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Opinions on a new GPS.


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I recently lost my Magellan eXplorist 400. I am in desperate need of a new one before my trip to Colorado. I plan to do some geocaching out there. I have been doing some research and I'm lost with all of the new features and products out there. I have looked at the following units and would like your opinions on each...

 

1. Magellan eXplorist 500LE - I can get this from Costco.com for $119. I was happy with the 400 so this should be just as good if not better, right?

 

2. Garmin Etrex Legend HCx - I can get this for around $200 from various sites on the web.

 

The main use for this would be geocaching and nothing much else. How does the Garmin compare to the Magellan? I have no experience with Garmin units. Is the reception better or worse in tree or cloud cover? Can they hold up to drops and can they take some abuse?

 

Thanks. :laughing:

Edited by Kalooch135
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I recently lost my Magellan eXplorist 400. I am in desperate need of a new one before my trip to Colorado. I plan to do some geocaching out there. I have been doing some research and I'm lost with all of the new features and products out there. I have looked at the following units and would like your opinions on each...

 

1. Magellan eXplorist 500LE - I can get this from Costco.com for $119. I was happy with the 400 so this should be just as good if not better, right?

 

2. Garmin Etrex Legend HCx - I can get this for around $200 from various sites on the web.

 

The main use for this would be geocaching and nothing much else. How does the Garmin compare to the Magellan? I have no experience with Garmin units. Is the reception better or worse in tree or cloud cover? Can they hold up to drops and can they take some abuse?

 

Thanks. :laughing:

I can't speak to the Magellan but I had a Vista Cx and I loved it but was enticed to trade up to an HCx when I saw it for $212. The reception is fantastic, I get a signal in my top floor apartment. It seems pretty hardy not that I've dropped it a lot or anything. $200 sounds hi for the Legend, shop a little more.

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I have the Vista HCx and really like it. It never loses a signal. On it I have both the highly-rated City Navigator maps for auto-routing and the Topo maps, which are useful when hiking.

 

Too many friends have had bad luck with their Magellans, and coupled with the horror stories in these Forums about Magellan's horrible Customer Service, I cannot recommend you get another Magellan . . .

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I've been using my exp 500 for about 3 years and have found over 2000 caches with it the only problem I've had was the rubber over the toggle has torn other then that its been a great unit.

If you do buy the 500 get the li-on battery for it, you can find them online usually for less then $10.00.

I would also suggest loading firmware 2.57 which is the european version

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I recently upgraded from an eTrex Venture to the Legend HCx and love it. I pretty much only use it for geocaching.

 

I didn't think the color screen was important, but have to admit I like it.

 

I had been thinking for some time to get a newer GPS, and was seriously looking at the GPSMAP 60CX, and was just put off by the high price. The eTrex Legend HCx was a close second, and was only put off from getting it because I figured the quad-helix antenna would get better reception then just a 'better chip set' of the H-series. But people on-line said the reception was about the same, some claiming the H was a little better.

 

As I could get the Legend HCx for a little under a two hundred from Amazon, I went for it. (problems with the rocker button that recently developed on my Venture was getting worse, so that also pushed it).

 

Overall, I've liked it, and like some of the added features that make it even nicer (IMO) to use it for geocaching.

 

Shop around and get a cheap Micro-SD card (believe 2G is the max you can use). I picked up a Sans one at costco for about $20.

Edited by emb021
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I have the Garmin eTrex Vista Cx (not HCx) and it works great. I have turned it on inside my house downstairs and upstairs and got a signal. Have used it in the car also. Have never lost a signal yet.

I would recommend the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx (H for high sensitivity receiver). For $200, rather than paying for a Legend, you could get a used Garmin eTrex Vista HCx for $200 on eBay. Keep in mind though that it is hard to find a used Garmin eTrex Vista HCx on eBay.

 

Legend HCx VS Vista HCx:

Legend HCx: no compass, no altimeter

Vista HCx: has compass and altimeter.

 

With the compass, the arrow points you in the direction of the cache.

