the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx Manual, I have downloaded it but not looked at it yet. There may be a little bit more in it for you.

 

Direction Arrow - if you have entered a 'Go To' waypoint, the arrow should be pointing you in the direction of the waypoint. If the Electronic Compass is off, I don't think it's going to point to anything in particular, but will be happy to stand corrected . . . .

 

Electronic Compass - I've been leaving it off, as this is supposed to increase battery life a bit

 

Satellite View - added the page in my sequence seen when pushing the top, right hand button. I like to pick up that info from time-to-time.

 

Geocaching Feature - I've added custom geocaching waypoint icons. I'm on the fence about that.

 

Otherwise, I guess I need to go through the manual I've downloaded and would not mind seeing some tips and tricks.

 

JohnTee

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On my Vista HCx, I "removed" some of the pages so I only have a few to get through when I push the "Page" button. I have the Find, Map, and GoTo Arrow. Since I can get to the Satellite page quickly using the Menu button, I "removed" that page. Likewise for the Trip Computer. I changed the order to the best one for me.

 

On the Map Page, I have the "Distance to Next" and "Arrow" when I have the Data Fields showing. Those can be changed for what you are doing. If you are driving, it might be more important to have your "Speed" and "Distance to Next." Or, you might want different fields, or none at all for long distance driving. If I am driving long distances, I change the map to "Track up." When hiking, "North Up" works better for me. With that setting the map doesn't flip around when I am standing still.

 

I frequently have the compass off. If I turn it on, I make sure I calibrate it. Otherwise the arrow acts goofy sometimes.

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I found the manual useful; maybe I just know how to read them. There is so much information it can be overwhelming. I started off with the quick guide and then used the manual for the little details.

 

"The pointer will at times not point the way I am going (Electon compass is set to off). Should it not follow the direction I am walking?" Are you tracking a waypoint? Or just walking while looking at the map screen? I'm assuming the latter. I think the default is for North Up, in which case the pointer will move on the map screen in the compass direction. I have it set to Track Up so that the pointer is always pointing up in the map screen. To set, go to the map screen and hit menu, then Map Setup, then from Orientation, select Track Up or North Up.

 

"...I was on top of a ride today..." Were you on a rollercoaster? I'm not following you here.

 

"This seems to be a great receiver for GeoCaching except for limited space..." Look up customized points of interest. Most useful if you have GSAK. By creating customized POIs, you can include up to 44 characters in the waypoint name, and up to 88 characters in the hint/comment field for each waypoint. Look up a thread named Silly POI Tricks - or something along those lines.

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"...I was on top of a ride today..." Were you on a rollercoaster? I'm not following you here.

 

HA HA, I was on top of a ridGe today. What a difference a mistype makes. Spell check did not catch as ride is a real word. Sure does change meaning of sentence.

 

I have my gps set to track NORTH. While walking on the map page, the pointer may be pointing to the north while the track is moving east or west. the track many times will not be going the way the pointer is pointing.

 

I am going to play with the magnetic compass setting today and see if this makes a difference.

 

Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy.

 

Lastly, thanks for the page info settings. I have mine set to find, map, compass. Seems to work good for me.

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I got a Garmin Vista HCx. The manual is PITIFUL. Is there a place with detail info of what each setting will do?

 

I have some annoying issues I can't seem to find.

 

The pointer will at times not point the way I am going (Electon compass is set to off). Should it not follow the direction I am walking?

 

Most times the coords are dead on. I was on top of a ride today and the signal kept bouncing up to 30 feet in any direction. Any reason why? (Leaves off trees so cover should not be an issue)

 

What are the base settings you feel are essential (and the reasons you chose them)?

 

This seems to be a great receiver for GeoCaching except for limited space for a hint and crappy manual.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

I upgraded from the Vista C and was disappointed to see they dropped 1/2 of the information from the Vista C manual (100 pages) when they printed the HCx's (50 pages). Since the Vista C and Cx are so similar, you might find some useful info in their manuals:

 

http://www.garmin.com/manuals/eTrexVistaCx_OwnersManual.pdf

http://www.garmin.com/manuals/eTrexVistaC_OwnersManual.pdf

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[...Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy...

The default setting here is to be locked on the road. To change it from Main Menu: SetUp Menu-Map-General (upper icon furthest to the left)-Lock on Road-Off.

 

The defaults are set up as if the unit will be used for driving over hiking. If you haven't done so already, you may also want to change the default for auto-routing on road. I set mine to be prompted to route on-road or off-rode. Main Menu-SetUp-Routing-GuidanceRoadMethod-Prompted.

