Jump to content

What is your GPSr history?

Low Bat

Recommended Posts

Some of us go back aways when it comes to owning GPS receivers. I thought I'd start a thread where we can show our progression.


Here's my history. As you can see I've been a Garminite for 14 years.


1995 - Garmin GPS 40


My first GPS. I was simply impressed at seeing my position in relation to the fixed waypoints I created, and that it could show my position change in real time as I was driving or walking. This thing used 4 AA batteries and ate though them in just a few hours. Amazing battery hog that you only turned on when you needed to check your position. One channel receiver and it took like 5 minutes to get a position fix, sometimes even longer as it looked for one satellite at a time. I remember thinking this would be really cool if it had a map.


1997 - Garmin GPS 12XL


Wow, twelve satellite at once and better battery life. When hiking in the back country I carried a protractor to triangulate my position from two mountain peaks that I entered as waypoints. Knowing the distance from the mountain peaks allowed me to find where I was on a paper trail map. I still wished for a GPS with a built-in map.


1998 - Garmin GPS III Plus


Another leap in technology as I now had 1.44 MB of memory to download segments from a MapSource Topo CD. I finally had a built-in map. Now I just wished for Selective Availability (SA) to be turned off so I could get better accuracy, and it finally was turned off in May 2000.


2001 - Garmin eTrex Vista


Wow, so small and it only uses 2 AA batteries. A barometric altimeter, electronic compass and 24 MB of memory. With SA gone I was happy as I now had everything I could possibly want in a GPS, and then I saw the Garmin website mention something called geocaching. I caught the geocaching bug by the end of 2001.


2004 - Garmin eTrex Vista C


Color display, WAAS, USB connections, and better battery life. Now if Garmin would just update the topo CD.


2006 - Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx


Big screen, backlit buttons, microSD card memory, and routeable maps. Having the SirfStar III chipset meant I could now get a fix while under a tree canopy, which made hiking and geocaching all that much better. Garmin MapSource continues to improve and I finally got updated topo maps. I also added City Navigator street maps to my GPS since I have a unit that supports it and goes as high as 2 GB of memory with a microSD card.


2009 - Garmin Oregon 300


Touchscreen and paperless geocaching. I now have an all-in-one GPS for street nav, hiking, and geocaching. No paper or PDA needed for geocaching anymore. This little egg fits in my cell phone cradle on the dash and powers from the same retractable power cord my cell phone uses. I guess the next leap in technology will be combining my cell phone and GPS together in the same unit.

Link to comment

My first handheld navigational device was a Micrologic Voyager Sportnav LORAN in about 1990. It was touted as "The worlds first handheld LORAN receiver" It weighed just under two pounds and was accurate to within about 300 feet. At the time it was quite an advancement. We used it for fishing and diving. I still have it and it still works. I may see if the local maritime museum wants it for one of their displays.


Next was a Micrologic Mariner gimbal mount LORAN and a Garmin 48 that we used at the same time. Neither were very accurate. (I guess they were for the era) The problem with the 48 was Selective Availability (SA) was still active. Both were accurate to about 300 feet or so. The LORAN generally had better repeatability that the GPS with SA.


After a couple of Garmin 48s I had a Garmin 76. I still have a Garmin Map76, a Garmin 72, a Garmin c530 and a DeLorme PN-40

Link to comment

2001 - Garmin eTrex Legend


I bought this unit to help find my way around rural areas near where I live. While upgrading the firmware one day I read about Geocaching. Found about 200 caches with this unit.


2003 - Garmin Rino 120


I was really attracted to the idea of transmitting location - so i bought a pair of these but the radio isn't nearly as good as I had hoped. I still have them but only use them rarely.


2004 - Garmin GPSmap 60C


I really love this unit still. It holds a signal well and has a very good feature set. Too bad it isn't a high sensitivity unit. I have only used it for in-car nav lately. The City Nav software is keyed to it.


