Fenix 6.x - All models All questions!.

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Fenix 6.x - All models All questions!.

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 11:57 am

Topic Update.

This is now the all in one thread for all tips, questions and answers on the Garmin Fenix 6 series. All models including 6, 6x, 6s and pro and solar models.

Anyone use this watch and have feedback on it's nav abilities?

Particularly interested in

- photo of the map screens with a Aussie topo map loaded. Interested in how detailed the map is and how the contours are presented.

- ease of creating routes mid trip. Can you plan a route on a phone via a 3rd party app and upload the GPX directly to the watch at camp via Bluetooth etc? How about route creation on the watch itself? Easy or awkward?

- can you save POIs before you physically visit them by entering coordinates? And by selecting a location on the watch map and saving as a poi.

- is there lat/long and grid references displayed for the location the watch cursor is pointed on?

- compass accuracy and how often it needs to be calibrated.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 1:22 pm

So started with a F1 then moved to F5 and now have a F6.

Maps are good, very fiddly to really use in the field but possible. Generally they appear to be good and are updated on some sort of regular basis.

To create routes use the Explore App on the phone then transfer to the F6. May need phone signal, I cannot remember if the Explore App downloads a map or needs signal to provide a map. Yes the route can be moved to the watch via blue tooth using Explore. You can import a gpx into Explore so yes you should be able to create a route in a 3rd party software then move it to the App. I have done this, they were old gpx files created in previous Garmins. There is two parts to Explore, the App for your mobile device (very good now, Garmin seem to be focussing on the development of this rather then the desktop) and Explore for your desktop (pretty rubbishy, limited the WSG84 and contours are only in feet). These two sync with each other and the F6. So if you work up your route on the desktop and import it into Explore desk tip it will be in the Explore App and in the F6 depending on how you have set up the the F6 sync settings.

Yes and yes to your POI query.

I not really sure of your question re lat and long. I do have in some of the Activities Data Screens the position (UTM-GDA94) displayed, this is where you are.

Compass always seems to be right, I've never knowingly calibrated it on F6, the F6 often asked to be calibrated.

Any real work on locations or routes in the watch I find very fiddly and so I try and do all planning work in Explore on desktop or App.

As a nav tool I find the watch works really well. But I load all Locations and Routes prior if applicable.

F1 was very accurate, it got me into a 2m x 3M clearing in 1/2M visibility scrub without circle work.
F5 was OK and I never had to really test it like I did with the F1. A lot or online stories of poor accuracy but I certainly found my accuracy was better than the online examples of poor performance.
F6 appears to be accurate, a couple of times I've been suspicious but seemed to be accurate in the wash up.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 1:58 pm

Thanks wander, very helpful.

Would you say the maps are good enough for map to ground navigation in a situation where you want to have a quick glance to confirm your position relative to a land feature without stopping to pull out the paper map or phone nav app?

Any chance of a screenshot of a Aussie map on the watch?

My greatest need is to import or modify routes mid trip without any mobile/data reception required. So you think the watch can do that with the explore mobile app or a third party app to create a gpx? All on the phone and without a data connection? (And then sync to watch via Bluetooth)

Currently have a sunnto ambit and it works for preplanned routes but if a weather front means I need to change routes or add a hut refuge poi i can't do that without being at a computer.

Re the lat/long and GR. In my phone nav app I can see the cordinates for my current or a nominated location. This is very useful when someone gives you a GR and you need to find it on the phone nav app. Or in an emergency when you need to give SAR a location.

So I was wondering if the watch had a way of displaying cordinates on the map screen. Similar to my phone app, screen shot attached.(it displays the grid reference and the lat long)
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 4:22 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Would you say the maps are good enough for map to ground navigation in a situation where you want to have a quick glance to confirm your position relative to a land feature without stopping to pull out the paper map or phone nav app?

Yes if you are good at map reading and have a good idea about what the area looks like on a bigger screen. Which is a long way of saying yes with experience.

wildwanderer wrote:Any chance of a screenshot of a Aussie map on the watch?

