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Hopperja

Keep GPS12 or buy new?

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I have a little bit of experience using a GPS12, but have been starting to geocache with my two young boys. Doing so has made me wonder if I should buy a new unit. The two I'm considering are:

 

1- Garmin Etrex Vista HCX (I found it online for approx. $150)

2- Magellan Triton 500 (I'd buy it at Costco when they come in for $150); this seems like the better value but I'm a Mac user; also, from what I've found online, the battery life is 14 hours

3- Keep my 2001 vintage Garmin GPS 12

 

Geocaching with my boys today - we only had time for one cache- my GPS 12 put me within 10 feet of the cache; this was the 5th cache we've found overall. In every case, it had a clear view to the sky and has gotten us to within 10 feet. Is this typical performance? What about under tree cover? What are the reasons to replace the GPS 12? Or should I just stick with it?

 

Thanks!

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It is your choice. The 12 is still a good unit. I still have mine, as well as a 60cx. In fact I was surprised to see one being sold in REI the other day. They are an old model.

There are 2 main disadvantages to the 12 that the Vista HCX has. One is the ability to use maps in the unit. The other is that the newer units will hold a signal much better under tree cover. All else is just nice extras.

 

Still, the 12 is rugged and useful even though it is antiquated.

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If you can get a Vista HCx for $150, get it!! That is about $70 less than I have seen them for sale elsewhere.

 

Keep the older model so one of the boys has a GPSr to carry, but get the new one for yourself. Later on, you can purchase the City Navigator maps to take advantage of the auto-routing feature and Points of Interest information. The USB connection of the newer GPS units is good.

 

You will really like upgrading, but if you do, I would stick with a Garmin model. Magellan has been having lots of problems lately, and their Customer Service, should you need it, is terrible.

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To address one question that was not answered. The 12 foot radius will not improve with a newer unit. You can follow your gps and when it says here, look down and there is the cache. The new $150-$300 units will be no better in that respect. Nicer bells and whistles, but the basic accuracy will be the same.

 

Jim

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Well that is really not true. Both will get you plenty close, but newer technology always improves some degree of accuracy, and especially you will get improvement with WAAS corrections.

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I like the Magellan Triton 500 because: 1- there are better maps available 2- it will be from Costco which has an unbeatable customer service policy. What makes me nervous about the Triton is 1- it's got a Windows based OS; most Mac users know it will inevitably have OS problems (crashes, need to reinstall OS, bugs, unexplainable incompatibility issues, etc) 2- no one has them yet, so they're unproven

 

I like the Garmin Etrex Vista HCX because 1- it's Mac compatible 2- Garmin has superior customer service 3- thousands, maybe millions, of people own and use them and love them. Do a simple search through Google products and you'll see it here for c. $150 + S/H. It looks like this one doesn't use AA batteries though, so maybe I'd get the etrex Legend HCX for c. $143 + S/H.

 

What do you guys think?

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Your vintage GPS12 would continue to serve you well but you might want the mapping capability and other advanced features if you get right into geocaching. The GPS12 is also a bit of a battery hog using 4xAA for around 12 hours use (if I recall correctly).

 

A good back-up for sure but I wouldn't want to have feed it!

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On the $150 Vista HCx ad, the picture is correct but the description sure isn't the Vista HCx. I just checked the specs in my HCx manual and they are not the same. Just be careful. Not sure what is going with that dealer. However, the description on the Etrex Legend HCx seems to be correct.

Edited by W7WT
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I like the Garmin Etrex Vista HCX because 1- it's Mac compatible 2- Garmin has superior customer service 3- thousands, maybe millions, of people own and use them and love them. Do a simple search through Google products and you'll see it here for c. $150 + S/H. It looks like this one doesn't use AA batteries though, so maybe I'd get the etrex Legend HCX for c. $143 + S/H.

 

I still haven't made up my mind, but I've since learned the links I provided others on the internet have said are to a scam website. Don't buy from www.yourdigitalelectronics.com.

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I like the Magellan Triton 500 because: 1- there are better maps available

 

True that it uses National Geographic Topo which is a much better topo program, but with NG Topo you can

only buy one state at a time (unless you are in the northeast where a few states are packaged together). That can get expensive at a bit over $100 a state.

 

I don't know what road navigation software it uses, but it is hard to beat Garmin's City Navigator.

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