Question about Garmin eTrex GPS Receiver

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Garmin etrex howdy my etrex compass seems confused ,I can ask it to go to a makked position but it will send me the wrong direction,it seems the compass facitily is not working correctly I can rotate the unit but the arrow or norhh direction won't change,is this easly fixed can I do myself , regards Brian Mack

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  • Brian McConnell Jun 09, 2008

    thanks that seems to have fixed the problem

    cheers B.Mack

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This is a problem with the garmen, however, sometimes if you can remove the battery, and leave it out for one hour, then replace it while facing north outside, it usually re adjusts itself. also sometimes if you can reset the unit that will also sometimes bring it around. if that doesn't do it, I suggest contacting garman tech support, it may have to be sent in to have the software updated or it can be a defective unit, if it has been dropped., or gotten wet.

Posted on Jun 08, 2008

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When on button is pressed the instrument panel flickers and goes off


Your Garmin device is probably over 12 years old. go get a new one. you have already gotten more than your moneys's worth out of this device. I recommend replacing it with an eTrex 20 or if you want a magnetic compass and better sensors an eTrex 30.

Otherwise, replace the batteries, open it up and replace any coin cell batteries in there as well.

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It has stopped working, There is no power. I have put new batteries in but it doesn't seem to work.


Have you contacted Garmin directly yet? There website is www.garmin.com When you get to the page go to the top right hand corner of the page and click My Garmin. If you don't have a username and password you can set up one there. You need to contact Garmins technical support either by email or by telephone. It sounds to me that you have a internal component failure and I would suggest you send it to them for repairs. When you contact Garmin ask them what it would cost to look at your unit and repair your unit.

I hope this helps you out if so please give me a yes that you were helped with your problem. Thank you.

Apr 05, 2011 | Garmin eTrex Vista GPS Receiver

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How do I calibrate my compass in the eTrex Venture HC. The book says to go to the tje menue and then press calibration. My GPS does not give me this option.


I will be happy to help you with this. Unfortunnately, the Etrex Venture does not have an Electronic Compass, therefore you cannot calibrate it. What this means is that this unit will show the correct direction of travel as long as you are moving. The unit takes satellite reading every 1 seconds and compares it's location with the last location. This way it can read the direction of travel. It will not give correct readings unless you are moving.
I hope this helps.

Dec 31, 2009 | Garmin eTrex Venture HC GPS Receiver

1 Answer

Compass in 3 parts on the screen


This is normal! The compass looks like this in "course pointer" mode.
When you're looking at the described compass screen, press the lower left button and notice the line "bearing pointer". When you select that line and push the front joystick, you'll notice that the compass needle is "normal" again . And when you push the lower left button again, you'll see that the line has changed into "course pointer". Pushing the joystick again toggles between those two modes. The shifted needle indicates how far you drifted from the course that your route follows. See page 31 of the English manual for details.

Jean-Marc Bouyeure

Jun 20, 2009 | Garmin eTrex Vista HCx Handheld GPS...

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I just purchased a Garmin Etrex Summit GPS receiver. The function that I most need is the Sight 'N Go, but when I access the pointer page options list the Sight 'N Go option is 'greyed out', although the...


It is greyed out when the electronic compass is off. Switch it on by holding down the top right button for 2 seconds. A confirmation message flashes up on the screen.

Apr 19, 2009 | Garmin eTrex Legend GPS Receiver

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I have an Etrex Vista C. I have had it for about 4 years. I am trying to install "TOPO U.S.A. 2008" USB data into the Garmin Etrex from the computor. However, it does not appear to be loading. It doesn't...


How are you installing?

You need to have Mapsource running, select the Topo USA 2008 maps to show on your screen. Use the Map Select tool, and select all the maps you want to send to the unit. Then hit the Send to GPS at the top and a pop up window asks what you want to send. Select Maps.

If this is what you have done already, please come back and tell us and we'll trouble shoot from there.

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1 Answer

Etrex vista cx


Hi, the DOT (Direction Of Travel) arrow will only appear on the Compass page when you are navigating.
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  2. Select 'Find'
  3. Select 'Waypoints'
  4. Select a waypoint
  5. Select the 'Go TO' button
Once you are on the Compass page you should have the DOT arrow as long as you have a sat lock.

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do a calibration. press the menu button while on the compass screen and select calibrate.

Jun 07, 2008 | Garmin eTrex GPS Receiver

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The Vista HCx has an electronic compass. You don't need to be moving for it to work, but you do need to calibrate it. To calibrate the compass:
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You need to hold the unit level for the Magnetic Compass to work correctly. The specs for a properly calibrated compass are +/- 5°

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1 Answer

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Do you have your unit set for north up or track up? This might cause this problem.

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