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Electronic Compass only good for pointing arrow to cache?


p0n3y
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Hi, Im new to geocaching and to the forums.

I know this topic has been brought up lots of times, and ive searched and read quite a few threads on the subject, but am still a bit confused.

I currently have the Etrex 30, but was thinking of returning it for the etrex 20 to save $100. Altimeter is not important to me, so it comes down to the electronic compass.

 

From what Ive read, the main benefit of having an electronic compass for geocaching, is that the arrow will point toward the cache when stopped or moving slow?

 

Im thinking you can still see the location of the cache and your currant location on the gps screen, so the direction the arrow is pointing shouldn't be that necessary, should it? I mean, just look at the screen, and you can tell if the cache is in front of you, or right, or left ect...

 

Maybe im missing something, but paying $100 bucks for an arrow seems like something I can do without.

 

Am I right, or is there more to the electronic compass?

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You will get a lot of different opinions on the electronic compass, but it does seem to be a matter of choice.

 

I used, (and will still use) a 60CSx, and I always kept the electronic compass shut off. I don't really like it when Geocaching. I just bought a 62s, and it looks like I will have to learn to like it, as I see no way to turn the electronic compass off. :unsure:

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Depends on how you use a compass, really.

 

If you use it simply as a "pointer" then no, it isn't really necessary.

If you use it as a compass -- not just for geocaching -- then it does come in very handy at times. Probably less so if one confines themselves to city or roadside caches rather than hiking caches or those "out and away".

 

Both types work, it just depends on how you use them.

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am I right in assuming you can still see your current location vs the location of the cache on the screen, minus the arrow pointing in the right direction with a non electronic compass?

 

Yeah, I believe you can set up a data field to display the lat/lon of the destination and another data field can be set to display your current lat/lon.

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I always use the compass screen when walking to a cache....when driving I leave it on the map screen. There will be times when the terrain will not permit walking fast enough for the basic pointer to operate ( indeed it may be hard to walk or climb at all )....thats when the electronic is nice. Units will also adjust and its nice when at GZ to stand still and see the pointer gently swing a bit showing the cache is actually 20' that way.....otherwise you need to do the "drunk walk " to see your units adjusted GZ and sometimes at GZ you can't walk fast enough......I've found caches both ways but would never again buy a unit without an electronic compass.

I don't know about paying $100 for one though....the 62S has been selling for around $200, bring your unit back and get one of those and you'll also gain a larger screen, quad antenna, faster processor, and IMO a better button layout.

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all the stores locally here have the 62s for around $349

 

etrex 30 vs the 20 was about $50 difference in store, or about $100 if ordered from Amazon

The 62s is $199.95 at GPScity.com. Here in Ontario, I've ordered many items from their Canadian counterpart and have been very pleased with their service.

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am I right in assuming you can still see your current location vs the location of the cache on the screen, minus the arrow pointing in the right direction with a non electronic compass?

The difference is when the arrow points in the right direction. With electronic it does at all times. When off it does it when moving.

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I have cached with or without an electronic compass and it does not make that much of a difference to me. I use the pointer and distance fields in the map screen and by the time I approach the cache I have put the gpsr away and am ready to start looking. But I do like the tri-axial compass (that is on the etrex 30). It works in any orientation so I do not have to think about how I am holding the gpsr when hiking, biking, or kayaking.

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Ah, so thats the tri-axial compass. I wasnt sure what that ment. I had the Etrex 20 and 30 side by side out in the yard today testing out the compass. From a stand still, just slowly facing the opposite direction, the compass on the 20 did not correct for North, and of course the 30 did. But the 20 would correct it self with minimal movment, even just extending my arm straight out in front of me.

 

I did notice that although both showed the same satellites, the 30 had higher signal for most of them.

