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  1. #1
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    Question eTrex 30 vs eTrex 20 -is a triaxial electronic compass really worth 40 more?

    sorry for the noob Q, new to this kind of gps'es.
    AFAIK the "main" difference between the 2 is that the 30 has a triaxial electronic compass and barometric altimeter.

    I'm not really interested in using this with maps as an electronic compass or the have correct altimeter readings.

    One thing i could not find out by searching around is if having triaxial electronic compass (and barometric altimeter?) does make any significant difference in the accuracy of the device?

    I assume the compass reading is also used for navigating, but is the difference really significant? is the 30 then faster to show you the correct heading or so? and if so, how much of difference does this make (compared to the 20)?

    If i missed a faq where this is explained in big fat letters, then a link would be welcome

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  3. #2
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    + ANT+ wireless connection.

  4. #3
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    Compare at this link
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    a good review
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    You have to navigate to get to the good.
    Nuvi1250/Nuvi 34xx/Nuvi 2200/Nuvi 66/Oregon 600/Galaxy S5 MM 6.0.1/TomTom GO/iGO Nextgen Avic,Basar,Isr.Gift/Navigon
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  5. #4
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    thank you,

    I had a look at the provided links and the review suggests for a N00b to get the 20.

    but the One thing i (still) cannot not find out by searching around is if having a triaxial electronic compass does make any significant difference in the accuracy of the device?

    I found this [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] which states "A triaxial compass means that users don't have to worry about holding the GPS receiver level. However, as noted by reviewers such as Rich Owings at GPSTracklog.com, the increase in convenience over a two-axis electronic compass comes at the small expense of a more complicated calibration process, and that must be performed each time the battery is changed"

    Is the difference really significant or not "in real life" ?
    Last edited by polossatik; 20th May 2012 at 01:18.

  6. #5
    Navigation software expert Kanopus's Avatar
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    It is significant difference, basically:
    - With barometer you get very accurate height measurement, with average error about 3m. This is because of synergy between GPS and barometric measurements, each method alone won't give that kind of accuracy.
    - Compass is used for automatic map orientation and for showing direction to your destination even if you don't move. Both features are very convenient for hiking.
    Thanks, Kanopus

  7. #6
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    Would it be fair to say that for marine use there would be no benefit to the triaxial compass since height would be irrelevant?

  8. #7
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    krick

    The only real difference for your use is that the 20 will not indicate your direction on the "compass" until you are underway.
    The 30 will also indicate your heading while stationary.
    Accuracy - no difference.
    If you also carry a cheap magnetic compass then you are covered.
    As long as you are happy with that and on a budget go for the eTrex 20 and enjoy it.

  9. #8
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    i got the 30 (running latest 2.73 Beta fw), and while i have no 20 to compared to, I'm starting to doubt if the extra 40€ was worth it.

    Maybe it's a firmware issue or so, but my i had a few occasions when the 30 compass got rather confused (last time was in a park after walking for more than an hour and working just fine ) or did not point the correct way .

    after doing the calibration routine it works then again.

    I just came back from a trip done about 1000 km from my home, and again the compass had issues pointing to north, it was sometimes point more than 120 wrong, calibrated it again and it works.

    so it look like you need to calibrate it a lot more than just after changing battery's.
    IF it works it's quite handy.
    Last edited by polossatik; 12th June 2012 at 11:40.

  10. #9
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    I have the Etrex 20,using it for hiking.(i also using maps)
    I thing wireless,Barometer and compass are unessesary Gimmiks., because a seasened Hiker should be abel too calculate this easely.
    Spend the difference on a decent compass instead(wich one should carry anyway on Hiking trips)

  11. #10
    Navigation software expert Kanopus's Avatar
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    There are other gimmiks in your GPS, like for example digital map. Seasoned hiker is able to move position from GPS to paper map.
    I could easy imagine that that kind of opinion issued by owner of eTrex 10, based on his in-depth experience

    Anyway, many users report problems with compass in eTrex 30 and Garmin is unable to fix it. While barometer and compass increase capabilities of GPS, it is not always true in case of eTrex 30.

    Edit: you probably can't get that kind of shared display in eTrex 20:

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Green profile is measured track after you, blue is route profile before you.
    Last edited by Kanopus; 26th August 2012 at 11:20.
    Thanks, Kanopus

 

 

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