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Donnie Stevens
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
Posts: 2372

Garmin Problems

My 320 needs recalibrated pretty much every night. Anything I can do to fix this ? Couple of my buddies have same unit and theirs never has issues...even the older 220's. It's one thing if I notice it's backwards from the road or in the field but if it keeps doin it when I'm two miles in the woods its gonna get me in a world of trouble

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sleepy head
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Registered: May 2015
Location: IN
Posts: 1958

Use to have the same problem, I had to do an upgrade for DC 50 a couple years ago, not saying that was what fix it but I hardy ever have to calibrate anymore

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shadinc
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Registered: Jun 2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2127

I have the same problem with my Alpha. It needs calibrating 2 or 3 times per hunt.

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Bruce m. Conkey
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Registered: May 2016
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Posts: 4200

Was it changed for track up to north up

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Donnie Stevens
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
Posts: 2372

No Bruce nothing has changed. I've had this unit for 4-5 years and its always needed to be recalibrated more then anybody else's needed to be but it's worse lately. Last couple months every night i use it halfway thru the night it starts reading backwards.

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Donnie Stevens
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
Posts: 2372

quote:
Originally posted by shadinc
I have the same problem with my Alpha. It needs calibrating 2 or 3 times per hunt.


I haven't had to do mine twice in the same night. Maybe I need to start calibrating it right off the bat every night. It's gotten to the point I don't trust it anymore. Had me all twisted around last night a long ways from anywhere.
Doesn't exactly give me that warm fuzzy feeling lol.

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shadinc
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Registered: Jun 2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2127

I calibrate mine every time I leave a tree so I'll be sure I'm going back toward my truck.

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Reuben
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Nov 2011
Location: Freeport,TX
Posts: 829

I have been pretty happy with my alpha...I don’t need to calibrate on every hunt...maybe every other as a preventative measure...

The biggest problem the alpha has had has been me...lol
The more I learn about it the better I like it...

The other day I pushed the wrong button and lost direction to dogs but they remained on the map...it took me 30 minutes to get it back but by then I jacked other settings up...once at home I messed with it for several hours and learned a little more...I really don’t remember exactly how I did it to get my settings back how I liked but I know it will be easier the next time...

I did use YouTube to help me out and it was a big help...

When I had a second hand 220 it was constant problem with direction and I recalibrated at least twice a hunt so I feel your pain...if your problem don’t fix call Garmin and find out how much it will cost to fix or trade in...it might be worth doing...

If no one can help you here this is what I would do first...
Connect to webupdater and update hand held and might as well update collars...
When you connect hand held to webupdater make sure to write down the hand helds ID number...this way when you call Garmin you will have ID handy when they ask for it...they will instruct you in what to try...if that don’t work they will instruct you where to ship and how much on cost...

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stevwallace
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Registered: Sep 2009
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My alpha would go hay-wire couple months ago. I

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Bruce m. Conkey
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Registered: May 2016
Location: Palatka, FL
Posts: 4200

.

Caliberating my compass is one thing I don't do very often. Maybe a couple times a year. I only do it when I am on the map page and I know which way is north and I see that the north arrow is pointing in a different direction in the track up mode. If you have touched that north arrow no matter which way you point it. North will be at the top of the screen. You have locked it so the screen shows north up or towards the top of the screen.

Hope you guys realize that if your on the map page and your fat fingers or uneducated hand touch the NORTH arrow on the screen it will change the map from track up to north up and you will think it doesn't know where north is.

Reuben I don't understand how no matter where you are if you go to the map page you can't see the track your alpha left from point A to where you are now. I also don't see how anyone cannot follow their own track back out of the woods by glancing at that track on the map page every couple minutes.

Sorry, guys. I handle hundreds of these unitss for customers and some things I just think you bring upon yourself.

