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Garmin GPSMap 62sc Compass Reponsiveness


drbadskwerl
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Hey everyone,

 

I've had an issue with my Gasmin GPSMap 62sc compass for a year or so now. When using the compass to direct me to a geocache the compass is incredibly slow to respond and adjust. For example, when heading towards GZ at a constant walking speed the compass will often point in a totally different direction even though the 'Distance to Next' will decline. So, I figure the GPS knows I am heading in the correct direction but the compass can take 10-15 seconds to adjust. I have owned the unit for 4 years and it didn't really develop this issue until the last year or so.

 

I have tried calibrating the compass and different batteries.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by drbadskwerl
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At what distance from the cache does the compass act up? Is it stable at a distance from the cache and only unstable at close range?

 

Great question. It usually starts acting up once I'm under 30m or so.

 

If I'm approaching a cache and it's quite a distance away the arrow will eventually point in the right direction. But, once I'm getting closer and I'm adjusting my direction the compass will point all sorts of directions. The compass doesn't spin wildly; it just doesn't point towards GZ. I'm holding the unit parallel to the ground too. I'll have to walk 20s or so in one direction for it to figure out which way to point. But, the 'distance to next' meters adjust properly.

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I'll have to walk 20s or so in one direction for it to figure out which way to point. But, the 'distance to next' meters adjust properly.

 

I"m sure the 62sc is like the other Garmins, where the compass is shut off when you are walking about 2.5 to 3 miles per hour, or faster. It uses GPS positioning to determine your direction and the direction that the arrow points. That's a fairly brisk walking speed. If you walk more slowly than that, or stop, the magnetic compass takes over and will show you your heading and direction to the cache. When the compass is calibrated, the switch between GPS direction and compass direction should be pretty seamless. One way to get a better handle on what's happening is to walk in a straight line at a good brisk pace and note your heading. The heading and arrow should be quite constant. Then stop and see if your heading changes when the magnetic compass takes over. If it changes more than a couple degrees, the compass is out of calibration. If you are unable to get the two indications to agree after a couple calibrations, the magnetic compass is most likely faulty.

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I'll have to walk 20s or so in one direction for it to figure out which way to point. But, the 'distance to next' meters adjust properly.

 

I"m sure the 62sc is like the other Garmins, where the compass is shut off when you are walking about 2.5 to 3 miles per hour, or faster. It uses GPS positioning to determine your direction and the direction that the arrow points. That's a fairly brisk walking speed. If you walk more slowly than that, or stop, the magnetic compass takes over and will show you your heading and direction to the cache. When the compass is calibrated, the switch between GPS direction and compass direction should be pretty seamless. One way to get a better handle on what's happening is to walk in a straight line at a good brisk pace and note your heading. The heading and arrow should be quite constant. Then stop and see if your heading changes when the magnetic compass takes over. If it changes more than a couple degrees, the compass is out of calibration. If you are unable to get the two indications to agree after a couple calibrations, the magnetic compass is most likely faulty.

 

Great reply. I'll give it a try in the next couple of days and report back.

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Seems that you can take Amelia Earhart's navigation methods and use dead reckoning towards the target, or try her sometimes ignored navigator's method of deliberately moving towards a point a substantial distance to the left or right of the intended target and waiting for landfall (or for the needle to swing). (ref source: A TV documentary on one of the PBS TV channels.)

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I'll have to walk 20s or so in one direction for it to figure out which way to point. But, the 'distance to next' meters adjust properly.

 

I"m sure the 62sc is like the other Garmins, where the compass is shut off when you are walking about 2.5 to 3 miles per hour, or faster. It uses GPS positioning to determine your direction and the direction that the arrow points. That's a fairly brisk walking speed. If you walk more slowly than that, or stop, the magnetic compass takes over and will show you your heading and direction to the cache. When the compass is calibrated, the switch between GPS direction and compass direction should be pretty seamless. One way to get a better handle on what's happening is to walk in a straight line at a good brisk pace and note your heading. The heading and arrow should be quite constant. Then stop and see if your heading changes when the magnetic compass takes over. If it changes more than a couple degrees, the compass is out of calibration. If you are unable to get the two indications to agree after a couple calibrations, the magnetic compass is most likely faulty.

 

I think the magnetic compass is busted. When I'm walking as a constant speed in one direction the arrow is bang on. However, if I stop and turn 180 degrees the compass doesn't respond accordingly (turn 180 degrees).

 

D'oh.

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