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Garmin Etex Venture Cx


mvanotterloo
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I am new to the GPS Sensation. My brother is a Sportrak and I am looking at getting into Geocaching but using it for biking, hiking, little travel, little fishing, and of course geocaching. I was into getting the Magellan 500 but heard some downsides, and so when fishing a sportsman warehouse he was telling me they sell 95% Garmin and the #1 seller is Garmin Etex Venture Cx they sell more of that unit then any other unit and they have plenty to choose from. I want something that has a few options. I know this one doesn't have compass and altimeter or anything but can anyone give me some good information that would definetly want me to get this or any information that will make me not want to get it?

 

Love this website and can't wait to get something and this website already makes me feel like I have a wealth of knowledge on GPSr.

 

Thanks B)

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Is the Venture good enough or is it worth stepping up to a Legend cx or vista cx?

 

Need some help Please

Hi, mvanotterloo ...

 

As far as I can tell, all three units share the same basic GPS receiver chipset and software.

 

The Venture cx and Legend cx are the same unit in different colors, except that the Legend comes with a small capacity (32mb? 64mb?) microCD card and a USB cable. The Vista is a step up from the Legend: it also includes a barometric altimeter and a compass.

 

I just bought a Venture cx. For what it's worth, I decided my existing compass was just fine, and I didn't need to know my altitude that exactly, so that ruled out the Vista. I have several USB cables from cameras and other gear floating around here, so I didn't need another cable, and I figured that I might as well get a large capacity microSD card to fit lots of mapping data on it. For under $30 I got a 1gb Kensington card from Buy.com (with Google Checkout $10 discount). YMMV.

 

Bottom line: don't bother with the Legend, and consider the Vista if the compass and altimeter is worth the money to you.

 

Good luck,

-ArtMan-

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My finace and I are looking to get a new GPS and we're considering the Garmin Extrex Venture Cx as well (we've currently got a Garmin Map 12 which was gifted to us when we started caching).

 

I'm curious to know if anyone can give me feedback on how the Venture works with GSAK. I really want to be able to load a bunch of my local caches with stats, clues and logs so that I can cache on the fly. Right now my Map12 can load the waypoints but it won't store any other data so I don't always know what I'm looking for.

 

Also, I saw above that the Venture doesn't have a compass on it? Is the compass function different than the arrow that points toward the cache? Am I confused?

 

Thanks in advance!

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I bought a Venture Cx a few weeks ago and really enjoy it. There is no where to load the clues on the GPS that I can find, so if you really want that i'd look elsewhere, but I have been very happy with the Venture Cx. Half of my caches i've found so far have been dead on, and I am very happy with it after adding detailed maps from Mapsource CDs.

 

The question regardign the compass. Yes, it has a compass when you are moving. The feature the vista adds is a real digital compass that gives you a heading when you are not moving. This is very useful if you don't have good coverage and are trying to figure out which way is which when standing still. If you have decent coverage, and can walk forward 20 feet, the need to a built in compass is gone, but YMMV.

 

Good luck!

 

schiesz

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I bought a Venture Cx a few weeks ago and really enjoy it. There is no where to load the clues on the GPS that I can find, so if you really want that i'd look elsewhere, but I have been very happy with the Venture Cx. Half of my caches i've found so far have been dead on, and I am very happy with it after adding detailed maps from Mapsource CDs.

 

The question regardign the compass. Yes, it has a compass when you are moving. The feature the vista adds is a real digital compass that gives you a heading when you are not moving. This is very useful if you don't have good coverage and are trying to figure out which way is which when standing still. If you have decent coverage, and can walk forward 20 feet, the need to a built in compass is gone, but YMMV.

 

Good luck!

 

schiesz

 

What do you mean you can't load the clues on the GPS. You can load the everything else about the cache but the clues is that what you mean?

 

Thanks Artman. I appreciate the feedback. Early today I was leading towards the legend just because of the extra options but I comepletely agree with you, because I plan on adding more maps and getting a good microsd card to load everything that I can on there. What is the best type of Mapsource to get. I been thinking about the Topo software but don't know really which one to get. Only plan on getting one but which one is the best for biking, hiking, and caching with just a little driving?

 

As far as the cord for connecting the GPSr to the computer with getting the legend. I have couple digitals with cameras and camcorders but what is the end look like connecting to the GPSr?

 

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback it is helping tremendously and can't wait to get started cacheing...

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Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth....I agree with Artman that the Venture Cx is a great GPSr! It is technically the same as a Legend Cx, just without a bundled 32 Mb microSD card and USB cable. I love the yellow skin, seems like it would be fairly easy to find after you have set it down to 'settle', walked 50' feet away looking for the cache, then after signing the log, turn around (and around), suddenly realizing that your little grey GPS is the very same color as the rocks around you!!! Not that I have ever done anything like that... :(:laughing::laughing:

I may very well be wrong here, but I don't know of any units that you can download hints into....We cache with a 60CSx and the amount of data available is limited. Grab yourself a cheap PDA, download GSAK (for your PC), and Cachemate (for your PDA). Couple that with a premium membership here on GC.com so you can get PQ's and you can have several thousand caches downloaded into your PDA, complete with decrypted hints and the last 5 logs. AND you will always have the latest caches available for your GPS. All of this will be cheaper than buying printer cartridges and reams of paper. Plus, it is so much easier than looking for cache page after cache page, trying to print them all out, organize them, keep track of them in the field. Best thing, it takes minutes instead of hours...

