Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => GPS Gear and Tips => Topic started by: bdann on February 09, 2007, 10:22:19 PM

Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: bdann on February 09, 2007, 10:22:19 PM
This is my first GPS.  Originally I'd been set on getting the eTrex Legend Cx, but decided to go for the 60Csx in the end after a lot of research.

This thing has to be one of the coolest gadgets I've ever bought.  I've always been a map person, this GPS just takes all that to another level.  I'm SO glad I got the 60Csx over the Legend Cx.  I really like the larger size, it's easier to handle and the controls are much better.  I can't wait to get it out on the trail at Big Bend!
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on February 10, 2007, 06:28:08 AM
I hope I am looking at another converted GPSnut. 8)
Title: Re: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 10, 2007, 06:59:28 AM
Quote from: "bdann"
This is my first GPS.  Originally I'd been set on getting the eTrex Legend Cx, but decided to go for the 60Csx in the end after a lot of research.

This thing has to be one of the coolest gadgets I've ever bought.  I've always been a map person, this GPS just takes all that to another level.  I'm SO glad I got the 60Csx over the Legend Cx.  I really like the larger size, it's easier to handle and the controls are much better.  I can't wait to get it out on the trail at Big Bend!


I got a Garmin 60CSx at Christmas and I agree...it is truly one of the greatest electronic things I have ever used or seen.  I am looking forward to using mine in BIBE, although it has really helped me on street navigation in San Antonio (getting from point A to point B).

BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: randell on February 13, 2007, 04:06:17 PM
Here are some updates and toys for your new GPS:

As of Feb 1, 2007, there is an update for Mapsource (http://www.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=209).

As of Dec 26, 2006, there is an update for the Garmin 60Csx (http://www.garmin.com/support/collection.jsp?product=010-00422-00) software.

There is a new free Garmin software called Spanner (http://www.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=1627) that enables you to use the real-time tracking on Microsoft Streets and Trips.  The page and instructions say it is intended for GPS 18, but I read it works on all Garmin GPS units.  Someone said they tried it with their 60Csx and said it works.  I have to try it for myself at home to see if it tracks, but I installed it at work and suddenly Streets and Trips did recognize that I had a GPS connected.

Google Earth KML to GPX (http://mcrenox.com.ar/kml2gpx/).  This software costs $15, but it is a useful utility to convert your Google Earth KML files to GPX files to you can import the data to your GPS.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: randell on February 22, 2007, 11:04:19 AM
ShaneA and I used the Spanner software on our latest trip.  Worked like a charm.  Had the 60CSx hooked up to the laptop tracking out location while we could scroll around on the full-size screen looking at the map.  

ON ANOTHER NOTE.
I left my tracks to collect on our 1,600+ mile trip and I found a really annoying glitch.  the 60CSx as well as most gps units have a 10,000 track limit.  After you hit the limit, the unit begins overwriting all of your oldest tracks.  As a result, half of the trip tracks were overwritten.  :cry:

I have found a solution, though!  Since the 60CSx has a micro SD memory card, you can set your gps up to redundantly save tracks to the memory card as well as the on-board memory.  The result, no more overwritten tracks as the tracks on the memory card will continue to collect until you fill up your memory card or you manually remove them.  

If you are interested in this (and you should be if you have a 60CSx and go on long trips), scroll down to the Tracklog Memory section of this article (http://gpsinformation.org/penrod/g60csx/60csx.html) and read on...

Too late for our trip last weekend, but my tracks on the next trip will surely be saved!


Also, don't make the mistake I made last year on the trip to Big Bend Ranch.  I was "saving" off each day's tracks on the gps, then clearing the memory of auto-saved tracks.  The problem is if you save a track, it compresses it and deletes the date/time stamp, leg time, and leg speed.  Which is critical information if you like to analyze your tracks as I do.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: tjavery on February 22, 2007, 11:42:29 AM
I just got a 60Cx (the non-"s" version) yesterday :D It's damn cool. It appears much faster and easier to use than my old Magellan Explorist 200. It's ability to lock onto and track satellites is better and faster. I can't wait to get outdoors for a serious expedition with it.

When I initially booted up, the map showed a location in Taiwan!!! I guess that's where it was "born". Does the unit really work outside North America?

I think I'll keep my old Magellan as a back-up. Two GPS units are a little geeky, I guess, but safer for those GPS-dependant situations :D

EDIT: I'm really impressed now with the 60Cx. I just turned it on here at work (5th floor of a 9-floor office building) and it works! It locks on to 6 to 7 satellites. My old Magellan would never work at the office.
Title: Yep. Global...
Post by: SHANEA on February 22, 2007, 12:13:15 PM
Quote from: "tjavery"
When I initially booted up, the map showed a location in Taiwan!!! I guess that's where it was "born". Does the unit really work outside North America?


