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Thread: Garmin eTrex 22x -- Questions

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Garmin eTrex 22x -- Questions

    I am seeing deals on the Garmin eTrex 22x for around $150 (REI, Amazon).

    Do any of you folks have experience with this model? It come loaded w Topo Active maps (are they useful for hiking?) and it seems to have all the basic functions.

    Technophiles, please let me know what you think about this basic GPS!
    Thanks, ChrisB
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    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    I am seeing deals on the Garmin eTrex 22x for around $150 (REI, Amazon).

    Do any of you folks have experience with this model? It come loaded w Topo Active maps (are they useful for hiking?) and it seems to have all the basic functions.

    Technophiles, please let me know what you think about this basic GPS!
    Thanks, ChrisB
    I recently bought eTrex 32x to replace my old eTrex 30. eTrex 32x is a essentially 22x + 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter & includes ANT+ connectivity. I think TopoActive maps are primarily based on OpenStreetMap data. My unit came with a map from last year and I am now upgrading it to version 2020.10, so I guess Garmin probably updates the maps 15-20 times a year. I have an upcoming backpacking trip for which I recently marked some lakes that were missing on OpenStreetMap, so I am a bit curious if they will show up on the latest version of TopoActive map. One thing I see is that the update is slow - so far running for 2 hours and the estimate is for another 3 hours.

    My initial experience was actually quite frustrating as at first the unit did not recognize the memory card from my older eTrex as well as it would not show me some geocaches I downloaded but after several reboot and connections to my computer this seems to be working. The GPS is still really fussy about connecting to my laptop but I found a workaround for what I think is likely some firmware bug, so I think I will keep it. One thing that I like about it is that it has a battery saver mode that turns off the screen and it redraws the map only after I touch some button (it still keeps track of my position over time.) Not sure what the battery saving will be but I hope it will be useful on multi-day backpacking trips.
    Last edited by iAmKrzys; 08-16-2020 at 08:28 PM.

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    I've used the e-trek HCX for about 8 years. It is not a touch screen, which I would not want. It syncronizes perfectly with a PC for seeing where I've been, and setting up routes pre hike. Battery life is 24 hrs, much better than a phone for me. It has performed excellently under dense tree cover and narrow sky locations such as reveines. I'm not sure it is presently supported by Garmin, and seems to not be as accurate for actual tracking of a walked track as it used to be because I can record a walk, and it is does not show the track very close to where the background map indicates I should be or by the preset trail route, by probably 500 feet. But, I wouldn't get lost in the woods either. If it's possible to recalibrate I would like to know.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    I recently bought eTrex 32x to replace my old eTrex 30. eTrex 32x is a essentially 22x + 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter & includes ANT+ connectivity. I think TopoActive maps are primarily based on OpenStreetMap data. My unit came with a map from last year and I am now upgrading it to version 2020.10, so I guess Garmin probably updates the maps 15-20 times a year. I have an upcoming backpacking trip for which I recently marked some lakes that were missing on OpenStreetMap, so I am a bit curious if they will show up on the latest version of TopoActive map. One thing I see is that the update is slow - so far running for 2 hours and the estimate is for another 3 hours.

