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HCx on tour in Italy, results


MikeSSS
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My wife and I went over to Italy for a while, I wanted a GPS so we could know where we were and see a map of our location and places we wanted to go and places we had been.

 

The HCx was small enough and light enough to carry in the pocket of a fishing shirt I wore for sun protection. It's screen was small but very easy to see in bright sunlight, in the shade and in the dark, there was never a problem seeing it.

 

Battery life was excellent, just turn it on in the morning and off that night, the batteries were old Radio Shack NiMh's, the charger was a Powerex MH C204W. Italy uses 240V, Euro Plug adapters, the two prong ones worked everywhere, just plug it in since the C204 works on either European or American voltage. The only problem was when some water from drying shirts dripped into the charger and I had to wait for it to dry. This charger also charged 4 Powerex cells for the camera and two for another camera, it charges fast so you don't have to get up and change cells during the night.

 

There was almost never a time when the HCx couldn't get a signal, on the plane, or anywhere on the ground. Inside it worked pretty well too. This GPSR got good locations and it was very easy to enter fixes along the way so we could later see on Google Earth where we had been. The speed and altitude and cabin altitude worked very well on the plane. I used Google Earth and Google Maps ahead of time to find the places we would be staying at and places we wanted to visit, entering them into the HCx was easy. I got the Europe chip for the map so it could be switched to another GPS if needed but it never was needed.

 

Usefulness: On Capri I walked up to Villa Jovis, the biggest of Emperor Tiberas' twelve villas. The route is through very narrow, winding alley ways with lots of branches in the wrong direction. Without the HCx I would never have found it. In those days it was GOOD to be Emperor. Knowing where you are and where you have been is very valuable, worth far more than the price of the HCx and the maps.

 

The bad things: There aren't many but here they are. If you don't use it a lot the menu system on the HCx is not very intuitive, it's far worse than that on our Nuvi. The frustration level can be extremely high when people are waiting for you to do something on the HCx, something you could do the night before but can't do now. Touch screen would be a lot better than the little joystick. The screen is small, too darned small but it's a fantastically good little screen. Now for the biggest problem of all, the HCx is useless for planning. On a Nuvi you can put it in simulator mode and set your location where you will be starting from and then check the distances and routes to where you will be going. I wasn't able to do this with the HCx. I asked how to do it on several sites before the trip and nobody knew how to do it. That last thing is huge, it would be a deal killer if there was any alternative to the HCx that I could afford, was waterproof and highly visable in sunlight.

 

All things considered the HCx is a fantastic gizmo, it worked great. I tired using a Nuvi 200W on a test run walking in a city. The Nuvi has a great menu system but it never could acquire when walking and the battery life is so short you would have to turn it off and on a lot. Twenty minutes without ever acquiring ruled it out. So, it was the HCx or nothing and I'm sure glad I had it along.

 

Apologies for typos and spelling.

Edited by MikeSSS
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i also have a vista hcx and a nuvi 200. so far (knocks wood) i have been very pleased with my vista hcx. i took it to japan and it worked flawlessly from fort lauderdale aiport and back, and everywhere in between. i also just bought a nuvi 1200 which has an advanced pedestrian mode and you can download 'city explorer' maps to it that tell you subway and bus info as well, although i don't know if those maps are available for italy.

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To do route simulation on your Legend HCx or Vista HCx:

 

- go to the main menu and select Satellite or use the upper right button to cycle to the satellite screen.

 

- Press the menu button and select "Use With GPS Off".

 

- Create your route or select a saved one and press Navigate.

 

- You will be offered the option to run in Demo mode to simulate your route.

 

You're right about the user interface on the eTrexes being somewhat less than intuitive :lol: but I haven't found anything so far that a Nuvi can do that my Legend HCx can't. .... Well, it doesn't do voice guidance but for my purposes a beep and a quick look at the onscreen guidance is just fine.

 

...ken...

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but I haven't found anything so far that a Nuvi can do that my Legend HCx can't.

I haven't found a way, on my Venture Cx, to change the current location when in "Use With GPS Off" mode.

 

On my Nuvi 750, when in "GPS Simulator" mode, there's a "Set Loc" button available whenever you use "Show Map" on a desired "Where To?" location. This changes your current location.

 

Is there a way to do this with the Vista/Venture/Legend handheld series, when the GPS is off?

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but I haven't found anything so far that a Nuvi can do that my Legend HCx can't.

I haven't found a way, on my Venture Cx, to change the current location when in "Use With GPS Off" mode.

 

On my Nuvi 750, when in "GPS Simulator" mode, there's a "Set Loc" button available whenever you use "Show Map" on a desired "Where To?" location. This changes your current location.

 

Is there a way to do this with the Vista/Venture/Legend handheld series, when the GPS is off?

Those units will do it. After setting 'Use with GPS off' you can set a new location from the sat skyview menu and pressing the menu button, and selecting 'use map' and scroll to a new location. When you navigate, the unit asked if you want to simulate the driving route. Play around with that and see if you need a step-by-step lesson, works quite well.
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After setting 'Use with GPS off' you can set a new location from the sat skyview menu and pressing the menu button, and selecting 'use map' and scroll to a new location.

Thanks JDiablo, that works :D

 

It's not as easy as the Nuvi, which can set the location to any found location or from browsing the map. With the handheld you have to pan and zoom to get the pointer to your desired location, which can be tedious if it's far from your current location. It also doesn't show the coordinates of the pointer when doing this.

 

However, it does show points of interest and user waypoints and it will do the usual "pop up" indicating what you are pointing to. If you want to set your location to somewhere in the "middle of nowhere" you can first set a waypoint there and locate it with pan/zoom.

 

Although not ideal, at least it can be done.

 

Thanks again.

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After setting 'Use with GPS off' you can set a new location from the sat skyview menu and pressing the menu button, and selecting 'use map' and scroll to a new location.

Thanks JDiablo, that works :D

 

It also doesn't show the coordinates of the pointer when doing this.

I think you need to play with it a little more, my GPSMAP 76CSx does indeed display the coordinates of the pointer, and will even demo a driving turn-by-turn route. Won't record a simulated tracklog, but hey it does work quite well.
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After setting 'Use with GPS off' you can set a new location from the sat skyview menu and pressing the menu button, and selecting 'use map' and scroll to a new location.

Thanks JDiablo, that works :D

 

It also doesn't show the coordinates of the pointer when doing this.

I think you need to play with it a little more, my GPSMAP 76CSx does indeed display the coordinates of the pointer, and will even demo a driving turn-by-turn route. Won't record a simulated tracklog, but hey it does work quite well.

 

You can choose "Cities" from the Find menu, choose a city, then click "map" at the bottom. Immediately choose find again, and it will use the city (or waypoint etc.) as the center of the new search. You do not have to "use with gps off". Hit the exit (page) key one extra time after a search to return to live location updates.

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I think you need to play with it a little more, my GPSMAP 76CSx does indeed display the coordinates of the pointer, and will even demo a driving turn-by-turn route.

(We've diverged from the original topic. Maybe this conversation should be moved to a new thread?)

 

Perhaps your 76CSx works differently from my Venture Cx. When I'm on the regular map screen, moving the pointer does indeed show the pointer coordinates at the top of the screen (along with the distance and direction from the current location). However, when on the "New Location -> Use Map" screen, I just get a "Point to your approximate location and press ENTER" message at the bottom of the screen.

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