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Garmin 550 Plus question: Calibration


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Hi,

 

I'm evaluating a 550 Plus. The unit I am evaluating is NIB. First thing I did was install Garmin Express on my PC and updated s/w for both handheld and collar. Twice now I have taken my dog out in a familiar area for 3+ hours. Each time I find that the handheld "loses" north. When that happens, the dog indicator points in the 'wrong' direction, but if I orient the north indicator to what I know is north by rotating the handheld (compass verified) the indicator arrow does point to the dog. So the device is correctly pointing to the dog, it just has north wrong so it looks like its not pointing to the dog. Holding the handheld in front of me with the antennae to the horizon and the north indicator is wrong. Distance to the dog is correct.

 

I am carrying the handheld in my left jacket pocket with the antennae sticking up and out of the pocket. Over half the time I take it out of the pocket it has lost north and no amount of walking forward in a straight line with it held horizontally fixes it. I have re-calibrated it several times during the last outing and each time it finds north, indicates the dog correctly then it goes  back in my pocket and half the time it comes out it has lost north again. I have a Garmin GPS and it never has this issue. 

 

One time this morning I re-calibrated it three times and then it wouldn't re-calibrate any more so I powered off/on the handheld and it came on indicating north correctly.

 

Garmin support is closed on weekends - wanted to check to see if anyone else is experiencing this behavior or if your handheld consistently indicates north correctly?

 

Thanks!

David

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Here’s an example from yesterday. Dog is straight ahead of me, distance would be correct. If I were to rotate the handheld so that the north indicator pointed north the arrow would point right at the dog.

744EAA4E-C050-4D17-89AE-A83633A4FB41.jpeg
 

didn’t have the GPS with me today and same behavior so I don’t think the GPS is interfering and somehow causing the problem 

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Hunting jacket front pockets have magnetic closures. Wore the same jacket both days. Will go out again Tuesday wearing my strap vest and see if that is it. 

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I've never had an issue with mine(first season with it), but as a guess, I would think that being in a pocket with magnetic closures could be a problem. I always hook mine to a strap with a leather holster and let it hang.

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Yeah I’ll check that out. The magnetic closures didn’t have any effect on the GPS in the other pocket but maybe they have different compass mechanisms 

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9 minutes ago, boltonguy said:

Hunting jacket front pockets have magnetic closures. Wore the same jacket both days. Will go out again Tuesday wearing my strap vest and see if that is it. 

Not sure if magnets can interefe with electronic compas.

 

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It was the magnetic closures on the pockets FYI. Went out today for 2+ hours and was always accurate on direction and distance to dog. Pointing indication seemed a bit hit or miss so will check that out again tomorrow. Appreciate the feedback/input!

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I've warrantied 3 units now and finally have one that mostly works. My first unit the direction was pretty accurate but it quit working altogether. The second unit was neither accurate nor would the collar and handheld communicate very often. I finally have a unit that links up every time and the distance is accurate but the direction is either lagging way behind or plain inaccurate. I tell direction by if the distance is getting shorter or further as I walk in on a point. Annoying but it makes do and I'm sure Garmin would replace the units yet again if I asked. I've talked to a lot of folks who've had issues with this model and a friend runs a local bike shop and it seems Garmin's issues extend well into that sector as well. I really like the design and simplicity of the 550 pro but wish it was more consistent. YMMV.

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I spoke with Garmin some weeks ago about the magnetic closures and was told that it would affect the compass. Was given no reason why that would be with an electronic compass.

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I know this is a 550 topic but have a question some of you are talking about. My hunting partner has an alpha. It never fails that several times in a week long hunt his alpha will say his dog is in one direction but it is actually the totally opposite direction.  It’s been doing it for years.  Is this a handheld problem or could there be a magnetic problem that’s causing it.  He’s in the process of buying a new one.  What do you think

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Bobman do not worry about the 550 plus you just ordered. I have been using mine about everyday for a year and never had a issue finding my dogs or their direction. The 550 plus and the Instinct watch are what I hunt with. 

Birddog 307

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  • 3 weeks later...
Mike Connally
On 11/24/2020 at 10:35 PM, boltonguy said:

It was the magnetic closures on the pockets FYI. Went out today for 2+ hours and was always accurate on direction and distance to dog. Pointing indication seemed a bit hit or miss so will check that out again tomorrow. Appreciate the feedback/input!

I had the same issue. On my first hunt with it I had to carry it in my back game pocket. Yesterday I cut the magnets out of one pocket and carried it there. That fixed it. 

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