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Help Me Pick A Gps

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Here is what I am looking for


-All of US maps built in

-driving directions (with audio cues)

-usable when driving or walking (find my way back to the hotel when I walk around town)

-the cheaper the better


any suggestions? B)


Thanks in advance, I owe you.

(need guitar suggestions?) B)

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Here is what I am looking for


-All of US maps built in

-driving directions (with audio cues)

-usable when driving or walking (find my way back to the hotel when I walk around town)

-the cheaper the better


any suggestions? B)


Thanks in advance, I owe you.

(need guitar suggestions?) B)

Just how much do you want ot spend, for all that you want it will be cheap.

-All of US maps built in, You will need a large memory card and the software Figure about $150.00 in additon to the price of the GPS.

-driving directions (with audio cues) Voice ques or beeps

-usable when driving or walking (find my way back to the hotel when I walk around town)Well, how large of a GPS are you willing to carry with you

-the cheaper the betterYou get what you pay for.


You are going to have to spend at least around $450.00

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I purchased the Garmin eTrex Vista C, which is capable of auto-routing with the City Select software installed. I spent about $500.00 for the GPSr, the TOPO software, and the auto-mount combo with cigarette-lighter adapter with City Select software.


It has 24 MB of memory for maps (both Topo and City Select installed), which is all I need, because it completely covers the area I cache in. Unless you drive from coast-to-coast all the time, you shouldn't need all the maps. With the USB connections, new mapsets can be installed very quickly.


If you do want that many maps installed, you will have to purchase a large memory card and one of the newer GPSr units, which are not discounted now.


Since I had a memory card for my camera go bad, I'm not too anxious to have one in my GPSr. B) YMMV

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I use a Garmin GPSmap 60cs which will do almost everything you want except that it won't give you voice prompts for turns. It just beeps. You'll pay a hefty premium to get voice prompts and I don't miss them. Garmin has come out with a new model of this unit, the 60cx, but I haven't seen anything in it that would make me spend the extra $150. You'll also need some street navigation software. Many of the high-end GPS units have some routes built in but they include only interstates and federal highways. The local surface streets change often enough that you'll want to get something that is updatable. I've used my Garmin all over the country and I am very happy with it. It's also excellent for geocaching. The electronic compass is worth its weight in gold. The GPS will run you about $350 at GPSNow.com and the software will set you back about $120. Then, you'll orbably want a mounting bracket and a cigarette lighter adapter. Don't bother with an external antenna. You won't need it. You can get the mapping software and all of the mobile accessories as a package deal for about $160. Plan on spending about $550 by the time you're done. My advice is to spend as much as you can afford. Don't plan to get an entry level unit and then upgrade. You'll only be disappointed in the end and end up upgrding much sooner than you planned.

As they said in that old western: "That's just my opinion. I could be wrong" Good luck

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I'm not a fan of the Quest for hiking but others have no qualms. It is the least expensive GPS that fits the bill.


Your alternate is a new Garmin X series GPS where you buy a memory card large enough to hold the maps for all areas you are likely to go. My best WAG is that you would need a 2gb-3gb card and I don't think they make them yet.


Some of the new Magellan Explorists may do the same as the Garmin but they work with maps differently as I understand it. You may have to load and unload map sets from the memory card. But since it's a standard SD card you could probably find a card large enough.

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Thanks guys


When I said cheap, I guess I am just looking for the cheapest one that meets these conditions.


I would spend $800 if I had to, but if there is one for $400 that will do that, sweeter!!


I will be going coast to coast, so I would like to have all the maps built in (so I don't have to mess with it.)


As for portable, I have seen some like this navman link here that seem pocket friendly. I could bend on this option though


Any more suggestions (specifically model numbers) would be great!


Thank you for taking the time to respond to this post. I really appreciate it.

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If that is your budget, I would get the GPS Map60CSx, or the Map76CSx, City Navigator and Topo software, and the largest card the GPSr will take.


The AA (NiMH 2500 rechargeables) batteries will last long enough for you to have it out of the car for caching for ten hours, but you can connect it to the cigarette-lighter adapter when it is in the car.


