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GPS...Inexpensive but good?

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Get a used one from the garage sale forum here, or ebay


I'll second SkellyCA's recommendation. A used Garmin eTrex H on eBay can be had at or under $100. This unit has the high sensitivity receiver and will help you keep satellite lock under tree cover.


If you decide later to upgrade and want to unload your old unit, you'll have less of a loss on a used one - another benefit.


The PN-20 might be a good option for a little more money as well. I'm not familiar with the Delorme products, I've always used Garmin.

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Get a Garmin Venture HC. You should be able to get a new one from OffRoute.com for about $130 plus shipping. It is a high sensitivity receiver, with a color screen and better functionality, including a basemap (although not much of a map) than the eTrex H. Plus, it comes with a USB cable. The cable for the eTrex H is an extra and, unless your computer has a serial port, you would also have to get a usb adapter. And, if you did that, you would have paid about the same as the cost for the Venture but would not have as nice a gps. The Venture HC has all the funtionality of the more expensive units except that it doesn't have an electronic compass or electronic altimeter. If you think you need those functions, you could spend a few dollars more and get a Summit HC. With either of those units, you could go for a long time and never have a need to upgrade.

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Just wondering what kind of GPS I could get... I'm just a beginner Geocacher and my budget is pretty limited. I see a lot of Garmin being used, but like I said, I don't really want to pay 200$ for a GPS. Any suggestions???


If you could give a number for the top end of your budget, that could help us to better answer your question. If your budget will allow a purchase in the low 100s, then the GPSr in the earlier posts would certainly do well for you. But if your budget is even more restricted than that, then you'll probably need to look at an older GPSr that may not have all the fancy features or a high-sensitivity antenna, but has the ability to enter in coordinates for geocaches and still receives good signals from the GPS satellite network. A few basic GPSr that come to mind would be the Garmin eTrex Legend, the Garmin eTrex (standard model), and the Magellan GPS 315. Of these three, the Legend will have the most features while the standard eTrex will have the least, with the Magellan placed somewhere in between the other two.


I'm neither a cheerleader for Garmin nor for Magellan. I've had a Garmin Venture HC for the last two years and its the best GPSr I've ever owned. I also have a Magellan GPS 315 that is fully functional and in better than average condition, but because it's a more basic unit, it hasn't seen any action since I got my Garmin. In the end, they all do a good job of getting you where you want to go. I would be willing to part with my Magellan for a reasonable price taking into consideration it's age and lack of "fancy bells & whistles". If, after expending all other options, you decide that you would like to discuss buying my GPSr, you can email me from the Geocaching.com website and we'll see if we can come to an agreement.


Good luck in your search! :sad:

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A Delorme Pn-20 might not be a bad choice for you. About $150 at buy.com ($139.99 + $7.48 shipping). Comes with Topo7 maps, so no extra expense in buying them. Or you could get a basic Garmin etrex for $124.00 + tax at Wal-Mart.


The basic eTrex is a lot less than that at Wal-mart or any place else. I rarely see it selling for more than $99 and most often it retails for $89.


Though its a pretty good value, I wouldn't recommend a PN20 to a beginning GPS user. I'd go with the Venture HC, or the new Legend H if a color display isn't important to the OP

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For the REAL cheapskate -- well under the magic $100 price point


Hit eBay for a used Magellan Explorist 210 - and look for a copy of Mapsend 3D on CD. You can often find this combination for under $100. I've seen the GP by itself for under $50 and the whole bundle for under $80 sometimes.


What's bad about it: Legacy model no longer made or supported. Outdated street maps. Included software will only run in Vista if you set XP compatibility mode.


What's good about it: A really good, accurate GPS for the price; USB connectivity and support in 3rd party software like Google Earth, GPSBabel, etc, lightweight and small enough to be easily "pocketable," simple/easy to use, software runs well on older, slower computers -- and did I mention it's cheap?

Edited by lee_rimar
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