Yep, works "globally" - generally, when you have the unit, at least my unit, it came up showing the Garmin location in KS I believe - where Dorthy lives.  From what I recall, there is the next generation of GPS birds being launched.  "Hopefully" the new birds are compatible with the existing units :shock:    Of course, the military channels are different than the civilian and the entire system can be "shut down" in the event of a Natl. Emergency.  From what I understand, the reason that the system was NOT shut down on 9/11 is that the airlines, ships, etc. all rely on it.  But, in the case of a nuclear or NBC emergency (nuke, biological, chem) it could easily be shut down.  I've also noticed that at "certain times" the GPS signal will "go away" when over near Barksdale AFB during an exercise.  Some reliable source told me that on 9/11 when W was headed to Barksdale, Shreveport LA, #2 USSTRATCOM base after Offutt and NORAD, that virtually every signal in the vacinty was "blocked" as W was at an "undisclosed location".  Signals included cell, GPS, etc.  They didn't want word leaking out, for Natl Security and Continuity of Govt. Reasons, that W was in Shreveport.
Title: Re: Yep. Global...
Post by: tjavery on February 22, 2007, 12:17:09 PM
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Yep, works "globally"...


Cool. Thanks.

Next question - regarding datums, is the "NAD27 CONUS" the same datum as the "NAD27" used in USGS maps? There are several different NAD27 datums listed in the GPS unit, are they all the same?
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 12:34:15 PM
Quote from: "randell"
Spanner software


Thanks, a most useful piece of information.

Quote

ON ANOTHER NOTE.
I left my tracks to collect on our 1,600+ mile trip and I found a really annoying glitch.  the 60CSx as well as most gps units have a 10,000 track limit.  After you hit the limit, the unit begins overwriting all of your oldest tracks.  As a result, half of the trip tracks were overwritten.  :cry:

I have found a solution, though!  Since the 60CSx has a micro SD memory card, you can set your gps up to redundantly save tracks to the memory card as well as the on-board memory.  The result, no more overwritten tracks as the tracks on the memory card will continue to collect until you fill up your memory card or you manually remove them.
 

There are 2 other solutions that don't require additional hardware. Leave the GPS connected to your running laptop and have the navigation software draw the track line...which is then saved in the navigation program, or simply download your saved track each evening and then clear it from the GPS track log. Either method results in a full log saved on your computer, where you are going to place it eventually anyway.

Quote
Also, don't make the mistake I made last year on the trip to Big Bend Ranch.  I was "saving" off each day's tracks on the gps, then clearing the memory of auto-saved tracks.  The problem is if you save a track, it compresses it and deletes the date/time stamp, leg time, and leg speed.  Which is critical information if you like to analyze your tracks as I do.


Yep, it certainly does that; a fact I discovered when I did not have my laptop with me and used the 'save' feature not knowing what it was going to seriously truncate my data.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 12:36:29 PM
Quote from: "tjavery"
Does the unit really work outside North America?


Yes they do. GPS is not like satellite radio or tv where the signal effectively only covers the US.
Title: Re: Yep. Global...
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 12:43:51 PM
Quote from: "tjavery"

Next question - regarding datums, is the "NAD27 CONUS" the same datum as the "NAD27" used in USGS maps? There are several different NAD27 datums listed in the GPS unit, are they all the same?


No, they are not, which is why you have several to choose among. You want NAD27CONUS if you want direct compatibility with the paper maps of the same datum.

Be aware, though, that when you output GPS data, at least from Garmins, for tracks and waypoints, that the data stream is in WGS84, which is the same as NAD83. This occurs regardless of what datum you select to have the GPS display data on the screen. This is because the GPS receives WGS84 data from the satellites. The GPS takes care of the internal conversion to your preferred format.

Most navigation software for computers also lets you do the same automatic conversion (though in Fugawi you can tell it to not do the conversion) so that your NAD27 locations display correctly on the digital maps.
Title: Re: Yep. Global...
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 12:51:12 PM
Quote from: "SHANEA"
I've also noticed that at "certain times" the GPS signal will "go away" when over near Barksdale AFB during an exercise.  Some reliable source told me that on 9/11 when W was headed to Barksdale, Shreveport LA, #2 USSTRATCOM base after Offutt and NORAD, that virtually every signal in the vacinty was "blocked" as W was at an "undisclosed location".  Signals included cell, GPS, etc.  They didn't want word leaking out, for Natl Security and Continuity of Govt. Reasons, that W was in Shreveport.


These things are all related. The ability exists to selectively deny GPS signals in broad or narrow geographic areas. This is not the same as selective availablility (still around, just not used) which degraded the signal to the point that accuracy was affected....but would still put you in the immediate area. Denying a signal means you get no data, thus no navigation.

