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Vista Hcx vs Legend Hcx & altimeter


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I am about to buy a gps device and I need to decide between Vista Hcx vs Legend Hcx .


Is the altimeter any good or really worthless? I read some bad comments about altimeter ( example: http://regex.info/blog/2006-04-16/179 ). Anyway can you use just the gps to calculate the elevation (even if is not that accurate) instead of buying one with altimeter ?


The price between them in my country is 50 euro so I would like to save them if altimeter is not worth. I will use the gps device mostly for my bicycle.


Thanks for your time

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if properly calibrated they are very accurate.......Ill be honest I dont use the feature often on dayhikes, unless I want to know how tall that hill I just climed was.


The feature is used mostly for weekend packs when im on a ridge and want to compare my location with the trail maps.....then an accurate current/future altitude is nice because it makes it easier to compare to the contour lines and give a very accurate assessment of the current placement.


Not just for altitude, this feature allows you to pattern barometric pressure trends while the UNIT is on, which means that you can use it to see if weather conditions are going sour.

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The altimeter on my 60CSx never gets used; I have topo maps loaded on the receiver to determine elevation. However, I find the compass to be a very useful feature in that it orients the direction arrow, even when you are standing still. I'd be hard pressed to pay 50 EUR (~$73 US) just to get the compass though.

Edited by Glenn W
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Thanks, compass is nice but as you said too much to pay 50 euro for that only. I was afraid that the altimeter is not that good. If it's quite accurate then I will buy the vista. I was afraid that altimeter was not much better than gps cordinates to calculate elevation.


I am leaning towards vista then :laughing:

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I haven't calibrated my Vista HCx altimeter since I got it last week, but the default settings are fairly good. I climbed up to a mountain peak today, and at the top the altimeter read 5336'. According to the map, I was at 5345. 9 feet of elevation is good enough for me, especially since this is according to factory settings, pre-calibration.


Someone who hiked with me was carrying a barometer, and he had us at 5482, so the HCx was waaay closer.

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We got the Vista HCx to replace the old reliable(?) standard Legend B&W. The altimeter provides a smoother elevation profile than the satellite-derived elevations. A lot less bounce in elevations.


We love our new Vista HCx. The accuracy is much better than our Legend. Much faster transferring data to and from the computer over the USB. Color is great, and the maps (CityNavNT) are very helpful.

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I love the compass for geocaching.........I dont use the map, simply the compass with two other smaller screens with eta in time and distance, its especially good if you have kids, all they have to do is follow the big red arrow and make the distance smaller


That isn't the compass they are referring to. You're talking about the pointer... it points to your target. A compass points to north.


I do sometimes carry a magnetic compass and have found it useful at times where my GPS pointer won't orient itself quickly enough.

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