    My initial experience was actually quite frustrating as at first the unit did not recognize the memory card from my older eTrex as well as it would not show me some geocaches I downloaded but after several reboot and connections to my computer this seems to be working. The GPS is still really fussy about connecting to my laptop but I found a workaround for what I think is likely some firmware bug, so I think I will keep it. One thing that I like about it is that it has a battery saver mode that turns off the screen and it redraws the map only after I touch some button (it still keeps track of my position over time.) Not sure what the battery saving will be but I hope it will be useful on multi-day backpacking trips.
    Not sure if this is your issue or not but with a previous Garmin GPS I owned Windows at some point assigned it the same drive letter for the GPS and another UPS device on my computer. This created huge lag times with updating, connecting, etc. often hours as you describe. I pulled the SD card out of it and it solved the problem. You may want to investigate if you have a drive letter assigned to more than one device. May correct the issue.
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    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Not sure if this is your issue or not but with a previous Garmin GPS I owned Windows at some point assigned it the same drive letter for the GPS and another UPS device on my computer. This created huge lag times with updating, connecting, etc. often hours as you describe. I pulled the SD card out of it and it solved the problem. You may want to investigate if you have a drive letter assigned to more than one device. May correct the issue.
    I suspect my issue is a bit different in that once I connected the device to a different USB port it worked fine once. What I discovered was that after I plugged in my GPS to a USB port that I used before it would start up, show menus and then said it was saving tracks and waypoints to a gpx file. After that it seemed to be stuck. What I did at that point I unplugged the USB cable, GPS started beeping at that moment, and I reconnected the cable. After that the GPS restarted and connected to my computer just fine. I suspect it has to do with some data that might be cached by device driver but it's only a guess.

    Just to add a bit of color to my prior post, I took this GPS for a little test last weekend and I walked some trails back a forth as I'm planning to make updates on OpenStreetMap. One thing I noticed was that the unit claimed to have tuned in to 6 GPS and 4 GLONASS satellites. As I walked same paths back and forth my traces where generally within 20 feet of each over. I'm still testing the device but I already decided to keep it.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyculman View Post
    I'm not sure it is presently supported by Garmin, and seems to not be as accurate for actual tracking of a walked track as it used to be because I can record a walk, and it is does not show the track very close to where the background map indicates I should be or by the preset trail route, by probably 500 feet. But, I wouldn't get lost in the woods either. If it's possible to recalibrate I would like to know.
    A GPS is often far more accurate than a trail as drawn on the map, so such a discrepancy is more likely to be a map problem rather than a GPS problem. A far better test is to walk the same trail several times and compare the tracks.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 08-18-2020 at 10:16 AM.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    It come loaded w Topo Active maps (are they useful for hiking?)
    Topo Active maps are 100K scale topos. The 24K topos are generally better for hiking.

    I have both 100K and 24K scale maps on my GPSes and generally use the 24K.

    Doug

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    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    I have a bit of update on the maps for my Garmin eTrex 32x - last night I updated to the latest TopoActive map version 2020.10 but this map did not yet have the lakes that I marked on OpenStreetMap, so I went to OSM Wiki page for Garmin downloadable maps ( https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/...armin/Download ) and followed the link to OpenChestMap. From there I downloaded US map (pretty sizable, around 2.8 GB compressed) and this map has been built as of 8/11 and shows the lakes I added. It does not have contour lines, but one of the layers that came with my GPS has hillshading that shows up in the background, so I can get a rough idea of the terrain with OpenChestMap being top layer while I can always switch to TopoActive if I needed contour lines. Furthermore I noticed that for the the layer called USGS Quads there are different levels of brightness I can choose, so I guess I can control a bit how it appears in combination with the top map layer.

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info folks.

    I used my old Garmin LM 50 car GPS as a trail nav device to see if it would work and it did. While not ideal it worked.

    I entered the lat/Lon coordinates for the plane wreck on Belknap Mtn and from the summit followed the nav for 0.1 miles to the wreck site. Once on the herd path the GPS was not necessary, but it did walk me to exactly where the main wreckage was.

    The map of course was totally useless, but you can nav to a given point even with a simple GPS.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Thanks for the info folks.

    I used my old Garmin LM 50 car GPS as a trail nav device to see if it would work and it did. While not ideal it worked.

    I entered the lat/Lon coordinates for the plane wreck on Belknap Mtn and from the summit followed the nav for 0.1 miles to the wreck site. Once on the herd path the GPS was not necessary, but it did walk me to exactly where the main wreckage was.

    The map of course was totally useless, but you can nav to a given point even with a simple GPS.
    If you find plane crash sites interesting, then there are many geocaches placed near them, so geocaching might be one of the easiest way of getting coordinates for places like this.

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