I'm not sure how much memory you need for all those maps . . . someone who loaded all of them on their computer will have to tell you. I only loaded the western maps.

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anyone know anything about these cute little things?



Garmin Quest Portable Automotive GPS Navigator



Magellan Roadmate 700 GPS Navigator with 10GB Hard Drive (Refurbished)



MIO 269 GPS Navigation with Free 1 GB Secure Digital Card



Navman iCN 550 Advanced Transferrable Mobile GPS Navigator

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I went through the same thing last week. I was looking for somewhat of a hybrid unit that has voice-prompt mobile navigation ability (good on the road), that also does well for outdoor usage (geocaching). I did quite a bit of research and the common voice for such hybrid just simple, does not exist, at least to the level I want.


However, I believe the Garmin Quest II (which is what I got) is the cloest thing on the market right now. So far, I have only been using it in my car and I'm mildly impressed (after getting used to my friend's navi in his Acura, my level of expectation is extremely high). It does take a bit of time to aquire satellite signals. I have not been able to test the unit outdoor yet.


If you need further info on the Quest I/II unit. let me know

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can anyone tell me how many gigs it will take to store the whole US?


or, everywhere other than Wyoming and Montanna :wub: ?


The entire continental US in City Select Version 6 is just over 1.5GB (actually 1,502 MB). Excluding Montana and Wyoming drops you all the way down to 1,488.2MB. The largest microSD card (available soon) is 1GB, so the x series wouldn't do the job on a single chip. Of course, you could buy three 512MB chips, but you still won't get voice prompts.


I agree that the Quest II is your best bet for a handheld.

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can anyone explain the difference between quest 1 and quest 2?


I have been reading descriptions and they seem quite similar (other than the price)




You can find everything about Quest and Quest II (well, almost) here:




If you need info on GPS.... this is a very useful link:





As far as map loading, Quest II is relatively slow. It can be a pain to calculate route while driving side streets. However, I think the additional 140MB is usefulfor additional map upload, which is more important in my opinion. I read somewhere that you can speed up Quest II if you uncheck states/area you don't use often

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I spent a good six months researching this. There's vasically a handful of things I would recommend and two basic routes to follow. It all depends on your budget. If you can about $400.00 then look at option one. If you are on a budget look at Option 2. But believe me if you can swing the $400.00 take option one. I can gurantee you in a year you'll be at option one anyway.


First of all the GPS is the coolest thing in the world. If you camp and hike and travel (and bow geocaching) well you're going to love this device.


These are the requirements for general use (in my opinion):


Note: Handheld. Hands down -- get a handheld.


1. Must be water proof - Most newer Garmin® GPS units are waterproof in accordance with IEC 60529 IPX7. IEC 60529. This is a European system of test specification standards for classifying the degrees of protection provided by the enclosures of electrical equipment. An IPX7 designation means the GPS case can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. An IPX8 designation is for continuous underwater use. (p.s. I took my 60Cx in the shower. No problems at all!


2. Good Case Design. Sturdy and have a locking/waterproof battery compartment - If water gets inside the case your GPS is toast. Keep an old shoe box in the closet of "toasted" GPS's if you skimp in this area. Garmin has the best cases. I have dropped my Garmin three times and it didn't even scratch the case.


3. Autorouting - My first GPS didn't have this and I didn't think it mattered. Believe me if you have auto routing -- you'll never go anywhere without it. Autorouting is a feature that will calculate a route from your destination to where you want to go and then give you street by street direction how to get there, while showing you on the map screen. Way cool!! If you're on a budget this is the item to dlete but believe me it is worth every penny.


4. Basemap - You should not buy any GPS without this option. Most GPS's today have a base map.


5. Multiple Channels - Channels. Use a receiver with 12 parallel channels. This should include most manufactured after 1997. Older, single-channel receivers are much slower and may not be as accurate.


6. External antenna jack - This allows the equipment to be mounted inside a vehicle if reception is poor. Althoug both of the GPS's I will reccomend for you I have used inside my vehicle and I have never needed an antenna. I get excellent reception.


