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Need advice on a new GPS unit for GeoCaching and Road navigation


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Hi there. I have been GeoCaching for several years and I am ready to ugrade to a new GPS (for my 40th birthday). I currently own a Garmin eMap, that I purchased for road navigation. This was before I got into GeoCaching. It's a servicable unit, though it gets terrible reception in heavily wooded areas. I'm in the process of doing research, but decided to drop in the forums and see what others in the hobby are using. These days, I travel a lot less, so road navigation is not as big of a factor, but it is still there. I don't want something like a Tom-Tom, but I would like to be able to connect the unit to my PC via USB and download routes and waypoints of GeoCaches. On-screen navigation of routes would be cool, but not required.

 

I have heard that there is a new, more accurate and sensitive GPS chip and I would definitely like a unit that featured it. I would also like to have an electronic compass, though this is not a deal-breaker. A good, old-fashioned compass works just as well. ;)

 

Other features I would insist on would be a color screen and downloadable, highly accurate maps. Topo maps are not a necessity, but are a nice feature.

 

I have looked closely at the new Delorme PN-20, but I am skeptical about new manufacturers. The big thing that the PN-20 seems to have going for it is the mapping software thhat you get with it. However, I read one post on this forum indicated that it is slow in operation. I would rather pay a little more and get something from Garmin or Magellan, however if any of you PN-20 users have positive comments about the unit, do not hesitate to sound off.

 

Sorry that this post has been so wordy, but I just want to make sure that I am clear in what I am looking for.

 

Thanks!

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Welcome to the Forums! ;)

 

It depends on how much you want to spend.

 

The Garmin Venture Cx is a good deal. I have the Garmin Vista C which was discontinued, but my GPSr works very well for Geocaching as well as for road navigation.

 

Many people really like the Garmin GPSMap60C/CSx and it has the more sensitive chip for better reception under trees. The 76C/CSx is also another option, although I don't care for the shape and large size of that one for hiking.

 

The Garmin City Navigator maps for auto-navigation work on all of those models.

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Yes, isn't that always the case? ;) In this case, I am willing to spend up to $500 for the unit and I know that the mapping software runs about $130. Like I said, this is my 40th B-day and my wife owes me big for a trip that she went on for her birthday this year. :P

 

I've been looking at the Garmin 76C/CSx and they seem like they have everything I need. What about Magellan? I went to their web site, but it is hard to compare them to garmin because they lay out their information differently. I like Garmin's side by side comparison feature more.

 

Thanks for the reply!

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Yes, isn't that always the case? :P In this case, I am willing to spend up to $500 for the unit and I know that the mapping software runs about $130. Like I said, this is my 40th B-day and my wife owes me big for a trip that she went on for her birthday this year. ;)

 

I've been looking at the Garmin 76C/CSx and they seem like they have everything I need. What about Magellan? I went to their web site, but it is hard to compare them to garmin because they lay out their information differently. I like Garmin's side by side comparison feature more.

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

I think there are a lot of Garminites here so, the answers you get will probably be weighted that direction.

 

The 60C(S)x and 76C(S)x are excellent for what you describe. The two are the same internally, it depends on what form factor you prefer. I think the the 60CSx sells for about $330 to $350, the 76CSx is about the same. The 60Cx sells for about $30 less. The S stands for sensors, the S models have a built in barometric altimeter and electronic compass. You can get City Nav V8 at Amazon for about $109. You will also need a Micro SD card--$10 for the 1 gig, about 25 for the 2 gig. A mount and power cord are good ideas if you are going to use it in the car much.

 

These unit have the SiRF chipset which does really good under heavy tree cover. You can search here for SiRF and see what others have said about it. I am amazed with mine. I took it to my dad's ranch that has pretty thick hardwood bottoms and it never lost signal.

 

The unit also autoroutes, you said that was a plus. It does not speak, but it beeps and you can glance at the screen to see where it is telling you to go. I have mine mounted next to the A-pillar in my truck so it is at eye level. I can just glance over at it. I think it will do what you are describing very well.

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I have the Garmin 60Cx that I use for caching and auto-routing. It works great. I got the little bean bag style dash mount and it is a big enough screen, the buttons are pretty intuitive if I need to use them, and the little beanbag mount lets me move everything on the fly since I'm in a lot of rental cars and different cities during the NFL season. (I also got the power cord to save the batteries) It is a great combo. The other nice thing I'll say is the 60Cx is still small enough to fit in most of my pockets comfortably, and the bean bag is small enough to fit in most center arm-rest consoles so there is no evidence of the possibility of a GPS when I stash it and the cord away, as it is becoming a more common target of smash and grab theives. About the only other "add on" I got besides City Nav and the dash mount stuff was the shield zone screen protector. Best thing ever... I can put the GPS in my coat pocket, jeans pocket whatever and I don't have to worry about it growing legs since it's with me, and I don't have to worry about the screen getting scratched up.

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Im new to Caching myself (another family activity to avoid TV time) however I picked up the Magellan Crossover. So far I have been extremely happy. Ignorance may be bliss but the Crossover does everything I ask of it.

 

My uses include:

Predetermined Routes on the motorcycle

Hiking with the Boy Scouts

Hiking with the family

Geocaching with the family

Family out of state road trips

 

Since its preloaded with all of the Street and Topo maps its easy to flip back and forth.

 

We are heading for NC next month and I already have all the routes to get there, many POI's, & 35 predetermined caches loaded up.

 

Just a newb's .02

 

Dc

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There is only one GPSr that is well suited to car and cache and that is the Garmin Quest (or Quest 2). For car navigation, voice prompts are too important and useful to do without. For caching, one needs a small, light, waterproof unit with good reception and good battery life, easy waypoint creation, and an easy to read screen. The Quests, and only the Quests, meet all these requirements. There are newer, better units for either trail or car navigation, but not both. The Quest is also very inexpensive, especially considering the maps and accessories that are included in the purchase price.

 

Reception is good but not as good as the newer units, unless you add an inexpensive external amplified antenna, in which case the reception will be terrific.

 

Again, at any price, only the Quests have voice prompts and can work on the trail for caching.

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There is only one GPSr that is well suited to car and cache and that is the Garmin Quest (or Quest 2).

 

Disagree. The Magellan Crossover, as previously mentioned, is very well reviewed and has features that the Quest 2 is missing. Key features for me.

 

While it was very cool that it only took a software upgrade to add street routing to my Meridian, it's occasionally frustrating for me and unusable by anyone else in my family (because they won't learn what the beeps mean). You really need to have voice directions when you're driving. Plus, having to push buttons and use an arrow pad while you're driving sucks.

 

I wouldn't buy any navigation unit that can't speak the names of the streets and doesn't have a touch screen. The Quest 2 has neither of those features, yet costs over $200 more than the Crossover. Granted, it's more "pocket friendly" and has a better battery life, but you can get a darned nice handheld GPS for the price difference if you're worried about the 8 hour battery life and have two units for the price of the Quest.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'm still a little ticked at Magellan because of their dropping support for the Meridians when the Explorists are basically the same thing, so I'm not saying it's the greatest thing on the planet. Both companies have good and bad customer service incidents. I would love to have a Nuvi 680 because of the Bluetooth support, but that's not made for the trail at all. (It was very annoying to not have the "quick spell" feature that's probably patented by Magellan.)

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