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Garmin 62s - serious compass issue


Biker_121
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I've just bought a Garmin 62s and my initial feelings about the unit is not very good - my most serious current issue with it is the compass. It just doesn't point to the target waypoint consistenly long enough to be useful. when i first switch it to compass mode it will mostly point to the right direction of the target but when i move around the compass just doesn't want to do a good job anymore - sometimes it sticks and stays in one position. I also have a Meridian Gold (OMG - it's a standard all GPS will be compared to...) and it's compass will accurately point to the target no matter what direction i'm heading, all the time, while i'm moving.

 

What's wrong with the Garmin 62s? - is my unit? I've tried calibrating it but it didn't improve things. Am i missing something - is it the correct assumption that the red arrow in the compass will point to a go-to waypoint and point in the general direction of that point even while you're moving....accurately.

Edited by ed_lty
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What's wrong with the Garmin 62s? - is my unit? I've tried calibrating it but it didn't improve things. Am i missing something - is it the correct assumption that the red arrow in the compass will point to a go-to waypoint and point in the general direction of that point even while you're moving....accurately.

 

Could be just your unit. My experiences with the compass in the eTrex 30 ain't good, but I hear the 62 series should be better. Ensure that you calibrate it at a magnetically free place (i.e. outdoors with no significant chunks of metal or electronics nearby).

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Most times it will snap to the waypoint if i stop, not always though so it's not reliable. If i continued walking or moving around the compass will be 'sticky' - not pointing to the waypoint's direction. So in order for me to get the right direction i have to stop - that's not too bad if i'm only walking but it's gonna be a deal-breaker if i'm on the bike or in the car.

 

I think i'm going to try to return it.....it's only a week old. This must be the sticky issue i read about.

 

My God - it's 10 years since the Meridian Gold and there's still not a better GPS made since. Sure the newer units can have road maps, color screen (which are hard to read in all lights except blinding sun), usb connectivity etc but there's only been one super accurate GPS the Meridian Gold is truly the GOLD standard. The Meridian's compass is silky smooth in continously pointing to the waypoint no matter if i'm walking, cycling or driving - there's no stickiness at all.

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You may have bought a unit that does not have the latest software version. Check to make sure you have the latest update (4.60) before returning it.

 

The unit was very new - it came with v4.5 from the box - i had installed v4.60.

 

The compass is a bit better now that i have calibrated it properly - it will snap to the waypoint even when i'm standing still but when i move it gets sticky again. I'm digging deeper into other posts in this forum and looks like it's quite a common thing. Otherwise how do i determine i'm heading in the correct direction - use bearing? Bearing is not as intuitive as a line drawn towards the waypoint.

 

I can live without the compass but does the 62s have like a constant line drawn to the waypoint from my position/curson in the map mode as i move - the Meridian does that and it helps hugely to let u know quickly that you are heading in the correct general direction.

Edited by Biker_121
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Just a suggestion (if it applies).....

 

Don't hold anything metallic against the bottom of the GPS.

 

The carabiner that comes with it..... don't hold it underneath the unit - let it dangle. We had trouble with a really badly bouncy compass about a year ago and we're pretty sure it was from that. That's my story and I'm sticking to it anyway..... :laughing:

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The carabiner that comes with it..... don't hold it underneath the unit - let it dangle. We had trouble with a really badly bouncy compass about a year ago and we're pretty sure it was from that.

I'm fairly sure the carabiner is made of aluminum, and doesn't have any affect on the compass.

 

--Larry

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I'm not much of a Compass Page user, working mostly with the Map Page. On a 60, I select Course for the Go To Line in the Map Page setup, which locks in a line from from the starting point to the destination, like the Depart-Dest Line is in my Mericolor. Then I can toggle between the Course and Bearing, on the Map Page, if I need to, from Menu>Setup Map, then I hit the Rocker up once, which selects the Go To Line selection.

And one can add choices in the Data Fields on the Map Page, like Bearing, Course, Off Course, To Course, etc.

I returned the 62s, that I had a couple of years ago, after a few days of use, so I never got to check any of this out. I used the Classic Profile.

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Just a suggestion (if it applies).....

 

Don't hold anything metallic against the bottom of the GPS.

