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Garmin Etrex Legend

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I have a Garmin Etrex Legend(I think that is what it's called, it has that written on it ;) ), and I keep loosing sattelite reception. When I'm driving, in the woods, and even when I am just standing somewhere, I will loose reception. Does anyone know why? Is there anything I can do about it? Thanks,

Kittycatgirl ;)

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I have a Legend as well. It seems like it is having difficulty holding lock when I'm using it in the woods. I use rechargeable alkaline batteries and have wondered if that were maybe the reason. All other times the Legend works great. Yesterday I was configuring it to work with USAPhotomaps and vice-versa and while in the process it settled out to 8 foot accuracy. I've been caching with a couple of friends who have Magellan units (model unknown) and they for some reason do tend to hold lock in the woods better than my mine. It hasn't concerned me enough to consider switching. I was unable to find a "battery saving mode" on it but mine is almost 2 years old.


One other thought. When you are holding it, definetely don't cover the globe just above the word etrex. That is where the antenna is located. Hope that helps.



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To get good reception it needs a clear view in all directions. The roof of the car blocks the signals. The best location (in a car) is under the windshield as the afford a better view of the sky. In heavy tall tree cover, you may lose reception as the trees block the signals.

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I don't know how different the Legend is from the eTrex Vista, but I never lose satellite reception, even in my car when it is on the passenger seat, unless it rolls over and gets up-side-down. And, mine has the neoprene cover on it.


If you are losing reception frequently, maybe there is something wrong with it . . .

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I have an etrex legend and also a garmin Gpsmap 60C and my legends always loose satelite signal where the 60C keeps a good lock and even waas reception.....I think the problem is realy because of the etrex line which they use an internal antenae, instead of the 60C which has a quad helix antenae.

Quad helix antenae are way better at keeping signal as far as I know.

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Don't give up on your Etrex Legend. On April 10th the winner out of 38 contestants

in a GPS Contest was a Etrex Legend which was 11 1/2 inches from ground zero. Over 50 percent of the group was within 6 feet. Now this was not under any trees.

All types of GPSs were used including Top of the Line Garmins and Magellans. Dick, W7WT

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It's not unusual to lose reception occasionally, especially under particularly obstructed conditions, but your description doesn't sound normal to me. Are there other geocacher or other GPS users near you so you could compare the performance under similar conditions? I have seen considerable variation in performance among different samples of the same GPS model, so it's certainly possible that yours isn't working as well as it should. Your Legend is identical from the standpoint of GPS reception to the Vista mentioned above by Idiosyncratic (the Vista has more memory and compass/pressure sensor - but none of those affect reception) - so it should be capable of performing very well.


But first try to eliminate any possible problems. Your body (and anything else composed mainly of liquid water) is an excellent absorber of the GPS signals, so try to hold it so you're blocking as little of the sky as possible - and be especially sure that your thumb or other parts of your hand aren't over the top portion of the case where the antenna is located. In the car a position on the dashboard under the sloped front windshield will work much better than next to a side window (which is usually almost vertical). Some people have also experienced radio interference with other car electronics such as the FM radio and/or CD player - but if you also have problems outside the car this isn't a likely cause for you.


If you still have serious reception problems then see about getting it exchanged or call Garmin's tech support (I've found calling to work better than email) and ask about having it repaired/replaced under warranty.

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Okay, my grandmom has a GPS, and when I set out my first cache, Elk Edge (GCN050), my coordinates where N 39, 40.998 for the first set when it was supposed to be N 39, 39.998. I had the GPS on for a while, and it still was far off. The accuracy is always bad, and one time, my grandmom and I were doing a geocache not in much tree covering, and I kept loosing reception but hers was fine(she has a different GPS though). So I'm not sure what to do.


Edited by kittycatgirl
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It really sounds like there is something wrong.I would call Garmin and get an RMA to return it, if you cannot exchange it where you purchased it.


The only other thing I might do before sending it back is try different, fresh batteries.


The only time my Vista has misbehaved (although not related to reception) was when the batteries were getting low.

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I actually set out this evening to find out if anyone had similar issues with the Legend and low and behold it is on the very first page of messages.


I upgraded to a Legend from a Yellow Etrex and have been carrying both for comparison.


The Yellow Etrex works flawlessly, hardly ever loses it's lock... but then I will look at my Legend which will has lost it's lock.


