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Get a Garmin 60csx?


tachoknight
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Hi all-

 

I've been caching primary with my iphone 3GS and have been thinking of going "bigger" with a dedicated GPS unit that I can carry around all day. The iphone has been great, but the battery life is just not up to a full day of geocaching. So I'm thinking of just using it for the geocaching app and go with a dedicated GPS for the find.

 

We have a TomTom One, but its battery life is actually worse than the iphone, and I'm not a big fan of the touch screen outside. It works plenty fine in the car, but it has been less than stellar for outside in the woods.

 

So I've been thinking about getting a Garmin, not for any other reason than there's a store in the city (Chicago) that I can go try them out. I played with the Oregeon series and, while they felt more sturdy than the TomTom, I'm still not enamored to the touch screen, especially if I want to use it outside in the winter, without having to take my gloves off.

 

I've been looking at the 60csx...it has a form factor I like (why do Garmins all seem to have the screen/controls reversed, with the screen at the bottom?) with what appears to be a pretty big screen, and the reviews I've seen all, for the most part, are pretty positive.

 

The issue is that I know it has been discontinued and they don't carry it in the store, so I'd have to buy it site-unseen.

 

My question, I guess, is whether it's worth it or not, to go with the 60CSX. This would be primarily for geocaching, and as I'd have the iPhone with me anyway, I could use it for finding nearby caches and plug the numbers into the 60csx to do the actual looking. I'm really looking for about as accurate a GPS as I can get, that can handle being under trees, and be rugged to use all year round, even in the snow. And I really want the tactile feel of the buttons, along with a big bright screen.

 

I suppose it sounds like my mind is pretty much made up, but wanted some other opinions, if anything to hear experiences of the unit from other folks. How has the 60csx worked out for folks?

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The issue is that I know it has been discontinued and they don't carry it in the store, so I'd have to buy it site-unseen.

If you are referring to the GPSMap 60csx is definitely not discontinued. Some may think that it is rather expensive for its feature set, but it is the favorite GPSr of many people here.

 

I read in another thread that more recent models no longer use the SIRFstar III chipset. Mediatek's news release has this to say:

 

MediaTek, Inc., the leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced MT3329, its advanced single-chip all-in-one GPS solution. This product in mass production has also been integrated by a wide range of Garmin outdoor navigators, the Garmin GPSMAP 60 series.

 

I've not heard of any comparisons between old and new.

Edited by Chrysalides
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Tachoknight,

 

The 60csx was my first modern GPSr, and I really like it.

 

In the last week, I bought the 550 for paperless caching, for which the 60csx is lesser adept at.

 

At this very early point, I am liking the 550 less than I thought I would, mainly because of the touch screen. The paperless caching looks very good though. FYI I am using the topo maps from gpsfiledepot. I think they are fine!

 

Since you already have second thoughts about touch screen, I would definitely recommend the 60csx.

 

I think that most criticism of the 60csx user interface comes from unfamiliarity.

 

Good luck.

Steve.

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I'm new to geocaching and this forum but not to GPS technology.

 

I just purchased my first recreational grade receiver and didn't get the 60CSx, even though a very experienced geocaching friend said he wouldn't have anything else. Short answer is the more expensive product I first bought was disappointing.. reboots, failure to acquire satellite fixes in good conditions, very poor WAAS reception.

 

Ran as fast as I could to REI and bought the 60CSx and lo and behold, I am a happy cacher. In side by side tests it would regularly track and lock double the sats (at least according to the displays on the respective units), and is rarely without WAAS reception. Large screen, easy to read, excellent performance under canopy.

 

The 60 has an older-looking user interface as compared to the newer Garmins (if that is important to you), doesn't have the bells and whistles of say the Oregon 550 (paperless caching), but for me accuracy and performance under less than optimal conditions (canopy, poor sat geometry) are the most important, and for that I am sticking with the 60CSx. I did score one with the Sirf III chipset @ REI, so they are still out there. I have no experience with the Mediatek chip.

 

So, 60CSx and the topos from gpsfiledepot and I am good to go.

