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eTrex 30x issues

I recently bought an eTrex 30x to replace my old HCx, which had failed. I'm still trying to get behavior I liked on the HCx to appear on the 30x.

It doesn't help that since my HCx totally failed, I can't examine it to figure out how I did stuff.

I use the GPSr mostly for bicycling at the moment -- also for geocaching but my issues relate to bicycling. Aging eyes and the placement of the device about 3' from my eyes (recumbent cycle) make it hard to see.

#1) On the HCx, I had a screen set up with three large-number fields: distance, speed, and time of day. The first two are fine on the 30x. On the HCx, I had time of day set up as HH:MM and it displayed as large as the other numbers. On the 30x, I have not been able to find a HH:MM option, only hh:mm:ss, and it displays small even on the large-numbers format. Is there a way to get a large time of day display? As it stands, I can't read the time of day without stopping and getting closer to the screen.

#2) I get an enormous amount of what I'll call "scatter" in tracks. (I would call it jitter except that Garmin uses that term for something else.) When I'm stopped, the track "moves" about every 25-45 seconds (roughly). Sometimes 15', sometimes 1', sometimes even 0'. I end up spending a lot of time in Basecamp to delete these clusters of scatter, and it's enough that I can build up significant mileage if I'm stopped for an hour. I thought I remembered a sensitivity setting for this on HCx, but I don't remember where and can't find any such thing on the 30x. The HCx did this a little, but at least an order of magnitude less. How can I deal with this?

(I had a question about track memory, but I figured that out from reading other threads. Auto-archive daily and there's so much memory that I'll never run out.)

Thanks for any and all help,



  • privet01 231 Points
    As far as #2, the Edge is Garmins series of cycling computers. Most if not all of them have a auto-pause setting that stops the timer and recording to the log anytime your speed is zero or below a speed you can select. With that feature, you won't see the drift, scatter, jitter or whatever you want to call it.

    I have old eyes too, and a pair of tinted safety glasses with bifocals can be had for cheap. I use 1.75 to 2.00x. Hard to find them locally, so I get them online.

    Then there are also the garmin watches. Some of the Forerunner series also have a cycling function if I remember correctly.

    Can't give you any suggestions for your etrex. Though I have a handheld and use it for walking, hiking and even as a backup when sailing, I prefer to have a cycling computer while cycling. They have features that are designed for cycling that other devices either can't do or don't fully implement.
  • Thanks. Non-prescription glasses don't work for me. The issues I have with small display are retinal and corneal, not focal, so improving the focus doesn't help me. In fact my prescription sunglasses are quite well focused at the distance the GPSr is mounted. The problem is size.

    Called Garmin support, who verified that the Big Numbers HH:MM was dropped. Gave me excuses about giving me more information. She also said I should update the software since my device is on 3.00 and "our current version is 4.90". Went to the trouble of installing Garmin Express only to discover that it claims I'm up to date -- presumably the newer versions don't support the 30x.

    If there were more choices in the GPSr world ...


  • sussamb 959 Points
    edited February 2020
    4.90 is the current software on my Etrex 20, yours is indeed 3.00, so I suspect they missed the fact you have the x version:
  • Ah, I'd forgotten about that. So much for Garmin support ... the CSR and I talked about it for quite a while, so she certainly was aware I had a 30x.


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