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 Handheld Portable GPS Receivers
 [TOPIC] eTrex series H w/MTK chip - SW3.40/FW2.90

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
gpspassion Posted - 22 mai 2007 : 14:16:24
UPDATED 20100331 : v3.40 available via the webupdater
UPDATED 20090901 - New v3.10 software available and new GPS Firmware v2.90 too, get them with the WebUpdater.
UPDATED 20090514 - GPS Firmware version v3.00 available via a manual download see link on page 11.
UPDATED 20081015 - GPS Firmware version v2.80 available via the Webupdater.

UPDATED 20080829 - Software version v2.70 available via the Webupdater.

UPDATED 20080109 - Software version v2.60 available via the Webupdater. According to the notes, the "ascent calculation" is now fixed, more details on page 9 of this topic.

UPDATED 20080109 - GPS Firmware v2.60 available via the Web Updater

UPDATED 20071218 : a new v2.30, MTK firmware (GPS Type M2) is available, see page 8 for details.

UPDATED 20071001 : the odometer problem does not appear to be fixed. Here are the pictures of the 60CSx and Vista HCx screens during a walk yesterday, start, middle, end. While it worked ok on the way out with a light tree cover it started "missing beats" on the way back in the forest, total per odometers, 5.44 and 4.80. Actual track length (per Mapsource with track recorded every second) : 5.8km according to the 60CSx log and 6.0km to the Vista HCx. The HTC Kaiser with a Qualcomm 7200 GPS chipset had 6.2km.

Overview of trip (recorded with HTC Kaiser with a Qualcomm 7200 GPS chipset)

I'm less optimistic about Garmin being able to fix this problem now than in July whent it first appeared as they tried with v2.40 and failed, even though the underlying track data still seems to be correct.

UPDATED 20070927 : v2.40 firmware update that should fix the difference between the odometer reading and the recorded track, details >> HERE <<

UPDATED 20070718 : New eTrex H series is confirmed with MTK chipset, see this report for more details.

Original Post by jotne : New eTrex from Garmin this Autumn.

New High Sensitive ship (brand not yet known)
Support for Galilei (Europen GPS system)

I do hope that Garmin will support Galileo on other GPS with firmware upgrade.

eTrex H (Replace yellow one)
eTrex Venture HC (only 24 MB internal memmory)
eTrex Legend HCx (micro SD card slot)
etrex Vista HCx (micro SD + Barometer and compass)
all with new shipset.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
gpspassion Posted - 02 juin 2011 : 03:01:13
New eTrex series announced, the 10/20/30 ->
gpspassion Posted - 15 avr. 2010 : 00:06:28
v3.30 available, nothing very spectacular it would seem :

"Changes made from version 3.10 to 3.40:

* Add Greek Language.
* Support New Zealand TM datum format"
gpspassion Posted - 01 sept. 2009 : 11:35:47
Sorry, had missed your message and hadn't noticed that limitation, are you referring to the odometer or the trip counter ? Maybe the new version fixes that even thouth it's not mentioned, Garmin sneak in things sometimes ;-)

Changes from version 3.00 to version 3.10:
Fix potential lock up when SD card installed.
Fix the contour data intermittently drawing over interstates of Topo Map.
Improve the blue shading color when using the setting 'Marine colors' in Daytime display mode.
Correct the brightness can't move over 50% in eTrex Vista HCx.
Correct upside down direction of vertical speed.
Fix incorrect highlight index at unit field in 'Area Calculation' page after select reset in menu.
Mycroft Posted - 06 juil. 2009 : 05:07:09
Thanks to all on this forum - I've been enjoying my Legend Hcx for 18 months. Use it 90% while sea-kayaking, principally as a speedo / odo and as a backup for my non-electronic navigation (and for SAR info - hopefully never).

Used in this way, it gives me feedback on how my progress on the water is being affected by tides, wind and lazyness ;-)

Does anyone know why Garmin chose to limit the odo to 3 digits in total ? The decimal digits drop off as the odo rolls from 9.99 to 10.0 and then from 99.9 to 100 (km in my case - but I assume it would be the same with 'miles').

There is clearly room for 5 digits on the display - even 100.00 would fit in the large-digit full-width display (across the full-width of the screen) - comparing it with the 00:00 time display, which still has space adjacent to it.

It is a great nuisance to lose this precision (which is in no way spurious precision) as I progress through multi-day trips. As I get beyond 100 km, the usefulness of an odo showing only 1 km increments is reduced significantly.