Lets say the calibration gets total off. Just follow your track back from the map page. If you walk back over your track or close to it. It doesn't matter which way some arrow is pointing and showing north. You will end up back at the truck. This is not a compass it is a gps that has more complicated functions than an arrow pointing north and can completely be operate without that arrow. I wish it wasn't even there and then people would learn how to use it as a gps and get a lot more out of it.

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Richard Lambert
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Chattanooga, Tn
Posts: 17587

Like Bruce said, a Garmin is a gps, not a compass. I don't know why they even have that arrow page on there. I recalibrate mine about twice a year and I always use the map page. I don't even know why that compass page is on there. I don't care which way is North, I only care which way my truck is or where the closest road is.

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tommygunner
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Registered: Jul 2019
Location:
Posts: 63

Re: .

quote:
Originally posted by Bruce m. Conkey
Caliberating my compass is one thing I don't do very often. Maybe a couple times a year. I only do it when I am on the map page and I know which way is north and I see that the north arrow is pointing in a different direction in the track up mode. If you have touched that north arrow no matter which way you point it. North will be at the top of the screen. You have locked it so the screen shows north up or towards the top of the screen.

Hope you guys realize that if your on the map page and your fat fingers or uneducated hand touch the NORTH arrow on the screen it will change the map from track up to north up and you will think it doesn't know where north is.

Reuben I don't understand how no matter where you are if you go to the map page you can't see the track your alpha left from point A to where you are now. I also don't see how anyone cannot follow their own track back out of the woods by glancing at that track on the map page every couple minutes.

Sorry, guys. I handle hundreds of these unitss for customers and some things I just think you bring upon yourself.

Lets say the calibration gets total off. Just follow your track back from the map page. If you walk back over your track or close to it. It doesn't matter which way some arrow is pointing and showing north. You will end up back at the truck. This is not a compass it is a gps that has more complicated functions than an arrow pointing north and can completely be operate without that arrow. I wish it wasn't even there and then people would learn how to use it as a gps and get a lot more out of it.

Garmin astro and alpha are unreliable as a GPS because half the time if the compass s wrong and you go to the tracks it has erased them and then your on your own , its only reliable to track your dog not to find your way around , buy a gps only to do that with my 60csx never does the things alpha and astro do

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Donnie Stevens
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
Posts: 2372

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lambert
I don't care which way is North, I only care which way my truck is or where the closest road is.


Me too and if you follow your own track on mine when it's messed up you better have someone to pick you up cause you're walking the complete opposite direction.

As far as tracking the dog goes if the Garmin is showing the dog's leaving on the map screen the opposite way I can hear them barking that's really not much help.

Fat fingers...uneducated hands...I'm not even gonna go there lol

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Bruce m. Conkey
UKC Forum Member

Registered: May 2016
Location: Palatka, FL
Posts: 4200

.

Donnie the next time you are hunting. While on the map page. Tough the North arrow. The screen picture swaps to a different position unless you happen to be facing due north. A lot of people grasp their handheld in a fashion their thumb of the left hand is right over the North indicating arrow. Or with their right hand so the middle index finger touches the arrow and changes their screen. Then they are lost.

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Donnie Stevens
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
Posts: 2372

Bruce I assume you're referring to an alpha. I have the 320 astro.

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Bruce m. Conkey
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Location: Palatka, FL
Posts: 4200

.

LOL In your case I would suggest taking off all lights with batteries and get away from a truck and see if that does anything.

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Pat Bizich
UKC Forum Member

Registered: May 2004
Location: northeast
Posts: 1220

Don't know for sure if this helps but following is copied and pasted from another forum. interesting reading as a possible reason….


Can someone explain why an electronic compass has to be calibrated every time you change the batteries? What happens if you don't calibrate

Simple answer : the electronic sensor varies its output voltage according to where it is pointing. When the input voltage changes, you need to recalibrate so that it knows the processor knows the range of output voltage to expect.

If you don't recalibrate, it won't point correctly.

What happens if you don't calibrate?
You get an error in the direction your compass is pointing. The error can be huge if the voltage has shifted much.

