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For other newbies trying to decide on a GPSr...


Cache Hustler
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Let me start by saying that this is only my opinion. I have some experience with GPS, but next to no experience in geocaching. The only reason I bother posting this is that I am an avid researcher and I am confident in what I chose to buy and thought that if I laid everything out in one post, it may be helpful to those that don't like to spend huge amounts of time researching.

 

Now to cut to the chase, I chose the Venture Cx and here's how I came to that decision:

 

On the topic of Magellan (or others) versus Garmin, I chose Garmin for two main reasons. I have some military and law enforcement experience with GPS, and it has always been Garmin brand products. So I figured if it was good enough for the government, then it should work for caching. Now I know some people will argue about how goverment equipment goes to the lowest bidder, and so forth, but that is for another post. Basically, Garmin is a (thee?) industry leader. My second reason for choosing Garmin was it's history of superior customer service compared with the second place industry leader...Magellan. Again, people will argue that Magellan's customer service issues are going to be a thing of the past, but I'm going with the proven track record here.

 

Now as far as which Garmin model to choose, I started by knowing that I wanted a mapping model. Although you can geocache without this feature, it is much easier with it and it also adds more functionality to the GPSr. That narrowed my focus to the eTrex and GPSMAP 60 series (the GPSMAP 76 series, which is similar in features to the 60 series, is geared towards marine applications-but could easily be used for caching). I also decided that I wanted a color display. After having the opportunity to use a gray-scale and a color model, it was apparent that orienting yourself was easier on the color display. Plus it just plain looks cooler!

 

That narrowed the field to the eTrex Venture Cx, Legend Cx, and Vista Cx; and the GPSMAP 60Cx and 60CSx. Now to the primary differences between the models in the eTrex series and those in the GPSMAP series. The biggest difference is that the GPSMAP series will give you better reception and signal lock. This is NOT usually due to the different types of antennae. The eTrex uses a "patch antenna" and the GPSMAP uses a "quad-helix" antenna. These antennae themselves are actually capable of receiving signals equally well if used correctly (eTrex should be in a horizontal position). What accounts for the difference in reception is that the eTrex series use a proprietary Garmin chipset to interpret the signals obtained by the antenna and the GPSMAP series uses the superior SiRF Star III chipset. Read this Wikipedia link for more info on the differences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SiRFstar_III

 

There is also a difference in the form factor. The GPSMAP series is approximatley 50% heavier and is larger. Personally the eTrex series fits better in my hand and the thumbstick makes it easier to use.

 

The other big difference between the eTrex and GPSMAP series is price. For an explanation, see the explanation of the primary difference :( Honestly, if it the GPSMAPs weren't so much more, my decision would have been a lot harder.

 

Now I had it narrowed to those in the eTrex series. These three units are identical with a couple of exceptions. See https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=...pareProduct=326 The Vista Cx has a built in altimeter and compass, the other two don't. Besides this, the features and capabilities of these three eTrex units are the same. In the end, after consulting with several knowledgeable and helpful people in this forum, I decided I didn't need those features of the Vista Cx. Here is the link to the post that helped me decide: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=160861

 

Now I'm left with the Venture Cx and the Legend Cx. Again, these units are actually identical and the difference is in the package contents. The Legend Cx comes with a 64MB microSD card and the USB cable to connect to your computer. The Venture Cx has neither of these. Again, after consulting with others, I decided I would be using more memory than the 64MB that the Legend Cx comes with, so no need to spend the extra money on something I was going to toss and upgrade anyways. See http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=160808&hl=

 

I also determined that the USB cable was of the kind that is commonly used with digital cameras, recorders,etc. I happened to have an extra one, so again, why spend the extra money.

 

So that left me with the Venture Cx. I searched around on the net and was able to find this GPSr for $168 out the door (or delivered to my door actually). I also got a SanDisk 2GB microSD card for $24 plus shipping. All in all, I'm happy with that ~$200 package :)

 

BTW, the link to the previous posts show that it was posted by "ehuesman". After I became the proud owner of a cool new GPSr, I wanted an equally cool new username :mad:

 

Thanks to all of you who helped me in my quest to decide and I hope this is able to help someone else.

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Nice write up! I use a 60 CSx, but I truly believe that the Venture Cx is the best 'bang for the buck' unit available today, especially for new cachers, who may not want to drop the $$ on a 60 series until they have tested the waters a bit more. I regularly recommend the Venture Cx in these forums, and I will bookmark this link as a example why. Good luck with your new Venture and happy caching!!! :(

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Cache Hustler... Welcome! What part of the East Bay are you in? There's a very large and busy caching community out here.