It would be very interesting to know how this is being done, as when you check notices for aircraft operation you find these published outages are very specific as to area, but not specific as to date since a range of dates is used. When you enter one, your GPS just blanks out. It's not surgical precision but very impressive nonetheless.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 01:02:21 PM
Quote from: "randell"
There is a new free Garmin software called Spanner (http://www.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=1627) that enables you to use the real-time tracking on Microsoft Streets and Trips.  The page and instructions say it is intended for GPS 18, but I read it works on all Garmin GPS units.  Someone said they tried it with their 60Csx and said it works.


While it may well work on other units, I would be quite hesitant to try after looking at the Garmin site, where you find this (I added the color):


Warning   This software should only be uploaded to the unit for which it is intended. If this software is uploaded to a GPS unit other than the product it is designed for, it will render the unit inoperative. If the software upload fails, and subsequent upload attempts prove unsuccessful, the unit may need to be returned to Garmin for service.

Garmin is not chintzy about this kind of support, so if it really was compatible with other units it would be available for them as well. I think I'll continue to use the external software solution I've had for some time to create a virtual port.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on February 22, 2007, 01:40:35 PM
Quote from: "presidio"
Warning   This software should only be uploaded to the unit for which it is intended. If this software is uploaded to a GPS unit other than the product it is designed for, it will render the unit inoperative. If the software upload fails, and subsequent upload attempts prove unsuccessful, the unit may need to be returned to Garmin for service.


I think this refers to software loaded to the GPS unit not a computer.  I have upgraded software on all my GARMIN units multiple times and it has always worked flawlessly.  However, I always do worry that this will be the time it glitches and I have to send it back to be fixed.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 22, 2007, 07:51:07 PM
Quote from: "randell"
I have found a solution, though!  Since the 60CSx has a micro SD memory card, you can set your gps up to redundantly save tracks to the memory card as well as the on-board memory.  The result, no more overwritten tracks as the tracks on the memory card will continue to collect until you fill up your memory card or you manually remove them.  

If you are interested in this (and you should be if you have a 60CSx and go on long trips), scroll down to the Tracklog Memory section of this article (http://gpsinformation.org/penrod/g60csx/60csx.html) and read on...,


Thanks.  I think Garmin advertises that the 60CS and 60CSX can work with up to a 256Meg memory card.  The other day, I found a website that stated that some users of the 60CS and 60CSX have used cards > 256Meg (some had tried the 1Gig and 2Gig micro SD cards with success).  If that works and with a 2Gig card, one could store the entire City Navigator maps on their GPS and still have loads of room to spare.

BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: homerboy2u on February 22, 2007, 08:10:09 PM
What's up Gurus...would you believe that I still haven't acquired my GPS :?: ...Fact is I can't decide which one to go with:

 One one hand, Garmin's 60 Csx (http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60csx/index.jsp) is very handy, recieved 2006 outdoor magazine equipment of the year award and has all its features.

  On the other hand Garmin's 376 C (http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap376c/) , I mean, it just speaks for itself.

  I love all the features of the 376, but at the same time the 60 csx is all out handy..

  Decisions....decisi ons...decisions.... Come on: Time for some opinions here. :cry:
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 22, 2007, 08:53:19 PM
I have the 60CSX and have been very pleased with it.  

BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 10:08:13 PM
Quote from: "WL2"
I think this refers to software loaded to the GPS unit not a computer.  I have upgraded software on all my GARMIN units multiple times and it has always worked flawlessly.


Well, please correct me if I'm wrong, but as I read the Garmin instructions it sounds like the software is being uploaded to the GPS itself.

*  Spanner allows you to use your GPS 18 USB with most NMEA 0183-compliant mapping programs. It adds a virtual com port interface to your GPS 18 so that you can send NMEA data to other programs.
* Spanner works only with GPS 18 software version 2.90 or later. Be sure to load the latest GPS 18 software before using this program.

However, that struck me initially and now that it would be odd to have the GPS holding the port definition.....so I am going to download it and see what the situation is. Perhaps Garmin just hasn't described it correctly???
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 10:10:32 PM
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
would you believe that I still haven't acquired my GPS :?: ...Fact is I can't decide which one to go with


Homero, any GPS is better than no GPS. However, that is not a reason to proceed incautiously since you do want the best unit for your purposes.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 22, 2007, 11:19:08 PM
Quote from: "WL2"
I think this refers to software loaded to the GPS unit not a computer.


Well, I downloaded it and it does install to the computer and is managed from there. So, there is no issue at all. Interesting that Garmin only promotes it for the GPS18.

I haven't tried it with the GPS yet, but I see no reason why it would not work. It appears very similar to the Franson software I presently use. However, MicroSloth Streets & Trips has been balking badly recently and I think it has developed some conflict with the Franson utility, though the crash error message provides no real clues. It will be interesting to see if it behaves better with the Garmin version.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: randell on February 23, 2007, 08:36:23 AM
The only problem we had over several hours of using MS Streets and Trips and Spanner to get our position from the GPS was the occasionally Spanner would have some error and restart itself.  

