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vista HCx vs. 60CSx


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Hi, I know there have been some of these already posted but I wanted to get into more detail. I have been borrowing an old etrex from a friend and find it to be really unreliable so far mostly because it is 4 or 5 years old and loses signal fairly easy.

 

I have been doing a lot of research on the Vista HCx and the 60CSx. Both got very good reviews and am having problems choosing which one I should get.

 

Right now there is a $50 rebate on the 60CSx which would only set it apart from the Vista HCx by about $75 so money isn't something I need to take into consideration.

 

Through research some things I noticed were:

 

-The Vista HCx has a better battery life (25 hours vs. the 18 hours the 60CSx offers)

-The Vista HCx is smaller and sounds a little more portable.

-Both seem to have pretty much the same exact features.

-The 60CSx has the external antenna built on which I'm assuming get's better signal.

-The 60CSx comes with a microSD card for maps (I already have a 2gb microsd I can put in)

 

Those are the major things I have been contemplating. I will be using the GPS for mainly geocaching but would also be loading on the topo maps (not sure if one handles them better than the other).

 

This is something I want to have many opinions on before I make an investment since this is something I do not want to replace for awhile.

 

Any help would be great!

 

Thank you

 

-Getuptogetdown

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-The Vista HCx has a better battery life (25 hours vs. the 18 hours the 60CSx offers)

-The Vista HCx is smaller and sounds a little more portable.

-Both seem to have pretty much the same exact features.

-The 60CSx has the external antenna built on which I'm assuming get's better signal.

-The 60CSx comes with a microSD card for maps (I already have a 2gb microsd I can put in)

 

I'd like to add some more points.

-60 has larger screen that is very important to bikers. Portabality is probably more important to hikers.

-eTrex H series has an accuracy problem with odometer. This issue has been discussed at this site and Gpspassion.com Gpspassion-eTrex H problem.

-Some sites say eTrex H series have better sensitivity than 60 Csx with SirfStar III chipset even if it has an external antenna. eTrex H series have MTK chipset

 

I ordered and received 60 Csx because of odometer accuracy problem.

Edited by jowook
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-The Vista HCx has a better battery life (25 hours vs. the 18 hours the 60CSx offers)

 

Yep

 

-The Vista HCx is smaller and sounds a little more portable.

 

Yep.

 

-Both seem to have pretty much the same exact features.

 

Yep.

 

-The 60CSx has the external antenna built on which I'm assuming get's better signal.

 

Can't really see why you'd want to connect an external antenna seeing as the HCx will get reception indoors and the 60CSx is not far behind.

 

-The 60CSx comes with a microSD card for maps (I already have a 2gb microsd I can put in)

 

The card is a non issue because it's only 128Mb and a one gig card is only $10 anyway, so who cares if the 60CSx comes with a $3 card?

 

One main point you seem to have missed in the other threads is that the Vista HCx screen is a higher quality than the 60CSx, higher resolution and a lot brighter as well.

 

In fact even though the 60CSx screen is 10% wider, the HCx will show 10% more map due to the better resolution.

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If you're considering the 60CSx, you might also want to check out the 76CSx. When I was looking to buy a few months ago (before the HCX came out), I was originally going to get a 60CSx until I discovered that the 76CSx was pretty much the same unit but cost less. Some people don't like the buttons being above the screen, but personally I find it really handy when holding the unit in the palm of my hand - the buttons are in just the right place for pressing with my thumb. You also don't have an antenna stub sticking out of the top of the unit with the 76CSx.

 

As far as I can tell, the 60CSx and 76CSx have the same performance. Personally I love my 76CSx and have never regretted buying it.

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I think the key comes down to your primary uses. If you will be using it chiefly for geocaching and hiking the Vista HCX is probably the better choice because of its compact size. If you will be using it a lot in your automobile or on your bike, the 60CSX might be the better choice because the buttons are on the front

and easier to operate in a vehicle or while biking.

 

Also consider the 76CSX as someone else here mentioned. It is functionally identical to the 60CSX and often about 50 bucks cheaper.