2006 - Garmin Venture Cx


Little yellow unit - my kids use this one now. I liked the expandable memory and the fact that it was nearly identical to the Legend Cx at amuch cheaper price.


2007 Garmin Legend HCx


I own 2 of these. Easy to use and highly accurate little units. I carry one of these for backup with my newer units leading the way.


2008 Garmin Colorado 300


Although I was a bit disappoited with some of the early issues on this unit - I am very impressed by it now. I consider it my goto unit of choice. Paperless caching features are great and it is rugged.


2008 Garmin Oregon 200


I just had to try the touchscreen interface. I carry it occasionally and like the ease of use but mostly my wife has taken this one over.

Link to comment

As far as hand helds:


Garmin Legend (gave to my uncle)




Garmin Vista (still have)




Garmin Geko (bought as a backup, still have)




Garmin 60CS (just gave to a college student who was interested in geocaching)




Magellan Meridian Gold (given to me by someone who couldn't figure out how to use it. Still have)




Garmin 60CSX (still have)




DeLorme PN40


I was also on the staff of Today's Cacher and was able to obtain the use of a Lowrance iFinder H20 and Lowrance Go2 from Lowrance to evaluate. I used them for several months before returning them. I really didn't want to give the H20 back.




Magellan Roadmate (forget the model, but it was given to me by the same person who couldn't figure out the Merigold. My stepdaughter uses it now)


Garmin Nuvi 200

Link to comment

The first GPS unit I got to use was made by Rockwell as I recall. You carried it in a big case, antenna, power supply, and processor unit were all separate. I played with it back in the late 80’s, in an Air Force test squadron during the early years of GPS where there were so few satellites, you only had short windows of time in which to actually get a lock on enough birds to compute a position.


The first unit I owned was a Magellan 2000, which was a two channel unit that wasn’t particularly easy to get to lock in unless you had a good totally unobstructed view of the sky and a fair amount of time to wait. I bought it back in 1995 when prices were just getting to where the units looked worthwhile.


Next came a basic eTrex, GPSIII+, etrex legend, a compact flash unit the manufacture of which I’ve forgotten used on a pocket PC, mapopolis street routing software, NG topo maps, and hand cut aerial photos downloaded from terraserver back when it was just coming on line. Then came my sportrak map, etrex vista, forerunner 201, Streetpilot i3, forerunner 305, street pilot 330, Nuvi 265WT, and the last one I just purchased, Delorme PN-40


My favorite units are the Nuvi on the roads, and the VistaC for adventure on foot.

Link to comment
The first GPS unit I got to use was made by Rockwell as I recall. You carried it in a big case, antenna, power supply, and processor unit were all separate. I played with it back in the late 80’s, in an Air Force test squadron during the early years of GPS where there were so few satellites, you only had short windows of time in which to actually get a lock on enough birds to compute a position.
That's cool!!! About 30 years before I got my first.
Link to comment

Magellan 2000 (four channel); as others said it could be tough to get and maintain a satellite lock... and occasionally it'd give me a position hundreds of miles off (fortunately it was always obvious). Eventually the button cover cracked and water got inside; although it would turn on after it dried out it never again would lock on any satellite.


After the Magellan died I did without for awhile, and learned how incredibly useful an altimeter can be in the mountains if you don't have a GPS (I had an Avocet altimeter watch that I used for paragliding, which also died due to water when I had a water landing).


Garmin Geko 301... a great little GPS, which I still have. The compass is nice for geocaching and hiking off trail, and the altimeter is nice for flying. I upgraded because the tiny screen keeps getting smaller as my eyes age. :laughing: I still use it for pargliding, though, to log my flights.


Garmin 60 CSx... What can I say? Decent size and clearly readable screen, maps, ability to receive aeronautical data (for ultralight flying) through my own hacks, topo maps... perhaps the perfect GPS (this year).

