Garmin announces GPSMAP 62 to replace 60CSx

For the last few years, the Garmin 60CSx has been the GPS device of choice for many users; rugged, a decent viewable screen (without the touchscreen of the newer models it’s often easier to read in sunlight), and generally a good device, but things move on, and the new GPSMAP 62 brings a whole range of new technologies to this rugged range.

Although there are 3 models in the US, the top model includes  full US mapping, so may not be available in an equivalent in the UK, so let’s at least look at the two other models to see the spec:

“With a 2.6” sunlight-readable color display, up to 20 hours of battery life and a high-sensitivity GPS receiver and quad helix antenna for unparalleled reception (the GPS receiver features HotFix, which automatically calculates and stores critical satellite information and can use that information to quickly calculate a position), the GPSMAP 62 series features three distinct waterproof models to suit various activities and interests. The basic GPSMAP 62 includes a built-in worldwide basemap with shaded relief. The GPSMAP 62s adds a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass and wireless connectivity for sharing routes, tracks, waypoints and geocaches between other compatible Garmin handhelds. GPSMAP 62s also includes a barometric altimeter that tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude. Users can also plot barometric pressure over time, which can help keep an eye on changing weather conditions.”

It supports the full paperless geocaching options of other recent Garmin GPS, and the Garmin Custom Maps feature that’s also supported on the Garmin Colorado, Garmin Oregon and Garmin Dakota models.

Here’s a nice touch for existing users of other recent Garmin GPS devices; “The GPSMAP 62 series is made even more versatile through its universal mounting system that is compatible with the same accessories as Garmin’s Oregon, Dakota and Colorado products.”

The Garmin GPSMAP 62 should be available in July, although we don’t have any confirmed UK pricing yet (I’d expect it to fit in above the Garmin Dakota range, but less than the most expensive Garmin Oregon models).

Article first published at UK Gadgeteer.

SatMap release new firmware

SatMap Active 10

SatMap have quietly released a new firmware, v1.4, for their SatMap Active 10 devices.  As well as addressing a range of bugs, the full Changelog is included in this article.  Highlights include better Geocaching.com support, better power management, including hibernation support.  For the full changelog, read the rest of the article…

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Garmin Dakota new GPS models

dakota10dakota20

Garmin has today announced two new touchscreen models. The Dakota10 & Dakota20, pictured here.

Physically smaller than the iconic Garmin eTrex, Dakota boasts a much bigger color display thanks to the 2.6-inch glove-friendly touchscreen.

Lightweight, rugged and waterproof, Garmin’s new Dakota devices quickly acquire and maintain satellite reception – even in heavy tree cover or deep canyons – thanks to a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFixTM, which automatically calculates and stores critical satellite information and can use that information to quickly calculate a position. Everyone from geocachers and youth scouts to surveyors and hunters can take advantage of Dakota’s 850 MB of internal memory, which can store up to 1,000 waypoints, 50 routes, 2,000 geocaches and an active tracklog of up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks.

The Dakota20 adds even more features, including a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, a microSD card slot for increased mapping and memory storage, and wireless unit-to-unit connectivity for sharing your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly with compatible Dakota, Oregon, Colorado and Foretrex devices. Dakota 20’s 3-axis, tilt-compensated electronic compass shows your heading even when you’re standing still, without needing to hold it level.

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Satmap update firmware and add geocaching support

SatMap Active 10

From UKGadgeteer:

SatMap, the makes of the SatMap Active 10 (and SatMap Active10 Plus), have this week released a new version of their PC software, and a new firmware for the Active 10 devices to go with it.   For us, the key new feature is the support of geocaching.com GPX files, giving you a full range of information about the geocaches; offering hints, cache descriptions, terrain, difficulty, and logs.

Satmap Launch Active 10 Plus.

SatMap Active 10

Satmap Systems Ltd., has today announced the launch of the Active 10 Plus which is a one stop GPS solution giving outdoor sports enthusiasts the hardware, software and route planning tools they need to get out and explore. The Active 10 Plus has an RRP of £379.99 which is a saving of £120 if buying all elements of the bundle separately.

There is no difference between the performance of the Active 10 and Active 10 Plus, which incorporate the same technology. However, there are two features which differ: the Active 10 Plus comes with a World Base Map and postcode look-up functionality, neither of which is included in the Active 10.