See what I can do tonight.

wildwanderer wrote:My greatest need is to import or modify routes mid trip without any mobile/data reception required. So you think the watch can do that with the explore mobile app or a third party app to create a gpx? All on the phone and without a data connection? (And then sync to watch via Bluetooth)

Pretty certain I did this recently on a trip. I just put the phone into flight mode & turned off the wifi and I could still see and drill down into the maps and see the routes, tracks & locations in Explore.

wildwanderer wrote: In my phone nav app I can see the cordinates for my current or a nominated location

Yes you can do this with the F6.

wildwanderer wrote:Or in an emergency when you need to give SAR a location.

You extract the coords from the F6 but I think you are better off with a current PLB which sends the GPS location with the dry for help signal anyhow.
Or use something like the Emergency Plus App which sends your location once you push the 000 button. So the operator knows where you are before you even speak. it also has the lat & long and the what3words location on the front screen every time you open the App.

wildwanderer wrote:So I was wondering if the watch had a way of displaying cordinates on the map screen. Similar to my phone app, screen shot attached.(it displays the grid reference and the lat long)

You can't do this on the F6 as far as I know, there is just not enough screen space. What you do instead is have several data screens that you scroll through your can select and edit these and set them to auto scroll very useful while paddling or some other hands busy activity.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby icefest » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 7:21 pm

The Fenix 6x does everything my etrex 30 can do.
The only thing the etrex can do is have a joystick for easier map scrolling.
You can upload your own maps (I use AndrewP's osm topo maps) with 1:25,000 resolution.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby icefest » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 7:23 pm

You can set the screen to scroll between map and location (and choose lat/long, MGRS or both.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 8:41 pm

Awesome. Thanks wander and icefest.

Looks like it will perform as needed.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 16 Apr, 2021 6:22 am

Couple more questions :)

Is there a way to find the bearing to a given location on the map? Without needing to nominate that location in the phone app and sync it to the watch.

For example say I wanted to head towards the spot marked with the 300 contour (is visible on edge as 30 on the screenshot).

Can the watch give me a bearing to that?

Could I do that without the GPS being on? Or at least in a low power gps mode.

And how easy is it to use the watch with gloves on?
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Sat 17 Apr, 2021 1:35 pm

Screen pic
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Mon 19 Apr, 2021 10:55 am

wildwanderer wrote:Is there a way to find the bearing to a given location on the map? Without needing to nominate that location in the phone app and sync it to the watch.

Not that I know of. So I preload a lot of likely locations that I might want a bearing off, then in the field go to Navigate and let it draw a straight line from where I am to the Location. There maybe a simpler way of doing this, let us know if you work it out.

wildwanderer wrote:Could I do that without the GPS being on? Or at least in a low power gps mode.

You will need the gps on. Unless you are running a Navigation line between two preloaded Locations, then it should just be a data calculation.

The battery life has been very good on my my F6. Well better than F5. For example typically easily managed two days of tracking & fooling about at a time down the PDT & SCT. Not that it was worked too hard on these highways.

wildwanderer wrote:And how easy is it to use the watch with gloves on?

Generally pretty good, depends on the gloves. My F5 was fine to operate with my ski gloves. The F6 buttons have a much more definite and click to their operation, so I expect them to better with ski gloves on.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Mon 19 Apr, 2021 10:59 am

wander wrote:Screen pic


So this is a screen shot from a wander on the weekend. The map is the standard Garmin that comes with the F6. It's been updated a few times since I go the F6. For example the blue line in this map is a new bike trail in the Mt Lofty park and was recently added to the map and even coded (the blue) to delineate it from shared or walking tracks.

For Tas wandering I did consider working out how to upload 25K maps but so far just work with a combination of paper maps and the watch data. I'm unlikely to change this. I've had too many electronic things fall over to not have a battery-less navigation system running.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 19 Apr, 2021 1:47 pm

Many thanks wander, thats great info.

Its a shame that the fenix doesnt offer the abilty to determine the bearing of a feature on the map.(unless the feature is already pre-synced as a location) It would really give the watch a superior on the go navigation ability and set it apart from other watches which rely on users following preloaded courses/waypoints.

