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Guys just about to buy my first gps for geocaching and atv riding. There are so many options my head is spinning for a newbie. I know I want color because it seems as if that is a regret by most buyers not getting a color screen. I have been looking for the garmin vista cx but really cant distinguish much diffrence between it and the other garmin units. I dont want to spend an arm and a leg but I really like the design of the 60cx. Is there that much of a difference between the two if all I am gonna use it for is geocaching and putting some topo maps on to go atv riding in some national forest? Do the 60 series pick up that much better?

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I have a Garmin Vista C. I've been using it for almost two years now. I have the City Navigator maps for it so it can auto-route me as well as the more expensive 60C/CSx. Personally, I like the smaller size of the Vista, however, the 60/76/Cx/CSx have the SIRF chip which does get better reception under tree cover.

 

The best deal right now is the Garmin Venture Cx. You probably already have the mini-USB cable and you will be getting a larger data card anyway. You can get one of those for around $180.00. If you want the compass and barometric Altimeter, the Vista Cx is the one you want, unless you make the jump to the larger 60/76 units.

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I have a Garmin Vista C. I've been using it for almost two years now. I have the City Navigator maps for it so it can auto-route me as well as the more expensive 60C/CSx. Personally, I like the smaller size of the Vista, however, the 60/76/Cx/CSx have the SIRF chip which does get better reception under tree cover.

 

The best deal right now is the Garmin Venture Cx. You probably already have the mini-USB cable and you will be getting a larger data card anyway. You can get one of those for around $180.00. If you want the compass and barometric Altimeter, the Vista Cx is the one you want, unless you make the jump to the larger 60/76 units.

 

Thanks for the help! So basically you can put the same programs on the vista as you can the 60 or 76 series and autoroute all the same? So really the vista can have the same stuff mapwise as the more expensive 60 and guide you turn by turn with the right program? Thanks for the help as I am totally new to this and dont want to regret my purchase.

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Yes, all the auto-routing Garmins, including the $1200 dash units use the same mapping software - City Navigator. Only difference is the NT version which can only be used on certain models because of it's compression technique, but all can use the non-NT version. Both are priced the same, about $115 for the DVD, or $135 installed on a 1gb card. (I presume it's a 1 gb.)

 

I just bought a Venture Cx "kit" for $282. It includes the Cx, 2gb card, DC plug, Garmin holding pouch, and bike/motorcycle handlebar adapter. That included tax and shipping. I don't need no stinkin' altimeter or electronic compass :rolleyes: . FYI, all Etrex Cx' include, calendar, stopwatch, calculator, moon/sun phases, and alarm clock - very handy tools.

 

Good luck with whatever you choose; we'll help you adjust to whatever you pick.

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Concerning Garmin, some minus points should not stay unmentioned:

 

* Garmin has a rigid DRM. Thus you pay for your map data per device. You loose it, you pay again. You buy a second one, you pay again. You buy a new one, you pay again. Best to search for threads concerning this topic in this forum

 

* MapSource can be considered as mediocre GUI application. Read this topic to get a picture. And it's just Windows. Support by Garmin for other OS is vaporware or non-existent.

 

* Customer support seems to be good in the US. In Europe it's mediocre and mostly based on the enthusiasm of your reseller.

 

* Garmin has a mess in their protocol specification and is reluctant to provide complete specifications to allow 3rd party software to handle the device properly. Do not expect perfect support by 3rd party products.

 

From the hardware point of view Garmin makes good products except a few rubber strip problems and loose battery contacts. If you are in the US you might consider Delorme or Magelan, too. I can not tell you anything about them.

 

Consider to buy a SirfIII receiver. There is a big difference in the woods. I stumbled often enough over geocachers with no reception while my GPSMap60CSx had plenty of stable satellites.

 

HTH

 

Oliver

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So let me get this straight, if I get a garmin I cannot get NG topo maps to work on it but if I get a Magellan the NG maps can be loaded on it? I know the argument about Garmins customer service being better but does Magellan let you use other software programs where Garmin wont?

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So let me get this straight, if I get a garmin I cannot get NG topo maps to work on it but if I get a Magellan the NG maps can be loaded on it? I know the argument about Garmins customer service being better but does Magellan let you use other software programs where Garmin wont?

No, NG TOPO! is PC or PDA only. GPS manufacturers all have proprietary map formats that restrict you to using their branded maps, or homemade maps in the correct format.

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Concerning Garmin, some minus points should not stay unmentioned:

 

* Garmin has a rigid DRM. Thus you pay for your map data per device. You loose it, you pay again. You buy a second one, you pay again. You buy a new one, you pay again. Best to search for threads concerning this topic in this forum

 

* MapSource can be considered as mediocre GUI application. Read this topic to get a picture. And it's just Windows. Support by Garmin for other OS is vaporware or non-existent.

 

* Customer support seems to be good in the US. In Europe it's mediocre and mostly based on the enthusiasm of your reseller.

 

* Garmin has a mess in their protocol specification and is reluctant to provide complete specifications to allow 3rd party software to handle the device properly. Do not expect perfect support by 3rd party products.

 

From the hardware point of view Garmin makes good products except a few rubber strip problems and loose battery contacts. If you are in the US you might consider Delorme or Magelan, too. I can not tell you anything about them.

 

Consider to buy a SirfIII receiver. There is a big difference in the woods. I stumbled often enough over geocachers with no reception while my GPSMap60CSx had plenty of stable satellites.

