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Garmin Etrex

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It is normal. The bigger the antenna the better, thus a quad helix may do better, but the best option is an external antenna if your unit has that option. Other than that, new batteries, move around a bit to find a better spot, patience, live with it. They do have plans to improve the GPSystem with a more powerful signal, and improved satellites but that is a few years away.

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It is normal to loose signal in a dense forest with heavy cover or in a steep valley. It's all line of sight and anything that blocks your view blocks the units ability to receive from the various satellites. The more satellites you can lock onto the better. The Etrex's don't have an external antenna connection, so that's out.


I'm new to this too, but I can highly recommend buying compass, unless you have one built into your GPS. I'll find a spot near the cache where I can get a good signal with the GPS and then use the compass from there, it helps a lot.


I have the legend I've had it jump around in heavy tree cover making it almost impossible to locate a cache. :ph34r:


Holding the GPS away from your body at about shoulder height helps a little too, as you can be blocking the signal.


I hope this helps.

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The quad antennas perform MUCH better. I had a 72 model (cheapest quad) and sold it recently when I upgraded to a Legend. I have been kicking myself for switching. I have had the Legend for two weeks now. Just enough time to know I am gonna sell it too and upgrade to the 76 or 76c model. One example I can document is in heavy cloud cover or a rainstorm, the quad will maintain accuracy in the range of 8 to 14 feet. The legend has only averaged 15 to 30 feet under the same conditions. Quad is the way to go!

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Quad helix antennas are said to be more sensitive (though I have no personal experience with them). But only the more expensive Garmins have quad antennas. Maybe new Magellan eXplorists have them (like all other Magellans).

All the Magellans sold now have the quads. If the new ones do I may get one, ot that I heed a fourth GPS, but you got to have toys. <_<

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