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#34137 - 12/01/13 10:31 AM Garmin GPSMAP 62stc
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
I am currently using an old Garmin Edge 705 GPS unit for recording tracks, verifying position, etc.... It is really a "bike" unit, and records data in .tcx format (training center - heart rate, cadence, etc....). For the most part this works OK, but requires translation from tcx to gpx format to be more usable, and often the .gpx file is a bit corrupted, and requires editing. Bottom line this is less than ideal

I noticed that Garmin has their GPSMAP 62stc uint on sale for $299 (discount of $200). Does anyone have experience with this unit, and would you recommend it?

I really find the Garmin product strategy a bit confusing. So much overlap of functionallity, and too many choices. There are other "trail" options - Oregon, etc... so would appreciate anyone's 2 cents.

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#34138 - 12/01/13 05:04 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: John Sims]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
I'm a long-time user of the 60CSx and it's been a fine unit. Last year I bought one of the Oregon models, mainly for the larger display, and while there were a few features I liked, I considered it a "dumbed down" unit and mastering some features appeared to require a time investment I didn't want to make. Looking at the features of the 62 series - the various units are confusing, and offer features I'd be unlikely to use. For example, why pay extra for a camera when you could use your smartphone, or if you want the best pictures you'll have a dedicated camera?

If I developed another case of "GPS lust" I'd be inclined to look at the Garmin eTrex 30.

In your case, you might consider a used Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. They're available on Amazon and eBay, as well as elsewhere.

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#34139 - 12/01/13 05:42 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: KevinR]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Thanks Kevin,
I went to the Garmin web site and compared the etrex 30 to the GPSMAP 62stc, and they are almost identical. Slight difference in the screen size, and the 62 has a camera. Otherwise prety much the same. With this sale price, even the cost is identical.

I agree with your point on the camera (likely to have a dedicated camera), but the cost is low, so why not. Also, most new cameras do not have GPS, so encoding the GPS data into the pictures is a pain, requiring an app on the smart phone, and another step to download.

I may just go with this.

Thanks again,

John

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#34140 - 12/01/13 10:37 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: John Sims]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Haven't been following this thread but just emailed John in response to a PM, and reposting here in case of interest.

Hello. So I love my older 60csx. But truth is I no longer use it for backpacking --too heavy, and I get amazing functionality out of an iPhone loaded with gps-enabled maps, including the Tom Harrison and Nat Geo maps.

One button push on the iPhone and I know exactly where I am. Can't use iPhone quite tfe same way as a dedicated GPS --battery too limited to "drop breadcrumbs" as it were. iPhone is basically most useful just to check if you aren't 100% sure where you are -- I use it in combo with map and compass and it will pinpoint precisely. A check in doesn't use a lot of battery, and I sometimes carry a solar charger to keep it going indefinitely. I also get free terrain maps for anywhere in the works through an app I bought -- Motion-x GPS. In Nepal, their maps were more accurate than Nat Geo!

I still use the Garmin where weight is not an issue, and for snowshoeing. If you are not sure what direction you are facing, the Garmin will help you orient better, at least once you calibrate the internal compass. And if you want to track mileage and gain, the Garmin is a better option because those features will burn the battery in an iPhone. (I do have a wrist altimeter, though, that can track elevation and cumulative gain...use it on every hike. Altimeter uses change in barometric pressure rather than gps, so can be less accurate but battery lasts for years.)

So that's where I am at this point. Hope that is helpful. If you do buy the Garmin, is worth paying extra for the topo. Yes, if you are a techie, you can get a lot of free stuff in the internet for the Garmin. But the stuff that comes with is easiest to use.

bTW, my first GPS was an etrex. Didn't like the interface -- found 60csx much easier to use. Plus the antenna on the Csx is amazing. Etrex has probably changed since then though.


Edited by Akichow (12/01/13 10:39 PM)

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#34141 - 12/01/13 11:26 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: Akichow]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Akichow
Can't use iPhone quite tfe same way as a dedicated GPS --battery too limited to "drop breadcrumbs" as it were. iPhone is basically most useful just to check if you aren't 100% sure where you are -- I use it in combo with map and compass and it will pinpoint precisely.