The Yellow Etrex will ready itself in just a minute or so but the legend needs like 5 minutes to lock on the sats.


The Legend always seems to be atleast 5 feet (sometimes more) behind in updating my position.


I can keep both around my neck, the Etrex seldom loses it's signal, 90% of the time the Legend loses it.


I thought I was upgrading with the legend :-)



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I have a Legend and an 60CS -- both hold satellite lock equally well and both routinely show GPS Accuracy readings of ± 7-9 ft when a clear sky is present and ± 15-20 ft at most other times.


When I first bought my Legend, I noticed the contrast on the screen was very light (even when adjusted to a darker setting). I went out the next day and purchased another Legend (from the same store), brought it home and compared it to my original one. With brand new batteries in both units, the difference in contrast between the two Legends was remarkable. (I returned the one that had the poor contrast.)


When I purchased my 60CS, I encountered a similar situation. The white letters on the buttons (e.g, Find, Mark, Quit, Enter, Menu, etc.) were very thin -- much thinner than the letters on other 60CS models I have seen (in person and in pictures).


My personal empirical (and anecdotal) experience seems to suggest the issue is more one of variability between units of the same model and not one of variability between different models (although, by virtue of the former there will be examples of the latter). I find this to be true with most things, not just GPS receivers.


(Geez, I sound like a Six Sigma Black Belt... "variation is the enemy"... Oh yeah, that's right, I am one!)

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When geocaching in woods ..... get a good bearing and distance in an open area with good sat reception. Take out your compass and compare bearing noting that true north and magnetic north have deviations based on geogrphical areas. Hopefully you know your pace distance. Use the compass to go into the thickly wooded area and pace off the distance. Orienteering is what this is called.


We have a 60C and have added a Gilsson remote antenna (magnetic mount) with 28db gain. In the woods this helps. In the car (automount kit with city select from provantage.com) I just put the antenna on the dash under the windshield and mount the 60C down on the center console. (works as good as the roof) Best $25 I have spent for the remote antenna. The city select NA with autokit really makes the 60C an all around great gps unit by giving me driving directions to my geocache locations .... then switch to off road and away we go.


Oh :rolleyes: The autokit comes with 12 volt adapter which keeps the GPS in constant backlight mode with no drain on my batteries.



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I had a eTrex Legend and was very disappointed at how the signal was always so far off. I was in the middle of a golf course one bright sunny day standing still and it kept jumping from 18 ft accuracy to 40 ft. I would take a step and the compass pointer would go crazy. The thumbstick finally broke after my buddy laid in on the dash face down and I drove around for 2 days like that. I switched to a Magellan Merigold and I get a much better reception. I am very leary of the Garmin GPS'r now. Of course Magellan have their own issues. My Merigold has the slingshot effect

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Hey like W7WT said,"Don't give up on your Legend." This is the same unit I use, and I love it. Yeah it loses reception some times, ut that is only in heavy tree cover. It holds lock pretty well considering that I used it when I owned a Cannondale 4 wheeler and iI rode in Allegany Forest alot. It has gotten me back home a few times, and I will stand by it. Good luck with the swap, but just remember that if you change brands then you have to learn a whole new system.

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I too, have a blue eTrex Legend. I love it. In my area of the woods, it gets between 20-40 foot accuracy. Not so bad, really. I'll not get rid of the unit. Now, if there was a problem seeing satellites all the time, well, there might be a physical problem with your unit.


Also, have you applied the latest firmware update from Garmins website?



Version 3.70 is the latest. If you do decide to 'patch' it, make sure you read and understand the instructions for updating your unit.

Edited by New England n00b
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I have nothing but great things to say about my Legend. In caching with others I can say definitively that my reception is in line with everyone else's - it varies by tree cover and whatever else, of course, but not any more than my companions' units. I pay really close attention to the satellite page at times, and it's illuminating to watch that as you move... I can see that my own body and head block satellites quite handily, and can see satellites drop on and off the screen as trees or other obstructions are passed. In other words, taking into account the antenna type and terrain, it's exactly as accurate as I expect it to be.


It's been immersed in water on a couple occasions, dropped from waist height onto concrete twice, survived two days loose in the trunk of my car along with two soccer balls and my golf clubs, and has yet to show any ill effects. I love the thing.

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