The new 62s replaces the long running 60CSx which in turn grew from the earlier 60CS.
KiwiGPS supplied about 720 of the 60CSx units during the 41/2 years it was available, mostly by word of mouth.
The 62s continues the trend of this configuration. It is very popular with hunters, trampers and SAR. Now that it has 5,0000 geocache memory it's no longer necessary to look at just the Dakota and Oregon models for built in geocache data storage.
The 62s and 78s are very similar models in respects to performance, price, size and weight. The 62s is 213gms, 10 lighter than the 78s with alkaline batteries.
The 62s and 78s have a significant advantage over the previous models with 1.7GB of internal map memory as well as the microSD card slot. The 60CSx and 76CSx had just the map card slot. Having an internal map memory makes map management very much easier as the maps can be installed one at a time then custom named. They can be easily managed (updated, deleted) individually using the USB cable connected to computer. With the earlier models the map set was bundled into one file so it made map management much more tiresome.The new model also has a Profile feature which is actually very useful - you can custom set up the Recreational, Marine, Automotive, Fitness and Geocaching profiles with your preferred settings. Thus when using it in the car, selecting Automotive will have your street maps in use along with other preferred settings.
For those used to the menu layout of the colour eTrex, 60 and 76 series models there is also a Classic profile to help get familiar with menu placement and page sequence.
When a change to Recreational is appropriate you can have it set up so the Topo maps display along with your custom trip computer for example. You can also create Profiles for individual users. It saves time.
Data storage has been increased to 2,000 waypoints, 200 routes, 200 saved tracks and 5,000 geocaches. Paperless geocaching is supported, and you can even navigate to geotagged photos.
Traditional features remain including "Man Overboard" and audible alarms for anchor drag, approach and arrival, off-course and proximity waypoint, shallow and deep water. On the 78 the MOB is written next to the Find button, requiring a 2-second push to activate. On the 62 the same procedure applies, however the MOB is not written next to the button. Both units have the Marine setup menu - the only real difference, marine wise, is the buoyancy of the 78 series.Up to 20 hours battery life from two readily available AA batteries.
USB and NMEA 0183 compatible. This 'S' version has a 3-axis compass which means the compass still works when the GPS is not level. The 'S' version also features a barometric altimeter for more precise elevations, and pressure trends. Another S feature is the microSD card slot (it's missing on the 62 and 78) - this is very handy for pre-loaded map cards such as the Garmin BlueChart marine cards or the City Navigator Street maps of other countries. Map cards can be an economical way of buying extra maps as the card will work on any compatible late model Garmin so is easily sold after the trip. You can also wirelessly share thumbnails, routes, tracks, waypoints and geocaches between compatible units. The wireless feature also supports the Garmin accessory heart rate monitor and bicycle speed/cadence sensor from the Garmin fitness range. The Garmin Chirp geocaching accessory also makes use of the wireless function of course.
The new model also works faster, having a newer processor of course. Map pan and zoom is faster as a result.
- GPSMAP 62s
- Carabiner clip
- USB cable
- Quick start manual
- 2 AA Alkaline Batteries
KiwiGPS includes the batteries, a software check and update if required, preparing for immediate use with NZ Settings and pre-load of free and commercial maps by arrangement.
The Profiles are also altered to suit NZ use - this saves a lot of setting up time.
The GPS is NZ New, having been supplied by Garmin in Sydney. The warranty period is 12 months. Free phone support is available from KiwiGPS and Garmin Sydney (0800 427 652 during Sydney business hours). Faulty units have only to be sent to Auckland from where a replacement is dispatched, usually within the week. If the unit fails outside of warranty Garmin offer a very reasonable fixed price replacement, regardless of the problem.
A good range of accessories is available too. Unfortunately the 60 series mount does not fit the 62 series - a rubber band could be used to hold it into the cradle as a temporary measure. The USB port and MCX type external antenna socket are the only connections on the rear of the case now. If buoyancy is an issue, consider the 78 series which are pretty much identical in performance and price.
Unlike the 78, Garmin make a suction mount for the 62 - it's the same mount that is used for the Garmin Oregon and Dakota models.
For heavy duty 4WD or multi-purpose marine use I recommend the RAM brand of suction mount. These are seriously well made, very strong yet simple to use. Over twice the price of a Garmin mount but it's one of those things for which the original price is soon forgotten while it continues to provide limpet-like security to non-glass surfaces like smooth timber and aluminum.
Advantages of the 62s over the 60CSx include:
- 1.7 GB internal map memory so we are no longer confined to just a card slot
- Ability to custom name maps and better manage them
- Profiles for different activities
- 3-axis compass - does not have to be held level
- Faster map drawing
- More waypoints (now 2,000)
- Geocaching friendly - important for those who participate in this activity as up to 5,000 caches can be stored complete with all relevant details.
- Stronger battery cover and decent size loop for a wrist strap
- Compatibility with the Garmin Oregon / Dakota accessories
- Wireless transfer of waypoint data to other Garmin GPS as well as compatibility of Garmin fitness heat rate monitor and cycle cadence sensor
- No longer has the traditional round 4-pin Garmin power/ serial data socket - a big issue if powering at sea or on a motorbike as you now have to use the USB port.
- Only means of external power on a 62 series is via the USB port, hardly the sort of thing you want to expose to dust / salt / moisture. The 78 series retains the practical 4-pin socket.
- MapSource CD not supplied - these units are better suited to Garmin BaseCamp - available via free download.
- Skimpy documentation. Thank goodness for many helpful user forums.
- Tracback feature seems to be crippled and hard to use
- Unable to reset the Odometer without a factory reset. The Trip Odometer can be reset, not the Odometer.