But thats just my opinion.... :(

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What is the best type of Mapsource to get. I been thinking about the Topo software but don't know really which one to get. Only plan on getting one but which one is the best for biking, hiking, and caching with just a little driving?

 

As far as the cord for connecting the GPSr to the computer with getting the legend. I have couple digitals with cameras and camcorders but what is the end look like connecting to the GPSr?

mvanotterloo,

The connectors on the cable are pretty standard for small electronic devices. They have technical names, but I don't know 'em.) The end that goes into your computer is the standard flat USB plug about a half-inch long.

 

The one that goes into the GPS is probably the same as the one that goes into your camera, flat, kinda D-shaped, about a quarter-inch long.

91006.gif

 

If you're only getting one map, it probably depends on whether you want better on- or off-road coverage. The topo doesn't do turn-by-turn directions, I don't think.

 

-ArtMan-

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Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth....I agree with Artman that the Venture Cx is a great GPSr! It is technically the same as a Legend Cx, just without a bundled 32 Mb microSD card and USB cable. I love the yellow skin, seems like it would be fairly easy to find after you have set it down to 'settle', walked 50' feet away looking for the cache, then after signing the log, turn around (and around), suddenly realizing that your little grey GPS is the very same color as the rocks around you!!! Not that I have ever done anything like that... :laughing::(:(

I may very well be wrong here, but I don't know of any units that you can download hints into....We cache with a 60CSx and the amount of data available is limited. Grab yourself a cheap PDA, download GSAK (for your PC), and Cachemate (for your PDA). Couple that with a premium membership here on GC.com so you can get PQ's and you can have several thousand caches downloaded into your PDA, complete with decrypted hints and the last 5 logs. AND you will always have the latest caches available for your GPS. All of this will be cheaper than buying printer cartridges and reams of paper. Plus, it is so much easier than looking for cache page after cache page, trying to print them all out, organize them, keep track of them in the field. Best thing, it takes minutes instead of hours...

But thats just my opinion.... :laughing:

One way to download the hint is to use the custom POI option. I add my geocaches via the waypoints and add type terrain level and a few other things to the comments. Then I also add the same geocaches via the custom POI option with the hints in the comment box. You still don't get the description but usually you can load all the hints which is helpful if needed. I use GSAK to do all this.

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Is the Venture good enough or is it worth stepping up to a Legend cx or vista cx?

 

Need some help Please

 

Its good enough. The Legend CX is the same as the Venture CX, only it comes with a cable and memory card. Its likely that if you bought a Legend CX you'd replace the memory card with a bigger one, so why spend the exra $$ on a card that is probably going to sit in your desk. Also most people already have the cable. Its the same cable that comes with digital cameras and many other digital products.

 

What is the best type of Mapsource to get. I been thinking about the Topo software but don't know really which one to get. Only plan on getting one but which one is the best for biking, hiking, and caching with just a little driving?

 

Depends on your uses. City Navigator is a great piece of software. The turn by turn directions to your destination are extremely useful. It also has a database of over 5 million businesses and services. If you want to know where the nearest gas station, hotel, post office, hospital, restaurant (listed by cuisine), museum, park, boat rental, shopping mall, etc... are the GPS tell you where they are and how to get there. Neat stuff! If you really want to take full advantage of your unit, you will want City Navigator.

 

Topo is good for hiking and geocaching away from town and has most roads, so can be used for navigating in your car. It shows terrain features that don't show up on City Navigator, so is very useful for hiking and geocaching. The road data is out of date in some areas and may not show some newer roads. It doesn't however do autorouting or have the database that CN has.

 

They can run concurrently on your unit so the best case is to have both and switch to the one you need at the time. Its what I do. Maybe choose one, then buy the other later or hope to get it for Christmas.

Edited by briansnat
Link to comment

Is the Venture good enough or is it worth stepping up to a Legend cx or vista cx?

 

Need some help Please

 

Its good enough. The Legend CX is the same as the Venture CX, only it comes with a cable and memory card. Its likely that if you bought a Legend CX you'd replace the memory card with a bigger one, so why spend the exra $$ on a card that is probably going to sit in your desk. Also most people already have the cable. Its the same cable that comes with digital cameras and many other digital products.

 

What is the best type of Mapsource to get. I been thinking about the Topo software but don't know really which one to get. Only plan on getting one but which one is the best for biking, hiking, and caching with just a little driving?

