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Lowrance Ifinder Gps


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I have been looking at buying a gps unit for a little while now. I'm trying to do this with out spending hundreds of dollars. I know garmin makes an etrex model for about $100. I came across a new manufactorer called Lowrence i finder. They offer 2 models for $80 and $100. These models have the same features as a Garmin or Megellan that would go for $300 to $400. Is this a good deal or is it the old you get what you pay for deal. Am i better off just saving my pennies and buying the better know product?

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Hi. I recently bought a Lowrance "Ifinder Go" - it didn`t work. The dealer replaced it with another one of the same model , that one didn`t work either! The first couldn`t get any sat. reception, the second did but could never turn that into a position fix. Got my cash back & have just ordered a Garmin 60.

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These models have the same features as a Garmin or Megellan that would go for $300 to $400.

Not quite.

 

They have some limited base maps in them, but you can't add more detailed maps. They also do not connect to a PC for waypoint downloads.

 

They are great little units, but please don't think you are getting a full featured GPS.

 

If you need to stick around $100, look closely at the Garmin Legend. YMMV.

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lowrance seems so much less $$ but are you getting a lot less ??

 

I think they make some awesome units. Especially when a person takes the price into account.

 

The H20 and Hunt are both very nice. I have always said if they made the Hunt in color, I would own one. It has everything I have ever wanted, except color.

Edited by Langner91
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I have an emap deluxe GREAT SHAPE NO SCRATCHES

 

$110 + shipping

 

-PC serial adapter

-8 Meg data card

-16 Meg data card

- 12 v CAR adapter

- all original manual

- also original cd rom of METRO GUIDE USA VER. 3

- original emap deluxe box

 

- already unlock for City select version 7 dvd. (will include bkup copy of my unlock file) - NEED to order free DVD upgrade city select ver. 7

Edited by AWGD8
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on garmin or lowrance,,,,

 

2 main goals for one gps unit---

 

1-want gps unit for geocaching with mapping

 

2-want gps unit for autorouting with voice commands for use in car

 

looks like will not get all the above so seeing what gets most of it ??

Garmin V, can be found for less than $200. Come with Cityselect, car mount, etc. Will do everything that you mentioned with the exception of voice commands- just gives beeps when the turn is coming up.

 

One of the things that I really like is the fact that you can set the screen to horizontal for use on the dashboard, and then change it to vertical for handheld use.

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lowrance seems so much less $$ but are you getting a lot less ??

 

I think they make some awesome units. Especially when a person takes the price into account.

 

The H20 and Hunt are both very nice. I have always said if they made the Hunt in color, I would own one. It has everything I have ever wanted, except color.

Call me old fashioned. Color TV is good but I don't really understand the dire need for color in my GPS. What is important to me in my GPS/PDA screen is for it to be clearly viewable in all light conditions and have sufficient contrast to differentiate between the various map features. I suppose it's a matter of taste as well as a matter of fad and fashion. To each his own. :lol:

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on garmin or lowrance,,,,

 

2 main goals for one gps unit---

 

1-want gps unit for geocaching with mapping

 

2-want gps unit for autorouting with voice commands for use in car

 

looks like will not get all the above so seeing what gets most of it ??

Garmin V, can be found for less than $200. Come with Cityselect, car mount, etc. Will do everything that you mentioned with the exception of voice commands- just gives beeps when the turn is coming up.

Yes, the GPS V works well for both applications but the memory size limits you to about one metro area.

 

Another option for about $350 is the Quest which has a color screen, voice directions when in the car, small pocketable size, and includes the CitySelect maps. It has 115 MB of map memory which is enough for California or several smaller states and could give you detailed mapping all along a cross-country route. The USB interface provides for fast loading of new maps.

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any thoughts on lowrance high end units like H20 or iway 100m,,,

 

comparing with garmin 60 or 76 units ??

 

lowrance seems so much less $$ but are you getting a lot less ??

 

thanks

H20 is an excellent unit. In some ways its better than a Garmin 60 or 76, but overall if I had to chose one I'd go with the Garmin units. I wrote a review of the H20 here and a review of the previously mentioned iFinder Go2 here. The Go unit's lack of PC connectivity is a major negative.

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hey thanks for bringing up the quest , quest2 units i had not looked at those,,,

 

so it sounds like in gerneral "GARMIN" seems more supported for software utilities , custom mapping issues, just much bigger user base.. than other manufacturers..

 

so in general,,, being new to gps units will garmin quest series units, load geocaching data into maps like the garmin 76 series,,, same pc software and tools... ect... ???

 

or is quest units really setup different than 76 series ??

 

thanks again for the help !!!

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or is quest units really setup different than 76 series ??

Most external software should work the same, so loading waypoints wouldn't be a problem and it'll work the same with navigation software on a laptop. But the firmware is different on the Quest vs. the 76 series so the two have different features. The 76 series has additonal support for some marine applications such as anchor alarms, tide predictions, etc. which aren't included on the more driving-oriented Quest. The Quest also lacks the celestial data feature (moon phase, sunset/rise times) and the hunting/fishing time calculator (based on the questionable solunar theory) and doesn't support saved tracklogs. But the Quest is considerably cheaper since it includes the auto mount/pwr cord/CitySelect package that would be about $130 extra on the 76c and it's considerably more compact yet with the same screen size and resolution.