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[...Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy...

The default setting here is to be locked on the road. To change it from Main Menu: SetUp Menu-Map-General (upper icon furthest to the left)-Lock on Road-Off.

 

The defaults are set up as if the unit will be used for driving over hiking. If you haven't done so already, you may also want to change the default for auto-routing on road. I set mine to be prompted to route on-road or off-rode. Main Menu-SetUp-Routing-GuidanceRoadMethod-Prompted.

 

Unfortunately it is already set to Road-Off.

 

What does the auto routing on road do?

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[...Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy...

<snip>

Unfortunately it is already set to Road-Off.

 

What does the auto routing on road do?

If you only have the basemap, on-road routing is not much use due to the poor coverage. If you have a routable map (CityNavigator, for example), it will give you turn-by-turn directions on the roads. Otherwise, with off-road routing, it just projects a line from your current location to your destination. It's up to you to figure out what roads or trails to take to get there.

 

If you only have the basemap, that's probably why you're seeing the road on the wrong side. The basemap is very coarse and low resolution--some people have reported it being 150 feet off. The purple circle on the map screen represents the uncertainty of your location--it's a combination of your current location precision and the resolution of the map.

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[...Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy...

<snip>

Unfortunately it is already set to Road-Off.

 

What does the auto routing on road do?

If you only have the basemap, on-road routing is not much use due to the poor coverage. If you have a routable map (CityNavigator, for example), it will give you turn-by-turn directions on the roads. Otherwise, with off-road routing, it just projects a line from your current location to your destination. It's up to you to figure out what roads or trails to take to get there.

 

If you only have the basemap, that's probably why you're seeing the road on the wrong side. The basemap is very coarse and low resolution--some people have reported it being 150 feet off. The purple circle on the map screen represents the uncertainty of your location--it's a combination of your current location precision and the resolution of the map.

I only have the base and topo 2008.

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I've been using this GPS for about a month. got a question:

 

how come, sometimes when I use the mouse pointer on the map screen and place it over a geocache symbol and press down (enter) it wants to move the location of the cache. Other times, if I do the same thing, the information for the cache is displayed.

I've already accidently moved a cache loaction without intending. I wasted an hour searching in the wrong place till I rechecked the coordinates. There was another time I wanted to move a cache but I couldn't get the "move" option to appear on the map screen.

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Electronic Compass - I've been leaving it off, as this is supposed to increase battery life a bit

 

 

Makes no difference to battery life on the HCx.

 

Tip: Download the 60CSx users manual for more detailed explanations of functions. Although button layout is different, the functions are the same.

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I've been using this GPS for about a month. got a question:

 

how come, sometimes when I use the mouse pointer on the map screen and place it over a geocache symbol and press down (enter) it wants to move the location of the cache. Other times, if I do the same thing, the information for the cache is displayed.

I've already accidently moved a cache loaction without intending. I wasted an hour searching in the wrong place till I rechecked the coordinates. There was another time I wanted to move a cache but I couldn't get the "move" option to appear on the map screen.

This happens when you're already viewing the cache info and you press the "Map" button on that screen. Then when you're viewing the map in that mode, it allows you to move the cache waypoint.

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If you only have the basemap, on-road routing is not much use due to the poor coverage. If you have a routable map (CityNavigator, for example), it will give you turn-by-turn directions on the roads. Otherwise, with off-road routing, it just projects a line from your current location to your destination. It's up to you to figure out what roads or trails to take to get there.

 

If you only have the basemap, that's probably why you're seeing the road on the wrong side. The basemap is very coarse and low resolution--some people have reported it being 150 feet off. The purple circle on the map screen represents the uncertainty of your location--it's a combination of your current location precision and the resolution of the map.

I only have the base and topo 2008.

Well, I'm assuming you were looking at the Topo 2008 maps when you noticed it was 20 feet off, on the wrong side of the street. The Topo maps have some known inaccuracies; I'm guessing that's what you're seeing.

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How do you reset the unit to "all factory default setting"? I have messed around with the unit changing little things here and there but I want to know how to reset everything in case I mess things up. Thanks in advance.

Try Main Menu>Setup>System, Click the "Find" button (lower left) and there is an option to "Restore Defaults" I don't know whether that is all factory defaults or just the ones from the system setup page and I really don't want to change mine.

 

Or you could try the three finger start. Hold down the page key (top right) and the click stick while starting the unit. This should reset the unit (it will probably ask you if you are sure). See http://gpsinformation.org/dale/secret.htm

 

Again, I don't want to try on my unit to make sure.

