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New Garmin under $200


Team_Harris
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New to this, however been using my Nuvi 255w recently for geo and works well...sort of. Was hoping somebody could lead me to a decent hand held unit with the features that I've been reading about (compass, ability to add maps, etc....please help. Any other advice or suggestions greatly appreciated. Found a few today!

 

-Scott

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The Vista HCX can be had for just over $200 right now. It has the electronic compass. The legend HCX is the next step down, does NOT have an electronic compass, and is just under $200. For more info on the electronic compass, see here. Some people hate electronic compasses. To each their own. Personally, I have a Garmin 60CSx and really appreciate the electronic compass.

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The Vista HCX can be had for just over $200 right now. It has the electronic compass. The legend HCX is the next step down, does NOT have an electronic compass, and is just under $200. For more info on the electronic compass, see here. Some people hate electronic compasses. To each their own. Personally, I have a Garmin 60CSx and really appreciate the electronic compass.

Two good picks in that price range.

 

As for the electronic compass, there are two main reasons some people dislike them --the gps keeps nagging you to hold it level so the compass can work and it uses a bit more battery power to keep them turned on all the time.

 

The nice thing about the electronic compasses is you can shut them off by pushing and holding down the page button. Then you have a non-electronic compass. If you need the compass again, another push and hold turns it on again.

 

The electronic compasses is truly useful when you are climbing a steep hill or in rough terrain. For the non-electronic compass to work correctly, you have to be walking at a fairly brisk pace. That's hard to do in rugged or steep conditions. (It's also the one time you probably want a very accurate compass, so you won't have to walk farther than you have to or climb extra hillsides).

 

Another time you need an electronic compass is when you are projecting a waypoint. If your compass is off, the projected waypoint is off. The larger the compass error greater the error in the waypoint. The electronic compasses will work even when you are standing still.

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I got a Vista HCx yesterday and I love it so far it's well built and has loads of features I used it today to find 4 caches and it worked great. It has a memory card slot for adding maps and a decent all be it very limited base map installed. Check amazon I got mine for $185 with free shipping. you might even be able to find it cheaper if you do some research. Good luck to you.

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I got a Vista HCx yesterday and I love it so far it's well built and has loads of features I used it today to find 4 caches and it worked great. It has a memory card slot for adding maps and a decent all be it very limited base map installed. Check amazon I got mine for $185 with free shipping. you might even be able to find it cheaper if you do some research. Good luck to you.

 

what company on amazon did you use? i wanna get a vista hcx as well.

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I got a Vista HCx yesterday and I love it so far it's well built and has loads of features I used it today to find 4 caches and it worked great. It has a memory card slot for adding maps and a decent all be it very limited base map installed. Check amazon I got mine for $185 with free shipping. you might even be able to find it cheaper if you do some research. Good luck to you.

 

what company on amazon did you use? i wanna get a vista hcx as well.

 

What about this unit, the eTrex Summit HC? Finding them all over for about $150 or so. Dosent take SD cards, but would it be good for use around my hometown and the occasional car trip? Can I still download cache locations from the website with this? Seems the only drawback is the lack of a card slot. How often will I need the slot anyway. Geezzz, hate to bring these noob questions here, but thanks for answering!

 

-Scott

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What about this unit, the eTrex Summit HC? Finding them all over for about $150 or so. Dosent take SD cards, but would it be good for use around my hometown and the occasional car trip? Can I still download cache locations from the website with this? Seems the only drawback is the lack of a card slot. How often will I need the slot anyway. Geezzz, hate to bring these noob questions here, but thanks for answering!

 

-Scott

Since you said you will use it for the occasional trip, I would certainly advise you to get a gps that takes the SD card.

 

With the card slot, you can load additional maps, even two or more kinds of maps. You could also load waypoints as points of interest (POIs) and have more waypoints than the 500 the Summit HC holds in it's internal memory.

 

With the memory of the Summit being so small, it will not hold much in the way of additional maps...in fact, I wouldn't even bother to purchase additional maps for a basic unit like that. There is a built in base map, but it is very very basic.

