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Garmin GPSmap 60CSx - Problems with Compass


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One of the best things I've done with this 60 was to hold the PAGE button and turn the compass off. IMO, an elctronic compass is one of the most over rated selling points on a GPS. If you have two working legs that can propel you over 2MPH in a straight line there is absolutely no need for an E-compass and all it's trappings.

 

I agree.

 

Whenever someone would get a new 60CSx my advice was always the same:

"First thing to change is the settings so your compass turns off at walking speed. Having the compass on when walking will just screw you up."

 

If given the choice now I wouldn't spend the money on a compass, which is funny because when I upgraded from my original eTrex Legend one of my "must haves" was a compass. Now it's one of the last things I worry about.

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First the word "compass" is confusing. A real compass tells you which way magnetic north is. The electronic "compass" on the 62csx is two hall effect magnetic field strength sensors that tell the GPS software which way the GPS is pointed. The sensors are not linear and the curve needs to be plotted to calibrate the sensors. I don't think the battery voltage affects the curve, but could be wrong. In any case, periodic calibration is needed because the sensors age and vary with temp. If the software has no sensor it expects you to walk in a straight line with the GPS pointed along the line(pointing is easy in a car and on the trail it is annoying).

 

This is an old thread and I see someone asked me to explain something and I didn't because I got tired of trying to explain the "compass" without physically showing how the "compass" works. After my post Google did a video. This video explains everything. When the person touches the upper right corner, he is turning on the "compass". The map moves just like the map and bearing pointer on the 60csx. I have a feeling some people think walking in a straight line is a feature built into all GPS hardware when in fact it is simply a software trick needed when there is no sensor.

 

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One of the best things I've done with this 60 was to hold the PAGE button and turn the compass off. IMO, an elctronic compass is one of the most over rated selling points on a GPS. If you have two working legs that can propel you over 2MPH in a straight line there is absolutely no need for an E-compass and all it's trappings.

 

I agree.

 

Whenever someone would get a new 60CSx my advice was always the same:

"First thing to change is the settings so your compass turns off at walking speed. Having the compass on when walking will just screw you up."

 

If given the choice now I wouldn't spend the money on a compass, which is funny because when I upgraded from my original eTrex Legend one of my "must haves" was a compass. Now it's one of the last things I worry about.

Just curious. Did the video I posted change your mind? When you walking with the sensor on and the GPS at your side and then you bring up the up the GPS to see the screen the bearing arrow swings to point exactly a the cache. Don't say WTF why is this arrow swinging around. I remember wondering the same thing at first. Go with the flow and wait.

 

To prove the arrow is pointing at the cache try an experiment. With a known destination in the distance bring the GPS up to eye level so you can use the "gun sight". The sight is formed by the arrow on the top of the multi-switch and the white arrow on the bezel on the top of the screen. Rotate your body until the bearing arrow swings and points to the bezel arrow. The sight now points to the destination within a degree or so. With the sensor off the the software make two assumptions: first the SW uses the last two positions to form a straight line that you are traveling on. Second the SW assumes you are pointing the GPS along that line. The problem is that the positions can vary several feet and the calculated line is very inaccurate. With sensor on and the SW approximation turned off the GPS only needs one point. If the destination is a long way away the 30 foot error in your position is minimized. End of sermon.

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No one here has told you how to set your BEARING mode.

 

So here is how.

 

Go to the COMPASS page on your 60CSX via the PAGE button.

 

Now hit MENU button. If you see the fourth item on the list saying COURSE POINTER you are in BEARING mode already. If it says BEARING POINTER then select it, to switch to BEARING mode.

 

Also the preious tip about turning off the ELECTRONIC COMPASS via holding the PAGE button should be done.

 

Should help you with geocaching.

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To turn the compass off, simply hold the page key. I tended to turn off the compass on the 60CSx mainly because it kept bouncing around as I got to the final cache location. I see you have lots of good help on this topic, so try it with and without the compass and decide for yourself.

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