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RoadAndTheSky

Etrex 30 accuracy

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I used my 30 for another hike yesterday under heavy and tall redwood tree cover. Often I could not see the bright blue sky of a spectacular winter day in northern CA. :)

 

After installing firmware 2.5 it seemed to be more accurate and did not freeze up as it did in the first hike with 2.4; however, often there was a 2-3 second delay as the compass adjusted. I know the release notes said nothing about correcting this for 2.5 but I'm not complaining. I don't think it is a 'full' solution but the problem got less severe for me.

 

I was running the 30 along side my 60CSx. On some caches the 30 was more accurate, others the 60 was. Once near the cache site both settled down close enough to make the find.

 

Two friends have recently purchased the 30. One has City Navigator on it and it works well-- got a demo yesterday. I was concerned with the smaller screen size that it might be an issue using it in the car but I did so yesterday and thought it was fine. The other friend had an awful time with freeze up on the first cache, then it mostly went away. Go figure.

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Hey, Redhawk you and Gator found one of my caches the other day. Thanks.

I agree with Motorbug 2.5 did seem to help some, but than again some satellite days are better than others, so its hard to tell.

I'm going to send a reminder to my contact at Garmin to keep an watchfull eye on this forum.

Thanks everyone for the help. keep those fingers crossed.

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Hey, Redhawk you and Gator found one of my caches the other day. Thanks.

I agree with Motorbug 2.5 did seem to help some, but than again some satellite days are better than others, so its hard to tell.

I'm going to send a reminder to my contact at Garmin to keep an watchfull eye on this forum.

Thanks everyone for the help. keep those fingers crossed.

 

It was our pleasure. Thank you.

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TheRoadAndTheSky is a geocacher from my area that I HIGHLY respect. He and I both waited anxiously to get our new eTrex 30 units. I didn't notice the problems at first, but then again, Road is a detail person. I've had the same issue with getting within 30 feet or so of a cache and the unit locks up. If I wander around enough it does free up and then is pretty accurate. I won't gripe about the end result, but the journey can be troublesome. I like the compact and rugged nature of the unit, and the ability to expand the memory with additional memory chips. I have a HUGE number of maps and caches loaded now, but do get frustrated when the thing pouts. Sort of like having Albert Einstein in the back seat, but he's not talking when the car abruptly enters a quantum dimension shift and my dog turns into an otter that insists on playing a banjo while I'm trying to drive.

Anyway, that's how weird it is when this seemingly wonderful little gizmo takes a crap in my hands.

I'm going to be patient, for now, and hope Garmin fixes it.

I'd still rather hike with a Garmin than any other unit... But dang... that new Magellen that's dedicated to caching and costs $145 is starting to look pretty good.

(Hint Hint)

 

-Monstercatambush

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I got an Etrex 30 at the beginning of December (my first non-smartphone GPS); firmware 2.40 was already out at that point. I've been mostly pleased with the accuracy. I think the only time I had a real "lock up" issue was once where I got about 10 feet from a cache and it kept pointing me straight ahead 10 feet...for another 30-40 feet or so.

 

The other problem I've noticed and only this week was an issue of being about 20 feet off on a couple occasions. It didn't freeze at 20 ft to go; it simply thought the coords were somewhere else. One today I could get down to about 5 feet away from GZ (well within reason). I eventually found the cache with it saying 20 feet away. No tree cover at the location. Looking at Google Maps, the posted coords seem spot on. Interestingly, right after this, I put the Etrex next to my Motorola Droid (good accuracy without tree cover). They agreed on the N coords, but had a difference of .005 on the W coords. Not sure if this was just a fluke?

 

Not sure if it matters, but my batteries were low when this happened. FWIW I am using GPS + GLONASS.

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I've decided to return my eTrex 30 to REI. Some of the major issues even after reading the manual, applying the update to 2.5 and making appropriate adjustments:

 

1. Compass and maps continue to lock up under tree cover. Even in the wide open to some degree.

 

2. Driving about 80 miles with no more that +/- 200 feet elevation reports 4142 ascent and 3865 decent. This regularly happens.

 

3.It has caused GSAK to crash.

 

4. Plugging it in to the USB cable results in GPS disk errors about 1/3 of the time. This must be corrected before the computer will see the 30. The USB cable is fine, its a Garmin one that works on every other USB device I have.

 

A friend got one at the same store a couple of days before I got mine. While that 30 has exhibited some map and compass lockup, the firmware update to 2.4 made it less of an issue. It has not exhibited the other problems. Makes me think I got a lemon. Whatever, I am returning it tomorrow. I don't trust it and most of the time have to refer to my 60CSx to make the find.

 

Edit to correct firmware verion update.

Edited by MotorBug

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I've decided to return my eTrex 30 to REI. Some of the major issues even after reading the manual, applying the update to 2.5 and making appropriate adjustments:

 

1. Compass and maps continue to lock up under tree cover. Even in the wide open to some degree.

 

2. Driving about 80 miles with no more that +/- 200 feet elevation reports 4142 ascent and 3865 decent. This regularly happens.

 

3.It has caused GSAK to crash.

 

4. Plugging it in to the USB cable results in GPS disk errors about 1/3 of the time. This must be corrected before the computer will see the 30. The USB cable is fine, its a Garmin one that works on every other USB device I have.

 

A friend got one at the same store a couple of days before I got mine. While that 30 has exhibited some map and compass lockup, the firmware update to 2.4 made it less of an issue. It has not exhibited the other problems. Makes me think I got a lemon. Whatever, I am returning it tomorrow. I don't trust it and most of the time have to refer to my 60CSx to make the find.

 

Edit to correct firmware verion update.

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WOW, that’s a lot of issues. I don't blame you for returning it, some of what’s been going on with mine is somewhat acceptable, but yours sound totally unacceptable.

