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which gps should I get?


hialti2d
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So I haven't started geocaching yet because I don't have a gps unit. I was thinking Garmin 60csx or Vsita Hcx but now I'm wondering if I haven't researched other brands enough? Are there any additional cost to owning other brands like a monthly payment for service? What is the accuracy compared to Garmin? Pretty much just list you GPS device and brag away, add a few cons so I know what to expect.

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I would include the Delorme offerings as well...the PN20 and PN40. Both offer the $30 a year for unlimited map downloads, aerial imagery, etc.

 

I've been following the board for a few months also trying to decide on my first gps for geocaching and as of right now...I'm leaning towards the PN40. Good luck :)

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I was all set on the Oregon series with either the 400t or the 300 and purcahsing the topo maps seperate. Then I heard about the Lowrance Endura series coming out. I am waiting until they come out in mid May as they have all the maps on them and sound so much more upgradeable compared to the Oregon series. Might not be, but waiting to see. Hope the Endura Sierra is what they say it is.

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I would include the Delorme offerings as well...the PN20 and PN40. Both offer the $30 a year for unlimited map downloads, aerial imagery, etc.

 

I've been following the board for a few months also trying to decide on my first gps for geocaching and as of right now...I'm leaning towards the PN40. Good luck :)

 

Yeah, that PN-40 looks tight. I like the 32 gb sd expansion ability. Could anyone maybe compare the 60cxs to the pn-40???

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I would include the Delorme offerings as well...the PN20 and PN40. Both offer the $30 a year for unlimited map downloads, aerial imagery, etc.

 

I've been following the board for a few months also trying to decide on my first gps for geocaching and as of right now...I'm leaning towards the PN40. Good luck :D

 

Yeah, that PN-40 looks tight. I like the 32 gb sd expansion ability. Could anyone maybe compare the 60cxs to the pn-40???

 

Asking that particular question may have just started this thread down a dark path :) . The impassioned responses from those on the Garmin and Delorme sides can get a little dramatic. I've fallen down that hole myself once or twice but this time I'll just give my simple opinion and leave it at that.

 

I own both models you asked about.

 

The 60csx is a great unit. Very good accuracy, performs road routing more than satisfactorily for a handheld, and relatively easy to learn and use. It only comes with a U.S. base map so figure in extra cost of detailed, routable road maps and topo if required or find free downloadable maps which seem to be more readily available these days for Garmins.

 

The 60csx is now my backup and the PN40 is now my primary handheld for geocaching and hiking. Here's why:

 

The PN-40 offers "paperless caching". For the base price you get detailed routable road maps and topo. For an annual $30 subscription you can download aerial and satellite imagery, NOAA charts, and USGS 7.5 min quads. In a few months we will be able to use Navionics lake chart sd cards with the 40. All of these things make me prefer the 40 but there are some negatives:

 

Road routing is not a strength of the 40. Garmin handhelds are better but dedicated car GPSrs are still by far better which is why I use an inexpensive Nuvi for that. Battery life is not as good as the 60csx but if you realize up front that alkalines won't last and invest in a good quality Li-ion or nimh, the battery life is satisfactory. I get at least 11 hours from the Li-ion I use. Lastly, The 40 is still pretty new and therefore the hardware and firmware are not yet as stable as the 60csx. My unit has worked very well. I receive WAAS, don't have signal dropouts, or any power issues, and have very good accuracy. Delorme has been providing great customer service to those that have experienced issues related to those things and is working hard to put out updates and provide new functionality.

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So I haven't started geocaching yet because I don't have a gps unit. I was thinking Garmin 60csx or Vsita Hcx but now I'm wondering if I haven't researched other brands enough? Are there any additional cost to owning other brands like a monthly payment for service? What is the accuracy compared to Garmin? Pretty much just list you GPS device and brag away, add a few cons so I know what to expect.

 

It might help if you tell us more about *your* needs. For example, do you want mapping, or don't you care? Do you want road routing as well as topographic maps, or just offroad use, or will you use your GPSr only in areas near streets? Do you wish to download cache data directly to the unit, or are you happy entering coordinates from a paper list? Who will be using the GPSr? Will it be used for anything other than geocaching? What qualities are most important to you: screen size, durability, in-built FRS radio, battery life, ease of use, map affordability, touch screen, lack of touch screen, amount of maps stored, etc?

 

Different GPSrs may be good for different people. For example, I had it narrowed down to four different GPSrs that each appealed to me for different reasons. The Delorme PN-40 seemed to have the most, least expensive maps. The Garmin 60csx seemed to do the best tracking for things like marking the horse and dirtbike trails here that aren't on any maps. The Oregon seemed to be built for Geocaching, but the touch screen was a deal killer for me. In the end, I chose the Colorado because my primary concern is child-friendliness, as my caching partner is my 6yo son, and it seemed like it would be the easiest for him to use, and most fun for him with things like paperless geocaching and the werigo player. If I didn't have a kid, I'd probably have gotten either the 60csx or the Delorme. So, individual needs can make a huge difference.

 

Also, "what is the best GPSr" will probably just get people all heated defending their favorites, while, "what GPSr under <budget> dollars has <features>?" will get you less emotional, more reasoned responses.

 

--Susan

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The software that comes with the DeLorme has a fairly painful learning curve though.

 

The quoted advice is somewhat outdated.

An extremely helpful Wiki with step-by-step how to has been recently made available:

http://delormepn40.wikispaces.com/

Additionally, very helpful and knowledgeable users are here:

http://forums.delorme.com/

 

Furthermore, with the new enhancements from DeLorme, the software referenced above is not needed whatsoever for paperless geocaching.