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I agree with briansnat. I have used the GPS Map 60CSx, but really prefer the Vista HCx because of its smaller size. I also prefer the "click-stick" for navigating through the menus.

 

I do not care for the square shape of the 76 models . . . It isn't as comfortable to carry. However, if I was getting a handheld GPSr for primary use in a boat or car, I would get that model instead of the 60.

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Of course the "H" series has brought the eTrex into the same playing field as the CSx now and there's really not that much to choose between them.

The screen thing is a red-herring. Pixels per screen is almost identical, the size of the CSx screen is a major benefit especially when used in the car as it is a fixed distance from you and there is no problem with CSx brightness IMHO.

Battery life is irrelevant if you use re-chargeables - and who doesn't.

CSx is more robust.

You'll never need an external aerial.

The Vista is new, so teething troubles haven't all been resolved yet, but I'm sure they will be.

The CSx is well into it's life cycle and will no doubt be replaced by a new model in the not too distant future. Any problems have been resolved.

The HCx is cheaper.

 

At the end of the day people with the CSx will say it's best, and people with the HCx will say it's best. The reality is that where it counts there is very little difference and there is no real point scrutinizing irrelevant differences.

 

P.S. It's CSx for me every time, :laughing: but there were no choices to be made when I got it. The eTrex range is always playing catch up.

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For what it is worth:

 

I purchased the HCx and my geobuddy bought the 60. When we are together caching I have not noticed a spec of difference in performance. The big thing I see is that my unit is much easier to carry around, easier to operate and seems to start-up faster. The odometer issue is a pain, since I do a lot of hiking. But, keep in mind that you can download your track when you get home and get all the info you want from that. Bottom line: I don't use the odometer function.

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The 76 csx will also float,and lay flat without rocking I found it more comfortable to operate with one hand than the 60 csx ,but if your hands are smaller it might not be for you .Also If your close up vission is not the best you might need to take your reading glasses with you with your Hcx.The CSX units are larger,but the weight differance is only minute.Look at all three and hold each one,and get rechargable NiMh batteries ,don't buy based on power consumption.Also the 60 & 76 can use an external antenna and have tide tables.

Edited by Forkeye
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The 76 csx will also float,and lay flat without rocking I found it more comfortable to operate with one hand than the 60 csx ,but if your hands are smaller it might not be for you .Also If your close up vission is not the best you might need to take your reading glasses with you with your Hcx.The CSX units are larger,but the weight differance is only minute.Look at all three and hold each one,and get rechargable NiMh batteries ,don't buy based on power consumption.

Although I would agree that the best bet is to take all the things said into consideration and that, for the most part, it is a form factor issue, a broad statement not to base a decision on power consumption may not always be reasonable. It is indeed a factor that must be considered.

 

If the individual is going on multi-day trips into the wilderness, they won't be able to recharge their batteries. Thus power consumption becomes a significant issue. For example, a week long outing would require 14 batteries at a consumption rate of 25 hours (I would bring a few more along). At 18 hours battery life, the same trip would require 18 batteries, plus spares. Obviously, this is assuming the GPS stays on for the whole day and you could likely half that number. It could amount to a significant difference in the number of batteries you need to lug around.

 

That being said, if it is only being used for geocaching and short day trips, then power consumption is not as much of an issue.

 

So, to sum up, I believe that performance-wise the three are similar. The suggestion to see how each feels and how you like the interface (buttons) is quite sound. Factor in power consumption using the appropriate weight based on how long you may be away from a plug-in.

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When I go on a week long back country trip,I always carry a paper map and a real compass and one set of batteries inside my GPS.I turn on my GPS only every now and then just to get a position fix when in doubt.I have never found a need to have my GPS running constantly.Before GPS you had to navigate with map and compass and if you dont know how to do that you should not be going into the back country with a pack load of batteries and your GPS alone,at the most I would only take one extra set as every gram of spare junk you take will add up so fast ,your legs will colapse.