What batteries do you use? Some claim that they need less recalibration when using NiZn batteries due to its higher voltage.

Not sure if it's related but I noticed I needed to calibrate my compass less with NiMh batteries (1.2v) than with Alkaline (1.5v)!!

That's because there's somewhat less 'margin for error' in NiMH that already start out at a very low voltage than there is with alkaline that can potentially drift all the way down from 1.5 to about 1.1 before the unit shuts down. Less voltage variation between fresh cells and depleted cells means less compass error. You'll find, of course, that the NiMH cells come off the charger a good bit hotter than the nominal 1.2V. 1.45 volts wouldn't be at all unusual. That drops down to something more reasonable pretty quickly in use in your GPS, but if you calibrate your unit with a 'hot' set of NiMH installed, you'll find yourself less accurate as they start to deplete.

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IT SEEMS THAT EVERYTIME A BREED OR LINE OF DOGS GET POPULAR IT EVENTUALLY LEADS TO ITS RUINATION BY UNINFORMED PEOPLE BREEDING WITHOUT DOING THEIR RESEARCH FIRST.

Gone but never forgotten:
NtChGrCh Dryfork Punkin
NtChGrCh Dryfork Little Blue Baby Doll
2009 Pa Show Dog Of The Year
GrCh Dryfork Little Black Book

Home of:

2009,2013,2018 Pa. State
Show Handler Of The Year
GrCh Dryfork Black Dog Raine
Gr.Ch. Black Dog Black Cherry
Gr.Ch. Make My Day Sunny
2018 Pa. Show Dog Of Year
Gr.Ch. Batman's Poison Ivy
2011&2013 WTDA Pa State Champion
2011&2013 Overall Hunt For The Cure
Ch. Jay's Greenridge Heidi
In memory of my best friend "Jay"

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Bruce m. Conkey
UKC Forum Member

Registered: May 2016
Location: Palatka, FL
Posts: 4200

.

I can tell you another couple issues.

Your in your toasty truck and it is 75-80 degrees. You step outside and it is 20 degrees. That is a shock to any electronic system.

Temperature affect batteries and you can point the temperature change to a voltage change on the batter as Pat said or the circuitry going form hot to cold with the normal expansion of metal components changing things slightly. Take your pick

Also we have great influences form our newer trucks and the lights we use. I have seen lights turn on and off when a GPS handheld is just laid next to them. The affect one another.

I think in Winter time you see the biggest calibration problems.

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shadinc
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Jun 2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2127

quote:
Originally posted by Pat Bizich
Don't know for sure if this helps but following is copied and pasted from another forum. interesting reading as a possible reason….


Can someone explain why an electronic compass has to be calibrated every time you change the batteries? What happens if you don't calibrate

Simple answer : the electronic sensor varies its output voltage according to where it is pointing. When the input voltage changes, you need to recalibrate so that it knows the processor knows the range of output voltage to expect.

If you don't recalibrate, it won't point correctly.

What happens if you don't calibrate?
You get an error in the direction your compass is pointing. The error can be huge if the voltage has shifted much.

What batteries do you use? Some claim that they need less recalibration when using NiZn batteries due to its higher voltage.

Not sure if it's related but I noticed I needed to calibrate my compass less with NiMh batteries (1.2v) than with Alkaline (1.5v)!!

That's because there's somewhat less 'margin for error' in NiMH that already start out at a very low voltage than there is with alkaline that can potentially drift all the way down from 1.5 to about 1.1 before the unit shuts down. Less voltage variation between fresh cells and depleted cells means less compass error. You'll find, of course, that the NiMH cells come off the charger a good bit hotter than the nominal 1.2V. 1.45 volts wouldn't be at all unusual. That drops down to something more reasonable pretty quickly in use in your GPS, but if you calibrate your unit with a 'hot' set of NiMH installed, you'll find yourself less accurate as they start to deplete.

I have a compass in my I phone that never needs calibrating. I think it's electronic. No matter how hot or cold or battery condition it knows where north is.

