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First Gps; Lowrance Expedition Or Legend Cx?


jayheel
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I'm new to the GPS crowd and would like to purchase my first one before this summer.

I would use my GPS for travel on trips and a probably even more hiking on trails.

Both of these units are similiar in price but differ in their options.(does lowrance have autorouting?)

I see many more use Garmin but it seems more of a preference than actual performance.

I'd love any advice or reccomendations.

 

Thanks

 

-but please don't convince me to buy a 60 csx because my wife won't let me spend that much :(

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The people who have Lowrance rave about them stating they are an excellent unit for the price.

 

I have the Garmin Vista C with the City Select maps. It is small and convenient to carry while hiking, and it is capable of auto-routing me through unfamiliar areas. :(

 

It only ha 24 MB of memory, but that is plenty for the area I cache and travel through. With the USB connector and a laptop with you on your travels, you can change the maps quickly if you need to.

 

Because the new CSx units are out, the Vista C might be heavily discounted. You can get the software in a package deal with the automount kit for a better price than buying everything individually. :o

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The Lowrance Expedition does not have auto-routing. The iWay 100M does.

 

I'm new to the GPS crowd and would like to purchase my first one before this summer.

I would use my GPS for travel on trips and a probably even more hiking on trails.

Both of these units are similiar in price but differ in their options.(does lowrance have autorouting?)

I see many more use Garmin but it seems more of a preference than actual performance.

I'd love any advice or reccomendations.

 

Thanks

 

-but please don't convince me to buy a 60 csx because my wife won't let me spend that much :(

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I've also seen in other threads that the lowrance uses sirf receivers, and that the expedition/H2OC has a sirfIII, same as my 60cx. I'm not sure if that has been validated, but people who have the lowrance expedtion/H2Oc swear by the reception.

that's interesting!

it would be worth finding out because i don't believe any of garmin's legends use the sirf recievers

i wonder if lowrance has it on their website?

 

thanks

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that's interesting!

it would be worth finding out because i don't believe any of garmin's legends use the sirf recievers

i wonder if lowrance has it on their website?

 

thanks

 

Here's a link and here is a good post on the subject

 

I never did hear confirmation of this, but it appears quite a bit, and I think some lowrance owners have mentioned during device boot there is the sirf trademark.

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My preference would be the Lowrance, but I won't put down the Garmin, it is a nice unit as well.

 

To break it down a little:

Garmin Legend:

+ Small and easy to carry, auto-routing

- Smallish memory, signal loss in cover

Lowrance Expedition:

+ Excellent antenna, many features for the money.

- No auto routing, bigger than Legend.

 

It depends largely on what you want. You may want to consider software, Lowrance has only one mapping program for it's units, whereas Garmin has several.

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thanks for the link, info and comparison

 

from what it sounds like the expedition is better in reception than the legend but not the garmin 60cx

 

i guess the sirf iii acts differently in different models.

 

if the lowrance only comes with one mapping software, does that limit the amount of things it it capable of doing? i'm pretty good with the computer and would like to use my laptop with it while traveling and before hiking. does the lowrance communicate with computer well is i guess what i'm asking?

 

thanks

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if the lowrance only comes with one mapping software, does that limit the amount of things it it capable of doing? i'm pretty good with the computer and would like to use my laptop with it while traveling and before hiking. does the lowrance communicate with computer well is i guess what i'm asking?

 

Yes, the Lowrance works well with a computer. Most data transfer is via SD card, but standard cables are available, and I believe they are capable of NMEA output, so it can tell a laptop where you are, and would probably work with MS Streets as a real-time onscreen navigator. (More research would be needed to confirm that setup.)

 

Garmin has multiple software programs for different mapping, one auto-routes and has high detail for street mapping and POI data, another has TOPO info, you can use both together, but it takes up a lot of memory.

 

Lowrance has one for all, no auto-routing though. It has TOPO data, and street mapping, along with the POI database. All in one program.

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Played with autorouting, didn't need it, that's why I bought the Expedition. I have to admit I don't understand the need for autorouting. I get where I want to go without something beeping at me. I don't spend much time in the big city though.

 

i didn't think they did.

i hear a lot of people say they can't live without it, it is really necessary?

 

also why does it seem that if people that use lowrance like it so much they're aren't more people

using them?

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from what it sounds like the expedition is better in reception than the legend but not the garmin 60cx

 

i guess the sirf iii acts differently in different models.

 

 

Not sure where you got this from. I have yet to see a direct comparison between the expedition and the 60x models. Maybe you've seen one that I missed?

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from what it sounds like the expedition is better in reception than the legend but not the garmin 60cx

 

i guess the sirf iii acts differently in different models.

 

 

Not sure where you got this from. I have yet to see a direct comparison between the expedition and the 60x models. Maybe you've seen one that I missed?

 

actually it was a link posted in an earlier response.(i think by drbugs)

i wish there were more reviews on the lowrance expedition

i really like the features and price and besides the lack of autorouting cannot

figure out why more people don't jump on with lowrance - i'm leaning that way.

