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SergZak

Garmin Vista HCx mini-review

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Anyone tried if there is a special test screen like many previous etrex?

Holding the click stick down and then powering up will enter the test screen on some of them.

 

More on this here.

Anyone to try this? Can we still read the temperature of the unit?

I just verified that this diagnostics mode still works and yes, the internal temp of the unit can still be monitored.

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Anyone tried if there is a special test screen like many previous etrex?

Holding the click stick down and then powering up will enter the test screen on some of them.

 

More on this here.

Anyone to try this? Can we still read the temperature of the unit?

I just verified that this diagnostics mode still works and yes, the internal temp of the unit can still be monitored.

Thank you.

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I just got my Vista HCx this afternoon, and I also have the WAAS problem. I assume after reading through this topic that Garmin is aware and working on it (thanks reb8600). I DO NOT have the power up problem, so that seems to be an isolated issue, captain454.

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Got my yesterday.

 

Very good recepion - even indoor!

 

Sometime i have the WAAS Problem, sometimes not. First i take an eye on it and WAAS was enabled after several poweroff/powerons - so i though i did not have this problem, but after some more investiagtions this problem apperar. Sometime WAAS is not enabled after poweron, sometimes it is!

 

Atti

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A guy in europa had also the power-on-bug. - He solved this problem by HARD RESET.

"The newer etrex units (venture, legend, and vista) with the "Click Stick" use different keys to accomplish these tasks but the idea is the same. Holding the click stick down and then powering up will enter the test screen while holding the "page" key down and the "click stick" down and then powering up will reset the unit. You will be prompted with an "are you sure?" message. On these units holding down the "find" button in addition to the others will avoid the "are you sure" message. Hold the buttons for 5 seconds to clear the unit."

http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/secret.htm

PAGE + ENTER (click stick) + POWER ON

 

If anyone has the power-on-bug and can also solve it by hard-reset - please give a feedback.

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I ordered my Vista HCx just before the 4th of July from TVNAV, and it arrived this Monday 7/16.

 

General first look comparisons to my Vista C:

 

HCx has much, much better reception

HCx is much faster at screen re-drawing

HCx battery cover is much tighter to latch, I assume it is sealing better than Vista C's cover

HCx start-up screen has Media Tek logo, so I assume it must have the MediaTek chipset

HCx starts with WAAS off (I do not normally use WAAS)

I can turn the HCx unit on, off, on quickly and I have not noticed any issues

 

I hope to take a twisty bicycle ride and compare the tracklogs next.

 

Regards,

JJW

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Well OK. Looks like the auto resetting of the WAAS is a problem we all have, but my on/off/on problem is just a screw up with my unit. So I'll try the "hard reset" suggestion, and if that doesn't help I guess it's off to Garmin.

 

BTW, I forgot the mention, the Vista HCx has a hold-over bug they never fixed from the old Vista Cx. The unit doesn't plot the correct bearing on the map page when you route over long distances. For example, if you live in the US, try telling the unit to navigate you to let's say, London (not following the road, obviously). Now, the unit will plot a straight line on the map towards London, even though the map, being a mercator projection, should require a curved path for the shortest route. Now I know what you're thinking, maybe the vista HCx just doesn't understand mercator projections... but it does. If you go into the map options and switch the "go to line" to "course", all of a sudden it actually projects the correct, curved shortest distance path. Furthermore, if you look at the compass page, it always gives you the correct bearing (which is mostly to the north), even though the bearing line on the map will tell you to follow a mostly east direction (the wrong direction).

Edited by captain454

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Well OK. Looks like the auto resetting of the WAAS is a problem we all have, but my on/off/on problem is just a screw up with my unit. So I'll try the "hard reset" suggestion, and if that doesn't help I guess it's off to Garmin.

Be sure & let us know if a hard reset fixes your power problem.

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Well OK. Looks like the auto resetting of the WAAS is a problem we all have, but my on/off/on problem is just a screw up with my unit. So I'll try the "hard reset" suggestion, and if that doesn't help I guess it's off to Garmin.

Be sure & let us know if a hard reset fixes your power problem.

 

so it looks like this is the only MAJOR problem with the HCX? if so, do you think it would be okay to purchase the unit and just get the download for the patch when they fix the problem? i just don't want to buy a unit with a problem that will have me send the unit in to get fixed when i can just buy a fixed unit.

