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Everything posted by phern47

  1. I find the altimeter is nice to have...nicer than the compass but still not a real necessity....especially if you are on a budget. I always have a magnetic compass with me. The Vista is a nice machine but since you are on a budget, I would go with the Legend. You should be able to buy one for less than 180 dollars. GPS City sells the Legend H for 130 dollars and all the stores that I have visited sell it for 160 dollars. The Legend H is the one with more memory than the Legend. Make sure that you get the "waypoints management CD" with your Legend H. You will be able to make your own maps. There are internet sites on how to do this. When you say that the maps "stink", that's because the GPS is loaded with very basic map info. To have good maps, you must buy them. Usually, you load the contents of the CD on your home computer and then you transfer what you need to your GPS. I'm not familiar with Magellan or Garmin GPS that have mapping. My Lowrance IFinder Pro uses SD cards that contain detailled maps.
  2. I guess the best thing for me to do is to place a few caches using the averaging on my GPS and then wait to see if there are any comments on how far off my waypoint was.
  3. In this particular situation, you probably have quite a bit of unobstructed sky, and so averaging very well could be more accurate and a time saver. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I think you'll find a marked difference in the accuracy, depending on how much overhead cover and/or obstructions you'd be trying to get the gps signals through. I found that the newer sensitive units have more "inaccuracies" than the older less sensitive units. The reason I say this, is the fact that the sensitive units accept all those weak bounced signals while the less sensitive units only use the strong direct signals. As for losing signals due to trees etc, I have been using old GPS units for many years and have had no trouble while wandering around in the bush here in northern Quebec. One day last year, I attended a geocaching reunion. We were in a building and there were 2 small windows. I was sitting in the middle of the room and got a fix with my old Lowrance IPro within a few seconds while the 60CSXs and company could not get a fix. One guy had a Colorado and did not get a fix. Eventually, a lady beside me got a fix with her Etrex. BTW....I was the only one who had a Lowrance. Everybody else had Garmins. When we went out geocaching....I easily and quickly got within a couple of feet of every cache. I do not use "averaging" to find a cache. I don't do any geocaching. The only caches I have found was when I attended the geocaching reunion. However, I do use the "averaging" when I want to record an accurate waypoint. As I said earlier, I do a lot of ice fishing. It's very cold up here and I like to find holes that I have previously cut through the ice because the ice is very thick while the ice in the holes will often only be about 8 to 12 inches thick. It's easier and faster to chop open these old holes with a spud than making new holes. However, the big problem is the fact that these old holes are not easy to spot due to drifting snow. What I do is drive around on the ice with my 4X4 or snowmobile and when I find a waypoint, I can find the hold. I usually get within 2 or 3 feet of my objective. Last year, I reused one hole 4 or 5 times. I was fishing in about 90 feet of water and I could feel my lead weight slide down the same huge boulder that was a good 20 feet tall. It was a great spot to catch fish.
  4. I don't care what anyone thinks but I'm sure that using the averaging option with a GPS is the best way to get the most accurate position. You can have strong signals and weak signals etc etc, after about 200 counts, I'm sure that you can't get better accuracy than that. However, when I talk about averaging, not many people seem to know that it exists. I know that both Lowrance units I have owned have this function. All I have to do is go to the menu and pick out "averaging" and when I enter a waypoint, the averaging starts. My unit tells me how many waypoints are being registered and when I feel that I have enough of them, I press enter again and the unit averages the results and enters a final result as a waypoint. It's very handy when fishing an exact spot. My question: Do all GPS units have an averaging function?
  5. Well, I admit that there communications are great. Every message was responded to the next day. Today, I got another message and they said that they would honor my order. They said they actually shipped my original order but would send another shield anyway. I do have a few problems with the mail. My mail is delivered to my mail box.....I live outside of town. Just the other day, our mailman was diagnosed with alzheimers desease. Not a good thing when you are a mailman....lol. On top of that, my mailbox is right on a highway. When the snowplows barge pass my place, the snow that spreads out from the plow bolls over my mailbox. One time, it ripped the box off the support. I am now positive that I have lost mail on a couple of occaisions in March. One letter that I should have received was from the vehicle department asking me to get a medical checkup. Just the other day, I got another letter saying that if my medical checkup was not produced before 20 th of July, I would lose my driver's licence. I never did get the initial letter which usually arrives around my birthdate in March. I did get other peoples mail a few times too. Anyway, everything is back on track. I wonder what other mail I lost? Did I win a lottery and never knew about it?
