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Differences Between Explorist 500, 600


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Is there any difference between 500 and 600 other than the couple of bells and whistles. I am willing to pay the extra.. But not JUST for the bells and whistles. Which I hear don't even work. Any researched this? I would apreciate all comments. Thanks bye.

Edited by Fireheat
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If you are asking whether the 500 and the 600 are essentially the same unit aside from the explicit extra features of the 600, I think that the answer is yes. On the Meridian line, the Gold and the Platinum used exactly the same firmware, although the plat had B&W similar to the 600 vs 500. The plat had the same motherboard, with an additional chip for the compass.

 

We haven't seen new firmware yet to see if it's the same situation, but I suspect the same holds true with the explorists. It would make little sense to include other substantial improvements in the hardware components and not at least advertise it.

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go for the 500, I have the 600 , the electronic compass is really not worth it unless your in one of those hopeless situations that u need to get out of fast with out digging for a compass in your pocket at night.

 

use the saved cash for a BIG sd card. I've heard 800-900mb will hold the entire usa , of course in chunks. :anibad:

 

good luck

 

flir67------

Edited by flir67
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I prefer the black color of the 600 and the extra $40 or whatever is not a big deal. I'd take the 600 :anibad: Although would also settle for a 500 if I had to. I really have to give Magellan the thumbs up for coming out with those 2 models. I have been waiting for a portable unit like that one.

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I have to agree with luvlasgas that as far as hardware goes, the 500 and 600 are sweet but there hasnt been a public firmware or geocache software release that addresses some bugs mentioned in these forums. If and when they do address these issues, it will make the explorist line a hard line to beat.

 

The bugs arent showstoppers IMO but more aggravating than anything else. It is what makes the difference between a good gps and a great one.

 

[magellan] yooohooo are you listening???? [/magellan]

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Think the 500 is a great pick. I have a 600, but I got it because I have a platinum and thought the systems would be very similar. Am also hoping that the firmware update fixes the few issues we all have. And fix the geocache manager too - sheesh. BTW, take the money you save on the 500 and get one of the mapping programs (DirectRoute or Topo) you won't be disappointed. Had my first directroute experience this weekend, and I'll just say the program and maps are just too cool - the map is more right than I

 

must... follow... the... directions... ;)

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You guys all have excellent suggestions.

 

I'm probably going out to buy one this weekend... I've never used a GPS before so I'm new to using one. I've been reading here and there but let me know if I can do this with the 500/600 explorist:

 

- Load the map of Canada and USA in an extra SD card (wondering if they will all fit on a 1gig SD card.

- When driving will it automatically load the maps it needs on the SD card or do I have to do something once It needs another map that exists on the SD card?

 

I want as smooth of a trip as possible when driving as possible.

 

- When driving on the highway, I'm wondering if I have to add every gas station, restaurant, etc myself or if it will display this information?

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Load the map of Canada and USA in an extra SD card (wondering if they will all fit on a 1gig SD card.

I do not know if you can fit that large of a map into them, but is not really needed for most people. the base map will have major hwys on it already, the only detailed maps you shoud need are ones for the areas you are stoping at.

Also, it takes longer for a GPS to update a larger map than a smaller one.

Which software are you planning on using Map Send direct route or Map send Topo 3D. Topo 3d will use more memory the direct route.

-

When driving will it automatically load the maps it needs on the SD card or do I have to do something once It needs another map that exists on the SD card?

Each seperate map that you have loaded into the SD card will have to be actvated as you need them, this only takes a minute to do.

- When driving on the highway, I'm wondering if I have to add every gas station, restaurant, etc myself or if it will display this information?

As I recall you would do a search from the GPS data base for auto services, Gas Fuel or Resturants and then it will list them by nearest or alphabeticly, resturants will be listed by food types. For me nearest works better.