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We started caching with a GPS 60 and now use the Oregon 300 and sometimes the iphone. The 60 is a great unit, bullet-proof and accurate, but it is just a GPS, no paperless info. We have been using the OR 300 for many months and love it and highly recommend it! Having all the cache info on one device is awesone! We use the iphone some, just if we have some spare time and want to grab a couple of quick caches and don't have the OR with us. It is okay, but there are a few drawbacks. Battery life, having (or not having) a 3g signal, accuracy. The 60 would give you a dedicated GPSr, but you would still be using the iphone to get cache info and log finds. With something like the Oregon or Dakota, one device does everything and lasts all day. I can't recommend the Dakota, because I haven't used it, but it is basically the same software as the OR just slightly smaller and a few less "bell and whistles". The Dakota 20 has a 3 axis compass for less money (or almost the same money) than the OR 300. I think having a 3 axis compass would be really great, because it still works if you aren't moving. I love Garmin, (can you tell) and highly recommend their products. Just don't like the look, feel and "user-friendly-ness" of the Delorn units.

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We started caching with a GPS 60 and now use the Oregon 300 and sometimes the iphone. The 60 is a great unit, bullet-proof and accurate, but it is just a GPS, no paperless info. We have been using the OR 300 for many months and love it and highly recommend it! Having all the cache info on one device is awesone! We use the iphone some, just if we have some spare time and want to grab a couple of quick caches and don't have the OR with us. It is okay, but there are a few drawbacks. Battery life, having (or not having) a 3g signal, accuracy. The 60 would give you a dedicated GPSr, but you would still be using the iphone to get cache info and log finds. With something like the Oregon or Dakota, one device does everything and lasts all day. I can't recommend the Dakota, because I haven't used it, but it is basically the same software as the OR just slightly smaller and a few less "bell and whistles". The Dakota 20 has a 3 axis compass for less money (or almost the same money) than the OR 300. I think having a 3 axis compass would be really great, because it still works if you aren't moving. I love Garmin, (can you tell) and highly recommend their products. Just don't like the look, feel and "user-friendly-ness" of the Delorn units.

 

Another really good GPSr equivalent to the 60CSx is the 76CSx which has the floating capability and slightly greater memory for the same price and also has the Sirfstar III chip. It's one of my primary "go to" geocaching GPSr's because of it's simplicity and tremendous accuracy. With the GSAK macros, I have similar but abbreviated paperless caching info on my unit. You'd be very, very happy with either unit!!!

 

Good Luck,

 

Be Safe.

 

N

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I've noticed that there now seems to be two different versions, one with the Sirfstar III and another one (can't remember the name). Can you tell the difference from the box? I'd like to not be the guinea pig in discovering that the other chip doesn't work as well, especially since I'm looking for a rock solid, as accurate GPS as possible.

 

Having been using my iPhone pretty much exclusively up to this point, I'm more-or-less happy with its capabilities, except for the battery life. Thus I'm looking for a GPS that will have both the battery life (and the ability to change batteries is nice), and the best accuracy I can get.

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If paperless and accuracy sounds good to you, most of the new tech GPS units these days fi t the bill quite nicely. In the Garmin camp, you could get the Colorado 300 or 400, both would be great. You don't need routing since you have a car nav, so free maps would mean no extra money spent there. These units are fairly close to the Oregon series except no touchscreen.

 

In the DeLorme camp, you have the PN-30 or PN-40. I would recommend the PN-40 for it's tri-axle compass over the PN-30 which doesn't have this, but that's merely preference. Paperless, ability to add aerial imagery and it's ORANGE!!

 

Both units cost around the same. Both units cost about the same as the 60 CSx costs too, but you get the paperless feature with the new tech and still have great reception and accuracy.

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I've noticed that there now seems to be two different versions, one with the Sirfstar III and another one (can't remember the name). Can you tell the difference from the box? I'd like to not be the guinea pig in discovering that the other chip doesn't work as well, especially since I'm looking for a rock solid, as accurate GPS as possible.