  6. Has anyone bought a Zagg screen shield? In January, I ordered a shield from Zagg. There was a special on shields along with free shipping anywhere. I paid via paypal but never recieved my shield. I was patient. I knew that shipping would be slow because I live in Canada. In the advertising, it said that shipping would take at least 6 weeks. I was in no hurry. I finally inquired about my order. The company replied that after 60 days, they consider the order completed and will not send me my shield. No mention of the 60 day shipping limit on the advertising. Yes, there is a replacement garantee on the shield. They will replace a shield but not ship one that has been paid after 60 days. Is Zagg owned by Magellan....lol.
  7. I went geocaching with some people a couple of weeks ago. It was during a reunion of a bunch of geocachers and there were a handfull of caches used as teaching aids. My old IFinder Pro was just as fast and accurate as any of the other GPS units there. Everybody had newer GPS units and they were all Garmins. Like almost everyone else, my IFinder got me within a few feet of the caches. In the middle of the classroom where there were only 2 windows, I could get a fix on my position just as fast as anyone else. One lady had a Garmin 60csx and she could not get any satellite reception at all. Anyway, my old IFinder surprised a lot of people. GPS accuracy....there are a lot of myths about this. I've owned a Garmin 45 and a Lowrance GlobaNav 200. They were both great and plenty accurate.
  8. I guess buying fancy flashlights may be fun but I don't believe they are worth buying. I do a lot of playing in the woods at night. I bought a head light that fits on the bill of my baseball cap. It has 5 led lights and uses 2 of those round thin batteries that you can buy at a dollar store for 25 cents each. The light is strong enough to go snowboarding, hiking or fishing at night. It cost me 4.99. It's also great when repairing my vehicles or other things and need some extra light. Since the thing only cost 4.99, I don't completely trust it so I bought a second one for the same price and it's in my fishing tackle box because fishing is what I do the most. When going into the woods, I also always have my mini maglight that I bought about 20 years ago. When I go camping, boating or canoeing, I also bring along a 1 million candle power rechargeable search light that costs about 12 dollars and there is always another flashlight somewhere in my camping stuff. At the campsite, I use a 12 vdc to 120 vac converter that I can plug into my vehicle's cigarette lighter or one of my deep discharge nautical batteries. I can use two 13 watt flourescent lamps (equiv to 60 watts each) to light up my whole campsite and this uses about 1/4 to 1/2 amps...maybe less. The converter cost me 25 dollars. Yes....I bought the expensive one because I can also play my mp3 player and hear it on the car's audio system through an FM channel. I guess the total cost of all these goodies comes to maybe 75 dollars....the mini maglight being the most expensive item.
  9. I use a cheap Optex card reader for my IFinder Pro. However, I have a Freedom Map card and not Mapcreate.
  10. I'm surprised you had so much trouble. All the GPS units use the same language. Menus are similar. Screens are similar and they all have approximately the same options. The best thing to do is just go outside, get a lock on your satellites, make your first waypoint and call it "home" via the edit command and then walk around your neighbourhood while marking waypoints as you go along. Next, do the same thing, but in your vehicle. You have to play with the thing to find out all of it's possibilities. Take along the operator's manual when you go out. Bring along a compass and compare readings. However, don't forget that not all GPS units have a magnetic compass. The compass only functions when you are moving.....and sometimes when you are moving above 2 mph.
  11. The same waypoint will be entered twice and remain in the GPS until you delete one of them or both of them. The first waypoint you enter should be "Home". When you enter your first waypoint, it will be called "waypoint 1". You can then edit the waypoint and give it a name.....which is usually "home". The next waypoint you enter will again be "waypoint 1". It will stay "waypoint 1" until you give it a name.
