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eTrex 20/30 2.70 update


Newsdude
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In keeping with what most have experienced here as sticky gps, I installed the v2.7 firmware on my Etrex 20. Today as I was caching I was walking at a brisk pace and saw that the gps was counting down as it should have been. I came to a complete stop, sat on a bench for about a minute, and then started out again only this time I was taking small, slow, steps. Way less then a 3 mph pace, probably more on the scale of 1 mph or less. The trusty 20 was counting down just like it should have been.

 

The next step was to speed up and then slow down, without stopping, and see what happened. Again the 20 operated as it should have.

 

For me, I'm thinking that v2.7 may have solved some of the sticky problem. Now how it works for anyone else......... :rolleyes:

 

I can say for sure YET. I will say I went out, for my 2/29/12 cache. Mine "seemed better" than a week ago. BUT I was basically in an open area today. Unlike last week where I was under a canopy ........

Edited by Davequal
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Battery screw broke after just a few battery changes.... My fellows, this sure is a quality GPS...

Mine broke too. They sent a new one free.

 

Another serious misdesign then... Can't imagine how these things slip through for equipment that is supposed to be "rugged" and field worthy...

Oh well, guess I'll just bend a thick paperclip into shape for now and e-mail Garmin...

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What is breaking? The post? The D-ring? Or something else? Mine seems fine; should I request one, preemptively?

 

The D ring popped off when I opened the battery case.

 

Yep-same for me. It's very hard, so popping it back in place yourself seems out of the question.

Edited by tr_s
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Battery screw broke after just a few battery changes.... My fellows, this sure is a quality GPS...

The clip on mine is fine (at the moment!).

I did think that the clip wasn't very robust the first time I installed its batteries. As I said mine is still ok... What I've done on mine - and it makes a big difference believe me - remove the back cover, then smear the tinniest ammount of vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the small 'T' piece that goes into the main body of the Etrex, refit the batteries then refit the back cover. The first time I closed mine after doing this I actually heard a slight 'Click' as the 'T' piece engaged in its slot, I'd never heard that before! Also, its now much easier to turn, and less stressfull on the 'D' clip. Try it...it really works. Remember...just a tiny ammount of vaseline, don't over-do it!!

Be interesting to hear what others think of this 'mod'.

 

I've started a new topic about this issue because, after all, we are currently in a firmware update thread...

Edited by Croesgadwr
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Battery screw broke after just a few battery changes.... My fellows, this sure is a quality GPS...

just a tiny ammount of vaseline, don't over-do it!!

Be interesting to hear what others think of this 'mod'.

 

While your mod sure may do good by making the thing last longer, this is indicative of a highly serious design flaw from the start.

Come on - the device needing lube to keep from breaking?!

 

I'm so tired of the consumer electronics business right now. Everything seems to be about short time-to-market and releasing before thinking.

The developers and paid testers should generally do the lion share of beta testing - not the customer. I don't care if this doubles the price.

 

Moreover. Garmin sending only a pin wouldn't work. Mine isn't removable from the cover at least.

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Battery screw broke after just a few battery changes.... My fellows, this sure is a quality GPS...

just a tiny ammount of vaseline, don't over-do it!!

Be interesting to hear what others think of this 'mod'.

 

While your mod sure may do good by making the thing last longer, this is indicative of a highly serious design flaw from the start.

Come on - the device needing lube to keep from breaking?!

 

I'm so tired of the consumer electronics business right now. Everything seems to be about short time-to-market and releasing before thinking.

The developers and paid testers should generally do the lion share of beta testing - not the customer. I don't care if this doubles the price.

 

Moreover. Garmin sending only a pin wouldn't work. Mine isn't removable from the cover at least.

 

I agree with what you say. My last GPS was a Legend HCx, the securing device on that was 'Bullet-proof'. I can't ever imagine the clip breaking on one of those!!!

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Battery screw broke after just a few battery changes.... My fellows, this sure is a quality GPS...

just a tiny ammount of vaseline, don't over-do it!!

Be interesting to hear what others think of this 'mod'.

 

While your mod sure may do good by making the thing last longer, this is indicative of a highly serious design flaw from the start.

