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Old 5 Jun 2008
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Exclamation Garmin 60 csx vs 60cx

Hi guys, I’m ready to buy an ‘Overland’ gps unit and are looking at the Garmin 60 range. Route is Belgium to Jordan then onto Cyprus, I’m also looking to buy a TT handle bar locking holder.

Should I spend the extra and buy the cxs or save the cash for extra SD cards and buy the cx… as I understand its only a altitude meter and compass that separate them. I plan on using the Garmin world map and or Wonderlust maps …

Am I missing any thing ? I won’t have a laptop with me so hope to preload maps and take them with me…
Any advise welcome.

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Old 5 Jun 2008
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60 series

I really wanted a 60CSx but back to back against the smaller Vista HCx I decided to take the HCx. The actual screen resolution was the same but rather that lock the device to the bars, I put it in my pocket off the bikes and ran it off two rechargeable AAs (batteries are dirt cheap in africa for example) - 12V powersupply cable available.

I know the 60 are more vehicle/marine in their applications compared to the more 'trekking' Vistas but my Vista is smaller, lighter, newer design with sensitive GPS (although the insides may be similar to the 60) and I kept it in a plastic RAM mount and it never came out or got damaged in a crash. 4 months on the west coast of africa and it never missed a beat.

You'll love either (and to answer your question - you don't actually need the 'S')
Find out details of my 2011 trip to Siberia on a lightweight dirtbike:
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Old 5 Jun 2008
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We bought the 60 CSX for our trip. I never really considered the CX though, the main reason being that the extra $50 or so was worth the extra function for us. We might not necessarily use it all the time, but it is there for us to use. I always try and the best/latest possible for my budget. Just be honest with yourself in terms of whether you will use the funtions. If not, then don't get it. If for example you don't have a 'normal' compass with you, then it might be worth it.

We will be using worldmap with smellybiker's wanderlust as well.
Jacques & Mandy with Pumbaa II
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Old 5 Jun 2008
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Talking Garmin 60cx

Thanks for the feed back, the Garmin 60cx is ordered....

Now the fun starts ....

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Old 12 Jun 2008
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So I now have the Garmin 60cx and guess what, it comes with compass and altitude meter !!! strange...

Now off to download wanderlust maps...
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Old 13 Jun 2008
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Originally Posted by goodwoodweirdo View Post
So I now have the Garmin 60cx and guess what, it comes with compass and altitude meter !!! strange...
Umm the 'altitude meter' is taken off the GPS satilites .. accuracy is about 3 times that shown for the location - say 10 metres

The 'compass' function is taken off your last movements - thus from teh GPS satilites

The 'S' version has a baroimeter to resolve the altitude better .. if you keep teh weatehr fuctuations calibrated ..

The 'S' version has a flux gate compass .. so will work even if you dont travel some distance .. eg by spinning around...

To me none of the 'S' versions features are worth the extra money ...
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 8 Jul 2008
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I hade a Vista Hcx before it dropped down my hotel window on the 3rd floor....and then bought a GPSMAP 60 Csx.
Visability of the Vista screen was much better somehow in bright sunlight (according to Garmin this should make no difference) and all in all find the Vista more practical than the more professional looking (..) GPSMap 60CsX
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Old 8 Jul 2008
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I have an old 60CS, before they introduced the x version which takes memory cards (nice) and more sensitive Sirf GPS receiver.
The 'S' option providing compass and altimeter is nice to have for hiking but you can live without it.
The compass uses a lot of battery power, and ideally should be disabled when not required - only a one button touch.
The compass is useful if following a track, as it will point to the next waypoint even if you are not moving.
The non-'S' model's compass card will spin and not be accurate when you are not moving, so it will not point to the next waypoint when following a track until you start moving again.
The compass requires calibration with every battery change, and for overlanders or serious hikers should be checked against a compass or known direction to give you confidence it is working OK - and it only works when held horizontal/level - therefore it will not work in an inclined handlebar or dash mount...
Best regards,
James Stephenson
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Old 2 Aug 2008
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Barometric function

Small spanner into the works, (After the horse has bolted) I am keeping an eye on the smaller Garmins for my trip and am torn betweent he 60csx and the etrex with similar properties.

Until recently I have been using a handheld altimeter which reads off a barometer. The altimeter in itself is reasonably useful, good for someone who knows how to adjust the carbs... or at least tell me when to remove the intake to the airbox...


The most useful feature is as a weather prediction device. When arriving at your temporary destination it will provide you with sufficient information to make a reliable forcast as to what the weather will be doing in about 6-8 hours time. really useful if left on aa batteries overnight...
For me using it as a weather forecaster is more usefull than as an altimeter. And the bit about aa batteries means that I am looking at the Etrex range.


Cheers G
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Old 4 Aug 2008
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The e trexes do not have the better Sirf chipset, have smaller screens, and they process slower as well. That means that a detailed map will take some time to render and can have some irritation value when you change the zoom level on the screen for instance - and have to wait for some time as the map reloads again as per the changed zoom.

On the plus side, the batteries last a lot longer.

And BTW, do not bother to spend $$$ on their proprietary charger - a motorola phone charger (mini USB as in a V3i charger) working off the ciggy lighter does just as well, and costs a fraction of the Garmin charger.

Using the barometric altitude to calculate the weather as opposed to the actual altitude is a different thing, but when you already get a (slightly inaccurate) altitude reading anyways, and turning around on the spot will give an accurate compass reading, going in for the "s" seems unnecessary.

If you want a backup, a standalone compass and altimeter would be a better idea - and possibly cost less than the difference between the Cx and the Csx.
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