Edited by JohnnyVegas
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Robert Lipe has a review of DirectRoute that will give you a sense of file size vs coverage. Bear in mind that 64MB is the recommended maximum size for DR files. There is a means to make larger files, but they are prone to corruption issues. I find sticking with 64MB workable. But you cannot autoroute between regions. On a long trip it becomes necessary to chain autoroutes together, each leg contained within a single region/file.

 

- Load the map of Canada and USA in an extra SD card (wondering if they will all fit on a 1gig SD card.

 

I don't think 1GB is enough to hold everything; I recall someone saying he got all the US on a 2GB card...and it seemed to me that he had enough left over to include Canada. I don't know that anyone has tried to get both Canada and US included on a single card.

 

You can use more than one SD card, but it's less hassle to use one large card rather than swap two smaller ones in and out.

 

One last tip if you are loading around a gig's worth of map files: the Explorist uses 1.1 USB, so a 2.0 USB card reader would speed up the transfer enough to make it worthwhile for some people.

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Thanks JohnnyVegas,

 

ok I can live with loading it real quick.  How big of map does the 600 support?  ie.  Can you give me an example of a region it will support without loading another map?  ie.  a single state, 3 states, etc?

I know the explorist600 will hold a map larger than the 64MB limit imposed by the mapsend software. Theres a tweak that can be made if you need to load a region larger than 64MB but as JohnnyVegas stated, the larger the region the slower the loading of the map.

 

Region size is relative to how dense the detail on a map is. For example I live in Canada and use both mapsend DR and topo canada

 

If your familiar with the canadian provinces, these are the following rough region sizes.

 

topo canada region for New Brunswick = 16MB

topo canada region for Ontario = 230MB

 

DR region for NB =7.5MB

DR region for Ontario = 150MB

 

The following 2 regions will give you an idea of how much space is needed to hold just Canada taking note that you cannot make regions this big.

 

Topo canada region for all of Canada = 1.070GB

topo_canada.JPG

 

DR region for all of Canada = 400MB

DR_canada.JPG

 

The following 2 regions will give you an idea of how much space is needed to hold the DR maps for just the USA and all of USA and Canada together, taking note that you cannot make regions this big.

 

DR region for USA = 1.094GB

DR_usa.JPG

 

DR region of USA and canada = 1.133GB

DR_NA.JPG

 

If you note the that the DR region of just canada and just the USA dont add up to the region of both of them together, thats because regions are square and thus the separate regions of canada and the usa overlap.

 

As a final thought on POIs, in my experience the canadian POIs are much more detailed and included much more uptodate information than the direct route POIs. Unsure if the topo USA POIs are more uptodate than the direct route POIs.

Edited by D0T-C0M
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Thanks for the info. Actually I'm from Canada also. Ok that gives me an idea of how much storage I would need. As someone mentioned above, I wouldn't need all of them loaded anyhow unless I was going on a long trip and even so if I was travelling from lets say Vancouver to Toronto for sake of argument all I would need to do is load the small sections from city to city. I assume that would be too large of data since everything north and south is of that route is not needed.

 

When you mention the 'loading' of the map, do you mean that it continuesly loads as you are on route? or does you mean when it initially loads the first time?

 

I was trying to read up on the Magellan site about the maps. It comes with the basic base maps right? I guess this is general roads and highways but not much details. Then if I want I purchase the Canada or USA topo maps for more detail from what I understand. The topo maps don't perform DR? I'm a little confused between those 2 maps. Can you give me an example?

 

Sorry one last question... is the 3D view on the topo USA map only good for viewing on the PC or do you actually get a 3D view on the magellan? thx again. Appreciate all your help.

Edited by luvlasvegas
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It's one thing to stretch a limit of 64MB to 70MB or maybe even twice that. But given how many reports we've seen of the units getting slow and unstable - not to mention essentially unusable becuase now when you search for "main stree" you get every one on the continent - once that limit is raised by a factor of 16, I wouldn't do it.

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