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Garmin 62s and User setting for North Reference in Compass

Hello All,

I'm trying to understand the North Reference settings for the compass in the Garmin 62s.

By default the North Reference is True North. So using that I calibrated the compass and set it down outside. I positioned the gps so that the compass read 000. I then went through the different North References.

True reads 000
Magnetic reads 345. I'm in Oregon with a declination of about 16E, so this makes sense. Declination E compass least.
Grid reads 000
User reads 345 no matter value I enter.

Interesting when I look at the heading dialog box when I set the North reference to

True I see the heading 000 with a little T
Magnetic I see the heading 345 with a little M
Grid I see the heading 000 with a little G
User I see the heading 345 with a little M - I was expecting to see a little U.

Could some explain either what I am doing wrong or what I am understanding incorrectly?

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.


P.S. I know that setting it to True is good, but it just annoys me that I'm not understanding something.


  • One extra thing to realize is that the magnetic compass is only used when you are stopped or moving less than 3MPH. At speeds of 3MPH and higher, the magnetic compass is shut off and the heading is calculated from the GPS position readings. Some of the units also have a declination adjustment setting, so that you can get the GPS North to agree with Magnetic North. Personally, I would think you would always use True with an internal map in the device, and set for magnetic and/or declination if using a paper map oriented to magnetic north.
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