 

HTH

Oliver

You do get two licences to download maps into two GPS'. And subsequent upgrades are discounted. Garmin is a business and does what it thinks is best for its interest as does most enterprises. It's doing something right, enterprise speaking, or it wouldn't be doing well.

To avoid stumbling onto other cachers, look up once in a while :rolleyes: .

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You do get two licences to download maps into two GPS'. And subsequent upgrades are discounted. Garmin is a business and does what it thinks is best for its interest as does most enterprises. It's doing something right, enterprise speaking, or it wouldn't be doing well.

To avoid stumbling onto other cachers, look up once in a while :rolleyes: .

 

As for the license:

Garmin Unlock Changes

 

As for the business: You are right. However their behavior will keep me from buying a Garmin next time. If I would have known in the beginning it would have influenced my decision. I just thought daviddsims wants to hear the bad issues, too, next to the usual cheerleaders.

 

As for the stumbling: Looking up from the unit? No way. If it does not have a POI it does not exist :huh:B)B)

 

Oliver

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Well wouldnt it be the same for each unit not just Garmin? It seems they all want you to use their software so whats the difference? No offense just trying to get filled in.

The last couple of replies I have gotten from Garmin representatives now state that the change to one unlock per copy of the software will not happen until the next release of the maps in question (City Navigator NA, Europe, etc.). The current versions still have two unlock codes.

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Well wouldnt it be the same for each unit not just Garmin? It seems they all want you to use their software so whats the difference? No offense just trying to get filled in.

 

For Magellan you are right (unlock code and so on...). AFAIK there is a difference in pricing. I do not know for Delorme. They look pretty neat to me however they seem to focus on the US only. There is a thread

about their new unit. It looks like being worth to consider.

 

As I told I am not really satisfied with my GPSMap6SCx. I spent quit some money for the device, City Navigator Europe and a Topo map. The Topo map is outdated and has an offset. The City Navigator maps are full of errors. Not every road existing on this planet is open to the public, but to City Navigator most of them are. To fix these bugs Garmin expects more money plus changing the license terms with that. If one could be sure the problems will get fixed by that...

 

For the price I payed I simply expect a better software than MapSource. It just has that cheesy MFC GUI Toolkit flair. The user interface has wildly been extended over the years. Never cleaned up. Compared to modern GIS front ends, this is from the Windows 3.1 aera.

 

The firmware leaves the same impression. Just extended, never cleaned up. The micro SD is just an add-on and will hold tracks and maps. Looks like the competitors forced Garmin to add one. Garmin did not have the nerve to use the extra memory to get rid of nasty limitations like the limitied text fields in waypoints.

 

Garmin simply tries to get most of your money by supplying not an inch more than the market forces them to give.

 

I bought this unit a year ago, as it was recommended by the usual cheerleader club. But to make a good decision it is important to know the problems, too. Sadly these are rarely mentioned on the "Buying advice" threads. That's why I thought it's time to add them. :o

 

I would recommend to go to a shop and to test / compare the units for real. I guess this will make the decision fairly easy.

 

HTH

 

Oliver

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Well wouldnt it be the same for each unit not just Garmin? It seems they all want you to use their software so whats the difference? No offense just trying to get filled in.

 

Yes. It's the same for Magellan. Not sure how Lowrance works, but I'm sure its similar.

 

Garmin only requires unlock codes for City Navigator. With Mapsource Topo and Metroguide (I think) you can load it to as many units as you like. Topo and Metroguide however don't autoroute on the unit.

 

The City Navigator maps are full of errors. Not every road existing on this planet is open to the public, but to City Navigator most of them are. To fix these bugs Garmin expects more money plus changing the license terms with that. If one could be sure the problems will get fixed by that...

 

Maybe City Navigator for Europe has problems, but I've been very happy with the North American version.

Sure there are errors here and there, but I use mine constantly and will see maybe one every month or two and they are usually minor. Heck it has practically every road on the continent so there are bound to be errors. There are however so few that I am consistently amazed.

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Well guys just pulled the trigger on a 60csx from thenerds.com. I had really considered the vista cx but in the end just didnt want to regret it a year down the road. I think I have a unit that I should be very happy with for a while to come. I will purchase some mapping programs later when I digest this hefty price lol. I really want it to just make sure I dont get lost atving and would like to get into geocaching. Thanks everyone!

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I haven't been involved in this discussion, but now that you have purchased I have one comment to add. Get a screen protector for your 60 before you ever leave the house. I broke down and bought a 60cx last summer and my first month out I scratched its face. Every time I look at it I want to kick myself for not protecting the screen after spending that much for it. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.

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Guys just about to buy my first gps for geocaching and atv riding. There are so many options my head is spinning for a newbie. I know I want color because it seems as if that is a regret by most buyers not getting a color screen. I have been looking for the garmin vista cx but really cant distinguish much diffrence between it and the other garmin units. I dont want to spend an arm and a leg but I really like the design of the 60cx. Is there that much of a difference between the two if all I am gonna use it for is geocaching and putting some topo maps on to go atv riding in some national forest? Do the 60 series pick up that much better?

One difference between vista and GPSMAP 60 Cx/Csx--the latter use the SIRF III chipset, which provides better reception under forest canopy and in deep canyons. IMHO, well worth the price differential.

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