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Built in compass


pappy
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Well, if your getting the Map76, the 76S has 24 Meg of memory but the Map76 only has 8 Megs. That's why I got the Map76S. I do occasionally use the internal compass but most of the time I use a hand bearing compass (http://www.landfallnavigation.com/-nmini.html) for sighting a bearing to the cache when I'm about 100' away. You can also use an external antenna with the 76 and this greatly improves reception under tree cover and you don't have to worry about orienting the receiver properly.

 

Poindexter

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The GPSMAP76S' compass is a power pig.

Garmin advises turning it on for a reading, then turning it off again.

 

Too bad that's not an option on the Compass screen, you have to navigate through Setup to get at it (I could be wrong, I don't have it with me).

 

The unit has a bad habit of shutting off when power levels get low. If it's cold and your alkie batteries are already sluggish, turning on the Compass will kill the machine -- and it'll shut itself off when you restart it, without letting you get to the menus again.

 

I gotta get a couple of Lithiums, just for this weather.

 

I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

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I've owned a yellow etrex for a couple of years and only recently started caching. That simple yellow unit worked fine for the first few caches and makes a great loaner or backup for when friends come on a hunt. I bought a vista for the gadgets and extras. I don't think it really makes finding the caches any easier, but looking at the maps, compass and elevation data makes the experience that much more fun for a technology fan such as myself. If you are finding caches with your current GPSr, use it. If you want to know EVERYTHING you can about your position, upgrade.

 

Happy Hunting,

Ron icon_smile.gif

 

There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken.

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Cottengim:

After seeing the gyrations required to "align" the Meri-Plat's internal compass, I purchased a Meri-Gold (Replacement for a Tracker) and will stick to my Silva Ranger.

 

Team Cottengim


 

I finally decided against the compass in a MeriPlat - my Silva was lost, but my Brunton takes a fairly accurate long distance sighting. I couldn't see how you would do that with a GPS.

 

DustyJacket

...If life was fair, a banana split would cure cancer.

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Hi Pap'!

 

I have a Vista at this end. The way that I have it set up, the Vista's mapping display is orientated 'Track Up' (ie: the top of the displayed map is always the direction of travel - or the direction that you are 'facing' [as opposed to being 'North']). Being the well trained soldier that I know you are, this is in keeping with the first rule of map and compass work... "Orientate Your Map".

 

The built-in digital compass is indeed useful when hunting for a cache because it allows the GPSr's map display to properly orientate itself without you having to physically move. Without a built-in compass, the orientation of a GPSr's 'Track Up' display remains unchanged until it detects that you've changed location (it then orientates based on the calculated direction of travel). However, with a built-in compass, the GPSr's 'Track Up' display will re-orientate itself even as you simply turn to face a different direction while standing in the same spot ...a handy 'trick' when zeroing-in during those last few metres of a cache hunt, yes?

 

Cheers.

VVV

 

ontario1.gif

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Canuck - I hadn't thought of that. Darn.

Now I wish I had ordered the Platinum.

 

I figured I didn't have a real use for the compass because I'd use the GPS to get a bearing and distance, the navigate using my compass, reshooting the bearing as I moved laterally.

 

DustyJacket

...If life was fair, a banana split would cure cancer.

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Originally posted by arrowroot:

Garmin advises turning it on for a reading, then turning it off again.

 

Too bad that's not an option on the Compass screen, you have to navigate through Setup to get at it (I could be wrong, I don't have it with me).

***************************************

Hi,

You can turn the 76s compass on and off from the map or compass screen by;

 

Pressing and Holding the PAGE button

 

You get a message saying "Compass turned on (or off)" followed by HOLD LEVEL

 

Cheers

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Vince Malum Patientia"

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I have the Platinum and a 315. They both are equally fine when driving or walking to the cache site, but I like the compass feature of the Platinum when wandering around back and forth near the cache site. It makes it more stable as to the direction of the cache. For example, if I turn around while using the 315 it doesn't update its direction until I move.

 

The platinum compass doesn't have to be held level with the ground either so it works real well.

