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Driving with Personal GPS


JNMW
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Hi

 

We've started geocaching and about to buy our first hand held GPS. This coincides with a trip from the UK to the USA and we're trying to work out what devices are capable of. We were thinking of buying a etrex Legend or etrex Vista and adding the City Navigator NA SD Card so we could also use the gps when driving and to save on the rental gps devices from the car hire place. Has anyone tried using a handheld unit to drive with and does this sound like a good idea or mad idea??

 

Any help or suggestions welcome? I'd be happy buying a GMAP60 Csx if I knew the road naivagation for driving would work ok.

 

Thanks

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Hi

 

We've started geocaching and about to buy our first hand held GPS. This coincides with a trip from the UK to the USA and we're trying to work out what devices are capable of. We were thinking of buying a etrex Legend or etrex Vista and adding the City Navigator NA SD Card so we could also use the gps when driving and to save on the rental gps devices from the car hire place. Has anyone tried using a handheld unit to drive with and does this sound like a good idea or mad idea??

 

Any help or suggestions welcome? I'd be happy buying a GMAP60 Csx if I knew the road naivagation for driving would work ok.

 

Thanks

 

I have used both the Vista and the 60CSx for road navigation in north America.

 

You should know that you don't get voice prompts but a single beep for turn nearing and a double beep for turn now. For me this works just fine and I have no trouble following them.

 

I would suggest the 60CSx for it's larger screen size.

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You should know that you don't get voice prompts but a single beep for turn nearing and a double beep for turn now. For me this works just fine and I have no trouble following them.

I have a Vista HCx and in addition to the sound prompts, the display lights up and provides a detail of upcoming turns with the first "beep" and switches back to your selected display after the turn. This is great for driving at night. It also recalculates deviations in your route quickly. I wish I could get the Earthmate to do that. Edited by coggins
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I have an eTrex Legend HCx and it works pretty well for road nav. The others have described it well. If you are okay with the beeps rather than voice guidance you'll be fine. The popup turn display is large enough that you can see it quite well even on the Legend/Vista small screen.

 

It's especially useful if you have someone riding with you who can help navigate. The screen is relatively small so you either need to mount it perfectly for driver view or, better, have your navigator hold it so they can provide some voice guidance.

 

Other than the screen size and lack of voice guidance, if you add City Navigator maps it has all the features of a regular car nav device.

 

...ken...

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If you have never driven in the US before, IMHO it would be better to spend the money on the GPS that comes with the rental car. Better to have a hands-off, designed-for-auto-use device when you're in unfamiliar territory with driving styles, road patterns & signs/markings, as opposed with fumbling w/ a hand-held which may get tripped up on routing.

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I would forget the handheld for driving. It is dangerous enough trying to view a regular GPS made to use in the car. You can purchase a navigation unit for car use for a little over $100 that will work better. For $200 think about getting a good unit, using it for your trip and reselling it on the For Sale Forum here at Groundspeak.

 

Texas Charles

 

Hi

 

We've started geocaching and about to buy our first hand held GPS. This coincides with a trip from the UK to the USA and we're trying to work out what devices are capable of. We were thinking of buying a etrex Legend or etrex Vista and adding the City Navigator NA SD Card so we could also use the gps when driving and to save on the rental gps devices from the car hire place. Has anyone tried using a handheld unit to drive with and does this sound like a good idea or mad idea??

 

Any help or suggestions welcome? I'd be happy buying a GMAP60 Csx if I knew the road naivagation for driving would work ok.

 

Thanks

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Yeah-- I have a b/w Legend and it's not safe for driving. Too small, not enough detail, too slow to use for point of interests while moving at car speeds.

 

In the car I pull over and use it for "Where am I?" Not for "Where's my next turn?" while moving... But I agree with others, handhelds are fine if you have a partner. Although mine needs to be near the glass to get a clear view of the sky.

 

Also--the older b/w Legend does not have any memory card inputs, just in case that's what you're considering getting.

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You're going to spend around $100 (US) on the software, you can buy a good car navigation GPS for that amount and turn around and sell it at the end of the trip to recover some of your investment.

 

If you do decide to go with City Navigator and a handheld, get the MicroSD card version - I think you can sell it far more easily than the DVD version since the license goes with the card and not the GPS it's registered to.

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Hi All

 

Thanks for the various reflections and comments. I'm definitely not planning on solo driving with the GPS so will have a passenger to keep an eye on things. I've drived in the US 4 or 5 times so am reasonably confident. Most of the time we'll be out towards Bryce and Zion so dont expect too much cdity driving. It's LA and possibly LV that we're not too sure on.

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Yeah-- I have a b/w Legend and it's not safe for driving.

If you use your GPS for visual navigation you aren't driving safely anyway, regardless how large the screen is.

 

The Legend HCx, and similar devices, pop up a big turn indication graphic when it beeps at you. If the GPS is positioned properly it's just as easy to see this with a quick glance as it is on the bigger screens.

 

I'm not recommending it as a dedicated car nav device. But the original poster asked if it could be used for temporary navigation. It has all the necessary features and the limitations have been mentioned so they can make an informed decision.

 

In the Bryce Canyon and Zion Parks areas the handheld will be great just to keep track of where you are. In the cities it will work fine with a copilot to help with the navigation.

 

Would a larger Nuvi-style unit be nice? Absolutely. Is it necessary for the planned use? Not really.

 

...ken...

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