 

But wait.....there's more. New learning curve pain relief is coming so fast that it is hard to keep up.

A YouTube out yesterday in this topic:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=220026

Edited by Team CowboyPapa
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So I haven't started geocaching yet because I don't have a gps unit. I was thinking Garmin 60csx or Vsita Hcx but now I'm wondering if I haven't researched other brands enough? Are there any additional cost to owning other brands like a monthly payment for service? What is the accuracy compared to Garmin? Pretty much just list you GPS device and brag away, add a few cons so I know what to expect.

 

First - I have an eTrex Legend (older non-high sensitivity model) and just got my shiny new Oregon 400t (these are both Garmin branded units). The GPSr you decide to go with needs to meet a few criteria.

  1. Must meet your budget
  2. Must do what you want to do
  3. Must be accurate enough to support Geocaching

The nice thing is that number 3 in the list is satisfied by virtually any modern (read: new) GPSr. Even older eTrex units without the high sensitivity receivers will work for Geocaching.

 

Take a look at your budget and decide how much you can afford to spend and try to shop within that range. It is a lot like buying a car - there's a broad range of bells and whistles but they all get you from point A to B.

 

Consider what options you must have (point number 2). If you want paperless geocaching then you'll need to consider whether you want a single device to do this, or whether a more basic unit will do the job and use that in conjunction with a Palm device, Blackberry, Axim or other PDA.

 

The key thing here is to remember that this hobby is a hobby. It's addictive but I'm sure there are lots of people that shell out cash for a shiny new GPSr only to find they end up only caching on rare occasion or lose interest.

 

For that reason I would suggest getting a lower cost more basic unit (consider used off of eBay - or check the garage sale forum here). Then if after your first season you see that you are really into it then go crazy.

 

Lastly: My personal recommendation. If you have a $600 budget and want what I feel is the best all in one solution for paperless caching, accuracy and user friendlieness. Buy a Garmin Oregon 300 or 400t, pickup routable maps (or find a freeware solution for routable maps) if you want street mapping/routing on the device and have a blast.

 

Good luck - and have fun!

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So I haven't started geocaching yet because I don't have a gps unit. I was thinking Garmin 60csx or Vsita Hcx but now I'm wondering if I haven't researched other brands enough? Are there any additional cost to owning other brands like a monthly payment for service? What is the accuracy compared to Garmin? Pretty much just list you GPS device and brag away, add a few cons so I know what to expect.

 

First - I have an eTrex Legend (older non-high sensitivity model) and just got my shiny new Oregon 400t (these are both Garmin branded units). The GPSr you decide to go with needs to meet a few criteria.

  1. Must meet your budget
  2. Must do what you want to do
  3. Must be accurate enough to support Geocaching

The nice thing is that number 3 in the list is satisfied by virtually any modern (read: new) GPSr. Even older eTrex units without the high sensitivity receivers will work for Geocaching.

 

Take a look at your budget and decide how much you can afford to spend and try to shop within that range. It is a lot like buying a car - there's a broad range of bells and whistles but they all get you from point A to B.

 

Consider what options you must have (point number 2). If you want paperless geocaching then you'll need to consider whether you want a single device to do this, or whether a more basic unit will do the job and use that in conjunction with a Palm device, Blackberry, Axim or other PDA.

 

The key thing here is to remember that this hobby is a hobby. It's addictive but I'm sure there are lots of people that shell out cash for a shiny new GPSr only to find they end up only caching on rare occasion or lose interest.

 

For that reason I would suggest getting a lower cost more basic unit (consider used off of eBay - or check the garage sale forum here). Then if after your first season you see that you are really into it then go crazy.

 

Lastly: My personal recommendation. If you have a $600 budget and want what I feel is the best all in one solution for paperless caching, accuracy and user friendlieness. Buy a Garmin Oregon 300 or 400t, pickup routable maps (or find a freeware solution for routable maps) if you want street mapping/routing on the device and have a blast.

 

Good luck - and have fun!

 

Or, if you have $600, buy yourself a DeLorme PN-40, the maps subscription, the power kit and a heck of a lot of gas to use for caching!! (the PN-40, map sub and power kit will only come up to $400 or so, you'll have a lot of money left over for caching and even eating lol)

 

The DeLorme PN-40 is also very good for paperless caching, it routes and has MANY bells and whistles...I consider it one of the best caching GPS units there is! Accuracy, CHECK! WAAS, CHECK! Paperless, CHECK! Routing, in the box! All the maps you need to use the PN-40, in the box! Ability to load aerial, hi-res city, sat imagery etc, $30/year subscription!

 

It all boils down to what you prefer, what you need from the unit and what you want to spend! There are some great units out there, just do a bit of research and you'll soon see you're not limited in the choice department!

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The software that comes with the DeLorme has a fairly painful learning curve though.

 

The quoted advice is somewhat outdated.

An extremely helpful Wiki with step-by-step how to has been recently made available:

http://delormepn40.wikispaces.com/

Additionally, very helpful and knowledgeable users are here:

http://forums.delorme.com/

 

Furthermore, with the new enhancements from DeLorme, the software referenced above is not needed whatsoever for paperless geocaching.

 

But wait.....there's more. New learning curve pain relief is coming so fast that it is hard to keep up.

A YouTube out yesterday in this topic:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=220026

 

I have to agree, I don't even have Topo USA loaded on my computer and I am totally paperless now.

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I have a PN-20 and so far I like it. I have only owned it for a week and I am still figuring it out (the new firmware updates allow expansion with high capacity SD cards just as the 40). One thing to keep in mind for paperless caching is that you need to be a premium member for that to work. Without the membership you can still send the waypoint to the GPS but instead of a cache description and hint you get an ad to become a premium member.

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