 

My only complaint of the Platinum compass is that I can't just push the menu button when on the compass screen and change it. I have to click menu, scroll down to setup, hit enter, scroll way down to compass orient, hit enter, select GPS Course or Magnetic North (which can be Magnetic or True depending on a different setting), hit enter, and finally hit escape. Hopefully they'll make this easier in a future firmware revision.

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If you have the money (about $75 more) you can get a Vista rather than a Legend with three times the memory as well as the compass and altimeter. I believe it's well worth the money.

 

I notice Pappy you signed off as Airborne. If you jump out of planes, the Vista's got a "jumpmaster" program built in. If you don't jump yet and get a Vista, you'll be ready!!

 

Alan

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quote:
Originally posted by dustyjacket:

I figured I didn't have a real use for the compass because I'd use the GPS to get a bearing and distance, the navigate using my compass, reshooting the bearing as I moved laterally.


 

This was something not obvious to me either...I started with an etrex, which offered a nice arrow screen to point you in the direction of your cache/waypoint. My MeriPlat upgrade did not have the same feature, but I discovered that the compass did the same thing--with some additional information on the screen. For example, the sun/moon locations on the compass dial sometimes help one orient to the surrondings.

 

There are, of course, other ways to get that information. The map display screen is not so good for direction when you're in close to the target, but the road screen would let you know when you're lined up in the right direction.

 

The internal compass is not essential, but I like it and recommend it if the cost is not prohibitive. Save your packing materials, dustyjacket...exchanges are usually possible if you decide your Gold is lacking.

 

Max

Often wrong but seldom in doubt

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quote:
Originally posted by Poindexter:

Just press and hold the page key to turn the compass on and off.


 

Much appreciated. As often as I say RTFM (Read The (ahem) Fine Manual) to other people, the GPSMAP 76S manual was so lengthy and dull, that once I got it turned on, I tucked the manual far far away.

 

I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

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Like many others, I keep the compass powered off most of the time (while moving faster, driving, etc.)

 

It is so quick to turn the compass on and off, so it's not a big deal (simply press and hold the "Page" key).

 

However, while on the 'final' stage of cache hunting, I use the electronic compass for every cache. It's a nice luxury that becomes more necessary as you get used to having it.

 

So, in the end, it's a matter of $ and 'wants'...

I am very glad I went with the 76s and don't even remember what I paid for it now... the upfront cost is soon forgoten, the functionality remains.... icon_biggrin.gif

 

"Never have a philosophy which supports a lack of courage..."

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Cottengim:

After seeing the gyrations required to "align" the Meri-Plat's internal compass, I purchased a Meri-Gold


 

What's so wrong with the compass alignment procedure? It takes all of thirty seconds.

 

I can't see not spending the extra $30 to have better track stability at walking speeds. Heck, it's worth it just to have a backup to a separate compass...'cause you never know when you'll lose it.

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The Vista, and I think the 76S too, doesn't allow you to really turn on the compass. You just enable it. When it is enabled, it will turn on when you have been below a certain speed for a certain time. As soon as you go above that speed, it will turn off again, until at least the set time has passed.

 

I don't want my compass to kick in unless I'm stationary, so I set it to turn off when I go above as little as 4 km/h. Thus, even an ordinary stroll will keep the compass from chewing on the batteries until I really do stop.

 

The time delay I've set to 45 seconds. I think this suits me better than the default setting (16 km/h and 90 seconds).

 

Anders

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I got This Hiking Stick w/Built In Compass and it serves two purposes. One, it is a compass, and two, it enables me to search around in the brush, etc. while looking for caches. }

 

If you need to, you can also use it to keep arrogant, pompous, opinionated Canuck GeoCachers at a safe distance so as not to become contaminated.

 

Counter Fit Cache

 

...or is it really me????

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quote:
Originally posted by Poindexter:

The 76S does allow you to turn the compass on or off. When on, you can set the speed at which it will switch to GPS heading and disable the compass. You can set it from 0 to 99 mph.


OK, so we both say the same thing, but I consider it "enabled" when you say it's "on". On the other hand, I consider it to really be "on" when you say it's enabled.

To me, enabled means that something is ready to work, although it may not be actually running right now. But when it is running, it's "on". Maybe I've fallen into the language swamp again (don't read that other thread). icon_biggrin.gif

 

Anders

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