You can set Streets and Trips to record your tracks.  Can't do much but look at the tracks in Streets and Trips, but I never expected much out of the whole experiment except to give me something to play with on the road.
Title: and...
Post by: SHANEA on February 23, 2007, 09:00:50 AM
Quote from: "randell"
but I never expected much out of the whole experiment except to give me something to play with on the road.


and to find the Discount Tire store, get the address, plug it in, and be guided right to it - which was right cool.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: Boot Canyon 1 Cougar on February 23, 2007, 09:38:22 AM
My Garmin GPS 60CSx was a father's day gift last year.  I've found it to be invaluable--although it is taking me a while to figure out how all of its features work.

I've added the City Streets to it, which I find I rarely use, but which is handy to have.

I've also added the Topo Map for the U.S., but only have portions of the Texas and New Mexico "activated," as I've read that this will result it faster operation.

I use the Topo Map feature all of the time.

The Topo Maps and the "tracking" feature--combined with the MapSoft Software on your pc, allows you to easily analyze your trek from a whole host of perspectives--includinge a real neat elevation based image. It also keeps track of the time and mileage from point to point, etc.

If only the manual explained all of these features, and how to access and utilize them.

Does anyone know of a good, easy read, reference for learning how to utilize all of the tools on the Garmin 60CSx and MapSoft software?

Homero, while the GPS60CSx would likely provide everything you need from a feature standpoint, I have found that its screen size is not as big as I would like for use in a vehicle.  If you intend to use it mostly on road trips, you may want to go with the one you referred to above.

Also--Casa Grande and RichardM--any thoughts about having a "tracking" library as part of the forum?  Perhaps only for members?  I observe that the actual files might not be feasible to store on the forum, but members could make posts of what they have in their library.

And, of course, have users sign a waiver? :)

Sorry, I couldn't resist, since I'm the reason for the addition of the forum disclaimers. :lol:

Oh--one other thing--the GPS60CSx is very durable.  I dropped mine from a ledge, it fell about 20 feet onto rock, and I heard this "pop," and was certain it was history.  But it took a lickin, and kept on tickin.  All that happened was the 1GB SD card popped out of its clip--and all I had to do was clip it back in.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 23, 2007, 09:58:07 AM
Quote from: "Boot Canyon 1 Cougar"
Oh--one other thing--the GPS60CSx is very durable.  I dropped mine from a ledge, it fell about 20 feet onto rock, and I heard this "pop," and was certain it was history.  But it took a lickin, and kept on tickin.  All that happened was the 1GB SD card popped out of its clip--and all I had to do was clip it back in.



Glad to hear of it's durability.  Although I have yet to drop mine, I know that day is coming (not a question of "if", only a question of "when").

Does the 1Gig card work ok on yours?  Did you get the card from Garmin or just order one off Ebay or other source?


BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: homerboy2u on February 23, 2007, 10:16:28 AM
I have been reading that BBH , Shane , Randell , WL2, Presidio , Bdann use their 60 Csx a lot. I assume since, they are so far away from BIBE, they use them on their commutes, city trecking...and basically getting to know their gadgets.

  One thing Boot Canyon 1  points out is the size of the screen, when driving that can mean something...or nothing depending who is doing the driving, but eventually it can come down to something when guiding yourself.

  What i really like about the 376 C , is that i can get , if i want, Xm radio as well and hourly weather reports on my specific coordinates. To sbscribe to those services can be a little bit pricy, $ 100.00 bucks a month for the weather feature and normal rates for the XM thing. A t least i would have the option to decide where and where to subscribe.

  I haven?t seen any one hiking with the 376 C so far...could that be a hint?. :cry:
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 23, 2007, 10:57:50 AM
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
I have been reading that BBH , Shane , Randell , WL2, Presidio , Bdann use their 60 Csx a lot. I assume since, they are so far away from BIBE, they use them on their commutes, city trecking...and basically getting to know their gadgets.


Hi Homero!
That is exactly what we have been using our 60CSX for -- city navigation, thus far and it works great for that.  Will definitely use it in BIBE during our trip this year (probably in early May).  

I agree...a larger screen and maybe having the one that talks to you when the next turn is coming up would be helpful.  But, since we want to use ours for BIBE and city nav, the 60CSX seemed to fit the bill.  The holder for it on the dash (the beanbag deal as Shanea refers to it) works great.  

BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: randell on February 23, 2007, 11:44:54 AM
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
I haven?t seen any one hiking with the 376 C so far...could that be a hint?. :cry:


The target audience for the 376C is boaters.  The 60Csx targeted to hikers.  Hence, we all purchased the unit tailored to hikers needs.  You can also use the 60CSx in your car or mount it on your moutain bike.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 23, 2007, 12:50:37 PM
Quote from: "randell"
The only problem we had over several hours of using MS Streets and Trips and Spanner to get our position from the GPS was the occasionally Spanner would have some error and restart itself.


