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Everything posted by kerecsen

  1. You can use Garmin's online map viewer to get coverage info: http://www.garmin.com/cartography/ (choose the appropriate map from the combo box) The Dallas-FW area is about 20 megs, Dallas proper is approximately 8.
  2. Here is a tracklog comparison. A typical 60cs log is slightly different on the way up and on the way down, and has some dropouts despite the fact that I had the GPS in my backpack (dropout is under "Spring"): A typical Holux log is more consistent, and I have yet to see a dropout: (Note that where the two tracks slightly diverge towards the peak (around 0.7 marking) I actually took two different paths.) The map behind is the totally awesome "Wasatch Hiking Trails" by Daniel Smith. The author used a Trimble GPS with differential post-processing to survey the trails.
  3. I have never scrutinized the delay with Mapopolis. If there is one, it is slight enough that it never caused any noticeable (adverse or otherwise) effects. However, I would imagine that a slower PPC may cause problems that I wouldn't see (mine is a 400 MHz Qtek S110). My primary software is iGo, I only use Mapopolis when I feel like experimenting. I no longer use a handheld GPS. I used to have a 60cs, and the Holux is far-far better in time-to-first-fix and accuracy (especially under challenging conditions). I sometimes hike with a friend who has a 60cs and the Holux keeps a lock much more reliably and is more accurate. I base this on comparing the 60cs/Holux track logs to a really precise hiking map and also comparing the track on the way up the mountain to the track on the way down. In addition, since I can put the Holux in my backpack, it gets better reception to begin with. I can't do the same with the 60cs, because then I would have to take my backpack off every time I wanted to look at the GPS. Unfortunately if I hung the 60cs off my belt, it basically wouldn't hold a lock at all (the Holux does a decent job even in my pocket). Of course this can be remedied to some extent with an external antenna or a re-radiating antenna.
  4. There are several CF Sirf III receivers out there (see http://www.semsons.com/comflasgpsre.html for some examples). However, you should seriously consider bluetooth if you are going to do hiking. You can put the bluetooth receiver into your backpack (or fasten it to your hat, or whatever), so it gets pristine reception, and keep the PPC in a convenient location where it would not get good reception but is easy to reach. You will also have much better battery life (two batteries instead of one). (I get right about 10 hours of use out of both my PPC and the GPS.) In the woods I put the Holux in my backpack, and in the car I just toss it in a recess of the dashboard (however it gets good reception even in the glove compartment, in the cupholder or on any of the passenger seats).
  5. I think I saw similar complaints on the gpspassion forums, but mostly linked to a particular hardware/software combination. I have also seen it with some software, but not with most, which leads me to conclude that it's not the GPS's fault (I have a holux sirf III unit) Early sirf ii/xtrac chipsets did have a known lag, maybe you own one of these (http://www.gpspassion.com/fr/articles.asp?id=90&page=4)
  6. I'm using a phone-PDA(QTek S110 alias I-mate Jam)+bluetooth GPS (SiRF III) to hike because * I can keep the PDA in reach and put the GPS in the backpack where it gets pristine reception. I was never able to find a place for my 60cs where it would be accessible and would still get acceptable reception. * I can scan detailed up-to-date hiking maps instead of relying on the 10+ year old 1:100,000 USGS maps most GPS manufacturers offer. * I can carry web pages (hike descriptions, cache descriptions, survey marker data) and other stuff that I may need during the hike. * The SiRF III GPS works flawlessly in heavy forests and canyons. The 60cs was very temperamental under those conditions. The drawbacks: * Obviously a PDA is more fragile than a dedicated GPS. However, I always carried my previous phone on all my hikes too, and it never suffered any injuries -- which gives me some hope at least... * Battery life is only 10 hours (compared to 20+ on a garmin). I don't usually hike for longer than 10 hours anyway. And if I do, there is a flashlight/USB charger in my backpack. * The PDA touch screen is hard to see in direct sunlight, you pretty much always have to use your body to provide shade. The 60cs actually gets easier to see as your surroundings get brighther.