 

The carabiner that comes with it..... don't hold it underneath the unit - let it dangle. We had trouble with a really badly bouncy compass about a year ago and we're pretty sure it was from that. That's my story and I'm sticking to it anyway..... :laughing:

 

No...i'm not using the carabiner. The carabiner looks fantastic but it's also another badly design issue - it's attached to the battery door and can/will weaken the entire battery door mounting when it's used constantly. So i'm staying off it.

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No...i'm not using the carabiner. The carabiner looks fantastic but it's also another badly design issue - it's attached to the battery door and can/will weaken the entire battery door mounting when it's used constantly. So i'm staying off it.

I would disagree with this assessment. I've used the carabiner on my Oregon 550T pretty much constantly since I purchased the unit in September 2009. The battery door, like the rest of the unit, is still as solid as a rock.

 

As far as I'm aware, the carabiner on the 62s is pretty much the same design as the one on my unit. I've never seen any complaints about the carabiner or its effect on the battery door; what led you to this conclusion?

 

--Larry

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i've seen a post somewhere where someone had a loose battery door from using the carabiner. If u mount it on something that's has constant/consisten violent vibration like on a mountain bike or a motorcycle it'll happen. Of course to the average geocacher who attaches it only to his backpack it might not be a serious issue.

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What type of batteries are installed in your 62s? Are the correct type selected in Setup > System > Battery Type? They WILL have an effect on the compass behavior.

 

i'm using Eneloops and the setting is set to NiMh. I've literally spent the whole morning playing and checking the reliability of the compass pointing to the waypoint- my conclusion is u don't want to depend your life on it. It's very unreliable - i'll say it works 15% of the time correctly and the rest is bugger-all (SNAFU). When it works - it would nicely snap to the direction of the waypoint....when it doesn't (85% of the time) it'll just stick. Garmin might as well displayed a most-wanted fugitive picture (at least it'll be useful).

 

It was definitely a deal breaker for me because without something pointing to the target waypoint how am i to know which is the correct direction to head. But i may have found another feature tht could be a saving grace - it's like in the Meridian Gold where a line is constantly drawing to the waypoint as u move - u first 'find' the waypoint and then go into 'find' again to change the routing - there's an option for Direct routing - it will then constantly draw a line to the waypoint. I'll play with it more when the rain stops to check for it's reliability.

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My Meridian Gold is on the bottom of the Tualatin River. If you are expecting the arrow to point the same as a the Meridian you may be missing the point, so to speak. When I went from the Meridian to the 60csx I had the same problem as you and I then had an epiphany and figured out I was looking at it all wrong. I had marked my car and I could see it a few hundred yards away. While standing outside my work building, I turned on the GPS and did a "goto" my car waypoint. The arrow acted funny to me. I'm thinking why did the arrow move? I then grabbed the both ends of 60csx(my eye could get closer to the arrow looking across the GPS) and held it up to my eye and sighted down the arrow. it pointed right at my car!! I went from being bummed that I had lost my Marigold to very happy I did lose it. BTW Try that with your Meridian.

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OK....i've now pretty much been able to emulate the Meridian GOld on the 62s - i've now set my Routing to 'Direct Routing' and there's a pink line constantly and ACCURATELY pointing to the waypoint all the time. So as long as i follow the pink line it'll take me to the waypoint. I'm actually quite stoked now...for the first time since getting the 62s in the last few days....OMG....that goto pink line is a no brainer.....it'll point straight to the waypoint no matter how u are moving. Stop mucking around with that dadgum compass screen & wasting your time trying to make it work (it is completely useless).....just use Direct Routing and ride (best u can) on to the Pink line to take you to your waypoint!

 

i've removed the compass screen. i hate looking at something useless. I also recall there were some discussions about Compass issues with the Meridian Plantinums - maybe it's all these techy 3 axis compassess.....the Meridian Gold used the basic compass and it was spot-on, as long as u were moving the compass would point to the waypoint and also show u the location of the sun/moon at that present time.

 

So i think we've resolved this issue.....i'm relief as i will not return the unit now.

Edited by Biker_121
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OK....i've now pretty much been able to emulate the Meridian GOld on the 62s - i've now set my Routing to 'Direct Routing' and there's a pink line constantly and ACCURATELY pointing to the waypoint all the time. So as long as i follow the pink line it'll take me to the waypoint. I'm actually quite stoked now...for the first time since getting the 62s in the last few days....OMG....that goto pink line is a no brainer.....it'll point straight to the waypoint no matter how u are moving. Stop mucking around with that dadgum compass screen & wasting your time trying to make it work (it is completely useless).....just use Direct Routing and ride (best u can) on to the Pink line to take you to your waypoint!

