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Considering a 60CSx, seek opinions

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Background... I use my GPS mostly for geocaching. I have a Magellan Explorist 210 (first GPS) and generally like it except it's slow, no color screen, and other oddities. I bought a Triton 400 thinking it would be an improvement over the 210 for a good price. That was a big mistake. Sure it is faster locking satellites and redrawing the screen, but the buttons are difficult, the user interface is terrible, many features are missing, and it's buggy. I'll probably be selling it soon.

I'd like to get a new GPS and the Garmin 60CSx seems the best fit. Here are the features I seek


rugged design and good long term field results

good and quick reception

good battery life

flash memory to store lots of geocaches/waypoints/etc

standard usb flash r/w interface (accessible from any os, such as Ubuntu)

published data standard so I can process/reprocess geocache info with the tools of my choice (custom maps would be nice too)

simple interface for the simple things

easy cabling and battery lid (hate the Magellan screw lid)

standard USB cable (replacable by going to a computer store)


I think the 60CSx is the best fit from Garmin. I have read about the Colorado too, but think the new button/menu system is not as good as the 60CSx. I haven't really considered Lawrence or others.


My biggest concern is if I can understand/read/write the data files via the usb interface. The Triton cannot do this as they are Windows only. Even if I remove the sd card on Triton and read on a computer, it is just 1 big proprietary binary file. The explorist had a published dir structure/file formats that are understood by GSAK and other utilities.


I'd appreciate if a 60CSx owner could comment on the usb, file format, etc.





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My own personal view is this. If you use your gps mainly for caching then the csx will do the job really well. I had a csx for a long time and loved it, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread until someone let me a colorado with the lastest firmware. If you thing the csx is good then try a colorado. It lists the cache description, all the logs it even lists the hint if you need it. Its truly an amazing caching machine. There are let downs from other points of view like it does not have any audiable proximity alerts for speed cameras but Im confident that as times goes on new firmwares with change this. If yoiu can borrow one and try it.



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The 60CSx is a great GPS unit, but the Vista HCx can also accomplish the same tasks in a smaller, more-compact size.


If you make the move to Garmin, there are programs to use to transfer the waypoints including GSAK for use on a PC or MacCaching for use on a Mac. Garmin has a "Custom POI Loader." I use that to send almost 10,000 POIs to my Vista HCx. The cable for my Vista HCx is the same as that for my camera.


If you become a Premium Member, you will have access to the .gpx files which have more data in them than the .loc files.

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Let's see -


rugged design and good long term field results - kind of subjective, but in my opinion yes

good and quick reception - sometimes mine takes longer than other times. Mostly depends on how long it remains off

good battery life - Yup - probably 15-18+ hours with good batteries. I have never actually measured how long my batteries last, but I use all rechargeables.

flash memory to store lots of geocaches/waypoints/etc - Uses a micro SD card. 2GB published limit, but still plenty of room for street maps of entire US (City Nav NT), some topos, and thousands of caches

standard usb flash r/w interface (accessible from any os, such as Ubuntu) - it is a USB interface, but I couldn't tell you if/how well it works with Linux

published data standard so I can process/reprocess geocache info with the tools of my choice (custom maps would be nice too) - Not sure on this one, I use GSAK for all my cache info and it works seamlessly with my Garmin 60csx

simple interface for the simple things - again subjective. But I found the UI easy to learn and use

easy cabling and battery lid (hate the Magellan screw lid) - Battery lid opens by turning a small 'D ring' type latch, very simple. USB card lives under the batteries.

standard USB cable (replacable by going to a computer store) - Yup - mini USB connection which is great as my phone uses the same. So I have a 12v Car to USB plug that can be used with my GPS or phone.


I haven't used a Colorado as my 60csx is only a year old. But it does everything I want it to from auto-routing when I travel for work, to caching, etc.


Garmin's Mapsource software (ie map management software and used to load the maps on the GPS) is Windows based, but I believe there is a Mac version too. Not sure if there is anything for Linux. I know that when you select which map segments you want to load, the software compiles them into a single file that is then uploaded to the GPS. I can't say to what extent the specs are a 'published data standard.' I also am not sure of the format for the cache data, I assume a .GPX file of sorts. Hopefully someone else has more details for you on that.