  7. Spyderweb wasn't referring to the SiRF protocol, but the SiRF III chipset, that provides a lot faster time-to-lock and better tracking than the Garmin chipsets do (especially the old generation that's in the 60cs). Garmin recently opted to thrashcan their own chips and use SiRF III instead... Btw, the primary advantage of the SiRF protocol (which you can toggle at a whim) is that it provides more information than the standard NMEA sentences, it's easier to parse for a computer and uses less bandwidth. Not huge advantages, but then again the NMEA/SiRF communication module is a very simple piece of code anyway, so it only wastes a day of the poor programmers' time.
  8. If you have placed both GPSes in the same place (and not at the same time -- they may interfere) and you get results that are so different, something is wrong. The Sirf II/LP in your Pharos should be about as accurate as the Vista C. Before you call Garmin for a repair/replacement, do a cold reset on the Vista and then leave it out in an open area for 10-30 minutes. Then repeat the test. In addition you may want to try a different test run, a few blocks away (interference, again). You can also check the number of satellites visible and the precision your Vista claims -- sometimes the satellites are in an unfortunate constellation and no GPS can function well with less than 4 well-positioned satellites. If you still have issues after this, try to return the unit to wherever you bought it from. Failing that, call Garmin, but be advised that they will probably give you a refurbished (and not a new) unit if they can't easily repair yours.
  9. This might help: http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/tomtom-navig...dummy-guide.php
  10. Thanks for the clarification, I was trying to skimp over the detail just there And to highlight another historical curiosity: v5 wasn't "City Select v7 NA", it was "North American City Select v5". I'm sure there is a perfectly valid weird marketing reason for that change...
  11. There are only a handful of data providers (especially when it comes to routable maps), and everyone is using their data. The two biggest ones are NavTEQ and TeleAtlas. NavTEQ is more expensive but has somewhat better routing and street level detail in most areas of the US. TeleAtlas, on the other hand, has a better POI database and better coverage of the byways and unpaved roads. In Europe TeleAtlas is generally preferred, especially in the eastern regions. (In general TeleAtlas's technology is rumored to be better, and their standards are considered to be higher than that of NavTEQ. The reason why TeleAtlas kind of sucks in the US is that their US maps come from the acquisition of an American company called Etak, and they haven't yet invested enough money to correct (or re-build) that data.) Garmin, Google Maps and MSN Maps (as well as yahoo maps, mapquest, and pretty much everyone else) use NavTEQ, so you should see the exact same mistakes on all those maps -- unless they are using an obsolete version. Based on some press releases, I'm guessing Lowrance uses NavTEQ too. Garmin used to use Etak up until City Select (v5), and then switched over to NavTEQ -- about the same time when Etak was bought out by TeleAtlas. There are some people who still use the Etak-based versions because of their superior off-road coverage... The only publicly available map I know of that uses TeleAtlas data is Google Earth. Take a look, they too may have gotten your street right. DeLorme makes its own maps, and my understanding is that their electronic maps aren't up to par with the big two's.
  12. I have a similar combo, but I mostly use it for hiking, not geocaching, so I can't really comment. I've ended up scanning my hiking map as none of the available topo maps were recent enough to have correct hiking detail (some topo alternatives: memory-map outdoor navigator, mapadvisor, delorme topo with SAHH, NatGeo pocketwhatever). I'm sure you will get recommendations for the usual suspects as well, such as GPS Tuner, GpxView, GPXSonar, BeelineGPS, GPSDash, etc. Oh, btw, did you know that the Holux 236 has WAAS support, that you can turn on with their GPSview utility? I haven't done any testing with the Holux, but it should improve accuracy in most cases.
  13. It looks like a very basic SiRF II/LP based unit. What is unusual is that you can do NMEA logging to an SD card with arbitrary resolution, down to 1 s. Even high-end Garmin units don't offer anything similar.
  14. Google has a way of turning up these kinds of information http://www.google.com/search?q=DARKLORD%40kc.rr.com . In addition if you were willing to spend $15, you could get a street address from a site like this one: http://find.intelius.com/search-name.php?searchform=phone . However you should really-really leave all this to Amazon and your credit card company and stop playing PI. Hardly any good could conceivably come from trying to serve "garage justice".
