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What to do with my Oregon 450? Please advise

I bought my Oregon 450 few months ago to replace my 76CSX which flew off my cycle handlebar at 30miles an hour twice in a row. It got scratched up but it works fine!
I have been having troubles with Oregon's accuracy. Most of the days I go for the same 10 miles run and it would show different distance by as much as 0.3-0.4 miles (and sometimes more). Accuracy is often close or over 100 feet. There is no correlation with weather - it may be a sunny day and it would have accuracy of 60-80 feet and on overcast cloudy or even rainy ady it may show 13-18 feet. When I take bot Oregon and my old GPSMAP76csx the CSX shows good (15-20 feet) accuracy and and consistent distance from day to day while Oregon may show 10-15 feet one day and 60-80 the next day.

When it came with original version 4.2 it even had issues obtainig a fix. I upgraded to 4.45 and 4.49 it get its fix now bot the accuracy is very poor. And I did not even try it in the woods or a city center with highrises - I've been running on mostly open residential roads (Maryland). I reset the unit to make it reload GPS data but it did not make much (if any) difference.

I am not sure if the unit is defective and I should send it to Garmin. Mine is nearly new - what if they replace it with a heavily used one?

I would greatly appreciate your advise

Thank you,


  • sussamb 954 Points
    I don't have an Oregon but all handheld GPS (and in fact any GPS) will register 'movement' even when switched on and just sitting still, so it's not unusual for it to record a difference distance travelled over the sort of distances you're talking about.

    As for the accuracy shown, that again is just a reading that can often be misleading and will vary anyway with terrain features, buildings etc all of which can have an effect on the signals received. I always ignore the supposed 'accuracy figure', and am happy if the pointer on my handheld shows me where I think I should be, most of the time it does :)

    I'm sure someone with an Oregon will comment but it seems like pretty much normal operation to me.
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    Hard to know exactly what is going on without actually being there. But personally I've found my Oregon's tracks to be more accurate than my 60csx - see:

    Of course, other things could affect this. I have never found the odometer reading to be very accurate on any gps I've used. The error of .3 miles in a 10 mile run is 3% - doesn't seem too bad.

    I believe there was a known bug in the Oregon odometer readings in older versions of the firmware, previously, but this is supposed to be something Garmin fixed in an update

    Do you have WAAS enabled? I believe it can produce inconsistent results. You might try turning it off. I would not hesitate to send back to Garmin. I have never heard of them returning a "heavily used one". It should be a refurb that has been thoroughly reconditioned and checked.
  • alexr 0 Points
    Boyd, Sussamb,

    Thank you very much for your comments.

    My run is 9.76mi my old trusty GPSMAP 76csx always shows number very close to that (give or take 0.05mi) oregon shows anywhere between 9.5 and 10.2. For roughly same run time, my average speed one day would be 7.2mi/h and next day 7.8mi/h - infuriating cant even pace my run

    The 76csx, when i bike 50mi loop, show virtually the same distance every time and both the distance and average speed matches my cycle computer almost precisely (to the tenth of a mile and mi/h) so i trust 76csx very much.

    Maybe I am spoiled but I expected the same from Oregon. I did not try it on my bike (do not want to register my new city navigator maps with this problematic GPS) but i suspect it won't be very good either

    My past experience with GPSMAP 76csx and its predecessor 76c was pretty good - I never had so varying results so I feel I either have a bad unit (but how could it be since it works) or Oregon in general is not as good a GPS

    Had anyone used it repeatedly on the same trail and got significantly different distance? Had anyone noticed accuracy often been over 40-80ft even under perfect conditions (sunny mostly open areas)? I never experienced it with my old GPSs so it seems wrong to me

    I upgraded it to v 4.5 and will run with both 76csx and Oregon for few days and record distances and compare tracks (and compare odometer with BaseCamp calculated distance) and then contact Garmin...
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    It is very flat here in southern NJ so the only obstacles are trees. I have been using my Oregon frequently over the past couple weeks and accuracy generally ranges between 12 to 20 feet.

    40 - 80 ft shouldn't be the norm. See what Garmin has to say...
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