The postcode look-up is a fast and easy way to identify UK postcode locations and works on any map. From the routes menu Active 10 Plus users can select GoTo by grid reference or postcode. Due to the licensing requirements the postcode look-up option cannot be retrofitted on the Active 10 and is only available on the Active 10 Plus.

Thanks to UK Gadgeteer for brining this story to our attention. Full details from SatMap can be found here

Garmin Colorado 300 Review

Introduction.

The Garmin Colorado 300 is the fisrt GPS to support paperless geocaching. In this review we’ll look at the Garmin Colorado 300 from a geocaching perspective and compare it to a Garmin GMAP 60CSx We’ve had both units on loan from Garmin UK for the past few months.

Whats in the Box.

So what do you get for your money, at the time of writing a Colorado 300 from Amazon is £265, with the GMAP 60CSx £210.  The contents of the box for both units is roughly the same.

 

Colorado 300

  • Colorado 300
  • Worldwide basemap with shaded relief
  • Carabiner clip
  • USB cable
  • MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager
  • Owner’s manual on disk
  • Quick start guide

 

GPSMAP 60CSx

  • GPSMAP 60CSx
  • One basemap
  • 64 MB microSD card
  • Belt clip
  • USB cable
  • MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager
  • Wrist strap
  • Owner’s manual
  • Quick start guide

To get going all thats needed is to unpack the device, remove the the back cover, insert 2 AA batteries and away you go. Its at this point that the first difference between then units becomes apparent, removal of the back cover requires two totally different techniques, on the Colorado you have to prise open a stiff locking clip that holds the back cover in place, the GPSMap is somewhat simpler with a lift and twist ring common to the rest of the Garmin hand held range.

Battery Installation Instructions

Taken from the manuals of both units here are the instructions for installing the units batteries.

Colorado 300 Battery Installation

Colorado Battery Install

GPSMap 60 Battery Installation

GPSMAP60 Battery installDesign.

The Colorado moves away from the traditional Garmin user interface of a cursor keypad, and 8 function keys, all functions on the unit are now controlled using the Rock ‘n Roller™ input wheel designed to allow easy one handed operation.

Colorado 300 Design Overview

Colorado Overview

GPSMap60 Design OVerview

GPSMAP60 overview

From the images above the differences between the units are clear.

In physical size, theres not much difference between the units.

In Use, lets go caching.

Using the Colorado for paperless caching is an absolute pleasure. To make best use of the Colorado you need to be a premium member of the main geocaching listing site geocaching.com. Then simply create a pocket query for the area you wish to go caching in, download to an SD memory card, insert the card into the bottom of the Colorado 300, and off you go.

In the field we found the GPS reception to be matched to the GPSMAP60 both in accuracy, satellites seen, with the Colorado 300 aquiring it’s initial GPS fix slightly faster than the GPSMAP60. Both units proved to be a significant improvememnt on our current GPS60 Garmin unit, not surprising really given that developments in GPS technology.

The paperless caching capabilities of the Colorado give you access to the all the details on the cache listing page, including that all important hint. Along with several of the previous logs, these often prove invaluable in giving you some guidance on those more challenging geocaches.

The size, shape and weight of the unit mean that it sits nicely in the hand, making following of that all important arrow a pleasure, where the Colorado really wins over previous GPS units from Garmin is the introduction of the  Rock ‘n Roller™ input wheel, using this input device located atop the Colorado’s clear LCD display you can easily use the same hand that you’re holding the unit in to navigate you way round the extensive menus and features of the Colorado 300 simply by rolling the wheel with an action similar to that used on a mouse wheel, or rocking the wheel in an action that can be best described as pushing a joystick. At first it does seem a little alien, but we soon got to grips with this new input device.

Rock N Roll

Perhaps the best example of the  Rock ‘n Roller™ input wheel working to best effect can be shown on the map page, previously you would have used the cursor pad on the GPSMAP to move around the map, and the ‘in’ and ‘out’ buttons to zoom the map, using the ‘enter’ key to select or mark an item on the map. Now you simply rock the input wheel up, down, left and right to move around the map pretty much as before, roll the wheel to zoom in and out, and press the wheel to select, all whilst holding the unit with the same hand that your using to navigate around the map.

 Memory Expansion.

Discussed above in the geocaching part of this review, both the Colorado and GPSMap can have additional maps, and waypoints added by way of an additional memory card, in addition the colorado can have geocaching information stored on the card. The location, and type of memory card differ between the two units.