 

i've removed the compass screen. i hate looking at something useless. I also recall there were some discussions about Compass issues with the Meridian Plantinums - maybe it's all these techy 3 axis compassess.....the Meridian Gold used the basic compass and it was spot-on, as long as u were moving the compass would point to the waypoint and also show u the location of the sun/moon at that present time.

 

So i think we've resolved this issue.....i'm relief as i will not return the unit now.

I was thinking about a follow up post with comments along the line of "give it some time, I'm sure you'll enjoy using it" etc., but now that you've drawn that conclusion yourself, I'm very happy. The 62s is a great unit which I use a lot and have had little trouble with (except for when all owners suffered with that darn "sticky" problem---now pretty much gone). Enjoy!

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OK....i've now pretty much been able to emulate the Meridian GOld on the 62s - i've now set my Routing to 'Direct Routing' and there's a pink line constantly and ACCURATELY pointing to the waypoint all the time. So as long as i follow the pink line it'll take me to the waypoint. I'm actually quite stoked now...for the first time since getting the 62s in the last few days....OMG....that goto pink line is a no brainer.....it'll point straight to the waypoint no matter how u are moving. Stop mucking around with that dadgum compass screen & wasting your time trying to make it work (it is completely useless).....just use Direct Routing and ride (best u can) on to the Pink line to take you to your waypoint!

 

i've removed the compass screen. i hate looking at something useless. I also recall there were some discussions about Compass issues with the Meridian Plantinums - maybe it's all these techy 3 axis compassess.....the Meridian Gold used the basic compass and it was spot-on, as long as u were moving the compass would point to the waypoint and also show u the location of the sun/moon at that present time.

 

So i think we've resolved this issue.....i'm relief as i will not return the unit now.

 

I own multiple units of all the Meridians including Golds ( the Gold does not have an electronic pointer / compass ). The true top of the line was the Platinum which had a three axis compass ( best ever made ) just like your 62S does. I have two 62S units and like them better than any I have ever used. On my first unit when the firmware reached 3.90 my compass and unit worked perfectly. I bought a second unit for my wife and didn't like the performance with the latest firmware so I put 3.90 on it as well and now it works perfectly. I also use the Eneloop 2500 batteries.....they are perfect for that unit. I use the compass screen in the Geocaching Detail Dashboard when walking to a cache....it doesn't get any better in GPS land then this.....if you abandon the compass screen you're taking the heart out of the unit. Its best to calibrate the compass after every battery change ( takes about 20 sec )although with the Eneloop 2500's 90% of the time the unit still reads perfect after a change. Remember, you had to be walking for your Gold to continue pointing to the cache.....you're 62S will ALWAYS point at the cache...even if standing still.

Unless you have a faulty unit the 62S works great.....it is a big difference from the Meridian line ( what a wonderful unit !! ) but once you have the proper firmware and learn how to set it up and customize it you won't want to go back....my 2 dozen Meridians are in storage.

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OK....i've now pretty much been able to emulate the Meridian GOld on the 62s - i've now set my Routing to 'Direct Routing' and there's a pink line constantly and ACCURATELY pointing to the waypoint all the time. So as long as i follow the pink line it'll take me to the waypoint. I'm actually quite stoked now...for the first time since getting the 62s in the last few days....OMG....that goto pink line is a no brainer.....it'll point straight to the waypoint no matter how u are moving. Stop mucking around with that dadgum compass screen & wasting your time trying to make it work (it is completely useless).....just use Direct Routing and ride (best u can) on to the Pink line to take you to your waypoint!

 

i've removed the compass screen. i hate looking at something useless. I also recall there were some discussions about Compass issues with the Meridian Plantinums - maybe it's all these techy 3 axis compassess.....the Meridian Gold used the basic compass and it was spot-on, as long as u were moving the compass would point to the waypoint and also show u the location of the sun/moon at that present time.

 

So i think we've resolved this issue.....i'm relief as i will not return the unit now.