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Vista C & Vista HCx some quick comparisons

Both units’ track log setups are set to; Record method ”AUTO” Interval “MOST OFTEN”

Loaded them as active tracks into Mapsource and into NG TOPO!.

 

Hiking I made a couple of track logs and it seemed like the two units are making almost exactly the same track log. Though the Vista C seemed like it was slightly more accurate in filling out the corners of 90-degree turns. The Vista HCx on average recorded 50% more track points in its track log.

 

Bicycling I rode a mixed ride of roads, rail trail and thick tree covered single track trails.

Trip computers:

Vista C , Vista HCx

Distance= 14.48, 14.45

Total time= 1:26, 1:26

Moving= 1:22, 1:21

Avg. speed= 10.6, 10.7

Max. speed= 35.5, 36.0

Vert. Gain= 506’, 510’

Track points= 558, 797

The track logs were very, very close. The only time they weren’t on top of each other was in some narrow tree covered valleys.

 

When I could look at the two units accuracy estimates, they were Vista HCx from 7 feet on up Vista C 15 feet on up.

The Vista HCx was showing from the same to 20 feet better accuracy than Vista C showed.

 

Regards, JJW

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Hey all,

 

Just wanted to let you know, the "hard reset" fixed the on/off problem, so everything's OK now! Only bugs that remain are the WAAS auto off bug and my weird wrong bearing bug that happens with long range navigation on a mercator projection. I don't think Garmin's ever going to fix the Mercator projection bug, but maybe if some more people on here speak up, they'll do something about it. Thanks again for the tip on the hard reset, that really saved the day!

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Well OK. Looks like the auto resetting of the WAAS is a problem we all have, but my on/off/on problem is just a screw up with my unit. So I'll try the "hard reset" suggestion, and if that doesn't help I guess it's off to Garmin.

Be sure & let us know if a hard reset fixes your power problem.

so it looks like this is the only MAJOR problem with the HCX? if so, do you think it would be okay to purchase the unit and just get the download for the patch when they fix the problem? i just don't want to buy a unit with a problem that will have me send the unit in to get fixed when i can just buy a fixed unit.

The power problem that 'captain454' is having may very well be isolated to his unit only. I have yet to hear of anyone else having the same problem but I'm just going by the info on these boards. If this problem were widespread, you'd definitely be hearing about it here. If the problem he's having is corrected by a hard-reset, then it would be a total non-issue.

Regardless of the problem 'captain454' is having with his unit, I would not hesitate to order an HCx if I did not already own one. That's just my opinion... :unsure:

 

Edit: looks like while I was posting, the captain's problem was solved by the hard-reset.

Edited by SergZak

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.. Thanks again for the tip on the hard reset, that really saved the day!

no worries... :laughing:

i am glad, it works.

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Thanks everyone! You guys have just made my day! I have finaly decided that the Vista HCx definetly is something for me =)

 

All I have to do now is find a store online in the US that ships international. You have no idea how lucky you are over there. Here in Sweden the Vista HCx has a price tag of the ordinary Vista Cx is between 500-600$ ;P

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Thanks everyone! You guys have just made my day! I have finaly decided that the Vista HCx definetly is something for me =)

 

All I have to do now is find a store online in the US that ships international. You have no idea how lucky you are over there. Here in Sweden the Vista HCx has a price tag of the ordinary Vista Cx is between 500-600$ ;P

hello hedtjarn!

 

try this one:

HCX 299,- Euro

http://www.navifuture.de/product_info.php?...-Vista-HCx.html

15 Euro shipping to Sweden

http://www.navifuture.de/shop_content.php?coID=1

 

I bought my HCX there. A very nice guy and the shop is 100% OK.

(i bought already several times there)

It is not a US-price but the best you can get in EU.

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Could anyone with a Cx and HCx comment on the size of the screen and shield area between the two units? I am looking to buy an invisible shield for my ordered HCx, but they only have one for the Cx. I figure the screen/black plastic area would be similar for the units, but a touch of assurance would really help.

 

Does anyone have both units that they could comment?

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Could anyone with a Cx and HCx comment on the size of the screen and shield area between the two units? I am looking to buy an invisible shield for my ordered HCx, but they only have one for the Cx. I figure the screen/black plastic area would be similar for the units, but a touch of assurance would really help.

 

Does anyone have both units that they could comment?

 

I have both the Vista C and the Vista HCx and the screen sizes for both are identical. You should have no problems with the item if it's being specifically labeled for the Cx. The only difference in the eTrex series units are with the original eTrex black & white units (and their brothers) where the screen size is slightly longer and narrower than the eTrex C (color) units. To simplify, all the eTrex B & W unit screens are identical and all the color unit screens are identical.

