Garmin compass calibration

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Echo
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Garmin compass calibration

Post by Echo » 26 November 09 4:20 pm

Can someone tell me if they have a problem with their Garmin constantly asking to be re-calibrated?
We are using a Darkota 20 and we are finding ourselves having to re-calibrate every 20 minutes or so if we are using compass.
It's at the point at the moment that we only use the map because the moment we bring up the compass, well... ](*,)
Is this a common thing caused by power lines or some sort of external interference?

Help! [-o<

ian-and-penny
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by ian-and-penny » 26 November 09 7:21 pm

No problems with my Oregon 300. I do have to recalibrate every time I change the batteries, but I understand that this is normal.

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Coffee and Cache
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by Coffee and Cache » 26 November 09 8:34 pm

As has been mentioned in other threads, it is a continual problem with some Garmin receivers. The 60CSx for instance. Otherwise a great receiver, but the compass is really infuriating.

I thought this might be less of a problem with the newer models with the 3G compass since not holding it level all the time contributes to the problem I'm fairly sure. May or may not be true.

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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by Freddo » 26 November 09 10:35 pm

To calibrate the compass in the big red Pahero I need to find a place to DRIVE in a circle. Canberra is full of roundabouts. Woohoo.

team unicycle
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by team unicycle » 27 November 09 4:35 pm

I have been using a borrowed Dakota 20 for a few weeks. I found the electronic compass irritating and generally turned it off. It would jump wildly, and last weekend I couldn't get it to calibrate at all. However, I bought my own Dakota 20 earlier this week, and so far the compass has been excellent. I haven't even calibrated it yet.

Tuena
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by Tuena » 27 November 09 6:46 pm

I recently purchased a 60CSX & have not had to recalibrate it at all. Which is just as well as there are NO roundabouts where I live.

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CraigRat
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by CraigRat » 27 November 09 7:05 pm

Echo wrote:Can someone tell me if they have a problem with their Garmin constantly asking to be re-calibrated?
We are using a Darkota 20 and we are finding ourselves having to re-calibrate every 20 minutes or so if we are using compass.
It's at the point at the moment that we only use the map because the moment we bring up the compass, well... ](*,)
Is this a common thing caused by power lines or some sort of external interference?

Help! [-o<
I know the compass was dodgy on my Oregon 300 until a few software updates later, perhaps there's a newer firmware out there for your unit?

Echo
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by Echo » 27 November 09 7:38 pm

CraigRat wrote:I know the compass was dodgy on my Oregon 300 until a few software updates later, perhaps there's a newer firmware out there for your unit?
Good idea, I'll check. Thanks!

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ManicWombat
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by ManicWombat » 10 January 10 8:50 am

When using the compass om my 550 it will sometimes prompt to recalibrate when I touch the screen to get display back after it times out. I generally just select not to recalibrate, and continue on. Not sure if this is a glitch or if I'm pressing something to cause this.

ian-and-penny
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by ian-and-penny » 10 January 10 10:46 am

ManicWombat wrote:When using the compass om my 550 it will sometimes prompt to recalibrate when I touch the screen to get display back after it times out. I generally just select not to recalibrate, and continue on. Not sure if this is a glitch or if I'm pressing something to cause this.
Could you be somehow pressing, and holding, the centre of the compass screen?

This brings up the calibrate dialogue.

Starruby
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by Starruby » 10 January 10 12:46 pm

ManicWombat wrote:When using the compass om my 550 it will sometimes prompt to recalibrate when I touch the screen to get display back after it times out. I generally just select not to recalibrate, and continue on. Not sure if this is a glitch or if I'm pressing something to cause this.
Mine does the same. I have found sometimes I tap and hold on the compass rose and it goes into calibrate mode - sometimes. Using latest beta firmware 2.81

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ManicWombat
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by ManicWombat » 10 January 10 5:21 pm

ian-and-penny wrote:
ManicWombat wrote:When using the compass om my 550 it will sometimes prompt to recalibrate when I touch the screen to get display back after it times out. I generally just select not to recalibrate, and continue on. Not sure if this is a glitch or if I'm pressing something to cause this.
Could you be somehow pressing, and holding, the centre of the compass screen?

This brings up the calibrate dialogue.
I'd say that would be what is happening. I'll just be careful not to touch that area of the screen when reactivating it. Thanks for the tip.

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jyetara
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by jyetara » 10 January 10 5:32 pm

agreed with what's probably happening with Manic Wombat

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Derringer
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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by Derringer » 10 January 10 6:29 pm

Have been using my Dakota 20 for a few months now and love it.
In that time I have calibrated the compass 3 times.

I have found that when in compass mode the needle will have more swing than in GPS only mode, except when you stand still or move slowly.
Once standing still there is almost no movement of the compass needle and it unerringly points to GZ.

Its movement is similar to a magnetic compass, because of body movement you tend to average out the variation in your mind and project the averaged course forward to the geography around you.

Both my Dakota and older Summit both do the same thing, so I believe it could be the
software processing that incurs the variation, the Software has to do a huge amount of maths every second as you move to GZ.
The times I have calibrated it are when I found the swing unacceptable.
I wouldn't be without the electronic compass when geocaching.

At least the Dakota still takes you in a straight line to GZ, the older Summit
always produced a course that was a spiral, that was very frustrating in thick scrub.

My 2c worth

Kevin

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Re: Garmin compass calibration

Post by team unicycle » 11 January 10 9:33 am

Derringer wrote: At least the Dakota still takes you in a straight line to GZ, the older Summit
always produced a course that was a spiral, that was very frustrating in thick scrub.
I did the big spiral with my Dakota in the bush recently. Very frustrating, when the straight line would have been an easy walk and the spiral was a struggle. We both stood across a valley and independently chose landmarks based on the electronic compass' direction, which I think was probably > 20degrees out.
I still like the electronic compass, but have been double checking since by ensuring it agrees with the gps calculated direction.
I also randomly calibrate it anyway. It only takes 15 seconds or so, and doesn't make things worse..

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