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Etrex Venture CX VS. Explorist 500 LE


Hick@Heart
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I only have the 500 but hopefully I can give you some helpful info.

 

From what I see it seems that there is a price difference between the two. I still see the 500 for 200 even after all this time and it looks like the Etrex is a little higher in price , around 240 (average) from what I've seen, though I've seen them listed for 195 at the lowest.. The five hundred uses standard SD cards which I love because most of my electronics use them so it makes switching out much easier. Micro sd cards usually need an adapter to switch out data quickly on the computer which gives you one more thing to lose. On the up side the Garmin unit uses a typical usb cable verses the preparitary cable that Magellen uses. Though it looks like the same cable cannot be used to charge the unit itself like the Maggy cable.

 

Speaking of charging the unit, the 500 comes in both Lithium-ion battery and Alkaline flavors as well. You've probably already seen people talk about using rechargables in their gps units and I can say with either unit you use I would try and get the highest rated rechargable you can get so that you can get the maximum time use out of it.

 

Color it looks like the Etrex has the lead with 256 vrs the 500's 16. Depending on the map set and detail this could really help with knowing where you are faster. I really don't have an opinion either way, color screens look pretty but they have nothing to do with getting you to the cache :ph34r:.

 

Internal memory, I've always gone with the idea of more memory is better. 500's is 8megs internal but I have yet to find out how much internal memory the Etrex has. Tried the garmin website along with amazon and getfeet wet and all I could find is the original venture (not CX) has one meg memory. Obviously with more internal memory the processor can work faster with more information so this is very important to look for.

 

Hopefully this will allow you to make a better decision.

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I have a Venture CX and I am very pleased with it. I've had for about 7 months.

 

One small thing I like about the USB interface is that if you want to prolong your battery life while driving, you can use a regular mini-USB cigarette "charger" cable (like for Motorola Razar cell phone) . The Unit will draw power from the USB source and not it's batteries -saving them for outdoor use.(Note It wont charge your batteries)

 

And another thing that's impressive about the Venture CX is the very long battery life.

 

I am not sure what the geocache manager on the explorist is, but there is a geocache menu on the VentureCX. You can upload waypoints that are represented by Geocache icons When you find the Geochche, the icon changes to signal that you've found it.

 

I have no experience of the Explorer so I can't compare the two. But I can't fault the VentureCx

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I would go with the Garmin because of threads like this one, this one, and this one. :ph34r:

 

Garmin is noted for its excellent Customer Service, if you need it. Magellan's Customer Service has been terrible for many people.

 

Depending on the price of that Venture Cx, I would recommend looking at the prices for the newer Garmin 'H' models. They have a high sensitivity chip and will work better under trees. The Legend HCx is an excellent choice for a mapping unit.

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Can you afford another $20.00. The Legend HCx is on sale for $199.99 at GPSOnSale.com. OffRoute.com is also a highly-recommended online retailer. You will be much happier with the newer, 'H' model. It is one you can grow with over the next couple of years. Later on you can get the Garmin City Navigator maps for auto-routing. The Garmin auto-routing maps come more highly-recommended than those offered by Magellan.

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Can you afford another $20.00. The Legend HCx is on sale for $199.99 at GPSOnSale.com. OffRoute.com is also a highly-recommended online retailer. You will be much happier with the newer, 'H' model. It is one you can grow with over the next couple of years. Later on you can get the Garmin City Navigator maps for auto-routing. The Garmin auto-routing maps come more highly-recommended than those offered by Magellan.
Does the new Legend autoroute? I only ask because the original Legend, which I have doesn't and that's why I upgraded to a 60CS three years ago.
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I have a Venture CX and I am very pleased with it. I've had for about 7 months.

 

One small thing I like about the USB interface is that if you want to prolong your battery life while driving, you can use a regular mini-USB cigarette "charger" cable (like for Motorola Razar cell phone) . The Unit will draw power from the USB source and not it's batteries -saving them for outdoor use.(Note It wont charge your batteries)

 

And another thing that's impressive about the Venture CX is the very long battery life.

 

I am not sure what the geocache manager on the explorist is, but there is a geocache menu on the VentureCX. You can upload waypoints that are represented by Geocache icons When you find the Geochche, the icon changes to signal that you've found it.

 

I have no experience of the Explorer so I can't compare the two. But I can't fault the VentureCx

 

I guess the geocache manager displays the terrain difficulty, the container size and 50 spaces of the hint as listed by the cache owner. One description says "This unique feature makes managing coordinates even easier with a PC-style file system (Although from reading through other posts the 50 space limit can be somewhat frusterating.)

Edited by Hick@Heart
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Can you afford another $20.00. The Legend HCx is on sale for $199.99 at GPSOnSale.com. OffRoute.com is also a highly-recommended online retailer. You will be much happier with the newer, 'H' model. It is one you can grow with over the next couple of years. Later on you can get the Garmin City Navigator maps for auto-routing. The Garmin auto-routing maps come more highly-recommended than those offered by Magellan.
Does the new Legend autoroute? I only ask because the original Legend, which I have doesn't and that's why I upgraded to a 60CS three years ago.

 

yes the new legend CX and legend HCX both autoroute.

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I use the eXplorist 500. FOR ME, it works great. I haven't had to deal with Customer Service because everything is working fine.

 

The lack of a large internal memory is no issue because you can use SD cards with the unit for storing maps and geocaches.

 

My accuracy seems to be on par with other units.

 

It will take AAA's, but doesn't come with the much wiser choice, the Li-Ion rechargable battery. This you must purchase separately (see other threads for cheap alternatives).

 

It will autoroute for you if you purchase and install the proper software.

 

It has a Geocaching setting, but I don't like it. hah I just use my Treo to go paperless.

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Why don't you try using a forked stick for a while. When you master that, you're ready to make the big move to a GPS unit. Just kidding! A little humor in the evening here, folks. I'm really no help when it comes to these new-fangled units. The one we use is so old that it has a crank handle on the front to start it up!

 

Hey, the forked stick idea wouldn't be a bad idea for taking a newbe out for the first time. Just take them to a cache that you've already been to, find it with the forked stick, then hand it over and over and say, "Here, give it a try." That would be cool!

 

Sorry I took us off subject, but I couldn't resist. Miragee, I love your blog, and I'm sorry about your lost travel bugs. :)

 

Hick, let me know what you decide so you can get in the game.

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Can you afford another $20.00. The Legend HCx is on sale for $199.99 at GPSOnSale.com. OffRoute.com is also a highly-recommended online retailer. You will be much happier with the newer, 'H' model. It is one you can grow with over the next couple of years. Later on you can get the Garmin City Navigator maps for auto-routing. The Garmin auto-routing maps come more highly-recommended than those offered by Magellan.

 

I think I will step it up to the Legend. Thank you all for your feedback. Now to try and come up with that extra $20. Hmmmmmmmmmm........... :(

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