7. Expandable Memory - This was my big thing. The $100.00 - $180.00 units typically come with 64 MB or less internal storage. This will handicap you for any cross country camping trips. There are two real good units out (very new) that have this feature. I own both. I will detail thiese two units in my option one and option two GPS recommendations at the end of this review. Get expandable memory or you will be limited in the coverage area you have. Of course you will always have BASEMAP, but why settle.


8. Interface - If using the receiver with a computer, be sure that it includes both data in/out ports, and make sure it's NMEA compatible.


9. Get a cigarette Lighter Power source - Use a cigarette lighter power cable whenever possible. If you're only using batteries, make sure to carry spares. The units have 24 - 30 hours of battery life but not if you want backlighting.


10. I highly recommend color. But the monochrome ones are OK if you're on a budget.




OPTION ONE: The Garmin MapGPS 60Cx is the cream of the crop in my opinion. It has everything I listed as a must have and at a MSRP of $482.00 - it's the best deal there is in my opinion. You can buy this unit at The Twister Group for $369.00. You won't find it anywhere any cheaper. I bought two from them. Garmin is the best GPS's there are. SPend the money now or later -- but eventually you'll own one. Here's garmin's site if you want to read more Garmin Website and here is the Twister Group The Twister Group.


OPTION TWO: The Lowrance i-finder. You can get this unit for under $200.00. It has all the above features except autorouting. I am not impressed with the quality of the case and I would not feel brave enough to step into the shower with it. But the monochrome monitor is available at only $132.00 and this is a very acuurate GPS.


Believe me, for all around camping, travel, geocaching, commuting, travel in strange cities, sight-seeing etc. Get the Garmin GPS 60Cx and the following assecories:


GARMIN GPS 60Cx ($369.00 The Twister Group)

Cigarette Lighter Adapter (23.00 Garmin or Cabela's)

Suction Mount Kit ($32.00 Garmin or Cabel's)

Mapsource - City Navigator V.7 ($107.00 Twister Group or Garmin)

512 MB TrabsFlash Card ($52.00 Best Buy)

Total: $583.00


Like I said -- spend it now or spend it later. I bougt the Lowrance and after a month bought all the Garmin stuff and even bought a second for the wife.


Good luck.

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Starpuller, thanks for the detailed response!


I guess, now I am looking at the Quests and the 60cx


I like that the 60cx has expandable memory! but as I look at it, it doesn't seem to have any audio prompts. I travel often (all around the country) and miss exits all the time (from chatting with someone, or daydreaming). I NEED the audio prompts. Is there at least a beep or something with the 60cx?


Still welcoming your opinions. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to share here. I owe you!

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The GPSr beeps once when you have an upcoming turn or exit.


It beeps twice when you have arrived at the street or exit.


You have to glance at the GPSr to see which lane you need to be in. It will show "Left" or "Right."


I like the auto-routing on my Vista C, and its small size makes it convenient for hiking. <_<

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what are views on the roadmate 700?

i know it doesn't have all the hiking stuff, but i like that it has all the US maps (and not just basemaps)


The Roadmate isn't really suitable for handheld use. The Quest II is and comes with the detailed US maps for all of North America.


Anyway, I'm going to move this to the appropriate forum. Better late than never.

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This may have been said before but:

If you need voice prompts and you have a notebook/laptop you can hook up any of the garmin auto routing units and get the voice prompts from the computer using Garmin's En rout. Some one correct me on this but I don't think you have to have the maps loaded on the GPSr if they are on the computer? You can also use the computer's display to view the maps. Then when you want to head into the woods you can just unplug the handheld GPSr and carry it with you. The biggest problem is where to put the computer in the vehicle so that it's not in the way. If you get an external antenna the GPSr doesn't even have to set on the dash. This is the setup I plan to use on our next trip and it seems to work well, I justhaven't figured how to mount everything yet. I have a 76cs that works great but if the x series had been available when I bought mine I would have gone for one of them. I liked the 76 models for the marine stuff (which I never use) and the fact that it had more memory, but now that you can use memory cards I think I would recommend the 60__x models (They seem to fit the hand better). You might be surprised at the number of maps that can be held in the memory.


Just my two pennies, I hope that helps.

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