 

I own multiple units of all the Meridians including Golds ( the Gold does not have an electronic pointer / compass ). The true top of the line was the Platinum which had a three axis compass ( best ever made ) just like your 62S does. I have two 62S units and like them better than any I have ever used. On my first unit when the firmware reached 3.90 my compass and unit worked perfectly. I bought a second unit for my wife and didn't like the performance with the latest firmware so I put 3.90 on it as well and now it works perfectly. I also use the Eneloop 2500 batteries.....they are perfect for that unit. I use the compass screen in the Geocaching Detail Dashboard when walking to a cache....it doesn't get any better in GPS land then this.....if you abandon the compass screen you're taking the heart out of the unit. Its best to calibrate the compass after every battery change ( takes about 20 sec )although with the Eneloop 2500's 90% of the time the unit still reads perfect after a change. Remember, you had to be walking for your Gold to continue pointing to the cache.....you're 62S will ALWAYS point at the cache...even if standing still.

Unless you have a faulty unit the 62S works great.....it is a big difference from the Meridian line ( what a wonderful unit !! ) but once you have the proper firmware and learn how to set it up and customize it you won't want to go back....my 2 dozen Meridians are in storage.

 

For the compass function I believe i've done all there is to be done - set battery type & calibrate compass. But the compass performance is still a 50-50% thing. There'll be times when it'll snap to the waypoint like a bloodhound - then there are times when it just doesnt.

 

Are u suggesting then that i have a faulty unit? it's now 1 week old and i think i could still return it to the store (i think).

Edited by Biker_121
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OK....i've now pretty much been able to emulate the Meridian GOld on the 62s - i've now set my Routing to 'Direct Routing' and there's a pink line constantly and ACCURATELY pointing to the waypoint all the time. So as long as i follow the pink line it'll take me to the waypoint. I'm actually quite stoked now...for the first time since getting the 62s in the last few days....OMG....that goto pink line is a no brainer.....it'll point straight to the waypoint no matter how u are moving. Stop mucking around with that dadgum compass screen & wasting your time trying to make it work (it is completely useless).....just use Direct Routing and ride (best u can) on to the Pink line to take you to your waypoint!

 

i've removed the compass screen. i hate looking at something useless. I also recall there were some discussions about Compass issues with the Meridian Plantinums - maybe it's all these techy 3 axis compassess.....the Meridian Gold used the basic compass and it was spot-on, as long as u were moving the compass would point to the waypoint and also show u the location of the sun/moon at that present time.

 

So i think we've resolved this issue.....i'm relief as i will not return the unit now.

 

I own multiple units of all the Meridians including Golds ( the Gold does not have an electronic pointer / compass ). The true top of the line was the Platinum which had a three axis compass ( best ever made ) just like your 62S does. I have two 62S units and like them better than any I have ever used. On my first unit when the firmware reached 3.90 my compass and unit worked perfectly. I bought a second unit for my wife and didn't like the performance with the latest firmware so I put 3.90 on it as well and now it works perfectly. I also use the Eneloop 2500 batteries.....they are perfect for that unit. I use the compass screen in the Geocaching Detail Dashboard when walking to a cache....it doesn't get any better in GPS land then this.....if you abandon the compass screen you're taking the heart out of the unit. Its best to calibrate the compass after every battery change ( takes about 20 sec )although with the Eneloop 2500's 90% of the time the unit still reads perfect after a change. Remember, you had to be walking for your Gold to continue pointing to the cache.....you're 62S will ALWAYS point at the cache...even if standing still.

Unless you have a faulty unit the 62S works great.....it is a big difference from the Meridian line ( what a wonderful unit !! ) but once you have the proper firmware and learn how to set it up and customize it you won't want to go back....my 2 dozen Meridians are in storage.

 

For the compass function I believe i've done all there is to be done - set battery type & calibrate compass. But the compass performance is still a 50-50% thing. There'll be times when it'll snap to the waypoint like a bloodhound - then there are times when it just doesnt.

 

Are u suggesting then that i have a faulty unit? it's now 1 week old and i think i could still return it to the store (i think).

 

I would try installing firmware 3.90....the link below has the firmware and instructions :

 

http://garmingpsmap.wikispaces.com/Versions

 

Set up the geocaching profile so all settings are the way you want them....I set the compass to Dashboard = Geocaching Detail.

