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Team Northwoods
WGA Member

Joined: 2010-09-29
Posts: 121
Location: Bruce, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:40 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Is the external antenna on the 62st really better then the internal one on the 550t. Other then the camera etc. but for a better working unit signal wise is there really a difference or just go for whatever you like better cosmetically or ergonomically?
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WGA Member

Joined: 2010-04-01
Posts: 293
Location: Green Bay

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I haven't used the 62 but I did use the 60csx and I now currently own a 550 and I love it I haven't had a problem with signal at all except on the crappy days when everyone will have a little trouble. This probbly dont help much but its my one cent

Man-up and just put your hand in there. 
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WGA Member

Joined: 2010-04-08
Posts: 139
Location: Rock County

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:25 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Besides having issues when surrounded by a giant rock waterfall in Puerto Rico, my 62s hasn't lost a signal in some extremely isolated hiking areas (used for a MOB when we haven't been caching). I asked questions at quite a few stores and on several forums before deciding between the two and in the end the recommendation about the antennae made the decision for me.
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Joined: 2010-11-30
Posts: 1145
Location: Wauwatosa, WI

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Team Northwoods (Michael, I think). The direct answer to your question is YES. Garmin says that their Dakota and Oregon lines of GPSr's have identical great reception. They acknowledge, however, that the larger external antenna on the GSmap62st model is better, but only marginally so. It's very slight and would be tough to discern, but technically speaking it IS better.

Another issue regarding reception is the WAAS-capable feature. All of the above-mentioned GPS units are WAAS capable, but are not necessarily WAAS enabled. It's turned off by default and if you want to use it you have to turn it on, which uses up a bit more battery power. WAAS satellites provide GPS signal corrections, giving you even better position accuracy. They're mainly used in aviation, where a standard GPS alone does not meet the FAA's navigation requirements for accuracy, integrity, and availability. WAAS corrects for slight GPS signal errors caused by ionospheric disturbances and satellite orbit errors. I've heard that WAAS reception doesn't necessarily work well under tree cover, but it does indeed increase accuracy. Not sure, I don't know much as I'd like to about WAAS reception. It's turned off by default probably because Garmin figures people don't generally need a GPSr that accurate if you're biking, hiking, boating, etc. But if you're geocaching, that extra 5 to 10 feet (?) could make a huge difference. I keep it turned ON always, but my battery life is undoubtedly shortened. Good thing I use rechargeables.

The bottom line: both the Oregon and The GSmap62st have excellent reception, take your pick; but the GSmap62st technically has a slightly better reception.

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