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I can't find anyone who has a vista HCX for sale. They are all out of stock. I wonder if Garmin stopped shipping until they fix the WAAS bug?

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How many characters can a waypoint name have with the new Vista HCx?

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I can't find anyone who has a vista HCX for sale. They are all out of stock. I wonder if Garmin stopped shipping until they fix the WAAS bug?

No.. Garmin is currently shipping... It's simply not the same business like iPhone where they had a million ready at launch. There was no fixed release date and production scale is not the same.

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Walmart has them in stock, and for cheap. Thats where I ordered mine

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Hi there!

 

Does anyone made some hiking tests with the new etrex H family?

 

regards

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I can't find anyone who has a vista HCX for sale. They are all out of stock. I wonder if Garmin stopped shipping until they fix the WAAS bug?

 

http://www.gpsnow.com

 

has them in stock and shipping...i order from them all the time. they are great and ship same day!

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I can't find anyone who has a vista HCX for sale. They are all out of stock. I wonder if Garmin stopped shipping until they fix the WAAS bug?

 

http://www.gpsnow.com

 

has them in stock and shipping...i order from them all the time. they are great and ship same day!

 

Tried to order but, "We're sorry. This item is currently out of stock. We do not accept orders for items that are not in stock."

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Tried to order but, "We're sorry. This item is currently out of stock. We do not accept orders for items that are not in stock."

 

I just checked and it says in stock shipping today :laughing:

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I had ordered one from tvnav but they didnt have them so I order it from PC Nation and got it last week. I just got a call from tvnav and they now have them. http://tvnav.com/

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I had ordered one from tvnav but they didnt have them so I order it from PC Nation and got it last week. I just got a call from tvnav and they now have them. http://tvnav.com/

 

They must be busy calling everyone that canceled their orders, because I just got the same call from TVNav. I had just canceled my order from them this morning and ordered it from Walmart.com

Edited by BOSP

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Hi, I was wondering, how fast does the new Vista H re-fresh the screen? Can you tell if it's faster than than the CSx?

 

When you scroll sround the map page in a dense city area, does it take forever like the old Vista?

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When you scroll sround the map page in a dense city area, does it take forever like the old Vista?
Gladly no! See post #56

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Great thread! From someone else's note, I printed off the WalMart price, ran over to Bass Pro and got one (they said one of two that they had in stock), came home and canceled my order with TigerGPS who didn't understand how anybody else could have them already... A definite improvement over my old Magellan 315!

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Hi, I was wondering, how fast does the new Vista H re-fresh the screen? Can you tell if it's faster than than the CSx?

 

When you scroll sround the map page in a dense city area, does it take forever like the old Vista?

 

See my post #17 on the first page of this thread. Click here

Edited by SergZak

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How many characters can a waypoint name have with the new Vista HCx?

 

14 characters

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Wow, I can't wait to see what the next iteration of the CS models will be like!

 

Please make it faster, lighter, more power efficient, better and larger screen. And NOT $1,000!

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Thanks for the help. I just ordered it from walmart. Now hopefully they fix the WAAS firmware soon!

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Interesting -- I canceled my order from Onsale last night for the Vista HCX since they are still out of stock, and placed an order with Walmart for next day delivery. Prices were comparable at both places.

 

Just checked Walmart.com, and they have now raised the price for the Vista HCX to $299 (about a $60 increase, although my order is still at the previous price). Maybe they were just slow to update their pricing for the new model.

Edited by zgrav

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Shout-out to DOW2: after seeing your note yesterday, I picked one up at walmart.com--before they jacked the price up. :-)

 

So thanks for the tip!

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I pre-ordered late, on June 21st; so, I'm not surprised I only got my notification today from offroute my Vista HCx has been shipped. <_<

 

Waiting, waiting.... :mad:

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Interesting -- I canceled my order from Onsale last night for the Vista HCX since they are still out of stock, and placed an order with Walmart for next day delivery. Prices were comparable at both places.

 

Just checked Walmart.com, and they have now raised the price for the Vista HCX to $299 (about a $60 increase, although my order is still at the previous price). Maybe they were just slow to update their pricing for the new model.