 

Having been using my iPhone pretty much exclusively up to this point, I'm more-or-less happy with its capabilities, except for the battery life. Thus I'm looking for a GPS that will have both the battery life (and the ability to change batteries is nice), and the best accuracy I can get.

 

Just an FYI, the box mine came in no longer says anything about 'Sirf Technology' (oops, it does talk about Sirf on the bottom of the box!), and as a matter of fact the one REI had on display had the MediaTek chip, and I assumed that is what I would be getting. I ended up with a SirfIII, but really don't know about the performance of one vs the other. Best way to know is to check startup screen and/or the firmware version. Here is a thread, and there is a link in that thread to another:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=235090

Edited by mapper66
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If you are open to another brand other than Garmin then I'd strongly recommend checking out the Delorme PN-30 and PN-40 that Rockin Roddy mentioned above. Currently on Amazon.com you can pick up a PN-30 for $229 with a possibility of free 2 day shipping (in your hand Wednesday!) or the PN-40 for $303 with the same shipping deal. It's paperless, dependable, has U.S. topo and street maps and street maps for both Canada and Mexico included at no additional charge. I'm so satisfied with my Delorme PN-40 that I can't see ever going back to a Garmin again. Yeah, they can drain a couple AA batteries in a full day of caching, but the solution is to carry 2 little AA batteries with you in case they're needed. Good luck in your search for the best GPSr for your needs! :)

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I was thinking about the PN-40, based on Rockin Roddy's other posts, including being reunited with the one that went into the ditch. I even like that it's orange! I'm not biased for or against any particular device...it's just familiarity; I have never touched a Delorme at all (nor ever even heard of them until I read Roddy's posts), and there is a Garmin store in Chicago.

 

I think REI sells the PN-40, and there's a store here too, so maybe I'll go over and give it a try. Ultimately I want an extremely accurate but indestructible GPS that will handle all the seasons, and my kids wanting to play/fight over it ("no daddy wants *me* to hold it!")

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May put in my 2 cents worth? I own 2 Garmin 60CSxs as well as the Oregon 200. Comparing both units I still love my 60CSx. Even though in order to go paperless, I had to use a Palm Tungsten E2. My current palm was starting to fail after 2 years worth of use. So, I considered combining the paperless/cache pages feature from the Oregon and the capability for Wherigo caches, and thought the Oregon would be a good fit. Well I can assure you although I'm still learning to navigate the Oregon, it lacks certain features and ease of use that the 60CSx has. I still use the 60CSx for my everyday caching and use the Oregon in place of the palm for the cache pages. Other than that and if I didn't need the Oregon for the Wherigo caches, I'd leave it behind.

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Both the Sirfstar III and the Mediatek chips perform comparably. Garmin wouldn't have gone to another chip that couldn't perform as well or better than a previous version. Don't let the rumor mill dissuade you from buying a terrific GPS because of a new Mediatek chip. Buy it and be happy already!!

 

Not exactly. They changed chips because Broadcom won a lawsuit against the old one.

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Hi all-

 

I've been caching primary with my iphone 3GS and have been thinking of going "bigger" with a dedicated GPS unit that I can carry around all day. The iphone has been great, but the battery life is just not up to a full day of geocaching. So I'm thinking of just using it for the geocaching app and go with a dedicated GPS for the find.

 

We have a TomTom One, but its battery life is actually worse than the iphone, and I'm not a big fan of the touch screen outside. It works plenty fine in the car, but it has been less than stellar for outside in the woods.

 

So I've been thinking about getting a Garmin, not for any other reason than there's a store in the city (Chicago) that I can go try them out. I played with the Oregeon series and, while they felt more sturdy than the TomTom, I'm still not enamored to the touch screen, especially if I want to use it outside in the winter, without having to take my gloves off.

 

I've been looking at the 60csx...it has a form factor I like (why do Garmins all seem to have the screen/controls reversed, with the screen at the bottom?) with what appears to be a pretty big screen, and the reviews I've seen all, for the most part, are pretty positive.

 

The issue is that I know it has been discontinued and they don't carry it in the store, so I'd have to buy it site-unseen.

