How waterproof is an outdoor GPS unit?

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How waterproof is an outdoor GPS unit?

In this extract from the 22nd GPS Training Podcast we ask how waterproof is an outdoor GPS Unit? We also look at some of the standards that GPS navigational units and watches we use are tested to.

Garmin GPS Units and Watches are rated at IPX 7

What is IPX rating (waterproof rating) - International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking, classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures

X - relates to the - Solid particle protection - indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects

X - means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criteria.

7 – relates to - Immersion, up to 1 m depth - Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).

Test duration: 30 minutes.

Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1000 mm below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm below the surface, whichever is deeper.

SatMap Active 20 - rating - IP68 waterproof & IK7 impact rating

6 - means - Dust tight (Garmin get an x for this – it does not relate to?) - No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.

8 - Immersion, 1 m or more depth - Test duration: agreement with manufacturer

Depth specified by manufacturer, generally up to 3 m

IK rating (Solely SatMap refer to this) - where “XX” is a number from 00 to 10 indicating the degrees of protection provided by electrical enclosures (including luminaires) against external mechanical impacts

IK07 Protected against 2 joules impact - Equivalent to impact of 0.5 kg mass dropped from 400 mm above impacted surface.

Garmin have tested the GPSMAP66s to the following standard - MIL STD 810G ruggedness for thermal, shock and water performance

Further reading

1. What features do you need (or want) on an Outdoor GPS unit

2. Garmin GPS units - Weight and size of outdoor GPS units

3. Contents of our rucksacks

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