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Edison.Starfire

eXplorist 610 first impressions

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We use both an Oregon 450 and a Explorist 610. Both units have nice features which make them attractive geocaching / outdoor units.

 

For the Oregon - well, it's a Garmin. Sorry for the generalization here, but almost everyone uses a Garmin. As such, it's really easy to get your questions answered either here or on the Oregon Wiki site: http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/. The Oregon does have some minor downsides (i.e., some reproducable crashes) but Garmin tends to update their firmware regularly - although sometimes, it is argued that they do this just to introduce new bugs. Garmin sells countless maps (I think it's upwards of the number of Nuvi variations that they sell). Pretty much anything you want to buy, Garmin will sell it. Don't get the 450t - it uses the 100K topo. Depending on the area, I've found the TIGER/road data to be upto 1/2 a mile off. Fortunately, gpsfiledepot.com has a good selection of free topo maps.

 

Now for the the 610/710. You get 2x the number of paperless caches (10,000, vs. 5,000). The 610 comes with really nice topo maps (more on that later). The 710 comes with topo plus street/route navigatable maps. Clyde just patched GSAK to allow cache page pictures (not gallery photos) to be displayed as part of the cache description - very nice! There's been talk here about Magellan's tech support for their products - most of it has been negative. I haven't had any problems with the unit yet (nor have I owned it long enough to see how often the firmware gets patched)... so I can't comment on that.

 

A big selling point for the x10 is the amount of FREE map data you can throw onto it. Unlike Garmin's custom map limit of 100 tiles, you can pack a 32GB memory card full of the highest resolution satellite images available from Google Earth (typically much nicer/sharper than Garmin's BirdsEye) using Mobile Atlas Creator. Only caveat is that if you need to break up your maps if you go over a 2GB file size. BirdsEye limits the download size to around 100MB per BirdsEye map. You can also create very pretty MyTopo 24K raster maps using Mobile Atlas Creator (although you don't get the 3D data you do with Garmin's 24K maps).

 

One suprising thing I've found is the amount of detail in Magellan's Summit Series that isn't even on my Garmin 24K West TopoDVD (+$100.00 or so, retail). For example, ALL of the Aliso/Wood Canyons trails located here on OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=33.57065&lon=-117.7485&zoom=15&layers=M) are present on the x10's Summit Series. Garmin's 24K West Topo has no trails in this park.

 

Both units are nice - and I don't think you'll be bummed out if you get a 610/710 or a 450. :laughing:

 

Good info Wampus n Pickle. The included maps on the 450t are kinda crummy. No two ways about it. Most of the roads in my area are off from a few feet (expected) to 100ft on occasion. I'm a little annoyed at my Garmin right now. The replacement unit they sent doesn't want to update to the lates 4.20 software. The current has beta 3.71 one so I'm thinking they are going to have to give me an official release to flash manually. I stick at the "validating update 0% complete" screen. I can delete the garmin update file via windows explorer and the unit works fine after that. The original unit bricked on me. I've got an email into tech support on it.

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Haven't spent much time with the unit thanks to crappy weather and getting a dose of the stomach virus that's been going around. I did take them outside today after work and after about 5 minutes got a coord reading to compare. I see posts about Magellan and Garmin varying and thought i would compare the two units.

 

explorist xx.xx.362' n Oregon xx.xx.362' n

xx.xx.927' w xx.xx.928' w

 

I didn't try swapping hands with the unit to see if they changed :D

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On an X10:

How far can one zoom in on the Map Page?

Waypoint projection, bearing, still deg + min, 357.26, or just the 357 deg only? And can one project out almost 10000 feet?

WAAS, one or two icons/slots showing on the Sat Page? Can it do the 03 thing, like on the Meridian, to see the WAAS id numbers? Showing WAAS 46 yet?

Quad antenna?

 

I sure hope that they got the User Grid set up correctly, so I can compare it to the

SporTrak and Meridian. Set them both up to display in centimeters, and see how a Maggie, with a SiRF, compares to the oldies. They never got the Triton 1500 set up to do State Plan, in Lambert, so we could use grid feet.