That is what I experience with Franson. S&T just crashes, sometimes as soon as I start it.  It clearly is some defect in Microsloth programming as the virtual port works flawlessly with every other program.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on February 23, 2007, 02:31:33 PM
If you have a GARMIN maping GPS and Mapsource and want to load tide tables go to:

http://www.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?product=010-00191-00

It says it works with Garmin 162 but I have loaded the tide tables onto my 60CS and it works well.  It is loaded onto the GPS just like it was a map.  gives tide information for selected tide stations in the US.
Title: Solution
Post by: SHANEA on February 23, 2007, 10:38:29 PM
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
Xm radio as well and hourly weather reports


Just buy both :!:  :idea:

I figure Garmin is about due to come out with the next generation of GPS to match up the 60CSX - probably have XM and weather capability.  Gotta give the 60 series users some reason to buy something new.  The 60 series is certainly top of the line for hand held units.  Of course,  :P it took Randell and I two GPS's to find our way around BIBE.  :P
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: austin gorpchomper on February 23, 2007, 11:02:40 PM
Ok, I haven't seen any comments yet on battery life. That's one of the first things I look for in a unit (I currently have an eTrex Legend). And I don't mean battery life in the specs; I mean what you guys are actually getting out there in the field.
Title: No Bueno?
Post by: SHANEA on February 23, 2007, 11:22:40 PM
No bueno.  I "burn" lithiums in mine and it "does burn them".  Couldn't even tell you the length of time.  Never thought about it.  I've got the unit so that's all that matters.  I've also got rechargable batteries in the truck that I sometimes use, depending on if it's a day trip or a backpack, etc.  12volt rechargable setup.  I use the cig. lighter attachment when on the road.  I was so dissatified with my Etrex Vista that anything had to be better.  The reception, screen, and joystick on the Etrex Vista SUCKED.   Hands down, the 60 series is a Brazillion times better.  (I couldn't even tell you what the battery life on my Vista was - gave it away as a Christmas gift).

Of course, there is so much to consider with battery life - are you using the back lighted screen, do you have the electronic compass turned on, etc.  Lots of variables.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on February 24, 2007, 06:20:57 AM
I have been using NIMH batteries in my GPS units for several years and they work well.  You can get close to 20 hours out of a freshlly charged set of 2100 mah batteries in a 60CS. ( limited light and compas use)  They will self discharge over time, but the newest low self discharge nimh batteries hold a charge very well.  If you buy anything over 2300 mah you can expect them to completely self discharge in one to two weeks.  So I would suggest avoiding them.  I am currently testing some of the low self discharge batteries.  Only had them a little over a month but so far they hold a significant percent of their capacity for over a month.  Will publish the results when the test is complete.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 24, 2007, 11:05:23 AM
Quote from: "WL2"
I have been using NIMH batteries in my GPS units for several years and they work well.  You can get close to 20 hours out of a freshlly charged set of 2100 mah batteries in a 60CS. ( limited light and compas use)  They will self discharge over time, but the newest low self discharge nimh batteries hold a charge very well.  If you buy anything over 2300 mah you can expect them to completely self discharge in one to two weeks.  So I would suggest avoiding them.  I am currently testing some of the low self discharge batteries.  Only had them a little over a month but so far they hold a significant percent of their capacity for over a month.  Will publish the results when the test is complete.


Thanks, WL2.  I use NIMH batteries here as well for both my GPS and digital camera.  I do carry two Lithium as backup just in case.  

Agree...the self-discharge rate seems high on the higher capacity batteries.  I have found the Sanyo AA 2700 mah seem to have a low self-discharge (at least in the case of the second set I procured).  The first set had terrible self-discharge (< 2 weeks).  Because of that, and thinking there was a problem, I got a replacement set under their warranty.   I also got a different charger (returned the other one for credit since it had one of those 100% satisfaction guarantee warranties) and went with one of the Maha smart chargers.  My experience with that second set of Sanyo's has been great.  I have the Sanyo 2700 mah in my digital camera since early January and they have not required recharging.  Similar experience with those in my 60CSX GPS.  My experience with Everready NiMH is that they have a very high self-discharge so I don't use them anymore at all.

You mentioned testing the low self-discharge ones.  Is that the Sanyo Eneloop or the Maha Powerex 2700?  Looking forward to the results of your test.  I have my eye on those low self-discharge but have not yet sprung for them.  They say that they will hold 85% of their charger after 12 months.  If they get that kind of performance that will revolutionize the NiMH battery market.

Thanks,
BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on February 24, 2007, 11:46:07 AM
I also use the MAHA chargers.  I am testing the Sanyo eneloop 2000 mah and the Rayovac Hybrid 2100 mah.  It takes a long time to test the long term discharge rates. :?  But, so far they look good.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 24, 2007, 01:08:25 PM
Quote from: "WL2"
I also use the MAHA chargers.  