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hey thanks for bringing up the quest , quest2 units i had not looked at those

 

Though the Quest units are nice ones, keep in mind that the units that are chiefly designed for the automobile, but can be used as a handheld, while the Garmin 60C(S) and 76C(S) are chiefly handhelds that can also be used in the auto.

 

One major negative for the Quests (In my eyes) is that they use a rechargable, internal LI battery rather than AAs. Some people however will see this as a positive and if you only geocache a short distance from the car it can be. If you plan to be away from your car (or any other charging source) all day, or do overnight backpacking or canoe trips, it becomes an issue.

 

One minor problem (so I've been told) is that the map is always oriented for use in your auto (in landscape) and cannot change to portrait when you are using it as a handheld the way the GPS V does.

 

Still they are very attractive units with some great features. The Quest 2 is particularly nice because it comes with CitySelect NA loaded and and additional 140 megs of memory for other mapping software (Topo, Blue Chart, etc...). The Quest is attractive because it has come down a lot in price since the Quest 2 has been released.

Edited by briansnat
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I have been looking at  buying a gps unit for a little while now. I'm trying to do this with out spending hundreds of dollars. I know garmin makes an etrex model for about $100. I came across a new manufactorer called Lowrence i finder. They offer 2 models for $80 and $100. These models have the same features as a Garmin or Megellan that would go for $300 to $400. Is this a good deal or is it the old you get what you pay for deal. Am i better off just saving my pennies and buying the better know product?

 

I have the iFinder PHD. The only iFinder unit that I would not purchase would be the GO due to no PC connectivity. So now that that's been said, lets totally forget about the *ONE* model of iFinder that's a DUD, and move on.

 

The iFinders are upgradable, so as you progress, you can add stuff slowly as you have cash.

 

The GO2, and every other version of iFinder has PC connectivity through the use of SD cards and USB card readers. The iFinder will simply dump a USR file containing all waypoints, trails, routes, and icons. Due to this GPS using standard SD cards, we can get around 1 GB of SD cards for around $120 CDN. Usually the GPS comes with a 32 MB SD stick.

 

One of the things I found out about the ifinder, is the amount of track storage in these little rigs is generally, well, in a word, CRAZY. The GPS can work with 100 tracks, and each track can store 10,000 points. I've been mapping a 50-100 Sq Mile mountain range and expect it all to fit in only 2 out of the 100 tracks. For my mapping activities, track storage is EVERYTHING because you cannot modify the base maps. That's every spur, and every main road.

 

Most (if not all) of the iFinder GPS's all have external antenna jacks. If you do have a reception problem, you can plug in an external amplified antenna and seriously boost the reception and accuracy. This is something that IMHO is seriously lacking with the other GPS lines.

 

Power was also one of my concerns. I did not want to be locked into some non-standard rechargable battery pack. If the vender specific batteries go dead, you have to recharge them, unless you've spend $50 or more on an extra battery pack. If the vendor specific battery pack fails, your down until your replacement pack arrives (assuming they're still being made).

 

I wanted something that will run on readily available batteries. The iFinders all use 2 AA batteries. I get good 'real world' running times from the 2 AA batteries. Usually 8 - 12 hours. I run the GPS at night (backlights on) and with NO POWER SAVING features because I want accuracy as I map. If god forbid the battery goes dead, NO PROBLEMO, I slap another set in and go. I could extend this to up to 20 hours depending on how I enable powersaving, and if I do not use the backlight.

 

The mapping software isn't bad, I use Ozi Explorer and the Lowrance Mapcreate 6.0 Topographical. The Mapcreate lets me 'upgrade' the GPS to use a much more detailed Topo basemap. Mapcreate is lacking in edit capabilities. I found Ozi great for editing my iFinder USR data files.

 

Internal Antenna - I haven't had all that much problems while dirt biking through the forest canopy. The antenna issue, at least for me appears to be during sunset. At night and during the day, the satellite locks are great! Poor weather also seems to effect the reception as well.

 

My GPS is not all that waterproof. Even with the seals on, if it drops into a small puddle, water will get into the GPS. THIS RIG IS NOT WATERPROOF like they say.

 

The screen is fairly small. For a car ONLY GPS, a bigger screen would be great. For out in the woods, the iFinder screen is fine. I've also used the iFinder in the car, and it worked well.

 

Ifinder PhD and MP3 version let you record audio descriptions when you're setting a waypoint. I found this feature especially handy when you get home, and are trying to figure out why a waypoint was placed 'there'. You can take 5 mins to rename the waypoint as well, but I found it easier just to speak what was on my mind.

 

Lowrance is a very old company that makes Avionics, and Fishing / ship gear. I don't think their stuff is junk. I am trying to figure out why it's so cheap as well.

 

Bottom line, I've been very impressed with my GPS.

 

Regards,

---- Robb ----

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I have been caching for about 2 years now, and all I have used is my trusty i-Finder with the yellow cover. It has worked well and the one time it messed up, Lowrance fixed it quickly. I have a 128 Mb SD card in it, so I keep many states worth of street level maps in it all the time. It does seem like the Lowrance units are kind of rare in the geocaching community, most seem to use Garmins or Magellins. Maybe it is because they are easier to find for purchase. I had to do some searching for my unit. Overall, I am pleased with mine. It is easy to use and easy to load maps into. It also seems pretty accurate; of coarse that depends on how accurate the person hiding the cache was too! A color screen would be nice, but the main thing I would change on my unit, would be to make it more waterproof. If I replace it, it will be with a H2O i-Finder.

Mike S. (1Mech)

Edited by 1mech
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