This is exactly how one is taught to use the GPS in the military -- good for you!
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#34144 - 12/02/13 04:03 AM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: Akichow]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
John -

That seems like a reasonable approach. Also - just noticed that Costco has a version in a Cyber sale thru 12/15 -
http://www.costco.com/.product.100075734.html?&EMID=B2C_2013_1202_CyberMonday

Akichow -

My experience parallels yours. My smartphone (S4) has maps, barometer and compass apps and since I always carry it anyway, I only carry my 60CSx when I need its accuracy & functionality. And while it has excellent battery life, I carry a spare battery for it when in the backcountry as well.

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#34146 - 12/02/13 09:33 AM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: KevinR]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Hi Akichow and Kevin,

Thanks very much. I did spring for the 62stc last night and think it is part of an overall solution for me to simplify my hiking/navigation/photography/documentation/etc... life.

I got to the point that my iPhone was "overworked", using it for:
- Navigation/verification using ViewRanger, Motion-GPS & Earthmate (Delorme).
- Creation of a .gpx track to encode location information into my photos (my camera - Canon G9 - lacks gps). For this I am using gps4cam. Good application, but requires that you remember to turn it on/off, and then requires post processing in order to encode the lat/lon into the photos. This app will run in the background, but must continue to run so other applications can be used concurrently.
- Satalite communications device, paired with InReach (DeLorme). I do not always carry this, but for longer distance/more remote hikes I do.
- Camera
- and I'm not sure for what else.

The 62stc may not be the greatest camera, but for documenting a hike it should work well, and eliminates the need to run gps4cam, unless I feel motivated to encode lat/lon info into photographs taken with a different camer:-(

Thanks again,

John

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#34149 - 12/02/13 07:28 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: John Sims]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Photos! We want photos! And GPS tracks!

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#34151 - 12/02/13 09:10 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: Akichow]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
All in due time:-)

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#34152 - 12/02/13 09:16 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: John Sims]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
<like!> like!

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#34188 - 12/06/13 03:26 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: Akichow]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
So, I received the Garmin yesterday, and today took a short hike to take a few comparative pictures.
As you can see the Garmin does not produce the same quality of photo as the Nikon D200 with 50 mm f1.4 lense. The NIkon is ~8 years old, and is 10MP. The sensor is "DX" sensor, so much larger (I guess) than the Garmin.
The Garmin did OK in darker conditions, but not the weapon of choice for anything that you might want to print. However, for trip reports, trip documentation it should be sufficient.

So, even with its short comings, it would still be readily available, and convenient for quick photos.

I did find that the GPS worked much better than my iPhone or Garmin Edge 705, so a good choice for hiking the canyons of the Sierras.





Larger images can be seen in the Picture Gallery
All photos are "right out of the camera". No post processing


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#34189 - 12/06/13 04:14 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: John Sims]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
All in all, John, those photos aren't bad, especially for the uses you noted.

And yes - the accuracy of the Garmin's GPS chips are in a class by themselves compared to smartphones. About the only 'weirdness' I found with my 60CSx in many years of hiking in the Sierra and Desert Peaks was when I was in narrow canyons, like portions of the Cottonwood Creek Trail (the canyon west of Owens Lake leading eventually to intersecting the road leading to the Cottonwood TH) and Fall Canyon in DV. Slightly wider canyons, like the trail to Panamint City/Surprise Canyon, maintained signal lock.

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#34198 - 12/07/13 06:06 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: John Sims]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Very nice! Looking forward to the enhanced trip reports!

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#34200 - 12/07/13 09:11 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: Akichow]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Akichow
Very nice! Looking forward to the enhanced trip reports!


Oh great, now I've "got to produce" cry You are quite the task master. Perhaps I set the expectations too high grin

The good news is I have lots of time to practice. Doubt I will see the Sierra's until summer.

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#34201 - 12/07/13 11:16 PM Re: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc [Re: John Sims]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Just an appreciative audience! laugh

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