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New Geocacher needs advice on buying a gps


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I'm new to this game and excited to get started but need some advice on GPS selection. My budget is pretty pathetic, I'm looking in the 100$ range. I've done some reasearch and have some interest in the etrex legend for 100, the explorist 400 for 100 (or the 500 for the extra 20 or so hear) or the geko 201 or explorist 100 for around 50. For the most part i'm looking to buy new and would appreciate any insight on these models or comprable alternatives i may have missed. Let me know, thanks.

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You should rule out the eXpolorist 100 (or 200 or 300) because they don't have a PC connection.


The 400 is a pretty good unit, but Magellan's rep for customer support ranges from lousy to abysmal. Not an issue if there are no problems with your unit, but if you do, you may be in for a nightmare.


The eTrex Legend is OK, but the unit has been around, virtually unchanged since around 2001. It was good in its day, but has been left in the dust in terms of the reception and map storage of newer units. It has a measly 8 megs which will provide very limited map storage if you decide to buy maps.


The Geko 201 is a nice little unit. Very compact, durable and easy to use and it has a PC connection (though the cable is extra). My wife uses one and would rather use it than any other unit we have, and we have some good ones.


But for under $100 I think you should consider the eTrex H (the H is important as it indicates the high sensitivity receiver). The eTrex H runs around $89 and is a basic unit that has PC connectability and the high sensitivity receiver for great reception under trees. Do not confuse the eTrex H with the eTrex. They sell for the same price, look very much alike and I've actually seen them on shelves side by side.

Edited by briansnat
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You should rule out the eXpolorist 100 (or 200 or 300) because they don't have a PC connection.


Just wanted to second the eXplorist note about poor customer service (from another thread)... wish I had read that before buying. And the 100 is discontinued and 'no longer supported'.


They won't honor my warranty on the 100, and it's only 4 months old and just randomly resets and loses all saved waypoints! Then to make it worse, phone support told me the department that could tell me about the upgrade credit they were offering 'doesn't have a direct phone number and is down for the next 2-3 hours due to technical difficulties' and for me to call back.


So now I'm in the market for something too. Our 100 was clearly defective. Don't know about the rest of their stuff, but now I'm shopping Garmin. Too bad, I liked the features.


Good luck in your search (and then have fun caching with what you get!!)



Edited by Spiderweb4-2
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For 100 dollars or less, I would definately buy a used Vista. There are often some really nice, great condition Vistas for sale right here on this site due to the fact that a lot of people prefer a colour screen.


I bought a used IFinder Pro for 85 dollars. With the GPS, I got a 12 volt car adapter cable, screen protector already installed, and a Freedom topographical map on an SD card of the province of Quebec (where I live and play).


The IFinder has a slot for SD cards so it's similar to a Vista X if such a thing as a Vista X existed. The Vista does not have an SD card slot to store tracks, waypoints etc and add details to the pre-installed permanent basemap.


There were some IFinder Pros, IFinder Map and Music etc that sold for under 75 dollars on Ebay the other day.


You don't see many complaints from users of these GPS units.

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I know you dont want to buy used, but consider a used Garmin gps 12 or 12 xl they can be found on ebay for under $ 50 and are outstanding performers I have had a 12 xl for about 10 years now it has been to 48 states and 13 countries including 2 combat tours to Iraq and even though it is looking kind of beat up now it has never let me down. you can make your own pc cable for a few dollars with a kit from open purple projects. It does not have mapping but a paper map is always better anyway. I upgraded to a gpsmap 76s a few months ago but my 12xl is always in my pack because I feel comfortable knowing its there just in case. the 12xl has a built in city database and external antenna jack, 12 gps 12 does not.

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depending on your skill/age and ability to quickly pick up interfaces, i find that a great geocaching new person gps is the garmin gps 60 (non map). couple of reasons 1) good gps 2) larger screen 3)easy to use and read buttons and 4) has garmins geocache mode (not a big deal but nice). Used ones sometimes come up on ebay, just under a 100, one sold last week for $53.


I use this as my "friend" gps. having tried to teach someone the vista buttons for just a day seemed like it was pointless with the non labled icon buttons, but the 60 clear labled buttons, and being the same as my gpsmap 60csx really made the it a breaze for a first timer.

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There is also the Garmin EMap. Can usually be found for around 50 dollars.


In any event, there are tons of GPS units for under 100 dollars. They are all accurate to within 45 feet if you have a view of the sky.


The older units like the Lowrance GlobalNav 200 are quite large and heavy and eat batteries about 2 times faster than the newer units but they are very solid.


The big choice is whether you want mapping or not.


You can even buy a brand new Lowrance GO2 which has a basemap of the U.S. for about 50 dollars. Usually, the basemap has a pretty good detailed city map of cities having a population over 100,000 people along with most of the roads, all major highways and even points of interest.

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