Edited by FanMan
Link to comment

1993 Garmin 45 bought for hunting (gave to my brother in Ireland who still uses it, but he only has 10 total finds!)

2005 Garmin Map60Cs - I was very impressed with this unit - bought City nav - eventually gave to a co-worker getting into geocaching.

2007 Garmin Map60CSx - best GPSr ever. Bar None.

2008-11 - DeLorme PN-40 - returned after a week because I could never get a satellite lock in the woods.

2008-12 - Garmin Oregon 400t - nice unit, happy to see that Garmin are continuing to update the firmware. Nice geocaching features, but not as reliable under deep tree canopy as the Map60CSx.

Edited by GerIRL
Link to comment

Magellan 310 - got for my birthday in 2002. Did my first few caches with this, but it didn't have enough precision (only .01 min) to be very good for caching.


Magellan SporTrak - great unit. Far more accurate than the Garmins of that day. Wore out the threads in the screws to the battery compartment.


Magellan SporTrak Color - used this happily for ~3 years.


Delorme PN-40 - price/performance was right to change vendors.


Garmin nuvi 760 - for in the car, got at a steep discount.

Link to comment

January 2008- Pharos GPS add-on for my Dell Axim X30 PDA. Worked OK, but routing was crap. Only tried using it for caching once or twice.


Early-Mid 2008- Garmin eTrex Legend HCx. Nice unit, still have it.


Mid 2008- Garmin Streetpilot c210. Got it off woot.com for $75, couldn't pass that up. Needed something better for autorouting in the car. Plus, it's a Garmin, so I can load caches on it to route to the area. Still not really happy with the way it routes, though.


Also mid 2008- DeLorme PN-20. Picked up a refurb unit for a good price. Wanted to give it a try-out and see if I wanted the PN-40. I did, so I sold the PN-20 about a month after I bought it.


Mid-late 2008- Navigon 2100. Another car unit, got it for $75 at Office Depots closing sale, couldn't pass that up. Smaller than the Streetpilot, and routes better. Use this in the car primarily now.


Late 2008- DeLorme PN-40. Santa liked me this year! My new primary caching unit. Paperless caching and aerial imagery FTW! Now I just need a 32GB SDHC card to go with it, the 16GB I have doesn't hold as much as I want, which is actually more than I need anyways.


So there it is, went from 0 GPS units to 5 in the course of a year.

Link to comment

I'm going to have to think a little.


I started out using Trimble and GEOTracer Survey grade GPSr's, but at the time I was actually working for a surveyor... and hadn't even heard of geocaching yet.


After hearing about geocaching around circa 2005 I got a Garmin eTrex Legend.


Around the same time I bought my wife a Magellan Meridian Gold.


From there I moved up to a Garmin eTrex Venture Cx.


Shortly thereafter the H models came out and I bought a Garmin Legend HCx.


Just recently I bought a Garmin Colorado 300, and was also given a Magellan Triton 1500 around that time.


Other than that I have a Garmin Nuvi 200 to use in the car on trips.

Link to comment

I got a Handspring PDA around 2001, and found a Magellan GPS Companion for it in a clearance bin at an office-supply store. Thought it would be fun to play with.


Since then I've personally owned (in roughly this order): Magellan Map 330x, Magellan SporTrak Pro, Magellan Meridian Gold, Lowrance iFinder H2O, Garmin GPS V, Magellan Explorist 210 & 400, Garmin 60csx, Garmin eTrex Legend HCx, and DeLorme PN-40.


I buy and sell a lot on eBay, and I've had some of those models more than once (I think I've had about 6 Magellan Explorists overall, and 3 Lowrance iFinder H2Os).


Oh, gotta include the iPhone 3G (personally owned) and the Blackberry 8820 (issued by workplace) - both of which have GPS.

Link to comment

I'm a gpser for about two yrs. Found some did not find some. I go back to 1965 in the army when we would have enjoyed the use of these great devices. instead we used compasses and topo maps. i lead my squad cross country and found "caches". However when we got on the roads i got lost. just remembering what was almost the same thing. tboyla

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...