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Thinking Of Getting An Etrex Vista Cx


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Would like to correspond with others who have this unit, or have outgrown this unit.

Want something I can hold onto for awhile. Currently using my hubbies etrex. Having fun but want to upgrade- his does not even have a computer cable. Compass would be helpful. Maps so I don't need to also toggle to google maps seems necessary. At some point want to go paperless, so want a unit that can make that transition. This would be the top of my price range- but see that there are several other units in a similar range (Legends?) Portable and sturdy are a must (I'm a bit of a klutz). Clear screen (eyes are fading). Spot on accuracy is not essential (going around in circles is kinda fun to us)- but want to be in the ball park-we travel quite a bit and will likely be hitting spots we will not have the opportunity to return to.

Any feedback?

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Would like to correspond with others who have this unit, or have outgrown this unit.

Want something I can hold onto for awhile. Currently using my hubbies etrex. Having fun but want to upgrade- his does not even have a computer cable. Compass would be helpful. Maps so I don't need to also toggle to google maps seems necessary. At some point want to go paperless, so want a unit that can make that transition. This would be the top of my price range- but see that there are several other units in a similar range (Legends?) Portable and sturdy are a must (I'm a bit of a klutz). Clear screen (eyes are fading). Spot on accuracy is not essential (going around in circles is kinda fun to us)- but want to be in the ball park-we travel quite a bit and will likely be hitting spots we will not have the opportunity to return to.

Any feedback?

 

Oh, and system needs to be compatible with a Mac.

 

Is the silence because most people out here have more advanced units?

Really not looking for a lot of bells and whistles, but a unit I won't outgrow.

Thanks.

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The Vista CX has maps, compass, and computer cable. I don't know what exactly you mean by it needing to transition to paperless caching, but it does. It has expandable memory too, so you can put lots of maps on it if you want. Not sure about Mac compatibility though, the computer connection is USB so you would probably need some drivers from Garmin.

 

It's pretty much the fanciest Etrex that you can get that doesn't have the upgraded reciever stuff that the more expensive GPSMAP line has.

 

Keep in mind that you'll have to spend another $100 or so to get decent road maps for it, the base map it comes with is pretty worthless.

Edited by ejnewman
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I have been a Vista Cx owner since March. I was slow to grasp the menu system but that would have abeen a problem for me with any GPSr. The unit seems to be pleanty durableas I have dropped it severl times and there has been no damage. My son owns a 60csx and when we compare accuracy side by side there is very little difference. I like the small package as it's easy to cary on a belt clip or in a pocket. I always attach a Lanyard with a caribiner to my belt loop as a secondary safety device. I'd hate to lose the thing if it was pulled off my belt by a branch. I use the electronic compass all the time when walking about the desert and mountains. The one handed Left hand controls took some time to learn for a righthanded guy like me but I am good with them now. If you need to know anything else let me know.

timk54

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I have an etrex legend cx (same as vista w/o the electronic compass and altimeter). We've only been out a few times so far but it seems fairly accurate. I admit I get concerned when I read all of the threads questioning the accuracy of the etrex line... I am left handed so I like the "left-handedness" of the unit.

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I have a Mac and a Legend C. I have finally learned how to go paperless with it mostly through this web page.

 

Paperless with a Mac

 

The only thing that did not work was MacSimple. It will not recognize the USB connection. I went to GPS Babel and have had no problems at all loading waypoints into my Garmin now. I also paid for Cachemate and will use it to load pages on my Palm Zire 31. Life is good now :P I though I was going to have to wait until next month when I get my new Mac with windows, :P but I can manage without it now. I will however need the windows to load maps from Mapsource into it. :blink: Anyhow I am surviving very will with my Mac right now.

 

Hope this helps.

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The Vista CX has maps, compass, and computer cable. I don't know what exactly you mean by it needing to transition to paperless caching, but it does. It has expandable memory too, so you can put lots of maps on it if you want. Not sure about Mac compatibility though, the computer connection is USB so you would probably need some drivers from Garmin.

 

It's pretty much the fanciest Etrex that you can get that doesn't have the upgraded reciever stuff that the more expensive GPSMAP line has.

 

Keep in mind that you'll have to spend another $100 or so to get decent road maps for it, the base map it comes with is pretty worthless.

 

1-For a similar price is there a better option?/ is the Vista overkill for what we want? (we have access to a Garmin employee discount- so not actually spending that price.....)

2- What is the map that it comes for good for? What map would we need for US geocaching? We like to travel, would we need more than one map program?

Thanks

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The base map the comes on the Legend/Vista Cx is about like a highway map you get at the gas station. The major roads are there, so for driving cross country on major trips, its great. I won't work to find that little hole-in-the wall restuarant in a forgotten part of town, or to show you a short cut through the neighborhood to get around a traffic jam. For that you would likely want City Select ver. 7 (or the just released City Navigator version 8). In fact, if you buy version 7 somewhere, Garmin should allow you to upgrade to version 8 for free. The map version just means that the more recent road and points of interest are included. The maps list for about $140 from Garmin, but can be found from on-line retailers for about $100.