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I've been using my exp 500 for about 3 years and have found over 2000 caches with it the only problem I've had was the rubber over the toggle has torn other then that its been a great unit.

If you do buy the 500 get the li-on battery for it, you can find them online usually for less then $10.00.

I would also suggest loading firmware 2.57 which is the european version

 

What's the difference between the europe and America versions? I have a Explorist 500 that was bought after the July WAAS switch, and it's horrible with tracking as it searches for the old birds. Will the european version 'fix' that issue? Also, where do you find the firmware? I've had no luck...

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Go with the garmin. The explorist 500LE will be EOL'd by magellan within the year. Then you'll get even less support from magellan than you would now. There will be a few things you'll miss from the explorist, but all in all you'd be better off with the garmin. And the compass on the vista only helps when standing still. So with the legend you'll have to be in motion to get the direction of the cache with the vista you can stand still and the internal compass will point the way. Mapsource is just as good as Mapsend. As soon as Garmin gets the kinks worked out on the Colorado I will be selling my explorist 500 and getting a Colorado not a Triton.

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What's the difference between the europe and America versions? I have a Explorist 500 that was bought after the July WAAS switch, and it's horrible with tracking as it searches for the old birds. Will the european version 'fix' that issue? Also, where do you find the firmware? I've had no luck...

Yes it will fix the WAAS issue. It also 3 or 4 screens that used to be on the meridians. Speedometer page, highway view, Large view numbers, and one other. I've turned off all the new pages except the speedometer.

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1. Magellan eXplorist 500LE - I can get this from Costco.com for $119. I was happy with the 400 so this should be just as good if not better, right?

 

2. Garmin Etrex Legend HCx - I can get this for around $200 from various sites on the web.

 

Instead of looking at eXplorist 500, take a look at Triton 400 ( cca 190$ ) or Triton 500 ( cca 230$ ).

Tritons are far more superior then both eXplorists and Etrex units - better screen/resoluton, drawing speed...

Triton 400 is the succesor of the eXplorist 500.

Triton 500 have additional 3-axis compass and altimeter, and once when you try 3-axis compass you will ask yourself "how do I live without them" :anicute:

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You must not have read the reviews for the Triton . . . or the stories of people in these Forums who got them and returned them

 

Don't know about other "horror" stories and experiences, but I have Triton and really like him, and now with new fw's everything works well :anicute:

 

Good thing is that Tritons suffers only from SW issues, unlike CO who have really big problems with HW - mainly with water - it's waterproof like my cellphone ...

 

Please, I don't want to discuss anymore ... original post was just a suggestion to look at Tritons ...

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I've been using my exp 500 for about 3 years and have found over 2000 caches with it the only problem I've had was the rubber over the toggle has torn other then that its been a great unit.

If you do buy the 500 get the li-on battery for it, you can find them online usually for less then $10.00.

I would also suggest loading firmware 2.57 which is the european version

 

What's the difference between the europe and America versions? I have a Explorist 500 that was bought after the July WAAS switch, and it's horrible with tracking as it searches for the old birds. Will the european version 'fix' that issue? Also, where do you find the firmware? I've had no luck...

You have an email

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1. Magellan eXplorist 500LE - I can get this from Costco.com for $119. I was happy with the 400 so this should be just as good if not better, right?

 

2. Garmin Etrex Legend HCx - I can get this for around $200 from various sites on the web.

 

Instead of looking at eXplorist 500, take a look at Triton 400 ( cca 190$ ) or Triton 500 ( cca 230$ ).

Tritons are far more superior then both eXplorists and Etrex units - better screen/resoluton, drawing speed...

Triton 400 is the succesor of the eXplorist 500.

Triton 500 have additional 3-axis compass and altimeter, and once when you try 3-axis compass you will ask yourself "how do I live without them" :rolleyes:

 

I would wait on the triton until they have a few more bugs out of it,

I tried the 400 and couldn't get it to load maps or geocaches. And yes I have the latest ver.

vantagepoint all i could do was hand key waypoints in.

Played with it all weekend before I took it back

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