 

If you're close enough and have some free time this weekend, there's a Caching Event going on in Benicia this Saturday. It's a great way to meet some new folks and have some fun... oh yeah, there'll be caching too!

 

(GC10QGM) April in the Marsh by Binky Del Mar

 

Driver Carries Cache

(madmike)

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That narrowed my focus to the eTrex and GPSMAP 60 series (the GPSMAP 76 series, which is similar in features to the 60 series, is geared towards marine applications-but could easily be used for caching).

 

Just to clarify... The 76C(S)x, due to its less compact form, has a positive buoyancy. That's the only difference between the 76C(S)x and the 60C(S)x that's remotely "marine" related. Beyond that, and the size of the in-the-box memory card, there's no functional difference between the two units. The 60 has a very slight negative buoyancy, so slight that it can be reversed by using a different type of battery. If someone is going to make a choice between the 60 and the 76 models, and they don't care about the ability to float, it should be based on which style you like better, the "remote control" layout of the 76, or the "cell phone" layout of the 60. If the style is a toss-up for you, the 76 can usually be found cheaper, even though it comes with a higher capacity memory card.

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I'm looking for a new GPS unit right now and found your review insanely helpful. that and your reasoning actually convinced me to get the etrex venture cx as well.

Thanks!

 

Like I said, I got a lot of help from some good people on here and just wanted to compile the information in one place. I'm glad it was helpful!

 

I got my unit after writing that post, I think it was sitting on my front porch while I was actually writing it! I'm going to try and find some benchmarks soon to test the accuracy. I'm hoping for, and expecting, good marks!

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Cache Hustler... Welcome! What part of the East Bay are you in? There's a very large and busy caching community out here.

 

If you're close enough and have some free time this weekend, there's a Caching Event going on in Benicia this Saturday. It's a great way to meet some new folks and have some fun... oh yeah, there'll be caching too!

 

(GC10QGM) April in the Marsh by Binky Del Mar

 

Driver Carries Cache

(madmike)

 

I'm out in Brentwood. I saw the Benicia event on the calendar but unfortunately I'm all booked up this weekend. I do plan on trying to make it out to one of the local events in the near future though!

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I'm out in Brentwood. I saw the Benicia event on the calendar but unfortunately I'm all booked up this weekend. I do plan on trying to make it out to one of the local events in the near future though!

 

Definitely keep an eye out for local events. I've only been geocaching for a bit over 3 months and attending events and putting faces and names together just enhance the fun!

 

You might also want to check out our local geocaching organization "Geocachers Of The Bay Area" (http://www.thegba.net)

 

Hope to meet you at a later event!

 

Driver Carries Cache

(madmike)

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Haha! This is so funny. I am a major "researcher" myself and I too decided on the Venture Cx. Mine will be arriving tomorrow morning! Anyway, I am pleased with my choice and I am really excited to use it. I think that this will be really helpful for those trying to decide what to buy, I know I wish that this post had existed when I was researching. Anyway, happy hunting with your new toy!

 

-Whitney

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This a wonderful summary! What a time saver!!!! Thanks so much!

I've been researching the same units and doing the comparison thing, but you summed it all up so beautifully, in one place. I really appreciate your links to the other discussions and reference points. I'm going with the Venture for all the same reasons.

Have fun!

Thanks again!

BootyScadoodle

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Now I had it narrowed to those in the eTrex series. These three units are identical with a couple of exceptions. See https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=...pareProduct=326 The Vista Cx has a built in altimeter and compass, the other two don't. Besides this, the features and capabilities of these three eTrex units are the same. In the end, after consulting with several knowledgeable and helpful people in this forum, I decided I didn't need those features of the Vista Cx. Here is the link to the post that helped me decide: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=160861

 

 

Thanks for the tips! I actually just got done purchasing my eTrex Vista online 2 days ago and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I have used my car GPS for about the past year, but first found out about geocaching last week. I did a lot of research and for me the altimeter was important (not for Geocaching, just for my own information). Otherwise I would have most certainly gone with the Venture CX.

 

I will have to say that I agree with the color screen. The color screen is not necessary, but I would not do without one. It makes it easier to read, and it looks really cool.

 

Well, as soon as mine arrives, I will be heading out doing some geocaching locally, then on a trip from MN to Washington and back (with a detour through Yellowstone)!

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Let me start by saying that this is only my opinion. I have some experience with GPS, but next to no experience in geocaching. The only reason I bother posting this is that I am an avid researcher and I am confident in what I chose to buy and thought that if I laid everything out in one post, it may be helpful to those that don't like to spend huge amounts of time researching.

