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Thinking The Unthinkable


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I have been a long time Magellan fan, having owned three different models. However I have considered getting a Garmin unit for several reasons. Right now I am in a twixt as to which model I should choose. So my question is intended for those who might be able to shed some light on which model I should choose and why.


I am considering the Vista CX, Legend CX, and 60CX.


I already have a Magellan Explorist 600, so don't care or need the electronic compass or barometric altimeter features; I rarely use them in the unit I have. That being the case I am weighing in favor of the $250 Legend over the Vista.


My main question is this: The 60CX is $115 more than the Legend CX. Why would you spend the extra bucks on a 60CX over the Legend CX? Is the Quad antenna worth that much more? Does it perform significantly better?

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The 60Cx has Sirf iii, the Legend Cx does not. I have not used a Legend Cx, but my 60CSx has superb reception and lightning fast lock time (even with the slightly slower new firmware). That is worth the extra $$ IMO.


BTW, I switched from an eXplorist 600 to the GPSMAP 60CSx and I'm really happy with it :)

Edited by Cache Heads
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I have lots of Garmins and lots of Magellans. (Sometimes it's good to be the GPSBabel guy - sometimes it's bad...) The two posts above pretty much sum it up in my book.


If you're accustomed to Magellan's reception, you would be taking a step backward in sensitivity (though forward in many other ways) with a Legend CX. Yeah, you get expandable memory but that model still has Garmin's homebrew receiver circuit and not the Sirf receiver chip that does as well or better than Magellan's own.




Tell me why you're considering jumping ship and I'll tell you either to jump or ridicule you. :-)

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Major differences between the Legend CX and the 60Cx:

1. SiRF III - Awesome reception!

2. External antenna jack - the ability to expand your reception in situations where it's difficult. When flying on a commercial airliner, I like to use my GPSr. An external antenna with a window suction mount allows me to sit in an isle seat and still maintain a good lock on my position! Without the external antenna, I'd need to have a window seat and hold the unit up to the window!

3. RS-232 serial interface - allows greater connecting/interfacing solutions with other devices.

4. NMEA output - the standard GPS protocol - allows greater connecting/interfacing solutions with other devices.


------- all of the above - The 60Cx has it, and the Legend Cx doesn't.


5. 32MB of memory - the Legend Cx comes standard with 32MB while the 60Cx comes with 64MB. Some Legend Cx users report that their units came with a 64MB memory card - YOUR mileage may vary!

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Is the Quad antenna worth that much more? Does it perform significantly better?


The quad helix antenna is no better or worse than a patch, just different. In fact most of the Lowrance units, known for their excellent reception, use a patch antenna. The real difference in the 60C(S)X and 76C(S)X models is the SiRF III, not the quad antenna.

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I see that Garmin is offering a $100 rebate on the 76Cx and the 76CSx.

Haven't checked for sure but that should make the 76 Cx cheaper than the 60Cx. I have the 76C. Makes you wonder if Garmin is going to come

out with a newer 76 series. Think I will wait. The rebate is good until

July 9, 2006.

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So, when your 10-year old Magellan packs up what sort of service do Magellan give you? Garmin will, 9 times out of 10, replace the item with a brand new one at no charge. I have had this twice happen to me. Our 10-year old GPS12XL had a minor problem with the connecting plug, which we rarely used anyway. However, I took it to Garmin and 2 days later a courier delivered a brand new one at no charge - not even the cost of the courier! On the previous occasion, many years ago, I borrowed a Garmin GPS from a friend - he had bought it abroad some years earlier. Whilst in my possession a problem arose. I took it to Garmin and explained all I knew about the device. They exchanged it on the spot free of charge and even uploaded by buddy's waypoints to the new one! People in the UK has damaged their GPS in accidents and Garmin have even replaced those free! I guess they must charge sometimes, but rarely does one hear of it.


In the UK Garmin is tops... there isn't another company here with their after-sales record. And far as sensitivity goes.... for geocaching there won't be a noticeable difference between the two makes.


Oh yeah... I have no connection with Garmin. I'm a retired aviation-industry worker.

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So, when your 10-year old Magellan packs up what sort of service do Magellan give you? Garmin will, 9 times out of 10, replace the item with a brand new one at no charge. . . .

I agree . . . The rubber on my Vista C was coming loose. Other than that cosmetic problem, the unit worked perfectly.


I sent it in and Garmin replaced it with a new unit. :ph34r:


As for your choice of GPSr, I vote that you handle each of them. I prefer the smaller size of the Legend and Vista, but then I'm not usually caching where I need the Sirf chip in the GPS Map60Cx/CSx for the better reception.

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The new Vista Cx has up to 32 hours of battery time (vs the what? 18 of the new 60 series?) and I'd say that 90% of the time, I have an accuracy reading of under 20 feet. (that's about the length of a full size pickup truck) Never had enough signal loss in trees and other places to degrade enough to lose a fix. I can easily carry the unit in my backpack 'holster' on the shoulder strap and mark tracks and such. In the car, I can just wedge it between thedash and the windshield and it stays put.


No idea if the battery claim is right or not. Still working on my first set of batteries.


I have a friend who got the 60CSx and frankly, side by side hiking, we saw little difference. Yes, at the start when we first turned on the units, his got locks faster. Not worth almost $200 in my book. I'll take the smaller unit any day of the week.


You have to decide if the extra $$ is worth it.


Then again, my friend likes to say. "I'm glad I did than wish I had". Perfectly valid. And then I waited for him to stash the unit in the side pocket on his pack (which he had to remove to do) while I just slipped mine into the little 'cellphone' pouch on the front of the shoulder strap.


Yup, I'm glad I did. (:ph34r:)

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One thing to mention. Get a Venture Cx, not a Legend Cx if you go that way..... Save a few bucks. Buy a large SD card or get a 64MB one cheap (or free) from a 60Cx owner.....


I think what you need is a side by side reception evaluation between the two units. A proper unbiased one. These people saying, "I have this one and haven't try that one, but mine is the greatest", kind of waste space in your thread, no?

Edited by Red90
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I myself while I love my legend because it's small, compact, and simple would not buy a etrex sized unit until they get the SiRF III or some other SiRF chip version in them. The reception is so superior in the SiRF units that it's not even funny.


My 76csx crushes, my legend in reception. There's still places I take my legend due to the size but, it's actually annoying to use now because it won't read in a pack etc. or even in a pocket so everytime in the field I need a sample waypoint I have to pull it out of the pocket, let it lock, let the accuracy get to an acceptable level, then set a waypoint.


I can definately see wanting a etrex sized unit, but wait for one with the SiRF chip.

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Tell me why you're considering jumping ship and I'll tell you either to jump or ridicule you. :-)


The main reason is because I have occasionally been asked for help from new GPS users who own Garmin units. I can't help with what I am not familiar.


Then there is the customer support issue. Magellan used to have top rate service. Lately I have had some bad experiences, as have some of my friends. I don't know of a better way to let them know how I think than to buy products from their competition.


Thanks for the input everyone, if I do decide to purchase a Garmin it my be a 60CX or a 76CX, depending on the deal I can get.

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