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ETrex Venture HC troubles


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I recently started having problems with the accuracy of my new GPS (got it for Christmas). I did about 25 caches then noticed that my GPS was getting me further and further from where I was actually finding them and making some caches un-findable (micros). I sent a request to Garmin for assistance and this is the response I got:


Re: My gps is consistently off by more than 15 feet and the direction it gives changes constantly even while moving (KMM15790018I15977L0KM)‏

From: Product.Support@garmin.com (product.support@garmin.com)

Sent: Sat 2/20/10 8:48 PM

To: lee_mason_99@hotmail.com


Dear Lee,


Thank you for contacting Garmin International.


I'll be happy to help you with this. The unit is accurate to plus or minus 50 feet. When you are moving the unit is updating your position about every second and may be connecting to different satellites which is changing the triangulation. If you believe there is still an error with the unit please reply.


With Best Regards,

Jim C

Product Support Specialist

Automotive Team

Garmin International



913-440-8280 (fax) Att: Jim C, Associate #5690



Has anyone else experienced this with this device or am I getting the run around? 50 feet seems like it would make outdoor geocaching impossible and locating micros too. Please respond thanks! lee

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On your compass screen, change one of the panels you don't need to show "Accuracy" (that's what it's called on the Garmin, though I've been told the correct term is EPE). That'll give you an indication of how good a signal it is receiving at that moment.


Remember that coordinates are only as accurate as what the cache owner entered.


Test it in a wide open field. Go to a marked location, note accuracy and coordinates. Wander around then back to it, and see how close you are.

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I've got the same unit. My average accuracy it 3-5m or 10-16 feet. I am still new to the game but I have noticed that the more I do the less I need the GPS close to GZ. I normally get close and think "what doesnt quite fit" or where would I put it (if I was that sneeky) :) . I've only had two little issues with my garmin...one was an easy fix with a software update, the other was just a temp thing...my GPS suddenly said instead of being 3 feet from GZ i was 150 feet...but that fixed itself (a satalite dropping out of sight or something).

Just remember that no GPSr will bring you to the cache...just close...and remember if your GPSr is off by 15 feet and the hiders was off by 15 feet in the other direction then what appears to be GZ may not be.

Hope that helps. :lol:

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Sounds to me like it is working within normal parameters.


Is it possible that you expect it to show you the cache? It isn't going to do that. It will only put you in the vicinity!


40 feet off (or more) is not unusual.


Your units' "error", combined with the placement units' "error" generally equates to 40'.


If you haven't yet learned, when at Ground Zero, you are usually better off to put the GPSr away and switch to "hunt" mode, using your eyes and brain.


I notice that your "problem" came after the first 25 caches. Your profile shows that you early caches were small and larger. Suddenly, you seem to be working away at mostly just micros. Do you think that could be the problem?

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As others have suggested, based on your description, the gps seems to be functioning within normal error limits. And, when you are looking for caches, remember that you are dealing with the standard error of your gpsr plus the standard error of the cache owner's gpsr.


Here are a couple of suggestions for things you might try. If you are concerned about the accuracy of your unit, try search for a few benchmarks, preferably benchmarks in locations that have a clear view of the sky. Also, when looking for caches, put your gpsr down and on the level, rather than walking around with it. Typically, a unit that has been stationary for a minute or two will give you a little better estimate of your location than a unit that is in motion.

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