I am really pleased with my Maha charger.  I have the MH-C401FS and it seems to work great.  The other one I used just did not work well; fortunately, they had the 100% satisfaction guarantee and did gladly and easily refund my purchase.  You probably already have come across them, but I have found Thomas Distributing is a good source for chargers and batteries.

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/index.htm


BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: Boot Canyon 1 Cougar on February 25, 2007, 02:57:13 PM
Quote
Does the 1Gig card work ok on yours? Did you get the card from Garmin or just order one off Ebay or other source?


Big Bend Hiker,

I use a ScanDisk, 1GB, Micro SD.

I recall from some research that there is one version of this card that does NOT work with the GPS60CSx.  I think that the one that does NOT work with the GPS60CSx is the "ultra" version.  I gleaned this information off of a GSP forum somewhere.  I recall reading that some users were unable to get their SD card to function, and it turned our that the problem was the type of card.

I bought the card I use at Best Buy.

Please let me know if you have further questions.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 25, 2007, 05:14:11 PM
Quote from: "Boot Canyon 1 Cougar"
I use a ScanDisk, 1GB, Micro SD.

I recall from some research that there is one version of this card that does NOT work with the GPS60CSx.  I think that the one that does NOT work with the GPS60CSx is the "ultra" version.  I gleaned this information off of a GSP forum somewhere.  I recall reading that some users were unable to get their SD card to function, and it turned our that the problem was the type of card.

I bought the card I use at Best Buy.

Please let me know if you have further questions.


Thanks.  This is good information.


BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: homerboy2u on February 25, 2007, 06:13:37 PM
I wrote BBH to get his input, in a more in depth way regarding an opinion towards the 2 units in question, please check my initial post.

  I asked him the following and got this reply. This is being posted with his permission:

homerboy2u2 wrote:
I have been reading and reading all about your opinions for these GPS?s..trekking is good, so is fishing and trail riding. But both of them are seriously in my decison corner , as we speak.

It is tough to make a decision, since i like both of them, if i buy them i am dead with the wife, and it would mean a very hard knock on my head if were to make the wrong decision which one to buy, and look back at the other one in the shelf...going in my my mind: " I told you so ".

Do you know what i mean. SAme manufacturer, different model, a lot of diffrence in price range, and one good as the other, diffrent features.

Need Help, good buddy.

Homero Jimenez

 His answer:

Hi Homero!
You sound like me. I will agonize and agonize over decisions on these things. But you are probably like me -- once purchased, I keep things for a long, long time, so the decision must be right (or as right as it can be) from the get go. We must be perfectionists! You and I have got to meet someday!

What will be your primary use on the GPS? Once the primary use is known, I think it may narrow the choice. The difficulty is that each of these (60CSx and 376C) are niche devices.

376C:
There are some features on the 376C that are well suited for marine and lake use: XM radio, larger display, and sonar capability. It is truly designed for boating and can extend into city navigation (which the 60CSX can do as well, although the voice nav on the 376C is very nice). Given it's size, however, it would be more bulky and troublesome for hiking use, I think. Plus, it only has a built-in rechargeable battery system meaning that you could not just carry some spare AA batteries for use when the batteries run out.

Now, when you look at the 60CSx, it has the smaller size which makes it suited for hiking, but also has a smaller display that can make it a bit more difficult for city nav. It does not seem to have as much capability for marine as the 376C. For hiking, it is the ideal GPS, however.

Here is an idea - what is your email? I know we do not want to get too technical here, but I can send you an excel file with a place to record the plus/delta between each one and from there, have a relative comparison between the two. I think it may help and I am glad to put the file together (of course, you will need to add your thoughts on the relative scoring).

  I wrote him back saying that i wanted to get WL2 side of the matter as well, then wrote later that it would be a better idea if i put the discussion on the thread to get more input/say...So, Gurus. Please step forward and let us hear your thoughts.

Homero
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: presidio on February 25, 2007, 07:20:10 PM
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
So, Gurus. Please step forward and let us hear your thoughts,

Homero


Homero, I am going to point you in an entirely different direction, but still with Garmin.

The 60C has an 18 hour battery life, the 376C apparently has a max battery life of 15 hours on the rechargeable LI cell...which puts you out of commission on even an overnight trip away from a power source. While these have removeable memory cards, I don't consider those all that great an advantage.

The 60C is slightly cheaper than my suggestion (I'm getting to it, below), and the 376C is more than twice as expensive. You can do a lot of things with the extra $500+ the 376C will cost....UNLESS you have a need/reason to get the fairly specific capabilities of the marine unit. Yes, it has a larger screen, but that too is not a compelling reason to drop an extra $500 on it.