 

thanks for your responses

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Jayheel--same boat as you. Started researching well before 60csx came out. Agonizing over choice. Just ordered Expedition C (plus) because of larger screen, higher resolution, sd card easier to use (size), available FreedomMaps. Wish it had turn by turn and direct usb connection, but not worth (to me) the extra $250.+, to get it.

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glad to see i'm not the only one agonizing over this

 

if you get a chance let me know how it works for you.

 

by the way, if you don't mind where did you order your lowrance from?

 

thanks

 

Scheduled for delivery today. Will let you know. My bad--ordered from Dave's Marine Electronics when I meant to order from Lake Powell Discount Marine Electronics. Had them saved next to each other, and price was same, so mis-clicked. Lake Powell supplies you with an earphone adapter cable as part of the deal (at least in the Plus) package, whereas Dave's does not. So I lost an $18.00 cable, but no big deal since don't plan on listening to music.

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Jayheel--same boat as you. Started researching well before 60csx came out. Agonizing over choice. Just ordered Expedition C (plus)...

 

I got my Ex - C Plus last week. The card programmer didn't work, I called Lowrance Tech Support, and they sent out another one. It came yesterday - I had a map loaded and working in the EX-C in less than 10 minutes! I also loaded a bunch of 'songs' (that was easy, just used windows explorer to copy them to the SD card.)

 

So far, so good. Map detail (including topo) is good. I will be heading out to the field this saturday and do some deep-woods hiking. I went hiking last friday,but using just the base map. It did a good job in the trees (which, here in GA, aren't exaclty full of leaves yet.)

 

I noticed that IF I carry it in a shirt pocket, I have to point the screen AWAY from my chest - otherwise the GPSr loses sats quite often. The recorded trail got VERY goofy with the screen pointed towards my chest --- then, carrying it pointing away from the chest, and hiking thru the woods, I dont' think it ever lost it's fix.

Edited by WR8Y
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If your trail is all over the place make sure you have track smoothing set to "on". I had a trail plot go all over the place while out on a hike. I then went back and read the manual and it said always leave track smoothing on, specially when going slow like with walking.

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I noticed that IF I carry it in a shirt pocket, I have to point the screen AWAY from my chest - otherwise the GPSr loses sats quite often. The recorded trail got VERY goofy with the screen pointed towards my chest --- then, carrying it pointing away from the chest, and hiking thru the woods, I dont' think it ever lost it's fix.

Yes, that would be expected. The Lowrance units use a patch antenna located in the top portion of the case. These are designed for best reception with the unit held close to horizontal so the top of the antenna faces the sky. Your body is an effective absorber of microwaves so if you have it in your pocket facing you it will have very poor reception. Facing out, away from your body, is much better although not quite as good as if you were carrying it attached to a shoulder strap or other means where it could be more horizontal and up higher and therefore with less of the sky obstructed by your body.

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I was leaning toward buying a Lowrance H20 C over the Legend Cx (I didn't care about the compass of the Expedition) because the Screen qimage quality and fantastic customizable software.

 

Unfortunately, the SD card management seems ticky-tack and I don't know that I want to have to relearn how to use GSAK and or EasyGPS. Why can't Lowrance play well with others. It is like they want to be the MacIntosh of the GPS world.

 

Powerful and stubbornly independent. I guess I will banish them to the Island of Misfit Toys with Hermie & Rudolph until they learn to "play" well with others and drop the non-conformist crap.

 

I guess I have a Garmin in the future.

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Yeah, that relearning stuff. Took me all of 20 minutes after I switched from the Magellan Sportrak Map.

 

It's not that complicated. Stick the card in the card reader. Read it. Do stuff with the files. Go find geocaches.

 

I was leaning toward buying a Lowrance H20 C over the Legend Cx (I didn't care about the compass of the Expedition) because the Screen qimage quality and fantastic customizable software.

 

Unfortunately, the SD card management seems ticky-tack and I don't know that I want to have to relearn how to use GSAK and or EasyGPS. Why can't Lowrance play well with others. It is like they want to be the MacIntosh of the GPS world.

 

Powerful and stubbornly independent. I guess I will banish them to the Island of Misfit Toys with Hermie & Rudolph until they learn to "play" well with others and drop the non-conformist crap.

 

I guess I have a Garmin in the future.

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My preference would be the Lowrance, but I won't put down the Garmin, it is a nice unit as well.

 

To break it down a little:

Garmin Legend:

+ Small and easy to carry, auto-routing

- Smallish memory, signal loss in cover

Lowrance Expedition:

+ Excellent antenna, many features for the money.

- No auto routing, bigger than Legend.

 

He's referring to the CX which has a memory card so "smallish memory" is not an issue. Also, the newer

eTrex units far outperform the old ones under tree cover. The rap about signal loss is no longer valid with the eTrex C units.

 

i hear a lot of people say they can't live without it, it is really necessary?

 

Autorouting is not necessary, but then again neither is a GPS. People were perfectly happy before they came along, but they made finding your way around much easier. Autorouting is in the same boat. Now that I have it I would not condsider buying a unit without it. Its great for finding my way around strange towns when travelling. Even locally when someone wants to give me directions to his house, I say no thanks all I need is the address.