If there isn't a good reason for it - what's the best way to ask Garmin to consider revising the display in a future update ?
gpspassion Posted - 14 mai 2009 : 13:44:05
New v3.00 software available :

Change History
Version 2.80 to 3.00

1) Correct time scale of altimeter chart (Vista only).
2) Add support for maps greater than 2 GB.
3) Modify track log function for steady barometer output at power on ( Vista only ).
4) Correct wrong indication of "Vertical speed" and "Glide ratio" ( Legend only)
gpspassion Posted - 15 nov. 2008 : 17:03:52
Thanks for the summary, mysterious indeed, like I wrote in the the "Garmin chipset" thread, the only possibility I see in terms of new chipset is a swicth to the MTK 3329 (v2), but that wouldn't explain why you can't update its firmware. Hopefully more information will become available later so we can figure out what's going on!
louchem Posted - 13 nov. 2008 : 03:49:28
Just wanted to chime in here with my experiences with a recently purchased Venture HC. When I got the unit one of the first things I did was load up WebUpdater and download the latest software updates. When I did that I was able to download the latest system software at the time, but when it came to try and download "additional updates" (i.e. chipset software updates) I was getting an error connecting to the Garmin server. This has been going on since I received the unit in late October. Here is an example of what I see when I run WebUpdater

First it shows that it has connected to the Garmin server and found that I already have the latest system software version

Then after I click "Next" to try and find "additional updates" I get this error

To make a long story short, I've tried corresponding with Garmin to solve this problem but once I get to software support they are very unhelpful. While trying to figure out what was going on with my unit I've stumbled across a couple of interesting observations.

First, when I load up the software version screen on my unit I see the system software version as well as my unit ID but the GPS SW version is nowhere to be found.

The other intersting thing is that if I run diagnostics at startup my unit shows that it is Bravo version 3.

There has been a bit of a discussion on the Groundspeak forums about all of this and I've found a couple other recent Venture HC owners who have the same problem as I do and also are showing Bravo version 3. I have no idea what chipset or which version of the GPS SW I have in my device.

This is my first hand-held GPS after owning an auto GPS for a couple of years. I really have no frame of reference for determining how well this unit might be working in comparison to others. So far it seems to work well with a quick intial lock after a cold start and staying locked even inside the house. I've taken it out on one hike and it did a great job keeping good reception in the woods and the track log turned out very nice. The only thing I have noticed is that it seems to have trouble locking onto the WAAS satellite even with a clear view of the sky. But, even without the WAAS adjustments I am getting accuracies of 10-13ft in the open and 20-25ft in dense tree cover.

Anyway, if anyone has any information on the possibility of Garmin switching the chipset on this device from the older Mediatek I'd love to hear it. I have my own personal feeling that they did make a change and they are trying to keep the cat in the least for now.
g.o.cashers Posted - 15 oct. 2008 : 03:32:32
New MTX GPS chipset firmware available (2.8) via webupdater:

gpspassion Posted - 30 août 2008 : 23:49:45
It is an MTK chip indeed, the copyright of course, then the actual GPS performance and the GPS FW, the "Bravo" name was probably just a codename for the MTK chipset.
MacFlash Posted - 30 août 2008 : 19:02:15
I have read through the 10 pages here and noticed that the assumption is that the etrex series has a Mediatek chipset based on the start up splash screen. I can't read enough German to know if the references have anything more factual than that. Has anyone noticed that the Mediatek copyright has disappeared from the startup page. Often spurious software copyright notices get transferred from one version of the software to the next. Also if you look at the diagnostics page of the HCx series is says the software is bravoII.(Hold down click stick while starting) Has anybody actually taken apart an etrex HCx and seen what chip is inside? Is it possible that it is the Garmin Bravo and not the Meiatek chip?
resco Posted - 29 août 2008 : 13:05:38
SW is now 2.70 (io 2.60) for legend and Vista Hcx
AlunS Posted - 11 août 2008 : 14:14:30
Originally posted by Sellador

So you want to turn it off and just use the GPS-based elevation. Good news, you can do that. From the elevation page, press menu>calibrate altimeter. When it asks, 'Do you know the correct elevation?', say no. Saying no turns off the pressure-based altimeter and uses only the GPS signals to calculate elevation.

No it doesn't. It uses the GPS derived elevation at that point in time to calibrate the pressure-based altimeter. You also have the option of manually entering a known elevation, or a known sea level pressure as well. After that auto-calibration will continually use the GPS elevation to correct the pressure-based altimeter. The only way to get the pure GPS-based elevation is from the main menu on the Satellite page.
gpspassion Posted - 28 juin 2008 : 16:18:13
That would be 2005 obviously, good catch nonetheless!

As for the MKT vI chipset having a low speed issue, everyone who'd used on foot knew that, just search the forums. It's been fixed since v2.60 though, better late than never.
MtnHermit Posted - 20 juin 2008 : 16:31:00
Originally posted by gpspassion

Interesting find, reminds of how the news about the 60Cx came out in 1995.

I wonder why Garmin no longer mention that they are using SiRF chipsets. That fooled us for the 2xx when we thought they had switched to MTK. Based on the current performance problems of the MTK chipset in pedestrian mode, they can't be using it on the eTrex series. That leaves SiRF, NemeriX or uBlox, we shall see...
Interesting comment, clearly you knew in May 07 that the MTK chipset had a defect. Making it unsuitable for handheld use, slow speed. Yet Garmin did use the MTK and a year later it's still having problems. Would seem that cost and satellite sensitivity were more important to Garmin. Or worse, Garmin didn't know what you knew?

Surely not 1995 above? Was the SiRF chip available in 1995? Was microSD available in 1995? I have only been a GPS user since 2007, so I can't be certain when the 60Cx came out.
hmgps Posted - 18 juin 2008 : 21:37:21
Yes, I have done that since I get the Vista HCx.
But the Vista takes then the new gps elevation and after continues to correct it with the pressure measurements, no way to prevent that...

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