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You can zoom to 10ft. It zooms out farther than a 1/4' mile of course but from there inward its in increments of 800ft > 500ft > 300ft > 200ft > 100ft > 50ft > 25ft > 10ft.

 

Waypoint projection is deg + min. ie: 357.26. I just projected that bearing 1,000,000.00 ft. Give you that many decimal places using your choice of Kilometers, Feet, Yards, Miles, Meters and Nautical Miles.

 

The sat icons and bars change color depending on signal strength. The bars have the sat ID in them but I don't recall the WAAS birdies displaying differently. Sitting 6' from to a window right now it's bouncing between 6-8 sats with 30-65% +/- signal. I have seen the new WAAS 46 a pop up but what little I have used the unit it's not always listed.

 

No idea on the antennae but guessing it's similar to the one in the Garmin Oregon's where it's runs from the top of the unit and down through the body.

 

I can't help you on the user grid so far.

 

Sorry it took me awhile to reply.

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Thanks Edison.Starfire, that feed back is a BIG help.

With the SporTrak and Meridian, one can only zoom in to 100 ft, and only to 35 ft with a MobileMapper. I have several waypoints in the backyard that have a 10 ft circle of rocks around them. I walk them with my Garmin 60's, tracks set to 1 sec, or 1 yard, and have the circle on the Map Page. Then each time I return to one of these points, I can make a new waypoint and see how it relates to the original, and where it is on the Map Page. Long term averaging one of these points, makes it more fun. This with the Garmins zoomed in to 20 ft. So now with the new Maggies zooming in to 10 ft, oh boy....

Looks like that they may have out done the Meridians, on the Projection Page features. I have some plats that read like, N 23.47 W, so having the min feature helps. Easier than converting to mils, or guestimating on the Map Page, for me.

I hope that the SiRF chip is a bit calmer in the X10's, then in the TRitons.

Father Time has me pretty much confined to back yard testing, but it wards off the dreaded "alltimers". I hate asking others to check out some things that very few people use, but it keeps me from having to buy/return.

Grateful for help, especially during the "freezing, sneezing, weezing,season"!

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Thanks Edison.Starfire, that feed back is a BIG help.

With the SporTrak and Meridian, one can only zoom in to 100 ft, and only to 35 ft with a MobileMapper. I have several waypoints in the backyard that have a 10 ft circle of rocks around them. I walk them with my Garmin 60's, tracks set to 1 sec, or 1 yard, and have the circle on the Map Page. Then each time I return to one of these points, I can make a new waypoint and see how it relates to the original, and where it is on the Map Page. Long term averaging one of these points, makes it more fun. This with the Garmins zoomed in to 20 ft. So now with the new Maggies zooming in to 10 ft, oh boy....

Looks like that they may have out done the Meridians, on the Projection Page features. I have some plats that read like, N 23.47 W, so having the min feature helps. Easier than converting to mils, or guestimating on the Map Page, for me.

I hope that the SiRF chip is a bit calmer in the X10's, then in the TRitons.

Father Time has me pretty much confined to back yard testing, but it wards off the dreaded "alltimers". I hate asking others to check out some things that very few people use, but it keeps me from having to buy/return.

Grateful for help, especially during the "freezing, sneezing, weezing,season"!

 

Hey xxzee, Glad to help especially if you need it. Let me know if there's anything else I can check out for you.

 

Sounds like a neat exercise you have cooked up there. The Sirf seems to skid around on the map if you don't have a good lock which is nothing surprising. I need to compare an out an back tracklog between the 450t and 610 to see which one waivers the most especially under trees.

 

This ice out is bad business. Went visiting some fam yesterday and thought i was going t be stranded and calling a 4x4 rollback but made it haha. Need to make another cache run but don't fancy ice on rock above 50 foot drops to a freezing cold lake.

 

I was going to do a good battery life comparison but accidently mixed my new 4 pack of rechargeables with the older ones. Will have to get a new set to make it fair.

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I'm really struggling to decide between the eXplorist 610 and the Garmin Oregon 450 (or 550) .... one of the things that caught my eye was that the explorist holds 10k caches .... what I read on the Oregon is only 1000?? is that true??