 

Now to cut to the chase, I chose the Venture Cx and here's how I came to that decision:

 

On the topic of Magellan (or others) versus Garmin, I chose Garmin for two main reasons. I have some military and law enforcement experience with GPS, and it has always been Garmin brand products. So I figured if it was good enough for the government, then it should work for caching. Now I know some people will argue about how goverment equipment goes to the lowest bidder, and so forth, but that is for another post. Basically, Garmin is a (thee?) industry leader. My second reason for choosing Garmin was it's history of superior customer service compared with the second place industry leader...Magellan. Again, people will argue that Magellan's customer service issues are going to be a thing of the past, but I'm going with the proven track record here.

 

Now as far as which Garmin model to choose, I started by knowing that I wanted a mapping model. Although you can geocache without this feature, it is much easier with it and it also adds more functionality to the GPSr. That narrowed my focus to the eTrex and GPSMAP 60 series (the GPSMAP 76 series, which is similar in features to the 60 series, is geared towards marine applications-but could easily be used for caching). I also decided that I wanted a color display. After having the opportunity to use a gray-scale and a color model, it was apparent that orienting yourself was easier on the color display. Plus it just plain looks cooler!

 

That narrowed the field to the eTrex Venture Cx, Legend Cx, and Vista Cx; and the GPSMAP 60Cx and 60CSx. Now to the primary differences between the models in the eTrex series and those in the GPSMAP series. The biggest difference is that the GPSMAP series will give you better reception and signal lock. This is NOT usually due to the different types of antennae. The eTrex uses a "patch antenna" and the GPSMAP uses a "quad-helix" antenna. These antennae themselves are actually capable of receiving signals equally well if used correctly (eTrex should be in a horizontal position). What accounts for the difference in reception is that the eTrex series use a proprietary Garmin chipset to interpret the signals obtained by the antenna and the GPSMAP series uses the superior SiRF Star III chipset. Read this Wikipedia link for more info on the differences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SiRFstar_III

 

There is also a difference in the form factor. The GPSMAP series is approximatley 50% heavier and is larger. Personally the eTrex series fits better in my hand and the thumbstick makes it easier to use.

 

The other big difference between the eTrex and GPSMAP series is price. For an explanation, see the explanation of the primary difference :anicute: Honestly, if it the GPSMAPs weren't so much more, my decision would have been a lot harder.

 

Now I had it narrowed to those in the eTrex series. These three units are identical with a couple of exceptions. See https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=...pareProduct=326 The Vista Cx has a built in altimeter and compass, the other two don't. Besides this, the features and capabilities of these three eTrex units are the same. In the end, after consulting with several knowledgeable and helpful people in this forum, I decided I didn't need those features of the Vista Cx. Here is the link to the post that helped me decide: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=160861

 

Now I'm left with the Venture Cx and the Legend Cx. Again, these units are actually identical and the difference is in the package contents. The Legend Cx comes with a 64MB microSD card and the USB cable to connect to your computer. The Venture Cx has neither of these. Again, after consulting with others, I decided I would be using more memory than the 64MB that the Legend Cx comes with, so no need to spend the extra money on something I was going to toss and upgrade anyways. See http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=160808&hl=

 

I also determined that the USB cable was of the kind that is commonly used with digital cameras, recorders,etc. I happened to have an extra one, so again, why spend the extra money.

 

So that left me with the Venture Cx. I searched around on the net and was able to find this GPSr for $168 out the door (or delivered to my door actually). I also got a SanDisk 2GB microSD card for $24 plus shipping. All in all, I'm happy with that ~$200 package :D

 

BTW, the link to the previous posts show that it was posted by "ehuesman". After I became the proud owner of a cool new GPSr, I wanted an equally cool new username :)

 

Thanks to all of you who helped me in my quest to decide and I hope this is able to help someone else.

 

Well put. I did similar research . When the smoke cleared considrering price, features, etc. the Venture CX was the logical choice. Got a 1GB card for $18 and downloaded City Navigator to the Venture CX at no additonal charge as I already had it on my Streetpilot i3. Garmin customer service talked me through the unlock/downloading phase quickly and effortlessly. This is a wonderful unit and as you mentioned superior customer service is another reason Garmin distances itself from the competition.

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Did you get the Vista or Vista CX. Big difference.

 

I actually got the Vista CX. Still waiting for it to arrive in the mail... It should arrive tomorrow. I can't wait to look for a couple caches in my area!

 

I chose the Vista CX because of the color screen. I heard from a lot of people that it is much easier to read.

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