Use your fresh charged Eneloops and set battery type to Rechargeable, NIMH.

Load geocaches ( I use GSAK )

Calibrate the compass.

You should be good to go with no compass problems....if problems continue I would get them to give you another unit.

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OK....i've now pretty much been able to emulate the Meridian GOld on the 62s - i've now set my Routing to 'Direct Routing' and there's a pink line constantly and ACCURATELY pointing to the waypoint all the time. So as long as i follow the pink line it'll take me to the waypoint. I'm actually quite stoked now...for the first time since getting the 62s in the last few days....OMG....that goto pink line is a no brainer.....it'll point straight to the waypoint no matter how u are moving. Stop mucking around with that dadgum compass screen & wasting your time trying to make it work (it is completely useless).....just use Direct Routing and ride (best u can) on to the Pink line to take you to your waypoint!

 

i've removed the compass screen. i hate looking at something useless. I also recall there were some discussions about Compass issues with the Meridian Plantinums - maybe it's all these techy 3 axis compassess.....the Meridian Gold used the basic compass and it was spot-on, as long as u were moving the compass would point to the waypoint and also show u the location of the sun/moon at that present time.

 

So i think we've resolved this issue.....i'm relief as i will not return the unit now.

 

I own multiple units of all the Meridians including Golds ( the Gold does not have an electronic pointer / compass ). The true top of the line was the Platinum which had a three axis compass ( best ever made ) just like your 62S does. I have two 62S units and like them better than any I have ever used. On my first unit when the firmware reached 3.90 my compass and unit worked perfectly. I bought a second unit for my wife and didn't like the performance with the latest firmware so I put 3.90 on it as well and now it works perfectly. I also use the Eneloop 2500 batteries.....they are perfect for that unit. I use the compass screen in the Geocaching Detail Dashboard when walking to a cache....it doesn't get any better in GPS land then this.....if you abandon the compass screen you're taking the heart out of the unit. Its best to calibrate the compass after every battery change ( takes about 20 sec )although with the Eneloop 2500's 90% of the time the unit still reads perfect after a change. Remember, you had to be walking for your Gold to continue pointing to the cache.....you're 62S will ALWAYS point at the cache...even if standing still.

Unless you have a faulty unit the 62S works great.....it is a big difference from the Meridian line ( what a wonderful unit !! ) but once you have the proper firmware and learn how to set it up and customize it you won't want to go back....my 2 dozen Meridians are in storage.

 

For the compass function I believe i've done all there is to be done - set battery type & calibrate compass. But the compass performance is still a 50-50% thing. There'll be times when it'll snap to the waypoint like a bloodhound - then there are times when it just doesnt.

 

Are u suggesting then that i have a faulty unit? it's now 1 week old and i think i could still return it to the store (i think).

 

I would try installing firmware 3.90....the link below has the firmware and instructions :

 

http://garmingpsmap.wikispaces.com/Versions

 

Set up the geocaching profile so all settings are the way you want them....I set the compass to Dashboard = Geocaching Detail.

Use your fresh charged Eneloops and set battery type to Rechargeable, NIMH.

Load geocaches ( I use GSAK )

Calibrate the compass.

You should be good to go with no compass problems....if problems continue I would get them to give you another unit.

 

I was having problems with the compass on my 62 using 4.60 and went back to version 3.90 as suggested. After one time out the compass responded much better. Thanks for the suggestion. For now I will stick with 3.90.

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OK....i've now pretty much been able to emulate the Meridian GOld on the 62s - i've now set my Routing to 'Direct Routing' and there's a pink line constantly and ACCURATELY pointing to the waypoint all the time. So as long as i follow the pink line it'll take me to the waypoint. I'm actually quite stoked now...for the first time since getting the 62s in the last few days....OMG....that goto pink line is a no brainer.....it'll point straight to the waypoint no matter how u are moving. Stop mucking around with that dadgum compass screen & wasting your time trying to make it work (it is completely useless).....just use Direct Routing and ride (best u can) on to the Pink line to take you to your waypoint!

 

i've removed the compass screen. i hate looking at something useless. I also recall there were some discussions about Compass issues with the Meridian Plantinums - maybe it's all these techy 3 axis compassess.....the Meridian Gold used the basic compass and it was spot-on, as long as u were moving the compass would point to the waypoint and also show u the location of the sun/moon at that present time.

