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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts

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Offline bdann

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« 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!
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Offline WL2

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 06:28:08 AM »
I hope I am looking at another converted GPSnut. 8)

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BigBendHiker

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Re: Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #2 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

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Offline randell

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #3 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.

As of Dec 26, 2006, there is an update for the Garmin 60Csx software.

There is a new free Garmin software called Spanner 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.  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.
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline randell

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #4 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 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.
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline tjavery

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #5 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.

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SHANEA

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Yep. Global...
« Reply #6 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.

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Offline tjavery

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Re: Yep. Global...
« Reply #7 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?

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Offline presidio

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #8 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.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #9 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.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Re: Yep. Global...
« Reply #10 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.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Re: Yep. Global...
« Reply #11 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.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2007, 01:02:21 PM »
Quote from: "randell"
There is a new free Garmin software called Spanner 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.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline WL2

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #13 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.

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BigBendHiker

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Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx - initial thoughts
« Reply #14 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 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

 


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