 

Also, you can't sneeze at Garmin's database of over 5 million goods and services. I was staying at my brother in laws and wanted to go out for bagels early in the morning. But where do I go without waking up my brother in law to ask? My Garmin took me to the nearest bagel shop. I was working in DC and needed a haircut. My Garmin took me to the closest barber. I was driving to my sister's house and my tank was on empty. Now where is the closet gas station? Garmin knew and took me there. After a day of caching, a group of us wanted to get a beer and a bite to eat but were not familiar with the area. Our Garmins found us a great burger and beer joint and directed us to the front steps. In a strange town on business, I felt like going out for Thai food. My trusty Garmin gave me a list of several nearby and once I chose one, it brought me right there.

 

I can't say enough good things about autorouting.

Edited by briansnat
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I'm a recent Lowrance convert myself. Just bought an Expedition C almost a month ago to replace my Magellan Sportrak Pro. Extremely happy with it. I wanted something in color, but with a large enough screen to make it useful in the car. Also wanted SD card ability.

 

Magellan's recent offerings were all too small for me. Fancy color screens, but not much larger than a postage stamp. If I wanted a mini sized unit, I'd get a Magellan with no debate. The large Explorist XL is nice, but although I could probably handle the larger case size, the weight was a show stopper for me. It weights over 12 ounces and I didn't want a full can of soda always hanging of my belt when I'm out hiking.

 

A main factor that turned me off against Garmin was the mapping software. People can correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I gathered during my research was that if I got Garmin's topo software, I'd lose much of the street detail. But if I bought the street product, I'd lose the topo information. I guess I could have bought both products but 'no thanks'. I don't care about POI's like restauarants and banks, but I do want full street information and I want topo information for when I'm off the streets. I had this with the Magallan's software I wanted to retain it. Turns out that with Lowrance's software, I get it all... full streets, topo information, and also POI information like restaurants and whatnot although I have most of the latter disabled to prevent screen clutter. And price of the Lowrance plus the map software was about the same to an 'equivalent' Magallan or Garmin unit, but *without* their software.

 

Really happy with the Lowrance. Have gotten used to the interface and like it. I haven't done any caching yet with it, just some general hiking, so can't say much about accuracy to getting to ground zero of a waypoint. I can say that when on the road, it does an exception job of sticking to the road whereas my Sportrak had a tendency to put me a 100' or so off the road oftentimes. The reception is *outstanding*. Picks up satellites where the sportrak had problems and never loses them. Can even pick up multiple satellites and thus tell me my location when sitting on the living room couch. That never happened with the Sportrak. I can tell that this summer I'll be hitting some remote caches that I've avoided before because I knew my Sportrak would have problems due to tree cover.

 

Some nits: don't like the gloss of the black case. The clear plastic of the screen is flush instead of recessed making it more prone to scratches. And the button layout is very similar to Magellan's (which I like), but the buttons are closer together causing me to often hit two buttons at once. This is especially a problem when trying to press them through the clear vinyl face of the holster case.

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I was leaning toward buying a Lowrance H20 C .....

Unfortunately, the SD card management seems ticky-tack and I don't know that I want to have to relearn how to use GSAK and or EasyGPS. Why can't Lowrance play well with others.

I think it's more a matter of others learning to play nice with Lowrance. ExpertGPS (and I suppose EasyGPs, too) works fine. Tell it you have a Lowrance GPS and it will create a .USR file that you can just save to the SD card. Doesn't get any easier. I think that GSAK doesn't have a clue what to do with a Lowrance, though. I blame GSAK for that defiency; not Lowrance.
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I think that GSAK doesn't have a clue what to do with a Lowrance, though. I blame GSAK for that defiency; not Lowrance.

 

You must be running an old version of GSAK, it now has a "send to Lowrance USR" option. It works like a charm, I can send a PQ to the unit and go out the door, with a ton of info displayed on the screen.

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I thought about purchasing a Lowrance when I was looking. I went to a seminar at the local Cabelas. The GPS guys told me that the Lowrance was the best value for the dollar. I decided on a Garmin (60csx) for a couple of reasons:

 

Garmin's built in support for geocaching

The auto routing feature

The size - like the larger screen on the Lowrance or 76csx, but don't like the handling that large of a unit

Excellent reception with the SIRF III chipset

 

I am very happy with the Garmin, it is a cool tool. ;)

 

A close friend of mine just bought the Lowrance H2O C and is very happy. We were out geocaching the other day and it worked very well. I do get better reception with the SIRF III chipset. I don't believe the Lowrance has the chipset yet.

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A close friend of mine just bought the Lowrance H2O C and is very happy. We were out geocaching the other day and it worked very well. I do get better reception with the SIRF III chipset. I don't believe the Lowrance has the chipset yet.

 

I think it does have the SIRF III.

 

My other GPSr is a Merigold so the Lowrance would actually be a little smaller that I am used to.

 

That screen, though. Wow!

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