With the Colorado, a standard full size memory card can be used, installation is under the battery cover, into a slot in the bottom of the unit, as illustrated below.

Colorado 300 Memory Installation

Colorado Memory

The GPSMap60 uses a microSD card located underneath the batteries. Again this is shown below.

GPSMap60  Memory Installation

GPSMAP60 Memory

One thing is clear, you certainly don’t want to be swapping the memory of the GPSMap60 when your out in a field, microSD cards are tiny, really tiny,  they’re smaller than a mobile phone sim card, and anyone thats ever had to remove or re-insert on of those will agree it’s not the easiest task.

The colorado makes use of the larger full size SD card,  which makes it easier to change in the a field, but not something we’d recommend doing unless you absolutely had to.

Screenshots.

Screenshot1 Whereto Geocache

cachelist cachemap cachedesc

cacheselec  cachelogs cachehint

cachehint2 odometer Satscr

Conclusion.

Would we recommend the Colorado 300 ? Thats a most definitive yes, so much so with the unit from Garmin now returned, we’ve gone out and bought one to go geocaching with.

Tech Specs.

  GPSMAP60CSx Colorado 300
 
Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 2.4″ x 6.1″ x 1.3″ (6.1 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm) 2.4″ x 5.5″ x 1.4″ (6.0 x 13.9 x 3.5 cm)
Display size, WxH: 1.5″ x 2.2″ (3.8 x 5.6 cm) 1.53″W x 2.55″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm); 3″ diag (7.6 cm)
Display resolution, WxH: 160 x 240 pixels 240 x 400 pixels
Display type: 256 level color TFT Transflective color TFT
Weight: 7.5 oz (213 g) with batteries 7.3 oz (206.9 g) with batteries
Battery: 2 AA batteries (not included) Recommended for use with NiMH batteries (not included) with 2500mAh capacity or greater
Waterproof: yes (IPX7) yes (IPX7)
Floats: no no
High-sensitivity receiver: yes yes
Interface: serial and USB USB and NMEA 0183 compatible
RoHS version available: yes NA
Basemap: yes NA
Preloaded Maps: no no
Ability to add maps: yes yes
Built in Memory: no 384MB
Accepts Data Cards: yes 64MB micoSD yes SD
Waypoints: 1000 1000
Routes: 50 50
Tracklog: 10000 points 20 tracks 10000 points 20 tracks
Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads): yes yes (option mapping for detailed routes)
Electronic Compass: yes yes
Barometric Altimeter: yes yes
Paperless Geocaching: no yes
Outdoor GPS Games: yes yes
Sun and Moon information: yes yes
Area Calculations: yes yes
Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest): yes yes
Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units):: no yes
Picture Viewer: no yes
Tide Tables: yes yes
Hunt / Fish Calendar: yes yes

Geocaching client for the iPhone

geocaching_iphone_1.jpg

Although it won’t appear for a few more days whilst the app goes through Apple’s review, the team behind Geocaching.com have written their own iPhone client. The cost of the application is $9.99 (UK price to be confirmed) and has the functionality you need to look up and seek out caches using the networking and location-based features of the iPhone 3G. It also works with the iPod Touch and first gen iPhone though you will need WiFi for the Touch and the compass won’t work.

The first release will not have the feature to log caches or filter hides and finds, but it will be included as a free upgrade as we add that functionality – hopefully over the next month. We wanted to get the application out as soon as possible since the demand was so high for it.

Some non-obvious features:

  • You can look up travel bugs and find out their goal while out on the trail
  • Saved Items allows you to save a cache listing and navigate to it, even when you are out of network range
  • The application starts in beginner mode which only shows traditional caches. Advanced shows all types
  • To help with speed issues on, say, the Edge network, you can restrict the number of results to 5, 10, 15 or 20

Some more screenshots:

geocaching_iphone_2.jpggeocaching_iphone_3.jpggeocaching_iphone_4.jpg

Pictures courtesy of Geocaching.com [Via UK Gadgeteer]

Garmin OSM Maps now available for FREE!

OSM on Garmin on Colorado

We’ve finally released our Garmin maps, and would like to thank our beta testers for all their help.  Although we’re still working on providing more information on how to use these maps, it’s key we let everyone know they are now available.

Our Free maps will be updated on a regular basis, most likely every 3 months.

Probably the most important point is that we are releasing both normal Garmin OSM Maps, and also the Garmin OSM Cycle Map (which highlights cycle routes more than normal roads) today.

Head over to our new download page for more information…