I think the 30 has a lot of problems I'm finding more all the time, I just don't think Garmin has done very well at all with this unit, but I'm still hoping they can get it worked out. I'm going to send another email in the morning I don't want anyone to think that I'm now ok with its performance.

Out of the three units I've tried this last on has worked the best, but I still purchased a Vista HCX for a backup in the woods it has far better accuracy.

I hope you let Garmin know what your thinking is.

Thanks for posting!

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I was thinking seriously about buying one of these...as our first handheld GPS (currently using android phones) Not a good move?

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I was thinking seriously about buying one of these...as our first handheld GPS (currently using android phones) Not a good move?

I got a Etrex 30 about a month ago and have had no issues with it at all. From what I've heard others say the recent updates have fixed a lot of the eariler problems. I've used it pretty much in all conditions (heavy cover, open field, fog) and am very happy with it.

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thanks, taggdog. purchase depends on price-match (waiting for a phone call), but we hope accuracy will be better under cover, and, more importantly, if we drop it in a muddy puddle it's gonna fare better than our expensive phones :)

The other consideration is our phones do "everything", so with a handheld we either wanted a simple arrow, or something that we won't regret buying as it does everything, thinking "I wish I'd bought...instead"

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If you simply want an arrow maybe you should consider the basic Etrex 10?

 

I've taken the middle ground and have an Etrex 20. It seems to have none of the problems associated with the 30, so maybe it's the 'electronic compass' bit that is throwing up all these gremlins. Mine doesn't lock up, copes fine under quite heavy tree cover and appears far more accurate than the Etrex Legend H that I had previously. Loaded with free open street mapping it's a great device :)

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we guessed we'd want to upgrade from "arrow" to something better pretty quickly, and the price difference (~£100 for the 10 with no features, £160 for the 20 and (with pricematch from go outdoors) what should be £166.50 for the 30, with 3 axis compass + chirp makes it seem quite sensible, hopefully the next firmware update will be a charm, garmin seem to have a pretty good reputation for getting their devices right pretty quickly

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If you simply want an arrow maybe you should consider the basic Etrex 10?

 

I've taken the middle ground and have an Etrex 20. It seems to have none of the problems associated with the 30, so maybe it's the 'electronic compass' bit that is throwing up all these gremlins. Mine doesn't lock up, copes fine under quite heavy tree cover and appears far more accurate than the Etrex Legend H that I had previously. Loaded with free open street mapping it's a great device :)

 

My 20, with 2.5 FW still has the 'sticky' issue. Sure wish Garmin would let -us- choose if we wanted static navigation on or off...

 

EDit: But I still like it a lot!

Edited by Ed_M

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I’ve read other post, but wanted to address this issue directly. I am wondering if any Etrex 30 users have been having problems with reception in even light tree cover. I have had three Etrex 30’s at first it was felt that I received a faulty unit, but three means problems.

In deep woods it frequently locks up or freezes it has done this from as far away as 30 feet, but most often 15-17 feet. It has lead me as much as 100 feet without changing in distance from destination. When it does lead me back to the intended area it seldom will settle on one spot. Constantly reading 5-6-7 feet. I know that GPS technology is not perfect having one go to x marks the spot every time is not going to happen, but the Etrex 30 wins the prize for drift, and freezes. I’ve spent a lot of time talking with Garmin trying to figure out what’s up with this model. We have tried everything you can think of. I’ve even sent them my tracks from my GPS as well as detailed information of what its doing.

The GPS I had to compare this one to is the Vista H, It was highly accurate in tree cover, consistently.

If anyone out there is having similar problems contact Garmin and let them know the more people that contact them the sooner they will find a fix.

P.S. the compass losses it often, and needs recalibration frequently.

 

Having best luck on my 20 under heavy cover with glonass turned off.

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Add my name to the list of aggravated 30 users with the sticky problem. Even with all the firmware updates, mine is still freezing and having to be recalibrated constantly. I sent a support request to alert Garmin that more and more people are having troubles with these machines.

 

I'm really put out with mine. I bought the new eTrex to replace a Delorme PN-40 that I got for Christmas over a year ago. It froze up constantly and had to reboot it by removing the batteries. I had started off caching with an eTrex Vista HC and "upgraded" to the Delorme. So, when it started having issues, I bought the new eTrex 30. Now, it's just as screwy as the Delorme.

 

If Garmin doesn't come out with a fix, then I am going to request a refund and try a Magellan.

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It locks up because it is trying to figure out how the heck it has to use feet, yard and miles, compute scale, distance etc... ! :) Can you ?

 

Garmin hired back the people responsible for the Mars lander crash, didn't you know ?

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Garmin hired back the people responsible for the Mars lander crash, didn't you know ?

 

So it crashed because it couldn't get altitude from the GPS satellites around Mars?

 

Oh, wait...

 

:)

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Any updates on these problems?

I have a new eTrex 20 and constantly get the lockups (sticky) and bounced all over the place for a location. Its 20feet this way then 40 feet back were I came from then 18 feet west then 23 feet NE, ect. Before I bought the eTrex20 I used my car's 1350 and got great results ( yeah go ahead and laugh) now I carry both since 50% of the time the etrex is bouncing and the 1350 sits nice and calm usually within 8feet or so.

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Any updates on these problems?

I have a new eTrex 20 and constantly get the lockups (sticky) and bounced all over the place for a location. Its 20feet this way then 40 feet back were I came from then 18 feet west then 23 feet NE, ect. Before I bought the eTrex20 I used my car's 1350 and got great results ( yeah go ahead and laugh) now I carry both since 50% of the time the etrex is bouncing and the 1350 sits nice and calm usually within 8feet or so.

See this post.

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