  15. I would be almost inclined to say neither: get a $250 PDA (catch a good sale at Dell) and a $200 package of navigation software+bluetooth GPS (preferably SiRF III). You will need to deal with two power cords in the car, but will get better reception, a smaller and better featured PDA (wifi, latest OS and possibly even a VGA screen) and come out cheaper in the end. Basically the only thing that the M5 has going for it when compared to a dell/hp PDA is the Garmin software, which may or may not be better than competition (I vote for "may not", but I could easily argue either opinion). (The Garmin software only works with a Garmin PDA or a Garmin bluetooth/wired GPS receiver such as the GPS10 or the GPS18). (You can put the BT GPS in your pocket and use it like that, so having it stuck to the end of the PDA doesn't necessarily increase your convenience.) If you have already made up your mind to choose one of your two proposals, here are some pros and cons: M5 pros: - you can install a different software package if Garmin's doesn't fully satisfy your needs - usable as a handheld GPS in case you have to get out of your car and walk somewhere - works as a PDA (taking notes, browsing the web, viewing documents, etc.) - a lot cheaper, even taking into account the 2 gig SD card you need to buy if you want the complete US map on your unit at all times M5 cons: - harder to use/needs occasional reboot (windows ) - the screen is more prone to reflections/less bright and has a slightly lower pixel count - doesn't have a remote controller (for whatever that's worth) - Garmin software isn't finger-friendly (you may have to mess around with your nails or with the stylus) - Garmin software doesn't do text-to-speech (btw, tts is very possibly the most annoying feature ever invented, in my humble opinion ) - Garmin software doesn't do/optimize multiple destinations (I think) - Garmin software doesn't do POI proximity alerts (speed camera warnings and such) - Garmin software doesn't support landscape mode (All 5 of those are within the capabilities of some other PPC software, but apparently Garmin is trying not to kill 27xx sales by the M5 through supplying not-so-capable software)
  16. Well, take a look at the track logs on this site: http://www.gpspassion.com/fr/articles.asp?id=143&page=3 I haven't tried any magellan units, all I can say is that SiRF III totally dominates the Garmin 60cs.
  17. These problems have indeed been fixed. SiRF III has had some early teething problems (search for "jet lag bug"), but it seems to have reached maturity a couple of months ago. I can't wait to see those new Garmin units.
  18. I have a Holux 236 and it even holds a lock in my apartment building's underground garage (no windows in sight, just concrete in every direction). It also works fine upside down in my car's glove compartment, with a bunch of stuff on top of it. They are just simply awesome.
  19. I got me a combined flashlight and USB charger, so I need to carry one less item: http://store.yahoo.com/semsons-inc/unbaexwiusbp.html
  20. Yep, that was mine. And it also produced the upside-down version once, but I didn't have a camera handy. Garmin told me to return it for a screen replacement, but it got stolen before I had a chance to do so. Since then I moved on to a PocketPC phone + SiRF III (Holux 236) GPS and keep being amazed how much better this combination is for pretty much everything.
  21. Yeah, I forgot about reason #1: both the Mio and the Garmin units are at least a generation behind the hp/dell/toshiba selection.
  22. My experience has been that a separate PPC and bluetooth GPS is more practical than the integrated units: - you can put the gps in your backpack or under your hat where it gets good reception (not that it matters if you have a SiRF III), and put the PPC wherever it's conveniently accessible - battery life is usually much better (two batteries instead of one) - you can get a gps with a built-in track logger, improving the PPC's battery life even further - you can upgrade the gps and the ppc separately - the fold-up antenna can develop mechanical and/or electrical issues with use
  23. Signal processing performance apparently matters more than the antenna. Vista c has the new garmin chipset (same as in the GPS10), the 60cs still has the old one. The better chipset more than compensates for the smaller antenna. My Sirf III-based bluetooth GPS is (a lot) better still, eventhough it's tiny.
  24. It's limited to only some units, typically low-end bw handheld ones and car navigation (c330, quest, etc.). I have to agree, it's really weird that the 60cs is only $1.62 more expensive than the 60c
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