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Garmin Vista Joystick Dying - Replace Or ?


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Hello! I have had my Garmin Vista for years and it has served me well backpacking, geocaching, sailing and on countless road trips. Unfortunately, the joystick on my unit has almost stopped responding. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn't now. I've had my startup screen garble twice recently, too. I usually speed through there clicking the button above the power button but it was disconcerting. On long distances on old trails, GPS is very important.

 

I was looking at some of the new color options from Garmin and they seemed very fun until I realized none of them come with a US base roadmap like my Vista B&W. This is extremely important to me, being a huge road tripper. Example: On the 4th of July, 2006, I was in Monterey, CA and stuck in horrible traffic without a map. I pulled up the GPS map, found an alternate route and got out of there, saving hours of frustrating waiting. (No, I didn't have to use the joystick). The newer units require you to spend big extra $$$ to get any basemap at all. The water navigation is huge for me, too, being a ocean going boat owner.

 

Some of the street units look appealing for road tripping but they are far too heavy & bulky for backpacking (I'm an ultra-light weenie). I upload waypoints & routes only, printing maps from Nat'l Geographic Topo with the waypoints and route drawn in. The combination works wonderfully. The tiny screen, even on the bigger units, is not good for me to use topos on, hence that ability doesn't matter to me.

 

Are there better options than just getting a new Vista B&W? I don't want to drop $500+ to get software, memory chips & such just to get what I have with my Vista B&W. It seems a little insane to me. I have a USB to serial converter, so use on my latest non-serial port laptops is not an issue.

 

Any suggestions and feedback are greatly appreciated.

 

Aaron

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the basemap on the 60 series should be just as good or maybe the same as the basemap on your vista....

 

But I personally would call garmin and see what they say it will cost you to get the your vista serviced. It sounds like you are happy with it, and it has served you well, and you may be pleasantly surprised with what garmin tells you.

 

No reason to replace an old friend (your vista) if you don't have to.

 

kgag.

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Thanks for the perspective. Garmin emailed back (after several days of course!) saying that the flat repair rate is $125. Just call them up and get an RMA. Now the debate of repair & hope it's good or buy a new one of the same type. Price is 1/2, so that's tough to beat.

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