 

I ordered mine from walmart.com two days ago for 245.85 including two to three day shipping. My order still says processing and that I will receive it between Wed. and Fri. It's been right at 48 hours. Has anyone received the Vista HCX from Wal-Mart yet? This is my first GPSr and I'm anxious to try it out. Seems to me it has very close to all the features of their top of the line handhelds without costing too much. After ordering the unit for 4 wheeling, hiking, boating, biking, etc. I learned about geocaching. My wife and I are kind of excited to try this. Sounds like a lot of fun!

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Actually they have heard about the freezing problem as of Friday, July 13th. They had not seen one in their shop and asked that I ship mine back to them (serial number 16D00432). In turn they sent me a replacement with a SN over 1000 that works fine that I received on the 20th. The 432 unit had to have both the 1 gig chip and the batteries removed before it would work. Then to get the chip to work, I put the batteries in, fired the unit up and then put the chip in. All worked fine until I turned it off. Then I had to do the same routine again.

 

At that time the said they had a similar complaint from one person who sent the unit back to the supplier (store) so they had not seen a defective unit yet. Apparently this is a glitch on a few units.

 

New one works great with no defects. Not seeing WAAS being turned off either.

 

Love the unit.

 

I just talked to Garmin about my Rino and asked about the Vista Hcx problems. He is not aware of any problems with it freezing up but was aware of the WAAS bug. He said he they are not sure if it only does it when it loses contact with the WAAS satelite or if it is something else. The gentlemen I talked to used one this last weekend and noticed it also. I said it is a much better unit than the 60Cx that he has. Hopefully they will have a fix soon. I have one on its way so I hope it does not have the problem

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At that time the said they had a similar complaint from one person who sent the unit back to the supplier (store) so they had not seen a defective unit yet. Apparently this is a glitch on a few units.

 

New one works great with no defects. Not seeing WAAS being turned off either.

 

What firmware is on your Vista HCx replacement unit? Others here including myself have software (firmware) v2.20 / GPS software v2.10

 

Also, 'captain454' had the power on/off problem that he resolved himself by doing a hard-reset on the unit. See post #61 above.

Edited by SergZak

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Actually they have heard about the freezing problem as of Friday, July 13th. They had not seen one in their shop and asked that I ship mine back to them (serial number 16D00432). In turn they sent me a replacement with a SN over 1000 that works fine that I received on the 20th. The 432 unit had to have both the 1 gig chip and the batteries removed before it would work. Then to get the chip to work, I put the batteries in, fired the unit up and then put the chip in. All worked fine until I turned it off. Then I had to do the same routine again.

 

At that time the said they had a similar complaint from one person who sent the unit back to the supplier (store) so they had not seen a defective unit yet. Apparently this is a glitch on a few units.

 

New one works great with no defects. Not seeing WAAS being turned off either.

 

Love the unit.

 

I just talked to Garmin about my Rino and asked about the Vista Hcx problems. He is not aware of any problems with it freezing up but was aware of the WAAS bug. He said he they are not sure if it only does it when it loses contact with the WAAS satelite or if it is something else. The gentlemen I talked to used one this last weekend and noticed it also. I said it is a much better unit than the 60Cx that he has. Hopefully they will have a fix soon. I have one on its way so I hope it does not have the problem

I've got serial number 16D000492. I've got the WAAS bug, but that's it.

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I've got serial number 16D000492. I've got the WAAS bug, but that's it.

 

What I'm wondering is if 'Dakota Jim' has a newer firmware version than 2.20 / 2.10 that corrects the WAAS bug since he received a replacement unit very recently, direct from Garmin. If so, then the update will likely be released very soon.

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OK,

 

So I just received by eTrex Vista HCx from TVNAV as well, so here's my 2 cents. The GPS it's replacing is an eTrex Vista Cx, so that will be my basis of comparison.

 

First off, the rear cover is almost identical to the one included on my old Cx, I think they're both metal, and they both weight in at the same 1.1 oz. However, the new HCx cover is a *much* tighter fit, my guess is that this makes it substantially more water resistant. The little twisty metal loop you use to tighten it into place is larger, and allows you to put MUCH more torque on it when closing.

 

Reception: Yeah, it's a lot better. Hard to measure exactly how much better, I'd say 3x at least, based solely on running them side by side and comparing the size of the reception bars. However, in actual real world use, I'd say the reception is almost infinitely better, since I've taken both units through several heavy cover areas and I never could get the HCx to lose reception, but the old Cx lost signal several times. So in terms of total "downtime" the HCx is infinitely better. Finally, when it's switched on (which can be a pain, see below), the satellite aquisition time is so fast I can't even see it, it's almost instantaneous.