 

The addition of the tri-axial comapass, and the wireless capabilities have me leaning toward the 30 now. I do like the extrex line for the small size and battery life, as I'll probably wear it on a lanyard. tough decisions

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I just bought a 62s, and it looks like I will have to learn to like it, as I see no way to turn the electronic compass off. :unsure:

 

Setup -> Heading -> Compass -> Off

 

Thank you. I do plan to try out the electronic compass on this GPS as it looks like it works better. (don't have to hold it flat) But I'm glad to know I can turn it off if it I don't like it.

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all the stores locally here have the 62s for around $349

 

etrex 30 vs the 20 was about $50 difference in store, or about $100 if ordered from Amazon

The 62s is $199.95 at GPScity.com. Here in Ontario, I've ordered many items from their Canadian counterpart and have been very pleased with their service.

 

I got my 62s at Amazon.com for $227.00.

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I just bought a 62s, and it looks like I will have to learn to like it, as I see no way to turn the electronic compass off. :unsure:

 

Setup -> Heading -> Compass -> Off

 

Thank you. I do plan to try out the electronic compass on this GPS as it looks like it works better. (don't have to hold it flat) But I'm glad to know I can turn it off if it I don't like it.

 

You shouldn't have to hold it flat -- it's a three axis compass meaning you can hold it at different angles and it will still point in the right direction. Older devices only had a two axis compass that required you to hold it flat.

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I just bought a 62s, and it looks like I will have to learn to like it, as I see no way to turn the electronic compass off. :unsure:

 

Setup -> Heading -> Compass -> Off

 

Thank you. I do plan to try out the electronic compass on this GPS as it looks like it works better. (don't have to hold it flat) But I'm glad to know I can turn it off if it I don't like it.

 

You shouldn't have to hold it flat -- it's a three axis compass meaning you can hold it at different angles and it will still point in the right direction. Older devices only had a two axis compass that required you to hold it flat.

 

I was talking about the compass in the 60CSx, that you have to hold flat. (which is the main reason I didn't use the electronic compass.) The three axis compass, on the 62s, seems to be much easier to use.

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I just bought a 62s, and it looks like I will have to learn to like it, as I see no way to turn the electronic compass off. :unsure:

 

Setup -> Heading -> Compass -> Off

 

Thank you. I do plan to try out the electronic compass on this GPS as it looks like it works better. (don't have to hold it flat) But I'm glad to know I can turn it off if it I don't like it.

 

You shouldn't have to hold it flat -- it's a three axis compass meaning you can hold it at different angles and it will still point in the right direction. Older devices only had a two axis compass that required you to hold it flat.

 

I was talking about the compass in the 60CSx, that you have to hold flat. (which is the main reason I didn't use the electronic compass.) The three axis compass, on the 62s, seems to be much easier to use.

 

The 62S has as good a 3 axis compass as I've ever used and I loved the one on the Meridian PLatinum.

The CSx compass in addition to being 2 axis was also quirky and required field calibration from time to time.

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Maybe im missing something, but paying $100 bucks for an arrow seems like something I can do without.

 

Am I right, or is there more to the electronic compass?

 

I didn't get the Etrex 30 for that very reason. However with hindsight I regret having bought the Etrex in the first place!

 

There are better units out there at cheaper prices.

 

:D

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Maybe im missing something, but paying $100 bucks for an arrow seems like something I can do without.

 

Am I right, or is there more to the electronic compass?

 

I didn't get the Etrex 30 for that very reason. However with hindsight I regret having bought the Etrex in the first place!

 

There are better units out there at cheaper prices.

 

:D

 

I GOT the eTrex 30 and it had nothing to do with the electronic compass. It had to do with the wireless sharing and sensor access. For those of us that have friends and go caching with them, it's real handy to beam waypoints, geocaches and track logs back and forth. I also use a Tempē when I am in the wilderness to get an idea of temperature trends in the backcountry. Having a GPS that is capable of the Ant+ sensors yet still runs for 4 days of paddling is well worth the extra $100 to me.

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