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If you're considering the 60, take a look at the 76 range. Basically the same unit but in a different form factor (buttons above the screen rather than below it, no antenna stub). When I was looking to buy a GPS a year ago (just before the HCX range came out) I discovered the 76 was the same spec, but cheaper.

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If you thing the csx is good then try a colorado.



I may try a colorado if I find someone who has one locally, but my concern is that the new "fewer" button system will take more work to navigate. On my explorist 210, I could pan over to a POI on the map and press the goto button (2 steps). On the triton400 I have to click menu->geocache->select geocache->left-click->enter->up click->enter (7 steps). I'm not familiar enough with the colorado, but I'm worried that they may have buried simple actions too deep like on the triton400.





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Thanks for the replies. I'd like to try and better explain about the file format. If I plug my 210 into a computer, it shows up like any other flash drive on Win/Mac/Linux. If I navigate to the flash file system, I see a folder that has a file that contains POI or geocache info. I can open this file and add/remove the info with a text editor, a perl script, or any other software. I do have to make sure the file data is formatted correctly, but I can figure that out from GSAK forums, published specs, etc. I want the same ease of hackability in any GPS I buy.


Thanks again for everyone's help, I will look into the other models mentioned.



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I own three 60 CSX units and they are top flight units. They have not dumped on me once, my feeling is that the 60 CSX units are the gold standard units. Top flight performers, cream of the crop. >>> For the record, I also own two Colorado 300's. ( EDSEL'S ) They are on the shelf and have been for various and sundry performance issues. I purchased in the first wave. I pull them out from time to time and download the latest and greatest updates evaluate the results shake my head, grimace, put them back on the shelf and await the next latest and greatest fix. One day the Colorado series will no doubt be a top notch unit--- right now I consider them to be Edsel's. >>> Go with the 60 CSX <<<

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Some interesting comments here.


I agree that the csx is a great machine but there is nothing worse than fumbling around in the middle of a field looking at sheets of A4 paper with the relavent cache details on them trying to find a cache especially when its wet. The battery life is acceptable if you use good 2500mah rechargables.


The file system works just like seeing another storage capacity on your pc. after you have downloaded a set of geocaches in gpx format just drag and drop them in to the gpx folder, turn the gps on and they are all there. its so easy, same with the FULL SIZE sd card.


You can pan to a cache, waypoint or poi with one finger and pres the center button to go. The unit has a completely different menu system but when you get used to it its very quick. Its the future and is an amazing machine even with the little quirks and its worth putting up with them as Garmin are due to release a new firmware version soon.


I loved my csx but now I love my 300 better.

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I have never attempted to manipulate my GPX files while the micro sd card was plugged into the computer. I suspect that unless you have something that can read a GPX file this might be rather difficult. I am aware that GSAK probably can do most of the manipulations that you want, but there is a learning curve.

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I'd love my Colorado more if it didn't have accuracy issues after 30 minutes in woodland. It's great out in the open, but in woodland the 76CSx still wins at the moment. I'm still holding out hope for a firmware fix though.

I whole-heartedly agree on the 76CSx. The 76CSx and the 60CSx are basically identical, just different outward appearances. In fact, it is one of these major physical characteristic that makes me choose the 76 over the 60. Stability! I just lay the 76 on the dash while I'm driving. With the rubber backing on the 76, it has not slid off the dash yet. It just sits there, looking pretty. The 60, on the other hand, wouldn't last 3 seconds on the dash. This is assuming you don't have a mount for it. I don't, because I use a Nuvi for navigation. And with a center console and a passenger, I have no place else to put it. For me, that one difference made the sale.


Also, it used to be that the 76CSx was more expensive than the 60CSx. Since the demand for the 60 went up, so did the price, or should I say the price of the 76CSx went way down. $269. I'm buying another one, maybe two of them.

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It's a good geocaching GPS. But don't forget that you'll probably want maps of some sort too. The base map is not terribly good (well, it wasn't for me and I'm in Europe, but I doubt the US ones will be much better). Commercial maps are good for roads (and I believe the 60CSx can do routing if the maps support it). I've found OpenStreetMap + mkgmap makes for good offroad maps in my area, which is ideal for geocaching. The downside is that you need a little bit of tech knowledge to create the map files yourself.

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