 

Good luck...

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[...Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy...

The default setting here is to be locked on the road. To change it from Main Menu: SetUp Menu-Map-General (upper icon furthest to the left)-Lock on Road-Off.

 

The defaults are set up as if the unit will be used for driving over hiking. If you haven't done so already, you may also want to change the default for auto-routing on road. I set mine to be prompted to route on-road or off-rode. Main Menu-SetUp-Routing-GuidanceRoadMethod-Prompted.

 

So the "prompted" when going off road or on road will send you a message when it happens? I am still learning my GPS so any insight would be appreciated.

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[...Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy...

The default setting here is to be locked on the road. To change it from Main Menu: SetUp Menu-Map-General (upper icon furthest to the left)-Lock on Road-Off.

 

The defaults are set up as if the unit will be used for driving over hiking. If you haven't done so already, you may also want to change the default for auto-routing on road. I set mine to be prompted to route on-road or off-rode. Main Menu-SetUp-Routing-GuidanceRoadMethod-Prompted.

So the "prompted" when going off road or on road will send you a message when it happens? I am still learning my GPS so any insight would be appreciated.

If you change the setting to Prompt you when you choose "Go To," you can choose Auto-routing or Off Road each time.

 

If you are going on a hike during which you don't want to be bothered by the Prompt, you can change it to Off Road. Then, when you get back to your vehicle, you can change it back to Prompt you for the next caches.

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[...Also, it seems the mapping that is on the gps for roads is off about 20 feet. Example, I am on a sidewalk with the road to my left walking parallel and on the gps it shows I am on a sidewalk with the road on the right, like I am on the opposite side of the road. I does seem consistent in that all roads are like 20 feet off in discrepancy...

The default setting here is to be locked on the road. To change it from Main Menu: SetUp Menu-Map-General (upper icon furthest to the left)-Lock on Road-Off.

 

The defaults are set up as if the unit will be used for driving over hiking. If you haven't done so already, you may also want to change the default for auto-routing on road. I set mine to be prompted to route on-road or off-rode. Main Menu-SetUp-Routing-GuidanceRoadMethod-Prompted.

 

So the "prompted" when going off road or on road will send you a message when it happens? I am still learning my GPS so any insight would be appreciated.

 

I never got the prompt about on road or off road when I only had the base maps. When I added a Navigator microSD card, I suddenly got these prompts. So, at least in my case, the default with the base maps was off road (unless I changed the setting and forgot).

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The pages I have are:

 

Map

Compass

(occasionally I use the big numbers trip computer page)

main menu

 

I can get to any thing not in my page sequence from the main menu or by using a couple shortcuts:

 

1. holding the menu/find key (lower left button) opens find menu

2. holding enter on the click-stick opens the mark waypoint function

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I've been using this GPS for about a month. got a question:

 

how come, sometimes when I use the mouse pointer on the map screen and place it over a geocache symbol and press down (enter) it wants to move the location of the cache. Other times, if I do the same thing, the information for the cache is displayed.

I've already accidently moved a cache loaction without intending. I wasted an hour searching in the wrong place till I rechecked the coordinates. There was another time I wanted to move a cache but I couldn't get the "move" option to appear on the map screen.

 

I've experienced this with my Vista Cx also. I believe the difference is this: If you are currently 'navigating' to a to a cache or other destination, and use the arrow to highlight another cache, it will attempt to grab that cache and move it. If you are not currently navigating to anything, and use the arrow to highlight a cache, it will give you the information for that cache the opportunity to 'go to' it. If I've got this wrong, I'm sure somebody will clarify.

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I've been using this GPS for about a month. got a question:

 

how come, sometimes when I use the mouse pointer on the map screen and place it over a geocache symbol and press down (enter) it wants to move the location of the cache. Other times, if I do the same thing, the information for the cache is displayed.

I've already accidently moved a cache loaction without intending. I wasted an hour searching in the wrong place till I rechecked the coordinates. There was another time I wanted to move a cache but I couldn't get the "move" option to appear on the map screen.

 

I've experienced this with my Vista Cx also. I believe the difference is this: If you are currently 'navigating' to a to a cache or other destination, and use the arrow to highlight another cache, it will attempt to grab that cache and move it. If you are not currently navigating to anything, and use the arrow to highlight a cache, it will give you the information for that cache the opportunity to 'go to' it. If I've got this wrong, I'm sure somebody will clarify.

Check my post #16 above.

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