Okay, what I recommend you look at/get is the Garmin GPSMap76C (if you can still find one..as it has been replaced by the 76Cx with removeable memory card). It has the same screen size of the 60c (not 60Cx), costs about $50 more, and has a 115mb internal, non-removeable memory. 115mb is a LOT of memory in a GPS. You can put a couple of state's worth of 100k topo maps in that space. While you might be able to drop a 1gb card in the other two units, are you realistically going to need all that map capability in a continuous mode? Meaning, you can always swap map data in and out of the 76C. I have yet to need a data swap since I have my usual haunts installed, but I have the entire US in 100k topos available. Same goes for any city data you might want to enter.

The new 76Cx has performance specs similar to the 60Cx...18 hour battery life, etc., and the price is the same. Since the 76Cx is now out, you might even be able to find the 76C at a discount, making it even more attractive.

76C battery life at 30 hours is almost double the 60C and more than double, to perhaps as much as 7x  the 376C.

I have had this unit for a couple of years and it is very capable and does everything I need it to do. I recommend avoiding the sensor models (CSx) with all the extra doodads like thermometers, compasses, barometers and such. Are those things handy? Sure, maybe. Are they needed in a handheld GPS? Not in my opinion. It's kind of like getting a cell phone that has a zillion features that just eat up your battery and are used relatively little.

In my opinion, the 76C is the perfect GPS for hiking and road navigation (without getting a dedicated car unit). You will be very happy with it, and you wife will simply adore you when you use the $500 you just saved and take her somewhere special. Work in that mode and she'll let you get anything you want. :D  :D How can you go wrong?

BTW, if you go to the Garmin site they have a 'compare' feature within model lines. You can't compare the 376 to the 76 but you can compare hiking to hiking, and marine to marine, for example.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on February 25, 2007, 08:27:17 PM
I have been  following Homero’s questions without replying as I really do not have a good answer.  As has been pointed out these two GPS units are very different.  They are so different that making comparisons is really difficult, and I do not feel comfortable making a suggestion.  However, never let be said I do not have an opinion so here are some thoughts.  Just remember to follow you own wishes and take our advise with care.

 If you intend to mount it in your truck and then transfer it to a boat and very seldom hike away from the truck then the 376C would seem the way to go.  As you have noted the XM feature has a hefty monthly charge.  Well worth it on the high seas where weather information is critical, but less so on the road.  In a fixed mount situation the bigger screen of the 376C is a real advantage.  In a boat the depth sounder module may be important to you.  It is probably more durable as it is designed to mount in a boat with tougher environmental conditions.

If you will be using it primarily in the truck and also when hiking and only occasionally in the boat then the 60Cx might be the way.  This is primarily because it is a lot less expensive, a lot lighter and smaller, and better power options when away from a power source.  However, the smaller screen is an issue you should consider.  I do not find it a problem, but your personal preference should be considered.

The choice between the 76 and the 60 is really one of form factor.  Yes the 76 is a marine unit, it floats, but for me the 60 works better in my hand.  For that reason I prefer the 60, but both are great units.  I would point out that the ‘x’ models have the SiRFstarIII™ chip set and have some advantages over the older 76C and 60C models.  In fact the 60C has been discontinued.  I do prefer the 60CSx with the extra sensors.  However, it is a personal preference and if you wish the non-sensor model that is the way you should go.   Even if I did not want the extra memory capacity of the removable cards, I would choose the ‘x’ model to get the better GPS engine.  However, I want all the memory capacity I can get, so I like the removable cards.  Again a personal preference, I am a map and track data junkie.

Hope this has been of some help and not added more confusion to the issue.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: randell on February 25, 2007, 09:49:38 PM
Quote from: "BigBendHiker"
Quote from: "WL2"
I also use the MAHA chargers.  


I am really pleased with my Maha charger.  I have the MH-C401FS and it seems to work great.  The other one I used just did not work well; fortunately, they had the 100% satisfaction guarantee and did gladly and easily refund my purchase.  You probably already have come across them, but I have found Thomas Distributing is a good source for chargers and batteries.

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/index.htm


BBH


Which one do you have and why is it better than the, say, Energizer charger that came with four batteries?
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on February 25, 2007, 09:59:26 PM
A better charger will do the least damage to the batttery and give a more complete charge.  More common consumer types will work, but batteries may not last as long or get as complete a charge.  Short answer, but I am not qualified to give a more detailed answer.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: homerboy2u on February 25, 2007, 10:12:18 PM
Yes it does :!:  Thank you all. From the personal viewpoints of each one, there are several issues to take in mind: No Need to mention them, they are all here.

  But bottom line, is that they are both good, they are very reliable and each has its own specific purpose. It is all in the matter of thinking what will be my main use, and decide from there. I need to see them ,  first hand again.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 26, 2007, 06:22:09 AM
Quote from: "randell"
Quote from: "BigBendHiker"
Quote from: "WL2"
I also use the MAHA chargers.  