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1-For a similar price is there a better option?/ is the Vista overkill for what we want? (we have access to a Garmin employee discount- so not actually spending that price.....)

I have no idea. If you are getting it discounted anyway then I would go for the fanciest on you can afford. :ph34r:

 

2- What is the map that it comes for good for? What map would we need for US geocaching? We like to travel, would we need more than one map program?

 

The map it comes with has interstate highways and some state highways. There are other state highways missing, and no country roads or city streets. You can look in at the detail in all of Garmin's maps on their website. Look for the Mapsource Map Viewer box; you can zoom in on your town and see how much detail is in each of the available maps. I don't think you can look at the base map in the previewer, probably because they don't want to show how crappy it is. :ph34r:

 

You don't need any map for geocaching really, just an arrow pointing towards the cache.

 

You only have to buy one map package from Garmin to get North America. I don't know how accurate the roads are outside of the US, but inside the US it should have any road that has been there for a few years. Look at the viewer on Garmin's website if you want to see what roads are there and what aren't.

 

The thing to watch out for when traveling is whether you can fit the maps you need on the storage in the unit. Garmin's maps are cut into chunks so you don't have to store the entire US on the GPS at once, and you transfer from your computer the parts of the map that you will need for your trip. You can buy bigger memory chips for the Vista CX (it come with 64MB it think, and you can buy 1-2GB chips for it), which means that it can hold more maps at once if you want it to. For example, Illinois is divided into 3 pieces, totalling up to about 43MB. You can fit this on a 64MB memory card, but not a 32MB card. Iowa is just one piece and is only about 18MB. Indiana is two pieces adding up to about 28MB.

Edited by ejnewman
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Thanks for helping out. I know I have this tendency to overresearch, but I just want to do this once and be happy for awhile.

 

"You don't need any map for geocaching really, just an arrow pointing towards the cache."

 

Oh no- that's what I'm doing now, and even in my home town it's not very effective. That leaves me looking up things in google local, jotting down details, shuffling through papers..... it's one of the reasons I am ready for an upgrade from our etrex yellow.

 

"The thing to watch out for when traveling is whether you can fit the maps you need on the storage in the unit. Garmin's maps are cut into chunks so you don't have to store the entire US on the GPS at once, and you transfer from your computer the parts of the map that you will need for your trip. You can buy bigger memory chips for the Vista CX (it come with 64MB it think, and you can buy 1-2GB chips for it), which means that it can hold more maps at once if you want it to. For example, Illinois is divided into 3 pieces, totalling up to about 43MB. You can fit this on a 64MB memory card, but not a 32MB card. Iowa is just one piece and is only about 18MB. Indiana is two pieces adding up to about 28MB."

 

Now this memory option is beginning to make sense- so about what size card should I look for in a unit to keep all of Oregon loaded, and be also able to add parts of states for trips? Or is that too much for any unit- just put Oregon on one card and swap out an additional card that I use for trips- am picturing that the swapping out of cards is like we do with the digital camera.

 

That's where my question on overkill comes in- I know what I want the GPS to do- there are several models in a similar price range- each with slightly different features. Money I don't spend on the GPS will still go to the hobby, want to get a palm pilot at some point too.

 

Thanks again for all the imput.

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Now this memory option is beginning to make sense- so about what size card should I look for in a unit to keep all of Oregon loaded, and be also able to add parts of states for trips? Or is that too much for any unit- just put Oregon on one card and swap out an additional card that I use for trips- am picturing that the swapping out of cards is like we do with the digital camera.

 

If you get one with removeable memory (the Vista Cx has this) then it's just like swapping cards for a camera, just with smaller (in dimension, not necessarily in storage) cards. :wub:

 

In my copy of City Navigator 7, Oregon is in two pieces. One is about 100 miles wide along the coast and is 15.3MB, the second is the rest of the state and is 10.5MB, so you could easily fit all of Oregon on a 32MB memory card. If you are going on a longer trip then you can either buy a bigger memory card or bring along a laptop and switch maps as necessary. A third alternative if the maps you need for a trip won't even fit on a big card is to get several small ones and divide up the maps, swapping them as necessary as you go.

 

City Select (which you may or may not be able to still buy) and City Navigator 8 (which may or may not actually be out yet) have smaller map pieces so you have a little more flexibility in what areas you can bring along with limited storage.

 

As far as overkill in shopping goes, it's always a safe bet to get the best unit you can afford. Odds are that after playing with it you will want something better no matter what you get. :unsure:

Edited by ejnewman
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