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Pat Bizich
UKC Forum Member

Registered: May 2004
Location: northeast
Posts: 1220

Your right it is electronic. It has something to do with the voltage variation according to the info I posted.
This is for informational purposes for any one so inclined to accept it as useful or not as to why their compass goes haywire..

Here is more...…….
It's not the higher voltage of the NiZn cells that avoids the problem .. it's the flat discharge profile that avoids it. Rather than slowly dropping in voltage, these puppies kinda fall off a cliff when depleted, but hold voltage very well during use. If you don't get voltage drift with use or when you replace depleted cells, you don't have compass issues. The voltage is similar to that of lithium cells. The only downside is that when that first bar drops on the display, you'd better have another pair of cells ready, because you have only a few minutes left!
__________________________________
An electronic compass works with 2 (or sometimes 3) magnetometers. So it can detect a magnetic field along two or three axes.



There are two 8 pin chips on the left and below are two magnetometers. And one is placed 90 degrees to the other to be able to measure two axes.

Now these two magnetometers output voltages in return to the magnetic field applied. Due to metal parts in the remaining device and due to limited absolute accuracy of such devices, you cannot determine the exact heading just from these two values. But once the device has been rotated and the CPU monitoring it has seen e.g. the max values returned by the magnetometers when each of them pointed exactly north/south, then the CPU is able to calculate the heading quite precise.

However, if the device is switched off, it usually looses the calibration data. Also after some time the sensors behavior may change as different battery voltage levels may cause different magnetic fields to be generated by other parts in your device ..

__________________
IT SEEMS THAT EVERYTIME A BREED OR LINE OF DOGS GET POPULAR IT EVENTUALLY LEADS TO ITS RUINATION BY UNINFORMED PEOPLE BREEDING WITHOUT DOING THEIR RESEARCH FIRST.

Gone but never forgotten:
NtChGrCh Dryfork Punkin
NtChGrCh Dryfork Little Blue Baby Doll
2009 Pa Show Dog Of The Year
GrCh Dryfork Little Black Book

Home of:

2009,2013,2018 Pa. State
Show Handler Of The Year
GrCh Dryfork Black Dog Raine
Gr.Ch. Black Dog Black Cherry
Gr.Ch. Make My Day Sunny
2018 Pa. Show Dog Of Year
Gr.Ch. Batman's Poison Ivy
2011&2013 WTDA Pa State Champion
2011&2013 Overall Hunt For The Cure
Ch. Jay's Greenridge Heidi
In memory of my best friend "Jay"

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shadinc
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Jun 2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2127

quote:
Originally posted by Pat Bizich
Your right it is electronic. It has something to do with the voltage variation according to the info I posted.
This is for informational purposes for any one so inclined to accept it as useful or not as to why their compass goes haywire..

Here is more...…….
It's not the higher voltage of the NiZn cells that avoids the problem .. it's the flat discharge profile that avoids it. Rather than slowly dropping in voltage, these puppies kinda fall off a cliff when depleted, but hold voltage very well during use. If you don't get voltage drift with use or when you replace depleted cells, you don't have compass issues. The voltage is similar to that of lithium cells. The only downside is that when that first bar drops on the display, you'd better have another pair of cells ready, because you have only a few minutes left!
__________________________________
An electronic compass works with 2 (or sometimes 3) magnetometers. So it can detect a magnetic field along two or three axes.



There are two 8 pin chips on the left and below are two magnetometers. And one is placed 90 degrees to the other to be able to measure two axes.

Now these two magnetometers output voltages in return to the magnetic field applied. Due to metal parts in the remaining device and due to limited absolute accuracy of such devices, you cannot determine the exact heading just from these two values. But once the device has been rotated and the CPU monitoring it has seen e.g. the max values returned by the magnetometers when each of them pointed exactly north/south, then the CPU is able to calculate the heading quite precise.