 

We use Garmin 60CSx units with 2G cards--on our last trip I loaded topographic and city navigation maps for our entire route --the east coast of the US basically--(KY to the Cape May NJ, then up the coast to Maine, then over to Niagara Falls, then to Toledo Ohio, then to a small town in Michigan, then home again--1600 miles in all. I also loaded over 900 geocaches. I could have loaded more caches as POIs, but I knew we wouldn't need that many (I just didn't want to have to route myself to the last detail, so I picked a path and loaded good looking caches near that route).

 

If I had used the Summit, I could have had 500 caches and perhaps the maps for the major cities we stopped in, but not the entire route....Indiana and a bit of KY (Indiana is 19.9 MB on one of my city navigation maps, the state of New York is 20.4 MB) to give you some idea.

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Those low prices that people are reporting were pre-christmas sales. Prices for new Vistas are back up to around $225-$235.

I'm finding out the same thing. The Vista has the features that have been recommended so that's what I'm in search of. Just found several just under $200 on Ebay remanufactured that will fit the bill. Has the card slot for adding maps, compass and other goodies that should make my caching fun and entertaining.

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Those low prices that people are reporting were pre-christmas sales. Prices for new Vistas are back up to around $225-$235.

I'm finding out the same thing. The Vista has the features that have been recommended so that's what I'm in search of. Just found several just under $200 on Ebay remanufactured that will fit the bill. Has the card slot for adding maps, compass and other goodies that should make my caching fun and entertaining.

 

Careful with Ebay. Garmin only honors the warranty for units purchased for authorized dealers.

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New to this, however been using my Nuvi 255w recently for geo and works well...sort of. Was hoping somebody could lead me to a decent hand held unit with the features that I've been reading about (compass, ability to add maps, etc....please help. Any other advice or suggestions greatly appreciated. Found a few today!

 

-Scott

 

Did you try pressing down on the satelite bars. and then using the red dot as a guide toward the coords. It works great for me and I dont have to deal with the electronic compass.

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New to this, however been using my Nuvi 255w recently for geo and works well...sort of. Was hoping somebody could lead me to a decent hand held unit with the features that I've been reading about (compass, ability to add maps, etc....please help. Any other advice or suggestions greatly appreciated. Found a few today!

 

-Scott

 

Did you try pressing down on the satelite bars. and then using the red dot as a guide toward the coords. It works great for me and I dont have to deal with the electronic compass.

Just tried pressing it, and I see a red dot at the top of that left hand circle display....does that dot move as I approach the coords? Or am I only using the coords displayed at the top of the screen to navigate closer?

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New to this, however been using my Nuvi 255w recently for geo and works well...sort of. Was hoping somebody could lead me to a decent hand held unit with the features that I've been reading about (compass, ability to add maps, etc....please help. Any other advice or suggestions greatly appreciated. Found a few today!

 

-Scott

 

Did you try pressing down on the satelite bars. and then using the red dot as a guide toward the coords. It works great for me and I dont have to deal with the electronic compass.

Just tried pressing it, and I see a red dot at the top of that left hand circle display....does that dot move as I approach the coords? Or am I only using the coords displayed at the top of the screen to navigate closer?

 

that dot is the direction you are heading. if you have the coord you can see them go up and down as you move. I get close to GZ by using this screen and then I mark it off and search for 30 ft around the GZ to find the cache.

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New to this, however been using my Nuvi 255w recently for geo and works well...sort of. Was hoping somebody could lead me to a decent hand held unit with the features that I've been reading about (compass, ability to add maps, etc....please help. Any other advice or suggestions greatly appreciated. Found a few today!

 

-Scott

 

Did you try pressing down on the satelite bars. and then using the red dot as a guide toward the coords. It works great for me and I dont have to deal with the electronic compass.

Just tried pressing it, and I see a red dot at the top of that left hand circle display....does that dot move as I approach the coords? Or am I only using the coords displayed at the top of the screen to navigate closer?

 

that dot is the direction you are heading. if you have the coord you can see them go up and down as you move. I get close to GZ by using this screen and then I mark it off and search for 30 ft around the GZ to find the cache.

So you're still mainly using the coords to get closer, not just the "dot"? Won't matter much anyway as my Vista HCx is on the way! :D:D

Edited by Team_Harris
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