I am really pleased with my Maha charger.  I have the MH-C401FS and it seems to work great.  The other one I used just did not work well; fortunately, they had the 100% satisfaction guarantee and did gladly and easily refund my purchase.  You probably already have come across them, but I have found Thomas Distributing is a good source for chargers and batteries.

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/index.htm


BBH


Which one do you have and why is it better than the, say, Energizer charger that came with four batteries?


Hi Randell!
I have the MAHA MH-C401FS and obtained it from Thomas Distributing. It is a "smart" charger which controls the rate at which the batteries charge.

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/mhc401fs.htm

From what I have read and understand, NiMH batteries are very sensitive to the method by which they are recharged.  Traditional chargers, such as the Energizer and others, apply a fixed charging current for a fixed amount of time.  Usually, these are designed to rapid charge the battery in 15 minutes or maybe a couple of hours.  At that high of a charging rate, the current is high and the batteries can get very warm to the touch.  This combination of heat and high charging rate shortens battery life and reduces their ability to take a full charge.   This also causes chemical changes in the batteries which will cause them to develop something similar to "memory" as seen with NiCads.  A smart charge varies the charging current and monitors battery voltage during the charge so that even when rapid charged, the batteries stay cool (to extend life) and accept a much higher charge.

The MAHA I have used has given me great battery life on the NiMHs that I use.  I cannot say that for the two other brandds that I tried, neither of which were smart chargers.  The other thing I have noticed -- the self discharge is low, so I can put them in my camera, leave that camera in the drawer and pick it up a few weeks later (or maybe even longer) and I am still good to do.  

Hope this helps.  

BBH
Title: Setting....
Post by: SHANEA on February 26, 2007, 08:32:32 AM
On the 60C there are two settings in setup for type of battery being used - alk. and nimh.  A.  What "diff" does it make to the unit on what power source is being used and B.  What setting do you use if you are using lithium?
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 26, 2007, 08:51:38 AM
Good question...

If just a standard lithium, I would go with the NiMH setting since both NiMH and lithium are high capacity batteries and both have a similar discharge curve.  They hold their voltage fairly level until they just "die" rapidly at the end, whereas alkaline and other types have a slow decay curve (voltage drops slowly over time as the capacity is drained.

I understand there is another type of lithium battery (lithium Ion?) which have higher voltages initially (~ 1.8 vDC instead of the 1.5 vDC) and folks have remarked this has caused various issues with their electronic gizmos.  Gee...I thought a battery was a battery was a battery... :shock:


BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 26, 2007, 09:00:21 AM
Here is a thread from groundspeak.com on lithium batteries and GPS's:

http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=84365



BBH
Title: Re: Setting....
Post by: WL2 on February 26, 2007, 09:13:22 AM
Quote from: "SHANEA"
On the 60C there are two settings in setup for type of battery being used - alk. and nimh.  A.  What "diff" does it make to the unit on what power source is being used and B.  What setting do you use if you are using lithium?


I think it has to do with the battery life calculation.  Since lithium are higher voltage they may not give a true life no matter what you use, but I would think the alk. is the proper on to use. (Nimh have lower voltage than alk. and lithium have higher.)
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on April 15, 2007, 08:50:28 PM
Another thread on NiMH battery life on GPS's...

http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=160997&st=0&gopid=2818384&#entry2818384


BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: randell on August 08, 2007, 12:43:36 PM
For those of you who own the 60CSx, there was a Unit Software update posted on Aug 2.  Version 3.50 is now available:

http://tinyurl.com/37ovpc
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: BigBendHiker on August 08, 2007, 05:39:26 PM
Thanks, Randell!


BBH
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: cjacob on August 28, 2007, 10:23:48 PM
I just got the 60CSx on Friday.  I Love it and have been playing like crazy.  Worked out to $299 and I had a $100 gift card to REI worked out very well.  So what Map Software are yall using.  I was wanting 1:24,000 Topo Maps for BBNP And areas around the park.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: stingrey on September 01, 2007, 05:21:57 AM
Did you ever get your answer on the maps thing? I have the 24k V3 National Parks Central set or whatever in duplicate. I got one and a friend gave me 1, and now I have an extra. If you or anyone happens to be interested in my V3, it retails at like 89 or so... I'd part with it for say $40 or $50 or something like that.

I liike the maps very much, for what it is worth... I just don't have anything to compare 'em to so I can't thoroughly answer your question. The info on the maps seems accurate, was nifty in getting me from point A to point B, and showed some things that I'd otherwise not have known existed when all was said and done.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: WL2 on September 01, 2007, 06:58:21 AM
I have found the points of interest that are in the software are as useful as the maps themselves.  Things like springs or historical or geological features.
Title: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
Post by: stingrey on September 01, 2007, 09:02:20 AM
Exactly! :) I was pretty happen to have been able to find some POI's that I'd otherwise not have known about. In the future I'll probably make my own maps for certain trials in state parks and the like, but in the meantime having POI's on tap for a place like Big Bend is just awesome!