 

My question, I guess, is whether it's worth it or not, to go with the 60CSX. This would be primarily for geocaching, and as I'd have the iPhone with me anyway, I could use it for finding nearby caches and plug the numbers into the 60csx to do the actual looking. I'm really looking for about as accurate a GPS as I can get, that can handle being under trees, and be rugged to use all year round, even in the snow. And I really want the tactile feel of the buttons, along with a big bright screen.

 

I suppose it sounds like my mind is pretty much made up, but wanted some other opinions, if anything to hear experiences of the unit from other folks. How has the 60csx worked out for folks?

 

I replaced my Vista HCx with an Oregon 300 about 2 weeks ago. Consequently, I'm still learning the nuances of the 300. So far I'm really impressed with it's ease of use and paperless caching. Panning the map by simply dragging you finger accorss is great. Of course since you are an iphone user a lot of things that impress me may be old hat to you. The negative to the 300 is the screen. There is no doubt that it is not as bright as my old Vista (and I'm sure not as bright as the 60CSx). Howver, I'm learning to use it to it's best advantage. At this point (and I may change my mind after more use) I'm thrilled with it. By the way, REI will be selling the Oregon 300 for $249.95 starting on the 20th. That is really a great buy. If I were you I would try both the 60 and the Oregon 300 out before making your decision. The REI where I shop is most willing to let you test them out in the parking lot. Also, with REI's return policy if you don't like which ever one you buy you can always return it.

 

OldA'sFan

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Tacho, stick with your original plan!

 

The iphone geocaching app is the most comfortable way to carry your cache infos around with you. Since you already own an iphone + gc app, you're good to go!

 

All you need now is a good GPS receiver. Judging from my own experience and from what I've read in this forum, the 60CSx is still the best choice in terms of accuracy, reliability and readability.

 

Other units may offer you a more complete all-in-one solution, but in my opinion that is not what you really need:

For you (personally), there's no disadvantage in using two devices instead of one for geocaching since you would bring your iphone along anyway - and it even allows you to update your cache infos while in the field.

 

I am currently using the gc app on the ipod touch along with the 60CSx and I am more than happy with the combination. The 60CSx would still lead me to the spot under conditions where other cachers with their touchscreen enabled units are 30 meters off.

 

By the way, my 60CSx is one of the newer ones with the Mediatek chip and it's working great. I am using the unit quite frequently while biking or hiking and there has never been a sign of drift or any of the other problems people seem to expect from GPSrs that utilize the mediatek chip.

 

best regards,

Pulvertoastmann

 

edit:

Since you're owning an iphone you'd be disappointed by the touchscreen GPSrs anyway - no other device features a touchscreen of a quality that is anywhere near the one built into the iphone. You have to press them harder to make them register they've been touched at all, panning is not as smooth and (compared to the 60CSx) they are just not as readable.

Edited by Pulvertoastmann
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Tacho, stick with your original plan!

 

Yes, I've decided to stick with getting a 60CSX. I went to the Garmin store and tried out the 300 and you're absolutely right; the touch screen is awesome...if you don't already own an iPhone. This is not a knock on the 300 at all....it has a lot of features, and has Wherigo built in, etc. A friend of mine wants to get a GPS for geocaching as well as all-around use, and I strongly recommended it to him, to the point I'm almost badgering him to get it, so as to have the best of both worlds...it's not *my* Oregon 300, but maybe he'd let me borrow it for Wherigo use. :laughing:

 

Apart from the reasons mentioned about the 60CSX is one that I realized it has that the others do not...it can stream its data via the serial/usb port to the computer to software that can take advantage of it. This means I can hook it up to the laptop or a camera that accepts GPS input. I write software so I've been thinking of things I could do with a direct GPS signal and I have some ideas I might work on.

 

But you're absolutely right...I carry the iphone everywhere if for no other reason than, well, it's my phone. :) Thus if I use it just for the app, and limit my use to field notes and the lists, then the battery life will be that much greater; I think overzealous use of the GPS on the phone is what's causing, for me, the most battery drain.

 

Thanks all!

 

Tacho

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Tacho, stick with your original plan!

