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Quick Thoughts on Garmin Colorado and Oregon


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I really want to go paperless and am thinking of buing a Garmin (I'm a Garmin Guy) Colorado 400t or Oragon but i'm spooked at a couple negative reviews on Amazon from Geocachers.

 

Anyone know if these two devies are really as inaccurate as folks say?

 

I love my 60csx and will probably not get rid of it and keep as backup but i really want to carry my geocaching.com files on my gps.

 

thoughts?

 

thx

 

-Stephen

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All -

 

I really want to go paperless and am thinking of buing a Garmin (I'm a Garmin Guy) Colorado 400t or Oragon but i'm spooked at a couple negative reviews on Amazon from Geocachers.

 

Anyone know if these two devies are really as inaccurate as folks say?

 

I love my 60csx and will probably not get rid of it and keep as backup but i really want to carry my geocaching.com files on my gps.

 

thoughts?

 

thx

 

-Stephen

 

I have to admit that my new 400t isn't as accurate as I had hoped but it is MILES above my older Magellan Explorist 500 for functionality.

I had hoped it would be more accurate than the explorist but that is proving to be a false hope. In fact, if anything its not as accurate.

Since the Oregon is built on the same platform as the Colorado, I suspect that it will be no more accurate.

 

The Colorado does have a few ghosts too but considering all that they are trying to do as far as functionality, I can understand the ghosts. But, listing it at $600 isn't very responsible on Garmins part. They shouldn't ask that much for a unit that is still in need of firmware upgrades to function properly.

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I have the Oregon 300, and have now done a handful of caches with it (about 30). I've found that it doesn't seem to get a WAAS lock as well and my old B&W eTrex Vista. It's reported accuracy seems to be on par what my Vista would say (10 feet or better in the open, 20 to 30 feet under tree cover).

 

The big however is, even when it is reporting accuracy of 20 to 30 feet, it more often than not directs me right to the cache. These would be caches that are known to have really tight coordinates, so I think that the actual accuracy of the unit is better than it reports at any moment.

 

Basically, when my vista said I was just a few feet from a cache, and the accuracy was 30 feet, the cache would often be within 30 to 40 feet away. With the Oregon, when it says I am a few feet from the cache, and it is saying its accuracy is 30 feet, often the actual container is within 10 feet.

 

And it having the cache descriptions, logs, and hint right there is just amazing, as good as I had hoped. Another added benefit is having the correct cache icon right on the map. It is as close to a perfect unit as I can imagine.

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Do an extensive test run before committing yourself to buying an Oregon. I had one for a month and typically it would take me somewhere within 40 - 70 feet of the cache. Sometimes in good conditions it would be spot on, but these were rare occasions. I'm beginning to suspect that its electromechanical design is only borderline reliable and depending on the phase of the moon during its manufacture or some such occurance you might or might not get a usable unit. YMMV.

(I finally managed to trade my one month old Oregon + $50 for a brand new 60CSx and consider that as a pretty good deal - draw your own conclusions)

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I love my 60csx and will probably not get rid of it and keep as backup but i really want to carry my geocaching.com files on my gps.

 

If paperless caching is your primary reason for getting either of those units, I'd suggest you look into keeping the 60CSX and getting a Nuvi and using GSAK to load the cache page info into it. Even the low-end Nuvis will work beautifully for that, AND they'll give you driving directions to the cache.

 

I may be prejudiced... I exchanged a Colorado 400T for my 60SCx and haven't looked back once. I love that unit!

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I use a Colorado 300 and an Oregon 200.

 

I'll put the accuracy of my Colorado up againist any unit out there. The Oregon is pretty accurate with the latest firmware but some recent fimware's had some real issues with accuracy.

 

Many places have the Colo 300 for about $295.

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The Colorado had some early issues with drift (and this shows up in many older reviews) but those have been fixed and for the most part the unit is pretty reliable, on par with the 60CSx. The Oregon, while a great paperless and all-in-one unit, has decent accuracy with the 2.98 beta software but it isn't up to the level of the 60CSx and CO under cover when moving slowly. Garmin still seems to be tweaking the Oregon as new software becomes available but it is a different chipset and antenna design than the CO and 60csx so time will tell if it can ever get to the same level of accuracy or not.

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:mad: We have owned a GPS60, Colorado 400t and Oregon 300 and are currently using the OR exclusively. For paperless caching you cannot beat the OR or CO! We used the 60 for several years and loved it, but grew tired of lugging two devices everywhere we cached. Having used all three, the CO for a couple of months and several hundred caches on the OR, we have found the OR to be just as accurate as the 60. We have friends who have owned several Garmins and Magellens, and we are all smitten with the OR. The screen is not as bright as the 60, but honestly we have not found a condition that we could not see the screen. We would recommend waiting for the 550 if you can, the 3 axis compass would make a huge difference. All in all, we are as happy with the OR as we ever were with the 60, find it simplier to use, just as rugged, and every bit as accurate.
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I have the Oregon 300, and have now done a handful of caches with it (about 30). I've found that it doesn't seem to get a WAAS lock as well and my old B&W eTrex Vista. It's reported accuracy seems to be on par what my Vista would say (10 feet or better in the open, 20 to 30 feet under tree cover).

 

The big however is, even when it is reporting accuracy of 20 to 30 feet, it more often than not directs me right to the cache. These would be caches that are known to have really tight coordinates, so I think that the actual accuracy of the unit is better than it reports at any moment.

 

Basically, when my vista said I was just a few feet from a cache, and the accuracy was 30 feet, the cache would often be within 30 to 40 feet away. With the Oregon, when it says I am a few feet from the cache, and it is saying its accuracy is 30 feet, often the actual container is within 10 feet.

 

And it having the cache descriptions, logs, and hint right there is just amazing, as good as I had hoped. Another added benefit is having the correct cache icon right on the map. It is as close to a perfect unit as I can imagine.

This has been my general experience (currently running firmware 2.98, and basically have been running that since I bought the unit) with the Oregon - it seems to be pretty conservative with its accuracy estimate.

 

The only bad thing is that WAAS support in the STM Cartesio used by the Oregon is pretty dismal. The DeLorme PN-40 has the same problem though (same chipset). The PN-40's latest firmware puts WAAS support at slightly better than the Oregon, but I'm fairly certain these improvements will be in an Oregon firmware update soon since they are sourced from the chipset supplier, not the unit manufacturer.

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I bought an Oregon 400t in early May and while I've ocassionally been off by 50 feet on a couple of caches, the vast majority have pointed me directly to GZ or within 5 feet of the cache.

 

One particular cache was a micro hanging in some brush and when I got in and the OR indicated 2' to the NE, I looked and there was the tube hanging exactly 2 feet away to the NE...

 

I've updated to each beta as it becomes available and have had no major complaints.

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