  12. I'm still convinced that a person does not have to go the whole nine yards to get a GPS. I would do more research before buying a GPS for a first time user. I would definately go for a mapping GPS. Now, if it's just for a map of 1 or 2 states....8 megs of memory is ample so why buy an Vista X when a Vista will do the job just as well. Colour screen....that is up to the buyer but first, he must actually see for himself what a topo map looks like on a grey scale screen instead of colour screen. Extra sensitive reception is a good idea if a person wants to wander around downtown New York where there are lots of buildings or somewhere surrounded by mountains and/or lots of heavy tree cover like Washington State and Oregon. However, with that extra sensitivity is not necessary on open water or under ordinary outdoor activity.....except for geocaching in heavy cover. Even in that case, the person who planted the cache....probably did not have an extra sensitive GPS in the first place. My very ancient Lowrance GlobalNav 200 would get satellite reception on the back seat of my Suzuki Sidekick and rarely lose it. While on the dash of my vehicule, it never lost reception except when surrounded by tall buildings. When you are surrounded by tall buildings.....you are not lost. If you want accurate geocaching....there are non-mapping, extra sensitive GPS units for less than 100 dollars. But, mapping is fun and even a necessity for hiking, atving, snowmobiling, biking, kayaking or canoing. For geocaching, maps are not one bit necessary. Now, another question.....why a Garmin? Point of view quality versus price, there are better units for sale at a lower price. Even a Magellan is better....but the service does not seem to be very good. Why not a Lowrance? The IFinder H2O is considered the best buy on the market. It has everything that you are looking for and is at a lower price. You can add an antenna to it (you can't with a Vista). You can buy Freedom Map cards (cheaper than Garmin maps) and you can make your own maps with their mapping programme. It also has unlimited memory....you just use as many common SD cards as you want. You want games.....buy a pocket PC or a GameBoy. A GPS is not a toy....it's a tool.
  13. There are lots of used GPS units for under 60 dollars on ebay. They won't have mapping capabilities but you will find geocaches with them and they will record a track so that you can go back track to your starting point. Some sell for under 20 dollars (Lowrance GlobalNav 200, Magellan 315, Garmin 45, Garmin 38, Geko, Garmin EMap etc) but I wouldn't recommend such units for anyone willing to pay 60 dollars. Better off buying a GPS with mapping capability. They all contain basemaps of N.America and you can buy additional mapping software that can be used on the newer GPS models when you decide to upgrade. I suggest that you add a few dollars and buy a used Garmin Legend which often sell for around 60 to 70 dollars plus shipping. The legend has a basemap of N.America with all the main roads. Add about 10 to 20 dollars and you can get a Garmin Vista which has more memory, altimeter and compass (when standing still). If you can find a used Lowrance IFinder (quite rare), they are also a great buy. I bought a used IFinder Pro, with external antenna, car adapter, nylon case and a Freedom Map SD card of the province where I live for 85 dollars. I've seen some IFinder Map and Music (plays mp3s) sold on ebay for ridiculously low prices.
  14. You can always protect the GPS by buying a product along the lines of "Aquapac" http://www.aquapac.net/
  15. Can't you customize the screen? With my IFinder Pro, I can remove or add detail to my topographical maps (names, names of streets, boundaries, county lines, railway tracks, roads, etc etc). I'm sure you can remove the contour lines from the display on the screen.
  16. The E Map is a great unit. I used a Garmin 45 for a while and then a Lowrance GlobalNav 200 for a few years too. These units do not have mapping like the E Map. They worked great. For 20 dollars, grab the E Map before somebody else buys it. It will get you to a catch as well as the newer GPS units.....the ones that are problem free that is. As you can probably see right here in the forum, everybody seems to have something going wrong with their brand new expensive GPS. When it comes time to upgrade, you will know exactly what you want and you won't have some pimply faced teenager in some store trying to explain how that 300 dollar GPS works and why you should have bells and whistles with your GPS. When you do upgrade, keep the E Map as a backup to get you out of trouble. If you don't buy the EMap, I will.
