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Gps Durability


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Hello all,


There are dozens of "which GPS" threads out there, and I hate to start a new one, but...


I'm a long-time Magellan user. I have a MeriPlat and a SporTrak Map, although I use the lesser SporTrak more often while out caching for its size.


Well I'm getting the itch to upgrade GPS's, and I'm considering the Garmin 60c. Two caching friends of mine own one, so I've had a chance to see Garmin's "geocaching mode" and auto-routing, and was impressed.


However, said friends say that it's needed to be repaired twice, both times because of a small drop. My SporTrak has taken -substantial- abuse. It's gone toppling down at least 3 steep rocky hills (once with me!), and it has more recently fell off of a bike onto concrete at a fairly brisk speed. It still works AND looks like brand new.


Knowing how I abuse GPSr's, I'm concerned about carrying a $400 GPS around and subjecting it to my usual abuse without a hint of comfort that it might be able to take it. :lol:


So, Garmin users, here is your chance to tell tales of your GPSr's taking abuse and living to tell the story.

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Well Mattopia, I have no horror stories to report, but wanted to say you will never regret leaving the Dark Side to become a Garmin user! I would especially recommend the Map 60C! If by chance you ever experience a problem with your Garmin, their service, quick response and your satisifaction is guranteed! Welcome over my son.

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Most consumer GPSr's are fairly rugged. But if you KNOW you're gonna do some extreme hiking then you'd be good to encase your GPSr in some sort of case or holster, ( and still hope for the best :lol: ) however, potential damage is a big reason why those expensive "super high end" GPSr's scare me a bit!


It's no different than seeing a skier tumbling down a hundred feet of mountainside without injury, but then later hearing of some other guy who slipped on a banana peel on flat ground, smacking his head, and dying :lol:

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I bungee my GPS Legend to the light on my handlebars on my bike. Last year, a dog ran out in front of me while I was going down a hill around 22mph and I hit the dog. I had a pretty nasty crash, my bike was damaged, and my cellphone and GPS unit went flying off into the road landing about 40 feet away from me. Other than about 30 scrapes and bruises, I was okay. The cellphone was damaged. The GPS unit still works great.

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I love my good old Garmin GPS12. Sturdy like a brick. I hammered some nails in wood with it. And (I do not know your whereabouts, mine is The Netherlands, where Amsterdam is)) it is very good waterproof. I fished it out of a swamp many times. It fell of my motorized bicycle a few times.

New ones are still available (it is I think the longest selling GPSr model) but secondhand is OK and very low in price <100 $ so then your GPS12 can be overrun by a humvee and it is of no great financial loss. (The GPSr I mean)

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I have the 60CS and it's been subject to a lot of abuse. I usually clip it to my right front pocket where it gets knocked around pretty good when bushwacking and climbing upr and sliding down rocky slopes. Last winter I slid down a steep, snow covered, rocky slope on my butt for 1/2 mile with the 60CS banging on the rocks and stumps all the way down (I forgot it was there).


It still works like a charm. I did get the neoprene case recently for added protection, chiefly to keep the screen from getting scratched.


My experience is that the 60CS is as rugged as they come.

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My 60CS has flown off my bicycle twice, once going over some cobblestones at about 12mph and the second time on some bumpy country roads at about 18mph. Both times the 60CS case got a little scratched up, but the unit worked fine.


I've also dropped my 60CS on the trail and pavement a few times and it just keeps on ticking.


The 60CS case is made very ruggedly and made to take abuse. I have had to send my 60CS back to the shop twice, but not because I dropped it.

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I don't have a 60 but I do have 2 Rino 120s. The user interface in Garmins sucks (that's a technical engineering term for hard to use). They attempt to do everything with a couple of buttons and it gets silly at times.


I have 5 Magellans, including a Platinum and Explorist 600, and find them easier to use, especially for geocaching.

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I have dropped our Explorist 300 about twenty billion times. Once, I dropped it on the sharp corner of a metal rail and broke the screen, but I don't think any unit would have survived that. I really should stop dropping it. Anyway, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. We had a bit of trouble getting the Magellan people on the phone when we broke it, (we were on hold for five hours), but when we finally got through, they were really nice, and they repaired the unit at no cost to us because it was so new, We absolutely love the thing. We got a suction cup mount and use it with the kayak, and it gets wet and everything, and there have been no problems.

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Well my experience with Garmin and my GPSMAP 76 CS must be the exception. I received it as a gift, after 5 months the compass quit, didn't drop it or anything, it just quit working. I had to disable the compass to get it to work. Received an RMA and received it back after a two week wait. Worked for about 3 months when it started to not turn on, spontaneously turn off, and then locked up completely navigating. I received the worst customer service from any company in recent memory. The agent suggested that I "Ebay" it if I was having so many problems and was dissatisfied :laughing: I eventually received a replacement after several phone calls and arguments. The battery contact just broke on the replacement yesterday, I'm not looking forward to getting it repaired again, I'll let you know how it works out and how long this one takes.


I also have a Magellan Sportrak Map, out first GPSr, it developed cracks in the case, I contacted Magellan via web site and was issued a RGA and received the GPSr back in 5 days, with a new case and a new suction cup mount and manual free, with a nice note apologizing. I also purchased a Magellan Meridian Gold while the Garmin was in for its first repair, and a Magellan Meridian Color for another team member. I appreciate the Magellan's performance and the ease of entering coordinates in the field.


I really like the features on the Garmin GPSMAP 76CS, especially the geocaching feature, the auto-routing, the newest one works much better than the first one (yes I updated the firmware on every release) and the easy to read display. I don't like the data entry method in field, and I am not impressed at all with their customer service. I'm certain I must be the exception, but the phone support has been horrible for me. Email support was good, except that they referred me to the phone support.


I think both have unique qualities, strengths and weaknesses, you'll have to judge for yourself.


Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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I left my Legend on top of a friend's car after a day of fishing and forgot about it. About 15 minutes into the ride home I remembered that I had left it on top of his truck. My friend turned around and we drove back up the mountain to the parking lot where we were parked. We could not find it anywhere. As we were leaving, I saw a glimpse of blue in the ditch. We pulled over and there it was, still getting a good signal.

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I mountain bike with a gps in my camelbak. I have had many regular old wipeouts along with lots of over the bar crashes landing on my back (and gps).


So far the 2 toughest units i have are Garmin GPS 12's and uber old school Eagle Explorers. Both can drive nails. Granted I have not broken any yet. Just some scratches really. I think the Explorers are in fact bricks.


Out of all of the units i own, my Garmin Rino seems like it could be rather delicate, but it seems to be hanging in there.... but time will tell :P

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