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Yellow  Dog
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Buying my first unit. I was set to buy a GPSMAP 60c.

Then the x units came out ;)

 

The unit will be used for caching, hiking & limited roadtrips.

I was leaning to the 60c because of the 56mb memory.

But with the x units thrown in I now have way too many options.

 

GPSMAP60C

GPSMAP60CS

ETRAX Vista CX

ETRAX legend CX

GPSMAP 76C

 

All are $299 - $356.

 

Any comments on what the best unit of the bunch is?

Pros & Cons?

 

Thanks for the input.

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I'll throw in my $.02. If the Legend Cx came with the SiRF III chipset, it would be the winner hands down. Alas, it does not (at least yet). I don't use the compass/altimeter features, so the extra money for the 60CS or Vista Cx do not seem worthwhile (just my opinion; reasonable minds can differ).

 

The differences between the 60C and 76C have been widely discussed here. There are five (76 is larger, has a slightly better basemap, has double the memory, has its buttons above the screen, and floats).

 

If you need more than 56MB of map memory, then the 76C or Legend Cx would be your only bet. If 56MB is enough, then it may come down largely to a function of user preference regarding size and shape.

 

A couple of other things to consider. The Legend Cx does not have a serial connection (not too big a deal. Some older NEMA based applications require serial data, but apparently, the port can be emulated). Also, if it is like the Legend C, it does not have a jack for an external antenna (again, not too big a deal unless your vehicle has metalic coating on the windows, or you hike in heavy cover and prefer to use an external).

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Vista / Legend

+ Nice handy pocket-sized

+ Has more pixels than the 60c (not much)

+ Price

+ Upgradable memory (micro SD) - up to 512 Mb, and up to 2Gb later this year

- No Sirf chip upgrade

- Antenna not as good as the other units

 

60s

+ Great reception (external antenna)

+ Sirf chip for quicker WAAS calibration and better overall reception (comes with the X-models only!)

+ Larger screen areal

+ Nice button placement IMO

- Quite a bit bigger than the eTrex unites (weight is the same)

- More expensive

 

76C

+ same as the 60s, except:

+ More memory than the 60s

+ It floats... woho

- I just don't like it.. Its ugly, big, heavy and expensive compared to the rest. ;)

- price

 

Sensors

+ With the electronic compass the direction arrow is always pointing towards your target even when standing still.

+ altimeter for logging elevation changes and monitoring pressure for weather prediction

- More expensive than non-S units

- 2/3 battery life compared the other (non-S) units

 

Thats about it I think.

Have just ordered a 60CSX for caching / hiking :)

Have fun with your new unit, whatever you choose.

 

A thread about battery life S vs. non-S can be found here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=118415

 

Edit: Misread your first post.. Though all were x-models. - Edited to compensate.

- If you arent willing to pay the ekstra $$ for the 60x units I would probally go with the eTrex Legend C - has the best battery life (up to 34h!) and if you are going to use topo maps you'll probally want more than 56Mb of storage of the 60's.

Edited by krisse
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Why do folks always go on about battery life? I bought a 15 minute recharger that came with 4 batteries. I'll never run out of juice with them so what's the big deal? I put full batteries in the unit, carry the spare set of fully charged rechargeables in my bag, and just because I'm an idiot, I carry a 4 pack of regular AA batteries. Heck, I can even plug the charger into my cigarette lighter and recharge batteries in 15 minutes. I really think people make way too big a deal out of battery life when the units aren't stuck with their own, built in battery.

 

That said, if I was in the market for a new unit I'd go for one with the SiRF chip. It sounds pretty sweet.

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Another point about battery life:

 

The biggest drain is the electronic compass. What I do is turn off the electronic compass and turn it on only if I can't find the cache and/or want to take a bearing.

 

One neat feature about electronic compass' is the ability to point and save a bearing so you can hike to a far away POI in a relatively straight line; this is especially useful if you drop into valley with trees and you can't see your destination.

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The reason I go on with the battery life is because I want to bring my unit on a few weeks hike far from anything remotely electrical (other than natural electrostatics). In the mountains weight is EVERYTHING - so if I can save some muscle for something else than batteries I'll do it.

 

The question still remains; how close to 1 can you bring the battery life ratio of the 60C and the 60CS by turning off the compass of the S-model?

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Some of us have a lot of small portable devices and have to contend with a half a dozen or so charging units for our house and car. It's nice not to have to lug all the charges and various batteries around every time we take a drive.

 

I'm a real estate appraiser and lug around a laptop, GPSr, PDA, cellphone, digital camera, and laser measuring device in my car. The battery issue is a very big issue with me.

Edited by canyonlander
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krisse: I don't know if you're aware but Lithium batteries are 1/3 the weight and 4-7 times the power as regular alkalines. The also do not fade like alkalines in the cold. They cost a lot more but it's a good choice for long hikes.

Yup - I've been looking at them as well. Pretty expensive though compared to alkas or nimhs. I heard ebay should be a good place to pick them up - but can you be sure they are decent quality?

 

But maybe I should bring a few when I go hiking. :ph34r:

 

A shame they don't come as rechargables.

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