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Garmin – GPSMAP 66sr & GPSMAP 65 Series – Multiband GNSS

Garmin announced three new rugged handhelds: GPSMAP 66sr, GPSMAP 65, GPSMAP 65s!

These handhelds are Garmin’s most accurate outdoor devices in positioning and tracking as they provide multi-band and multi-GNSS technology. Outdoor explorers get optimal accuracy wherever they are: mountains, urban canyons and dense forests.

NEW – Reviews!

GPSMAP 66sr and GPSMAP 65 Series supports multi-band GNSS technology, making them Garmin’s first handhelds to receive and use multiple frequencies sent by navigation satellites, enabling improved user position accuracy, specifically in areas where GNSS signals are reflected (buildings, rock faces, especially when wet, …), weak (deep forests, …) or typically do not penetrate.

Garmin GPSMAP 65s
Garmin GPSMAP 65s (@Garmin)
Garmin GPSMAP 66sr
Garmin GPSMAP 66sr (@Garmin)

Garmin GPSMAP – Multi-GNSS

The GPSMAP 65, 65s and 66sr can simultaneously process satellite signals from numerous GNSS:

  • GPS (USA)
  • GLONASS (Russia)
  • Galileo (Europe)
  • QZSS (Japan, focused on the Asia-Pacific region)
  • IRNSS (India, designed for use in this region only)

The "old" GPSMAP 64 and GPSMAP 66 series provide GPS, GLONASS and Galileo.

The label on the housing shows which GNSS are possible( e.g. GPSMAP 66sr).

Label GPSMAP 66sr
label GPSMAP 66sr, five GNSS

You get several settings in the system setup:

  • GPS only
  • Multi-GNSS
  • Demo mode (GPS off)
  • Multi-Band on/off

The WAAS/EGNOS mode is no longer available!

GPSMAP satellite system setup
GPSMAP satellite system setup

Garmin GPSMAP – Multi-Band

The new GPSMAP handhelds receive satellite signals not only over the L1 but now also over the L5 frequency band (Galileo: E1 and E5a) – a technology that was previously only available on selected smartphones and can lead to increased positioning accuracy and faster positioning – especially in challenging environments with multipathing and weak signal acquisition.

This is an exciting development, which in my opinion will become really interesting when this technology is introduced to wearables like a Garmin fenix 7 or fenix 8! Because the GPSMAP handhelds are already very good at GPS reception!

Wearables are more sensitive to ground reflections, multipath reflections from short distances, disruptive dynamics due to arm swinging; and deep attenuation due to limited visibility and device orientation on the armrest (source: Sony).

Which GNSS* currently support multi-band technology?

Garmin writes in the GPSMAP 65 manual:

  • GPS multi-band: A satellite constellation built by the United States, using the enhanced L5 signal. 
  • GLONASS: A satellite constellation built by Russia. 
  • GALILEO multi-band: A satellite constellation built by the European Space Agency, using the enhanced L5 signal. (note: Galileo: E5a)
  • QZSS multi-band: A satellite constellation built by Japan, using the enhanced L5 signal.

That means in practice: In Europe and North Amerika you can receive multi-band signals provided by GPS and Galileo!

The new technology could have another advantage: The altitude values corrected by auto-calibration via the GNSS system should be more accurate.

*GNSS = Global Navigation Satellite System

What are the differences between the GPSMAP 64 and the GPSMAP 65 series?

The GPSMAP 65s corresponds to the GPSMAP 64sx (compare), the GPSMAP 65 to the GPSMAP 64x (compare).

Besides the described multi-band & multi-GNSS receiver you get the following new features:

  • Internal memory is now 16 GB (versus 8 GB)
  • GPSMAP 65 and 65s are compatible with the Garmin Explore app* and website (e.g. trip planning, mapping and data sharing) (*Android, iOS)

The GPSMAP 65 and GPSMAP 65s have suggested retail prices of $349.99 and $399.99.

What are the differences between the GPSMAP 66st and the GPSMAP 66sr?

The GPSMAP 66sr can be compared with the GPSMAP 66st and GPSMAP 66i.

Like the GPSMAP 66i, the GPSMAP 66sr features an integrated, non-replaceable lithium-ion battery with a battery life of up to 36 hours, or up to 450 hours in expedition mode (compare). AA batteries cannot be used!

Garmin wouldn’t be Garmin if there weren’t a few subtle differences in detail – one of which is sensational:

  • The slot for the microSD card is located on the side.
  • RINEX recording is omitted.
  • The routing menu has a slightly different structure.
  • The sound volume can be adjusted!

The GPSMAP 66sr suggested retail price is $499.99.

GPSMAP 66sr - tones volume
GPSMAP 66sr – tones volume
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5 thoughts on “Garmin – GPSMAP 66sr & GPSMAP 65 Series – Multiband GNSS”

  1. into this article, we can found this text
    "That means in practice: In Europe and North Amerika you can receive multi-band signals provided by GPS and Galileo!"

    this information is total wrong. Both concelations systems are not local, they are worldwide coverage and has 28-30 satellites around the planet. They can cover every point in earth with navigation signal. Galileo has all the new 28 satellites with L5 capabilities. The GPS system is under development and this time, only the half of them can transim L5. But don’t worry, there are already 5-7 per hemyshare and working