Come on - the device needing lube to keep from breaking?!

 

I'm so tired of the consumer electronics business right now. Everything seems to be about short time-to-market and releasing before thinking.

The developers and paid testers should generally do the lion share of beta testing - not the customer. I don't care if this doubles the price.

 

Moreover. Garmin sending only a pin wouldn't work. Mine isn't removable from the cover at least.

Have you tried removing the pin by pressing it out from the 'outside'... i.e. pressing inwards from where the 'D' clip position is? Just an observation, I might be totally wrong on this - but looking at the alternatives, this looks to me like the easiest option.

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Battery screw broke after just a few battery changes.... My fellows, this sure is a quality GPS...

just a tiny ammount of vaseline, don't over-do it!!

Be interesting to hear what others think of this 'mod'.

 

While your mod sure may do good by making the thing last longer, this is indicative of a highly serious design flaw from the start.

Come on - the device needing lube to keep from breaking?!

 

I'm so tired of the consumer electronics business right now. Everything seems to be about short time-to-market and releasing before thinking.

The developers and paid testers should generally do the lion share of beta testing - not the customer. I don't care if this doubles the price.

 

Moreover. Garmin sending only a pin wouldn't work. Mine isn't removable from the cover at least.

Have you tried removing the pin by pressing it out from the 'outside'... i.e. pressing inwards from where the 'D' clip position is? Just an observation, I might be totally wrong on this - but looking at the alternatives, this looks to me like the easiest option.

 

Oh yes, and it doesn't budge.

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I actually convinced Garmin to replace under warranty my Etrex 30. So far, I have only had it out on one excursion. I was pleasantly surprised that there was no sign of the sticky issue. I have just the GPS on and no Glosnass or WAAS activated.

You will have the issue. I don't have the issue all the time, just occasionally. It is an aggravation you learn to live with. I was out a couple days ago and did 23 caches. On two if them the eTrex gave me fits. The others it was fine, and in a couple cases did better than my friends 60CSx.

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Notice that throughout the video the distance does increase/decrease as expected, so this doesn't appear to be the sticky issue.

 

Any comments?

 

Compass on my new 30 is pretty much cr@p. It seems to become thrown off 180 degrees and require recalibration by just putting it close to other electrical devices briefly, swapping batteries, or being close to a vehicle. It works well just after calibration but you can't have a full time job as an eTrex compass calibrator.

 

Think I'll just turn it off- the extra $70 was justifiable for me anyway over the 20 because of the ANT+ and barometer capabilities.

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I checked for the 'sticky' problem on an Etrex 30 running version 2.70 software, by comparing it with a Vista Cx, holding one device in each hand. I marked a location next to a lamp post as a waypoint on both devices, and then set both to navigate to it. Just as other users have reported, the Etrex 30 did not immediately start updating its position if I walked very slowly towards the waypoint (under 2 km/h), but I did not get such large errors as other people have found (never as much as 10m), and when I arrived at the waypoint, the Etrex 30 slowly updated its position until it was within the normal accuracy of hand-held GPS devices. If I walked briskly (5-6 km/h) both devices showed essentially the same distance from the waypoint at all times. Initially I had GPS, GLONASS and WAAS/EGNOS enabled on the Etrex 30, but turning of GLONASS made no apparent difference, and neither did turning off WAAS/EGNOS. I did the test on flat open ground, with no significant obstructions other than the lamp post that I was using as a waypoint. It seemed to be impossible to fool the Vista Cx, no matter whether I walked slowly, walked quickly or stayed in one place.

 

As regards compass calibration, we can't really blame Garmin for the need to recalibrate after changing the batteries. The casing of NiMH batteries is made of a magnetic material (I think it's steel), so different batteries will need different compass compensation.

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I would like to know how accurate the TrackBack feature goes because of hanging and slow catching up.I myself,would not put up with aggravation.I just wouldn't trust them on an real hike.It is too bad because the older Garmins work well on a whole.

