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62S Total Ascent / total Descent errors

I recently purchased a 62S and it came with software version 3.00. The Total Ascent & Total Descent numbers from the Altimeter page matched (close enough) the numbers computed by BaseCamp from the tracklog and also the results from an Etrex Vista HCx.

Then I upgraded the 62S to the current software version 3.60 (released at the end of October). Now the Ascent & Descent numbers from the Altimeter page run 30-100% (typically 50%) more than those computed from the tracklog (or from the Etrex).

Has anyone else upgraded to 3.60? Has anyone else seen this?

I have had two separate Garmin customer support people say that they had never heard of this before. Has anyone else contacted customer support about this?

I have seen this problem with more than one 62S running 3.60.


  • BobKat 0 Points
    Here is your answer from Garmin:

    Can you tell me if your rocker and buttons light up bright when your map backlight is on? My 62S does not and I want to be sure this is normal.
    Your Answer:
    IMPORTANT: if upgrading from a software version less than 3.40 you must follow these steps for future BaseCamp Compatibility:
    If you are a user of BaseCamp now, or plan to be in the future, you must follow these steps to ensure your data is protected during this software update:
    Connect your handheld unit to a computer and launch BaseCamp. Transfer all tracks, routes and waypoints to BaseCamp.
    Delete the /Garmin/GPX folder from the handheld's mass storage.
    Update the handheld's software via WebUpdater and reboot the handheld.
    Reconnect the handheld to a computer and transfer your data from BaseCamp back to the handheld.
  • BobKat, are you sure that you got the right thread? That has nothing to do with Ascent / Descent.
  • Boyd 1997 Points
    Doesn't even seem to have anything to do with the button backlights either. :D

    Looking at it again, maybe Bobcat is just asking
    Can you tell me if your rocker and buttons light up bright when your map backlight is on? My 62S does not and I want to be sure this is normal.
  • babj615 41 Points
    I thought mountquercus asked the original question?

    mountquercus, if you think the button lit up with the screen before, make a complete backup of your 62s and then install the older firmware and see how it behaves, then reinstall the updated firmware again and see if it still changes.

    AND come back here and let us know what you found :)

    Here is a link to Firmware 2.80:
  • Hello People,

    This thread is about errors in reporting Total Ascent & total Descent on the "Elevation Plot" page! It has nothing to do with button lights.

    Please stay on topic, read the thread before posting, and if you want to talk about button lights, then start your own thread!
  • BobKat 0 Points
    It may not but it is definitely worth a try. What else could it be. Can anyone help me regarding my backlight question. Can barely read buttons in darkness. Backlight level make no difference.
  • babj615 41 Points
    All, my apologies for getting mixed up on who is asking what here....

    If anyone has issues after updating firmware, I always suggest reverting back and seeing if the issues go away with the older firmware.

    This is a conclusive test for determining if the firmware is the issue.
  • Boyd 1997 Points
    Little tip for anyone with a Garmin handheld or automotive device.... look in the Garmin folder for a file named gupdate.gcd. That will be the installer for the firmware currently on your device. Save this file somewhere on your computer - you might give it a descriptive name like firmware28.gcd.

    Later, if you install new firmware that you don't like, copy your archived gupdate.gcd file back to the device (re-name again if needed). When the unit starts up again, it will ask if you want to install the old version. Confirm, and you will be back where you started.

    I save all my old Nuvi and handheld firmware files, you never know when you might need them.
  • BobKat 0 Points
    Best advice Ive seen yet. is a good site.
  • My 62s gives different readings of total ascent from the Elevation Page, the Review Track stat page, and from BaseCamp upload. The Review Track number is 40% higher (one STDev is nearly 23%) on average than the Elevation Page number. The BaseCamp number is 20% higher on average than the Elevation Page number. These differences are based on over 25 field tests. My instantaneous elevation readings are nearly identical, so I assume the issue is with the computation method(s) used. I can't get Garmin to pay any attention to my problem. I would really like to know which reading is most accurate.

    I'm using 3.90, set in Recreational Mode and normal sampling.

    Anyone else having this problem? Know of any other forums where such issues are discussed?
  • An altimeter is a somewhat noisy device: wind gusts, squeezing the GPS case, etc. can cause the elevation to temporarily go up or down by tens of feet. Consequently, any software or devices that produces statistics (such as elevation gain/loss) from this elevation data has some kind of noise reduction algorithm or method(for example, averaging over time or distance would be a kind of noise reduction method).

    Different PC software and and different versions of the GPS software seem to have different noise reduction algorithms. More, statistics based upon a tracklog have access to less information (only the discreet track points) than the Elevation Page, which processes continuous altimeter data.

    I, too, having been having problems with the 62S elevation Plot page not matching elevation gain/loss produced by BaseCamp, other GPSs, map analysis, etc. The problems I have had has varied a lot by software version:

    Versions 2.90, 3.00, 3.40 seem to had more or less got it right, maybe just a little bit too sensitive to noise and slightly over estimating total Ascent/Descent. Some of the earlier version registered gain/loss on button pushes.
    Version 3.50 seemed to have the altimeter almost completely broken.
    Version 3.60 seemed to fix the altimeter, but may have completely left out noise reduction: Total Ascent/Descent were overestimated by 50-100%.
    Versions 3.71Beta, 3.80, & 3.90 seems to have very aggressive noise reduction and seems to underestimate by 10-20%. The Ascent & Descent frequently mismatches at the end of a closed hike, even when they match with BaseCamp. The problems seems worst with repeated small ups and downs (such as rolling hills) as it seems to register only about 10 feet out of the first 30 feet of any up or down change in directions.

    "Review Track stat page"? I am not aware of, and could not find such a page. Could you please tell me how to get to it?

    Yes, it does seem hard to get information about Garmin bugs to penetrate through their customer support (CS) to their developers, and they never acknowledge their known bugs. Keep trying. Here are some suggestions:
    1) Document the problem well: collect together gpx files, GPS screen snapshots, and a narrative explaining the problem in an email, and ask CS who to email it to. Do this more than once, as it seems that sometimes the CS person does not share it.
    2) Ask CS how to back up to 3.40. Officially, they are not supposed to tell you, but sometimes will. It might also get their attention.

    Good Luck.
  • Boyd 1997 Points
    Ask CS how to back up to 3.40. Officially, they are not supposed to tell you, but sometimes will.
    Don't have a 62s, but am willing to bet it's like all other recent Garmin devices. When you do a firmware update through webupdater, the process is very simple. Webupdater just places a file named gupdate.gcd on your device, then you shut it down. Every time the device starts, it looks for a file named gupdate.gcd. If present and the version number is newer than what is currently installed, the new version is installed. If the version is older than the currently installed version, you will get an alert asking if you want to downgrade.

    So, each time you update your firmware copy the gupdate.gcd file to a safe place on your computer. Then if you ever want to downgrade, simply copy the gupdate.gcd file back to your 62s and it will be installed. I keep an archive of old versions for my own Garmin devices.
  • Thanks so much for the info. Review Track stat page is reached by going to the Main Menu, selecting Track Manager, entering the track, entering View Map, hitting Menu button, entering Review Track. This estimate of total ascent is totally different and usulally higher than the total ascent on the Elevation Page (even though the distance, max elev and min elev is right on).

    See the youtube video below. That's where I learned about it.

    I have an Excel file showing the comparisons I've done. Would anyone like to see it?
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