 

I want this almost exclusively for geocaching, and I don't want to have to plan every outing by updating small batches of caches, I'd like to have a big selection already saved in the memory.

 

Also, do either or both of them allow you to filter the list of geocaches you have saved? For example, if I want to only see size=small, can I do that from within either GPS, or do I have to sort it in GSAK before I upload it?

 

Can you save off the GPX files on the memory card and load/unload them as you need to? I've done that on my blackberry .. where I have several queries saved, and only load the one for what I'm looking for.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give .. I have read all the reviews and done lots of research, but it has seemed to be more confusing and every time I read another one I change my mind. lol

 

Thanks!

 

Hi CacheChick

 

Sorry it took me awhile. I'm not the best source of info on either of these unit as both are new to me. You can sort the caches on each unit by Name, Difficulty, Terrain, Type and Size

 

I'm not sure about saving queries and switching them out. On the 610 the gpx files do have to be in the "geocaching" folder on the unit for them to show up. I imagine you could swap files from your computer to the unit in storage mode though.

 

If you haven't found it already here is a site for the Garmin units.

 

Garmin Wiki

 

In my opinion there will be a strength or weakness of each unit that makes or breaks it for some users. Magellan's biggest hurdle is poor support in the past. Hopefully things have changed with the new ownership (MiTAC) although I'm guessing owners of previous gen devices are still left out in the cold. It would be a hard choice for me between the units from what I know so far. If I get to spend time on a hike the coming weeks I'll give a more detailed opinion. I'm more of a gadget addict / hiker than a geocacher so I apoligize for being much help there. Let me know how your decision goes. :laughing:

 

For what it is worth, regarding Magellan's customer support, in 2009 I "bircked" beloved Explorist 210 while updating firmware. My unit was not under warranty and had not been for some time. I called Magellan, told them the problem with my Explorist 210. Magellan apologised for the error asked me to return my Explorist 210. I returned it and in less than 10 days, they had replaced my old 210 with a refurbished Triton 300. I think that is more than fair. So, for me, Magellan service was pretty much the opposite of what everyone else seems to have experienced. I do not recall if I dealt with prior owners or the new MiTac.

 

For what it is worth, I own two Garmin handhelds (Geko 101 and Vista HCx) and the Triton 300. I am seriously considering thie new Explorist 610, Oregon 450, or the DeLorme PN60. Honestly, for me the choice is not so clear.

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Hey soleful2001,

It's a tough choice. Like most things it depends on strengths. The maps on the 610 would be the winner for me. For someone else it may be pointless. The Delorme was my first choice but I couldnt get past the smaller screen. In practice it may not be a drawback but I didn't want to risk it. The first unit I owned was the eXplorist XL with a huge screen so I'm spoiled.

 

Thanks for the info on Magellan customer service. I do have a coworker who ended up with 2 XL units to replace one. Most issues with Magellan are lack of support for outgoing units such as the older eXplorists and Windows Vista / 7 compatibility. Hoping they get up to par all the way around. Competition is good for the end user of course and innovations from all the players would be welcomed.

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"I was going to do a good battery life comparison but accidently mixed my new 4 pack of rechargeables with the older ones. Will have to get a new set to make it fair." I (Tuena) can never get this quote business to work on either forum!

 

Did you get the opportunity to do this test? On the Geocaching Australia forum pprass indicates that he is lucky to get 4 hours use out of quality rechargeables. Hardly worthwhile. Magellan indicate 15 hours under 'normal use' which to me is 'turned on, no qualifications'. Thanks.

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The Magellan web page for the VantagePoint software lists the eXplorist 510,610, and 710 along with the Triton series as supported models. If the x10 units work as generic mass storage devices that would be a real PLUS!!

If this is confirmed I may be looking for a 710 in the future.

 

It would be nice as a parting gift when the triton series are discontinued if Magellan would release a firmware upgrade that adds mass storage device support on the tritons.

I have been using my 710 for A little over a week. I am not sure I will Vantage point because Vantage points take to long to move caches between my PC and my Exp. 710. I am finding GSAK much faster.

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