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Legendc, Vistac Or Explorist 500 - First Gps

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I had the eTrex Vista and upgraded to the Vista C.


It auto-routes me around unfamiliar areas with the City Select software installed. It is small and fits my hand as I am hiking to a cache.


Since I live in an area with lots of hills, I like the altimeter feature. If I didn't, I would save some money and get the Legend C.


(The Magellan people on the Forum will tell you to get the Magellan.) :)

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The difference between the LegendC and VistaC is that the VistaC has the magnetic compass and barometric altimeter feature. In order for these two features to work properly, they must be calibrated. The compass needs to be calibrated after each battery change.


The altimeter needs to be calibrated whenever the air pressure changes (which could be frequently when a storm or weather front is approaching). The GPSr can tell you your altitude based on GPS data. The reason for having a barometric altimeter is so you'll know your altitude in the event that you lose your satellite reception. It's ironic that the easiest way to calibrate it is to get the altitude information from the GPS data.


Also, if you take a GPSr with a barometric altimeter on an airplane, it will give you a reading based on the pressurized cabin's altitude. So even though the plane is at 41,000 feet, your GPSr will tell you that you're only at 5,000 feet.


Personally, I don't care much for the sensors. It just seems like extra hassle to me. When I wanna go somewhere with my GPSr, I don't wanna have to fiddle around with extra calibration and what not - I just wanna turn the thing on and go! Why pay extra money to complicate life more? :)

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I thnk the garmin units have a lot more features & customizing ability. More data displayed at a time, as well as better autorouting capabilities.


However, the memory features of the Explorist are very nice. You can have unlimited waypoints. I have every cache & benchmark in teh state of Utah in mine. It also inclueds 50 chartachters of hints (20 with garmin), difficulty terrain etc. You can also hold a lot more maps, with the SD slot.


What would be nice is a garmin with sd slot & better geocacheing features.


Garmin pros - much better gps, features etc


Garmin cons - Limited memory, only 500 waypoints - your stuck to a computer more


Magellan pros - Unlimited waypoint & map memory, more cache info built in not stuck to a computer som much


Magellan con - Less features, info & autorouteing not so good.

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However, with the VistaC, you do not need to calibrate the altimeter regularly, if you have it set to the "auto-calibrate" mode. In this mode, it will recalibrate the altimeter based on a GPS reading (which I think is time-averaged). In my hands, this works very well for getting consistent altitudes at a fixed location, through a wide variety of weather changes. If the unit has been off for a while (or without signal), and is then turned on, the altitude may take a little while before it starts adjusting, but then seems to be pretty good. I like the VistaC because I wanted good, detailed, altitude data on my bike rides. I don't use the compass much. Others like the compass, because they can get a sense of what direction they are facing or what direction a waypoint is in when standing still. If neither of those features is strongly appealing to you, then there's no reason to get the VistaC instead of the LegendC.



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The other thing that the explorist 500 has is a file sturcture that Garmin does not have.


You can have several files loaded with their own cache information. In my explorist 500 I have geocache files broken down into geographic areas. These include the following cities, Folsom, Sacramento, Placerville, Lodi, rancho Cordova, Fairfield, Woodland, Roseville, Rocklin, Elk Grove, San Francisco, Petaluma, Vacaville, and Marin County California. I also have POI files for New caches, A file for my caches, I even have a file for legs of multis that I have not finnished and a file for future cache hide locations. When I am in an area that I want to seek some caches in I just activate the file. The files can also be created to reflect cache types or cache rattings. You can have files for Multis, regular, letterbox caches or whatever you want. You can have files for Terrain ratings or difficulty ratings.


I do not use my Explorist 500 for autorouting, I use my Meridian gold for auto routing (I keep the same files in my Meridian), I have heared that the new direct route software is goig to correct some issues in the auto routing software. But the auto routing does get me to the area of the cache, then I use my explorist 500 with topo 3D to find the cache.


I also think that a barometric altimeter in a GPS is a waste of money, I have a Suunto watch with a Barometric altimeter and a magnetic compass. When I use my Sunnton the altitiude reading is the same as the reading I get from my GPS.

As far as a compass, I find that even a cheap baseplate compass is a lot easier to use, You can find a base plate compass that will work for less than $10.00

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I like Garmin's Mapsource better than Magellan's Mapsend Mapping software.


I did something new today, I had taken a *.GPX that was downloaded from geocaching dot com, straight into Mapsource, then today, after I did a cache in Livonia michigan, I went back to Mapsource, and opened the *.GPX file, and clicked PROPERTIES on the Geocache, and clicked the little arrow at the bottom of the waypoint PROPERTIES window, it then broght up the cache page, then I logged it.


So much easier to log caches now, because of Garmin.


When you download Garmin Tracklogs to Mapsource, the tracklogs help you remember which caches you visited, then you just click on the waypoint properties of each cache visited, then log each cache right from the cache links in Mapsource.


I been using the GPS Map60C


I been thinking of getting the Explorist 500, which is a more powerfull GPS, but I find that Garmin has really simplified things, but at a sacrifice of internal memory.


What is missing from Magellans, is a good Trip Computer Page, like what is found on most Garmins.


This is 25 screen captures of a Garmin 60C which has a simular firmware to the Vista C.

Edited by GOT GPS?
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it then broght up the cache page, then I logged it.

You can do the same thing with GSAK without having to use any map software.


the tracklogs help you remember which caches you visited

Or if you are caching paper less you can make notes on a pocket PC or a PDA to remeind you of which caches you visited. If someone is using a print out they can just makes notes on the print out.


Then Again Magellans Map Send Topo includes all the street names, the Garmin Topo only includes names on major highways and roads.

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We have the Vista C (well, two of them) and really like it. To us, the compass was worth the extra $50. But one more difference to take into consideration: the battery life is apparently a lot better with the Legend C.


According to the Garmin site, the Vista C should go for 20 hours on 2 AA batteries, while the Legend C will go for 36. We use rechargeables, and it seems that they only last about 8-12 hours (depending on whether we've had the backlight on or not).

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