 

Depends on your uses. City Navigator is a great piece of software. The turn by turn directions to your destination are extremely useful. It also has a database of over 5 million businesses and services. If you want to know where the nearest gas station, hotel, post office, hospital, restaurant (listed by cuisine), museum, park, boat rental, shopping mall, etc... are the GPS tell you where they are and how to get there. Neat stuff! If you really want to take full advantage of your unit, you will want City Navigator.

 

Topo is good for hiking and geocaching away from town and has most roads, so can be used for navigating in your car. It shows terrain features that don't show up on City Navigator, so is very useful for hiking and geocaching. The road data is out of date in some areas and may not show some newer roads. It doesn't however do autorouting or have the database that CN has.

 

They can run concurrently on your unit so the best case is to have both and switch to the one you need at the time. Its what I do. Maybe choose one, then buy the other later or hope to get it for Christmas.

 

Sounds like some good information. I understand the different rather well between the two. The turn by turn will be nice while traveling but how well does city navigator for cacheing? I know topo maps will work the best for cacheing but still only looking to get one program and save a little money.

 

As far as what does everyone have and what do they think of it? Topo or City Navigator...

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I got my Venture CX last week and I love it. As has been stated, there is no good reason to get the Legend CX. Take the savings and buy yourself a USB cable and memory card, and you'll be ahead of the game.

 

You do not need City Navigator, you can use Mapguide Metrosource, which you may be able to find for less money than City Navigator. I am using version 6.0 which is from 2004. In order to do autorouting with Metrosource, you need to send the map to the Venture CX through a separate program. Google "Metrowizzz" to find a Wizard program that takes you step by step through the process.

 

When you're done, you'll be able to calculate turn by turn directions from the Venture CX. I don't believe working routes can be sent from Mapsource to the Venture CX, but I could be wrong. Anyways, what I do is make waypoints using mapsource, upload those to the device, then on the device I just use "find>waypoint>bob's house" and it calculates a route. I've used it a few times and it's very slick, and automatically recalculates if you take a different route.

 

Good luck, I think you'll be happy with a Venture CX. Be sure and get some kind of case for it; I got the Garmin case but I wish the window was a bit bigger. I believe I've seen other eTrex cases with bigger windows, not by Garmin, and if I could do it over again I'd get one of those.

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Alright I am still up in the air as far as software. I see the difference between the different programs. It would be nice if TOPO listed the street names in cities. That would be a bonus and would defintely go for that. Well see, still got some time to figure out which software to get and will research some more.

 

Another question for all of you with a venture cx out there. How is your reception. I have heard some good things and bad things. I was in a sportsman's warehouse over the weekend and checked out everything there and the couldn't get a signal in the building which is not suprised because there is no way for the signal to get in but as far as what has been everyone's experience outside. I know open are is fine but how are they in cities with not skyscrapers but rather tall buildings? How are they in the trees? You able to get reception okay or is it a little skippy at times with connection?

 

Thanks again for all the input

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Sounds like some good information. I understand the different rather well between the two. The turn by turn will be nice while traveling but how well does city navigator for cacheing? I know topo maps will work the best for cacheing but still only looking to get one program and save a little money.

 

As far as what does everyone have and what do they think of it? Topo or City Navigator...

 

City Navigator is a really great program. That said, if you are going to be using your unit off the roads much of the time, I would start with Topo and consider getting City Navigator later.

 

Alright I am still up in the air as far as software. I see the difference between the different programs. It would be nice if TOPO listed the street names in cities. That would be a bonus and would defintely go for that.

 

Topo has some street names. Mostly major ones. You can still usually figure out where you are though.

 

Another question for all of you with a venture cx out there. How is your reception. I have heard some good things and bad things. I was in a sportsman's warehouse over the weekend and checked out everything there and the couldn't get a signal in the building which is not suprised because there is no way for the signal to get in but as far as what has been everyone's experience outside. I know open are is fine but how are they in cities with not skyscrapers but rather tall buildings? How are they in the trees? You able to get reception okay or is it a little skippy at times with connection?

 

The "C" units have much improved reception over the older B/W eTrex units. You're not going to get the amazing reception you'll see with the 60CSX and 76CSX, but it will be good enough. It will work in the trees

with some degradation of signal. Skyscrapers forget it. I've tried several units in NYC, Magellan and Garmin, and none worked. If the buildings are only a few stories high, reception should't be an issue.

Edited by briansnat
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Iam just Curious I just picked up a Venture CX. Has anyone tryed using it with streets & Trips. I can't figure out how to change communications from garmin to nmea.

 

These units can not stream NMEA over USB. To get it to work, use Garmin's free "Spanner" program, available on their website.

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I tryed the Spanner program and it didn't find my GPS. So I emailed Garmin tech Support and this is there recomendation.

 

Thank you for contacting Garmin International Larry,

 

I would be happy to help you with this inquiry. I would suggest returning

the model and looking at the 60 cx and csx as they have the serial port for

communication with NMEA. Please let me know if you have any other

questions.

Edited by LaRobley
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