Edited by Forkeye
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When I go on a week long back country trip,I always carry a paper map and a real compass and one set of batteries inside my GPS.I turn on my GPS only every now and then just to get a position fix when in doubt.I have never found a need to have my GPS running constantly.Before GPS you had to navigate with map and compass and if you dont know how to do that you should not be going into the back country with a pack load of batteries and your GPS alone,at the most I would only take one extra set as every gram of spare junk you take will add up so fast ,your legs will colapse.

I have plenty of experience with map and compass (over twenty years professionally and over ten years personally prior to that) and agree with you completely on needing to be able to use them. However the GPS is a great tool for more than just something to use "when in doubt" of your position. That would be a very rare event for anyone with experience with map and compass work. The GPS greatly expands capabilities and also helps to speed up things.

 

However, my point was that different people have different requirements and a broad brush statement that power consumption is not important doesn't quite cut it. A friend of mine spends two weeks to two months at a time in the wilderness assisting with mine/mineral exploration, with all sorts of requirements to have the GPS on the whole time he is working. If you go by some of others comments on the board here, there are many that want to precisely track where they go and when for many reasons. These reasons will vary from person to person. But to have that capability, you have to leave the GPS on.

 

Like I said earlier, given the way you operate with your GPS and for other reasons, it may not be as important as other features to you. However, it is a factor to consider and the individual must weigh its importance based on his use of the unit.

Edited by dogwalkers2
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The 76 csx will also float,and lay flat without rocking I found it more comfortable to operate with one hand than the 60 csx ,but if your hands are smaller it might not be for you .Also If your close up vission is not the best you might need to take your reading glasses with you with your Hcx.The CSX units are larger,but the weight differance is only minute.Look at all three and hold each one,and get rechargable NiMh batteries ,don't buy based on power consumption.Also the 60 & 76 can use an external antenna and have tide tables.

It is possible to get US tide tables on the Vista HCx, but it takes a bit of work. Basically it involves downloading the "Recommended MapSource US Tides Software" from Garmin here. But you can only install it if you have the full version of MapSource (i.e., you own another Garmin map product). You can work around that by installing Garmin's Fitness Center first, then installing the latest MapSource update, which will give you the full version. Then you can install the tide software. However, after all that, I couldn't figure out how to download them to my unit (I think they have to be combined with another map), so I just ended up using Sendmap to get the tide stations on my Vista HCx. See, I told you it was a bit of work. :unsure:

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I'm interested to know how fast the HCx get a satellite fix, assuming it's been off overnight?

 

I tried that last night with mine, and it found the satellites while moving in the car in about 1 minuite... as compared with my GEKO 301 that I had to wait at a stoplight for about 5 minuites before it got its fix. Of course, with the HCX, Why turn it off? I usually leave it on, and plug it into the computer. When its plugged in, it uses the USB cord for power. Plus, it makes it faster for FTF runs...

 

The Steaks

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The 76 csx will also float,and lay flat without rocking I found it more comfortable to operate with one hand than the 60 csx ,but if your hands are smaller it might not be for you .Also If your close up vission is not the best you might need to take your reading glasses with you with your Hcx.The CSX units are larger,but the weight differance is only minute.Look at all three and hold each one,and get rechargable NiMh batteries ,don't buy based on power consumption.Also the 60 & 76 can use an external antenna and have tide tables.

It is possible to get US tide tables on the Vista HCx, but it takes a bit of work. Basically it involves downloading the "Recommended MapSource US Tides Software" from Garmin here. But you can only install it if you have the full version of MapSource (i.e., you own another Garmin map product). You can work around that by installing Garmin's Fitness Center first, then installing the latest MapSource update, which will give you the full version. Then you can install the tide software. However, after all that, I couldn't figure out how to download them to my unit (I think they have to be combined with another map), so I just ended up using Sendmap to get the tide stations on my Vista HCx. See, I told you it was a bit of work. :D

*Cough* If you go here, http://67.185.105.184/ I'm sure that'll give you all the Mapsource software that you need. Yes, its all free and such.

 

The Steaks

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