 

The iphone geocaching app is the most comfortable way to carry your cache infos around with you. Since you already own an iphone + gc app, you're good to go!

 

All you need now is a good GPS receiver. Judging from my own experience and from what I've read in this forum, the 60CSx is still the best choice in terms of accuracy, reliability and readability.

 

Other units may offer you a more complete all-in-one solution, but in my opinion that is not what you really need:

For you (personally), there's no disadvantage in using two devices instead of one for geocaching since you would bring your iphone along anyway - and it even allows you to update your cache infos while in the field.

 

I am currently using the gc app on the ipod touch along with the 60CSx and I am more than happy with the combination. The 60CSx would still lead me to the spot under conditions where other cachers with their touchscreen enabled units are 30 meters off.

 

By the way, my 60CSx is one of the newer ones with the Mediatek chip and it's working great. I am using the unit quite frequently while biking or hiking and there has never been a sign of drift or any of the other problems people seem to expect from GPSrs that utilize the mediatek chip.

 

best regards,

Pulvertoastmann

 

edit:

Since you're owning an iphone you'd be disappointed by the touchscreen GPSrs anyway - no other device features a touchscreen of a quality that is anywhere near the one built into the iphone. You have to press them harder to make them register they've been touched at all, panning is not as smooth and (compared to the 60CSx) they are just not as readable.

 

Source of information that "touchscreen enabled units are 30 meters off". According to Garmin the Oregon is as accurate as is the 60CSx. To offer an opinon that the combo of iphone and 60 is a fine combination is fine. However, when making statments that another unit is that much less accurate demands proof.

 

Olda'sFan

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Of course I cannot prove that. It's just what I experienced two or three times when I was out caching in the forests. In my area the forests are rather dense and the terrain consists mainly of hills. On some occasions (in narrow valleys) this brings even the 60CSx down to 20 meters of accuracy, although it never loses its satellite lock entirely.

Under such circumstances, when caching with others, the 60CSx just brought me closer to ground zero.

 

You're right nevertheless, propably I should have mentioned more exactly that my statement was based on merely a handful of personal experiences (and what the circumstances were that led to these experiences) and not at all on a deliberate comparison.

 

I can't even rule out the possibility that the others where maybe not patient enough, following each jump that their unit made immediately.

 

I do not doubt that other units have the same or similar GPS-chips that enable them to aquire a position fix with the same accuracy as the 60CSx. I guess under a clear sky all available units will perform more or less equally. But I still believe, however, that the 60CSx is superior to other units, at least in terms of signal receiption, when it comes to demanding circumstances like the ones I mentioned earlier. Maybe it just has the better antenna connected to its GPS chip.

 

So, I'm sorry for making the statement in question out of context and I hope this posting will resolve the matter.

 

best regards,

Pulvertoastmann

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Of course I cannot prove that. It's just what I experienced two or three times when I was out caching in the forests. In my area the forests are rather dense and the terrain consists mainly of hills. On some occasions (in narrow valleys) this brings even the 60CSx down to 20 meters of accuracy, although it never loses its satellite lock entirely.

Under such circumstances, when caching with others, the 60CSx just brought me closer to ground zero.

 

You're right nevertheless, propably I should have mentioned more exactly that my statement was based on merely a handful of personal experiences (and what the circumstances were that led to these experiences) and not at all on a deliberate comparison.

 

I can't even rule out the possibility that the others where maybe not patient enough, following each jump that their unit made immediately.

 

I do not doubt that other units have the same or similar GPS-chips that enable them to aquire a position fix with the same accuracy as the 60CSx. I guess under a clear sky all available units will perform more or less equally. But I still believe, however, that the 60CSx is superior to other units, at least in terms of signal receiption, when it comes to demanding circumstances like the ones I mentioned earlier. Maybe it just has the better antenna connected to its GPS chip.

 

So, I'm sorry for making the statement in question out of context and I hope this posting will resolve the matter.

 

best regards,

Pulvertoastmann

 

Super good answer! It's the engineer in me. Thanks much for your reply.

 

OldA'sFan

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