However, if the device is switched off, it usually looses the calibration data. Also after some time the sensors behavior may change as different battery voltage levels may cause different magnetic fields to be generated by other parts in your device ..

That's a lot to think about when all I want to know is where my truck is. LOL

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Old Post 10-09-2019 02:22 AM
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DL NH
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Registered: Jan 2016
Location:
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One of the things coon hunting did for me over 40 years ago was taught me to use and trust the good old fashioned magnetic compass. It's led me in and out of territory i've never seen in the light of day for years. I too have the Garmin Alpha system but I NEVER go to the woods without my military compass on hand just in case. I love the Garmin system but the magnetic compas is tried and true. In my mind any good woodsmen knows how to use one and will have it along for backup.

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Old Post 10-09-2019 02:25 AM
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Pat Bizich
UKC Forum Member

Registered: May 2004
Location: northeast
Posts: 1220

quote:
Originally posted by shadinc
That's a lot to think about when all I want to know is where my truck is. LOL


Well the question was/is why do some have to recalibrate so often.
I attempted to give an answer getting a little technical for some as to a possible cure. Try a new "good set" of batteries .
If you recalibrate while low chances are you will be recalibrating again on a fully charged fresh set.
You sound like a guy that don't care how it works ,just as long as it works.
Me ? I am always tearing broken things apart . Ask too many questions. I am not satisfied . I got to know how it works.
Ever notice I answer a lot of questions on here ? Because I been there done that or I don't bother a reply.

I still use a 220. I am using a set of rechargeable NiMH that are several years old. Very seldom ever recalibrated. Just this past few months I have been recalibrating almost every other use. Tells me my batteries are close to end of useful life span.
Guy I know uses regular alkaline . Constantly recalibrated his 220. Now has a 320 with same issue using alkaline.

Here is something else for you guys that still carry a regular compass. I use to keep a plain compass in my pocket . I ruined it. Two actually before I realized what happened. I kept it in a pocket too close to darn battery pack for my light. They both got demagnetized from my battery pack.
I use a helmet light now but makes you wonder if you guys with issues happen to be using a belt light and the magnetic field on Garmin is getting messed up from battery packs.


I'm done.

__________________
IT SEEMS THAT EVERYTIME A BREED OR LINE OF DOGS GET POPULAR IT EVENTUALLY LEADS TO ITS RUINATION BY UNINFORMED PEOPLE BREEDING WITHOUT DOING THEIR RESEARCH FIRST.

Gone but never forgotten:
NtChGrCh Dryfork Punkin
NtChGrCh Dryfork Little Blue Baby Doll
2009 Pa Show Dog Of The Year
GrCh Dryfork Little Black Book

Home of:

2009,2013,2018 Pa. State
Show Handler Of The Year
GrCh Dryfork Black Dog Raine
Gr.Ch. Black Dog Black Cherry
Gr.Ch. Make My Day Sunny
2018 Pa. Show Dog Of Year
Gr.Ch. Batman's Poison Ivy
2011&2013 WTDA Pa State Champion
2011&2013 Overall Hunt For The Cure
Ch. Jay's Greenridge Heidi
In memory of my best friend "Jay"

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Dave Richards
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Registered: Apr 2015
Location: church hill tn
Posts: 3453

Pat Bizich

Thanks for the info, going in-depth with your reply may solve the problem some folks are having, certainly won't hurt any one to use your info. Just like the dig food, I for one appreciate ALL your posts, glad you are one that cares enough to share with others. Dave

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DL NH
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Registered: Jan 2016
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Posts: 218

Pat B.

I too use a helmet light. I have a little fanny pack that I carry a few things in "just in case" something happens. My compass being one of them!

I also enjoy your often informative posts. I know you've been in this game a long time. I remember seeing your name listed in the results of UKC events in PA and Ohio and other places going back to the late '70's early 80's era. I always enjoy reading what others have learned and experienced regarding hounds and all aspects of hunting and keeping them.

I'm with Dave, keep posting when you can!

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Dan

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