 

 

There does seem to be something quirky about the way the HCx tracks movement, at least at low speeds.... sometimes it doesn't respond to turns fast enough, it's almost as if it's trying to guess ahead on where you're going, but then sometimes it doesn't seem to do this, sorry I can't explain it well enough, I'll have to do a more detailed comparison today.

 

The interface/menus are identical with the only exception being that you can now program what color (both during the day and night) you want your routing path to be (the default is still purple).

 

Speed: Yep, the HCx is also quite a bit faster, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3x faster when it comes to calculating long, complicated routes. Scrolling across the map seems a lot better too.

 

Problems: Yes, there are some big bugs I've discovered already. The first is that the WAAS setting returns to disabled every time I turn my unit off and restart. Also, I've never been able to get the thing to turn on when powered by the USB/external power cord. At this point, I can't seem to ever get it to turn on without first pulling the batteries and restarting, so this is a serious problem. I don't know if the "I can't shut off my GPS and restart it without taking out the batteries" problem is caused by some strange combination of settings on my unit or what, because there's no way they would have shipped a GPS you can't turn on, and I know it did turn on the first time I threw batteries in it and started it up... who knows what's going on? Hopefully is a firmware fix that will come down the pipe soon.

 

Other than the massive on/off bug, I'd say this is by far the best handheld GPS I've ever seen or used. This GPS takes all the features we liked from the old Vista C/Cx, and adds a much improved antenna and faster processor.

 

I, too, am having a problem with turning the unit on. Each time I want to do so, I have to pull out at least one of the batteries. Then it turns on and works with no problems that I can see. I've tried to contact Garmin over the Internet and their reply was to reset the unit using the Enter-Page-Power buttons. I tried this and nothing happens.

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Same here! I have just ordered it from Offroute.com! =D For the moment beeing I feel the same way I did when I was a kid trying to go to sleep the night before christmas ^^

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For the moment beeing I feel the same way I did when I was a kid trying to go to sleep the night before christmas ^^

hehe same here and I just turned 36 yesterday! If fact I got the UPS tracking number and I'm sitting in front of the computer refreshing the page every 5 minutes. No not that much seriously but tonight I will lookup again.

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For the moment beeing I feel the same way I did when I was a kid trying to go to sleep the night before christmas ^^

hehe same here and I just turned 36 yesterday! If fact I got the UPS tracking number and I'm sitting in front of the computer refreshing the page every 5 minutes. No not that much seriously but tonight I will lookup again.

 

question for those who currently have it, how much map wise, could you hold on a 2gb sd card? i'm curious to know how much i can cram on there.

 

also i'm upgrading from a etrex Venture i've had for soooo many years,i think i got it like 4-5 years ago, so how does geocaching mode work? does that take up additional space on my SD card? if so, how much?

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There does seem to be something quirky about the way the HCx tracks movement, at least at low speeds.... sometimes it doesn't respond to turns fast enough, it's almost as if it's trying to guess ahead on where you're going, but then sometimes it doesn't seem to do this, sorry I can't explain it well enough, I'll have to do a more detailed comparison today.

 

 

Hi!

 

captain454, could you now explain a little bit more this? Did you made more tests? Thanks.

 

regards

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For the moment beeing I feel the same way I did when I was a kid trying to go to sleep the night before christmas ^^

hehe same here and I just turned 36 yesterday! If fact I got the UPS tracking number and I'm sitting in front of the computer refreshing the page every 5 minutes. No not that much seriously but tonight I will lookup again.

 

question for those who currently have it, how much map wise, could you hold on a 2gb sd card? i'm curious to know how much i can cram on there.

 

also i'm upgrading from a etrex Venture i've had for soooo many years,i think i got it like 4-5 years ago, so how does geocaching mode work? does that take up additional space on my SD card? if so, how much?

In MapSource TOPO 2008, I've loaded all states except for the following... Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, and Hawaii, for a total of 1949.2 MB used. Which still leaves about 50MB of space left on the 2GB card.

 

Geocaching mode just gives you the ability to mark a geocache as "found" on your GPSr in the field. Once marked as "found," it changes the icon associated with the waypoint from the "Geocache" icon, to the "Geocache Found" icon. Also, it makes a note on your calender showing the date that you found the geocache. No, it does not take up any space on your microSD card because waypoint and calender information is stored on internal memory.

 

Hope this helps!

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