 

So i think we've resolved this issue.....i'm relief as i will not return the unit now.

 

I own multiple units of all the Meridians including Golds ( the Gold does not have an electronic pointer / compass ). The true top of the line was the Platinum which had a three axis compass ( best ever made ) just like your 62S does. I have two 62S units and like them better than any I have ever used. On my first unit when the firmware reached 3.90 my compass and unit worked perfectly. I bought a second unit for my wife and didn't like the performance with the latest firmware so I put 3.90 on it as well and now it works perfectly. I also use the Eneloop 2500 batteries.....they are perfect for that unit. I use the compass screen in the Geocaching Detail Dashboard when walking to a cache....it doesn't get any better in GPS land then this.....if you abandon the compass screen you're taking the heart out of the unit. Its best to calibrate the compass after every battery change ( takes about 20 sec )although with the Eneloop 2500's 90% of the time the unit still reads perfect after a change. Remember, you had to be walking for your Gold to continue pointing to the cache.....you're 62S will ALWAYS point at the cache...even if standing still.

Unless you have a faulty unit the 62S works great.....it is a big difference from the Meridian line ( what a wonderful unit !! ) but once you have the proper firmware and learn how to set it up and customize it you won't want to go back....my 2 dozen Meridians are in storage.

 

For the compass function I believe i've done all there is to be done - set battery type & calibrate compass. But the compass performance is still a 50-50% thing. There'll be times when it'll snap to the waypoint like a bloodhound - then there are times when it just doesnt.

 

Are u suggesting then that i have a faulty unit? it's now 1 week old and i think i could still return it to the store (i think).

 

I would try installing firmware 3.90....the link below has the firmware and instructions :

 

http://garmingpsmap.wikispaces.com/Versions

 

Set up the geocaching profile so all settings are the way you want them....I set the compass to Dashboard = Geocaching Detail.

Use your fresh charged Eneloops and set battery type to Rechargeable, NIMH.

Load geocaches ( I use GSAK )

Calibrate the compass.

You should be good to go with no compass problems....if problems continue I would get them to give you another unit.

 

I was having problems with the compass on my 62 using 4.60 and went back to version 3.90 as suggested. After one time out the compass responded much better. Thanks for the suggestion. For now I will stick with 3.90.

 

As the 62S matured there continued to be an outcry regarding the " sticky " ( the unit would not respond to your movements, especially when moving slow)

Ver 3.90 cured the " sticky".....ensuing firmware took care of minor bugs but caused the unit not to be as accurate or as responsive. The only feature I hated to lose was being able to log a find from the compass screen but I'll gladly trade that for better performance.

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As the 62S matured there continued to be an outcry regarding the " sticky " ( the unit would not respond to your movements, especially when moving slow)

Ver 3.90 cured the " sticky".....ensuing firmware took care of minor bugs but caused the unit not to be as accurate or as responsive. The only feature I hated to lose was being able to log a find from the compass screen but I'll gladly trade that for better performance.

 

Why are u guys still persisting to use the compass (with its issues) when the Direct Route method will make a line pointing straight to the waypoint - using direct route makes it a no brainer - it's deadly accurate. Or am i missing something here....

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The carabiner that comes with it..... don't hold it underneath the unit - let it dangle. We had trouble with a really badly bouncy compass about a year ago and we're pretty sure it was from that.

I'm fairly sure the carabiner is made of aluminum, and doesn't have any affect on the compass.

 

--Larry

 

You might be right.....but experience would prove (to us anyway) that it has affected the compass (or I wouldn't have mentioned it).

Edited by Lieblweb
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The carabiner that comes with it..... don't hold it underneath the unit - let it dangle. We had trouble with a really badly bouncy compass about a year ago and we're pretty sure it was from that.

I'm fairly sure the carabiner is made of aluminum, and doesn't have any affect on the compass.

 

--Larry

 

You might be right.....but experience would prove (to us anyway) that it has affected the compass (or I wouldn't have mentioned it).

Here's somebody who agrees with me: Post

 

I've always used my Oregon 550T with the carabiner attached, and I've never seen it interfere with the compass. In fact, the only time I remove the carabiner is to swap out the batteries when they're low. As always, YMMV, and it apparently does.

 

--Larry

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