  17. I've got an IFinder Pro. I also have an Freedom Map SD card containing the topographical map of most of the province of Quebec. Between the base map and the topographical map, there is a world of difference. I live in northern Quebec and there are no cities or villages north of where I live. Now, with the topo map on my GPS screen, when I travel the logging roads that I have travelled for quite a few years, I see lakes that I did not even know existed near those roads. Sure, I can get topographical maps of the areas that I play in but there are no roads on these maps. It's hard to see just how close I am to these lakes when travelling along those logging roads when using topographical maps. During the winter while snowmobiling, there is too much snow to distinguish much of anything. I do a lot of hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, atving, canoing and wilderness camping. City maps.....no need for them. All the streets are included in the topo maps anyway. All I have to do is glance at my GPS and I can see where my next turn will be. If there is someone beside me holding the GPS, it's easy for them to tell me when to turn left or right. If I was a delivery man, well I would get city maps and a GPS for auto-routing and audible directions. I would not recommend buying city maps for anybody who wants to play outside of the cities. I would even say that city maps are a waste of money for anybody except a travelling salesman who wants a GPS with voice for his vehicule.
  18. My IFinder Pro with a Freedom Map does the same thing too. Most of the time, I'm right where I'm supposed to be but every once in a while, I do notice that certain back country roads and some small streets are off by just a little bit.....not more than 30 feet. From what I have read, a lot of GPS units have an option called along the lines of "on road" and "off road". When the option of "on road" is utilised, your tracks stay on the road even if you decide to walk a small way beside the road. The tracks stay locked to the road.
  19. Most mapping GPS units have a basemap covering all of the U.S. The basemap is ok if you want to travel the main roads. Lots of the city streets are included in the basemap...especially the larger cities. I live in Canada (Quebec) but my Lowrance IFinder Pro has a pretty good basemap of the U.S. Luckily, my used IFinder came with a topographical map on a locked SD card of most of Quebec, a bit of Ontario and New Brunswick. I do a lot of hunting and fishing and without the added topographical map, my unit would be a lot less fun to use. However, if you want more detail, you will have to buy maps. The added detail is quite amazing. Expect to pay about 100 dollars per map system. Some users prefer topographical maps. Others prefer marine charts while others want more street detail. It's up to you to decide what you want.
  20. There is also the Garmin EMap. Can usually be found for around 50 dollars. In any event, there are tons of GPS units for under 100 dollars. They are all accurate to within 45 feet if you have a view of the sky. The older units like the Lowrance GlobalNav 200 are quite large and heavy and eat batteries about 2 times faster than the newer units but they are very solid. The big choice is whether you want mapping or not. You can even buy a brand new Lowrance GO2 which has a basemap of the U.S. for about 50 dollars. Usually, the basemap has a pretty good detailed city map of cities having a population over 100,000 people along with most of the roads, all major highways and even points of interest.
  21. All GPS units wander. To see this, zoom in to maximum setting and you will start to see tracks being created all around you. If you wait a few minutes, you will see a blob of tracks all around your position. If you want to create the most exact waypoint for your position, choose the "averaging" function on your GPS before creating your waypoint. The GPS will average out all the positions around you before creating the waypoint. Even the Garmin 45 had this function.
  22. I got excellent response time to my e-mails to Lowrance. I have an IFinder Pro and for some reason, I had trouble upgrading my unit from their site. They sent me the upgrade by e-mail the next day. It may be the card itself is defective. If you just bought it recently, I would take it back to the seller and take along your GPS to show the seller that it is not working. I don't think you can get much help through an e-mail discussion.
  23. For 100 dollars or less, I would definately buy a used Vista. There are often some really nice, great condition Vistas for sale right here on this site due to the fact that a lot of people prefer a colour screen. I bought a used IFinder Pro for 85 dollars. With the GPS, I got a 12 volt car adapter cable, screen protector already installed, and a Freedom topographical map on an SD card of the province of Quebec (where I live and play). The IFinder has a slot for SD cards so it's similar to a Vista X if such a thing as a Vista X existed. The Vista does not have an SD card slot to store tracks, waypoints etc and add details to the pre-installed permanent basemap. There were some IFinder Pros, IFinder Map and Music etc that sold for under 75 dollars on Ebay the other day. You don't see many complaints from users of these GPS units.
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