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Amazing RECEPTION with Etrex 20x

I've just bought a Etrex 20x.
My friend has a Garmin Map 62 we tested the reception and ability to pick up Satellites..
I was surprised that the Etrex 20x won hands down.. It was a lot faster in identifying my location and even got a signal on the ground floor of my house when the Map 62 was saying it had no reception and asked if we were inside a building ...
How is this possible when the Map 62 has a better internal ariel..?

Thanks
Tim

Comments

  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited March 25
    I suspect that the difference has nothing to do with the antenna. Your eTrex20x can receive GLONASS signals and the older GPSMap62 cannot. So you can access 24 additional satellites on the eTrex. It depends on where you are located as to how much difference this will make however.

    https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=GvYAvElyJN1XErPJevmbJ7
  • trc199 5 Points
    Thanks Boyd...

    Yes I agree...Your probably right ..
    I'm going to see if I can compare the etrex 20x to a MAP 64s or similar which also has the GLONASS feature ...

    Cheers
    Tim
  • DaveM 160 Points
    I have an eTrex 20 and a 64s and have never seen much reception difference between them.
    They are both a lot better than my older units as far as reception goes. This seemed to be true with or without GLONASS on to me. When I first got the eTrex I played around with turning GLONASS on and off to see which worked better. It seemed like if you had a clear view of the sky say in the middle of a field it didn’t make a lot of difference however if you were in heavy cover it would acquire its location faster and was more accurate with GLONASS on.
    I’ve talked to my brother-in-law who is in army intelligence about GPS and GLONASS. He said that due to Russia being farther north than the US they put their satellites in an orbit that improves reception farther north than the US satellites but the US satellites have better reception farther south. He said due to this if everything else is the same tree cover, atmospheric conditions, etc. that the farther north you are the more difference turning on GLONASS will make.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    DaveM said:

    I have an eTrex 20 and a 64s and have never seen much reception difference between them.

    Sure, but the 64 also has GLONASS and the OP's 62 does not. My Garmin GLO has GLONASS and it is very accurate, although it's not clear how much that has to do with it - the 1/10 second refresh rate is probably a bigger factor (as opposed to Garmin handhelds that only refresh once per second). But I did some tests and you can draw your own conclusions

    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/27533/glonass
    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/30108/what-is-gps-accuracy-testing-the-garmin-glo-in-the-forest

    I agree about it not being much of a factor in the US, however we don't know where the OP is located. As the Garmin link I posted suggested, GLONASS probably helps the device acquire a signal quickly. Just about all smartphones made in recent years also have GLONASS receivers.
  • trc199 5 Points
    Thanks Boyd and Dave..

    I originally had a basic etrex I bought in 2006...The reception of the 20x beats it hands down...

    I was goin ask Dave which GPS he prefers...The 20x or 64s..
    I was trying to buy the 64s but didn't really want to spend £179.99 on a new one, but I managed to buy a 2nd hand etrex 20x from the red cross for £50...It's pretty much brand new. Plus it came boxed ...
    But saying that the 20x is a bit small and fiddly, plus the maps take a moment to refresh when scrolling compared to the 64s. Plus you get a Accelerometer, digital compass and barometer on the 64s.

    Which one do you prefer Dave ?
    Is it worth the extra money to get the 64s...

    Thanks
    Tim
  • DaveM 160 Points
    Which one I prefer depends on the use. The eTrex is smaller, lighter, and has better battery life. It is my preferred unit for things like hiking. With the 64s you can set it to not recalculate a route if you get off route. It also has all buttons instead of some buttons and a click stick. The click stick works well if you are standing or walking but is a pain riding a bike. As you hit bumps in the road and are trying to push it in it will go sideways, up or down. I prefer route navigation on the bike so between that and the click stick I prefer the 64s on the bike.
    As far as the accelerometer, digital compass and barometer that’s a matter of which level of etrex or 64 you get. The eTrex 20 and the 64 doesn’t have them the eTrex 30 and 64s has them. I find I don’t use them if I was buying a 64 today I would buy plain 64 and not the 64s unless I got a good price on a 64s. That’s just my opinion I know others like having the accelerometer, digital compass and barometer.
    I agree with Boyd’s comment on GLONASS that the 64 doesn’t compare to the 62 from that standpoint. The reason I stated that I don’t see much if any difference in the eTrex and 64 is you said the 62 had a better antenna. The 64 has the same or similar antenna as the 62. I don’t think the antenna makes much if any difference. I think the newer unite have better reception than the old ones even with GLONASS turned off and even better with it turned on.
  • sussamb 829 Points
    @trc199 should you go down the 64 route I'll gladly take the Etrex off your hands at £50 :)
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    I agree with Dave about the antenna (which is called a "quad helix"). This was all the rage back in the GPSMap 60csx days (still have mine!) and it arguably made a difference. But with these new devices, I think it's more of a "fashion statement". :)
  • privet01 228 Points
    edited March 26
    The etrex is almost ten years newer. The processor and other components are probably faster. So it can crunch the numbers faster.

    GLONASS probably is the big thing though.

    I still find my GPSmap 76csx from circa 2006 has a better looking track log in areas of poor reception than some of my other Garmins I've compared it to. Though I don't have any other handheld.

  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited March 26
    Have a look at that thread I linked to above, where I compared the 60csx (same guts as your 76csx) to a Montana and a GLO. The older device performs pretty well, although it sometimes "wanders" pretty far, then snaps back. The Montana 600 (without GLONASS) also does this, but the "signature" is different without as tight a pattern as the 60csx. Waypoint averaging would smooth all of this out, although that won't help with tracks.

    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/27533/glonass
  • trc199 5 Points
    sussamb said:

    @trc199 should you go down the 64 route I'll gladly take the Etrex off your hands at £50 :)

    I wish you hadn't said that....lol
    I originally wanted to get the 64s..
    Blacks had a Discoverer pack available for £184 ...You got a brand new 64s plus GB 1:50K OS Map....
    The GB map costs £150 itself...
    Sadly somebody bought it a few seconds before me...

    Anyway...
    The 20x is pretty much brand new and a Bargain at only £50..
    I've tried to attach an image but can't work out how to do it....
    I'll probably keep in the meantime then buy a 2nd hand 64s when one comes up....

    Cheers
    Tim
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    Those prices sound pretty good. You cannot upload images to this site unfortunately. You need to host them somewhere else, then click the little "picture" in the toolbar and paste the link into the box.
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