 

I can't geocache with my 20 without wanting to smash it on a rock. On the "real hikes", it works fine for me with 2.70 It rounds off some corners and will straighten out steep switchbacks on its uphill track... But not once has it failed me or made me feel like I couldn't trust it. ( I should note that I track back by just looking at the map screen... Not following an arrow. ). As long as it gets me off the mountain ... I'm happy. So far so good!

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What's worse. I think that this problem may possibly not be correctable by new software.

 

Often GPS chipsets are treated like a "black box" by the manufacturer, the coordinates are just read out from the receiver part.

What the 10/20/30 has new in common, is a completely new GPS chipset.

If the chipset is dodgy then Garmin may be completely out of luck. Can't see why they would suddenly screw up on distance calculations / position updates

when all prior devices have managed just fine. Can anyone confirm whether or not the eTrex 10 acts in the same way?

Edited by tr_s
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What's worse. I think that this problem may possibly not be correctable by new software.

 

Often GPS chipsets are treated like a "black box" by the manufacturer, the coordinates are just read out from the receiver part.

What the 10/20/30 has new in common, is a completely new GPS chipset.

If the chipset is dodgy then Garmin may be completely out of luck. Can't see why they would suddenly screw up on distance calculations / position updates

when all prior devices have managed just fine. Can anyone confirm whether or not the eTrex 10 acts in the same way?

From comments made here on he forums it seems the Oregons suffer the sticky problem also. Again, a different chip set. The SiRF and mediaTek chips seemed to be free of this problem.

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Today I tried to find out the lowest speed at which the 'sticky' problem would occur. It seemed nowhere near as bad as yesterday, even though I was using the same two devices (Etrex 30 compared against Vista Cx). I don't think the error ever reached 5 metres, and the device corrected itself quite quickly if I stopped in one place; all of which means that I probably wouldn't have noticed a problem if I hadn't been looking for it. If it varies from day to day (perhaps according to satellite configuration), no wonder some users think they have a problem and others don't.

Also, I forgot to mention that I checked the 'lock on road' setting after completing yesterday's tests; it was off.

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What's worse. I think that this problem may possibly not be correctable by new software.

 

Often GPS chipsets are treated like a "black box" by the manufacturer, the coordinates are just read out from the receiver part.

What the 10/20/30 has new in common, is a completely new GPS chipset.

If the chipset is dodgy then Garmin may be completely out of luck. Can't see why they would suddenly screw up on distance calculations / position updates

when all prior devices have managed just fine. Can anyone confirm whether or not the eTrex 10 acts in the same way?

 

My 20 has never once stuck, despite me trying to make it ... so I don't think you can blame the chipset :unsure:

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Yeah, if the chipset was to blame, we would be hearing of a systemic problem; the fact that it's not a 100% failure among all users would pretty much rule out the chipset.

 

Not by that logic - there may be series or revision faults in the actual chipsets!

 

If it on the other hand is true that the problem is seen on Oregons as well then I am willing to bet that you are right; Garmin are to blame.

The eTrex x0 line has a completely new one not seen in other garmin receivers. This of course is why the glonass support is there.

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What's worse. I think that this problem may possibly not be correctable by new software.

 

Often GPS chipsets are treated like a "black box" by the manufacturer, the coordinates are just read out from the receiver part.

What the 10/20/30 has new in common, is a completely new GPS chipset.

If the chipset is dodgy then Garmin may be completely out of luck. Can't see why they would suddenly screw up on distance calculations / position updates

when all prior devices have managed just fine. Can anyone confirm whether or not the eTrex 10 acts in the same way?

From comments made here on he forums it seems the Oregons suffer the sticky problem also. Again, a different chip set. The SiRF and mediaTek chips seemed to be free of this problem.

 

Our 450 and 62S definitely suffered from the " sticky "......both improved greatly from the latest firmware as far as eliminating the sticky but both became more sensitive and jumpy, almost to a fault.

 

Our Sirf 60 never had sticky issues.

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Yeah, if the chipset was to blame, we would be hearing of a systemic problem; the fact that it's not a 100% failure among all users would pretty much rule out the chipset.

 

If it got better based on a FW update, I don't think it can be something on a case-by-case basis. It almost has to be consistent on a device level; I'm thinking that some folks walking/caching style just precludes the sticky from rearing it's ugly head.

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