I sent a note to garmin asking for active compass markings to be added to the outer edges of the map as a optional overlay. Expect them to ignore the request but you never know.. :wink:

Good to know about the gloves. One of the key reasons im looking at the watch is to use in situations where its very cold and pulling out the mobile nav app will cause a big hit to the phone battery.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Mon 19 Apr, 2021 2:49 pm

Did you use this interface for your Garmin idea?

https://www.garmin.com/en-US/forms/ideas/

I do like your idea, that would be excellent.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Mon 19 Apr, 2021 2:51 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Its a shame that the fenix doesnt offer the abilty to determine the bearing of a feature on the map.(unless the feature is already pre-synced as a location) It would really give the watch a superior on the go navigation ability and set it apart from other watches which rely on users following preloaded courses/waypoints.


It's possible it can do this, there are a few areas in the Nav section I've not played with.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 19 Apr, 2021 5:40 pm

yep I used that Garmin form. Will see if I get a reply.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Tue 20 Apr, 2021 10:33 am

wildwanderer wrote:yep I used that Garmin form. Will see if I get a reply.


I've never had a reply.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby marlosmiles » Tue 20 Apr, 2021 9:56 pm

Hmm. I think about making my own custom software by https://mlsdev.com/services/mobile-app-development for this. Mobile App software development is often very technical. With just a short casual chat you share with your contact what you intend and tell them how would help in developing your idea.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby icefest » Sat 01 May, 2021 9:50 am

wildwanderer wrote:Its a shame that the fenix doesnt offer the abilty to determine the bearing of a feature on the map.(unless the feature is already pre-synced as a location) It would really give the watch a superior on the go navigation ability and set it apart from other watches which rely on users following preloaded courses/waypoints.



You can navigate to any point on the map with a cursor, and then you can display the bearing from your location to that point on the map.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 01 May, 2021 11:21 am

Great thanks icefest. Thats solved the last question mark on the watch for me.

Now I just need to wait for a sale

:)
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wander » Mon 03 May, 2021 1:17 pm

icefest wrote:You can navigate to any point on the map with a cursor, and then you can display the bearing from your location to that point on the map.


What are the steps for this?

Thanks
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby icefest » Mon 03 May, 2021 3:02 pm

Same way you navigate to any point.

Can go via the map cursor, search for poi, or just saved locations.

Then you can choose any data fields you want, and bearing is one of the optional field.
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby bluewombat » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 9:29 am

Late to this thread, but can someone, ? Icefest, explain how to load Andrew's OSM maps onto the Fenix 6. Do I just drop them into the custom maps folder?
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 10:04 pm

bluewombat wrote:Late to this thread, but can someone, ? Icefest, explain how to load Andrew's OSM maps onto the Fenix 6. Do I just drop them into the custom maps folder?
cheers
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Got myself a fenix 6x. Arrived today :D

Re Andrews maps..
Ive just dropped them in the main garmin folder as per instructions i found here: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/08/how ... watch.html
Worked fine.

make sure you drop the img files into the garmin folder not the zips. (need to unzip first if you downloaded all andrewps maps them in a single download)
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Re: fenix 6x - Map display questions

Postby bluewombat » Wed 16 Jun, 2021 6:11 am

Thanks
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Re: Fenix 6.x - All models All Questions!.

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 10:24 am

Looking to get a screen protector. Anyone have one? Which brand? How's the reflection?

I've had my Fenix 6x pro for 24 hours now. Impressed at all the things it can do and the customisation options.

Wish they had an app for data screens/ settings customisation. It's very time consuming to press watch buttons to take out all the stuff I don't need and get the activity screens set up the way I want.

One thing I was suprised about. I thought it would be bigger. It's overall size is not much different to the size of my sunnto ambit. Though the screen is significantly larger (which is the important thing)

However I'd prefer the screen to be even larger as I can see practical readbility is going to be a challenge in areas with a lot of closely spaced contours.

What zoom level are you guys leaving the map at? 300m seems about the limit for me. 500m would be ideal but everything is too squashed to read it properly. (Using Andrew's maps)
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